Thursday, 10 December 2015

Newsletter 20, 10 December 2015

Growing in Christ, challenging mind, body and spirit
Tena Koutou Parents and Friends

Its that bittersweet time of year.  A time of partings yet looking forward to the festive season and much needed holidays.  Our year 8s are slowly going through the leaving process, doing their last duties, setting things up, helping the teachers out at this busy time and just enjoying each other's company as they spend their last few days at primary school.  Last night the leavers dined with each other and with the teachers, remembering the past and looking to the future.  Today we all join with Pleasant Point Primary school and the joint churches of Pleasant Point for a community Christmas service.  On Friday we have our final assembly for which we have been practising now for a week or so.   Then next week is also full of goodies: an outing for the winning house, swim afternoon at the pool on Tuesday and yet more preparations for the culmination at our thanksgiving mass on Wednesday 16th followed by prize-giving.  Wednesday will be a mufti day keeping uniforms clean and ready for a tidy turnout in full uniform at mass in the evening.  For families new to the school, and for myself, these are some great traditions to enter into.  It's a busy time and a good time.

We all enjoyed the Christmas Community gathering last Friday night.  Thank you to Sarah McCambridge and the PTA for organising it and making it happen.  It wasn't intended primarily as a fund-raiser, it was about having honest fun, remembering the reason for the season and celebrating and bonding as a community through gathering and eating together.  

I am sending letters home with the reports with information about classes next year with a brief overview of the exciting teaching and learning we have planned for next year.  

The Board has been busy reviewing our Charter and budgets for next year and planning Board professional development for the year.  We are very lucky that our Board values teaching and

learning so highly and is prepared to put resources into making this the best we possibly can for our children.  2016 is an election year for the Board and we hope parents will be interested in putting themselves forward for this important governance role in the school.  We are constantly working for improvement and the Board has reviewed our National Standards data and curriculum achievement information which was very pleasing, as well as revisiting our complaints policy which we have fleshed out in line with current New Zealand School Trustees Association best practice (it can be seen on the school website).

Advent begins the Sunday closest to the feast of St. Andrew, which is November 30th. Therefore Advent always falls sometime between November 28th and December 3rd, and lasts until the Nativity of the Lord. The season always has somewhere between 21 and 28 days.
The Advent season is the time of waiting and preparing for the coming of Jesus. This refers both to the anniversary celebration of the Incarnation (the Birth of Jesus), as well as the second and final coming for which we are waiting and preparing.

The liturgical colours of Advent are Purple and Rose, with Rose being used only on the third Sunday of Advent.

The Meaning of the Candles on the Advent Wreath labelled for reuse
The First Candle is the Candle of Hope (or Prophecy Candle). We can have Hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our Hope comes from God.
The Second Advent Candle is the Candle of Preparation (or The Bethlehem Candle). God kept His promise of a Saviour who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to ‘get ready’. 
The Third Advent Candle is the Candle of Joy (or the Shepherd Candle). The Angels sang a message of Joy. The Angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds to tell them of the Good News of great Joy. Help us to listen and respond to this Good News and bring joy to the people we love.
The Fourth Advent Candle is the Candle of Love (or Angel Candle). The Angels announced the Good News of a Saviour. God sent His only Son to earth to save us, because He loves us. Help us also to show our love by the way we treat our families and friends.
The advent wreath is in the shape of a circle because it is a symbol of eternity and a reminder that God has no beginning nor end.

This year the PTA has raised:
Food wrap $243.48
Sausage sizzle $1,553.13
Pub quiz $495.50
Get to the Point $1691.20
Christmas Extravaganza $1657.40
Total = $5640.71

The PTA has purchased basketball tops and balls and transferred $6,500 to the Board of Trustees.  This money will be used to replenish the playground sports box, and for insulation for the floors and ceilings throughout the school where required.  This will ensure better summer and winter temperatures for our learners and reduce heating bills which will free up more money for teaching and learning over time.  The PTA also have money put aside that we will use in due course towards major playground improvements once the church future has been decided.  Thank you to the PTA for your tireless work for our school.

The year 5 and 6 basketball season has come to an end with both Boys and Girls doing very well for their first year in the competition. The Girls got to the Semi Final which was a great effort and the Boys got knocked out in the Quarter Finals. But both teams did the school and themselves very proud with huge improvement over the season. Big Thanks to Timaru Christian School and Linda Thompson for combining with our school to make this possible. Also thanks to the parents who transported their children and helped with duty for games.  Next year 2016 there is an opportunity for Yr 7 and 8 on a Thursday night, in term 2 or 3 which is yet to be advised/finalised.  Term 4  2016 there is an opportunity for year 3 and 4 on a Monday Night and year 5 and 6 on Tuesdays nights. Obviously numbers/combining schools if necessary and coaches will need to be discussed to enable teams to be entered.  Something to ponder for next year. Thanks again to the Year 5 and Year 6 children for being great sportsmen and women and enjoying the game.

Christmas Assembly
Everyone is welcome to join us tomorrow - Friday 11 December for our Christmas Assembly starting at 1.30 pm in the Kerry Hall.

Special Awards 2015 - to be presented at Christmas Assembly
Congratulations to all the following students for their excellent achievement in 2015:

House Winner 2015 - Mary

Swimming Cups:     Yr 5/6                  Cooper Mason
                                   Yr 7/8                  Lucy Tregenza
                                   House Trophy    Mary

Speech Cups:            1st     Rian Murphy
                                   2nd    Anna Higgins
                                   3rd     Laura Kelliher

End of Year Mass and Prize-giving

This is on Wednesday 16 December, starting at 5.00pm sharp at the Anglican Church on Munro Street.  Children are asked to be there by 4.50pm and wait on the grass area out the front in their correct full school uniform.  The mass and prize-giving will be followed by a shared finger food tea in the attached hall.  We look forward to seeing you all there to help us to celebrate this special occasion.    Students can wear mufti to school on Wednesday to keep uniforms clean for the Prize-giving.  We would appreciate if  parents could help to clean up the hall at the end of the shared tea.

Fun Swim
The whole school will be going for a fun swim at the Pleasant Point pool on Tuesday 15 December from 1-2.30pm.  Please ensure your children bring their togs on this day.

Important Dates
Term 4 2015
Friday 11 December                     Christmas Assembly    1.30pm
Tuesday 15 December                 Fun Swim - togs needed
Wednesday 16 December            Last day for students, mufti day, 
                                                       End of Year Mass & Prize-giving at 5pm                                                                  followed by shared tea.
Term 1 2016
Monday 8 February                            Waitangi Day observance - no school.

Monday 1 February                            First day Term 1 2016 for all students.

Mass Helpers
12 December   Karen Styles - Prayers of the Faithful
19 December   Bernadette Ewer - Reader; Anna Higgins - Altar Server;  Lyn Cox - Church Cleaning

Christmas Vigil Mass       24 December 5.30pm
This year we would like to have a nativity play as part of our Carol Singing before Christmas Mass.  All children are invited to join in.  There will be a practice at Children’s Liturgy over the next two Saturdays (12 & 19 December) to sort out lead roles.  All children are welcome to take part on the night.  Please come dressed (simply) as angels, shepherds or kings.
Any queries contact Christine or Gabrielle Macgregor Ph:6147384.

We will be at the Timaru Red Cross Rooms, 18 Bank Street on Wednesday 6th January from 1.30pm until 6.30pm and Thursday 7th January from 7.30am until 10.30am.
Appointments can be made online at or by phoning 0800 GIVEBLOOD.

Geraldine Academy of Performance & Arts has a two day School Holiday Programme happening;  18th Monday & 19th Tuesday January 2016 held at the Academy. 
18th January 2016 - Monday Tutor Jae & Miriam Bedford
Workshop 1: Intro to Guitar 9am-12pm. All ages & levels $30
Workshop 2: Singing with Ease 1pm-4pm. All ages & levels $30
19th January 2016 - Tuesday Tutor Jae Bedford
Workshop 3: Intro to Harmonica 9am-12pm. All ages & levels $30  (Harmonica extra cost)
*SPECIAL DEAL Get 3 workshops for only $75
19th January 2016 - Tuesday Tutor Miriam Bedford
MUSIC MADNESS 1pm-4pm 5-13 years $20
Music & movement style programme with karaoke krazy and making your own instruments
The tutors are Miriam & Jae Bedford who own and operate BEDFORD SCHOOL OF MUSIC out of Oamaru.  They are incredibly skilled with working with children, plus they also perform professionally, mentor bands among lots of other talents.  Check out their website  

Roller-skating Xmas School  Holiday Sessions
Tuesday and Thursdays – starting 29th December
2pm to 4pm
Cost – Entry Fee - $2.50,  Skate Hire $3.50
Bring helmet and socks

Every Sunday
Public Session – 2pm to 4pm
Learn to Skate Lessons – 2pm to 3pm
Cost – Entry Fee - $2.50,  Skate Hire $3.50
Bring helmet and socks

Timaru School of Music - Where Music Comes Alive
We offer music lessons in Strings, Wind, Brass, Guitar and Ukulele. Lessons are in small groups and are funded by the Ministry of Education. Hire instruments are available and a one-off fee of $20 is payable. Inquiries welcome at

Oceans Grief and Loss for children and young people
Christmas time and holidays are often times of increased awareness about loss in young people's lives. Oceans is a peer support programme that offers a nine to ten week peer support programme each school term for children and youth who have experienced loss in their life. The losses covered may come from the death of a close relative or friend, the separation of parents, or a separation of a parent due to imprisonment. The focus of this programme is providing a safe environment for participants to talk about their losses. We have seen many children go through the programme and have numerous success stories of how it helped them.

Please visit our website for more information, including referral or enrolment forms, which now includes an Online enrolment:
Alternatively, email or phone Matt on 0800 OCEANS or text 027 4 OCEANS (623267)