Welcome back. I am back at school after my term 2 sabbatical. It was a great opportunity to sit back, relax, reflect and catch up on personal as well as professional reading. I also worked on my research ‘Leading From the Middle’. A huge thank you to Jane Cameron for her hard work and expertise as acting principal. She was supported by Anne Bridgman and together they made a great team. Huge thanks across the school to all staff who stepped up to fill the gaps as Jane and Anne took on different roles during the term.
I have been roving in classrooms and I am very impressed at how well teachers have hit the ground running at the start of the term. My question to each child I talk with in the classrooms is “tell me what you are learning”. Every single child I spoke with didn’t just tell me the activity they were doing, they told me what they were learning as they did the activity. Top stuff!
Dances for Schools
This week and next week we are very fortunate to have dance teachers from Dances for Schools in school taking all classes for daily dance lessons. This means that over the two weeks, each child participates in ten dance sessions. I went along and observed the year 2 children and their teachers learning the hip hop dance moves. The dance teachers are just so skilled in explaining the moves, every child picked up the dance sequence very quickly. The teachers were very impressive as well! On Friday 4 August we would like to share the dances learnt in two performances. Please check the times below for when your child will be dancing as you are most welcome to come along to the hall and see what they have been learning.
9.10 – 9.50 am
Rooms 9, 10, 12 , 13, 14 & 15
Year 3 classes
Year 5 classes
2.00 – 2.40pm
Rooms 7, 8, 11
Year 4 classes
Year 6 classes
Youth Mental Health
There has been a lot of public discussion about youth mental health recently. The Ministry of Education has asked all schools to let parents know where to find information to support the mental health and wellbeing of their children. Parents are encouraged to regularly check in with their child about how they are doing and the things going on in their lives. You’ll find links to organisations you can contact for help and advice if you are concerned about your child: www.parents.education.govt.nz/mental-health/
Parent interviews are being held on 9, 10 August. Please be aware that school closes at 2pm on Wednesday 9 August. Details about booking an interview slot will be emailed to you today. We encourage your child to participate in the interviews.
You will have seen that some of the playgounds are out of bounds for children. Some of the playgrounds are old and I asked to have a safety inspection undertaken of all the playgounds by a certified playgound inspector. This had not been done for a number of years.
The inspection highlighted lots of small aspects that needed improving – nothing major but all the small things together were enough to make me want to close them until either effective repairs could be undertaken or aspects remediated. The senior playground falls into this category. It has just been too wet for this to happen quickly. Once we are through the worst of winter we will be able to get onto it.
The very old wooden playgrounds are really too far gone to remediate so we are currently planning on replacing them with something fab!
Rachael Wilcock, our wonderful PE and sport teacher, is starting her maternity leave tomorrow. We wish her well for her new stage in life and look forward to meeting the new baby.
Aniel Smith has been appointed as PE and sport teacher to cover the year that Rachael is on leave. Aniel comes highly recommended from St Cuths but he can’t start until week 5. In the meantime, we have dance sessions happening daily and teachers will take their own classes for PE. The sports exchanges have already been well organised by Rachael so there wont be any disruption.
As always, there is a lot happening this term so please read the newsletters and look out for notifications sent via email or the VAS app.