Kia ora tatou
It has been great to see the sun over the last couple of days and it has been especially nice seeing all our students making the most of time outside at lunchtimes with a myriad of ball games and activities with one another.
Moving around classrooms this week, it is very evident that classes are well into their learning and that new staff and students have settled in quickly. This year, after much review and preparation, we have moved more fully into a homeroom system at Year 7 & 8 than has happened previously. This is a real area of priority for us because quality learning experiences, strong relationships between student and teacher, and students with each other, along with enhanced progress and achievement, benefits the whole school immediately and longer term as those students move through the year levels. Basically, if we get it right in the junior school then we get it right across the whole school.
The Board has committed to supporting this area of the College and they were given reports about the many positives already at this early stage, during their meeting on Wednesday night. We have deliberately kept class sizes small – the biggest class being 21 students - and the programme redesign means that there is more time with one teacher using an integrated approach that allows for more focused literacy and numeracy. More differentiated learning along with opportunities for critical thinking, inquiry learning and problem solving should contribute to these children experiencing learning success and growing in their love of learning. Discussions with staff, parents and students during the last week indicates that this is already paying dividends. We are interested to hear from you, as parents, about how this change is working for your child. Please feel free to email, phone or pop in to give us some feedback. And, of course, an additional benefit of being in a Year 7-13 school is that these students are also having rich learning experiences in the specialist subjects of Science, Physical Education, the Arts and Technologies with teachers who have developed programmes that will ensure continuity of knowledge and skills and progress towards solid foundations for NCEA.
Come and Visit Us
There are a number of opportunities to visit the College in action during the next couple of weeks and I encourage you to do so. There is also an open invitation to the members of our wider parish community to join us for any of these activities. We celebrate two Opening Masses this coming week. The Rosmini Boarding House Opening Mass is on this Sunday, 19th February, at 5pm in our St Peter’s Chapel. This is followed by our whole College Opening Mass on Tuesday 21st February at our parish church, beginning at 11am. During this celebration, our new students will be welcomed and our Year 13’s will be commissioned as leaders.
Please join us for Athletics Day on Monday. We are looking forward to a fine day (hopefully!) that celebrates commitment, community and support for one another – along with plenty of competition and House spirit! Feel free to join us for all or part of this day.
I encourage you to ensure you attend one of our Year 7-10 Whanau evenings (this Thursday, 23 February, and the following Friday, 3 March). There will be important level specific information sharing about your child’s upcoming year and an opportunity to meet some of our staff. You will have received a number of reminders about these sessions so I look forward to seeing you all there. You will also find a reminder note in your child’s log book and we would appreciate if this was signed please.
Due to a bigger Year 11 cohort than expected when classes were committed to in November, we have had some big Year 11 classes start the year in some subjects. We are now able to add a couple of extra classes to relieve this problem; however, this will mean some potential timetable changes for students across a number of year levels. We will begin with a new timetable on Wednesday morning and students will be able to access their new timetable via the student portal after school finishes on Tuesday. We apologise for any disruption.
As we move into a weekend full of rest and sunshine, let’s reflect again on our theme for this year:
“…learn how to encounter others with the right attitude, which is to accept and esteem them as companions along the way … it means learning to find Jesus in the face of others, in their voices, in their pleas.” - Pope Francis
Nga mihi nui
Kate Nicholson - Principal