Welcome back to another great year at Victoria Avenue School. It was a lovely long holiday this year which means everyone has come back to school very relaxed and ready for the year ahead. We have welcomed many new families to the school so a very special welcome to them.
Next Tuesday 13th February at 7pm, is the Meet the Teachers evening. Bob Weston from the board of trustees will give a brief overview of board plans for the year. I will then outline our successes in achievement from last year and all the exciting initiatives we have planned for this year. We won’t talk for long, I promise! Following that, you will go along to your child’s classroom where their teacher will have a chat about expectations (note, this won’t be an opportunity for you to chat to your child’s teacher about specifics, make a time for later in the week).
Children all seem very happy in their new classrooms. Yesterday as I went from room to room it was lovely to see the children attentive to their new teacher and already starting to form friendships with their new class mates. This term’s topics are based on innovation and curiosity. Teachers have planned contexts which appeal to their age group and are designed to tap into and develop creativity through innovation.
Please have a look at the calendar on the website for information about upcoming events.
We have schoolwide testing early in the term to set the benchmarks for achievement against which to compare student achievement at the end of the year. These assessments are used by teachers to ascertain the learning needs of each child in their class so they can teach to individual needs.
The removal of national standards has provided the perfect opportunity to review our reporting to parents. We are very much focussed on a ‘here and now’ approach rather than the wait until the end of the year to find out whether a child has met or not met a narrow standard. Exciting times! I will talk more about this at the Meet the Teachers evening next Tuesday.
Don’t forget that we are all here to work with you to ensure that every child in the school is happy, likes coming to school, but above all is challenged to learn at their level. We like chatting with parents, but please remember that before school is an important prep time for teachers, so it is far better to catch them after school. Jane Cameron, Anne Bridgman and I are very happy to chat with you as well so feel free to contact any of us.
I look forward to catching up with lots of you around the grounds and at the Meet the Teachers evening.
All children and parents must wait on the courts prior to the 8.30 bell. As mentioned above, the time before school is important prep time for teachers and none of us are available to keep an eye on the children. Please don’t take your child to play on the junior playground before 8.30am. We appreciate your co operation with this.
Letting Your Child Take Responsibility
One of the most important things that children need to learn at school, aside from the obvious academic, sporting and cultural things, is how to take responsibility for themselves. They NEED to learn this from an early age, if they are to grow up as independent, resilient adults. It might seem like a long time away until your child becomes an adult, but personal responsibility cannot start early enough.
Ways to help your child become independent through taking responsibility for themselves:
- Carry their own bag to and from school
- Take their bookbags out of their bags themselves
- Walk into school (not be carried by you)
- Meet you at the gate, or a designated place sometimes, rather than you always collect them from their room
- If they usually put their lunch in their bag before coming to school and they have forgotten, don’t rush up to school with it, but let us give them a couple of crackers and cheese. Guaranteed that they won’t forget their lunch again.
Letting them be independent right from a young age, doesn’t mean they will love you less, or need you less. It actually means they will have more respect for you as they grow up and turn into those awful teenagers you hear about!
Parking / Drop Off
Loved the Auckland traffic when schools were closed, but now back to chaos at the school gate. Please don’t park on yellow lines or across our neighbours’ driveways. You may think that it’s ok because it’s just for a few minutes, or on the yellow line because you won’t be long, but just imagine if someone was blocking your driveway, even for just a few minutes; I know you would irate as well! Please, please be considerate of our neighbours, and safe around all our children.
The year is going to be particularly difficult on Victoria Ave as Baradene will shortly be starting a major building initiative. Their staff will now be parking on surrounding streets, and this, along with students’ cars parking on the surrounding streets is going to lead to congestion, particularly at 3pm.
Welcome New Staff
We have great new teachers in the school this year. Welcome to Mike Hogg, new senior teacher, in year 6, room 2; Judy Chao, year 5, room 6; Brittany Mills, year 2, room 7, Kathy Ngan, year 2 room 10, Gabrielle Brabyn year 4, room 16. All of them have made a fantastic start already so we are delighted to have them at VAS.
We are a Sunsmart school. We need to ensure the following happens across the school:
Behaviour – use of wide brimmed hats, wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen
Environment – providing shade
Curriculum – including Sunsmart in the curriculum every year
Small tubes of sunscreen are available from the office, $5 a tube. Teachers also have sunblock in their classrooms but it is important for parents to put sunblock on their children before they come to school.
You will have noticed the area fenced off around rooms 15 – 18, The project is running to schedule. Some of the school has been repainted but following a minor hiccup over the blue colour, along with torrential downpour washing new paint off seats, there will be further painting during the April holidays to finish it off.