Thursday 21 March 2019

1. Principal's News Week 7, Term 1, 2019

After the horrific events in Christchurch last week our school is having a whole school focus on kindness.  We believe we can make the world a better place, one act of kindness at a time.  Our Just like Jesus role model vouchers at the moment are focused on kindness.  I have said to the children that if we get 200 vouchers in the box by the end of term we can have a whole school trip to the botanical gardens at the start of next term and have an Easter egg hunt.  I want to give our children something positive to focus on.  We are a health promoting school and we are not promoting eating chocolate however a very small chocolate Easter egg does not tip over our food pyramid, it is a reminder of the new life Jesus gained for us through His Resurrection at Easter and we are hopeful through practising kindness that we can create an even better world.

Mufti day this Friday - our year 8 leaders have initiated a "wear bright colours for hope" mufti day this Friday.  Please bring a gold coin donation and we will be making a coin trail.  Proceeds will go to the families of the victims in Christchurch.

Whitestone Wipeout
Don't miss the Whitestone Wipe Out this Saturday. . Sign up now or on Saturday morning.

The Urge to Play
"Developmental research acknowledges the "urges" that children have in their play.  Urges (also known as schema) encourage the neurological pathways to "come online."  Neural pathways grow through nurture and play.  Biologically, play is the tool to ensure survival, through the practice of skills and inquiry.  It is fundamental wiring!" (Longworth Education)
Oral Language
Research into classroom talk shows that in an average classroom 88% of the talk time belongs to the teacher.  12% of talk is used by the children and of that, half is disregarded as invalid - e.g. child interrupts.  Higher performing classrooms with better outcomes for children have teachers talking about 55% of the time.

At St Joseph's we have had recent professional development in oral language and it is one of our targets for 2019.  One of the ways we are promoting oral language is through play-based learning for our year 1-2s underpinned by our school values of respect, reverence, resilience and relationship.  Last year junior hub 2 did a term of play-based learning to support the reading program.  This term Pukeko class have loved having a play environment wrapped around their learning.  They have shown marked increases in the quality and duration of their discussions as they learn.  I have seen intense, elaborate, creative conversations as they engage in their classroom even before the start of the day.

In other areas of the school, teachers are "scaffolding" oral language by giving children cues e.g. "Thank you _____ for your ideas, and I would like to add."  You can see this happening throughout the school.  Good written literacy skills are embedded in strong oral language.

Examples of discussion scaffolds
Year 7 discussion group

How amazing is this!
Great writing Stirling
Ruma Kiwi children show some of their work around "Lent: Living our lives in love"

God bless and aroha
Lorraine Frances-Rees

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