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

  

Friday
Aug152014

Friday 15 August 2014

A freezy-breezy (and for many) wheezy old week. Keeping kids warm has been almost as challenging as trying to keep some of them dry.

 

It’s staggering the number of little boys in particular; who’ve managed to “accidentally” fall over in puddles. Even the most difficult to get to puddles have been in the action!

 

Photography exhibition...

The culmination of the enrichment programme photography group’s recent efforts: their work is being exhibited in Kia Manawanui block - just inside the door of the eastern entrance.

 Using a piece of smart technology, you simply focus on a photo with an i-pad mini - which we supply - and the photographer comes up in a video clip to explain their image. Cool eh?

You are most welcome to come in and view the kid’s work before and after school - there are some very good images on show.

Photographer Kyan explains her work.

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.

 

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.

 

MOE parent website…

Today your child will be bringing home with their newsletter a bookmark detailing a new site the Ministry of Education has developed for parents. Parents have been telling them 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.

 

Scooter security offer ….

The Waverley Park Parents Assn is offering to engrave your child’s name on their scooter for a small charge of $5.  If you would like this done then please contact the office to arrange a  time.

Tuinga Tahi noho marae…

Tuinga Tahi 2014 held a marae stay last weekend - part of their preparation for Putangitangi next term. Our sincere thanks to Awhina, Sharon, Fiona, and Whaea Iri for their good work; and to the parents who supported them.

Thank you to …

South Fuels and in particular Full Boar Logging Ltd who have donated to the school $121.80 in their Fuel for Schools Promotion. We really do appreciate your donation.


 



Wednesday
Aug132014

Friday 08 August 2014

As the world marks the centenary of the beginning of World War 1 - also known as ‘the Great War’ (there’s an oxymoron for you) and; ‘the war to end all wars’: there is massive irony in the fact that, as a species, we appear to have learned nothing in the 100 years since.

Indeed, as you look around the globe at the moment, all that has really evolved is mankind’s ability to more efficiently despatch larger numbers of people - either at a distance or through stealth. Imagine what the world could have looked like by now if the ability to make peace had developed at the same pace.  

 

Emma with a family heirloom - the MBE awarded to her great-great-grandmother “for services to Otago and Southland during World War One.”

 

 

Apologies…

If you turned up for assembly this morning and found there wasn’t one; the error was ours not yours! Last week’s newsletter did have an assembly listed for today - and we didn’t spot that mistake: apologies for inconvenience caused.

Generally assemblies are every second week in the terms (weeks 2, 4 6…): but not this term. There is fair bit of competition for space in a very crowded school calendar: so there will only be three more assemblies this term: currently scheduled for August 15 and September 05 & 19.

Meantime, the kids performing at Polyfest at the end of the month are working solidly to polish their performance. So too is our choir: onstage at Sing Out 2014 on Tuesday 16 September.

Meantime, the gym teams are also in training for  their day in the spotlight five days later - Sunday 21 September - when they take part in the Gymsport Festival at James Hargest College.

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 will go on sale next week; $12.50 for adults; $6.50 for kids.

The morning show for schools is at cheaper rates. We will have cost details for this show in next week’s newsletter: please support your kids in supporting the choir.   

Add this to your calendar….

School photos will be taken on Tuesday 23 September. This year we are offering  individuals and sibling photos to be taken also. 

These will be taken only if you request them. We will be asking for you to contact us nearer the time if you want them done.

Scooter security offer ….

The Waverley Park Parents Assn is offering to engrave your child’s name on their scooter for a small charge of $5.  If you would like this done then please contact the office to arrange a  time.

Friday
Aug012014

Friday 01 August 2014

Download Friday 01 August 2014 Newsletter

Kia ora tatou  

To borrow a line from an old principal colleague: “It’s been another busy week here at the Waverley Park Academy for Higher Learning.Obviously, he didn’t actually say ‘Waverley Park’; he used the name of his own school (thought it best to be clear on that).

 He used to put the emphasis on the “Academy for Higher Learning” part. His tongue firmly in his cheek for that sentence; he’d usually follow it up with the more serious: “For some of our kids, it’s the only oasis of calm in an otherwise chaotic life.”

That second part is true for most schools - some kids do live chaotic lives and school is a place where they can relax a little more; chill a bit; have some fun and do some learning, creating and thinking. When you look around the world at the moment, by comparison: every New Zealand school offers an oasis of calm amid any chaos.

 

And that will have been what the Gaza families thought when they opted to utilise a United Nations school as a haven: “At least our kids will be safe here….”

Te Kotahitanga

KAPA HAKA DRESS REHEARSAL Friday 22nd August @ 10.10 in school hall.

MAORI WHANAU HUI straight after dress rehearsal Friday 22nd August (10 minutes max). It is very important for someone to represent each whanau at the meeting.

POLYFEST KAPA HAKA PRACTICES: Start daily next Wednesday 6 August from 11.30-12.30pm (Monday - Thursday); Fridays 1.30-2.30pm.

Parents and whanau are welcome and encouraged to pop in at any time to join in or watch. Preparation for Polyfest is a huge investment of time and effort from both the children and the school.

Your involvement also shows your children that you value their effort and commitment not just for the "show piece" performance, but for the entire preparation as well.

 

Book fair...

A wee "heads up" - we will be holding the Scholastic Book Fair again this year. This will be taking place between Monday 25 and Friday 29 August in the school library. Because Polyfest is on the Friday we will be having dress up day on Thursday the 28 of August just to finish off the week of fun. Looking forward to seeing you all dressed up.  More information closer to the time.         -  Cheers Vanessa  the Librarian

 

WPPA news...

After many years of being a parent and the chair holder of Waverley Park Parents Association; my own children have left the Waverley nest and I have handed in my resignation.

Consequently, I would like to welcome our new WPPA President Nicola Duston to the role and wish her all the best for the future.                                            - Vanessa Young

(And we’ll also add the school’s thanks to Vanessa for her years of service as part of the WPPA fabric - she epitomised the WPPA goal of providing the extras  (‘the cool stuff’) for the kids: thanks Queen V, you’re one in  a million).

 

Speaking of thanks...

Last week we advertised for new road patrol volunteers - this week they hit the ground running (and not always in ideal weather). Can we just say thank you to these women on your behalf:

Cassandra (Mondays)

Michelle (Tuesdays)

Sheree (Wednesdays)

Nicole (Thursdays)

Rachel (Fridays) and

Bronwyn (Thursday this week)


 

Friday
Aug012014

Friday 25 July 2014

 Download 25th July Newsletter

Nga mihi nui.

As we kick off the third term of four for the year, it is easy to get lulled into the sense that 2014 is only half way through. In reality, by this time next week, we’ll be into August … the eighth month … there are only forty-two days of primary schooling left for the year. Forty-two. Seven weeks’ worth in total.

“That can’t be right?!” you say. (The doubters are already reaching for their calculators). The simple fact is that NZ kids spend only 12% of their year physically in the classroom - 1000 out of 8760 hours in a 365-day year (and it’s less if they are at secondary school): the other 88% of the time, they are with their families in their communities (the majority hopefully deferring sleep until then!).

So: home-school teamwork is vital; we need each other to truly make a difference to children’s progress:

  • Every time you attend an interview, a sports day, a whanau day; an assembly, or a meeting;

  • every time you discuss homework, school successes, progress, or problems with your child (and/or teachers);

  • every time you help with a class trip, a sports team, an event or a fundraiser: you make a difference.

You are letting your kids know that you are genuinely interested in their education, and care about their progress and their welfare. They often sense it rather than consciously know it. So: keep up the good work Waverley Park families - your involvement in your children’s education is far more powerful than any national education policy - even the researched and well-reasoned ones!

 

Te Kotahitanga …

HEADS UP! MAORI WHANAU HUI  - date still to be set. All Waverley Maori whanau welcomed and encouraged to attend. - Mrs J, Mrs Burdon & Mrs Marley

Mā pango, mā whero, ka oti te mahi / when we unite the work will soon be done.

 

New volunteers !

The morning road patrol was instigated to alleviate the concerns of parents worried about their children crossing St Andrew St - particularly in the winter.

The original agreement was that parent volunteers would supervise the patrol team because our staff cannot as their  mornings are spent setting up for the day. As my timetable is often more flexible than that of other school staff; I agreed to fill in at short notice, should the rostered parent suddenly be prevented from getting here on time.

We have reached the stage where all of the original volunteers have other commitments and are unable to continue. As there are many mornings when I cannot be there either, there remained only two realistic options:

1  Return to having no morning road patrol team on duty;

2 New volunteers! Courtesy of Facebook and me having a bit of a bleat: we have most of a new roster ready to go - huge thanks to Cassandra (Mondays) Nicole (Tuesdays or Thursdays),  Sheree (Wednesdays) and Rachel (Fridays - she started this morning): we’ve almost got a full roster already! If you can be the Tuesday or Thursday person; we’d love to hear from you ASAP: Contact us at 2179332, https://www.facebook.com/, 022 317 9332, and / or admin@waverleypark.school.nz

 

Board of Trustees…

Next meeting is on Monday 11 August at 7.00pm in the staffroom. As always - you are most welcome to attend.

 

Open all hours…

Arkwright may have been; but we are not. Just a gentle reminder that in the interests of safety, kids shouldn’t be at school before 8.20am; and that they are welcome to come back after school to play in the grounds - but only after they have been home to check in with you. That way, we know that you know that they are your responsibility again.

It’s a good idea that they change out of their uniform too:

a)   primarily because it helps us tell at a glance who has checked in at home and who hasn’t;

b)    it helps keep it cleaner longer; so

 c)    thanks for your assistance.

 

Kotahitanga kapa haka...

Thank you to all the mothers who washed and ironed all 180 Kotahitanga uniforms. Also thank you to Tania Clive and Jacqui McAllister who came in to sort the uniforms in the holidays.

Due to the sheer size of the group, whanau assistance and support for our participation is essential: we simply cannot manage a group this size without it. Without a good level of adult assistance, we would have to limit the size of the group - something we just don’t want to do.

Please let the office (or Raiha Johnson) know if you are available. Thanks.                                             - Raiha