Kia ora koutou katoa, Talofa Lava, Malo e lelei, Ni Hao, Anyoung haseyo, Magandang umaga, Konnichi wa, Guten tag, Bonjour, Ola, hello and welcome back to Term 2. We hope you had a relaxing break and enjoyed spending the extra time with your children.
Last term our learning was focused on the theme of ‘Diversity and Globalisation’. It is wonderful to see and celebrate the diversity within our school, and if you had a chance to see the map in the foyer last term you would be aware that we are a very diverse community in terms of our whakapapa. There are three nationwide events this term that will celebrate our diversity - New Zealand Sign Language Week (Week 2), Samoa Language Week (Week 5) and Matariki (Week 7+). We will be celebrating these within our classes and / or through Liturgy and Assembly.
A warm welcome to our new students...
Abigail Albert, Seoyeon Choi, Maverick Damasco, Cassidy Dobbs, Paige Eastergaard, Maxwell Hirst, Arthur Inglis, Gabriel Lewis, Luke Swanson and Lucija Walker.
We look forward to welcoming all new students at our New Families Liturgy on Tuesday 8th May at 10am.
Term Two Learning
The term ahead is looking extremely full and exciting and I am looking forward to the opportunity and challenge of being Acting Principal for the next 2 ½ terms whilst Ben Fuller is on study leave.
All students and teachers will be busy practising their songs and dances for our Gobsmacked production ‘Mad Pearse Takes Flight’ which will be performed at Bethlehem College Performing Arts Centre at the end of May.
Our school production fits in perfectly with our learning this term which is focused on two main themes:
1: Innovation and Enterprise, related to Richard Pearse and flight (through technology and the Arts)
2: Our Catholic Values and the Key Competencies. The production will be used as a source to teach and reinforce our Catholic values and how we treat people. The show provides many learning opportunities in relation to the challenges that Richard Pearse faced in his life and how he overcame this adversity.
We have two events that will further support our learning in these areas this term: Bully Free Week (Week 3) and Life Education Trust (Week 5 - 7).
Our School Values
Our school values of Trust (Tika), Mercy (Maramatanga), Faith (Whakapono) and Love (Aroha) underlay all we do at St Mary’s School. Our newsletters this term will include fortnightly ‘snapshots’ of how we use ‘Positive Behaviour For Learning’ (PB4L) to support our values and our behaviour expectations. We will use this opportunity to promote the positive things we are doing as a school to reinforce great behaviour. We believe that staff and students come to school every day to give their best and be the very best they can be.
Our new way of reporting starts rolling out this term and all students who are at St Mary’s for a full year, will receive two reports. The first students to receive their reports this term will be those who have their school start anniversary or interim (halfway between) in March, April and May.
These reports have seen input from many. The report is student driven and shares your child’s current strengths and next steps. There is a strong focus on our Catholic Character and the Key Competencies. The focus has shifted away from placing your child according to the National Standard and we aim to celebrate the progress that your child is making in Reading, Writing and Mathematics and the attitude that they bring to each of these curriculum areas.
I will be holding 20 minute ‘Reporting Information Sessions’ in the staffroom over the next couple of weeks. Please check the calendar within this newsletter for dates and times.
End of School Day
Our new Facebook page
Please join our page if you haven’t done so already. We encourage you all to follow the great things that are happening at St Mary’s and keep informed through this link: www.facebook.com/stmarystga/
We look forward to a successful term ahead, with lots of learning across the curriculum. Thank you for your continued support.
Nga mihi nui
Tena Koutou Katoa
A special welcome to Soul Clarkin, Austin Day and Olivia Woodhouse who have joined our St Mary’s Whanau recently. Also welcome to Autumn I guess, although the temperature definitely does not feel like winter is on the way. I suggest we make the most of it and keep the kids swimming for as long as possible. Hopefully your child has settled well into their learning journey for 2018. A reminder if you have any concerns your child’s teacher (whanau) should be the first point of contact.
Congratulations Sister Gabrielle
Sister Gabrielle celebrates 70 years of religious profession as a Cluny Sister this weekend. We wish her all the best on her special day. God Bless you Sister Gabrielle.
Father Mark 10 Years as a Priest
This week I had the opportunity to take a delegation of students along with Teresa Rush to a small celebration of Father Mark’s time as a Priest. It is 10 years since Father took his vows and I am sure you will all agree we are lucky to have him as our Parish Priest.
Congratulations Father and thank you for the guidance and leadership you provide within our Parish.
It was great to see the majority of parents join in conversation with their child’s whanau teacher as we seek to know more about the children we teach. The sharing of learning relevant information and involvement of parents and caregivers in the learning process is something that we are focusing on this year. Our objective, “bring parents into the real conversation”, the actual learning that happens on a daily basis. It is a challenge but hopefully by utilising our online environment and connecting all stakeholders with that which is current it can be achieved.
School Parish Mass / School Mass
This Sunday at 10.30am we will celebrate our first Parish School Mass of 2018 at St Mary Immaculate. As always we welcome parents and whanau to help us celebrate this occasion. Children should be dressed in their school uniform.
Following later in the week, our first school Mass will be held on Friday 16 March, again at St Mary Immaculate Church. On this day we celebrate the feast day of St Joseph. Again we welcome Parents, Whanau and Family of our school to share in this celebration.
PTA Outdoor Adventure Day
Once again our PTA will be holding a great day of fun for our children. Our Outdoor Adventure Day will follow our School Mass on Friday 16 March. I know the true success of this day is dependent on the number of volunteers we get along to assist with activities. Our PTA do a great job putting this event on for our kids each year and would welcome your support.
Gobsmacked Productions Presents - ‘Mad Pearce takes Flight’
It is that time again, St Mary’s moves into production season with auditions occurring today. With memories of ‘Trek to the Top’ still firmly in our children’s minds I am sure Term 2 will be a wave of excitement as we progress to being on stage once again.
Principal Study Leave
As I communicated late last year I have been lucky enough to receive a study award in order to complete my Masters of Educational Leadership. I thank all who have wished me well to date, however, I am still here until the end of this term and will take leave from the beginning of term two. In the time between then and now leadership will be handed over to Anna MacKinnon who will act as Principal in my absence.