Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Newsletter No. 14, 25 August 2016

Growing in Christ, challenging mind, body and spirit

Tena Koutou Parents and Friends

Special Character

We have been learning about God.

The Mystery of God by Annie

Our key ideas for helping children to understand about God are:

1. God created the world.
2. Ways we can know about God - God is revealed through Jesus
3. God is all powerful and remains a mystery.
4. God loves us individually (He has made a Covenant with us).

You can do a lot to support learning in religious education by having conversations with your children at home.  If you would like a starting point for your own thinking, have a look at our RE blog: God for parents (this is attached as a hard copy for families who receive a hard copy of the newsletter).

Incidentally, someone recommended our RE blog and website which featured this month in the national newsletter for integrated schools, "Lighting New Fires." 

Curiosity and Questioning

As part of our learning about inquiry learning the staff have been focusing on raising curiosity and developing questioning skills in students.
Lucy developing curiosity in our vegetable garden

"Cultivate Curiosity
Inquiry teachers provoke, model and value curiosity.  Curate for curiosity. Value the aesthetic.  Provide experiences that activate the senses and invite students to share and explore questions that matter to them.  Wonder about your students.  Stay curious. Be intrigued.  Wonder aloud." Kath Murdoch.

Upcoming Activities

There are some activities to note coming up in the next couple of weeks:

Thank you to our senior students who have organised Olympic Sports which due to the weather have been postponed to next Thursday.  

Our PTA fundraiser is on Saturday 3rd September with the band "Sons of Remo" at the Victor Wilson hall.  It should be a great night out for everyone.  Here is a clip of "Sons of Remo," (sorry can't share the video through hard copy).  

Our students are entertaining the Senior Citizens on 5th September.

Our Room 3 and 4 students are joining with the Rural Cluster of schools to have a technology challenge day at Cannington School on 13th September.  This will be a day of outdoors technology challenges as well as maths and logic challenges.

Also on 13th September our year 4 students are participating in a diocesan-wide RE assessment.  This is our third year of being involved in this pilot project.  The aim is for the diocese to gather a wide range of data about the religious knowledge and understanding we can expect to promote for children at the year 4 level.  This will help to provide a benchmark for assessing our students in this area.  I'm pleased to say that last year our year 4 children were on par with other children in the diocese.

Mrs Scott is organising a team to compete in the Social Studies Quiz in Timaru on Wednesday 14th September.

On 16th September the children will be doing Jump Rope for Heart.  On that day we will have open classrooms from 11.30am.  You are welcome to come and have a look at what your children are doing in class.  This will be followed by skipping at 12.00 and everyone is welcome to join us for a picnic lunch at 12.30pm.

Community of Learning

I have attended a day's formation for our Community of Learning in Christchurch and the principals have met and will meet again soon to start forming our achievement objectives.  One of the areas we are looking at specifically is the learning in years 7-10 and creating greater consistency and shared expertise between the primaries and high school in this area.  We are also looking at student engagement and ways of deepening our cultural understanding particularly of the tangata whenua in order to raise achievement at every level.  We are lucky as all of the Catholic schools have higher than average achievement and so we are coming in from a strong starting position looking at moving from very good to excellent.

Paul Murphy will represent the St Joseph's Pleasant Point Board of Trustees on the governance body which is forming to guide the Community of Learning.

Union Meeting - 
As per our notice last week there is an important union meeting on 9th September at 9am.  Lessons will start that day at 11.30am.  There will be staff on site to cater for any children who need to arrive before this time.  The buses are running at the normal times.

Ma te Atua e manaaki, God Bless
Lorraine Frances-Rees, Principal

Welcome to Hadlee, Alea and Brooklyn; who have all joined St Joseph's recently in Room 2.  Hadlee joins his brothers Reon and Travis Priddle who are in Room 2; Alea joins Caelyn and Damon Morrison from Room 1.  Brooklyn, her parents; Dayna & Brendon, and younger brother Daniel are new to our community.

Congratulations to Ellie Andrews, Emerson Murphy and Amy Boult who have all been selected for the South Canterbury B Development Hockey Team for Year 5/6.  Well done girls - Black Sticks in the making!

Congratulations to the following students who received awards in assembly last week:
Star of the Week
Marie-Eve Donaldson, Hadlee Priddle, Baxter Mason, Katie Hay, Jayden Walker.
MacKillop Values
Koby McNamee, Eve Andrews, Bryn Chisholm, Ellie Andrews, Conor Boult.
Principal's Award
Conor Boult, Cooper Mason, Cameron Murphy.
Winning House


SAUSAGE SIZZLE                                                                        
Friday 26 August         Karina Tarrant and Catherine Morrison
Friday 2 September     Michelle Scannell and Shelley Mahuika
Please could you be at school by 11.30am to begin cooking as lunch is at 12 noon on Fridays to allow for Kiwisport.  

Remember that the children are able to wear yellow accessories tomorrow and bring a gold coin donation to support the Cancer Society's annual Daffodil Day fundraiser.


Saturday 3 September
Helen Andrews - Reader; Welcomers & Offertory - Helen & Mark Andrews and family.

Roncalli College Netball
Expressions of interest are called for Coaches and Managers of all grades for the 2017 netball season.  Please contact Samantha Schrader for application forms or more information:  Samantha Schrader, Roncalli College (03) 688 6003 ext. 808 or

"Kids and Peers" Survey
My name is Tegan Lynch and I am conducting an online study as part of my PhD research at Victoria University of Wellington.  In this study, I am asking parents and caregivers about social peer situations involving their children, their experiences of these, and will then ask parents if they experienced anything similar when they were growing up. Most of the questions will be concerned with negative peer experiences.
Participants in this study need to be a parent or caregiver  who has at least one school-aged child. Participation in this survey is voluntary and anonymous.  I have made a website at where potential participants can learn more about the overall research project and from there they are linked to the questionnaire.

South Canterbury Basketball
An introductory referees clinic for those wishing to referee Primary school basketball will be held Tuesday September 6th 7pm upstairs in the STEC lounge.
Any intending referees and those wanting a refresher are welcome to attend.

Tennis registrations for a combined Pleasant Point/Totara Valley Tennis Club will be held on Monday 5th September at 3.20pm at the Pleasant Point Primary School Amphitheatre. This is for beginners and players aged 5 to 12 years old.  Enquiries please contact Leanne 614 8898. Information will be provided at registration.
SCIENCE ALIVE HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES. Designed to inspire, excite and challenge - students interested in Astronomy, Robotics, Computer Science and Engineering will love these classes!
Introductory Robotics (Ages 8 - 13 years) - $11 per child
Cultural Constellations (Age 5 -13 years - children must be accompanied by an adult) - $5 per child and adult.
For more details and for booking tickets, simply hop over to

On the 24 & 25 September the Catholic Youth team are running a JAM (Jesus and Me) Camp at the Blue Skies Centre in Kaiapoi.  JAM is an annual event run by CYT for Year 7 & 8 Students.  If you are interested or have any questions please contact Sinead Gilgunn, Catholic Youth Coordinator on (03) 353 0705 or email:

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