Living the Word of God
This term we have made some change ups to our whole school prayers. These are along the learning lines of:
Understand - Know - Do
The Gospel reading each week is chosen to explain either one of our school values or an aspect of what the children are learning in religious education so they can see how these learnings are underpinned by the Word of God = UNDERSTAND
Then the children are invited to contemplate what this Word could look like if lived out in our school. We have had some brave children of all ages step forward in our whole school Zoom meetings to share their thoughts = KNOW
Then the children are tasked to go out into the school and into their lives and to act out what the Word of God is telling them. The children are prompted and invited to share ideas of what this looks like. Then our staff look out for this happening during the week and apply our school rewards system when they see it = DO
Our school rewards system is "JJ tokens" these are Just like Jesus tokens for students who are acting in the way Jesus has taught us to act in the Gospels. On a Friday one of these tokens is pulled out of a box and the winner receives a Subway voucher.
The Word of God in Week 1 and 2
In Week 1 our Gospel value was "Respect" which is also our school value. The readings were John 13:34-35, and Ephesians 4:1-3 which were about showing patience and kindness to each other and loving each other. The recipients of the principal's award last week were Siale and Lewis who both showed acts of kindness and inclusion to other people on the playground. Well done Siale and Lewis.
This week our Gospel value is "Reverence," another of our school values and the reading was Colossians 3:1-2, Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. And the children have been asked to set their minds on Christ.
This week we are specifically looking out for people who not only show respect to each other but aware that they live in God's world. They may show this during their reverence in prayer or mass time, or by the way they care for the school environment (God's creation) or how they specifically notice the goodness in others.
Fr Wayne always joins us for prayers and adds reflection and blessing to our endeavours.
Our aim in 2022 is to carry on business as usual in whatever format that means. We have started the year practicing social distancing between groups inside. So all of our whole school activities are via Zoom. The children have adapted to this really well. One good example is that children are stepping forward in the whole Zoom group to share thoughts and ideas appropriately, just as they would in a face-to-face setting.
Our Special Character Leaders Rheanna and David have done a great job of leading whole school prayers via Zoom.
We had a very productive Meet the Teacher Zoom evening on Tuesday. I explained about our new Educa app which will be our real-time reporting app. For those who missed the meeting, more information will be coming. Also about how we would manage learning if we were not all face to face. Then each teacher had a ten-minute time slot to meet their families. Thirty families joined us during the course of the evening.
I was really inspired to see how there was a thread of consistency throughout the school in our values, our special character perspective and in the way we are approaching curriculum but also how each teacher is organising their class according to their own individuality and flair. I feel truly blessed to work with such an inspiring and dedicated team.
The strong message from all teachers is that they want open communication with parents. Let them know the big and small things, good and bad, things that you are worried about or celebrate so that they can stay attuned to your child. Also, they welcome feedback both good and bad as feedback helps us to grow.
Better Start Literacy
We have been introducing a structured literacy approach in our junior school for the last couple of years when our Board purchased a number of decodable reading books in 2021. The Ministry of Education produced further decodable books last year and training through the University of Canterbury in structured literacy, called "Better Start Literacy." This is a substantial training commitment and last year Mrs Leanne Brookes completed the training and this year Mrs Tua Misiloi is doing it. We are presently doing reading testing of our juniors and they are above and beyond where we expected them to be. So we are really excited about the effects of this approach on their literacy acquisition.
Year 8 Leadership Camp
Mrs Winders and myself are away today with the year 8s for a leadership retreat at Iona Camp. I'm looking forward to it and will share more about it next week.
Please remember to return your forms to the office and to be ready for swimming next week.
Aroha and God Bless