Thursday, 14 June 2018

1. Principal's News Term 2, Week 7 2018

Our Year 7 & 8 Young Vinnies

Union Meeting

On Wednesday 27th June all of the teachers are attending the NZEI union meeting in the afternoon.   This meeting is about the conditions that our profession needs in order to get on with teaching and learning and ensure we have quality teachers for the future.  The school has to remain open during this time.  We request that you make arrangements to pick your child up at 12.30 pm that day and that you let your child's teacher or the office know BEFOREHAND that you will do this.  If you pick your child up on the day PLEASE SIGN THEM OUT at the office so we are sure of their safety otherwise we will have to ring you to see where they are.  If you are not able to pick your child up they should bring a board game to school to play in the afternoon.  Remaining children will be in the hall with me.  I will be the only qualified teacher on site with our support staff.

An Update on Reporting and Student Conferencing at St Joseph's

This year, we have greater freedom in our reports and we've renewed our commitment to enable our learners to be lifelong learners, fluent in the use of their key competencies.

Our teachers have worked very hard with the students to help them gain a deeper understanding of their own learning and the learning processes behind it. According to age and stage and as far as possible we have enabled the children to write their own comments on their reports as a record of what they have learnt. Anyone who thinks this is a cop out needs to think again! This is NOT a case of the teacher handing the report to the child and getting them to write it themselves. This is much harder for the teachers and requires a lot more work to make happen, but we think its worth it. Each comment requires deep understanding on the part of the child and the teacher has had to put in a lot of specific teaching to enable the child to reflect REALISTICALLY on their learning. There's been a different focus each week throughout the year so that the children are able to make real comments. The teacher will still determine the curriculum level and affirm or challenge the child's comment. The teacher will also write the overall general comment on how the student is going.

I would like to emphasise that this is a trial at this stage and the teachers are working very hard on it and we will need to do some group reflections as we progress so that we iron out the many difficulties inherent in such a project. We are asking for your support and participation in this process.

I would like to take the opportunity to explain our new reporting system and the upcoming term 3 student-parent interviews to you in more depth. Please join us on Monday 2nd July at 6.30pm in the staffroom and I will explain to you the system we are trialling, how to make the best use of your child's report and the feedback we're asking for from you.

Lateness and Absence Notification

Please try to have all children at school before 9.00 am to ensure they have the best start they can to the day.

Our office staff often spend a considerable amount of time in the morning chasing up unexplained absences (children who are absent and not accounted for). If your child is going to be away please email, ring 434 8856 or text 027 434 8860 to the office to let us know the reason. The worst thing that could happen is one day a child has genuinely gone missing and we don't get to it straight away because we're busying ringing up all the people who haven't told us why their child is not at school. Please help us with this.

The year 4s and 5s discuss helping strategies in last week's Circle of Friends

God bless and aroha,
Lorraine Frances-Rees

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