Up Coming Events
Sunday
Apr262015

Friday 24 April 2015  

Download Friday 24 April 2015

And so term two is underway - welcome back! We are pleased to especially welcome new families to the Waverley Park community; we trust that the first week has not been too taxing for your - and our newest - Waverley kids: all of whom had settled really quickly on Monday (by about 9.03am). Fortunately by then, the staff had too.

Condolences...

It’s been a hard old week or two for some in our school community.  Raiha Johnson’s dad Ben Blair passed away in the first week of the holidays, after a period of illness. It was a privilege and an honour to be part of the Waverley Park group that visited Raiha’s whanau at the marae to pay our heartfelt respects.  

We extend our heartfelt condolences to our front office’s Jacqui McAllister and family on the passing of her step-sister earlier this week. We also offer our sympathy and support to the family of Ray Cooper who also died this week. Up until this year, Ray was the  Go-Bus driver who picked up and delivered our wheelchair boys each day. The owner of a well-honed sense of humour, he was also noted for the genuine care and concern he showed towards our kids and those who work with them.

Board of Trustees meeting…

Next  meeting is at 7.00pm on Tuesday night - all welcome.



 

Thursday
Apr022015

Thursday 02 April

Download Thursday 02 April 2015 Newsletter

End of March already - how did that happen?! My grandmother - known to all and sundry as Neena - used to say, "Sometimes, the faster I go, the behinder I get." I fear she was dead right. As Alice in Wonderland's Rabbit said; "Late - I'm late" whether or not the date is important: all too easily done.

Term one is always pretty busy for any school - we are no exception: getting the year started / sports teams involved in  touch and flippa ball / three-way conversations / Phoenix (and for many, Southland athletics) days / Hiwi the Kiwi / assemblies / ukelele / choir / Tuinga Tahi (auditions) / mufti day / Easter raffle... and that's just the out of the classroom stuff!

In general, the kids have done well. Many are getting used to new experiences; be they a new room, teacher, or school; new friends, new interests; new systems and methods. One of the huge challenges for schools is engaging kids; in short: keeping them interested in what they are doing.

The challenge for schools is that we live in increasingly hi-tech, hi-speed, sound-byte world. Kids are immersed in that culture for the 88% of their time: the percentage of the year they are not in a classroom. While you maybe able to learn all you need to know about fast food / energy drink / the latest i-gizmo in a 30-second TV ad; the same cannot be said of the NZ Curriculum.

If we could reduce the curriculum to  a series of 30-second 'lessons'....the universities would be full of nine-year-olds. However, it is highly likely that those nine-year olds would have learnt very little at all about persistence, resilience, personal excellence, resourcefulness. And quite likely their social skills would be those of a Muppet - with no hand inside it - rather limited...

Kids need to be rounded individuals. They need to have the chance to develop persistence, resilience, that other stuff and...creativity. In an education system being increasingly driven by the political agendas hell-bent on measuring things, creativity - the food that feeds the soul - has been increasingly being sidelined. Why? Because it can't readily be measured.

No Minister of Education has ever stood in Parliament and claimed, "Due to this government's education policies, New Zealand children's creativity has improved 3.7% in the last financial year." No Minister of Education has ever stood and claimed that kids relationship skills have improved by whatever percent either. But you will hear those claims about reading, writing and mathematics - almost always in relation to the National Standards policy.

For the past couple of years, we have been part of a cluster of four city schools taking part in a nationwide initiative known as

the Learning Change Network (LCN). While the vast majority of schools (representing almost 4000 students) focussed on improving students' reading, maths or writing (the most common choice): none of the strategies employed focussed on the National Standards - or anything else that could be readily measured in terms of quantities and percentages.

Commonly LCN schools focussed on future-focussed learning; engagement with whanau; and/or teacher effectiveness. (We focussed on the last two because relationships between school, whanau, and the kid; are the biggest keys to success - all of us paddling the same boat in the same direction).

While participant schools fund their own involvement in the LCN; the Ministry of Education does fund a small team of largely part time facilitators to work with clusters. Not surprisingly; one of the requirements was that they report back to the Ministry in a format that included the LCN schools' National Standards data - garnered from each school’s end of year reporting.

The chart below shows the dramatic gains against the National Standards made by LCN schools cohorts:

Some schools must have made quite spectacular gains with very small groups of kids?); our gains (70 kids) were more in the order of 10 percentage points - still significantly greater than the national picture.

In comparison; below is the nationwide picture (for all schools); a story of very small gains for 2011 - 2013.

The 2014 data isn't publicly  available yet, but the trend of very small gains will undoubtedly remain.

So: we'll keep doing what we're doing in partnership with the families and nga whanau of our targeted students (see - you do make a difference!); and we'll keep on doing what we're doing with all our Waverley Park kids - hopefully continuing to help develop well-rounded individuals as a result. Finally: if you haven't already; check out Sir Ken Robinson's take on whether or not schools kill creativity.

 

Sunday
Mar292015

Friday 27 March 2015

Sunday
Mar292015

Friday 20 March 2015

Download Friday 20 March Newsletter

Every now and then there’s an annoying bump in the road; and this week, we hit one. Worse: I can’t find - or even think of - someone else to blame. Our in-school calendar says that there are parent-teacher-student conversations scheduled for next week. The problem is that we haven’t advertised it - or even had the dates in the “what’s coming up” section of the newsletter. So…

The three-way conversations...

 Take place next week on Wednesday (from 1.30pm) and Thursday (from 3.30pm) week for all rooms (except rooms 3, 5, 7 & 11 (our ‘junior junior’ and ‘senior senior’ rooms use different timetables).

To book your interview time, enter event code 4KRBC at www.schoolinterviews.co.nz - the rest happens by magic!

Please note that all kids will be released for the day at lunchtime on Wednesday only. This to ensure sufficient time for the classes with larger numbers to provide all parents and caregivers with interview times. Thursday will be a normal school day for the kids.

If you do not have interweb at home; call our office (217 9332 or  022 3179332) and our ever-friendly admin staff will make a booking for you. Thanks!


No Easter Assembly BUT...

On Easter Thursday (2 April) Mr Rex is organising an 'Easter Walk.' There will be a number of interactive stations set up for the students.

Each classroom has been allocated a time slot. We thought that it would be a good idea for buddy classes to participate in this walk together. Please see the timetable below.

9.30 - 10.00am Rms 2 & 8

10.00 - 10.30am Rms 4 & 11

11.00 - 11.30am Rms 1 & 10

11.30 - 12.00pm Rms 3 & 9

12.00 - 12.30pm Rms 5, 6 & 7.


Parents are most welcome to be a part of this event which will be held in the Waverley Park hall.


 

Friday
Mar132015

Friday 13 March 2015

Download Friday 13 March 2015 Newsletter

Monday afternoon: Tuesday’s forecast is not good; Wednesday’s not looking flash either but Thursday’s is excellent - we’ll postpone the sports Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday dawns - and it’s wearing Thursday’s weather! A beautiful day but much too soon: it’s in completely the wrong place. Fortunately, Thursday was every bit as classy and so the kids had what turned out to be truly…

A great day of sport!

Congratulations to the Phoenix kids (of all three schools) and teachers and parents (of all three schools): you really made the day. Hats off too to Brenda Devery and Liz Gerrard for their organization of the events; James Clive for the presentation of the grounds; and to our relay coaches Carolyn Williams and Kim Mead for their impact. All in all: it was a good day at the office. Extra special congrats with - sugar and sprinkles -  to all athletes who have qualified for the Southland Championships: watch for next week’s newsletter.

2015 voluntary donations...

Our Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to leave the school voluntary donation unchanged from recent years:  $60 for one child;  $90 for two or more. While they are voluntary; the dollars raised are needed. Remember to keep your receipts - you can claim  a chunk back on your tax return.

You should receive an account in the mail by next week for any money owing.

While we’re on the subject of money...

There are still a number of Y3-Y6 children who still owe for Google Drive (which was on your stationery lists in place of a number of books). We would appreciate if this could be paid ASAP.

Meanwhile...

This year, Room 3 & 11 are trialling charging an activity fee of $20 per term to cover activities like: Hiwi the Kiwi, swimming etc.  If you have paid the $20 then you no longer have to pay for any individual field trips, one-off activities, shows the children attend etc. If you have not already paid the activity fee then we would appreciate payment for Term 1 ASAP.

Hockey…

Hockey starts ‘Week 2’ in Term 2. The first games are on Wednesday 29 April. Cost is $40 for two terms. Y1-2 children only play Term 2 so the fee for them is only $20. Teams can only be decided according to numbers and the availability of coaches.


  • If your child is interested in playing then please pay the fee to the school office by 24 March as we have to register the teams by this date

  • Only children who have paid can be named in teams.

  • Coaches and managers are also needed - without them we can not go ahead (please get in touch if you can help

  • Permission slips are available from Shona Hoffman in room 5.