Friday 7 February 2020

Principal's News Week 1 Term 1 2020

We have had a great start to the year with children excited about coming back to school.  We have gone straight into swimming for the seniors and we thank you for getting your blanket permission forms back to us promptly.  Please keep an eye out for sports notices as Winter sports teams will be forming soon.

Analiese and Joaquin are enjoying being seniors and getting their own desks

Analiese and Joaquin are enjoying being seniors and getting their own desks

Year 5/6 has transformed into Narnia
Parent and Caregiver Emergency Email List
I have sent out a notice to all families about the Meet the Teacher evening.  If you did not receive that email, then I need to update my list.  Please let me know on  It's really important that you are on that list as it's the list on my phone that I will use if we ever have an emergency situation.

Meet the Teacher and Goal Setting Interviews
We are doing short "Meet the Teacher" sessions next Monday from 6pm if you would like the opportunity to meet your child's teacher and find out more about how your child's class runs.

There are three sessions (as some families have three children across the school):
6.00 pm
6.20 pm
6.40 pm

You are invited to your child's classroom to meet the teacher.  Please start with your oldest child and work your way down.

We will also be having Goal Setting meetings on the afternoons/evenings of Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 26th February.  You will get a code on Monday so you can book your interview times.  It is important to come to these short meetings as it enables your child's teacher to have a broader understanding of your child and to learn your perspective.

Our Curriculum
We have been working hard on updating our curriculum over the last two years and will finish our updating in the next 18 months.  Our curriculum is in line with the New Zealand curriculum and is based on future-focused learning CAPABILITIES that are interwoven through all learning areas.

Here is the link to our curriculum:

This page of our curriculum goes into the capabilities in more detail.

Here is our graduate profile of the type of capabilities our learners should have by year 8 to help them be ready to successfully transition to high school and further.  Its the skills they need for life:

Underlying understanding- God created the world and all that is in it and we have the pleasure of exploring it
  • Integrate learning areas and apply different criteria for Truth (Veritas) and beauty in different disciplines explaining how they relate to religious truth.
  • In order to access the truth in each discipline use a wide range of discipline-specific language, tools, conventions and thinking structures e.g. analyses like a scientist, composes like a musician, infers like a social scientist.
  • Compare and contrast different ways of representing ideas.
  • Respond positively to critique of their own explanations and representations
Critical thinking is a process whereby one’s personal assumptions are put aside in light of evidence and processes which challenge the knowledge-base.  Critical inquiry is a sustained process involving letting go and building up. 
  • Pose relevant questions and make their own investigations and designs across the curriculum.
  • Use relational and extended abstract reasoning across the curriculum
  • Challenge their own and others’ ideas using evidence.
  • Respond positively to change and alternative perspectives.
  • Check reliability of sources.

Reach for the Stars as Lifelong Learners in the Catholic Faith

St Joseph’s 
Year 8 
Graduate Learner Profile
Understanding that we are all made in the image and likeness of God and we have many different ways of being like God.
  • Recognise and respect the dignity of the individual created in the image of God.
  • Demonstrate and explain that there may be more than one answer while maintaining personal identity.
  • Explain and show respect for different peoples’ perspectives based on their diverse values and culture.
  • Demonstrate manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, ako and mahi tahi in all interactions.  Act appropriately and sincerely in contexts where Maori protocols are important.
  • Continually demonstrate empathy for others
Out of respect for ourselves and for others we respectfully take action to spread the Good News and we take responsibility to be the change in the world.
  • Share the Good News of the Gospel in action and be an active witness by collaboratively exploring ideas to solve real life problems
  • Show that more can be achieved collectively.
  • Know and use the principles of Catholic Social Justice to engage in Mahi a-ngakau - works of the heart 
  • Draw from a wide range of Catholic spiritual, prayer and liturgical practices as a form of personal and community sustenance.
  • Analyse their own mistakes and take action to fix them.
  • Independently and positively engage in self-managing, self-sustaining, reflective learning processes.

Over the next year we will be updating how we report to parents in order to ensure we are consistently teaching, assessing and reporting these capabilities in all learning areas.  Previously we have asked children to set key competency goals.  We will now be asking them to set capability goals.  As its new to them, and to us, for this start of year goal setting we will be setting a more general learning goal and supporting the children to understand more about their learning as the year goes by.

We love to receive feedback.  Please let us know what you think about things.  If you like something, a comment in person, or a quick email is highly appreciated.  Words of gratitude go a long way and all human beings thrive on them.

If you have concerns, our procedure in a nutshell is to take the concern to the person and take it as soon as possible.  That way we can be responsive so that little issues do not become big issues.  It can be hard sometimes to get the courage to speak up but its much better if you do as its respectful to all parties and nothing ever gets sorted in the carpark.  Here's the link to our concerns and complaints procedure.

Summer Sports
Touch rugby and cricket teams will be sorted out next week.

Home and School Fundraiser - The Hungry Horse Cafe
A notice has gone home to each family today asking for help for this fundraiser.  Offers of help need to be in by this Monday 10th February to Rebecca Heffernan otherwise we may lose this worthwhile fundraiser.

Short Newsletter
Due to the short week and with swimming in the afternoons, the full newsletter could not completed.  Next week will be a full newsletter.

I welcome you back to 2020 and look forward to an exciting year of learning for your children. 

God bless and aroha
Lorraine Frances-Rees

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