Thursday, 22 February 2018

1. Principal's News - Week 4 Term 1 2018

Goal Setting
Thank you to the many families who have shared your perspective on your child's learning.  I have read them all and we're really grateful for your thoughts on how it can help us to do more of what works.  Its really lovely to see your children reflected through your eyes, thank you for the opportunity.

You should have all received a digital form from your teacher.  A hard copy was also sent home with all children on Tuesday if you would prefer to do it that way.

If you haven't yet booked your meeting for next week please make make a booking - we need to see you all please - go to: and enter the code es4nv

Sports Code of Conduct
You will have received this by now - also in dual mode - digital and hard copy.  Please take careful note of it and what is expected of you.  Our sports teams are a privilege running on the goodwill of our parents.  Please support them.\

Around St Joseph's This Afternoon

Whitestone Wipeout

The Home and School are doing a really professional job of organising the Whitestone Wipeout.  Check out the Facebook page and remember to register:  It will be a BIG fundraiser for St Joseph's.  The Home and School AGM is Thursday 1st March at 7pm in the school staffroom.

Our enrichment philosophy and processes were last updated in 2013.  Then they were in line with what our experience, the most up to date research and children and parents told us was good for children needing enrichment.  It is now time to review our philosophies and procedures and check we are in line with best practice.   This year Jennifer Herbst (previously teacher in charge of enrichment at Rosmini College, Auckland) and Sara Jones-Hogan our Special Education Needs Coordinator are being supported with a leadership provision to review our enrichment procedures and practices.

Our enrichment register is updated annually and we ensure we maintain a range of activities and opportunities to provide for a variety of gifts and talents.  If your child is on the enrichment register you will be told at the goal setting meetings.

Our criteria are:
  • Possibly gifted and talented = in OUR top 20% academically AND have an outstanding talent in another area.
  • Possibly gifted and talented = have a "different" or "unique" approach AND have an outstanding talent in another area.
  • Probably gifted and talented = have at least three distinct gifts in areas such as art, music, language, drama, reading, sport etc.
A simple way of looking at things is group of people falls into a "bell curve" with the majority of people fitting in the middle range and some above and some below and we adjust our teaching to fit the range of needs to include both above and below.  A more complex way and one that we prefer - is that all children have a mix of gifts and needs and we need to give them all opportunities for their whole character to shine and give support for the parts that are weaker.  Children who have learning needs sometimes have developed exceptional talents to compensate.   Children who jump quickly to global thinking may find it difficult to collaborate, or follow through to completion, or many other things.  So we continue to treat each child as an individual.

I will be taking a year 7 & 8 maths enrichment group again this year starting next term and I'm looking forward to it.  

Jennifer and Sara will communicate with you about enrichment more as the year goes on.  In the meantime please be aware our class teachers are well aware of the needs of all of our children and plan diverse programs to suit all needs.

Veritas Challenge
Our year 8s have started working on their Veritas Challenge.  This is our version of the Duke of Edinburgh award.  It involves them taking challenges and gaining points for leadership, cultural, education outside the classroom, service and keeping inspired. (

God Bless and Aroha
Lorraine Frances-Rees

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