Thursday, 2 December 2021

1. Principal's News Term 4 Week 7 2021

End of Year Events

Please note our end of year events as per the email to parents earlier this week.   We have had to wait until last Friday to know exactly what we were able to do.  This is when we found out that schools are not moving to the traffic light system until next year and we remain in Level 2 until the end of this year.  Once we knew that, we were able to figure out how we are going to do our end of year events.

Monday 13th December 11.15am

  • Whole school mass with junior nativity pageant and presentation of Just Like Jesus awards in St Patrick's Basilica

Only school children and staff, no guests.  This will be live-streamed onto Facebook.

Tuesday 14th December 11.00am

  • Prize-giving Assembly in the Basilica
  • Handover of leadership roles to year 7s
  • Leavers Certificates for Year 8s
  • Head boy and Head girl speeches
  • Prize-giving and leaving candle ceremony for year 8s

Year 7 & 8 children will be in the Basilica on the right hand side.  Parents of year 7 & 8 students only are invited to sit on the left side wearing masks and social distancing from each other.  This keeps us as a gathering of less than 100 in Level 2 requirements as this assembly is about leadership roles which is part of our school curriculum.

The rest of the school will watch this event in our hall and it will be live streamed from the Basilica to the hall and also to Facebook.  This keeps our actual gathering below 100 and is the only way we can get our year 7 & 8 parents in to share the graduation, prize-giving and handing over of leadership roles with the intermediate students.

Wednesday 15th December 12.15pm - School finishes, please pick children up.

We will have a short school assembly and carols before finishing at 12.15pm but we won't be able to have guests, only children and staff.

New Building Project

We are working with our diocese on planning for our new build.  We were urged by the diocese to see other new builds before Christmas if we could.  Even though it is an extremely busy time, our DP Nicola Winders and myself travelled South on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  We visited new school builds at Sacred Heart School in Invercargill, St Thomas's School in Winton and a build which is 10 years old at St Mary's in Mosgiel.  This was a really useful process as we were able to talk with teachers and see how children interacted with the buildings to find out what worked well and what we should avoid.  

Our Board will digest this information and it gives us a better grounding for engaging with our architects.

A big thank you to the rest of our staff who rallied round to cover our absence at this very busy and demanding time of year.  

Here are some examples of some of what ours could look like:

Behaviour Management

We are a restorative school and we manage behaviour along PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning) guidelines.  

For anyone who is interested, a summary of our behaviour procedure is on our school website.  It is also on the classroom walls and children are well aware of the process.  No matter what happens there is always a restorative process between the children.  If there has been something upsetting, parents are informed.  Please bear in mind that we cannot always make ourselves free to make a phone call immediately as children need to managed and taught and schools are very busy places with lots of people interaction happening.  Where consequences are required, they are in line with natural justice.

We manage positive behaviours in class through our Circletime process which is a way the children can air niggles and work through strategies for dealing with them.  We also teach the "Friendly Kids, Friendly Classrooms" process where children are tutored in social skills.  The predominant skills we use are WITS Walk away, Ignore, Talk, Seek help.  And coaching the children how to make "I" statements to say how they feel and what they want to happen.

Please encourage your child to speak kindly to others and to forgive.  It is concerning how many children are watching violent content on TV or games.  For instance, Squid Games on Netflix is for adults only and it is gratuitously violent, but children as young as 7 years old are telling us they have been watching it.  Please note that this normalises violence and does not help child development.  Also, some children's or cartoon dramas. particularly American ones, make being "mean" the norm.  A diet of "mean" and violent eventually ends up coming into real life.  So please have a look, as you may be surprised at the tone and content of some things which appear to be OK.  Thank you.

Planting Project

In our science focus this year the children have learnt the Living World and focused on plants.  The Otago Community Trust has funded us for a substantial planting project and our plants are here.  Each class will be busy planting native plants for the next week or so to complete their learning and design processes for this project.  As an Enviroschool we have managed to make the environment part of our whole curriculum and every child is having the opportunity for practical action from their learning.


Reports will go home on Monday of week 9, with stationery lists for next term.  The splits for classes have been carefully and extensively discussed by teachers taking all factors into account and you will know which class your child is in when you receive your stationery list with the report.   As every class placement is determined by a variety of factors and every change affects a range of other children and so are not negotiable unless there is an extreme circumstance that we need to be aware of.  The decisions have been professional decisions based firstly on age, and then on other learning and social factors for the benefit of all of our learners.

Our classes next year will be:

JH1 - years 0-2 - Mrs Brookes, Mrs Misiloi

Year 2-3 (some older year 2s). Miss Sollano

Year 4-5 (some younger year 5s) - Mrs Streat

Year 5-6 - Mrs Thomas

Year 7-8 - Mrs Winders

Next week our intermediate department will be on camp and I will be joining them on Thursday and Friday so I will not be available on those days.

God Bless and Aroha


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