This week we celebrated Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
Lent is the period of 40 days (six weeks) leading up to Easter. It is noted as a period of fasting (giving something up), alms-giving (helping others), and prayer. Lent leads us into Holy Week where we remember the Last Supper and how Jesus sacrificed His life to save ours. This was followed by Easter Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead after three days thus allowing us to also have eternal life. This is the most important event of all time.
The year 3-8 children all went to mass at the Basilica where they received the cross of ashes. The years 1 and 2s had a liturgy in their classroom where they also received the ashes. The ashes are made from the burnt palm leaves from the previous year’s Palm Sunday and remind us that we are made from dust and to dust we return, but we have an immortal soul.
Father Wayne’s Farewell
All families and children are encouraged to come to Sunday mass on Sunday March 5th at 9.30am. This is Children’s Day and St Joseph’s will be leading the children’s mass. We will also be taking the opportunity to farewell Fr Wayne who is retiring.
Please bring a plate of food for a shared morning tea after mass. You can take it to our school hall before mass.
We need some parents to help serve tea and coffee and clear up afterwards. Fr Wayne will be providing ice creams for the children.
St Joseph’s wants to contribute to the parish gift for Fr Wayne and encourages you to contribute. If you would like to do this please deposit in the parish bank account with the reference “Gift Fr Wayne.” The bank account number is: ANZ 06-0901-0054874-15
Our year 7 & 8s enjoyed a day getting to know each other and exploring our local Steampunk heritage.
Then this week the year 8s all went to the recreation center to train to be Physical Activity Leaders. I enjoyed teaching the year 7s while they were away.
Goal Setting Meetings
Thank you for your participation in our goal-setting meetings. We had a great parent turnout with 97% of our learners having a parent-student-teacher meeting.
The teachers have been testing classes in order to set up spelling programs. We are taking a structured literacy approach, where the sounds and rules of spelling are broken down into steps and each step leads to the next. It involves very explicit teaching and a sequence of learning.
We have seen very good results from using this approach in the early years at school and hope to see this start to spread through the rest of the school this year.
Congratulations to our Dominican Choir who sang at the citizenship ceremony at the opera house. They did a great job.
This year we hope all children from years 3 to 8 will be swimming at our swimming sports. Those who have been learning to swim will do short demonstrations of some of what they have learnt. We have fewer competitive swimmers than we have had in previous years which will make the whole event a little more relaxed and we estimate it will be finished by 11.30am. We look forward to seeing you there. It starts at 9.30am next Tuesday 28th February at the Waitaki Aquatic Centre. Further information is on another page in the blog.
Toward the start of the year, I always remind families of our complaints procedure which can be found on our school website. The key feature of our procedure is if you have a concern please take it to the person and discuss it. Our complaints procedure then explains what to do if this doesn’t work.
The word “Bullying” is a very mis-used word often referring only to something a child hasn’t liked. Bullying is repeated, it involves an imbalance of power and is intended to cause hurt. Please let us know if you have any concerns about how your child is interacting or how others are interacting with your child. We will look into it. Often there is a bigger story and both sides have a story to tell and we can help children sort it out. If it is bullying we need to know so that we can take steps to put a stop to it.
Next Tuesday, (swimming sports day) our teachers have a union meeting in the afternoon. Mrs Fatafehi and myself will be left at school with any remaining children. Although we will be open, we invite you take your children home for the afternoon, or even after swimming sports if that suits you better. In the afternoon we will be in the hall.
If you take your child home from swimming sports please let their teacher know. If you take your child home from school at 12.30pm you can pick them up from class and let their teacher know. After that please come to the office and sign them out. Thank you.
Ma te Atua e manaaki a aroha,
(God bless, and love)