Newsletter 25 October Term 4 2022
St Brendan's Catholic School
Welcome, nau mai, afio mai, namaste, konnichiwa, nĭ hăo, talofa, komosta, vanakkam, auybowan,
Dear Whānau & Parishioners,
Welcome back! We have had a very positive start to our final term of the 2022 school year. Last Monday Room 6 led beautiful schoolwide prayers focusing on this term's Catholic social teaching principle of stewardship - kaitiakitanga. Last Tuesday we welcomed new students and families with a Mihi Whakatau. And, on Wednesday everyone enjoyed Diwali Day celebrating the culture, art and food of India. Term 4 is traditionally very busy and this year’s school calendar is again full of exciting opportunities for our St Brendan’s team. Please take time to note the many dates shared via the Term 4 overview last week, we will keep dates updated via our newsletters and on our Hero calendar. Covid has had an impact on when events have been able to take place this year, so we find ourselves with a calendar now overflowing with opportunities for our students. From Explorer Swimming to our Navigator Camp. From the Upper Hutt Cultural Festival to PB4L Celebrations, Inter-School Sports and our Christmas Cushion Concert. We are grateful to you, without your support we would not be able to participate.
School was closed on Friday, these additional Teacher Only Days are a requirement of our current collective agreements. Our St Brendan’s team spent the day with colleagues from across Upper Hutt at Maidstone Intermediate. Sir Ian Taylor and Dr Chris Bowden were the keynote speakers, and there was a wide range of workshops to opt into from core curriculum through to wellbeing. This was a wonderful opportunity to network, be inspired and collect practical ideas and information. We are grateful to the Lead Teacher team who organised this event on behalf of Upper Hutt, we are blessed with amazing local teachers.
Log into Hero Next Week
Each term we continue to share learning posts. Please email your child/ren’s class teacher if you have not been able to access your Hero account to read learning posts. Our Curriculum posts are being shared next week, Monday, 31 October.
If you read and comment/acknowledge the post/s (by Wednesday, 9 November) you will go into the draw to win one another round of four prizes - Daytona Raceway, Monterey Cinema, the Fig Tree and the Warehouse. Prizes will be drawn at our assembly on Friday, 11 November, 9am.
Congratulations to our Term 3 winners, Noah D’s family who won the $100 Daytona voucher, Sky’s family who won the $50 Monterey voucher, Jack’s family who won the $30 Fig Tree voucher and Riley’s family who won the $20 Warehouse voucher.
ShakeOut This week, on Thursday we will join over 600,000 people around the country in doing a Drop, Cover and Hold drill as part of New Zealand ShakeOut. This annual event is a good reminder for everyone to ensure your household is ready and that everyone in your family knows what to do in an emergency. Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. Everyone needs to take steps to make sure you are prepared by talking about the impacts, working out what supplies you need, making a plan and making your home safer. More helpful information and resources are available at https://getready.govt.nz/.
School Uniform Students are reminded to wear our St Brendan’s school uniform in a way which reflects our GRACE values. It is a health and safety expectation that all students wear a wide brimmed hat daily during Term 4. Students without a wide brimmed hat are required to play in the shade.
2023 Organisation We are beginning the intricate process of forming classes for 2023. Learning, social, behaviour, emotional needs are all considered to ensure we make the right decisions for each child. Although at St Brendan’s School we do not take parent requests for class placements, if you have some information you think we would find useful about your child, you are welcome to provide us with this. Due to staff changes over time, even if you have shared information with us previously, please update us. If you wish to do this, please let me know directly by Thursday, 3 November. You are welcome to email me: email@example.com, or phone the office to make an appointment. If for some reason your circumstances have changed and your child/ren will not be returning to St Brendan’s to start the 2023 school year, we ask that you advise us as soon as possible please. This supports our planning for 2023 as we have to carefully manage our maximum roll.
It is timely to remind you that the majority of our classes across our school are composite and will continue to be in 2023. By “composite classes,” we mean putting two consecutive year-groups together in one class. There are a couple of drivers for this decision, namely distributing the needs of the children between more classrooms and keeping the class numbers lower/even in all classes. Although a child might be chronologically older or younger - their maturity, social needs, academic needs and behaviour are uniquely their own. It makes sense to group children who are going through a similar stage so they can relate, help and experience together. Even within the same class, children will be at different levels. New Zealand teachers are trained in identifying this. We are renowned the world over for extending and supporting learners appropriately. Single year classes require as much group teaching as composite classes because this is the hallmark of good teaching. Composite classes can provide significant benefits to both the younger and older students in the class. Older students can benefit from helping younger students in cooperative learning situations. The younger students have the opportunity of enhanced learning experiences when they are ready for it. Role models and leaders can come from both the younger and older children; the children who excel at these traits do so irrespective of age. Composite classes also enable opportunities for collaboration within syndicates.
He waka eke noa. We rise together, fall together, work together, keep going together.
VERBAL BOUQUETS AND THANK YOU'S
- Everyone who supported our Student Council Non-Uniform Day at the end of Term 3, we raised $264.90.
Our Diwali Day organising parents Sara, Lisa, Lee-Ann, Rayma & Rajeswary.
Raman for her time and talents to help the dancing group prepare for our assembly.
Our Diwali Day organising teachers Jo, Heather & Yvonne and past pupils Sera and Nisharn for joinung us for the day.
WALKING HAND IN HAND WITH CHRIST
Upper Hutt Catholic Women's League in conjunction with Ulysses Wellington are holding a quiz night on Friday 11th November in the St Brendan's School Hall, Heretaunga at 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start. Cost is $10 per person. Proceeds to the Muscular Dystrophy Children. 6 to 8 persons per table. Tickets are available now. Please contact Colleen on 971 2893 or Susan on 970 3730.
All Souls Day Mass Wednesday 2 November
You are all warmly invited to join the school for Mass at OLOG at 9.30am.
NIUE LANGUAGE WEEK - Celebrated: Sunday 16 October – Saturday 22 October, 2022
This year’s theme for Faahi Tapu he Vagahau Niue – Niue Language Week is - Fakatūleva e Vagahau Niue mo e Tau Aga Fakamotu ma e Tau Atuhau, which means - Sustain Niue Language and Culture for Future Generations. The Niue people have reached a crossroad where the status of the Vagahau Niue is considered most vulnerable. Vagahau Niue has been registered with UNESCO as an endangered language, so one of the challenges we face is the preservation of Vagahau Niue and Niue culture.
TOKELAU LANGUAGE WEEK - Celebrated: Sunday 23 October – Saturday 29 October, 2022
This year's theme for Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau – Tokelau Language Week is "Halahala ki vavau, kae ke mau ki pale o Tokelau" which means "To plan for the future is to understand the past."
The theme connects to the overall theme for this year’s Pacific language weeks ‘sustainability’ and the launch of the UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages.
According to UNESCO, the language is classified as severely endangered. There are few opportunities to learn the language in the community or through formal education in Aotearoa New Zealand. However, Gagana Tokelau has recently been approved as a new NCEA-accredited subject.
Kia ora all,
The start of the term 4, means Christmas and summer holidays are closing in on us. This can be both an exciting and daunting time for families and it also means that our year 8’s are getting closer to finishing their final chapter at St Brendan’s, before moving onto their next educational journey.
Elections: It was also exciting to see so many of our school community were willing to put their hands up to be on the board. Now that elections are completed, it’s just a waiting game to see who will be helping to steer the school forward over the next three years. I have had the privilege to be involved with the school over the past 22 years. Firstly through my wife being on the school staff, in varying forms, seeing our two children educated here and lastly being part of the Board. With our youngest leaving at the end of the year it made sense to step aside and encourage others to take up the challenges. I wish the new Board success and want to remind the community that, the Board are your voice. The only way they represent you well is through honest interactions between us all.
Keeping ourselves safe: My last point relates all year round, but particularly during the summer months when our whanau try and enjoy every last moment of fine weather and daylight. Please continue to encourage and talk about ways to keep our tamariki safe, whether it's to and from school or during weekends and other times. Our staff constantly remind our tamariki about this message but it would be great to continue these conversations at home. Please feel free to talk to our staff if you need help or information about what is covered.
On Behalf of the St Brendan's Board
A wonderful day of learning about Diwali! Thank you to all the students who help to prepare and lead activities on the day.
A HUGE thank you to the organising parent group: Sara, Lisa, Lee-Ann, Rayma & Rajeswary - your ideas, suggestions and generous donations really helped to make the day such a success.
We are also very grateful to Raman for offering her time and talents to help the dancing group prepare for our assembly. We were lucky to have two past students also join us for the day—thank you Sera and Nisharn.
Jo, Heather and Yvonne.
ELL SHARED MORNING TEA
Lauren has been working with a group of students whose first language is not English. She organised a fantastic bring and share morning with different treats from all our cultures and countries.
The children got to experience different tastes, textures and discover new treats they enjoyed. The students were very respectful and willing to try different things the children each were and it was a great opportunity to practise using the oral language structures Lauren has been working on with the students. Here is what each student brought.
Jon - shared Biko (brown sugar, coconut milk, water and sticky rice) would be a dessert!
Fotu- shared Samoan Pancakes
Lauren - shared Koeksisters
Kael - shared Madhuraseva and dried banana chips
Jaine - shared extra special Jack fruit from her Granny in India.
Madhavan - Sweet meets Indian delicacies for Diwali
Malohi - crackers with strawberry jam and butter
Ardrich - Leche flan extra smooth pudding with caramel over the top.
CREOKIT STEAM MADE EASY
We are happy to announce that St Brendan’s has been successful in it's application to the Genesis School-gen Trust for the “Science & Engineering – We are Coders & Engineers” equipment package. We were successful out of 163 schools that applied for the package and both staff and students are very excited to start using them. Thank you to Sara Williams for her application on our school's behalf.
ADULT HELPERS NEEDED
We are still in need of adult helpers for our morning and afternoon road patrol teams. If you, a family member or friend has time to be added to our roster please email Room 11's teacher, Sara Williams firstname.lastname@example.org
WORLD TEACHERS' DAY - FRIDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2022
We invite you to take time as a family to write an email or make a card for our amazing team of teaching professionals at St Brendan's this Friday. An opportunity to show your gratitude. We are blessed with a terrific team of teachers and appreciate all that they do.
SCHOOL POLICIES: SCHOOLDOCS
SchoolDocs is a website for our policies and procedures. St Brendan’s works on a subscription basis with SchoolDocs to maintain, update, and review our policies. SchoolDocs provides us with a comprehensive core set of policies, which have been well researched and the policies and procedures are tailored to our school.
SchoolDocs updates, modifies, or creates policies in response to changes in legislation or Ministry guidelines, significant events, reviews/requests from schools, and regular reviewing from the SchoolDocs team.
We invite you to visit the site at https://stbrendans.schooldocs.co.nz (note that there's no "www."). Our username is "stbrendans" and password "navigators" to participate in the Term 4 reviews: Health, Safety and Welfare policies, in particular our Digital Technology and Cybersafety.
1. Visit the website https://stbrendans.schooldocs.co.nz/1893.htm
2. Enter the username (stbrendans) and password (navigators).
3. Follow the link to the relevant policy as listed.
4. Read the policy.
5. Click the Policy Review button at the top right-hand corner of the page.
6. Select the reviewer type "Parent".
7. Enter your name (optional).
8. Submit your ratings and comments.
HOW TO LOG IN TO HERO
If you're new to St Brendan's and need to download and log in to HERO please follow the link below for a step by step guide.
It's the start of Term 4 and the run up to Christmas and the end of the year, which means life is getting even busier. The PTF here to help with your festive preparations!
Calendar Art - see information in section below
Watch out for a Google form which will be sent out soon offering:
- Olive Oils
- Eco Soaps
- and Christmas Cookies!
Fill the cupboards quickly and easily with some treats and gifts without having to look further than school pickup!
We also hope to be able to bring you an end-of-year Disco, however, we do need some volunteers to help run the event which we are planning for Friday, 2 December. If you are able to help with any of the following, please let us know asap at email@example.com
- Supply of decorations
- Help in setting up the hall
- Help packing away at the end of the night
- Supervision - this can be for any duration or period throughout the night
- Help in the kitchen with snacks
- Checking students in/out of the event at the door
And finally, an end-of-year Christmas Raffle to wrap up the term and the year. We are looking for donations to our raffle hampers to make these extra special prizes for the holiday season, so please drop any donations into the school office or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any ideas or contacts for us.
If you are interested in a more active way of supporting your school and community, we are always looking for help. A couple of hours a term is all it takes, as the saying goes, many hands make light work! We have a vacancy for a Treasurer and Secretary role on the committee, and we are always open to new general members. You don't have to turn up to meetings to be involved though, just helping out at events when you can is as important and appreciated.
Thank you again for all your support this year.
St Brendan's PTF
ART CALENDAR FUNDRAISER UPDATE
A massive thank you to all the students and staff for all the effort, time and resources they poured into this year's art calendars.
They are all finished and have been sent off to start scanning etc.
Look out in the next few weeks for the order form and code that will allow you to view and order your child's art online.
A range of products will be available to purchase: Diaries, Notecards, Calendars, Sketchbooks, Mousepads - a percentage of every sale goes toward the PTF fundraising.
There is also the opportunity to upload photos onto the different products. These make great Christmas presents and are a lasting memento of your child's efforts in 2022!
We appreciate your continued support.
Jen Mahony on behalf of the PTF
KEEPING SAFE ONLINE
Before young people start using technology, it’s crucial you talk to them about the type of things they might see online and develop strategies on how to deal with upsetting content. Your child may find things they never intended to look at so talking regularly about their online activities and encouraging them to come to you is one of the best conversations you can have. If your child has been exposed to upsetting content it can be hard to know how to help. Netsafe has developed the following advice to guide you through this difficult situation.
WHAT TO DO IF A YOUNG PERSON IS EXPOSED TO UPSETTING CONTENT
If a young person comes to you about something they have seen online, the most important thing you can do is take what they are saying seriously. The other things to do are:
- Try not to assign blame about how they came across the material
- Reassure them that it isn’t their fault
- Don’t trivialise what they have seen by saying that the material may not be real (it is important to deal with their feelings first)
- Provide comfort and assurance
- Normalise their response, e.g., ‘It’s normal to be scared/angry/upset/confused’
- Don’t overreact by taking away the technology – this will make them less likely to talk to you if something else happens and it can make them feel like they are to blame
- Make sure that they know you are glad that they came to you about it.
It’s important to seek professional help for your child if intense feelings or behaviours persist.
HOW TO PREVENT EXPOSURE TO UPSETTING CONTENT
One of the best strategies is to talk with your family regularly about online risks and how to avoid them as well as encouraging young people to discuss things that disturb them.
It’s important to keep an open line of communication about what they do. Talking with your child about their experiences from the first time they go online can be helpful in keeping the lines of communication open for when something disturbs them. When you talk with them about school, friends or sport remember to ask about their online lives and friends too.
While there is a place in young peoples’ lives for filtering tools, as they develop they will want their freedom and privacy. It is quite easy to get around filtering or to use a computer, phone or games console to get online either at home or away from home (at school, at a friend’s house or at the library) which is why education remains the most important thing you can do.
HOW TO TALK TO YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT UPSETTING CONTENT
Once a young person has stopped feeling upset, it can be helpful to provide context for what they have seen. You might like to start by discussing the content of what was viewed, whether it was real or not and how it may have been accessed.
The discussion is important even if their attitude is one of ‘no big deal’ at the time. This will help them understand how the material was made, whether it was real, how the material fits with your family values and provides them with a chance to ask questions.
If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, please call 111. If you want help or expert incident advice, you can contact us. Our service is free, non-judgemental and available seven days a week.
UPPER HUTT CULTURAL FESTIVAL
St Brendan's Kapa Haka will be participating at the Upper Hutt Cultural Festival.
BRAIN PLAY ONLINE
A little bit about us: Brain Play teaches online after-school science & technology classes to Kiwi kids aged 5 - 13, from right across the country! Online topics this term include 3D printing, coding, animation, STEM experiments, LEGO & more. Free trials available for new students. Check out our timetable on our website and use the form to get in touch - https://www.brainplay.co.nz/.
ART EXHIBITION IN AID OF RED CROSS RELIEF WORK IN PAKISTAN
Upper Hutt Branch NZRC would like to invite you to join us at a solo art exhibition, donations collected on the day will go towards Red Cross's relief work with the Pakistan floods.
See attached link to the Red Cross website story on the floods https://msf.org.nz/article/stories-patients-staff/pakistan-floods-akeelas-story
WHEN: Saturday 29 Oct 2022 9am to 6pm
Sunday 30 October 2022 1pm to 5pm
WHERE: Upper Hutt Uniting Church, 780 Fergusson Drive (cnr Benzie Avenue)
ENTRY: entry off 780 Fergusson Drive. Free entry, all donations received go Red Cross overseas relief work
THE ARTIST: Melanie Avery
Melanie specialises in large-format paintings with bright colours that leave you feeling better about life, her works comment on social conditions, medicine and wildlife, this is her first solo exhibition.
RED CROSS: We will have displays on Red Cross work locally and internationally
ENTERTAINMENT: During set times groups will provide musical entertainment and FREE tea and coffee will be available.
SUPPORTING SPONSERS: We would like to thank our supporting sponsors - Upper Hutt Uniting Parish, Create-UH, Upper Hutt branch of NZ Red Cross, Melanie Avery (the artist) and various entertainment groups.
Enquiries: Bill Lindsay 0274456992 email@example.com
AFFORDABLE COUNSELLING AVAILABLE FOR PARENTS
Parent Help counsellors have helped hundreds of families to restore peace and balance in their lives. Request a counselling session by registering online here: www.parenthelp.org.nz/counselling. Do you need parenting strategies you can implement right away? Speak to our warm and supportive parenting experts. Call now for free on 0800 568 856. Available from 9am – 9pm 7 days a week.
AFTER SCHOOL AND SATURDAY COMPUTER CLASSES
Our term time classes are smaller just 3 to 6 children. Classes are focused on what you want to learn. Pickup from school can be arranged. Class runs from 3:30 to 5:30 pm class fee $45 (doors open from 3:15).
- Learn to Code & Create 3D Games.
- Web Design, HTML and CSS
- Discovery Course in Computing - suitable for younger children
- Build Your Own Computer
Information & bookings: grandtraining.co.nz or call 499-2211