The Uniform Shop will be open next Wednesday, 4th December, from 12 - 3:15pm. We do have appointment slots available if you would like to make an appointment. Please telephone the Main School Office on 208 9060.
Opening hours for January 2020
Tuesday, 14th January, 11-2pm
Wednesday 15th January, 11-2pm
Wednesday, 29th January, 11-2pm
Please note: In January there may be a considerable wait time. Please be patient as we do value your custom.
Note: Due to the suppliers increasing prices please find below the new price list.
Leiza Egan – Uniform Shop Co-ordinator
We’re less than a week away from the PBL Exhibition! Here are just a few more teasers – to draw you in to a great evening.
My initial reaction to hearing about the introduction of Project-Based Learning was the same thought process many of my classmates had, which was that it would negatively impact my academic learning and would be a waste of time. However, after actively taking part in Project-Based Learning, I feel the complete opposite. Project-Based Learning has given me and my peers the opportunity to learn vital life lessons such as communication, organisation and critical thinking skills, as well as how to problem solve. The project I constructed was a website to help women who are victims of domestic violence. I was completely oblivious to how much effort it is to collect all the information and tools needed to construct a website. I am naturally a very introverted person and being forced to communicate professionally with people outside of school, like Public Health Nurses and Women’s Refuge, was entirely out of my comfort zone. I have learned how to communicate more effectively. Anyone who has ever encountered me would probably describe me as unorganized; however, throughout the process of Project-Based Learning, I have learned organisation skills that I have desperately needed. Project-Based Learning is constructed around problem-solving, a skill I did not think I would have to face at the start of my project but is now one of the most important life lessons I have learned throughout the process of Project-Based Learning. I now see why the staff have worked so hard to introduce Project Based Learning into St Peter’s because it truly creates innovative, creative and perseverant students which is something that modern society desperately needs.
Georgie Crowley, Year 9
Compassion, Community and Commitment in action…
Year 10 students, Catherine Brady, Charlotte Hall-Ferrier and Josh Aitken have focused their Project Based Learning around Youth and Mental Health. Having worked with local professionals, they have created an Instagram account which has over 1400 followers from as far away as the United States, the United Kingdom and Pakistan.
This week we had the new incoming students of 2020 for their Orientation Day at school. They were pumped and ready for the day ahead of them. They started with a welcome prayer, introduction of essential staff members and a rundown on the day. These students were then placed in groups based on their age with Year 12 students. These students participated in five curriculum rotations including Science, Art, Physical Education, Foods and Woodwork.
Later in the day, parents, caregivers, family and students re-joined for a shared lunch prepared and served by the Hostel team. After everyone had eaten teachers and essential staff members talked about what happens at St Peter's on a day to day basis. Some students who had started the year before also gave speeches on their experiences from their time ranging from sports to cultural to academic.
Some student painted pet rocks and they put lots of hard work into these and they looked amazing. The children had some inspiration and ideas given to them by a teacher and upcoming Year 13 students and their imaginations did the rest. There was a wide variety of rock paintings, from animals to foods to landscapes and many more. The students had forty minutes to complete their designs; the stones had to dry, then some of the older students put a cover seal spray to keep them shiny.
They finished off the day with a game led by the Year 12 students.
Written by Charleigh Sanson and Alice Mitchell - Year 9
Kia Ora Whanau
What a huge week it has been as the end of the year races up to meet us. I can scarcely believe that a little more than a week on our school calendar remains, with so much to pack into this short space of time.
Monday saw the first visit of our new Principal, Tara Quinney, who happened to be down for family reasons over the weekend. While she was still in the area Tara took the time to come into school, meet staff and students and seeing that a number of staff were away from school on Monday, happily volunteered to relieve some classes in the afternoon. 'What better way to get to meet the students', she told me! If this 'roll up your sleeves' attitude is anything to go by, St Peter's is in very safe hands with Mrs Quinney in 2020. The formal Pohwhiri (or welcome) will be on the first full day of school next year (February 3rd) so keep that on your calendar.
Tuesday saw a fantastic day for our Year 9's. This fun day organised by Southland Secondary Schools Sports is an annual event where Yr 9 students from all over the district come together to compete, but mostly have fun by trying new sports and joining in with other students from other schools. Once again, our St Peter's students made us all proud with their fantastic sportsmanship and excellent manners and behaviour in general. Well done to the Year 9's, you are such awesome ambassadors for the school and we are proud to call you our own.
Wednesday was our 'Orientation Day' where all students new to St Peter's College next year (Years 7 - 9) attend to sample and experience a day at the College. A huge thank you to Mrs Watkins and the other staff who made this a very memorable day that everyone enjoyed. The many students and parents I spoke to said they had been really looked after by our fantastic Year 12 students, who came in on their own time to organise and work with our 2020 new entrants - and with a larger enrolment than other years, this was no small feat. I asked one student if they enjoyed their day and they replied with a huge smile 'Yep, I'll be back tomorrow!' That says it all really.
Look out next week for our exciting Project Based Learning exhibition evening on December 4th at 5:30pm till 7pm, and following on at 7pm that same night, a Kapa Haka planning meeting is being held for parents, to help define what their next exciting goal will be in 2020 and beyond. All interested parties are welcome to attend.
Nga mihi nui kia koutou
He aroha whakato
He aroha puta mai
If kindness is sown, then kindness you shall receive.
God bless you all.
Kia Ora everyone
I would like to begin this weeks newsletter by extending my heartfelt gratitude to the many, many people - students, parents, staff and the community who reached out to support us in our time of need. As you will know, we had the tragedy of losing a Year 11 student, David Casey, at the beginning of the week, and while we all did our best to care for each other, this was experienced nowhere more obviously than in the way people rallied around staff and students here at school. We are truly blessed to be part of such a loving and connected community. Our hearts and prayers are with David's family at this very sad time for us all.
A desire to share more information at the school's governance level is behind a new addition to this week's newsletter. In consultation with the Board of Trustees, it has been agreed that a newsletter update after each Board meeting would be a good way to keep the community informed about governance issues that are currently being discussed. Our Board Chair, Karl Metzler, will provide a short ‘round up’ of current discussion points following meetings and these will feature as part of the regular school newsletter twice a term. Look out for Karl’s summary under the heading “Across the Board Room Table”.
Interviews of students new to St Peter's next year has continued this week and it always astounds me at the calibre of young people coming through - what an exceptional group of talented and exciting future St Peter's students. They are all looking forward to Orientation Day next Wednesday, November 27th, run by the Year 12 students - this is always an exciting time for all involved.
Finally, congratulations to those senior students getting well through exams now - not long to go, so keep up the good work!
Waiho i te toipoto kaua i te toiroa
(let us be close together, not far apart)
Nga mihi nui
Across the Board Room Table
Renovations to B4
2002 has seen a large rise in numbers of new enrolments to the school; so much so that we are now needing to change the structure of one of our existing classrooms from a dedicated fixed computer room suite, to a more flexible teaching space, able to accommodate the increasing role. The Diocese has agreed to pay for these alterations which is great and will give the school the capacity it now needs.
New Learning Support Co-ordinator roles
The Government has provided $217 million for the first tranche of Learning Support Co-ordinator positions across the country. As a Community of Learning or COL (13 schools of which St Peter’s is a part), we receive 4 full time positions. The role is to help facilitate access to outside agencies, testing and identification of student needs, in terms of extra support for their learning and success in education. At St Peter’s, we have the opportunity to be the ‘employing school’ for 1 of these co-ordinators, who would also be based here at the school. Applications have gone out for these positions and the appointment process begun, and we as a potential employing school, will likely be on the appointment panel for the positions. These positions will begin in 2020.
Proposed Donations and Contributions community release
Since 1989 it has been written into law that education in New Zealand is to be free for “every person who is not an international student”. The Ministry of Education (MOE) has recently reissued guidelines that reiterate that schools do not have the right to charge any extra costs to provide this education. At the same time the MOE requires schools to provide a curriculum which allows access to ‘the very best in educational opportunities’ (NZ curriculum document).
Funding for schools comes in the form of an ‘Operations Grant’ (money the government provides for running of the school). Because this grant has never been enough to provide the quality curriculum we all want for our children, schools have had to rely on additional funding by requiring parents to pay to ensure they can offer enhanced educational experiences such as camps, field trips, materials for foods and technology, etc. Generally, the school community has accepted these costs as just part of what schools need.
This year our St Peter’s College Operations Grant covered approximately 86% of the total running costs of the school, with 14% coming from parents to cover the costs of their children’s particular programmes.
Minister Hipkins has instructed schools (and you may hear this in the media in the months to come) that they cannot insist parents pay for anything related to the curriculum and if parents choose to pay, it is to be considered a ‘Donation or Contribution’, not a requirement to pay. Importantly, the Minister has not increased the school grant at all for St Peter’s. Schools at decile 7 or below are given an extra $150 per student grant increase (about half of what the average student at this school will use); however as we are decile 8, we are not entitled to any increase what so ever.
(Please note, this description of a donation applies to ‘curriculum-based’ costs only and does not relate to Attendance Dues charged by the Diocese, nor any optional weekend activities such as ski trips, sports tournaments etc.)
Our response as a school
We, along with many other schools, have made plain our feelings to the Minister at a recent Principals’ Conference and suggested if the government wanted a top-quality free education for all NZ children (and we all want that), it needed to pay for it.
We are making sure that our community is aware of the issue so that when they do hear media reports, they have the full picture in which to form an opinion.
While we are concerned that if parents choose not to pay any ‘donations’ towards their children’s course costs next year, the school would begin to accrue some considerable debt due to the shortfall in government funding, we believe we still have a duty to continue to offer every St Peter’s College student the very best in educational excellence.
We believe our community stands behind us. That parents have sent their children to St Peter’s because they want for them an education with opportunities and access to experiences that will grow their learning and support their development to be the best they can be. Parents do not want a school that is restricted to the classroom, where teachers cannot access resources and opportunities for their students and where potential is not realised due to an inability to offer the curriculum their child deserves.
For this reason, we will continue to offer the same successful opportunities, access and experiences we have always done, and we expect that parents will continue to contribute financially where their children require it for their learning.
The significant upside – there is one!
Because all costs related to school curriculum and learning (ie compulsory, and in-school time activities) will now be known and considered as ‘Donations’, the school office will be able to receipt this as such, and for many of you, a portion of these costs may be claimed back using the IRD Tax Credit Claim Form IR526. (This may differ depending on individual circumstances, so professional tax advise is advised). (The Attendance Dues charged by the Diocese is a legal obligation and not a donation so are not usually tax deductible).
This Government has recently completed a major Review of the NCEA. Essentially there will be fewer ‘Standards’ (the units of work which are assessed and earn students’ credits), but they will be larger in order to cover a similar curriculum. Given that these new standards will need to be re-written (a process which will take 2 – 3 years), the Ministry of Education has included two additional Teacher Only Days, set aside for this purpose. So if you are starting to wonder ‘why so many days off?’, this is the reason.
As always, the support extended to St Peter’s by its community is one of the things that makes our school a very special place to be a part of, and on behalf of the Staff and Board of Trustees, I would like to thank you and take a moment to congratulate you on another very successful year.
St Peter’s College
Kia ora Whanau,
The pressure’s growing, the tension’s building, and so is the anticipation for Exhibition Night, Wednesday 4 December. All of the students are in the throes of planning how they will exhibit the learning they have done over the last two terms, as well as striving to bring their projects to a close if they can. So, what are you likely to see at the Exhibition?
You may recall that the point of PBL is to encourage students to build new knowledge and gather information in an area of high interest for them. This should allow for greater engagement and the authentic development of the necessary 21st Century life skills of resilience, creativity, problem solving, effective communication and working collaboratively. The primary focus of the exhibition will be the students explaining and demonstrating what it is that they have learned in all of these areas.
For some of the students there will be an actual product that they will be able to exhibit – a trailer, rugs, sugar scrubs, a website or an app for example. For others, however, they may only be able to show their planning because their project is of such a scale that they may need to continue creating their product next year.
I am very excited to see what the students exhibit in two weeks’ time. While we talk about it having been “two term’s worth of PBL”, I am very aware that in reality the students have only had between ten and twelve school days to work on their projects, some of which are on quite a large scale. I am very proud of the way that so many of them have embraced this new way of learning and have worked so hard on their projects. I am also very grateful for the way that the community, sponsors and parents have backed our students whether it be financial sponsorship, sharing of specialist knowledge, rides to and from places, or a willingness to allow our students into their schools and places of work. Watching this first iteration of PBL has really been watching Compassion, Community and Commitment come alive!
See you all on Wednesday, 4th December, 5.30pm – 7pm.
Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning
Tena Koutou whanau
Schools are amazing places, especially at this time of the year. One would think that, with the seniors away on exam leave, staff would have lots of time and space, however quite the reverse seems to be true. With the end of the year just around the corner, staff use this time to plan, assess and offer those opportunities for learning that they could not fit in earlier in the year.
The big event this week has of course been the Year 10 Borland camp. Ronnie Kotkamp and the other staff and parents provide an amazing experience full of excitement and drama, laughs and shrieks, that often form the corner stone of school memories that last a lifetime. I had the opportunity for a fleeting visit to the camp on Wednesday and was so disappointed I could not stay longer. The over-riding comment from parents was “what an amazing group of students!” They commented on how polite, inclusive and appreciative they were and what a pleasure to take away. I too noticed in the few moments of down time they had, a real 'vibe' amongst everyone. Everyone was part of things, everyone included and just enjoying their time together sharing the wonderful experience. I have included some photos from the caving trip I took with a group on my way out on Wednesday night. Thank you so much to Ronnie and the staff who every year put so much time and energy into making this such a special time.
I was very proud this week to attend the Rotary Young Achievers Awards. Congratulations to Molly Gray, Samantha Marsh and Connor Sharp on being recognised for your efforts.
We are excitedly looking forward to, that being our first ever 'Exhibition Night' for the years 8 - 10 Project Based Learning. This promises to be a fantastic event so keep the 4th of December free on your calendar and come and help celebrate the things our students have been working on with such excitement and passion over the past 2 terms.
Mo tatou a mo ka uri a muri ake nei
(For us and our children after us)
Haumi e, hui e, taiki e!
(Unified, Connected and Blessed)
Nga mihi nui
Take care and God bless
Friday, 22 November
Junior Swimming Festival
Monday, 25 November
Wednesday, 27 November
Y9 Have-a-go Day