End of Term 1 Newsletter

Wow, what a busy start to the year!!!

Thank you!!
I would like to start this newsletter by thanking Amanda Correia, Pam Grant, Charlotte Morgan, and Sarah Quinlan for stepping in and covering for Josh Halkett and Clara Mapley.  It is not an easy task to step into a class, start the year, learn Seesaw and all the other I.T. applications, and on top of that, the routines of a classroom.  Especially with the late notice we had of acceptance of both Josh and Clara on the course.

The hours and hours these teachers put into the organisation of the day were incredible. The commitment to the school and children was extremely evident!   A huge mihi to them all!!!!

Congratulations to Charlotte Morgan on her appointment for a permanent teaching position at Our Lady of Assumption School.  We look forward to continuing to work with her through the Catholic system and our Kāhui Ako.  From working with her when she was at Star of the Sea and from here, I can say they are getting a great teacher and member of staff.  All the best Charlotte!!!!!

We have a few events coming up.  Invites will be sent over the holidays (sorry, not 100% ready to send today).  The first being the welcome to school mihi and meeting for new students and their families.

Melanie Grice
At our leaving service we held this afternoon, I sang a song reworded from Edelweiss (Sound of Music). It started like this:

Miss Grice, Miss Grice,
Every morning you greet(ed) me
Tall and light, clean and bright
You looked happy to meet me!

For the almost six years I have been here, I have enjoyed seeing Melanie’s warm smile and greetings every morning. 

Melanie has years of experience behind her and it would show daily.  She would be adaptable, flexible and make sound decisions in all situations.  Teachers look forward to her arriving in their classrooms daily as she could ensure all students were assisted in the key areas. 

For those that don’t know her too well, Melanie loves her warm weather! I count down to winter, she counts down to summer.  She is far happier in a warm environment! 

Melanie has done it all in life and has finished her work life in an enjoyable manner.  She is a mother to Matthew, her now-adult son, who’s achieving at the highest level in terms of study.  An ex-student of the school too.  I would claim it, but, since before my time, I’ll let Melanie have the credit!

Melanie has been amazing for the school and we wish her well in whatever she does from here! Put up your feet Melanie! Thanks for everything!!! 

Cathy French
Deputy Principal, SENCO, Curriculum leader, Assessment leader, Better Start/phonics exemplar teacher, tutor/mentor teacher.  Some people love having digits or letters after their name to show off their superior knowledge or to out rank others.  Cathy, on the other hand, is so amazing in so many ways yet so humble. Almost as humble as me. 

She would never tell anyone her level of knowledge in education, PLD completed, experience, achievements, but would quietly go about doing her thing.  Fortunately, for me, I noticed very early on at St Anne’s, how valuable Cathy is in terms of education. I would run ideas past her, ask her opinion on things, ask for help.  Sometimes I avoided asking her things because I knew what her response would be, a bit like asking my mum if buying a particular expensive toy was a good idea, we know the answer, and we know they are right, but we REALLY WANT THAT TOY!!!  I was asked in the past what I was most worried about at St Anne’s?  Deep question. Usually, I try and answer deep questions with shallow answers for a laugh, or just say, that’s too deep for me.  However, I replied, Cathy leaving. 

I wholeheartedly believe and have now seen the research, that the 5-6 year group is the most important time in a student’s time at primary school in terms of setting up for success in later schooling.  Our work together on Better Start and language acquisition has been more valuable than anything else I have done in education.  Discussing conflicting research with Cathy has helped form my vision for leadership and schooling and no one else has influenced my vision more than her. 

Even though I have only worked with Cathy for a fraction of her career, I was lucky enough to get her in the prime of her teaching.  She worked hours like no other (you can see on Google and email these days).  Our school, under her literacy leadership, was labeled as a model school for the teaching of a structured literacy programme and setting up systems for those not hitting the targets we were happy with.  All before the children’s age of 6. Both of us (Cathy 80%, me 20%) are used throughout New Zealand with the support of the Ministry of Education in the professional development of teachers in videos and tutorials. 

Cathy and I share a love of coffee.  Baristas love us, she asks for a single and I ask for a triple. No waste!!!!  However, I think it is more the time to enjoy the drink and solve a few problems that is the driver of this.

I fear solving problems and refining programmes without Cathy, however, she has offered to continue to assist the school in literacy development for as long as she is enjoying what she is doing. We are very lucky!!

Cathy really cared for me.  I like to think I’m unreadable, super complex, but alas, she could read me like a book, and would just walk in and talk to me in tough times. Teachers know what teachers go through.  But principals’ jobs are different and often isolated from staff. Bosses are supposed to look after staff, but who looks after bosses? Especially cool ones like me. On my wall is the bible reading of the Greatest commandment – Love God, love others.  Cathy embodies this!

To both of these amazing and humble people.  We wish you all the best for the future and have the best day tomorrow for your birthdays!!!! You will be missed! May God bless you abundantly in your retirement! Awesome colleagues, awesome teachers, awesome friends! 

Term 2  Uniform!
Students need winter uniforms after the holidays.  The holidays will be a good time to ensure you have all the correct items, that they fit; or replace anything ready for Day 1, Term 2.  Beanies will be available at Mainland Uniforms or we have limited stock at the office for $10.

Years 5-8 students will participate in the weekly winter sports competition at Hagley from mid-term 2 so they will also need to have correct sports uniform ie. sports shoes, St Anne’s PE top ($35 at the office), plain black sports shorts (no bike shorts or leggings) and depending on their sport, mouth guard and boots.
Please make sure all items are clearly named!