Tena koutou katoa, Talofa Lava and a very warm welcome to everyone in our school community.
I can’t believe that it is the end of the term already! It has certainly flown by with our theme of Innovation and Enterprise overarching much of our learning. Our students are so lucky to have had the following experiences that contributed to their learning this term - ‘Mad Pearse Takes Flight’ production, Life Education Trust, Bully Free week, Samoan Language Week, Matariki and many more.
A very warm welcome to Xavier Tustin who has joined our school family.
In the last newsletter I touched on the importance of the Key Competencies in our learning at St Mary’s. The New Zealand curriculum defines the key competencies as “capabilities for living and lifelong learning” (p.12). We need to think carefully when planning learning opportunities so that we are extending our students capabilities in ‘doing’ and ‘becoming’.
Over the next term, through the newsletter, I will be looking more in depth at each key competency.
This week I am focusing on Managing Self:
This sounds pretty straight forward. At five years old, we want our students to be bringing their bags in to school themselves and managing their own belongings. At 10 Years old students can be helping to make their own lunches, stand up for what they believe in and set goals.
Another major component of Managing Self is the importance of taking risks. We need to develop environments where our students feel safe and supported in doing this and we need to provide learning that is challenging so that our students are stretched. Open-ended tasks and problem solving, where there is no right answer, develops risk taking. Making, creating and thinking aloud develops risk taking.
Students need to “accumulate experiences that support their sense of being a successful learner and knower. They begin to develop a productive identity as a learner: someone who can take the initiative, make sense of, and work on increasingly complex problems. In other words, they can now “stand on their own two feet” as learners, and know that they can go on doing so in their learning futures.” Insights into Important Aspects of the Key Competencies TKI, 2014
Absence and Lateness
It is a concern for us that several students have high absences from school and many students arrive late to school on a regular basis. Children who are not at school or are regularly late do not learn as easily or with the same rate of progress as other children. Staff, parents, children and the community have responsibilities in this area. Ayn Harris and I will be contacting parents early next term if we are concerned about your child’s absence or lateness.
Children are considered to have unsatisfactory attendance at school over the course of the year if they miss 16 days of school or 8% of their time at school. This means that if a child has had 4 days off school in a term the school is concerned.
It is interesting and alarming to note that 10% of a child’s time at our school (Year 1 – Year 6) is 32 weeks (3 terms), and 20% is 64 weeks (6 terms).
“If students experienced more than a day between one opportunity to interact with a new idea and a subsequent opportunity to interact with the new idea, then forgetting occurred and instructional opportunity was wasted”
(Alton-Lee, 2003, p.50).
Positive Behaviour For Learning
Accompanying our newsletter today is a brochure to provide you with specific information on how we deal with behaviour, in particular more serious behaviour, at St Mary’s Catholic school. We address:
-what we value at St Mary’s
-teaching, Learning and Practising Great Behaviour
-more Serious Behaviours and how we can work together to provide a safe and happy environment for all.
I wish you all a safe, happy and exciting July break and look forward to seeing you all back ready for learning on Monday 23rd July.
Fa’amanuia le Atua (God bless)