Dear Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
The NCEA Examinations have started really well for our students. Attendance has been excellent and teachers have reported that exams thus far have been as they would have expected with questions appropriate to learning contexts and interesting challenging questions. There are always concerns about time management which impacts on students once in exam conditions. NCEA exams continue through November to early December.
Yesterday the Government released reforms to the Tomorrow’s Schools model after extensive consultation. There had been some concerns about the loss of autonomy by BOTs with the proposed establishments of Hubs to centralise some key school administration. These have not eventuated. For more information as it relates to different stakeholders click here Kōrero Mātauranga and then on Information packages at the bottom.
Last Tuesday we hosted our 2020 Year 9 cohort. Students from 14 contributing schools were with us for the day as they began their orientation process and engaged in assessments to support their transition into secondary learning. The first day for Year 9 in 2020 is Tuesday 28 January. Start up information for 2020 is at the bottom of this newsletter.
All this week Year 9 and 10 students have been matching their wits with an EXSTREAMS (Exercise, Science, Technology, Religious Education, Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies) cross curricular project. The aim has been to get students to work together to design a solution to a problem. They have been using components of the digital technologies curriculum and following the ‘design thinking process’. We are looking forward to presentations from each group this afternoon.
Next Monday 18 November there are no classes as staff engage in professional development. An agenda covering Special Character, Digital Curriculum, Wellbeing, and a Review of Student Expectations are all planned. Some students will be onsite catching up on missed junior assessments and others on a Plunket Babysitting course. Of course NCEA exams continue under the jurisdiction of our Exam Centre Manager.
Next Wednesday evening 20 November starting at 7pm and concluding on Thursday at 2.15pm, Year 10 students will be attending their Retreat at the Home of Compassion in Island Bay, the theme of which is Inspiring Men and Women. Our DRS, Mrs Ilana de Vos, and Year 9/10 Dean, Ms Kate Lucas will lead this overnight special character opportunity. Your support is important for full attendance. Please ensure that your daughter is at the Home of Compassion for a 7pm start on Wednesday night. There is no cost to families; the cost is being met by our Board of Proprietors.
Next year’s summer sports programme is being organised now and the call is out for netball coaches and/or managers. If you have a passion and interest for netball, then we would love to hear from you. We are expecting a good number of junior teams and our senior team requires a coach too, so we would really appreciate your support of sport at SCC. Please contact either myself, firstname.lastname@example.org or Rita Chote on email@example.com
We are hosting 12 international students at the start of next year and we still require some homestay families to accommodate our guests; this is an opportunity to host a Japanese student for Term 1. A weekly homestay fee is paid to host families. If you are interested in hosting an international student or want to find out more about what hosting an international student involves, please contact our International Student Co-ordinator. Mrs Megan Kim on firstname.lastname@example.org
Another reminder that our Prizegiving is on Tuesday 3 December. All students are expected at St Patrick’s College at 10am for a full practice. Then we all return for a 7pm start to our premier event. We would love you to attend with your whānau and celebrate the achievements of our students.
I attended the St Patrick’s College Prizegiving last week. Their Rector, Mr Neal Swindells, presented his final report as Rector of St Patrick’s College and after more than 20 years of Principal leadership in Marist secondary schools. On behalf of the St Catherine’s College community I extend our acknowledgement of the work Neal has done to ensure the special relationship between St Patrick’s and St Catherine’s has continued and for his strong witness to the values and principles of Catholic education. We convey our very best wishes to Neal for life beyond the school gates.
Start Up 2020
Wednesday 22 January - Office Opens
Monday 27 January 12.30pm: Yr 12 and 13 - Course Confirmation
Tuesday 28 January 9am: Yr 9 and 13 - Peer Support Day
Wednesday 29 January: 8.55am - ALL STUDENTS start
Cardinal John sends out a newsletter every second week to schools and parishes; it always contains pearls from his life’s vocation. I found these extracts worth sharing:
I was listening to the Concert Programme as I normally do in the car. There was beautiful music playing and the commentator was saying that this whole programme was dedicated to reflecting on and working for peace in our world. Then he introduced a musician who was playing a Bach composition. I don’t know what the piece was, but it was beautiful. The musician said that he plays that piece of music every day and then said, “It is my benediction on the day.” His words
reminded me of the little practice I engaged in a long time ago. It also reminded me of a phrase I used a lot at about the same time in my life, a saying of Abraham Joshua Heschel: “Just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy.”
I spent the rest of the drive home pondering on what I could do every day to make my own “benediction on the day,”and what I could do to ensure that life is a blessing. I know that if I see my life as a blessing, if I try to live every day and every moment of the day as a gift from God, then life will be holy. If life is lived as a blessing and a gift every day it then becomes not just a blessing for me, but for everyone I meet with throughout any particular day.
What is your “benediction on the day?”
Regards and God’s blessing