Introduction

The Board held its eighth and final meeting of the year on December 6th. The school is finishing up next week with a very high roll of 580 students. It’s really encouraging to see that our school is highly sought after; it confirms that we enjoy a good reputation amongst the wider community

Student Achievement data

As always, the main focus at our last Board meeting of the year is on the year-end Student Achievement data. This is the final outcome of the full-year effort put in by our teachers and school leaders, to regularly track the progress of each and every student within the school.

There is probably a misconception that these assessments are used in particular to allow more focus to be made on those students who are under-achieving. The truth is that every student is individually monitored, and our teachers have plans in place to help every student meet – or exceed – their potential.

The achievement data is presented to the Board in a large booklet, with comprehensive reporting across each year group and subject area. Results are also typically broken down into gender, and there is also separate reporting on Maori and Pasifika students.

We are pleased to report – yet again – that our students have made very good progress throughout the year in each curriculum area. The term “national standards” soaks up most of the attention in the media but the reality is that there is a lot more assessment carried out than just for the national standards. The detail presented to us each year is quite overwhelming.

The simplest benchmark to report to you on is against the National Standards. As a reminder, National Standards set an “expected” level of achievement in Reading, Writing and Mathematics, and we report on the number of students achieving “well below expectation”, “below expectation”, “at expectation” and “above expectation”.

In 2017, Victoria Avenue School students achieved superbly against the National Standards. The proportion of our students who were assessed either “at expectation” or “above expectation” was 91.8% in Reading, 90.1% in Writing and 90.7% in Mathematics. As we noted at the same time last year, our students continue to hit these high levels of achievement, despite a significant increase in the number of students classed as “English as a second language”. Our ESOL population has increased from 30 to 82 over the past four years and our achievement levels have remained high during that time.

So in conclusion, congratulations to all our wonderful teachers for their hard work, and our wonderful students for producing these great results.

PTS contribution

Thanks very much once again to the wonderful helpers in our Parent Teacher Subcommittee for another great year of fundraising and friend-raising. The school’s coffers have been boosted by $100,000 throughout this year, thanks to the hard work of this energetic group of people.

As we’ve previously advised, the future shape and direction of the PTS will be discussed at the start of 2018 – we will be seeking input from you all on how this can best work in the future so please be prepared to contribute your ideas early in Term One.

Property changes

As you will have seen in the weekly newsletter, at long last the remedial work to rooms 15-18 and rooms 19-21 is going to commence over the summer holidays, stretching into next term. As a board, with this major distraction almost behind us, we are once again starting to build some momentum on the longer term changes that we would like to make, in terms of reconfiguring and renovating some of the building stock to make it more flexible and suitable for a modern style of teaching.

We have been careful to minimise expenditure for the past number of years and have now managed to accumulate a decent sum of money with which to start tackling some major projects. We look forward to keeping you posted on these plans as they take shape next year.

Closing

This is the last Board newsletter for the year. There are still some key activities left in the school calendar such as the Carol Service and the Prize-giving, so we’re not quite at the finish line yet. However, we would like to take this opportunity to wish all members of our school community best wishes for a safe and relaxing summer break.

Board Contact Details

You can find the email contact details for Board of Trustee members at the following link; http://victoriaave.com/bot/