It was great to see so many parents at the Meet the Teachers’ evening on Tuesday night. It was very hot in the hall; we are very pleased that the windows are now able to be opened.
I would just like to pick up a few points from my presentation for those parents who weren’t able to attend.
2017 Achievement – National Standards
||At and Above
These are very pleasing results. All the children identified as being below or well below receive additional support throughout the year and are already on our radar this year.
National Standards These have been discontinued, schools no longer report to parents against a narrow standard. The New Zealand curriculum is very rich and prior to national standards being introduced, we reported to parents against curriculum levels. These levels are clearly defined, so parents can easily see whether their child is meeting expectation. National standards did not give schools the opportunity to identify students as being well above standard, so a whole group of children’s learning was not reported against, other than being ‘above standard’.
Reporting to Parents It is timely that we review our reporting system. It is time to do away with traditional looking reports and ensure that parents know where their child is achieving in real time. Teachers have always had to start report writing six weeks out from sending them home, so often children had already moved forward in achievement. The new reporting system will include children sharing their learning and their next steps with parents, as well as having online portals for parents to view what their child is learning. Don’t worry, we will still have opportunities for parents to have one to one discussions with teachers and you will still get something written. We will keep you informed.
Oral Language Review We have anecdotally found more and more children starting school unable to talk in full sentences and unable to ask questions properly. Many don’t have the level of vocabulary that we would expect from a 5 year old. This year, as part of their one month survey, all new entrants will have their oral language skills assessed.
Professional Development for Teachers Oral language and reading professional development is happening in term 1 using an outside facilitator. We continue to use an external facilitator, Lucie Cheesman to work with teachers in mathematics. Anne Bridgman will be leading professional development in formative assessment and rich assessment tasks. I will continue my work with teachers on inquiry skills. We are part of a community of learning (CoL) with local schools and three of our teachers will be working with others from the CoL on teacher agency (teachers taking responsibility for identifying and designing their own learning).
Digital Technologies Curriculum This new addition to the NZ Curriculum is introduced this year for full integration by 2020. It is not about using digital devices, but has two strands:
Computational thinking – understanding the computer science principles that underlie all digital technologies, and learning how to develop instructions, such as programming, to control these technologies.
Designing digital outcomes – understanding that digital systems and applications are created for humans by humans, and developing knowledge and skills in using different digital technologies to create digital content across a range of digital media.
Property Update – Rooms 15 – 18 are currently having extensive remedial work done to them to get them level. Classes will be in there for term 2. Rooms 19 – 21 will have their level issues remediated following the current work. The school is being painted. They started during the holidays and will finish in the April holidays. Rooms 7 – 12 have been re-roofed. The new playground installation is scheduled for early term 2.
Leaky building update – since the presentation on Tuesday, I have been informed that the MOE property person, an architect and surveyor are coming on Monday to look at the admin issue.
PTS Development Thank you to many of you who took the time to write or email your thoughts about a new structure. Please come along to the meeting tonight at 6pm. This is not to plan events, but to plan a new PTS structure.
2018 is going to be a wonderful year!