Greetings, Kia ora, Kia orana, Talofa, Mālō e lelei, Namaste, Ni Hao, Bula, Hola, Kumusta
From the Board of Trustees, we extend God’s blessings and warm wishes to all our families at this difficult time. We hope that you are all keeping well, managing the Lockdown time okay and that you are enjoying time with your children in your family bubbles. We know that by trusting in our loving God, in our New Zealand Government and in each other, we will get through this time with strength, courage and love.
We welcome you to the second term of the school year – a very different one from what we are all used to! There have been many things, as a result of COVID-19, to be put in place for our school to reopen. Be assured that that the school and staff are very carefully following the guidelines and requirements from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, to keep the school environment safe for everyone.
I would like to acknowledge Peta, our principal, the senior leadership team and indeed all the staff for the amazing work they have all done and continue to do, in planning and providing the distance learning programme that you are all accessing on line. They have put a huge amount of time, thought and effort into preparing meaningful and fun learning experiences and activities for our children. I have been enjoying the learning that is being shared by you and your children on line – some amazing work!
THANK YOU to our parents and caregivers, who are working with your children at home and supporting their learning- you too, are doing an amazing job, with many of you trying to do your own work from home and all the usual household chores. We are all in this together and we know that Together Everyone Achieves More- Holy Trinity School and community make a great TEAM!
It is with understanding, that we have a few of our children who have returned to school due to family work circumstances. These children are involved in the same programme, under the guidance of some of our teaching staff, as those children working on the Distance Learning programme from home. Families would have received detailed guidelines and processes about how the school is operating during this time. It is important that anyone coming into the school adheres to these guidelines for the health and well-being of all.
External Education and Catholic Special Character Reviews
Last term, we had our two external reviews, the first from the Education Review Office (ERO) in February and the second our Catholic Special Character Review in March undertaken by the Catholic Diocese. The Education Review Office focus is on student achievement, the teaching and learning programmes and factors that influence this. The Catholic Special Character review focuses on how effective the school is in handing on the faith to our children and how the whole school community engages in authentic Catholic Christian witness and evangelisation.
These are the first full external reviews we have had since our school opened in 2017. We have received the draft reports from the reviewers, both of which are very positive and affirming. We are doing very well on both counts and have had best practice commended. Together, with the review teams, the school has identified some next steps to continue developing the best Catholic education we can for our children. In both reviews, the reviewers were very impressed with the children and how well they could articulate their learning and what it means to be in a Catholic school.
CONGRATULATIONS to everyone. I would also like to make special mention of Peta, our senior leadership team (Mrs Maria Speechlay, Mr Andrew Malele and Mrs Susan Champion) and Mrs Ana Silva, our DRS, for the time, thought and energy that they put in to preparing for the reviews, as did all our staff in their Learning Communities.
As mentioned, both these reports are in their draft form. Once we receive the confirmed reports, they will be available for our parent community to read.
THANK YOU to all our families who support the school in many different ways- the very positive reports are also a reflection of how you as a community engage in the life of the school and work as part of the team towards its goals.
Board of Trustees Membership
You will remember from a Board newsletter last term, that we have two vacancies on our Board for parent elected trustees. We had two options regarding the way in which we could fill these vacancies – have a By-Election or fill them by selection. The Board unanimously agreed to choose the second option and advertised this in both our school newsletter and in the local paper, giving parents the opportunity to respond, which we are required to do. After waiting the 28 day period, and having no eligible voters responding to the contrary, the Board of Trustees will be filling the two vacancies by selection.
This process will be completed once we come out of the COVID-19 lockdown and the school is back to running at full capacity.
It is with regret that the Board of Trustees farewells Mrs Heidi Perese from our Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School teaching team. Mrs Perese has decided to pursue some other avenues in her teaching career. While she has not been with us long, Mrs Perese has made a valued contribution to the education to the children in the Awa Learning Community which has been much appreciated. We wish her well for the future.
We thank Mrs Kirstie Thorpe, who is currently working in a part time capacity in Learning Community Awa, for her willingness to take on the full time teaching role in Mrs Perese’s place, until the end of the 2020 school year.
Junior Adventure Playground
The GREAT NEWS, which you will already be aware of through the school newsletters, is that our long awaited school junior adventure playground is almost complete. Many of you will have seen some of the installation at school prior to the lockdown. There is only the kerb edging around the perimeter of the playground and the cushion fall surface to be done!
We are also thrilled to have been successful with our second application to Transpower for a grant to fund the playground- we have been granted $40,000! This will meet the greater part of the cost, along with a contribution from Board of Trustees funds and funds raised by our PTFA team.
A special THANK YOU goes to Nicky Welch, a former parent of the school and PTFA member, for the great work she did in helping us prepare all the documentation required to make the application.
THANK YOU to our hard working PTFA, all of our families and people in the wider community for supporting our fund raising efforts to date. We couldn’t undertake such projects without your support.
When school returns to full capacity, we will have a little “Blessing of the playground” and it will be open for the children to enjoy!
This is a challenging time for us all and it doesn’t come without stress and hardship. Remember, as we journey through the next weeks, take care of yourselves and your families, support one another and reach out to those in need. The Board of Trustees, as is the school staff, is here to support you in any way we can.
I enclose the following prayer you might like to use as part of your family prayer time:
COVID-19 A Prayer of Solidarity
For all who have contracted Coronavirus … We pray for care and healing
For those who are particularly vulnerable … We pray for safety and protection
For all who experience fear or anxiety … We pray for peace of mind and spirit
For affected families who are facing difficult decisions between food on the table or public safety … We pray for policies that recognise their plight
For those who do not have adequate health insurance … We pray that no family will face financial burdens alone
For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status … We pray for recognition of the God-given dignity of all
We pray for our brothers and sisters around the world … We pray for shared solidarity
For public officials and decision makers … We pray for wisdom and guidance
Father, during this time may your Church be a sign of hope, comfort and love to all
Grant us peace, grant us compassion, grant us comfort, grant us healing