Hi Mihi Nui Kia Koutou
My greetings to you our parent community. Great to be into the (first) autumn / winter term and seeing and hearing of the great opportunities our children are involved in. This term signals the start of winter sports and, as always, St Mary’s is well represented across a number of codes. I would like to wish all children involved in sport at St Mary’s an enjoyable season.
I am, of course, proud of all children who get involved in the extracurricular activities offered through our school and know same can be said for the many children who wear St Mary’s colours while participating in competitive sport.
Term two is also an important term for learning. The diagnostic and observational activities of term one mean teachers now have a clear understanding of students needs and next steps in learning. This information is then translated into clear and scaffolded learning goals for each child that in turn each teacher focuses on supporting them to attain. Please take time to talk with your child in regard to their present focus or priority for learning in each of the core subject areas.
Last Friday, along with Kelly Quin our Board Chair, I attended a cross sector seminar facilitated and hosted by the Ministry of Education. A key message from the ministry was the effect being late or non attendance has on student achievement. This is, of course, not new to educators but what was significant for me was the effect poor attendance in Primary had statistically on the attainment of key Secondary based qualifications such as NCEA Level 2 and 3.
I accept that each individual case is different and the information presented was data, not a case by case basis. However, we often think days off and holidays during term time are not such an issue at the primary level but ministry based research indicates that a 10% absence rate (one day a fortnight) in years 4 - 8 correlates to a reduction in the likelihood of a student achieving NCEA Level 2 qualifications.
Other items for discussion included the benefits of parental involvement in the education process. This is, of course, something we continue to promote at St Mary’s but I am reflecting on ways we can better support and scaffold parent involvement in your child’s learning. The object is for parents to progress from going to schools and being shown what children do to actually knowing what the child is learning and why.
Great challenges for us all.
Congratulations to all children who took time to dress up for our Book Character Day last week. This was but one aspect of the week that was well supported by our wider community. Throughout the week we sold over $4000 worth of childrens books and, as a result, raised nearly $1,000 for our library.
Many thanks to Debbie Nowell, our librarian, for the work undertaken in staging the fair this year.
I was notified last week that the soft shell jackets have arrived at NZ Uniforms meaning all uniform items are now in stock. Tracy from NZ Uniforms has asked me to pass on her apologies for recent supply issues and the inconvenience it has caused.
It is important that we remain aware of our obligations as road users when driving and parking around our school neighbourhood. As previously communicated please ensure your vehicle is parked appropriately in a designated space before stopping to pick up or drop off children. Unfortunately complaints from neighbours have increased recently due to parents, once again, parking on grass verges and across driveways.
Nga Mihi Nui
E Mihi Nui Kia Koutou
As we approach Easter there are a number of events and occasions that will signify the end of term. This week we will complete two reporting to parent related procedures including, teacher, parent learning conversations and our first learning story of the year in reading.
If you have not made an appointment for your learning conversation please ensure you do, so as not to miss out on the opportunity to speak with your child’s teacher in relation to their learning. How to book is detailed later in this newsletter.
Your child’s learning story in reading will include evidence of their learning, in addition to an interim reporting comment in relating to achievement against National Standards. Both forming a record of achievement in reading to date. Any questions in relation to your child’s learning story should be directed to the classroom teacher.
As a result of an agreement reached by the Hamilton Diocese and our 13th Avenue neighbours we have completed the move of our 2012 Playground Structure. It has been re-constructed in it’s original form including a climbing wall and sky bridge. It was great to see many of our children utilise this on Friday last week. Thanks on behalf of our children and community to Bruce Stockman for his management of the project.
It is important that we remain aware of our obligations as road users when driving and parking around our school neighbourhood. As previously communicated please ensure your vehicle is parked appropriately in a designated space before stopping to pick up or drop off children. Unfortunately complaints from neighbours have increased recently due to parents once again parking on grass verges and across driveways.
Before School Care
Thank you to the many who have indicated an interest in a ‘Before School Care Service’. I am currently working with our After School Care Coordinator, Shelley Rose, to establish a outline of the proposed service and hope to contact parents with details of this before the end of term. If you would utilize a before school care service, if available, please complete the following form by going to this link http://goo.gl/forms/uLLXUxrTzw
New Zealand Uniforms have informed me that uniform items they have been waiting for have either arrived or will be in stock prior to the end of term. They have apologized for the delays experienced and inform me that they are currently communicating with those families affected.
As a school we are extremely fortunate to have a number of Gold Sponsors who support our Vision and contribute to the many opportunities we aim to offer our children. This year we are seeking new ways to encourage your support and would like to offer the following to our loyal sponsors, and to any new sponsors who would like to contribute as a Gold Group Sponsor;
- School signage
- Advertising on the back of our school newsletter
- An opportunity to feature an article about your business in one newsletter during the year (new)
- Feature on the Gold Group Sponsor page of our school website with your logo, contact information and an article about your business
- Advertise in the Trade Directory free of charge
- 2 school magazines
- 2 family tickets to the PTA Fireworks, Term 4
- Winter mix and mingle (new)
Should you or someone you know require any further information in regard to becoming a Gold Sponsor of St Mary’s Catholic School please do not hesitate to make contact with either myself or Theresa in our office.
Nga Mihi Nui