Parents as Partners


Here are a few 5 key tips for the beginning of Term 1.

1. Drop off and pick up arrangements 

Drop Off

We will continue the arrangements that were in place during 2020 to enable all children to remain COVID safe. 

Prep, 1 and 2 children will enter the school through the front yard and Years 3-6 through the back yard.

ONLY PARENTS of the the 2021 preps and any other new families may bring their children into the classrooms to drop them off during this first week.

All other parents and carers must remain outside the school grounds unless they need to come to the front office.

Pick Up

During Week 1 PREP children will be collected from their classrooms from 3:15pm. In Week 2, the Prep children will be brought out to the front yard at 3:15pm to be collected. Parents must wait outside the school grounds until they see their child. Prep parents will also need to wait for siblings outside the school grounds.

Year 1-6 parents must wait outside the school grounds as per the table below.

2. Chromebooks Year 1-6

The Chromebooks have been delivered to school. As the children have diverse orders, level tables will be set up in the front and back yard for you to collect your child's boxed chromebook package to open at home with you. We ask you to label your child's device and any other belongings and return to their classroom.

Packages will be available for collection from Thursday afternoon.

No students will be accessing Chromebooks until the safe user agreements have been signed and returned schools. Further details to follow.

Any other queries please email Jenny:

3. Stay Sunsafe

We are a Sunsmart school, please ensure your children bring their sunhat to school.

4. Lunch orders

Lunch orders will commence on Monday 1st February. Icy poles will commence next week.

5. 2021 dates and further notices.

The Shamrock weekly newsletter is published every Friday.  This is our main form of communication and will contain further details and notices.

2020 Are you ready for the new school year ? 5 key dates

1. We look forward to welcoming all of our children, Foundation - Year 6, to school on Thursday 30th January. Please remember school hats. 
2. This year's Connection Event is on Wednesday 5th February 7pm-8pm in the school hall. Come along and learn about our vision, our values, new learning teams, meet staff and view classrooms. The first Parent & Friends meeting for 2020 will take place at 8:15pm after the Connection Event.
3. Join us for our Beginning of the Year School Mass to commission our staff and welcome our children for 2020 on Friday 7th February 9:10am in St Patrick's church.
4. Ensure uniforms are ready for class and family photos on Tuesday 18th February.
5. Meet with class teachers at the individual Parent Teacher Meetings on Wednesday 26th February (online bookings will open in Week 3).

Helpful Links:
Here is a link to our Learning Community Site and the page with extra links for Communication
Any questions, please feel free to contact or email our principal Jenny Hawkins

2019 POPE (Parents as Open Partners in Education) Meeting
  • SMART Spelling programme - Is it possible to share some information about this with parents so that they can support children and understand the language being used with the children ?
  • CAFE and Seven Steps to Writing - Can the school run a literacy workshop for parents and put snapshots about these programmes in the weekly newsletter - Shamrock ?
  • Homework/ Reading Diary - It would be helpful to have instructions for parents around the number of readers and expectations
  • Open Morning - looking forward to the opportunity to come into the classroom
  • PSG's - It is great to have the 30 minute meeting but would be helpful to also attend the parent meetings in the hall to meet both class teachers during the 10 minute allocated times.
  • Staff Conference Days - We discussed that these days will build on the 2018 days where the staff formed research teams to bring the shared vision to life.
  • Multi Sensory Structured Language (MSL) is direct and explicit instruction for dyslexic students.
  • Social skills focus for girls - this will happen during circle time. Circle time helps to develop positive relationships between children.
2019 Are you ready for the new school year ? 5 key dates
1. We look forward to welcoming back all of our children and their families on Thursday 31st January. Please remember your school hats. 
2. This year's Connection Event is on Wednesday 6th February 7pm-8pm in the school hall. Come along and meet all of our staff and learn about our plans to engage and motivate every learner for 2019.
3. Join the whole school to celebrate our Beginning of the School Year mass on Friday 8th February at 9:10am in St Patrick's church.
4. Get those uniforms ready for school photos on Monday 18th February.
5. Building quality relationships with our families is vital at St Patrick's, you will be able to attend  a Parent Teacher Meeting on Wednesday 20th February (online bookings will open in Week 1).

Here is a short Celebration of Learning Video prepared by the Year 6 leaders to share some of the engaged and motivated learning activities at St Patrick's during 2018.

You can access some of our 2018 highlights on the slideshow below.

Term 3 & 4 2018 POPE (Parents as Open Partners in Education) update
This term I met with a group of new parents to our school. We discussed the following :
  • 2018 Concert Meet Me At The Drive in - Parents loved that fact that all children participated enthusiastically. The concert is biannual with Christmas Carols in alternate years. The parents shared that the concert was an invaluable showcase of our incredible school and any parent would be proud to have their children at our school. There was a suggestion to invite new families enrolled for the following year, pre schoolers or the elderly to the dress rehearsal matinee performance next time. Our children could send out special invitations. Here are a selection of comments that I received via email after the concert : 
"I feel every student shone on the evening. This does not just happen. It is clear to me that the staff have worked hard to provide the environment for all students to feel comfortable to take those risks and have a go - promoting a growth mindset..... It was obvious from the staff performance you have a great team of people who clearly are committed to their jobs...." Year 2 Parents

" As parents of three and grandparents of five, we've been to a few concerts - but I don't think we've ever enjoyed one as much as St patrick's today. Such a sense of fun by the kids on the stage and the audience members..." Grandparents

"We wanted to thank the staff for an outstanding concert on Monday night. We have been to numerous concert over the years.. they do seem to just get better and better !" Year 4 Parents

"Well done to all the St Pat's staff ! My husband and I thought it was a wonderful production. Our children had a ball up on the stage. The new venue was a refreshing change, spacious, comfortable seating, easy viewing lots of parking and the children were happy not to sit on the floor.." Year 2 &4 Parents

"Thanks for a wonderful concert, everyone was brilliant. The venue was a great improvement, very comfortable.." Year 5 Parents

" Congratulations... Not only was it a very professional and enjoyable performance but it was so pleasing to see every person that took the stage fully embracing the experience. The enthusiasm, commitment and pure joy on every student's face was so beautiful to see and a real credit to the nurturing school environment you have created and provide at St Patrick's...." Prep Parent 
  • The St Pat's Shamrock - We discussed the fact that it is our weekly newsletter and it's important for all families to read it in order to keep up to date with our learning, news and events. It is generally published on Friday afternoons via a link on Flexi Buzz. The Shamrock is a newsblog and and can be easily accessed at any time. You can also use the search button on the front page to easily search for past information. One of our parents commented on the positive value of having the prayer at the start of the weekly newsletter and she shares this prayer with her family.
You can type your email address into the "follow by email" for our weekly newsblog and type anything into the search engine to look for information in past newsblog posts.
  • Learning Community Site - We viewed the site and went through each tab to understand how to access valuable learning information about our school. There is a calendar on the Communication page and you can scroll through it weekly or monthly to check on up and coming events. The tabs for year levels give access to termly timetables and level newsletters as well as specialist teachers programmes and the curriculum. We spoke about encouraging learning conversations at the end of a school day. Instead of asking, for example, "How was your day ?" you could say, " I noticed you had Italian today, can you share your learning ?"
  • Parent support - We spoke about offering support and volunteering to share skills. Three of the parents offered to help with the school garden in Term 4. Parents can complete the skills list for our Parish Education Board. Parents can also support via the Board, Parents and Friends, classroom and sports activities and events, working parties like the Masterplan, Child Safety and Grants Workgroups.
  • Houses -Parents wondered how to find out about their child's "House Colour". The children are allocated a house when they enrol. The four house colours are: Rovira, Grabbo, Bainbridge & Tobin. The houses are named after St Patrick's Parish priests. Parents can inquire at the office about the house for their child.
  • Flexi buzz  - This is the school app used to notify parents about school information. It is also used to report absences as well as order lunch orders.  
  • Extra curricular - Information about music lessons and sporting activities will be posted in the Shamrock
  • Swimming - A 9 day intensive swimming programme takes place during Term 4 for the Prep to Year 4 children. The senior children participate in life saving and rowing programmes.
  • Class Reps - It's important to let Class Reps know if a new family starts during the school year. This way we can ensure that the Class Rep makes contact with the new parents to ensure they are welcomed into the community. 
  • Assembly - This takes place every Monday morning. Everyone is welcome to attend. Awards are presented and parents are notified when their child will receive an award. Each child should receive at least one award across the year. Each class presents a short class item focused on their learning at assembly and classes are notified.
During Term 1 and Term 2, 2018, the POPE group naturally evolved into purposeful action work groups who are helping to bring our school vision to life. You can read all about the way parents at St Patrick's are genuinely sharing their professional skills and expertise to make a difference for all learners at this link.

2018 Are you ready for the new school year ? 5 key reminders
1. We look forward to welcoming back our Year 1- Year 6 children and their families on Wednesday 31st January 2018. Please bring your school hats.
2. We are excited about our Prep children joining us on Thursday 1st February for their first day at school.
3. We will all meet with Fr Paul in the hall on Friday 2nd February at 11:30am for a special beginning of the year blessing. Parents are welcome to join us too.
4. All parents are invited to the first Parents and Friends meeting of the year on Friday 9th February in our staff room at 9am. Come and join this enthusiastic group of parents.
5. Please keep Tuesday 6th February 7pm free to come along to the masterplan Parent Visioning Workshop and have your say about the development of our school buildings and grounds. You can read more at this link.
5. Also keep Monday 12th February free from 7-8pm for our Connection Event to connect with our staff and learn more about how we will continue to bring our school vision to life in 2018- Engaged and motivated learners always faithful to our loving God. You can access some of our 2017 highlights on the slideshow below.


POPE (Parents as Open Partners in Education) Term 4 2017
The focus of this meeting was a cultural consultation with our community. Special thank you to Leon Egan (Layni Yr 1) and Kerryn Oliver (Student Diversity Leader) who attended this meeting. Thanks to the parents who sent apologies. As with all of our meetings, parents are invited to email me at anytime with contributions. Here are the notes from the meeting:
  • Leon began by sharing his pride in the recent appointment of his oldest daughter as a Prefect for Yr 12 at Hayliebury next year. This is the first indigenous prefect in the history of the school. Congratulations.
  • Leon has his own business focused on Cultural Awareness Training. His work has always been in this field. He sees it as his way to make a difference and promote reconciliation.
  • Leon explained that the most receptive participants in his training in workplaces are the New Zealanders living in Australia. Leon was interested in Jenny’s work with Maori and Pacific Island cultures in New Zealand and was surprised she could sing the NZ National Anthem in Maori ! 
  •  We agreed that these areas are key for promoting cultural awareness: identity, belonging and community. What can we do at St Patrick’s to develop these areas ?
  • Do we have any other children who recognise as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ? What does our enrolment form say ? What data do we have ?
  • Leon spoke about putting up a plaque in the entrance of the school to acknowledge country. We need to begin to make visible change. This will be noticed within our community and will help people to connect as well as develop awareness. Leon will source this for us.
  • There is a freestanding flag unit with 3 flags (Aust, Aboriginal & Torres Strait) we can obtain  to display at the front office.
  • Leon will put together protocols and a subtle, simple welcome and acknowledgement to country for us to use before staff meetings and assemblies particular to our area and place. He will research Murrumbeena, Glen Eira and the significance of this area.
  • We will arrange a staff meeting early in term 1, 2018 for Leon to talk with staff and share our processes going forward.
  • Leon will explore the possibilities of a second flagpole for outside (only 2 flags acceptable for us here in the South).
  • Leon read and was impressed with all of the Year 6 RSL projects with an indigenous theme. Projects and themes for children eg. around the Aboriginal flag to share when we put it up for children to explore and understand will be valuable for the children.
  • Kerryn will contact Catholic Education Melbourne about resourcing and support personnel.
  • We will meet again in 2018 and review progress.
POPE Term 3 2017
This session was set aside to review the slideshow from the Restorative Practice evening for parents and staff. You can read about the evening at this link.
Here are the slides thanks to David Vinegrad. I have copied and adapted them to a format suitable for the blog.

POPE Parents as Open Partners in Education planned meeting updates 28/4/17 and 16/6/17 During Term 2, 2017, there were two advertised meetings. Parents were encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas via email if they weren't able to attend. There were several apologies to both meetings and several emails. Thanks to those parents who shared their thoughts and ideas. The main topic of interest as expressed by our parents via direct emails was about school camps:
Camps - Some parents feel the Canberra camp is too far way for Year 5's for their first camp and a local camp would be a better option. The 2018 Canberra camp has already been booked but we can certainly review this for 2019 and beyond. There was also a suggestion for a Year 4 over night camp. This is also something to consider as part of our future plans.
There will be a brief survey at the June Parent Interviews to gather more feedback around the camps and the 2017 change around children being able to enter their classrooms from 8:50am.

Please continue to share your thoughts and suggestions as we continue to be engaged and motivated learners always faithful to our loving God.

POPE Parents as Open Partners in Education gathering 16/3/17
A suggestion was made to add meeting minutes from the 'Parent as Partners' link to the home page of the Shamrock. This will be actioned.
We revisited the discussion around reports from February:
Can we update the photos of the children on the reports as they go through school please ? It seems some of the children have their prep photos on their reports.
As there are particular government expectations around reporting, could these please be explained again for parents to understand ?
Parents appreciated the personalised comment on the end of year reports and thought it was 'fantastic'. Can there also be one on the mid year report please ? This comment is of great value to parents.
Tiq Biz
Year 1 parents loved the photo updates about the history inquiry via Tiq Biz. They were just one photo with a question or comment and gave parents a great insight into the children's learning.
Premier Reading Challenge
Parents asked about the possibility of getting this up and running again especially for the children that loved reading. We will look into actioning this.
Learning Community Site
The site was revisited and Jenny explained that the first stage with staff was for timetables. The second stage in term 2 will be to share further learning.

Parent Connection Event presentation for those parents who wish to review the slides or who weren't able to make it to the evening.

POPE Parents as Open Partners in Education
POPE Parents as Open Partners in Education gathering 10/2/17
Thanks to Liz Hills our DP for meeting with the POPE group as Jenny had to attend another meeting. Thanks Liz for these meeting notes.
6 parents in attendance
Revisited purpose of POPE
REPORTS: Re-capped items from previous meeting. Further discussion around the school reports. Discussed the fact that the reports are very similar across a year level by design. The Reporting process is 2-fold; the second part is the P/T interview where teachers show annotated work samples, pre and post tests and children’s personalised goals. This is the personalised part of the report and should be seen in conjunction with the written report. The 5 point scale is an Ed. Dept requirement. The current format was arrived upon after discussion and surveying of parents who wanted to know quite explicitly if their child was below/ at/ or above standard.  A Survey was sent to all parents with over 100 returns (a good result for our setting). The mandated reporting package will change again this year and parent feedback will again be sought. NB: Children who are performing below or above the standard have additional comments explaining how the school is addressing this need.
FACEBOOK: Some concerns about public Facebook page. Parents suggested exploring the Allannah
and Madeleine Foundation esmart site. Reminder that parents are able to request their children's photo not be posted onto the Facebook page or Shamrock newsletter.
TRANSITION: fantastic response to the additional transition sessions. Parents felt children had connected with both teachers and peers better; children hearing class and classmates first empowered them; earlier entry to classrooms eased anxiety (although still parking/ traffic problems). Parents suggested at last transition session, chn take home name and photo of teacher. Also any chance of teachers popping out in the afternoon 2 or 3 times a week- informal chat.
COMMUNICATION: proposal to add new policies/ initiatives/ information to Learning Community Platform to keep parents up to date with Education in a wider framework.
TRAFFIC: ongoing concerns around traffic.

2017: Are you ready for the new school year ? 5 key reminders
1. We look forward to welcoming back our Year 1-Year 6 children and their families on Tuesday 31st January 2017.
2. We are excited about our Prep children joining us on Thursday 3rd February for their first day at school.
3. We will all meet with Fr Barry in the hall on Tuesday at 11:30am for a special beginning of the year blessing. Parents are welcome to join us too.
4. All parents are invited to the first Parents and Friends meeting of the year on Friday 4th February in our staff room at 9am. Come and join this friendly and welcoming group.
5. Our teachers have been working hard preparing for the start of the year. There are some exciting new displays around the school and much more to tell you. Keep Wednesday 15th February free from 7-8pm and come along to our Connection Event to connect with our staff and learn more about how we will bring our school vision alive in 2017- Engaged and motivated learners always faithful to our loving God.
A sneak preview of one of the Grade 3 displays.

Parents as Open Partners in Education (POPE) is an open parent group formed at St Patrick's in November 2016 to enable our parent community to be active partners and learners with their children.
The idea is to enable parent voice to be shared in a constructive way and offer opportunities to engage, motivate and enable parents to contribute as partners in their children's education. The ultimate outcome is that all learners at St Pat's - children, staff and parents will flourish.
You can read an ongoing record of our meetings below.
POPE Meeting 25.11.2016
Ten parents attended this second meeting. They explained that they were tentative about attending this newly formed POPE group. They wondered where it fitted between existing parent groups such as the Parent & Friends (P&A) and the Parish Education Board (PEB); it was a new concept for them. Here were some of the areas discussed:
1. Progress on the revisioning process
2. Ways to share learning to help parents have a greater understanding of day to day learning for their children at school. We looked at the benefits of a site or a portal to share class termly and weekly plans. The need to ensure learning was transparent, relevant and current was discussed.
3. How can the school values - the 3R's : respect, responsibility and resilience, be modelled at home to reflect the children's learning at school ? The idea of short videos with children explaining the values in action would be helpful for families. Parents agreed that visual prompts would be good too.
4. There were wonderings around the process for the office to follow up when children are absent from school.
5. The school reporting format and interview process was queried. The benefits of one personalised sentence was seen as more valuable than several generic sentences. We agreed that school reporting would be the theme for the first POPE meeting in 2017.
Parents attending said they found the meeting time very valuable and that they would spread the word to encourage other parents to come along.

POPE Meeting 28.10.2016
This was the very first meeting.
Five keen parents attended this initial meeting. The theme for the meeting was around the renewed vision for the school going forward into 2017 and beyond. You can read more about that process at this link.
Some of the visioning slides were shared including the five probe questions. The very nature of the small group allowed for robust discussion and the sharing of thoughts and ideas. The parents wrote their suggestions onto the large sheets of paper provided.

The examples below are records of some of the parent meetings at St Joseph's Oamaru, New Zealand from May 2014-June 2016

Pasifica Fono 16th March 2016
Thanks to Mrs Misiloi for these minutes and for arranging and chairing this meeting.
7:00 pm- Welcome & Opening Prayer- Tua Misiloi
Presents: Manu, Kea, Soane, Malia, Sini, Jan. P, Ruth (North Otago Literacy), Jocelyn M, Tua, Vasi, Antonio M, Tivinia M, Jerome M, Michael M,Sione T, Sepeti T, Fitu T, Eleni H, Lisiate H, Marconi H, Sesilia H, Nehusita H, Penisimani T, Kaveinga T, Kaliopeta P, Kasimea T, Vilivea T, Fe’ofa’aki T.Apology: Jenny J.

Agenda: Cultural Values- Behaviour
              Connecting links to School Values and Pasifika Values.
Tua talked to the group in the Tongan language about how we parents ensure to keep our cultural values alive at home. To ensure our children practice those values in their lives and make them who they are. We also talked about some inappropriate behaviours during playtimes and that the children need to stop and make good choices. Once they come to understand and practice the core values/ virtues of respect, reverence, humility and maintain positive relationships then they won’t do those behaviours. A strong emphasis on us as parents to make sure we teach/ talk to our children every day in our family evening prayer.
Then we watched a video - delivered by a Tongan person (He is a doctor  worked in Auckland Middlemore Hospital).
Discuss about the message- “be grateful for what you have, you can do anything that anyone in the world can do but only you can do it better, to study hard and believe in yourself, What now and what next, how you can be a person to contribute to the wider community is to practice the core human values and belie in yourself. We Tongan being taught about traditional virtues of respect & reverence (Faka’apa’apa), keeping up good relations (tauhi vaha’a), loving nature (anga’ofa), willing hard and humility (lototo), team spirit and enthusiasm (mamahi’ime’a).
Jocelyn Marsh- Talked about her role in the school and parish. Encourage parents to come to Thursday School Mass or any other days of the week if they are free.
Ruth - Otago Literacy- Talked about her work and role. She explained to parents about their programme for adults. They help with teaching English and support them with their children's school work and driver's license.
Jan Plieger- Talked about the Mutukaroa Assessment Project- Tracking of children’s learning and moving them forward. A project working in partnership with parents and to fully engage parents and whanau about assessments.
Open for parents if they have anything they would like to ask questions or talk about.
Acknowledgement/ Thank you- Tua, Closing Prayer & Blessing of the food- Soane Misiloi @ 8:00pm

Sports Meeting 15th March 2016
Present: Tina Souness, Joanne Cant, Glynn Cameron, Paul Cartlidge, Jenny Jackson
Apologies: Anna Beveridge, Justin Fowler
Winter sporting codes discussed :
Rugby -  Teams all look good. Short of a couple of coaches
Hockey - Players will be combined with the country teams due to low numbers, coaches all okay.
Football - Coach needed for primary side, not enough for an intermediate side for 2016. Possibility of two junior grade teams, one with experienced players and one with newer players. A notice will go out and any queries to the Sport Committee.
Basketball - We agreed to have two even teams for the Yr 7/8 boys, teams will have skill sessions and selection of teams by an external selector.
Netball - Some children will need to play up to make up team numbers. An external selector will help with teams hopefully next Wednesday.
It's important that any behavioural concerns by players are addressed early and the school kept in the loop.

Next meeting Thursday 31st March 2:30

Agenda For Chinese Cultural Meeting
7THMarch 2016
·      Welcome -  Mrs Jackson
·      Reasons for setting up this meeting – Mrs Jackson
·      Discussion about format for these meetings
·      Reading support at home
·      Ruth Blair - Literacy North Otago
·      Jocelyn’s role as Parish Liaison Person
·      Explanation about goal setting meetings and discussion about suitable day/times for parents to attend these meetings.

·      Shared supper

Jenny started with a prayer
Jenny explained it’s a chance to connect and feel included.You can discuss concerns and help to understand how best to help you to help your children to be the best that can be.
Joy and Jane did the translating
Jenny explained the reason for the meetings
Monday 6pm was the agreed time for future meetings.
Jan explained the meetings will have an educational element and time to ask questions. We don’t talk about individual children. You can discuss concerns and help to understand how best to help you to help your children to be the best that can be.
Children are encouraged to attend and they can contribute as well and grow in confidence
Ruth Blair is an adult tutor. She works for Literacy North Otago for reading, writing, arithmetic, computers, ELL, help adults from all ethnicities. They are open during the school holidays. There is no charge for NZ residents or citizens. There is a charge for visa workers $30 for an hour. Ruth works with Chang and she was able to help read and speak English to her son.
There is a possibility for Ruth to help run an English group and that would help mums to help with their school work.
Jocelyn: teacher aide who works in the classrooms to support the teachers and children. Jocelyn represents the Parish the church as parish liaison for St Patrick’s parish our spiritual family. You belong to the parish family and we pray with you on your spiritual journey. Jocelyn and Jenny meet the families in the mornings and we can help where care is needed.
Jan talked about the goal setting meetings.
Jenny showed how to book goal setting meetings. We also looked at the newsblog and showed how it could be translated into Chinese (simple) this worked well. Some families haven’t been getting the emails but now we have their email addresses.
Jan explained the children will receive basic words that will come home with their reading books to help them learn their words. They can work out some words from the pictures. It is important the children learn the sounds rather than the letter names eg. b a t  

Parent Consultation: Have your say
Annual Review of Strategic Plan Term 4 2015
In preparation for 2016, we would like to get feedback from parents about our strategic plan goals (aims). We will have hard copies of the 2015 plan (see image below) at this week's Family Learning Hui. There will be a workshop for you to join and include your thoughts and ideas. Alternatively, email your thoughts and ideas to and put Strategic Plan in the subject line before the next board meeting onTuesday 8th December.

A strategic plan (as defined in the MOE guide Nov 2015) sets out the board's aims and direction for student progress and achievement for the next 3-5 years. The strategic section includes:
  • a broad outline of what our board wants to achieve;
  • an outline of our school's education priorities in relation to the Government priorities as set out in the National Educations Guidelines (NEGs); and
  • plans for other key areas of the school to ensure teaching and learning are fully supported
The board will consider our community's views and priorities in the review and development of our strategic plan for 2016-2018.

Click on this image to enlarge it
Sports Committee Term 3 2015

  • 8 week ski programme commenced with 56 students and heaps of helpers - getting kids active
  • Rugby video with All Blacks very powerful message for parents on the sidelines.

  • Tina received and email about a team subbing with players from other clubs. We need to focus on St Joseph's players first.
  • We want them to participate and have that drive to play well and win.
  • Parents on the sidelines need to be positive and supportive.
  • Intermediate footballers are a perfect example of the rotation of players working and lifting the whole team. They are playing like a team and winning.
  • We need to educate the players and the parents to reinforce and support the coaches at home. 
  • St Joseph's as a school are on show. We need to reflect our Catholic school values - parents and players. Inappropriate language not acceptable from coaches as well.
  • We need to consider we are a health promoting school and this needs to be reflected in prizes given to kids after games.
  • Jenny to send letter out with code of conduct to remind everyone about our guidelines.
  • Hockey going well, plenty have made it into the rep teams - well done.
  • Gymnastics focus on participation and fun.
  • Archery Option for 2016 via St Kevin's College.
  • Next meeting will be when the winter sports have all finished.

Sports Committee Tuesday 19th May 2015 Term 2

  • Coaching Information Evening very successful. Suggest we do the same next year. Message to focus on skills in preparation for high school was a good reminder.
  • Sports Committee Tuesday 31st March 2015 Term 1
    • We reviewed the winter sporting codes and progress on selection of teams and coaches based on decisions made at the previous Sports Committee meeting.
    • All player registrations have been completed. Trials for teams went well and ensured that the selection of teams was fair.
    • Thanks to the large number of parent coaches who have volunteered to ensure that all teams have a coach.
    • We will hold the planned "Coaching Information Evening" on Tuesday 21st April from 6:30pm - 7:30pm in our school hall. This will be an important opportunity for all coaches and anyone else interested in learning about becoming a coach to come together. We will review our code of conduct including player expectations and ways to support each other as well as mentoring opportunities for potential future coaches.
    Sports Committee Tuesday 10th March 2015
    • This was our first meeting for the year.Tina had lists of children who had registered to participate in the different codes for winter sports.
    • We went through each code and after much discussion agreed on the best way forward with regards to the make up of teams. Some teams would be decided on according to year groups, numbers, age levels, balance of abilities and through trials. Tina will send a note out explaining about the make up of teams when the teams are announced
    • Any dissatisfaction with regards to the final make up of teams would have to be addressed to the Sports Committee who take full responsibility as a whole group.
    • There will be an open coaching evening planned for all coaches and other interested parents. We have a great group of coaches but we still need more parents to help and this could be by learning in an assistant coach capacity. Come along to the meeting and learn how you can be mentored to assist and help out. This takes the pressure off our main parent coaches.
    • At the Coaching evening we will discuss the Sports Code of Conduct and consistent expectations across all codes with regards to handling behavior, language etc We want to ensure all coaches feel supported as well.
    Parent Reference Group Friday 27th February 2015

    This was our first meeting for the new school year. We are trying the earlier time of 8:30am - 9:00am. We had quite a bit to discuss. There were also some questions that had been emailed included:
    • Ties - Could the Yr 7/8's wear them for formal occasions? We agreed that there aren't many formal occasions. The board had looked at different options based on parent feedback from the online survey. They felt that the Year 7/8 change of uniform in preparation for St Kevin's with kilts and blue shirts worked well with the ties for the senior years.
    • Technology - Are there paint shirt options? Can we recommend that they wear them ? We can certainly pass this onto the teachers and suggest that they wear them but at the end of the day, the Year 7 and 8's must step up and take responsibility for this
    • Subway - There is some dissatisfaction with regards to the omission of the cookie and flavored milk from the lunch orders this year. We discussed various reasons for providing the lunches. Do they make it easier for parents at the end of the week ? Is it a treat for the children? Basically, we reviewed our procedures for being recognized as a Health promoting school and decided that flavored milk and the cookies didn't fit. Fruit and water/school milk do. We can model what we say by what we provide. We cannot control lunches that are made at home. Office staff time is spent sorting the lunches when they arrive. We are offering a service that is supporting a local business. One of our parents suggested an alternative: Could we open the school canteen on Fridays? Any profits could go to the Home & School as a fundraiser? The senior students would be keen but we would need at least one parent to help and supervise. We agreed that I would email parents to offer the canteen as an alternative and gauge responses.
    • Weekly emails from teachers - These are greatly appreciated. It's easier if they are bullet points please. We aim to ensure that the Teaching and Learning site is updated by 5pm on a Sunday ready for the coming week.
    •  E-permissions forms happen at SKC work really well, is it possible to investigate, now that everything else is online ? - Yes, Definitely
    • We can see the benefits of the independent learning at the yr 5-8 levels,  but worried that the younger age groups  aren't ready to make the same choices - We don't expect our younger children to operate at the same level as our seniors. Our goal is that our children leave St Joseph's (by the end of Year 8) as fully independent self-managing learners. They will develop these skills as they move through the school. Please come and visit during our Open Morning and see the progression of learning throughout the different hubs. You can also read our hub goals on the Teaching and Learning Site
    Parent Reference Group Friday 28th November 2014

    •  We had a brief discussion around ties and jerseys and the need for the Intermediate students to prepare for St Kevin's
    • The main discussion was around the teaching and learning changes for 2015. We discussed the importance of encouraging parents to come and ask questions. This blog was created in response to questions from parents who subsequently came and met with me.This blog helps to answer these questions.
    This was the last meeting for the 2014 school year. We will resume on Friday 13th February 2015 and meet fortnightly in even school weeks.

    Parent Reference Group Friday 14th November 2014
    • Modern Learning Environments - where does our school uniform fit? Maybe our PE uniform is more practical for the children. We will wait for the responses in our survey.
    • How will it work with Year 6, 7 and 8 being upstairs together in 2015? We discussed what this would look like as well as the other changes across the school. There will be a blog with further explanations
    Parent Updates 2015
    Our Teaching and Learning site is live and we have begun to support our parents and support staff to understand how it works. We have now set up a parent's page on the site. Here we will post any questions that parents have, as well as guidelines about how you can play your role in supporting your children and their learning.

    Parent Reference Group Friday 31st October 2014
    • There will be a brief community survey going online to gather feedback for the board's strategic plans for 2015. We discussed the kinds of themes that parents would like to give feedback on - digital learning, team teaching, newsletter/blog communication, uniform. Questions on these topics will be included in the survey
    • Clarity of Messages about changes for 2015. The Family Learning Huis need to be promoted in a way that parents understand that each one is different. We need to make this explicit as there are still questions about changes for 2015, many of them were addressed at the latest hui but the family turnout was only small this time. 
    • Sports Afternoon of games and demonstrations is a great idea for registrations early in Term 1
    • Opportunities for H&S fundraising at the Hockey Cafeteria October 2015
    Parent Reference Group Friday 17th October

    BYOD discussion:
    Can we give an indication of the amount of screen time that children will spend on devices? Parents are worried that screen time will increase. Lorraine has prepared a pie chart in relation to devices for Year 7 2014. She will put this on our FB page. Jenny encourages all parents and families to come to the learning huis to help gain a clearer understanding of what learning in a digital classroom means.Our next one is Thursday 23rd October at 5:30pm.
    Some families have limited access to wifi eg. country families. Parents want children to understand that data usage can be costly. We will include reference to this in our digital citizenship work with families and children.
    Positive happenings around school discussion:
    • Kelly reminded us of the positive learning experiences that the children are having, for example, in the living classroom - our vegetable garden.
    • Adrienne mentioned the outstanding Bee Project presentation to the mayor and families. Maria referred to the excellent Year 7 projects. The Year 7 projects will be on display at the next learning hui on Thursday. All of this work is the outcome from learning in a digital environment.

    Uniform:Jenny drew attention to preparations for a board community consultation and we discussed the way the school uniform could be improved to reflect 21st century learning ! There will be a parent survey about this.

    Family Learning Hui notes Wednesday 15th October
    Here are my notes taken during the discussion with families at the start of our session.
    • Year 6,7,8 will be mainly digital next year, much of the work given out through a digital forum. Then we can personalise the learning programmes for children. The complexity of learning is still similar but it will be driven digitally. Timetables and week plans will be up on sites at the start of the week. Some children might choose to do some of their learning before they come to school or after school. This is a challenge for the teacher but enables personalisation for the students. Devices become a window for learning into the world.
    • What programmes will we use? The technology is a tool to support effective and engaging teaching. It's not about only using programmes but using the devices to support all kinds of learning in a range of ways. You will see this when we do the SOLO activity.
    • Mathletics is being trialled at the moment and will be a programme we will continue with next year
    • Writing/ literacy tasks will require a keyboard. They will still use paper in the classroom.
    • Devices: we recommend a keyboard, free online programmes available for touch typing but we won't be teaching typing
    • We have leased a number of chromebooks and ipads (junior classes) for classroom use. Equipment is rostered at the moment and so learners aren't penalised if they haven't got a device.
    • Lorraines prezi, on the day in the life of a BYOD click here helps you to understand the their is a balance with the way the devices are used. Learners do not sit and use them all day.
    • What’s happening at St Kevin’s? Can we get some advice to help us prepare for the transition ? We are working closely with St Kevin's and will follow this up further with them.
    • Teacher dashboard – gives a teacher a greater overview of what’s happening.
    • Has this improved the literacy? We believe that it has improved information literacy based on 3 years of evidence at St Joseph's.
    • We discussed the amount of time expected to be on devices at home. Teachers will need to make this explicit: expectations 15 mins limit put it in the homework page, That way we are all on the same page 
    • Juniors will use classroom ipads to support learning

    Yr 4/5 blended learning mixture of traditional & digital learning

    Digital Citizensip – how to be good citizens online, it’s more than just being safe.
    We followed this with a SOLO interactive learning activity and the links to sites that Lorraine prepared are here: 
    Links to help with finding information on digital citizenship
    contains clear and practical tips from some of the internet’s most popular digital platforms
    protecting privacy
    Netsafe information and interactives for children aged 2-9
    Cybersmarts at Tamaki College


    ·       The internet is like a big classroom.  The rules of the classroom apply to the internet.

    ·       If you’d be happy for your teacher or parent to read what you’ve written its probably OK.  What you put out there is for ever.

    ·       Remember there’s no body language so be careful how you communicate because people might not get the right idea – they might think humour is serious.

    ·       Use only your first name – don’t give your second name, address or phone numbers.

    ·       If you see something wrong close the screen and tell a trusted adult immediately.

    Sports Committee News Tuesday 9th September

    • We discussed sports uniforms and that another set of football tops would be ordered for 2015
    • Early in Term 1 2015 we will organise a parent evening for anyone interested in coaching. We will discuss the code of conduct and guidelines for coaches. We will also let coaches know that they will be able to be supported and mentored in their role.
    • A consistent approach to basic skills and fitness across all codes will also be discussed as well as the availability of resources such as apps and YouTube videos

    Term 3 Week 3 Parent reference Group Friday 22nd Aug

    • Devices : How are we progressing? If we already have devices, can we use our own?Do we have to purchase or lease others? Your children can still bring in their own. You can learn more by going to this link and reading here.
    • How does the removal of desks and use of bean bags prepare students for transition to Year 9 and readi.ness for externals? Desks and tables are still accessible for use in the senior school. By the time many of our juniors reach high school, there will be change across the education sector. We are focusing on our goal: To engage every child in deep learning for success. We are finding that the children are more engaged in their learning when they have choice over where to do their learning. This video called Expanded Learning Opportunities helps to explain the reasons for some of the changes that are taking place
    • Our Family Learning Hui's are an opportunity to inform, discuss and collaborate with families about developments with tools and devices to support our goal to engage our students in deep learning
    • Costs for families with more than one child is a factor. We spoke about leasing options and if the sharing of devices for family members would work. I also mentioned that we will have a small class set of devices for students to access as well. These wouldn't be avaialbel to take home for the ' beyond the classroom' learning.

    Term 3 Week 3 Parent reference Group Friday 8th August

    • Healthy Lunches - What can we do? Can the Year 6- 8's model healthy eating and sit with the New Entrants and juniors ? What about visuals of what healthy lunches can consist of ? What about actual lunchboxes with some healthy options inside and suggestions for ways to prepare snacks? This could be something we explore for Terrific Thursday sessions.
    • We are a Health Promoting school and need to focus on this more.
    • School jerseys/jumpers have got very expensive. What could we have as an alternative? We are open to suggestions.
    • Next meeting is Friday 22nd August at 2pm

    Sports Committee News Tuesday 29th July
    Present: Carrie, Justin, Tina, Joanne, Jenny

    • We discussed the fact that the rugby season is shorter than the other codes. Justin will attend the JAB meeting with Tina to ask about extending the season
    • Weekend football coaching session went well 
    • Netball all going well
    • All of our St Joe's hockey players are trialing for the rep
    • We will hold monthly meetings now that the busy winter codes will finish up soon.Next meeting: Wednesday 27th August 2:30pm

    Term 3 Week 1 Parent reference Group Friday 25th July
    We discussed the term 'deep learning' and what we thought it meant as parents. One parent said that my video helped explain this. The link to the video is here.

    We also looked at the National Standards data charts on display in ruma koru and discussed what these meant 
    We discussed how important it is for children to feel safe and happy at school and that sometimes girls can be quite emotional and sensitive with each other. We need to help give them the tools to cope and build their self esteem.
    It's always important to speak to class teachers if you have any concerns.
    Next meeting: Friday 8th August 2:30 pm All welcome to join us in ruma koru

    How can you make comments on class or student blogs
    If you don't have a gmail account, you need to comment as anonymous to begin with and then type your name in the comment box. It's important to try and comment on the blogs to show that you are engaging with the learning and news shared on them. 
    Here is a brief video that Mannix Fraser (one of our Year 7 students) made to take you through this process. Thanks Mannix :)

    Sports Committee Meeting Tuesday 1st July 2014 2;30-3:00
    Present:  Glynn, Carrie, Micha, Joanne, Tina, Jenny  Apology:Justin
    We further reviewed the draft Code of Conduct (see a copy of it below) ready to share with students and families in Week 1 Term 3.
    Our next meeting will be Tuesday 29th July at 8:30 am

    ST JOSEPH’S SCHOOL CODE OF CONDUCT – SPORTS AND SCHOOL EVENTS (applies to all sports and physical activity at St Joseph’s whether it takes place at school or outside of the school)
    Code of Conduct Students:
    Ø  Make sure you attend all practices (let your coach know if you can’t attend training or a game).  NO PRACTISE NO GAME
    Ø  A high standard of behaviour is expected from all students. (This includes using respectful language).  The principal will be kept informed.
    Ø  Parental permission for participation is required.
    Ø  Always play by the rules and agree with an official or their decision whatever the circumstances.
    Ø  Work hard to achieve the team goals.
    Ø  Remember to thank your coach, the official and the opposition.  Always be a good sport and applaud good play.
    Ø  Do not put people down or bully them.  The aim of the game is for everyone to have fun, participate and improve their skills.  Treat all players as you yourself would like to be treated.
    Ø  Respect the equipment and the grounds.
    Ø  Wear the correct St Joseph’s sports uniform.
    Code of Conduct for Coaches and Managers:
    Ø  Set personal behaviour standards for those you coach and for yourself to follow.  Teach your players that rules of the game on the field and standards off the field are mutual agreements which are not to be broken under any circumstances.
    Ø  All players deserve equal game time if they attend practices.  This means NO PRACTICE NO GAME.
    Ø  A coach encompasses many roles.  The overall role is that players need the coach to set a good example at all times.
    Ø  Ensure all equipment and facilities meet safety standards and that activities you use are both safe and effective for your player’s needs.
    Ø  Never forget that players participate for fun and enjoyment and that winning is only one component of why they participate.
    Ø  Do not neglect planning and preparation for practices and games.  Length and content of practices should take into account the maturity level of players.
     Code of Conduct for Parents, Spectators and Supporters:
    Ø  Make sure you ensure that your child is able to attend practice/trainings. This means NO PRACTICE NO GAME.
    Ø  Encourage your child to learn to play within the rules and the principles of fair play.
    Ø  Support your child’s involvement and help them to enjoy their sport.  We expect parents/caregivers to attend every game and practise when required.  Coaches are not responsible for the wellbeing of your child.  (eg if your child is injured we expect you to be there to support them).
    Ø  Players are involved in their chosen sport for their own interests and enjoyment.  You play a major part in their efforts but ensure that you respect that they are involved for their own personal reasons
    Ø  Turn defeat into victory by helping your child work towards skills development and good sportsmanship.  Never ridicule, degrade or yell at any player for making a mistake.  Encourage your child to lose with grace.
    Ø  Children learn the most from the examples you set.  Always act in a positive manner and demonstrate self-discipline on the side line. Use correct and respectful language at all times
    Ø  Always remember coaches are volunteers.  Their time and efforts are for the benefit of your child. 
    Ø  Discourage unfair play and arguing with officials
    Ø  Show your appreciation of volunteers who are giving up their own time and those who help make sport happen.  It is easy to criticise but not so easy to take up the challenge yourself.
    Ø  Always support officials and coaches by accepting their decisions and judgements.  Remember – No official, no coach – no game.

    Sports Committee Meeting Tuesday 17th June 2014 8:30-8:50am
    Present:  Justin, Carrie, Micha, Joanne, Jenny
    • We reviewed a draft Code of Conduct and agreed on some main points - Children wear correct PE uniform, let the coach know if they can't be available and if there are any behavioral concerns then these need to be directed towards the principal
    • Coaches and parents will get a copy of the Code of Conduct guidelines too
    • These can be handed out at the Term 1 goal settings meetings during registration and also be available on the website (They will go home on Friday 4th July for this term ).
    • We discussed the importance of basic skills sessions at the beginning of all training eg. 15 minutes basic skills and a game at the end to make it fun
    • Sports cancellations will go onto our Facebook page , website and group email where possible
    Our next meeting will be Tuesday 1st July at 2:30pm

    Parent Reference Group Friday 13th June 2014 2:00-2:30
    Present: Maria Dickie, Rachel Fowler, Adrienne Spillane, Kelly Bean, Jenny Jackson

    • Discussed new News blog and Pulse flyer. Keep the Pulse with vital dates and just have links to other information. Having multiple blogs and links can be difficult for some readers. We will coordinate these through the News blog and the school Facebook page
    • We love the fact that some teachers send a weekly email to parents. Especially handy for working parents and parents with shared custody
    • Discussed success of Fish& Chip evening - bringing the children made a difference, 'a social gathering with education and learning as it's focus'
    • Discussed that the option of leasing a chromebook could be difficult for bigger families eg with 3 children
    • It would be good to learn more about how devices are used in the classroom. Children don't always use devices - this could be a topic for future workshops.

    Fish and Chip Learning Evening a big success !! 
    Thanks to all of our fabulous families who joined us last night. The hall was full of 21st Century learners with a 'growth mindset'. Watch this video to learn about this: 
    We have many new followers on twitter @ StJoesOamaru now and you can see photos and tweets on that link. Thanks to our Year 7's who shared their learning too. We aim for our Year 7's to support any parents who wish to learn more about 21st Century deep learning and change. We will share more outcomes from the evening of learning with you in our newsblog at and on our school page Facebook page at

    Sports Committee Meeting Tuesday 3rd June 2014 2:00pm -2:50pm 
    Present: Tina, Jenny, Carrie, Micha, Joanne
    • Discussed difficulties getting referees for football & possible solutions. Tina will contact Dave & Phil about running ref coaching courses for our parents & open it to others in the community
    • Guidelines for coaches, managers, players, spectators . Tina shared a copy from another school. We will all take it away and adapt it and bring back to next meeting to create our own
    • We discussed the benefits of sending out letters from coaches to teams with these explicit guidelines
    • New idea for next season, have a meeting for coaches from all sporting codes to help induct & mentor new coaches and encourage others to put their hand up
    • Soccer skills sessions will run again in the next school holidays. micha & Tina will look into it
    Next meeting will be Tuesday 17th June at 8:30am
    Parent Reference Group Friday 30th May 2:00pm-2:30pm
    Present: Adrienne, Maria, Jenny 
    We welcome new members to contribute to these fortnightly meetings held in ruma koru

    • Long pants option for boys in the winter?
    • Jersey options for kids with sensitive skin. Agreed that navy/grey polyprops could be worn under shirts for boys and white for girls
    • Is there a parishioner who would be keen to darn and mend some of the 2nd hand uniform?
    • We need to revisit places where uniform available from & update prospectus eg. Ties only from Camerons, boys blue shirts Jack Sutherlands etc Girls tights ?
    • Standard of uniform worn by Year 7 & 8's needs to improve as set example for juniors
    • Reminder about children eating lunches, especially juniors. Please check
    • Discussed planned Fish & Chip learning evening
    Celebration of Learning and fish and chip family evening 
    Monday 9thJune at 5:30pm
    Our school wide goal at St Joseph’s is ‘To engage every student in deep learning for success.’
    Many of you have already begun to read our school blogs and have a chance to learn about what is happening in our classrooms. Some of our children are creating their own blogs and sharing their learning with an audience that goes beyond the classroom.
    How can this kind of learning really work? Why is it important? Why are teachers changing the way that they teach? Why do some of the classrooms look different? 
    We invite all of our families and friends to come to a special evening on Monday 9th June at 5:30 pm to find out the answers to some of these questions and more. Share your fears, hopes and dreams for your children with other families.
    Come along and listen to some of our students share the way that they learn as well as find out how we can deeply engage our children in their learning and how you can support them too.
    Bring along your fish and chips or picnic style food to share with your family at 5:30pm and enjoy having a St Joseph’s family get together. After we finish eating, we will begin our celebration of learning. We aim to be finished by 7pm.

    Sports Committee Meeting 20th May 2014
    Present: Carrie Bleach, Justin Fowler, Tina Souness, Joanne Cant, Micha Brenner,Jenny Jackson Apology: Glyn Cameron
    We discussed the following:
    •         Strategic vision (see document below)
    •         Kiwi sport funding - from the MOE to increase student participation in physical activities. We use it to employ a sports coordinator
    •      Specialist hockey skills sessions over 3 years ($200?). Include these numbers as whole school participation to report to Sport Otago. Same with rugby, cricket skills sessions etc
    •      Parent concerns – discuss ways to resolve together.
    •      Yr 7/8 football & lack of coaches. Parents need to step up as they do in other sports. Thomas Moore can be coordinating coach for both teams but each needs an assistant coach/manager as well
    •      Lack of basic skills eg.ball handling coming through to high school. How can we increase this across all skills
    •      Access to good equipment vital
    •      Parent coaches -How can we support them to upskill? Online toolbox, invite other coaches eg Jason Forest to coach a session and other coaches watch and learn
    •      Guidelines/code of conduct needed for coaches and managers
    •      Link to St Kevin’s for student coaches as part of Duke of Edinburgh
    •      We will meet fortnightly during busy winter term
    •      Discussed some concerns raised – netball & team selection. Outcome: let families and children know in advance about the way teams will be selected based on numbers, Otago swimming comps – we will make opportunities for those wanting to attend next year to go.
    •      Positive feedback about Joanne Cant and the organisation of hockey.

    Next meeting will be in Week 5 Tuesday 3rd June 2:30pm. Please consider any ideas for code of conduct for coaches and managers.
    Strategic Goals:
    ·        To increase levels of high performance and participation for all sports teams
    ·        For St Joseph’s sporting teams to be successful
    ·        Provide a platform for consensus for decisions  (from the sports committee) 
    Range of reps about 5 parents plus us to cover all sporting codes Plan the sporting year based on team numbers etc

    ·        Utilising Kiwi sport funding for a coordinator
    ·        Now want to take it to a new level
    Parent feedback and concerns can be better discussed and address as a group rather than in isolation.

    Parent Reference Group 16th May 2014
    Thanks to Rachel Fowler and Micha Brenner for meeting together until I joined them after showing a family around the school. The topics discussed were uniform and coaching. We will discuss these further at our next meeting this Friday 30th May at 2pm in our community room - ruma koru.
    Micha has joined the Sports Committee and Maria Dickie will join this group. If there are any other parents who would like to meet with us please feel free to come along and join us at this time.

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