Thursday, 1 November 2018

Principal's News Week 3 Term 4 2018

Year 7 Camp
I thought our Year 7 camp was fantastic.  We've had a lot of positive feedback and the children really enjoyed themselves.  Camp is about getting to experience Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) and EOTC is not just about zip-lining, bush walking, outdoor survival skills or coasteering (all of which we did), its also about learning to get along with other people (respect and relationships), developing leadership skills (relationships), resilience and also reverence - we feel God's presence powerfully through nature.  Our year 7s experienced all of this.

Something magical seems to happen to our year 7s when they get to this time of year.  They are suddenly bigger and wiser.  They are a group.  They have got each other's backs and you can see all their individual leadership qualities starting to shine through and what they might do with them in year 8 and beyond.  Leadership isn't just about being up front doing the talking.  Leadership is about showing the way and just doing what needs to be done or finding the best in a situation, or encouraging others.  The fabulous thing about camp for me was experiencing the growing depth and maturity in these children and seeing these things in action.

Another thing that stood out for me was when someone missed the mark in some way, they just said, "Sorry" and fixed it - no drama.  A great group of young people.

A huge thank you to our parent helps - Chris Hogan, Chris Heaphy and Rebecca Heffernan.

More about EOTC
At St Joseph's we've always tried to make a progression building from year 6 EOTC experiences, through year 7 and culminating in the year 8 Mt Somer's tramp.  For some outdoor activities we need qualified instructors and there are rigorous health and safety checks that all add to the cost of EOTC thus making it more difficult to do some of the things we want.  Our teachers have lots of ideas, but we have some restrictions....

So We Need You.....
Early in 2019 our senior syndicate teachers would like to gather parents to share what we do on our camps, to share camp feedback, to discuss options for the future, to pick your brains about what is out there and what you want for your children.  We want to be sure we are on the right track and we need your voice in the process.  So please hold your good ideas and we will get together early in 2019 to make some decisions for our 2019 EOTC.

Last night our Board considered responses to the uniform survey.  We are concerned about some social justice aspects of our uniform, mainly:  1. restriction to girls' movements and 2. cost to families.  The Board has come up with four broad alternatives which we would like you to vote on.  You will all get a take home hard copy voting form and we won't make any decisions until we've got a 50% response (roughly 70 families).  The Board has agreed up front that we will look at a heavier, more durable fabric for our polar fleeces.

At this point the other options are broad.  Once we know where your preference lies as a community we will proceed with details - ie. suppliers, what it actually looks like etc and get that back to you.  If we are making changes we would do our best to have that sorted by the end of term 1 2019.  No new changes would be enforced immediately and we could give it up to 5 years for everybody to make the change - that means if you've just bought new uniform you can wear it as long as you need to.  We don't want any family to go to any extra cost.

Here are the options.  You will get a voting form:

Uniform Option 1
Unisex multipurpose uniform which covers everyday and PE:
Shorts, polo top, thicker fleece, navy socks
Dark brown or black leather shoes, with dark brown or black leather sandals as an option for summer (bring sneakers for PE days)
Navy trackpants optiion for winter
Same uniform all year.
School jackets remain as a option.

Option 2
Skorts for girls
Polo shirts for boys in a nicer colour
Polo shirts or similar for girls.
Option of kilts for intermediate girls.
Separate PE uniform as present

Option 3
Skorts for girls
Everything else as is
Option of kilt for intermediate girls

Option 4
Keep it as it is.

Remember we don't need to sort out the details now - just the big picture.

Dates for 2019
Term 1: Monday 4th February - Friday 12th April
Term 2: Monday 29th April - Friday 5th July
Term 3: Monday 22nd July - Friday 27th September
Term 4: Monday 14th October - Friday 20th December
There will be one teacher only day during 2019 and the date will be advised when we know.

School Closure
You may be aware that NZEI members have voted to have a rolling strike.  Our area is striking on Thursday 15th November.  St Joseph's will be CLOSED on that day.    Please support teachers in our action - we are giving up a day's pay to make a point that we hope will make a difference for our profession and for our learners now and in the future.

End of Year Celebrations
Our end of year community gathering is our final mass.  This will be at 6pm on Thursday 13th December at the basilica.
At this mass the junior school will perform their nativity liturgy and we are organising to get it live-streamed onto the screens.
Prize-giving for year 8s
The award of the Just like Jesus role model - one from each class.
Presentation of candles to year 8 leavers.
Mr Paul Olsen, principal of St Kevin's will be presented with our year 8 roll.
All children are expected to be present and bring their families to join us for this end of year celebration.

On Friday 14th December starting at 11.45am we will have our final assembly.  This will include:
Speeches from our head boy and head girl
Presentation of leavers' certificates to the year 8 leavers.
Announcement of the 2019 leadership roles for the year 7s.
We will end with carols and the children will leave at 12.30pm.

Food Fair
A big thank you to our Home and School for our International Food Fair last Sunday.  We had a lot of people from the community at the fair and we raised more money than ever before.  Very well done to all involved and it was a great day.

Some Writing to Share - GOOD FRIENDS by Lachlan Criddle (this was a writing test)
An awesome friend always has your back even when it feels like the end of humanity.  A true friend would do whatever it takes to make sure you are smiling and happy, like how me and my amazing, joyful friend Tommy would risk a lot for each other's happiness, joy and faith in God.

Firstly, a good friend has the important job of keeping everyone in the entire world really happy.  Good friends share a world of joy.  They can both see each other in the future having an outstanding amount of faith in the human race's future!  Me and Tommy have bonded and connected over the few years we have known each other.

Secondly they trust each other fully and treat them like family.  A great friend sees the good in you and everyone.

Finally, a true best friend would treat you like a brother or sister.  They will always have faith in you and never forget that.  Your friends are some of the greatest gifts.

God bless and aroha,
Lorraine Frances-Rees

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