Newsletter 7 February Term 1 2023
St Brendan's Catholic School
Welcome, nau mai, afio mai, namaste, konnichiwa, nĭ hăo, talofa, komosta, vanakkam, auybowan,
Dear Whānau & Parishioners,
Happy New Year to all families. I welcome all those returning to St Brendan’s and extend an extra warm welcome to our new students, their families and our new colleagues.
The summer holidays provided some time to progress several school maintenance projects. The carpets across the whole school were cleaned, spring cleaning and window cleaning was completed and heat pumps are being installed in Rooms 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. The new roof over Rooms 3 to 5 is nearing completion, and many of our playground markings have been repainted.
Before welcoming students back to school last week our St Brendan’s team was busy. Our teaching team was on site planning and preparing learning spaces. Positive Behaviour for Learning, Structured Literacy, Catholic Character, Wellbeing and our Strategic Goals were woven into one of our Teacher Only Days when the whole team was together. We also completed Level 1 First Aid training with St John.
Staffing Update We will be farewelling Mrs Niki Berendsen, our amazing Office Administrator on Friday, 24 February. I know you will join with me in expressing gratitude to Niki for all that she has contributed. We have been blessed that she has been a member of our St Brendan’s Support Staff team for four years. We wish Niki God’s blessings and Good luck. We will share details of her farewell with you and hope you will be able to join us.
Welcome I know you will join me in welcoming Miss Ursula Rehr, Room 1’s teacher, and Mrs Deena Sumner, our newly appointed Office Administrator, to our St Brendan’s community. Both bring experience, enthusiasm, skills and talents to our team.
At the beginning of the year we welcome a big group of new students and their families to our school community. In particular Rayne, Angel, Mikhaela, Milo, Jacob, Aadhav, Archie, Aydan, Arabelle, Lucy, and Rhys to Room 2, Ethan and Jayden to our Navigator learning team, Willa and Aishleen to Room 7, Hritika to Room 11, and Rebecca and Alexander to Room 12. We also welcome returning students and their family, Sola to Room 8 and Rei to Room 11.
Hero We hope you have connected with the Hero app and have had the opportunity to read your child’s 2022 end of year school report. This year Hero will be our main communication tool and will continue to be our reporting system. Hero allows schools to build an online environment that reflects our unique context. It enables teachers, students, and families to view and share content anytime, anywhere on any device. The software is secure, easy to use and brings together all school-related information in one place.
During the year we will regularly share learning posts. These posts will provide you with information about your child/ren’s progress and achievement. They will be an opportunity for students, teachers and whānau to acknowledge and celebrate learning. Posts will be linked to at least one goal being achieved but may also include key competencies and other personalised information.
Learning posts combined with curriculum information and goal-setting will continue to form an online report designed to build year on year so that over time you will have access to written posts, images, video, work samples, and helpful resources all in one place. Please email the office if you have not been able to access your Hero account yet.
Family-Teacher Conversations, Partnership Hui are being held: Monday, 13 February and Tuesday, 21 February. These Family-Teacher conversations at the beginning of the year are a wonderful opportunity to meet the teachers and discuss your child/ren’s learning style and interests. They provide time to discuss your child/ren’s strengths (academic, sporting, social and interests), areas of challenge, learning style/s and hobbies. We will send home forms for you to complete prior to coming to these meetings, this will assist in framing the learning conversation with the teacher.
Bookings can very easily be made from tomorrow, online via: www.schoolinterviews.co.nz by entering the code: uyavm. Bookings will remain open until 11am Monday, 13 February.
Please do not hesitate to make contact with any of our St Brendan’s team via email, our team will endeavour to get back to you in a reasonable timeframe.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Our 2023 St Brendan’s Team:
- Heather Campbell, Team Leader, Room 2 Years 0-1
- Ursula Rehr, Room 1 Years 1-2
- Yvonne McElwain, Room 6 Years 2-3
- Chris Pullan, Room 7 Years 2-3
- Kathy Cutler, Room 9 Years 2-3
- Rachel Thompson Room 2 Release
- Louise Boyle Room 9 Release
- Ange Puki, Assistant Principal & Team Leader, Room 12 Years 5-6
- Sara Williams, Room 11 Years 5-6
- Teresa Millar, Room 10 Years 4-5
- Frances Reilly, Room 8 Year 4
- Rachel Thompson Room 12 Release
- Vanessa Smith-Graham, Team Leader, Room 4 Years 7-8
- Sarah Chard, DRS, Room 5 Years 7-8
Jo Hunter, Deputy Principal and SENCO, Navigator Release and Classroom Release across the school
Learning Support Coordinator
Sally Van der Weele, at St Brendan’s Mondays, Tuesdays and Friday mornings
Kimi Ora Outreach Teacher
Kirsty Van Den Kerkhof, at St Brendan’s Wednesdays
We have a wonderful team of Support Staff: Niki Berendsen, Deena Sumner, Kari Shadwell, Clare Owen, Sandra Keane, Michelle Wos, Paula Gies, Tilau Tufue, Lauren Staats, Tam Oosterkamp-Parks, Amy Perkins, and Steve Keegan.
2023 Term Dates
Term 1 Wednesday, 1 February 2023 - Thursday, 6 April 2023
Term 2 Wednesday, 26 April 2023 - Friday, 30 June 2023
Teacher Only Day - Monday, 24 April 2023
Term 3 Monday, 17 July 2023 - Friday, 22 September 2023
Term 4 Monday, 9 October 2023 - Friday, 15 December 2023
Teacher Only Day - Friday, 20 October 2023 tbc
The Ministry of Education confirmed four additional teacher-only days (TOD) in 2023 and 2024 (two days per year). These TODs will focus on implementation across The New Zealand Curriculum refresh. We are yet to receive confirmation of timing for the second 2023 date.
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.
- On days when you need to pick your child/ren up early from school, please inform classroom teachers and the office via email.
- We continue to work with the Ministry of Education and the Archdiocese of Wellington to review our enrolment policy and procedure. We have been overwhelmed with interest for enrolment and continue to carefully manage our roll maximum of 290 as set by the Integration Agreement. If you have a child already attending St Brendan’s who has a sibling turning five this year, please let us know asap.
- Please inform the Office of any changes to contact details.
- Bee Healthy bus will visit in Term 1 2023 from Thursday, 2 February to Thursday, 23 February.
- We have some students at our school who have severe and life-threatening allergies to nuts. We ask that you do not send any food with nut products in it to school.
- Families have been very generous with their offers of sweet treats for classes to share as part of birthday celebrations. Due to the increasing number of allergies across our school this has become an unsafe practice. We ask that you please not send in food for birthday celebrations.
- When we have special events involving food our team plans appropriately.
- As per our school policy, available on SchoolDocs, phones and other personal digital devices, must be handed into classroom teachers in the morning, they are secured and returned to students at the end of the day. 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". We will continue to draw your attention to policies under review each term.
Through Lunchonline St Brendan's offers you the opportunity to order Sushi on a Wednesday and Pita Pit on a Friday. Logon to Lunchonline to create an account https://www.lunchonline.co.nz/
Some reminders from the team at Lunchonline:
At the beginning of every year students will usually change classrooms and / or schools - please remember to update your child’s details by clicking "members" and changing their classroom name and school (otherwise their lunches will end up in the wrong location).
If the child no longer attends a school with Lunchonline then you can make the child "inactive" by unticking the box next to their name.
TOP TIPS WHEN USING THE LUNCHONLINE WEBSITE
- Always remember to press “Submit” once you have completed your order.
- “Transactions” will show all your top-ups and purchases.
- Remember to check the cut off time for your providers. To view cut-off times and menus – go to “Menus” under “Families” on the Home Page.
- If your child is unwell or can't attend school, log onto Lunchonline, click onto the order for this day-you will see a cancel button. This must be done before the providers cut off time for ordering (most providers are 9am on the day of delivery, but some vary - check with your school).
ROAD SAFETY on Sutherland Avenue and Palmer Crescent
We have only been open for a few days this year and already we have witnessed lots of near misses on our streets! We ask that you drive to the conditions in/around our school in the mornings and afternoons. It is NOT safe to double park or park on yellow lines when dropping off or collecting. It is NOT safe to complete U-turns close to our crossings, please consider driving around the block. We are all role models and our aim is to keep everyone safe.
Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have all had a good summer break and are fully recharged for another year of school. On Friday I had the opportunity to attend the first Mihi Whakatau of the term. Well done and thank you to our senior students who took part speaking, our Principal and teachers for an amazing welcome. It was a lovely celebration, and it was nice meeting some of our new families at morning tea time. On behalf of the Board, I welcome again all the new staff, students and their families. Wishing you all a positive and a fabulous journey at St Brendan’s School.
I would also like to extend a warm welcome to all our staff, school families and community. Thank you for choosing St Brendan’s School this year, we are always appreciative of your ongoing support.
We hope for a less disruptive school year and that there will be many learning opportunities for our children and for our community to celebrate together physically. Your school Board is ready to work alongside Veronica and her team to provide support where required. With the injection of our new members, it is exciting to have their skillsets and knowledge added to the group and we look forward to a productive 2023.
All the best to our children and staff for Term 1.
Faafetai tele lava
Norman Tufue, Presiding Member
On behalf of the St Brendan's Board
Walking Hand in Hand with Christ
SACRAMENTAL PROGRAMME 2023
The Sacramental Preparation Program is for those candidates who would like to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Eucharist. Enrolments can also be submitted on-line at www.olov.org.nz/sacraments/. Enrolment forms are also available in the foyer of both churches and the School. The Programme starts with the PARENT MEETING ON February 12th at 7:00pm in the Pettit Centre as The Reconciliation portion happens over Lent. Any enquiries please contact Fr Tony or Jenny Mahony, the Sacramental Programme Co-ordinator.
Our Lady of Grace: 04 972 4282
ST VINCENT DE PAUL BASKETS
This year we will continue to collect toiletry and pantry items for St Vincent de Paul. These donations are valued and our local community benefits from your generosity. Each week, the classroom teacher will ask for a family to volunteer to take the basket on behalf of the class to Mass at either Our Lady of Grace or St Francis Xavier. As a family, you will be asked to take the basket up to the altar at offertory time. It would be great to see a larger number of our families being willing to take the basket to Mass.
On Wednesday, 15th February, St Brendan's staff will join with staff from other schools in our Archdiocese at St Mary's of the Angels. At this Mass our teachers are commissioned for their mission in Catholic Schools. Please keep our St Brendan's team in your prayers.
Please find below the Mass times for Our Lady of the Valleys Parish.
OUR LADY OF THE VALLEYS PARISH PICNIC
Our Lady of the Valleys invites our school community to join in the annual picnic on Sunday, 12th February, following the 10:30am Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church. This is a great opportunity to meet other families that are connected with our parish and our school. We hope to see you there.
ASH WEDNESDAY MASS
St Brendan's will be joining the parish for Ash Wednesday Mass at Our Lady of Grace at 9:30am, Wednesday, 22nd February. We extend an invite to family and whānau to join us.
On Wednesday we welcomed 11 new children into room 2. They have been busy exploring the school and learning the classroom routines.
SUNFLOWERS MAKE ANY GARDEN HAPPIER!
The Sunflower plants that Room 7 planted at the end of 2022 have truly sprouted over the summer holidays .They are of all heights and are starting to flower. Next time you come to school, have a look. They are planted opposite the playground and look amazing. If you planted the Sunflower seeds that Hamish Blundell gave out to the school community and have had a beautiful bloom please send a photograph to Mrs Pullan in Room 7 by the end of this month.
ST. BRENDAN’S BUTTERFLY ENCLOSURE
Our butterfly enclosure is alive with caterpillars, chrysalis and one or two Monarch butterflies it is a true picture of God's creation. The butterfly enclosure is outside Room 8 and is worth a visit to have a look. We have purchased 8 small wooden butterfly templates made out of wood that we would like to attach to the base of the enclosure. I am looking for a parent or two who would like to paint the templates with a small group of students from Room 6, 7, and 8 in the morning block. I also have a number of Swan plants that need to be planted in our school garden beds by Friday .
If you are able to support these small projects could you kindly come and have a chat with Mrs Pullan in Room 7 this week.
Thank you for your support with helping St. Brendan’s on their Enviro journey. Both these projects would be done during our play based learning block which is 9:15am-10am and Fridays 11:30am -12:30pm.
We hope you have had a wonderful start to the school year. We (Jemma Lynch, Sarah Smith, Jen Mahony, Lindi Arthur and Kiri Devanayagam) are busy planning this year’s fundraisers. The PTF has a successful history of providing fundraising support to the school. However, as we are currently only a team of 5 we need your help to be able to provide the amount of fundraising support that we have managed previously.
We need a Treasurer and Secretary to join our Committee – can you spare up to half an hour a week to help?
We are also looking for new Committee members and welcome all friends of the PTF - we meet twice a term via Zoom (we keep our meetings to 40 minutes). However, you do not have to attend every meeting or help with every fundraiser, just do what suits you and your family. Every little bit of time volunteered is a huge help!
Being part of the PTF is an easy way that you can positively impact every child’s life at St Brendan’s. We fundraise in support of school programmes for the improvement of educational opportunities, improved facilities and equipment, and for other items aligned with the school’s strategic plan. Some of the fundraisers themselves bring smiles and make memories for students (e.g. events like discos and galas/fairs, Juicies after school on a Friday, and pizza lunches in winter).
We have some exciting fundraisers we could run this year - a Sustainability Fair, disco, Icy Fridays, Easter raffle, art calendar, pizza lunches and Christmas pantry fundraiser but these will not be able to go ahead without your help. Please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in helping with any of these fundraisers or if you would like to contribute new fundraising ideas.
With your help we look forward to having an amazing 2023.
Goodtime Music Academy wants to say a big welcome back to all of the whanau at St Brendan's School. GTMA is taking enrolments for 2023 in-school music lessons now. If you would like your child to be a part of these award winning music lessons, and want to be a part of their new curriculum and performing opportunities, then in-school lessons may be the solution for you. Learn in a group setting, and choose between Drums, Guitar, Keyboard, Ukulele. Or try their 'Intro to Music' course. Please visit www.goodtimemusicacademy.co.nz/learn-at-school to enrol and enquire. You can also call them on 04 568 2237. Spaces are limited so get in quick!
My name is Aysu and I’m a registered dietitian working with the team at myWellaBee to help make living with food allergies, intolerances or preferences easier for kiwis and their families.
Here's a short reel that gives a good quick overview of myWellaBee: myWellaBee brief demo reel
We know that navigating allergies can be very challenging for families, especially with young children. It can become even more challenging for education centres, as one child with an allergy can then impact all the children’s food options in order to keep everyone safe.
With back to school season upon us, a lot of families will be thinking about what foods they can put in their child’s lunchbox, and we can help with that. We have created a search engine that works by filtering out foods based on allergens or preferences. We have all of the major retailers on our website, so families can search what foods in the market are safe.
Our team of experts is made up of dietitians, nutritionists and doctors and we are hard at work doing the due diligence on the foods available: https://mywellabee.com/backed-by-experts Here’s the link to our website if you’d like to have a look: https://myWellabee.com
COME ALONG TO KEAS!!!!
We cater to all ages, ethnicities, religions and genders, we are all about adventure and fun based learning-skills that will last a lifetime while making new friends and doing things and gaining experiences that youth might not otherwise get the opportunity to do, some of these include camping, tramping, cooking outdoors and in doors, pioneering, water skills and many many more!!!
Heretaunga Scout Group has just started up their Kea section for ages 5 to 8, they currently have space and would love to have your child join them, they run from 5.30pm to 6.30pm on a Wednesday at their Scout hall on McLeod Street-opposite Irmgard Ritchie Kindergarten.
We also have Akatarawa Scout Group who run on a Friday from 6pm to 7pm at their hall on Blackbeech Street in Birchville.
Both Kea Clubs have an exciting term planned which includes an overnight stay at the Wellington Zoo!
Why not get in touch and come along and see what it's all about!
For Heretaunga Scout Group please email Heretaunga@group.scouts.nz
For Akatarawa Scout Group please email Akatarawa@group.scouts.Nz
We look forward to having you along!
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. Class runs from 3:30 to 5:30 pm class fee $45 (doors open from 3:15). Saturday 1:30 - 4:30 pm. class fee $65.
- 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
Location: 56 Palmer Crescent Heretaunga Upper Hutt 5019
Phone: (04) 939 1909