From the Principal - 23 March 2015

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.

Playground Development

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.

Traffic Management

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

Uniform

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.

Gold Sponsors

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

Ben Fuller
Principal

From the Principal - 9 March 2015

E Mihi Nui Kia Koutou

I would like to start this newsletter, our third of the year, by congratulating all associated with St Mary’s for the great start to our school year.  Visitors to our school often comment about the great sense of feeling they get when walking around our school.  As an educator I am able to connect with this as it is often portrayed in the people within a school.  Our school is full of great people doing great things for our community.

Behaviour Management

Thank you to all those who attended our behaviour management meeting on Tuesday.  

At this meeting our new Behaviour Management Procedures were unpacked for parents.  Staff, students and our Board of Trustees have had significant input into the development of the procedures which are still in draft form.  We would now invite parents to view and comment on the procedures in their present form.  They can be viewed on our school website and comments made to;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Before and After School Procedures

We have noticed a number of students who are arriving at school extremely early and a small number remaining at school awaiting collection at the end of the school day.  As a result I would like to alert you to the following procedures.

Before School

If at all possible students should not be at school prior to 8.15am.  From 8.30am classrooms will be open to students with teachers present.  Prior to 8.30am classrooms will be locked to ensure students are not left unsupervised in classrooms.  A bell will now ring at 8.30am informing children that they are able to enter their class.  

The bell to start school will ring at 8.50am on all days, including Tuesdays.  Previously we have met as a staff on a Tuesday morning.  From now all meetings will be concluded by 8.30am.

I am aware of occasions where students have supervised before school activities such as Jump Jam, music etc.  This organisation will not change.  Students can still be dropped at school in time for the relevant activity.

After School

It is the responsibility of parents to ensure children are cared for after school hours.  To support parents in this we run an after school care service, details of which are available at our school office.  Where a child is not able to be collected at 3pm due to unforeseen circumstances, please make contact with the office staff who will ensure your child waits in the foyer for collection.

Before School Care

Due to the above change in procedures we would once again like to survey parents in regard to the provision of before school care.  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

Upcoming Events

A reminder that next Friday 13 March is a Teacher Only Day.  All staff will be travelling to Auckland to take part in a seminar featuring two world renown presenters in the area of educational practice.  Also please note our Parent Teacher Learning Conversations are scheduled for Tuesday 24 March.  Information regarding the booking of times and purpose of the Learning Conversation will be shared later this week.

Gold Sponsors

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 in 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

Ben Fuller

Principal

From the Principal - 5 January 2015

E Mihi Nui Kia Koutou

Welcome to 2015 at St Mary’s for all children, parents and staff.  An extra special welcome to all new students and families.  This week we have welcomed over 50 new students to our school meaning we have started the year with record numbers.  At time of writing we have exactly 401 students benefitting from attending our school.

We would also like to welcome newly appointed Senior Leader Mrs Jacqui-Ellen Price.  Mrs Price comes to us from Tauranga Primary School and will be leading the senior team.

I trust, given the weather we were blessed with, you all enjoyed your holiday break and took time to make the most of summer related activities.  I was lucky enough to enjoy some special New Zealand places with my family and a couple of great dive spots.

My observation is that teachers have returned refreshed, full of enthusiasm and ready to do the best for the learning of the children in their care.  

In preparation for the teaching of curriculum and undertaking of pastoral care our staff participated in a number of recent professional learning opportunities prior to welcoming children on Monday.  There was a balance of curriculum and pastoral care initiatives, with input from our Board of Trustees.  All focused on continually improving opportunities for students at our school.

Construction

You may well have noticed much of the work that has occurred over the summer break.  On the 4th of January myself and Bruce Stockman welcomed a Diocese directed construction team who set about re-roofing both the old hall and administration blocks.  Needless to say they worked tirelessly to complete both task before children arrived this week.

Bus Bay

Outside of school you will notice a reconstructed bus bay, much marked parking, more parking on Harvey Street, a new drop off bay on Grace Road and a new footpath on the same.  This has been prioritised to improve traffic management and safety at drop off and pick up times.  

With the provision of parking and pedestrian access to Grace Rd, I would encourage parents to utilise the opportunity to park safely around the corner from our school and simply walk to meet your children in the school grounds.  In addition to this the additional Harvey Street parking continues to make this a desirable area to collect children.

Meet the Teacher

Parents and caregivers are warmly invited to join us for our ‘Meet the Teacher’ evening on Monday 9 February  starting at 5.00pm. Each presentation will set out the team and class room expectations for learning, home learning, behaviour management and assessment and reporting for the year ahead.

We have staggered the starting times, to allow parents with children in different year levels to attend the separate presentations.

5.00pm: Tika/Junior Team will meet in the Modern Learning Environment/Room 16, with a welcome by our Principal, Ben Fuller.  Team Leader, Fay Warnock and Junior Team teachers will follow with their presentation. 

5.30pm: Whakapono/Middle School will meet in  the Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Centre, with a welcome by Mr Fuller. Team Leader Gerardine Robbie, and Middle Team teachers will follow with their presentation.

6.00pm: Aroha/Senior School will meet in the Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Centre, with a welcome by Mr Fuller. Team Leader Jacq Price, and Senior Team teachers will follow with their presentation. 

In closing, please take note of key dates for this term.  Looking forward to seeing you all at the ‘Meet the Teacher’ evening.

 

Nga Mihi Nui

Ben Fuller

Principal

From the Principal - 20 February 2015

E Mihi Nui Kia Koutou

We have concluded the first three weeks of the school year and, in this time, classroom routines have been firmly established and quality teaching and learning programmes are up and running.  I would like to congratulate all teachers for the way they have achieved this and thank all our students for the way they are focused on their learning.

Our ‘Meet the Teacher’ evening last Monday was extremely well attended across all year levels and again extremely well run by our teaching teams.  We have received good feedback in regard to the format adopted as it allowed parents with multiple children to attend all related sessions and the team approach ensured consistent messages were delivered to all.

International Conference on Thinking
As a community I would like you to share in congratulating Janet McCarroll and Jana Benson on successfully having an abstract accepted for presentation at the International Conference on Thinking to be held in Bilbao Spain later this year.  Janet and Jana’s presentation will be centered around our schools evolving assessment and learning vision and related practice. 

Playground Development
Many of you would have noticed the work going on in the senior playground area and, in particular, the removal and movement of some equipment.  This has been as a result of an agreement reached by the Hamilton Diocese and our 13th Avenue neighbours.  When all work is concluded children will be able to access an enhanced structure which will include a climbing wall and sky bridge.

Parent Meeting - New Behaviour Management Procedures
As a school we have drafted new procedures for the management of child behaviour at our school.  As parents we would like your input into how you see these procedures working for your children.  On Tuesday 3 March at 5.30pm we would welcome as many parents as able to our Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey Centre, where the new procedures will be presented.

Teacher Only Day
We have scheduled a Teacher Only Day on Friday 13 March.  On this day all teachers will participate in a day of professional learning focused on Teaching of Growth Mindsets and Teaching Intelligence.  Two world class presenters, Carol Dweck and Guy Claxton, are leading this day centered on how we as educators can develop intellectual ability and foster the individual and inherent gifts all children possess.   School will be closed on this day. 

Traffic Management
I must congratulate all parents on the sudden improvement in parking and general traffic behaviour around our school site.  I have been impressed with parents now parking appropriately and those prepared to walk from vehicles to meet their children.  This is now an extremely positive representation of our community to our resident neighbours. 

Certified Finishers - Gold Group Sponsor
We welcome Shane Wisnewski from Certified Finishers Plaster and Paint, who has joined as a Gold Group Sponsor.  Watch out for an article about Shane and his business in an upcoming newsletter.  For Shane’s contact information please refer to the back page of this newsletter. 

Gold Group Sponsors
As a school we are extremely fortunate to have a number of Gold Group 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 in Term 4

* Winter mix and mingle

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

Ben Fuller

Principal

From the Principal - 6 December 2014

E Mihi Nui Kia Koutou

It is not quite time to welcome you to the end of the year but it is certainly close enough to both congratulate you, our parent body, and celebrate the many achievements that have occurred during the year.

This week we celebrated our end of year Junior Mass with many parents in attendance. As was the case at our middle school Mass last week. We thank both Father Mark and Father Edwin for leading us in these celebration Masses and look forward to their involvement in our Year 6 Graduation Mass next Thursday.

End of year dates

There are many end of year dates and events still to occur that I would like to ensure all parents are aware of. Please check all dates and times pertaining to the end of the year. Notably, our school Prize Giving ceremony is to be held at St Mary Immaculate on Tuesday 16 December starting at 11 am. I would also like to draw parents’ attention to the time school finishes on Wednesday 17.

Safety around the school

I would like to reiterate again the importance of driving safely around our school, particularly at drop off and pick up time. Please take extra special care that the way is clear when reversing. Please also be courteous to our neighbouring community and do not park in their driveways, this includes our Harvey St neighbours. I would appreciate your support in keeping our children and parents safe.

School Bus Changes 2015

Information just to hand regarding the service has indicated that there will be no charge during term one for this service but a likely charge after this time.

If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the Schoolhopper route information – including the interactive maps which are all available from the Baybus website at http://www.baybus.co.nz/schoolhopper.

Schoolhopper buses will be replacing Ministry of Education urban school buses from next year and there are some key differences, such as the introduction of a fare, so make sure you are aware of what these changes are.

If you have any questions about the service, please email the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s transport team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call them on 0800 884 880.

BREAKING NEWS our website is now live!

St Mary’s new school website launched today! Visit our re-designed website to find all the rich and relevant information you and your family need to fully participate in our wonderful school community. We are hoping you will embrace the way we will use our website as a major form of communicatation with our community. Please follow us on Twitter, share your thinking as we welcome your participation and feedback.

Many thanks to Jo Allum from Yojo Comminication Design for your vision and making our new website a reality for our community.

In closing I would like to say how much I am looking forward to the end of year celebrations, and in doing so welcome not just yourselves as parents, but your wider family and friends. Together we can share how special a place St Mary’s is to be.

Nga Mihi Nui

Ben Fuller Principal