Thursday, 8 March 2018

1. Principal's News Week 6 Term 1 2018

Winter Sports
I can't say it enough - team sports are very, very good for children.  For my own children I insisted they play a team sport even though when they were little one of them didn't really want to do it.  But by the time they got to intermediate level they were able to say they were grateful for it  Sounds a bit bossy but one of the best choices I made for my children before they were able to make good choices for themselves.  It helps them build teamwork and resilience and stops it being all about themselves.  Eventually they may even build some skills and fitness or even have the pride of representing their school or area.  But if they don't its still worth it.

At school year after year I have seen the children who play sport together able to play easily on the playground.  They've always got something to do and they can always do it in a big group.  Playing with your schoolmates may sometimes mean you are playing at a lower standard, or a higher standard, but being able to cooperate and feel a sense of camaraderie with your school friends, can add a lot to general school wellbeing.  Its not about being fantastic at it, its about doing it.

So I urge you to enrol your children for Winter Sports.   If you do sign up for sport please be aware of our sports code of conduct though and be prepared to abide by it and honour the commitment.

For those people who don't like sport, or don't want to do organised team games - that's fine - there's other ways of building commitment and resilience I'm just alerting you to the value of this particular opportunity.

Tracking Student Progress at St Joseph's
 If your child is having difficulties we will let you know.  If that happens please don't be alarmed - we want to get onto things quickly.  Our Board of Trustees has put a lot of investment into training all the staff including our teacher aides to have strategies to support learning, although alas, there still is no magic wand.

When we meet with parents we will tell you what we will be doing but if we suggest you seek a further analysis of learning needs or even that a tutor might help - that does not mean EVER that we are fobbing off responsibility - what it means is that we are giving you every option we can think of to help your child and you can do what you like with those options - at the same time we also do everything we can and hold nothing back.

With National Standards we only reported on the number of children above the expected curriculum standard - that is one year or more above.  We are now separating that into one year above, and "well above" which is 2+ years above.  There are a significant number of children at this end of the
spectrum that we also need to accommodate:

AboveWell above
Jack at The Observatory

Young Vinnies

Thank you to Adrienne Spillane who has taken responsibility for coordinating our Young Vinnies group.

Here is some feedback from one of our lovely parent helpers:

Lily playing with one of the Observatory residents

I just wanted to pass on from the Observatory activities co-ordinator, the patients and myself the gratitude year 8s showed today.  All four children displayed qualities beyond their years and were extremely polite and interactive with the residents.  All I could think was WOW, WOW AND WOW at how great they were.  I was extremely proud of them, their behaviour and how well they represented our school.

A big thank you to all the parents who help in various ways - swimming sports, transporting Young Vinnies, Early Childhood Buddies, coaching the sports teams, the uniform shop, Subway orders, Book Club, all the many things you do that enable the children to have a little bit more.

God Bless and Aroha,
Lorraine Frances-Rees

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