Kia ora koutou katoa, Talofa Lava and Annyeong-haseyo to our whole school community. A special welcome to Eli Murie and Leila Cafer who have recently joined our St Mary’s whanau.
Last week I was very excited and privileged to be representing St Mary’s at the International Korean Fair in Seoul alongside approximately 25 other Tauranga educators. I was promoting our city and our school as a high quality study destination and hope to recruit more Korean students to St Mary’s. St Mary’s is a school with a diverse cultural makeup which provides many benefits for our students, in particular this diversity helps our students understand and respect diverse viewpoints, values, customs, and languages.
There are, of course, many benefits for our International students also. The acquisition of english language skills and the opportunity to learn in a very different educational setting that promotes learner agency are two of these benefits.
I am looking forward to an opportunity to learn more about the Korean culture and to develop a greater understanding of how we can provide an inclusive experience for our international students.
We are very pleased to announce a trial of our newsletter as an online document. This is one step that we can make towards taking care of our environment and streamlining the workload of our office administrators. We will have a small amount of paper copies available in the office for those who prefer to read hard copies. Our newsletter will be emailed and available on our website and official facebook page.
As a part of our Faith Based Kahui Ako (Community of Learning) it has been really great to continue our reciprocal visits between teachers at Aquinas, St Thomas More and St Mary’s. The teachers visited each others school and classrooms to observe and then have discussion time to share the initiatives that they are implementing at each school. This has been really instrumental in building relationships across our Catholic Community.
At St Mary’s we understand the importance of the Key Competencies. Over the next term, through the newsletter, I will be looking more in depth at each key competency. So far I have covered ‘Managing Self’, ‘Relating to Others’ and ‘Participating and Contributing’. This week I am focusing on ‘Using Language, Symbols and Texts’.
The basis of this Key Competency is the development of literacy and numeracy skills. “Students who are competent users of language, symbols, and texts can interpret and use words, number, images, movement, metaphor, and technologies in a range of contexts. They recognise how choices of language, symbol, or text affect people’s understanding and the ways in which they respond to communications. They confidently use ICT (including, where appropriate, assistive technologies) to access and provide information and to communicate with others.” The New Zealand Curriculum - TKI Online
Safety of children
There have been concerns at other schools around Tauranga of students being approached by strangers. There have not been any incidents of this happening at St Mary’s but we do recommend that you accompany your children each day rather than let them walk alone. Here are safety tips issued by Tauranga Police to combat stranger danger:
- Walk with a dog or another person.
- If walking by yourself, choose busy times of the day.
- Avoid walking in dusk or when lighting was poor.
- Pause playing music in vulnerable areas to hear people walking up behind.
A reminder to parents, whanau and friends that it is not acceptable to park, or drive on the grass verges of neighbouring properties. Our neighbours have also complained of cars blocking their driveways. Please be respectful to our neighbours and do not park on verges or block driveways. Your help with this would be much appreciated.
At St Mary’s School we recognise that oral language (both listening and speaking) is vital for students to be able to communicate effectively.
This year in Tika, Maramatanga and Whakapono Teams we have used poetry as a basis to recite and read aloud. We talk about voice projection, good expression, modulation and pace. With the students we identify ‘what good listeners do’ and discuss eye contact and the use of body language.
As the students progress through to Aroha Team, they are encouraged to take on more challenging types of public speaking. All students in Aroha Team are supported to prepare and deliver a 3-5 minute formal speech around a topic of their choice. This process includes defining the purpose of the speech and constructing an effective introduction, body and sound conclusion.
Original and thought-provoking ideas are encouraged. The judges used set criteria that are also used in the South Cluster Competition at the next level. This ensures consistency for all.
We are extremely proud of the standard of speeches this year. Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists:
1st: Abigail Albert
Finalists: Alessandro Goodin and William Crowe.
1st: Madeline Mear and Junior Cup Winner
Finalists: Nadya Broadbent, Sadie Frank and Elliot Olsen.
1st: Maebh Manning
Finalists: Matthew Rogers, Tommy Mason and Milli Banbury.
1st: George Hopkins and Middle Cup Winner
Finalists: Loimata Paaka, Ivy Barrett-Hodgson and Liae Yang.
1st: Gia Dumbleton
Finalists: Alana Perrett, Yeva Parshikova, and Imogen Williamson.
1st: Nathan Holmberg and Senior Cup Winner
Finalists: Briar Grace, Roman Rejthar and Finn Richards.
Good luck to Nathan Holmberg, Finn Richards, Alana Perrett and Gia Dumbleton who are representing St Mary’s at the South Cluster finals next week.
sin-ui chugbog (God bless)
Tena koutou katoa, kia orana kotou and a very warm welcome back to Term 3.
Grandparents and Grandfriends
We were blessed with a huge turnout for our special celebration liturgy of our grandparents and grandfriends this week.
It’s our hope that all of our grandparents feel that they are a part of St Mary’s and as I moved around the school on Tuesday morning, the unconditional love that they were sharing with their own grandchildren was evident.
Education is changing rapidly but something that hasn’t changed, and in fact has become even more important, is the ability to build relationships with and relate to people of all ages. Relationships is an area that we spend a considerable amount of time on at St Mary’s.
Grandparents are often the ones who reinforce the values that we are instilling in our students. The St Mary’s values of Truth (tika), wisdom (maramatanga), Faith (whakapono) and Mercy (aroha). They are often also the ones that bring our Catholic faith alive. We never underestimate how important grandparents are for us as a community and to develop that special relationship with their grandchildren.
A special welcome to Ella Saunders, Vincent Hodgson, Shania Addlington, Francis Morado, Jodi Gilmour, Jules Youn, Sally Ryu and Wonjun Jung who have joined our school family.
Term Three Learning
The term ahead sees the teachers and students inquiring into our brain. In particular thinking about thinking (metacognition) and having a growth mindset.
Term 3 has historically been our term for the performance of speeches and poetry. Our finals will be held in Week 6.
At St Mary’s we understand the importance of the Key Competencies. Over the next term, through the newsletter, I will be looking more in depth at each key competency. Last term I wrote about Managing Self. This week I am focusing on ‘Relating To Others’. This is at the forefront of my mind after the Grandparents Liturgy on Tuesday.
Relating to others is about interacting effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts. This includes listening, recognising different points of view or being able to ‘walk in another’s shoes’, negotiating, and sharing ideas. Knowing when, and being able to ask for and offer help, is also an important aspect of this key competency.
Students who relate well to others are open to new learning and can take on different roles in different situations. They are aware of how their words and actions affect others. They can work together with others, collaborate and cooperate.
August is the final month for first reports to go out to parents and whanau. If you missed an interview it’s not too late to book one in with your child’s whanau teacher.
Congratulations to Angela Cochrane who has been appointed to Team Leader for Aroha Team until the end of the year.
We are very sad to farewell Bryan Crowe from his permanent teaching position and Siyeon Crowe from her ESOL / International teaching position. Siyeon left at the end of last term and Bryan will be leaving at the end of Term 3. Bryan and Siyeon are heading back to Korea to teach. We thank them for all their hard work and wish them all the best. There will be a more formal farewell for Bryan at the end of the term.
We welcome Donna Vincent as teacher of our ESOL and International students. Donna will be working closely with teachers, students and their families to provide an effective English Language Programme to our English as Second Language and our International Students. Donna will work both within the classroom and in small groups to provide this instruction.
Nuts and Bolts
Lost property: The lost Property bin is getting so full that we can hardly close it each night. One fine day over the next week, we will be laying out the lost property on the tennis courts. All un-named remaining clothing will then be washed and kept in the office for spare , to give to families in need, or to resell. We will alert you by Facebook, app and email so that you have a chance to come in and pick up what belongs to you. We will also be encouraging the children to have a thorough look.
After School: We will be encouraging all children to wait inside the gate for parents at the end of the day, in order to keep them safe.
Lunches: Please ensure lunches are healthy options for your children and packaging is kept to a minimum so that we are doing our bit for the environment.
Health and Safety: We are currently going through the process of practicing our evacuation procedures. These include lockdown (reverse evacuation), fire, earthquake and tsunami. If any parents are on site during these drills, it is important that you follow our procedures also.
Fa’amanuia le Atua (God bless)