Newsletter 8 November Term 4 2022
St Brendan's Catholic School
It has been and will continue to be an exciting and busy term! Some highlights:
- Our Navigators returned last Wednesday having had three fabulous days at Camp Kaitoke. We extend our gratitude to Vanessa Smith-Graham and Sarah Chard for organising this opportunity, and we thank the wonderful group of parents who supported the team. Your child/children will have lots of details about their experience to share with you, this will be a school memory to treasure.
- Kathy Cutler and Teresa Millar organised Danish Rounders at TMP last week, not just for our St Brendan’s teams, but for all schools across Upper Hutt. Our teams represented St Brendan’s with pride, were complimented on their sportsmanship and made it through to the finals! Thank you and congratulations.
- Heather Campbell has coordinated swimming for our Explorer team. Rooms 1, 2 and 3 have completed their sessions, while Rooms 6, 7, and 8 have just started. The swimming instructors have been impressed with our students’ manners and positive progress.
- Vanessa Smith-Graham has been and continues to coordinate our St Brendan’s Kapa Haka group. Amahre Edwardson, a Year 13 Sacred Heart student has been our tutor during the latter part of this year. Together they prepared our group to participate at Friday’s Upper Hutt Cultural Festival at Harcourt Park. Our students performed with pride and displayed our GRACE values in action. Having planned and rehearsed together, groups from both St Brendan’s and St Joseph’s performed a waiata on stage together - a beautiful display of local Catholic solidarity.
Thank You All of these above-mentioned opportunities for our students have also only been possible with the support of our students’ family members. Finding time to accompany us to events is much appreciated. We acknowledge everyone who generously shares their time and talents. We are grateful for all help from shelving books, supporting with reading, making resources, coordinating events, and coaching St Brendan’s sports teams. There are several events in our calendar that still need your support from sports events to the PTF organising a disco - please keep an eye out - many hands make light work and make planned events a reality. We hope you will be able to join us at all of our end of year celebrations, refer to the Term 4 overview for more information.
Education Review Office (ERO) On Thursday this week we will be welcoming Lydia Sula to St Brendan’s, she is our ERO school evaluation partner. Lydia will meet with our team to discuss the story of our strategic plan and priorities and identify how aspects of this work might look moving forward in terms of our evaluation cycle. She will be formally welcomed and will have the opportunity to tour our school. ERO began implementing a new approach to school evaluation in February 2021. Instead of a review team being at a school for a few days every few years, schools now have an evaluation partner who will work with them over a three year period. Although ERO’s accountability function has not changed, the focus of the approach is school improvement with ERO and our school working together to ensure all learners in our system are successful. (More information about ERO’s approach to school evaluation is available on the ERO website.)
Have you logged into Hero?
Be in the draw to win!
Curriculum learning posts were shared last week, Monday, 31 October. If you read and comment/acknowledge the post/s (by tomorrow, 9 November) you will go into the draw to win one of four prizes - $100 Daytona Raceway, $50 Monterey Cinema, $30 Fig Tree and $20 Warehouse vouchers. Prizes will be drawn at our assembly on Friday, 11 November, 9am.
2023 School Organisation We can now share the outcome of our recent appointment processes. Miss Ursula Rehr will be joining our St Brendan’s team for the start of the 2023 school year. Ursula is an experienced teacher who is looking forward to getting to know and being part of our community. The majority of our classes across our school are composite and will continue to be in 2023 (refer to the last newsletter for more information about composite classes). We will continue with this year’s structure of three teams: Explorers: Years 0-3, Adventurers: Years 4-6 and Navigators: Years 7-8. St Brendan’s is a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) school, we strongly recommend that all students have a Chromebook (any make/model) from Year 4. Classes will soon complete our 2022 student survey. We look forward to sharing highlights of this with you in a future newsletter. We will confirm staff placement across our school soon.
2023 Term Dates
Term 1 31 January 2023 - 6 April 2023
Term 2 24 April 2023 - 30 June 2023
Term 3 17 July 2023 - 22 September 2023
Term 4 9 October 2023 - 15 December 2023
NZEI Teachers in our school will be attending paid union meetings next week to discuss the progress of negotiations for their collective employment agreements, the proposed unified public service pay offer and their Wāwāhi Tahā | Time 4 Tamariki campaign. This campaign aims to win smaller class sizes, more support for high needs students, better recognition of cultural skills, greater job security for our essential relievers and to fairly value and recognise the work of teachers. In order to minimise disruption to teaching and learning the majority of our teachers will buddy classes together and attend local meetings at 2pm on Wednesday, 16 and Thursday, 17 November. We will share more details about this with you via the Weekly Reminders. Our school will aim to ensure the least disruption to children's learning while upholding the right of teachers to participate in their union meeting.
COVID-19 You will be aware that COVID-19 continues to have a ripple effect across the country including in our local community. We ask that you continue to:
- be vigilant about monitoring for symptoms
- test appropriately
- keep students safe at home if they are sick or have ANY symptoms
- call COVID Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any questions or concerns
- contact the school to inform us of a positive test result
On Monday, 12 September New Zealand moved to a new, long-term approach to COVID-19. Household contacts of a person with COVID-19 do not need to isolate, but instead are asked to complete a RAT test each day, for five days. We have RAT tests at school if any families require these at this time. Or, information on how to get RAT kits can be found here: Request a RAT– Ministry of Health.
We continue with our St Brendan’s protocols which include ensuring our indoor spaces are well-ventilated, maintaining good hand hygiene, encouraging everyone to cough or sneeze into elbows and, most importantly, staying home and getting tested when COVID-19 symptoms are identified. The health and wellbeing of our community remains our priority.
He waka eke noa. We rise together, fall together, work together, keep going together.
2022 SCHOOL DONATIONS AND FEES
Thank you for your continued support towards payment of school donations and fees. Our School Board requests donations to support and enhance the delivery of our school curriculum. As a decile 8 school we are not eligible to opt into the Government’s donations scheme. We therefore continue to rely on your generosity and support.
This week you will receive a Hero notification or email requesting you to view your 2022 statement via a link to Hero. While donations are voluntary, fees for sports, netball hoodies etc are not. Please ensure you settle outstanding sports fees. Payments can be made by online banking, card (Using Stripe via Hero. You will incur a 2.9% fee plus 30c) or with cash at the office.
Remember you can claim a 33.3% tax credit from the IRD for donations. You can print your year end tax donation receipt directly from Hero. These can be accessed by logging into Hero using a web browser. Unfortunately you cannot access the receipt from the mobile app.
If you have any queries please contact Clare Owen at email@example.com
VERBAL BOUQUETS AND THANK YOU'S
Everyone who has supported our recent events including Navigators Camp, Explorers Swimming, Kapa Haka and Danish Rounders.
Former student, Lexi, for nominating St Brendan's to be a recipient of donated assorted sports balls, which we gratefully received.
Sport, Education, Community & Cultural Foundation for their generous donation of sports balls to our school.
WALKING HAND IN HAND WITH CHRIST
STEWARDSHIP - Adventurers
As we came back to school in the sunshine of Term 4, the pupils of the Adventurers Syndicate began their journey to discover the meaning of Stewardship - Kaitiakitanga. This means guardianship and protectors of God’s Creation. It is also living sustainably and enhancing the well-being of our planet, as Pope Francis encourages us to do in Laudato Si.
In the short time since the beginning of term pupils have planted seeds, carried out scientific experiments to study what happens to erode or damage our environment and made posters to promote waste free food at school.
Working in groups, the children are busy preparing weekly prayers based around our prayer focus of stewardship.
When we visit Our Lady of Grace we are taking the opportunity to find out more about our parish church. We are enjoying our question and answer sessions with Father Tony. The students are asking fantastic questions to grow their knowledge in their journey of faith.
November 2022 edition has been printed and was distributed last week. We encourage you to take time to read through this publication, it includes a lovely Advent calendar for students to colour in the countdown to Christmas, and:
- Hato Pāora Māori Boys’ College 75th Jubilee celebrated over Labour Weekend.
- Archdiocese of Wellington Catholic Centre premises’ update.
- Continental stage of Pope Francis’ Synod of Synodality process begins.
- World Day of the Poor, Sunday, 13 November 2022.
- November: month of remembrance for those who have passed – reflection on grief by Fr James Lyons.
- Season of Advent: Sunday, 27 November – Saturday 24 December, WelCom’s Advent Calendar.
- Plus, more features, local and international news and views, Young Church.
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.
Kia ora koutou from all of us on the Board of St Brendan’s.
It’s been a real time of thoughtful prayer recently with All Saints Day and All Souls Day with All Saints focusing on reflecting on those who have modelled through their devotion, service without thought of sacrifice. This brought to mind those in our community who step up and serve us in so many ways including those who often do it without asking or thanks. From the teachers who these days do so much that goes beyond teaching, to our PTF who look for ways to make some of the things we need happen, to volunteer parents who help out on camp, sports, trips and cultural activities to our latest Board members who stepped up to help guide this school on its continued journey of success. Thank you!
Speaking of the Board we recently welcomed those who were elected - Desiré Morris, Megan Diamond, David Gibson and Jithin Jose. It’s wonderful having a full complement and it's awesome to have some really talented and highly skilled individuals guiding and supporting Veronica and our school. Leaving our Board with our grateful thanks and well wishes are Owen Evans and Ryan McLean who have served the school admirably for a number of years.
In that spirit of giving, it brought to mind our Indian families who came together the other week to provide a fun Diwali experience for the students of St Brendan’s, a festival that symbolises the inner light within us. Actually, it’s been a very important year for our Indian community as in May Pope Francis made Lazarus Devasahayam the first Indian layman saint. He took the baptismal name of “Lazarus” or “Devasahayam,” meaning “God is my help.” Lazarus became outspoken against the caste system in India, fighting for the equality of all people and was martyred in 1752. Yet another cultural experience and importantly one that also helps students grow in their Te Ao Māori knowledge was the Upper Hutt Cultural Festival. St Brendan’s Kapa Haka gave a spirited performance and represented our school with pride. Well done to those students!
With so much going on there is still a part for everyone to play in giving back in so many practical ways from road patrol to lending your skills gardening or building our school a new notice board. Please help us! You can email the school firstname.lastname@example.org or ring on 939-1909. The school is, of course, a part of our wider church community where there is also opportunity to help through supporting a children's liturgy programme during term time. Resources will be supplied to assist you. Please contact the Parish Office email@example.com or Louise Pierce firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll end with these words of Pope Francis “It is not enough to say we are Christians. We must live the faith, not only with our words, but with our actions.”
On Behalf of the St Brendan's Board
A few weeks ago, a small group of Enviro leaders took a trip to Mitre 10 for a shopping mission with the support of Mrs Cutler and Mr Keegan. The purpose was to purchase building materials for a Kai shelf that they are wanting to build for the school community. At Mitre 10, Mr Keegan showed us different materials that we could maybe use and we did some pricing of what would be best for the project.
The Pātaka kai shelf is an initiative of the Enviro group led by the leaders but will be built with guidance from Katy Evans and Ray Sando.
We are at the early stages of building the shelf and are aiming to have it completed by the end of the term.
A big thank you to Mrs Sawers and Mr Keegan for supporting this Enviro Project.
By Oliver D and Aurelien
On the 23rd of October 35 students went to the Danish Rounders Tournament hosted by St Brendan's. 450 students, from most of the Upper Hutt schools, came to compete. Two St Brendan's teams competed; St Brendan's Explore and St Brendan's Aspire. St Brendan's Aspire won every single game including the finals (They Won The Tournament!). St Brendan's Explore was in the social grade and played very well finishing 3rd. Many thanks to Mrs Puki and all the parents who helped on the day. A special thanks to Mrs Cutler and Miss Millar for the great event organisation.
By Jack L and Mathew M
In Term 3 the students learnt about the Catholic social teaching principle of solidarity and about recognising others as our brothers and sisters and actively working for their good.
Rooms 6, 7 and 8 organised a second-hand toy and book sale with all funds going to the Upper Hutt Food Bank. The students raised $110.00 and the money was spent on buying non-perishable foods. Three students, one from each of the classrooms and Mrs Pullan made a trip up to the Food Bank and delivered the food. Last week we received a letter of thanks from them. The students really enjoyed this experience and displayed a kind and compassionate attitude and have learnt about being active in their Catholic faith.
St Brendan’s is keen for a school team to compete in the Weet-Bix Tryathlon 2023.
We are looking for an adult volunteer to coordinate participation from St Brendan's. If you or someone you know is interested please email Teresa at email@example.com.
The Navigators enjoyed an action packed three days at Camp Kaitoke. These photos are just a few of the highlights. The Navigators are looking forward to sharing their memories at assembly in Week 6.
SWITCH TO WATER CHALLENGE
Tom, Augustine and Connor launched the Switch to Water Challenge at our school. We are encouraging everyone to only drink water at school and at home for the month of November.
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
SCHOOL POLICIES: SCHOOLDOCS
SchoolDocs is a website for our policies and procedures. 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.
- Visit the website https://stbrendans.schooldocs.co.nz/1893.htm
- Enter the username (stbrendans) and password (navigators).
- Follow the link to the relevant policy as listed.
- Read the policy.
- Click the Policy Review button at the top right-hand corner of the page.
- Select the reviewer type "Parent".
- Enter your name (optional).
- 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.
The PTF are bringing you Christmas treats to stock the cupboards with minimal effort!
There are 5 wonderful products on offer, order as many of each as you would like to. Please feel free to share with family and friends too.
- Eco Soaps
- Village Press Olive Oil Gift Packs
- Cookie Time Christmas Cookies
- Mrs Higgins Festive Cookies and Brownie
Please see the form below for all the details and to order:
IT’S CALENDAR ART TIME AGAIN!
The students of St Brendan’s have been busy creating artwork that can be made into affordable Calendars, Cards, Diaries, Mouse Mats and Sketch Pads.
PLEASE support our fundraiser!
Each product is made from your own child’s art. (You do have the opportunity to upload a photo also).
These make unique Christmas gifts for family and friends and are perfect for posting overseas.
There will be samples in the school office if you would like to see how they could turn out!
YOUR CHILD SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT HOME THEIR INDIVIDUAL CODE!
Please contact Jen if you do not have a code. (contact details below)
Please follow these instructions to place your order online:
- Go to www.kidsartworks.com
- Use your child’s entrance code starting: KZ2047... (from the letter sent home today)
- The order is open from today until Monday 14th November
If you have any questions please contact the school PTF on email@example.com or Jen Mahony firstname.lastname@example.org
ORDERS CLOSE MONDAY, 14th NOVEMBER 11pm
We appreciate your continued support.
Jen Mahony on behalf of the PTF
KEEPING SAFE ONLINE
Learning about acceptable behaviour on the internet, and the responsibilities that come with being a digital citizen, are lessons young people should carry forward long term. In our experience this is best facilitated by family - parents who can provide consistent and at times persistent guidance for the young person to instil habits of safety, empathy and responsibility.
In terms of support available for the young person, Netsafe has created resources originally designed for parents and families that could be helpful here.
Netsafe has created a toolkit for families that gives guidance around how this can be implemented. The Netsafe Online Safety Parent Toolkit provides a structured framework for parents to begin a dialogue with their young people about the behaviour they expect from them online and the impact their actions can have. It includes practical tools for setting expectations, making an agreement as to what is expected from their behaviour online, teaching online safety concepts, modelling responsible behaviour, and making a plan for when things go wrong. This toolkit is available here.
More specific to addressing the concerning behaviour from the young person, we have information for parents/guardians and what they can do when their child is an online bully. We appreciate that this is not exactly the situation here but much of the information and advice included with this resource will help to emphasise the seriousness of their behaviour, the impact it can have, the steps the young person can take to reduce harm. This is included in the parenting article What to do if your child is an online bully.
Netsafe has useful advice on our website around parental controls. This includes information about the types of controls that can be added to limit access to concerning content, as well as factors to consider before using such systems. Our advice is to read our full information page about parental controls on our website. Some software suites also offer monitoring and logging of websites and app usage. We strongly encourage parents to discuss this with their children before they install it to build a sense of trust.
Most internet-connected devices have in-built parental control settings that can limit what users can do, install, browse and access:
· Android: you can filter the Play Store to only show apps that are appropriate for children and restrict costly in-app purchases. You can also set up user accounts with restricted permissions that can only access certain apps on the device. Some handset manufacturers also have additional settings or modes/apps that help with filtering.
· Apple iOS: Apple’s Restrictions settings can be used to prevent purchasing on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and prevent the Safari browser, Siri assistant or other apps from being used. The iOS operating system can also control which apps have access to your private information and the use of GPS based Location Services.
· Windows: you can set content restrictions to only show apps and games that are appropriate for children, and set screen time limits for devices.
Third Party Software
We have also listed below a small selection of apps and software for various devices. We have not tested any of these apps – although they come from well known, well established companies, we highly recommend that you read the reviews and evaluate a free trial before purchasing.
· ScreenTime sets time limits, blocks apps and gets reports via the paid service.
· Norton Family offers parental control software for multiple devices. It is free for 6 months.
· Family Link is a 'parental assistance' tool that can help you work with your young people to encourage responsible use of digital devices and help supervise their access to the internet. It is available across several different devices and is free to us
Summerset at the Course is holding a Market Day on Saturday, 26th November from 9.20am to 12.30pm. We will have lots of white elephant items, cake stall, Christmas stall, card stall, Christmas gifts, clothing and shoes, homemade chocolate, plants, ice creams, dolls, Christmas hamper raffles, name the doll, books and puzzles and DVDs, homemade boxes into houses, sewing items.