General

Term dates for 2017

Term 1 February 1st to April 13th (Waitangi Day February 6th)

Term 2 May 1st to July 7th (TOD June 2nd)

Term 3 July 24th to September 29th

Term 4 October 16th to December 15th

Term dates for 2018

Term 1    January 30th to  April 13th (TOD February 5th,  Waitangi Day February 6th, Good Friday March 30th, Easter Monday April 2nd)

Term 2    April 30th to July 6th  (TOD June 13th, June 14th & June 15th Teachers attending Catholic Convention Wellington)

Term 3    July 23rd to September 28th

Term 4   October 15th to date to be set/confirmed by BOT no later than December 20th

School Rules

The main rule we have at St. Thomas More School is that teachers are here to teach and students are here to learn.  Any behaviour which prevents this from happening is a concern to all of us.

Appearance
•    Children must come in and go out in full uniform (except on sports days)
•    No facial piercing at all
•    No bracelets or rings
•    No nail polish
•    No dyed hair
•    Hair should be tied up if shoulder length or longer (nit deterrent)
Allowed – watches and stud earrings, necklaces with small gold/silver cross or sacred pounamu

Interval / Lunch Times
Children to sit in the shaded lunch area until teacher has dismissed them.  Children who don’t bring their hats to school will stay under the shade tent for the rest of interval and lunch.

Don’t bring these things to school:
Chewing gum, bubble gum or paper wrapped lollies, junk food, drinks with high sugar or caffeine content, toys of any sort.

Safe Zone
Each morning we operate a “drop and go” for parents – simply follow the cones, drop off your child outside the main gates and continue driving throught.

Parent/Teacher Meetings and Reports

At the beginning of each year we hold a Parent Information Night when teachers share their plans for the first term. They discuss homework requirements and provide an overview of the curriculum in each class.  This is also an opportunity for parents and teachers to meet informally.

If you have any concerns at any time about how your child’s learning is progressing, please contact your child’s teacher through email because this is the easiest way to get information across quickly. Teachers will then be able to set up times for you to meet.

A mid year report is written for each child and will be shared with you at Parent/Teacher Meetings towards the end of term 2.

The middle and senior school will be arranging Student Led Conferences for term 3. These are opportunities for your child to share their learning with you.

A final report is sent home at the end of term 4.

The Junior School hold Opening Mornings for families throughout the year. Celebration Assemblies are arranged once a term to present drama, art and music for parents – Teams take turns to do this.

As part of our commitment to build partnerships and relationships between school and home, Information Nights are held at least twice a year. This year we have had Spelling and Cyber Safety Workshops for parents.

School Library

Each year the Board allocates approximately $1,000 to buy new books for our library.  These can be either fiction or non-fiction and are often what the students request.  The PTFA supports us with donations as well.  Every second year we hold a Book Fair and parents often donate books on behalf of their families.

Parishioners have helped us in the past and we really appreciate support for the development of our library.

Student Leadership Teams are developing Librarian skills so that students can have access to the library during lunch times.  Classes visit the library at least once a week to choose a new book to take home and share.

Newsletters

Our school newsletters have become news magazines with the addition of photos and student contributions. Teams take turns to write articles for our magazine which provides families with a more detailed view of what’s happening in our school. Sports teams are included and families can follow the fortunes of their favourites – usually throughout the winter. Our community groups often have events which they publicise through our magazine.

School bulletins are issued from time to time with specific information in regards to events for the week/term.

A copy of the newsletter is emailed out each Thursday.  We also post a copy on the website which can be accessed by families and friends overseas.

Homework

Research has shown that homework is not an effective way of improving student achievement (J. Hattie). Our school has been a homework free zone for 5 years.  this doesn’t mean that children miss out. In all areas of the school the children are encouraged to take home readers – the Junior school have home readers selected by their teachers and the middle/senior school students have library books which they take home.

In the Middle and Senior School children are encouraged to practise their multiplication times tables, their essential word lists and at times they will be asked to do some research to enhance what they are learning in their class.

Homework should not cause extra stress to family life. It is not a baby sitting tool either. That’s part of the reason why the decision was made to eliminate the compulsory homework component.

Concerns and Complaints

Parents sometimes have worries and concerns about what happens at school, either academically or socially.

We urge you to bring your concerns to school and discuss these with your child’s teacher.  All the teachers email addresses are available on this site. The easiest way to contact a teacher is through email because they are usually in class during the day and unable to take phone calls.  If you copy the email to the Principal (principal@stm.school.nz) then Kath will ensure that your queries are followed up.

Do remember that your friend cannot solve a school problem, but that those at school probably can.  The sooner the school is contacted the sooner your concern can be looked into.

Children’s Belongings

We have a giant lost property mountain.  Sometimes it turns into a hill when we give out all the named uniforms, however these tend to come back before the end of the week!

Unfortunately children don’t see lost property as an issue even when their parents do. The best way to find what you are looking for is to take your child by the hand and check the lost property box at the end of the day!

Anything valuable should not be brought to school, as our insurance does not cover such objects.

School Hours

School hours are from 8.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.  Doors open at 8.00 am for a prompt 8.30 am start.

Morning interval is from 10.30 am to 11.00 am and lunch is from 12.30 pm to 1.15 pm.