Up Coming Events

Friday 26 June 2015  

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It’s head countin’ time in the valleys… and all around the motu, schools are counting their students as part of the annual “1 July Return” process. In reality, it’s just a question of downloading information from the school database; every kid is accounted for. The challenging bit for many schools - and we’re one of them - is accurately predicting the numbers (ie: how many kids) at each level for next year.

 So…if you know of a likely Waverley Park kid who’s turning five in 2016 (you might have one next door - or even have one of your own stashed away out of sight!); please encourage all owners of such kids to get in touch with us right away.

We just need to know the name and the birth date (which remain confidential to us); the government just wants numbers. Many thanks!

Mid-year progress reporting...

If yours are part of the 70% of Waverley Park kids who took part in mid-year progress discussions - congratulations and thank you for your support.

The power of these things comes from ‘inescapable’ conversations that involve “the parent, the teacher and the kid.” Most kids get the unspoken message that “we’re all in this together” - and that can boost a student’s confidence, help them feel secure enough to take risks with new learning (vital to making more progress); and help ensure a positive attitude towards future learning.

Occasionally, the odd kid gets caught out - having told school one thing and home something completely different for instance. These are usually younger kids who don’t anticipate for a moment that home and school might wind up on the same page...their learning is pretty powerful too. Playing “the ends against the middle” is a game that rarely gets repeated.

 If for whatever reason you didn’t manage to have an interview; and there are many genuine reasons for not having been able to; contact the teacher/s concerned directly; it’s never too late.

No newsletter next week

Due to all the other activity going on around the place; there will be no newsletter published next week.  Any urgent information will be published on the school’s Facebook page.     Thanks!

“Lest we forget” ...

The artists of room 6 with their finished piece honoring the fallen from WW1. An installation with real impact; the piece is on permanent display in the office area. Feel free to drop in and have a look. Well done kids - tumeke!

Board of Trustees...

Meets in the staffroom on Monday night; 7.00pm. As always, you are most welcome to attend.

Builders at school…

Henderson Construction Ltd starts the next phase of the redevelopment of Kia Kaha block next week - rooms 1 & 2 specifically. The necessary disruption started today with classes relocating to new temporary homes. As from Monday, the kids from room 1 will be in room 3. Room 2 troops will be in room 11 while the two senior classes (room 3 & 11) will be based in the hall.


Please check the inside of your jacket - if it has ‘Nick Olphert’ on it, can you very kindly return it to him (in room 6)......thanks.

 Speaking of sickness...

When your kids have been sick - please keep them at home for at least 24 hours after they “get better”. Too many kids are coming back to school the moment they look / feel better: only to relapse within a very short period of time: often the very same day.

Kids react very similarly to adults. It’s one thing to be feeling perkier at home as you climb the ladder to recovery: it’s a whole different kettle of fish at work. Energy (and often interest) for what you’re doing, halves once you’ve been there ten minutes. It then halves again once work is started - because your energy levels haven’t had time to recover.

It’s no different for kids: keep them that extra day and they’ll actually end up having have fewer days off school. Thanks!

Passing thoughts…

1    If it weren't for the fact that the TV and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn't get any exercise at all!

2  Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what on Earth happened?   - Cora Harvey Armstrong




Friday 19 June 2015

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In a week that started with actual proof of the old adage “it never rains but it pours”; that particular truth has been borne out over the rest of the week in a variety of ways. In no particular order …

We are happy to confirm the return of Joleen Harding to the staff. Having been off on maternity leave; Joleen will return to take our newest junior class on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; while Tina Baird joins us to look after Thursdays and Fridays. This class will be in the currently vacated library: to be known again as Room 12.

That’s the easy bit...now it gets a bit complicated-er; because the contractors are returning to complete stage 2 of the remodelling of Kia Kaha block - starting the week after next. Obviously, this can’t be done with the kids still in the rooms. To facilitate this project, the builders will start in rooms one and two; from which time, the following classes will be found in the following places:

Rm3 moves to the hall and stays there.

Rm11 moves to the hall and stays there.

Rm2 moves to Rm11 and stays there.

Rm1 moves to Rm3 until able to move back to Rm 1.

Rm4 moves into Rm2 until work finished in Rm3 and Rm4

While the plans include replacing all the south windows in the block; in order to get the project to fit the existing budget, this element of the project will be deferred until a later date.

With the hall unavailable for the bulk of time, other arrangements have had to be made for “hall-based” programmes:

  • the usual hall timetable is suspended apart from kapa haka &  assemblies.

  • next term, assemblies will be limited to just three - one per block; while the following after-school activities will continue in the hall:

Mondays  …. Nga Taonga

Tuesdays …. Drama

Thursdays ... Marching

Fridays ……. Tuinga Tahi

Activities that we cannot cater for next term include...

  • zone rehearsals for "Sing Out'

  • the morning PMP for our juniors

  • discos etc

  • aerobics

  • gymnastics  

The builders and their tradies are expected to be onsite for most - if not all - of term 3.

But wait - there’s more! The school’s fibre network is in the process of being upgraded too. This project is currently on hold pending the replacement of lagging from under Manawanui block - a process that could well damage new cabling if it was installed before the lagging has been removed. And to add insult to injury - issues with the boiler mean that it too will be out of commission (we hope only) during the holiday break while some maintenance is done. So, all we have to worry about now is making all this fit the existing budgets……….cheese rolls, anyone?


Mid-year reports...

As promised last week: mid-year reports were given to the kids to bring home today - yes - all of them...even yours.

Please bring anything arising from the report to next week’s three-way conversations - for which (handily enough) you can book your appointments below.

Mid-year 3-way conferences...

Bookings are open for our mid-year progress check up - from lunchtime on both Wednesday and Thursday next week. To book your time with your child’s teacher, simply enter JY745 and follow the on-screen prompts at www.schoolinterviews.co.nz . If you don’t have an internet connection at home, we can make the booking for you - just chat to your child’s teacher or see our friendly team in the office.

Please remember to make any necessary transport child-care arrangements for BOTH DAYS - ALL kids will be released from school at 12.30pm - both days.



Friday 12 June 2015

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This week, the cross-country organizers picked absolutely the best weather on the best day to run the Phoenix Zone cross-country at Bluff on Tuesday. Bluff Community School set up the afternoon so that the senior age groups could run their events while the juniors had access to a playground - much easier than trying to keep the littlies in lines, groups or holding pens (incidentally: the most popular piece of playground equipment? The hill - for rolling down!). Separate courses for juniors and seniors meant that when the little guys did run, they were not delayed by the older kids still finishing.

Thank you to the many parents and supporters who came down to Bluff with us - there were more than enough of you and your encouragement helped many a runner get to the line when all hope seemed otherwise lost: everybody finished their events. It all made for a very pleasant and successful afternoon - despite one bus giving up on the return journey and it’s passengers needing rescued by another.

Jaimee’s progress...

We are delighted to be able to report that the doggedly positive Jaimee Fincher - earlier this week operated on to remove an intramedullary spinal cord tumour - was on Wednesday, sitting unassisted, fully dressed and ready to tackle her lunch. Bereft of any feeling from her chest down - particularly the left side of her body: she reports that not being able to feel her body moving her head around “almost feels like being weightless”.

However, even the simplest tasks are taking a lot of focus and energy. For example the lack of any sensation in the lower body makes even sitting down a challenge: “Am I there yet?” and/or “ Am I even on the chair?” While she is keen to communicate with people; it will be sometime before being able to do more than sending the occasional e-mail or text. Even holding a phone to her ear takes more strength than she currently has.

Although she is already running well ahead of recovery expectations, Jaimee still faces some pretty intense rehabilitation over the coming three months, and if anyone can beat this, Jaimee can. She is an object lesson in the power of the positive thinking - “kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui” Jaimee (“be strong, aim high, and be steadfast (courageous) in life”).



Friday 05 June 2015

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Next week is the Phoenix zone cross-country at Bluff. The kids have been practising since at least the start of this term. For this event, ‘practising’ can be regarded as being different to ‘training’. While training involves targeting and lifting fitness performance levels - practising does not.

Not everyone loves participating in a cross-country

Some kids have trained quite earnestly with an expectation that they’re going to be there at the business end of their event; some of those expectations are realistic; others are not.

Some are out there, having a go and even having fun. Minor races develop between individuals; quick bursts of speed that occur - usually when going past a teacher or track marshall - followed by a bit of recovery walking and a quick yarn. And then that cycle starts again. Many years ago, a couple of lads who were mates from different parts of the province and could really run; met up again on the start-line at the Southland Champs. Oblivious to everything else around them, when the race started - so did their conversation...and they kept it up - all the way to the finish line. (And beyond - despite not noticing the finish or sprinting for a strong finish, they still came in 10th and 11th in a field of 60+).

And there are other kids out there practising - going through the motions mainly because they have to. We know that some of them are not ‘having fun’ at all: they’d rather be back inside doing something less personally confronting.

In many ways, these are the kids who can benefit most from these experiences. These are often the individuals who don’t struggle with literacy; maths makes sense to then straight off the bat. Unlike the ‘in-class strugglers’ they don’t have to really apply themselves to make progress and gain success.

Because the cross-country stuff is challenging for them; it is often one of their first opportunities to develop persistence. And persistence is one of the major elements in succeeding in life. Thomas Edison succeeded in inventing the lightbulb - just one of many successes. Tellingly though, his lifetime ratio for inventions was one success for every four hundred failures.

Persistence is what success looks like. You don’t have to win; you just have to finish what you start.


Please consider this...

On the theory that good decisions should be made only after all available facts have been weighed; please consider this from Dianne Khan, a teacher who runs “Save Our Schools NZ

“Our government is getting ready to sign the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) which is a trade agreement with America and ten other Pacific countries that could endanger our Public school system.

This agreement is likely to further commercialise New Zealand’s education system and restrict the rights of future governments to regulate the quality and provision of education.

Tim Groser has admitted in parliament that any agreement will include clauses that allow corporations to sue our government  if our laws stand in the way of their trade.

The education market is worth billions to huge international corporations driven only by profits and dividends – not by educational excellence. Our choices about our children’s schooling could be influenced by countries that are not doing nearly as well as us.

The quality of public education in New Zealand is in danger - please, take action. Email or write to Trade Minister Tim Groser and Prime Minster John Key to seek their assurance that any trade agreement they sign will not limit future governments to regulate the quality of Public Education In New Zealand.”








The tapestry operation is running smoothly - thank you for your assistance so far - we just have more tapestry ready for willing hands: we’d love to have everything stitched up (hahahahaha!) and done by the end of this term - and that’s just 31 sleeps away...

The great start is due in no small way to the great effort of Eileen Browning - Cameron Kane’s (R2) great grandma; who did a great deal of over-locking (as in all of it). Thanks Eileen - we are really ‘grateful’ - that is well beyond the call of duty: greatly appreciated.




Friday 29 May 2015

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This week, one of our families hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Mum of Adorabella; performance-day hairstylist to Tuinga-Tahi; and, until she headed off to start her nursing studies, a valued member of our staff; Jaimee Fincher has been diagnosed with an intramedullary spinal cord tumour.

To quote the ‘Give a Little’ - set up to support Jaimee - “Intramedullary spinal cord tumours are rare. Doctors will not know which tumour Jaimee has until she goes for surgery, meaning recovery time is unknown and sadly her state of recovery is also unknown.

"The exact type of tumour and grade is unknown and the doctors are unsure if I will wake up being able to breathe for myself or not, or if I will be able to feel from the neck, chest or waist down".

The tumour is either an ependymona or an astrocytomoma. Due to the location of the tumour Jaimee needs it removed as soon as possible to have a chance of survival.

She will be undergoing high-risk surgery on the 3rd of June where she will then be put into an induced coma in intensive care.”

As awareness of Jaimee’s plight became more widespread this week, we have fielded many “how can I help?” calls, messages and texts. In the immediate term, we are directing to the Give a Little page; and we are considering how best we can support the family - a picture that should become a little clearer once Jaimee is into the post-op phase of her recovery.

It is likely that lots of practical support will be needed - thank you to the ever-growing number of Waverley Park families offering their assistance. Meantime, your thoughts and prayers will be most welcome too.



Thank you to everyone who came forward a few weeks ago to put names down and offered to sew, do tapestry or poi.  

DON'T WORRY, we haven't forgotten you! We have just had to do some calculating, collecting of resources and prep work. Sooooo..... this is where we stand:

  • We currently have 150 uniforms completed and stage ready

  • We have around 30 waistbands and 20 headbands completed, to be sewn

  • We have around 30 waistbands and 20 headbands out and about in the community getting the tapestry done. AND…

  • We have 240 children in the Kapa Haka group.

So, by rough calculation WE STILL NEED 30 waistbands and 40 headbands to have the tapestry done.

WE ARE GOING TO NEED SOME WIDER COMMUNITY SUPPORT - Grandmothers, Aunties, Nana's friends; anyone who can work a needle?!?!

Once the tapestry is completed, we then need to sew them onto material and for headbands also add in the elastic. There will be approx 90 waistbands to sew and 80 headbands to sew. So we will need to have a couple of sewing bee days at school (term 3) to get the waistbands and headbands completed.

You may wonder how we have put up to 200 children on the stage in the past??

Well, we normally have around 40 children who do Pasifika and wear those uniforms. This year there is no Pasifika Cultural group. Also, last year, there were several children who either had a headband or waistband, not both. Strategic, but time consuming to organise.

I know this is a HUGE ask, but please if you can help with tapestry  - which is our highest priority at this moment - or know someone that can help, please call past the office and pick up one, two or three??? They will be ready to go; but if not: please leave your details and I will get them to you.


Finally, a special thank you to Amy Seymour (Charlotte's Mum R4)  and Alice Bathurst (Emma's Mum R2), who are quietly working away in the background prepping huge amounts of tapestry and sewing to make our jobs easier. Thank you both so much :)                    

 Mrs J