Friday
Sep122014

Friday 12 September 2014

 Download Friday 12 September 2014 Newsletter

Nga mihi o te ata.

My grandfather used to say something along the lines of “when you’re up to your nether regions in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your original intention was simply to drain the swamp.” And this has definitely been a swampful of alligators sort of a week...

All the usual business of an active and engaged school notwithstanding (learning, gym, choir, band, sports practices etc): add in more sick kids, more sick staff; Pauline Scott’s and my involvement with organising next week’s city-wide choir-fest ILT Invercargill Schools Sing Out - things are just busy enough. Crowning all this has been the extraordinarily positive response to our  whanau hangi night tonight (over  200 of you - that’s a lot of spuds to peel!). We’re planning an end of year hangi too - tonight’s will be a good ‘practice run.’

 Thank you for your involvement tonight - it is fair to say that while we expected a good response, the actual number of families participating is both gratifying and hugely humbling: tumeke, Waverley Park, tumeke.

Hoori Reti prepping the hangi baskets - just one of a team of whanau volunteers and staff doing the hard yards this morning.

 

LOUD SHIRT DAY - FRIDAY 19 SEPTEMBER

 Come to school wearing your loudest shirt to help give deaf kids a voice. Gold Coin donation.

Sing Out 2014…

Our kids perform twice on Tuesday 16 September; once in the morning show for schools; and again in the evening show for the public. Tickets for the evening performance are on sale from the ICC booking office in Esk St; $12.50 for adults; $6.50 for kids.

In support of our choir, the senior school attends the morning performance on Tuesday 16 September. The cost is $3.00 / pupil - covers the seat in the theatre and the one in the bus too! Please help support the kids by having your children attend. If you’re paying via online banking, our number is: 12 3154 0103559 00 Include your child’s name and SO (for Sing Out). Thanks.

Sausage sizzle…

WPPA 25 September lunchtime; $2.00 / sausage - order forms with money in by 19 September at the latest.
Friday
Sep122014

Friday 12 September 2014

Nga mihi o te ata.

My grandfather used to say something along the lines of “when you’re up to your nether regions in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your original intention was simply to drain the swamp.” And this has definitely been a swampful of alligators sort of a week...

All the usual business of an active and engaged school notwithstanding (learning, gym, choir, band, sports practices etc): add in more sick kids, more sick staff; Pauline Scott’s and my involvement with organising next week’s city-wide choir-fest ILT Invercargill Schools Sing Out - things are just busy enough. Crowning all this has been the extraordinarily positive response to our  whanau hangi night tonight (over  200 of you - that’s a lot of spuds to peel!). We’re planning an end of year hangi too - tonight’s will be a good ‘practice run.’

Thank you for your involvement tonight - it is fair to say that while we expected a good response, the actual number of families participating is both gratifying and hugely humbling: tumeke, Waverley Park, tumeke.  

Friday
Sep122014

Friday 5 September 2014

Download Friday 5 September 2014 Newsletter

What a week: sick kids; sick staff; sick politics - not a great week to be in a school really. We are very grateful to our ever reliable relievers for stepping into the breach.

When you cast your vote in this election - please stand up for the kids. For example: the charter schools concept effectively puts up kids’ educational futures for sale. Charter schools don’t have to hire qualified teachers; don’t have to teach the NZ curriculum; don’t have to do anything other than meet the National Standards. And as for ‘Investing in Educational Success’ (IES): forget about wondering how $360 million was found to fund it when there was no extra  money for smaller class sizes or supporting more special needs kids. The major insult to kids and their families is that 92% of that ‘new money’ is to be spent on salaries; selected principals and teachers whose main roles will see them out of their own schools two days per week to work with other “selected” principals and teachers deemed by National Standards data to be in need of their help and guidance.

 

Polyfest 2014…

Thank you for your huge support of the Te Kotahitanga kids last Friday. Even on a stage as jam-packed with performers as it was - once we got all 200 or so kids up there - your support and aroha was very palpable and it boosted the kids’ confidence hugely.

Massive ups to Raiha Johnson - who once again masterminded the whole project -  and her team of staff and parents who undertook all sorts of jobs (including the equivalent of herding cats) to get the kids stage ready.

A truly excellent Waverley Park whanau community effort. You can check out the kids’ effort here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcYdwqYKVOA&feature=youtu.be

 

In other words: $360 million - and the best they can do to ‘help’ schools is create a whole new multi-tiered bureaucracy? Think of the extra teaching time and special education support that amount of money could buy? Your kids deserve better - please make sure you vote in their interests.


 

Wednesday
Sep032014

Friday 29 August 2014

Download Friday 29th August 2014 Newsletter

Nga mihi o te ra...

 And the log-jam continues: a week of intense Polyfest rehearsals culminated in today’s performance at the stadium. Coinciding in the same week: Book Fair - which culminated in yesterday’s dress-up day - which made for interesting looking kapa haka roopu performing for our visitors from Glengarry Kindergarten.

As well: the choir had it’s final zone rehearsal before hitting the ‘Sing Out’ stage at the Civic Theatre in a couple of weeks; and the gym teams continue with their practices leading up to the Gymsport Festival being staged the Sunday after Sing Out…..I feel a wee lie-down coming on….

Sing Out 2014…

Our kids perform twice on Tuesday 16 September; once in the morning show for schools; and again in the evening show for the public. Tickets for the evening performance are on sale from the ICC booking office in Esk St; $12.50 for adults; $6.50 for kids.

In support of our choir, the senior school attends the morning performance on Tuesday 16 September. The cost is $3.00 / pupil - covers the seat in the theatre and the one in the bus too! Please help support the kids by having your children attend. If you’re paying via online banking, our number is:

 

12 3154 0103559 00 Include your child’s name and SO (for Sing Out). Thanks.

 

So, to summarise...

Carrot runs from Rabbit who runs from Farmer; Cop waves g’bye!A buncha grapes - and they’re out of season!Yup - and she really is Elizabeth too.Southland Stags fan Jaden leading the haka.“Nah!” said the Daffodil, “I’d sooner read a book.” Thanks for supporting your kids in Polyfest and with our Book Fair this week. While reading, writing and maths are important - so too are these sorts of activities. Kids need to take part in cultural events; be allowed to simply have fun; and to have adults join in with them too. Kia kaha, Waverley Park. Kia maia, kia manawanui.  

 


 

Saturday
Aug232014

Friday 22 August 2014

Download Friday 22 August 2014 Newsletter

 It’s been a big week in politics. This election will impact hugely on our kids’ immediate futures. The following is a complete copy of what the New Zealand Educational Institute released yesterday after a nationwide poll of it’s members … and I agree wholeheartedly with every sentiment.

“Dear Parents and Caregivers ...

Important information about teachers’ vote this week rejecting the “Investing in Educational Success” policy.

You may have heard in the media this week that New Zealand’s teachers and principals have voted to reject the government’s Investing in Educational Success policy. I wanted to write to you to explain the reasons behind the decision and what this may mean for our school.

 

MOE parent website…

Last week your child brought home with their newsletter a bookmark detailing a new site the Ministry of Education has developed for parents. Parents have been telling the MOE that they don’t know where to start when looking for answers to their questions; that all the information available to them is overwhelming; and that it often doesn’t answer their questions.

The goal of this website is to provide a central place to give parents information and answers to their commonly asked questions in plain language so that they feel well equipped to engage in their children’s education.

The Ministry will continue to develop the site with the help from parents as you tell them what you want from it.

The website is www.parents.education.govt.nz

More bookmarks are available from the desk in the office area.

 

 What is Investing in Educational Success?

In January the government announced this new policy, aimed at raising the quality of teaching to improve student achievement, backed by $359 million of new funding over four years.

The policy proposed that all primary and secondary schools would be grouped into clusters of about 10 schools, with each cluster led by an Executive Principal from one of the schools, who would be paid an extra $40,000 a year and work two days a week across the cluster.

About 1000 Expert Teachers would receive an extra $20,000 a year and spend two days a week out of their own classroom while they mentored other teachers across the cluster.

About 5000 Lead Teachers would be role models to teachers within their cluster.

Why are teachers and principals opposed to it?

Like their colleagues around the country, teachers at our school could see no direct benefit for our students from this policy. Teachers have a number of concerns, but the key issues are:

1) Teachers want the money to go to much-needed frontline resources for students, not into another tier of management.

2) The relationship and continuity of learning between primary students and their teachers is very important for effective learning. Taking an Expert Teacher out of their classroom for 40 per cent of the time, to be replaced by relievers, could have a negative effect on students’ learning.”

Footnote: Waverley Park School has experienced the impact of having the principal out of the school while working in other schools. For the first six years of the “First Time Principals Project” - a programme out of Auckland University - I was the mentor in Southland supporting six to eight new principals each year. I was not required to be out of the school for two days every week; but I was out of the school for a couple of weeks each term. The “domino effect” meant that others on our leadership team had to take over my responsibilities from time to time. This often resulted in direct impact on the classroom as one or other of our leaders had to leave the room to deal with whatever it was that needed attention.   

If IES does get rammed through: none of us will be putting our hands up for any of the IES roles.

Sing Out 2014…

Our kids perform twice on Tuesday 16 September; once in the morning show for schools; and again in the evening show for the public. Tickets for the evening performance are on sale from the ICC booking office in Esk St; $12.50 for adults; $6.50 for kids.

 In support of our choir, the senior school attends the morning performance on Tuesday 16 September. The cost is $3.00 / pupil - covers the seat in the theatre and the one in the bus too! Please help support the kids by having your children attend.

If you’re paying via online banking, our number is:12 3154 0103559 00

Include your child’s name and SO (for Sing Out).

 

Applications for In’gill high schools…

 Applications close on 29 August. Please ensure you have yours in on time.

 

 Book Fair…

The Book Fair will be held in the library from the

25 - 29 August.

The library will be open for parents and children to view books daily between 12.40-1.20pm and 3-4pm Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday.

Dress up Day

Dress up Day will be on Thursday 28th August.  Posters will be displayed around the school with more  information. The theme this year is “gardens” but you can dress up as anything. Please bring $1 as this donation is going to be used to buy more furniture for the library.

 

Polyfest, here we come!

Thank you to everyone who supported the Te Kotahitanga kids this morning - all two hundred and one of them - as Raiha led them through the full dress rehearsal for next week’s Polyfest performance.

 

Ceira and Lindsay in full swing…Take note Richie McCaw and Co - this is how you do it!

A wee taste of the dress rehearsal for Polyfest