Principal’s Blog

6 September – 2018

As the year progresses our roll continues to grow, not only with 5 year olds starting but with many new families moving into our zone, meaning children are joining classes at all year levels. The Ministry of Education has been supportive in light of our building project and have eased the pressure for gaining staffing, especially to cater for New Entrant growth. We have now engaged Charlotte Bates to work with Peta Berry in our New Entrant class, part time initially and becoming full time by the end of this term. If you do have, or know of someone who is in our zone and intending to come to St Martins School, please encourage them to let us know and enrol early. Advance warning really helps with planning. The building is continuing to progress at a rapid rate. The walls are up and next Monday we expect the floor to be poured. This may mean some temporary access and parking issues behind the hall leading to less on street parking, but we will let you know of the developments as they arise. Following the pouring of the floor slab there may also be some other disruptions as the structural steel for the building arrives and is installed. This is all expected to happen before the end of this term. With the road works and the build happening we do encourage parents and caregivers to take extra care and be patient when delivering or collecting children from school in the morning and afternoon. There have been a few very close calls, and also some illegal traffic behaviours. We do need all parents and caregivers to be responsible and lawful in their traffic behaviours. Kind regards Rob Callaghan

26 July – 2018

Term 3 has arrived and we welcome all families new to St Martins School. It is great to have you on board. We also welcome teachers, James Robinson (Room 15) and part time teachers Penny Ledgard, Deb Burn and Catherine Barrie to the team. We are also happy to welcome our new admin assistant, Kate Thomson who started in the school office this week. Our children have returned ready and excited about our ‘Seussical Performance’ which will be a major school community focus. Seeing our children starting to develop the choreography already has been amazing. This will be a very busy and action packed term. We finished off Term 2 with our first ‘in ground’ Hāngi event at St Martins. Thank you to all who supported the event and an extra special thanks to those who organised and assisted on the evening. To see our school hall filled with whānau enjoying the occasion and appreciating the talents of those children who performed was a huge reward. Over the holiday break we also had built a new attraction in the form of a ‘Gaga Dodgeball pit’. This was very kindly constructed by Jeremy Neels ready for the start of the new term. Gaga Dodgeball is an addictive physical game and throughout the week it has not been uncommon to see 30 to 50 children in, around, cheering, playing and supporting the participants. We have also installed two large Lego pits, one in the library and one in the Junior area for those who are keen to be creative and want to construct. They have been incredibly popular. A huge thank you to Jo Malcolm and family for the donation of a super large collection of Lego that now fills these Lego pits. The Lego and Gaga Dodgeball have been a very welcome addition to our break times activities and are providing a physical, creative and co-operative outlet for our children during play time. Kind regards Rob Callaghan Principal

10th November – 2016

Kia ora Whānau – Greetings everyone. What an amazing community day our School Fiesta was. A huge vote of thanks must go to Jo Bethell and the fantastic S’Mart Community team who worked with passion, determination and commitment for the sake of our children and their learning. What so many will not have seen was the incredible amount of work that had been happening for months behind the scenes to make sure the day was a success. The fear of a terrible rainy day was real, but so focussed was this team even Mother Nature decided to help out. In many ways the final sum is not as important as how this event has brought our community together, allowed talent to be showcased and gave everyone an opportunity to have fun. This fiesta has built on the tradition of community involvement and has been a success on every possible level. Saying thank you to everyone who made this happen, and to those who supported it hardly seems enough but THANK YOU! on behalf of the children of St Martins School. Our rebuild project is at a pause at the moment while the Board and its’ committee resolve some issues with the Ministry of Education. These sorts of delays, while annoying, seem to be the norm for each school involved in a rebuild project. Our Board want to make sure that our build is the very best it can be, and that it reflects the philosophy of our school. One question that is often expressed by parents is, once this build starts, will all students remain on site? It is pretty certain that this will be the case. It is intended that the new buildings will be built before any old rooms are removed. There is still much to be worked through and as soon as there is more news we will let you know. Did you know? If you are dropping a child off at school and your child disembarks from the car while you are on a yellow line, you could receive a ticket. The best advise is to be patient, wait until the ‘drop off bay’ clears and move forward and then let children leave the vehicle. The wardens will return at random intervals so it is best to make sure traffic behaviours are legal at all times. Kind regards Rob Callaghan Principal

27th October – 2016

Kia ora Whānau – Greetings everyone. A huge vote of thanks needs to go to the wonderful people who have been working hard to get our School fiesta up and going. Thanks also to all those families who have helped by providing goods for sale or services on the day. All we need now is a fine day so that our organisers hard work and efforts are rewarded. While the weather is not looking to be 100% helpful we hope that this won’t deter families from coming along and supporting this very important School Community event. We look forward to seeing you there, and feel free to bring along as many friends and extended family as you can find. Athletic Sports: It was a great day for our athletics sports last week, and our children are to be commended for the way they actively participated and made the day so enjoyable, fun and exciting. We need to acknowledge the amazing work our Sports Co-ordinator, Jarad Pateman, has put into making sure this event runs smoothly. We will have a very strong team of athletes ready and keen to represent St Martins School at the Zone event. We are now beginning the process of organising staffing for the 2017 school year. There will be a few changes afoot and we are currently in the process of recruiting staff for 2017. Congratulations to Brittany Turnbull who has won a position at Stanley Bay School in Auckland, and also to Jordan Engen who won a position at Cobham Intermediate School. Once we have completed this piece of exciting work we will share the outcomes. Class placements 2017: We are now beginning our process for organising the school and pods for 2017. As was the case for the start of 2016 most children will remain in the same pod. However, there may be some movement of students within or across pods in each of the year groups. We now extend an invitation for you to make us aware of, or to discuss any information that might be relevant to placement. If you would like to offer information that would help support this process please email classplacements@stmartins.school.nz . Bernadette May will then collate this information. Please ensure you email us any information by Friday 4th November at the latest. As part of our class placement process, it is also important for us to know of any students who will not be returning in 2017. (We do not need to know about our current Year 8 students). Please inform the office by phone or by emailing admin@stmartins.school.nz as soon as possible. Kind regards Rob Callaghan Principal

13th October – 2016

Kia ora Whānau – Greetings everyone. Welcome back to Term 4 at St Martins School. This is a slightly shorter term with a great deal being packed into it, and we know that it will be a busy and exciting one. As you will be aware, sun hats are required to be worn from the start of Term 4. Sun safety is once again a focus as we move towards summer. It is important to start sun-safe behaviours now so that the habits of sun safety are as natural as clicking on a seat belt when we get into a car.  Start with sunscreen applications in the morning and make sure that your child, especially those with fair skin, have a supply of lotion in their bags for application during the day. (Emergency supplies are held in most classrooms and the office) Teachers will begin making general reminders about ‘application’ at break times and there will also be ‘whole school’ reminders via the intercom on those days when there is the greatest risk. It is important that we work together, home and school, to make sure that the habits of keeping sun-safe are well learned. (We are hoping for more regular sun!) Class placements 2017: We are now beginning our process for organising the school and pods for 2017. As was the case for the start of 2016 most children will remain in the same pod. However, there may be some movement of students within or across pods in each of the year groups. We now extend an invitation for you to make us aware of, or to discuss any information that might be relevant to placement. If you would like to offer information that would help support this process please email classplacements@stmartins.school.nz . Bernadette May will then collate this information. Please ensure you email us any information by Friday 4th November at the latest. As part of our class placement process, it is also important for us to know of any students who will not be returning in 2017. (We do not need to know about our current Year 8 students). Please inform the office by phone or by emailing admin@stmartins.school.nz as soon as possible. Kind regards Rob Callaghan Principal

22nd September – 2016

Kia ora Whānau – Greetings everyone. It is hard to believe the speed at which this term has passed, and what an exciting term it has been for all. I have enjoyed leading the school, as Acting Principal, and would like to take this opportunity to thank our fabulous Board of Trustees for their ongoing support. I would also like to offer a special thanks to our Board Chairperson, Nikki Tod for her support and wisdom.  We all know Jenny Wood, Jenny is our other Deputy Principal. As I have picked up extra responsibility in my role as Acting Principal, Jenny has performed other responsibilities to ensure that I can do my part effectively. It takes a dedicated to team to make our school run as effectively as it does. We are very fortunate to have the wonderful staff that we do at St Martins, not only our teaching staff but also our support staff who do a fantastic job. Often our office staff miss the opportunity to shine in our community, however, they work so hard behind the scene ensuring our school runs smoothy. These lovely people have made my workload this term manageable and enjoyable. Rob Callaghan, our Principal, will be returning I’m sure full of energy and enthusiasm at the beginning of Term 4. And, what would our school be without our lovely children?  It is a real privilege to be part of a learning community where all our learners have the opportunity to shine and be the best that they can be. It is really important to acknowledge the enthusiasm in which our children have engaged in their learning over this term. Long may it last! The term hasn’t quite finished yet, over this week we have our Wearable Arts show as the big finale. The art works and practice performances have all gone exceedingly well, thanks to the magic work and dedication of our children, teachers, parent helpers, Trudy Rowe and Amy Kenel.   I hope you have managed to purchase a ticket as they were selling out fast.  Our final performance is on tonight. A very big ‘thank you’ needs to go out to our fabulous caretaker, Mike, who has gone beyond the call of duty to pitch in with his  practical and expert understanding of sound, lighting and IT requirements for the show.  Finally, I would like to wish everyone a fun filled and safe break over the next two weeks of the school holidays. Hopefully the weather will play its part with the sun shinning. Kind regards Bernadette May Acting Principal

8th September – 2016

Kia ora Whānau – Greetings everyone. The wider context of education… Thank you all for your support around our staff’s attendance at the primary and secondary teacher’s union meeting on Wednesday, 7th September. I know that everyone appreciates that this is a national issue of concern to education, and that for both unions to be working together to inform their members, during school time, is a decision that the unions have not taken lightly. If you wish to see what the meeting was about you can read briefly about this here: http://betterfunding.org.nz/. Our school… We have had a very busy term with our main focus on the construction of wearable art works and the associated circus arts. Teachers, students and our wonderful performance arts teachers have put together an amazing show. I would like to thank all the whānau that came in to help the teachers and students make their fabulous art works. Remember to purchase your tickets from the office, they are on sale now and selling fast. We have 6 performances over Wednesday 21st September and Thursday 22nd September. Year 5 and 6 students will be attending the Living Springs Camp next week, I hope the weather holds for them. At the same time our Year 7 and 8 students will be participating in the Koru Games held out at Lincoln each year. This year there are over 40 schools from around the South Island who will be competing. You can view some of the action through live video coverage on line at www.selwynsportstrust.org.nz. Our students… Late in August a group of senior students competed in the Lego Robotics competition held annually in Canterbury. Our team, Louie Howell, Evie Boyd, Jake van Keulen and Findlay Royds, placed second and won a place in the National Competition. They will be flying to Auckland to attend the national competition held next Saturday. We wish them luck! I was very fortunate to be a judge in our school’s storytelling competition this year. The students demonstrated an amazing level of skill and confidence in the presentation of their storytelling. Two students were selected to go through to the local inter-school competition, they were Finn Johnston (Year 7) and Findlay Royds (Year 8). The speech competition was held Monday night at St Peters School. Both Finn and Findlay placed 2nd in their competitions at St Peters. Kind regards Bernadette May Acting Principal