Thursday, 4 February 2016

Newsletter 1, 4 February 2016

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

Welcome to the start of the 2016 school year.  A warm welcome to our new teachers Miss Grant and Mrs Gardner and to Zara Blakemore in Room 2.

A big thank you to the teaching and support staff for all they work they have put in preparing for the start of year.

The children have settled well into their new year of learning. Here's what the Room 3 children have to say about their new learning setup:
"Its good because you can get around with other people and get new friends."
"Its arranged differently, its got a couch."
"Mrs Gardner has been to lots of schools and knows lots of stuff, she knows what to do for us."
"Its fun - we still catch up with the old year 6s"
"You get to do art."
"We get stuff (learning) that's just right for us."
"Its fun, we get two teachers a day and its different."
"Its helping us learn."
I asked if they had any worries or if anything was difficult.  I usually find children tell the truth as they see it.  It was all positive.


We are starting the year learning about prayer.  This week the classes have been re-introduced to prayer.  Over the term each class will visit all the other classes for one prayer session and they will share what they have learnt with each other.

How do you pray at home?  I encourage you to take a moment to say a goodnight prayer with your child before they go to bed.   If you’re reading to your child at night, prayer fits well after story-time.  Here’s a lovely blessing prayer for a child going to sleep:

 Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep,

Keep me safe all through the night,

And wake me with the morning light.

Room 3 have been learning about using their whole being in prayer – their minds, hearts, wills and imaginations as well as their bodies and they are planning a liturgical dance.  They’ve used drama bags to help them focus on gesture.  Here’s Amy showing some prayer gestures:

Praise God
Praying quietly

 Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice in a school focuses on developing relationships, maintaining relationships and repairing relationships.  It is more than a form of behaviour management; we see it as living our Catholic faith and tradition.

Jesus showed us in the Gospels how He wants us to follow Him.  In the powerful parable of the Prodigal Son He taught us to forgive even when everyone would think the situation was beyond forgiveness.  People were put out by Jesus.  Many didn’t like the way he showed mercy and forgiveness, such as when he dined with Zaccheaus the tax collector.  But this didn’t stop him.  Even when he died on the cross in order to ensure our forgiveness, Jesus uttered, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”

We believe each and every member of our school community (and all human beings) are created in the image and likeness of God and are loved by God beyond our comprehension.  We want our students to be able to forgive and be forgiven, to make mistakes and learn from them and to recognise that their choices impact all those around them.

Our staff reviewed our Restorative Justice behaviour procedures in our teacher only day at the beginning of the year and they can be viewed on the school website at: Restorative Justice

It is also normal practice to remind you how to access the school complaints procedure at the beginning of the year.  The Restorative Justice guidelines should be read in conjunction with the complaints procedure: Complaints Procedure

Gmail Accounts – some things you might like to know

Thank you for the forms you have returned regarding gmail accounts.

Schools use a “server” which is the main school computer.  All the files are stored on this and when the children or staff save something it goes to the “server.”  However, schools and businesses are now tending to move towards the “cloud.”  The cloud means that files are stored in a large secure central storage area away from the school and can be accessed from any device, anywhere.  There are two benefits:
a) the school does not have to pay  $1000s to upgrade its server – this storage system is free.
b) as more young people have their own devices, they are able to access their learning anytime anywhere.

More and more schools are moving towards “the cloud.”  The “server” system is an old technology and servers are not being replaced when they reach the end of their functional life.  I took steps last year to move the staff into cloud-based technology and luckily for us Claire has the office fully running from the cloud already because our server reached the end of its lifespan over the Christmas holidays.   Given the choice, I would have waited a little longer, but nevertheless we are now using the “cloud” for saving and accessing all our work.

I have sent home forms that the years 5+ ONLY need to fill in (according to the letter that went with them).  Depending on your responses your child will either get their own gmail account which allows them independent access to their own work, or will indicate to me that I need to add them to a class or group gmail, depending on your wishes. 

Some families have ticked all options and the forms will be returned for you to indicate your choice.  If you choose for your child to have their own gmail account you will be responsible for monitoring their use of this at home and we will monitor school use. It pays to do this now at primary school because students use gmail accounts at high school and the only time they will receive training in technology and the social etiquette of how to use them will be now, at primary school.   

It would be good please to have all forms back by the end of the week so I can set up accounts.

Please see me for a chat if you want to understand more or have further questions.  We had a parent information evening on this last year and I'm happy to have a second one if you indicate a need.

Ma te Atua e manaaki, God Bless

Lorraine Frances-Rees, Principal


Thursday 11 February -  5.30pm Room 2; 5.50pm Room 1; 6.10pm Room 3 & 4; (followed by a Camp Meeting).

Thank you to those families who have already returned these forms.  Please ensure that all forms are completed and returned to the office by the end of this week (along with the Cyber Safety agreements and the gmail account forms - for year 5+).

Just a reminder as we commence a new year - please ensure that you notify us of any changes to your child's normal bus/home routine prior to 1pm each day.  Unless we have been advised by a parent that their child will not be on the bus, then we will be sending your child home on their normal bus.  Claire's hours are 8.30am - 1pm daily.  Outside of these hours we cannot guarantee someone will be in the office so the phone is not answered, and the answer machine is not checked until after 3pm - any messages left after 1pm will be too late to let your child know.  

We would like to see all children wearing their safety high-vis vests to and from school each day (particularly bus children), as this increases visibility for drivers when your child is waiting for the school bus.  If your child does not have a vest, or their current one does not fit correctly, please get them to ask Claire for a new one.

As this is a summer term, please ensure that your child has their sunhat each day.  New hats (Royal Blue) can be purchased from the Warehouse.

Please ensure that  all your child's uniform is clearly named.  If your child is wearing 
pre-loved clothing, please ensure that you remove the previous owner's name and replace it with your own child's name.

The children will be swimming on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for the first three weeks of term - i.e 2-19 February.  From Monday 22 February until Friday 4 March, children will be taking part in "Swim for Life" which is run by instructors from CBay, and will require their togs daily.  If your child is unable to swim please send a note to their class teacher.

Please remember that for safety reasons we ask you not to park on the bus-stops, or on the grass opposite the school gate on Khan street.  Please park on either Kabul Street (behind the school), or Afghan Street (in front of the school; away from the bus stops), and walk with your child into the school grounds.  Parents are asked to collect their children from inside the gates after school.

Baptised children who were 8 years (Year 4 or older) at the beginning of this School year, and wish to make their First Holy Communion this year, please contact the Parish Office on 615 7527, or for an enrolment form, which needs to be returned to the Parish Office by 14th Feb 2016. The first Parents' meeting is to be held on Sunday 28th February at 7.00pm in St Joseph's Hall, Temuka.

In the school staffroom 2pm Friday 12th February.


13 February   Styles Family = Welcoming & Offertory

Pleasant Point JAB Rugby Registration
Rugby season is getting closer.
Registration day will be on Wednesday February 24th at 3pm at the club rooms Point Domain. Subs for new players $65 (shorts included). Subs $40, Socks $10.
Eftpos available on the day. All old and new players welcome.
Calling any parents or older siblings wishing to help this season in Coaching, Managing
or on the Committee would be greatly appreciated.  Any further enquiries ring Leeanne Smith 03 6147030.

(Making music come alive)
 We are offering these classes for 2016 
Violin                                       Recorder
Viola                                        Oboe
Cello                                        Flute
Double Bass                             Clarinet
Guitar (from age 8)                    Trumpet
Ukulele (from age 7)                  Cornet
Junior Music (ages 5 and 6)        Trombone
Orchestra                                  Recorder Ensemble

We provide free tuition, by specialist teachers and experienced musicians, for primary school aged children. Hire instruments are available at $20 per term. A one-off enrolment fee of $20 is payable plus the cost of tutor books.

Enrolments; Wednesday February 10, 4-6.30pm at Waimataitai School Hall, Trafalgar St, Timaru 

For inquiries email; or
phone Rosemary 684 8479

Recommencing Thursday 11th Feb 2016
Keas 5.30-6.30 (age 5-7)
Cubs 6.30-8pm (age 8-10)
Scouts 6.30-8pm (age 10-14)
All Welcome! For more info ph …

Group leader Leo McCarthy 6887525/ or Lisa 6148177

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