Thursday, 11 March 2021

1. Principal's News Week 6 Term 1 2021


Our inquiry "Understanding our past helps to determine our future" is still proving to be really interesting.  The staff have unearthed old school photos and it's been great to find Mrs Fatafehi's class photo as a year 8 student here at St Joseph's.  

Here was another great little find from yesterday's photo browsing:

This shows Phoebe's mother, Lucy's father, Lucy and Millie's grandmother, Kacymea, Vilivea and Fe'ofa'aki's mother and uncle.

And funnily enough here are Phoebe, Lucy and Kacymea working together at mass this morning, supported by Tommy and Manase (reading) both of whom are second generation students at St Joseph's and of course Mrs Brookes who also went through our Catholic schools in Oamaru.

In her early years Mrs Brookes was at a rural state school but she came into St Joseph's every week for CCD classes - that was education in the Catholic faith.  Afterwards the children would go across the road in Usk Street to see Grandma Sis O'Neill where they would have afternoon tea.  Grandma Sis is our head boy Jack's, great grandmother.  

For students who are new to St Joseph's or Oamaru, finding out about our past is helping them to understand their community and their place in it.  Lincoln asked me a great question yesterday about how we choose the weekly Gospel.  He thought maybe we chose one ourselves each week.  I explained that the Catholic Church has a three year cycle for our readings and that it is the same reading each week for the whole world not just our school.  So our connection is not just in our local area but across the world with our families in other countries and being part of the universal Body of Christ.  This is a really big concept to take on as a child.

As an example here are a couple of pictures of the Catholic Church in Africa - these people will be reading the same readings we are reading this weekend, as will the Church in the Philippines, South America, Tonga, Samoa, Europe, India and everywhere else.

Swimming Sports

Thank you to Mrs Brien, staff, parent helpers, supporters and children for another great swimming sports this week.  This year introduced the "big bomb" event.

At the start of the year many of the year 8s identified swimming sports as something they were both looking forward to and nervous about.  The year 7 & 8s really stepped up with helping with demonstration races and the house captains with organising the house relays.  Here are some photos from the day:

English Language Learners

We have classes for all our learners of English.  We continue these classes for our children who are bilingual and have English as their second language.  Even when children can speak fluently, when they have had to learn a second language it is always helpful to make their academic vocabulary explicit.  Mrs Rowan Stringer provides all our English Language Learners and bilingual students support in English.  She is presently studying for the Graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language.  We have seen a big increase in understanding and achievement particularly in Science for our older learners since we introduced these extra programs about three years ago.

We are very lucky to have specialist teachers on staff.

God Bless and Aroha

Lorraine Frances-Rees

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