Project Based Learning (PBL) – Has it only been four weeks?
Walking around classrooms yesterday, I was filled with a real sense of excitement. Driven by their passion for particular issues and communities in need, students were actively researching and planning for their projects and some had even begun the practical aspects of creating an outcome.
I met two year 8 students who had just finished a conference call with a mental health agency, a year 10 who was on his way to a dance studio where he was going to meet with some expert advisers and a group of year 9s building websites and apps. Other students were still weighing up the pros and cons of possible solutions to issues people in our community face.
I was struck by the high levels of student engagement and fascinated by the authentic learning that was happening across a range of ages, interests developing skill sets. It’s only been four weeks, and there are many challenges to come I’m sure, but
CONGRATULATIONS to all the students and staff involved in this exciting innovative teaching and learning.
Last week finished with an interesting talk from Heidi Gillingham from AJ Hackett Bungy. It was a very informative presentation which was well received by the students.
Read below for Griffin’s report on the presentation.
‘I really enjoyed Heidi's presentation from AJ Hackett. I learnt a lot about what they offer for holiday programmes and I like how they offer discounts and freebies for their staff! Since tourism is New Zealand's biggest income industry, I feel like the younger ones could use the enlightenment. I know a lot of Year 12's are interested in tourism so I’d definitely get Heidi back next year! ‘
Griffin Franks - Year 13
On Thursday night Gore High School hosted the annual Combined Careers Evening. This evening was a great success with over 41 providers showing students what was available once they had left school.
Gateway Co-Ordinator/Careers Administration
The annual focus on Mathematics occurred this week at St Peter’s College. There will be more in next week’s newsletter about the exciting happenings on C floor during this week.
Our Year 9 & 10 students competed in the SMAC-Maths style quiz on Thursday morning. Congratulations to Sarah Griffith-Smith, Abby Gutschlag, Connor Watkins and Seba Metzler who were the champion Year 10 team. After a nail-biting tie-breaker, the Year 9 section was won by Dixie-Leigh Burr, Lauryn Pinckney, Flynn McHaffie and Callum Findlay.
Our Year 7 & 8 students competed in their Quiz this morning.
Congratulations to Jack Abernethy, Adam Kelly, Cruze Smith and Jordan King who were the winning Year 8 team and Jack Bensemann, Ashton Hansen, Annie Moody and Layla Connortan who were in the winning Year 7 team.
From these competitions, students are being invited to attend some practice session at lunchtimes, with staff, in preparation for the SMAC Competition in Invercargill, at the end of the term.
Carolyn Hunter – HELA Mathematics
Kia ora Whanau,
The year seems to be galloping away, and it’s time for the final Whanau Conferences of the year. These will once again be in the Hall from 2pm – 7pm and will be held next Wednesday, 21 August.
For parents of our senior students, it will be important that you meet with the teachers as there are only 38 school days left this year for many students (not including Practice Exam week, which is the first week of next term).
For parents of our Years 7 – 10 students, it will be good too, for you to catch up with the subject specialists who teach your children, as they begin to think about options in Years 9, 10 and 11 next year.
Please book interviews with your children’s teachers on the School Interviews site using this code yek9p. (www.schoolinterviews.co.nz)
Looking forward to seeing you next week.
Deputy Principal – Teaching and Learning
Not quite winners, but we are very happy with the result for this year’s Bishop’s Shield – 2nd by only half a point! We had a wonderful time at Verdon College, Invercargill, last weekend competing in the 76th Bishop’s Shield Public Speaking Competition. The team we had competing this year, show real promise leading into the next few years and I want to say a huge thanks to all those staff who take this on every year as an ‘extra’ to everything else they already do, coaching our students ready for this important event on our calendar.
Similarly, the Film Festival was very well received on Wednesday night at the theatre. There are no other schools I know of that give their film-making students in media studies, the opportunity to have their work screened in a public theatre with a community audience. Well done to all the film makers and to Mr Nathan Munn for his work in this area.
Today we farewell Mr Brian Coyle from the Technology department. Brian has only been with us since the beginning of last year, but we have truly valued his contribution to St Peter’s in the classroom, staffroom, and in the respectful, genuine relationships he has formed with so many students in his care. Ironically, our loss is due to him living out everything we talk about when we encourage our students to take risks, keep learning, step outside of one’s comfort zone and so on. We wish Brian all the very best as he moves out of teaching into business ownership. We are pleased to let you know that Mr John Watkins will take up the role of Head of Technology (a job he has done very well for so many years at his previous school), and Mr Steve Chernishov will begin on Monday as the second teacher in this curriculum area for the remainder of the year.
Best of luck to all our netball teams competing in finals playoffs tomorrow at the MLT Stadium, and to our Year 7/8 rugby team who are playing in the final for their division at school tomorrow morning. If you are looking for some finals action, pop along and support our teams.
Next Wednesday afternoon is Whanau Conferencing. Please ensure you book to see your child’s teachers. During this time, we will have a display in the hall about our health and sexuality curriculum for parent consultation, which we are required to do every two years. If you are unable to attend on Wednesday and want to be part of this consultation, please contact Mr Brendan Terry at school.
‘Laudato si' is the second encyclical of Pope Francis. The encyclical has the subtitle "on care for our common home". In it, the pope critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take "swift and unified global action."
There are very similar messages in ‘Laudato Si’:
“Pray for, and with Creation; Live more simply; Advocate to protect our common home”.
and in NZ/Aotearoa’s Climate Declaration:
“We, the people of Aotearoa commit to urgently transforming society to achieve climate stability for future generations. We will create a climate-safe Aotearoa, based on economic fairness, democracy, respect for human rights and the intent of Te Tiriti of Waitangi, where we live in harmony with nature and with each other”.
Together, let’s make the difference.
Kate Nicholson - Principal
Career Pathways Department
This week has been a busy week for the Careers Department. On Tuesday the Year 12 Health Hub students went for their last visit to Southland Hospital. They visited the Dental Unit and Mobile Dental truck; Nathaniel a Trainee Intern spoke about his career path to become a doctor and then Richard, the educator with the Maori Health unit, came and spoke to them about cultural issues in health. They also spent some time on the mannequins, learning airway breathing.
On Wednesday, Otago University and Otago Polytechnic met with Year 13 students for course planning. Students intending to enrol in either of these institutions spent time with the advisors planning papers and courses for 2020.
For those planning on studying in 2020 the following information will be useful:
Also check out the Career Pathways Facebook page for information on Key dates and reminders for Otago University. www.facebook.com/Career-Pathways-for-St-Peters-College-Students.
Gateway Co-Ordinator/Careers Administration
Tickets available for the St Peter’s College Film Festival at the Main School Office. If your child is looking at taking up Media Studies in the future, it is a great opportunity to see what other students have created for their NCEA Films.
$12 Adults, $8 Students. Starts at 6:30pm, 14th August at the SBS St James Theatre, Irk Street, Gore. Door sales available (cash only).
In Term 2 our Year 12 students spent time considering Catholic Social Teaching and how best to implement this in our community. This began with a Social Justice Forum with guest speakers Paige Kirk from Happy 2 Help, Jaimie, Angie and Talia from the Gore Women’s Refuge and Annie Nelson, Lead Principal of our Kahui Ako. Informed by some hard-hitting facts from these speakers, the students then undertook a service project as part of the process of an NCEA assessment. Individually, in pairs or small groups they got involved in our community in a range of ways. One on one academic tutoring, weekly rubbish collections along the Mataura, baking for Happy 2 Help lunch packs, participating in the Wednesday morning Mass at the Blessed Sacrament and providing morning tea for the congregation were just a few of the projects. Others are highlighted below. Congratulations to all the students who saw a need and made a difference bringing to life our values of Compassion, Community and Commitment.
St Peter’s College students were mentioned in the Parata Home Newsletter. Below is their article about our students. It is so good to see what our students are doing out in the community. Well done!
Parata Anglican Charitable Trust
Parata is privileged to have been chosen by three Year 12 St Peter’s College students to be part of their Religious Education ‘Service Project’. Residents have enjoyed the company of Egan Robertson, Taylah Friend and Jessica Clearwater over the last few weeks.
Jessica Clearwater reports:
‘This year the Year 12 students for Religious Education are doing a service project. Egan, Taylah and I chose every Tuesday for two hours for a six week period to come to Parata and interact with some residents. So far it has been a good learning opportunity and has given us a chance to create new relationships.
This week saw each Year 8 – 10 student start the process of deciding what their possible project might be and begin planning it – Forward Pass has launched. Everyone is planning and reflecting on their work using a digital notebook which is why everyone needs to have their device charged and ready to use every day.
Ask your child to see this notebook and find out if he or she is the person building a trailer, re-imaging tourist attractions for Gore, building an app or developing a resource for young women who have body image issues. Is your child planning on writing a book, providing information for new migrants, tackling period poverty, or helping to eradicate possums? Have a look and be proud of the innovative creativity we’re beginning to see!