A Recent Book for Parents

New Zealand Secondary Schools and Your Child, a Guide for Parents by Bali Haque, a leading New Zealand educator, has just been published by Bateman Press, and is available in bookshops. It is a sensible and clear guide, and is worth drawing to the attention of parents of senior primary-aged children, and those with children in secondary school.

Religious Studies Teachers’ Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (RSTAANZ)

Congratulations to RSTAANZ for all the hard work they do drawing in a range of schools, and for the excellent information being shared in the newsletter Tapu. The executive is now working on an application for Scholarship status of Religious Studies. Those wishing to join, or just to find out more can contact philomenac@cda.org.nz or see www.rstaanz.org.nz/

Safer Schools for All: making schools more inclusive for sexuality- and gender-diverse students

These free workshops for school staff address the bullying of students and other members of the wider school community because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The presenter can respond to a school’s needs by focusing on particular aspects, such as

  •  General awareness of the range of sexual orientations and gender identities;
  • The regulatory framework that requires schools to be proactive in this area;
  • Data about the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in New Zealand secondary schools (from the Auckland University Youth 2000 series of surveys);
  • Strategies that teachers can use to promote a safe environment for all students.

See the PPTA website, or contact KFarrant@ppta.org.nz  A number of integrated schools have already taken part in the workshop, and are enthusiastic about the information provided and the care and sensitivity with which the workshop was conducted.

Religious Diversity Centre Professional Development Seminars

The Religious Diversity Centre (RDC) is offering a series of Professional Development Training Seminars for all teachers and educators in Auckland and Hamilton. These seminars are designed for early childhood through to primary and secondary school level. See www.rdc.org.nz or email rdc@rdc.org.nz

What Do Children Think of the Future?

A small group of children recently took part in a conversation on this topic, for NZCEO. It was apparent that children have a number of fears about the world, locally, and the survival of the planet.  This is an area worth discussing with students, as they need to be assisted to see that they can be hopeful, and that their efforts are needed and valuable.

The Wisdom of Spring: Remaining Open to Possibility a Circle of Trust® Day Retreat 30 September 2017, 9.00am – 4.30pm in Te Puna, near Tauranga

This one-day seasonal retreat will use poetry, journaling, and times of silence and dialogue to (re)connect you with your inner wisdom and give meaning and a sense of purpose to your life and work. $75.00 per day (Earlybird: $65.00). See www.couragerenewal.org.

Water-only Schools

School Boards of Trustees may wish to note that the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education have placed on their websites a suggested template for a Water-only policy for schools. Boards of Trustees may like to adopt it, or establish a similar policy.

Caritas Social Justice Week 10 – 16 September

Congratulations to Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand on the excellent material prepared and distributed to schools and parishes for Social Justice Week.

Dragons’ Den Competition (YES)

Campion College students Jenna Deere, Amaprett Singh, Rachel Jackson, Simeon Hopkins and Jake Wheeler have won first prize of $1,000 in the Dragons’ Den competition, which is part of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES). Their team, called Wheelers and Dealers, demonstrated a revolutionary butterstick product pitched towards one-handed convenience, children and people with arthritis.

Environmental Entrepreneurship Competition

Eamon Walsh, student of John Paul College, Rotorua, has won the top prize at the National Environmental Entrepreneurship Competition. He invented a turbine mechanism to collect rubbish from streams using convection currents and received $2,500 as a “seed fund” towards the invention being made into reality.

 Teacher-led Innovation Fund Round 3 Successful Projects

Congratulations to:

St Patrick’s Catholic School leading the Taupo Community of Schools on a project ‘Student agency, using STEM to improve boys’ writing. Also supporting children’s transition to primary schools through play, and supporting Māori students.

St Joseph’s School, Pukekohe leading South Auckland Catholic Community of Learning, on spreading pedagogical practices that better suit Māori and Pasifika learners

St Thomas of Canterbury College leading Christchurch Catholic Community of Learning, on using principles of gamification in teaching and learning to engage students

St Paul’s College, Ponsonby, leading Auckland Central Catholic Community of Schools, on how teachers can develop high expectations and practices so students are investing in higher order thinking and experiencing improved achievement outcomes.

De La Salle College leading South Auckland Catholic Community of Learning, on raising achievement for Pasifika learners through robust inquiry processes

New Principals Programme


Starting this year, NZCEO has facilitated a successful New Principals Programme via video conference. This provides new principals in Catholic schools the opportunity to hear from experienced principals and diocesan staff about specific topics, such as property, the appraisal process, and how to prepare for ERO. We are happy to share recordings of the sessions via YouTube. Contact our office to arrange.

Youth Custody Index Aims to Break Cycle of Youth Incarceration

St Thomas of Canterbury College students launched their latest National Youth Custody Index at the Nga Hau E Wha National Marae in Aranui, Christchurch in June. The index, which is in its fourth year, was collated by eight students and facilitated by the Chief Ombudsman, Judge Peter Boshier. Index leader, Te Aotahi Rice-Edwards, said that the information the students gathered was not positive but contributed to the ongoing debate about the incarceration of young New Zealanders. See www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/94198107/youth-custody-index-aims-to-break-cycle-of-youth-incarceration

Launch of OneLicense for Copyright Compliance for Music for Prayer and Worship

Schools will be aware that the use of hymns and songs for worship is not covered by the NZSTA licence for education. The NZ National Liturgy Office has worked to enable schools and parishes to have an easy means of improving copyright licensing, and access to OneLicense is the result.  See www.nlo.org.nz, or contact your diocesan liturgy person: Dunedin Fr Tony Harrison, tonyharr@es.co.nz; Christchurch Marianne Daly, mdaly@chch.catholic.org.nz; Wellington Mary Anne Greaney m.greaney@wn.catholic.org.nz; Palmerston North mrichards@pndiocese.org.nz; Hamilton John Coulam johnc@cdh.org.nz; Auckland Philip Mahoney philipm@cda.org.nz

  Helen Clark Praises the Pope and Churches

In early August the Rt Hon Helen Clark, until recently administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, was asked about the role of religion in addressing the world’s problems. She stated that religion and faith organisations are “absolutely critical” in developing and securing peace.  “You take a faith leader like the Pope.  He has influence that transcends religion.  I said to someone the other day, ‘I am not a religious person but thank God for the Pope.’… On the basic issues of poverty, climate, justice – this man is speaking for the hopes of so many.”

Pope Francis in his homily at Mass on Monday 8 May 2017

‘Peter had the courage to be surprised by the novelty of the Holy Spirit, to break the rigid response of “this is the way it has always been done”. He was not afraid of creating “scandal” or of not fulfilling his mission as the “rock”. He had the freedom not to hinder “God’s grace”, and not to “silence the din that the Spirit makes when he comes to the Church”.’

Catholic Education Convention 13-15 June 2018

Christ’s call: to love, to be, to do. Te karanga tā te Karaiti: kia arohaina, kia ora, kia tīnā

We are looking forward to you joining us for our triennial Catholic Education Convention to be held in Wellington 13-15 June 2018. Our theme will be: Christ’s call: to love, to be, to do. Te karanga tā te Karaiti: kia arohaina, kia ora, kia tīnā.  Keynote speakers will be announced shortly.

Please allow for registrations in your 2018 budget. While we cannot give you an exact figure yet, we are hoping that we will only need a small increase on the early bird cost for the last convention in 2015, which was $550 inc. GST.

“As you can see boys and girls, the alphabet comes in caps lock on and caps lock off”