Thursday 26th July 2018
Term 3 – Newsletter 1
Welcome back to term 3 everyone. It’s great to be here.
Spring is not yet quite with us, but it feels like it has already arrived, though maybe the weather hasn’t caught up. Over the break I spent a lot of time reflecting on the koru – what a wonderful symbol of rebirth and renewal. Maybe something to do with flying Air NZ…? We have had a lot of change at Matipo. We have refreshed and strengthened our foundations and the spirit of growth and renewal is with us. Bring it on! Much of this panui is about renewal and regrowth.
Haere Mai… Our team is getting stronger all the time. I am especially pleased to welcome Holly Moore, our new DP and SENCO, Sarah Percy the new teacher in Room 17, and Melissa Urlovic who will work alongside Kathryn O’Reilly-Dodd in Rooms 8. They are all very experienced and capable teachers and leaders and bring strength to our team and our community.
Small words from Holly Moore Kia ora! I am very proud and excited to be the Deputy Principal of Matipo School. My previous kura was Stanmore Bay School where I was Associate Principal. I have taught preschool, primary, intermediate and adults. My partner Rodney and I have 4 boys in their late teens and early twenties, therefore much of my life has involved full-on parenting! Thank you so much to everyone for making me feel so welcome. I look forward to meeting you through the coming months – Holly Moore
Our Board has also been renewing itself. In case you missed it. Our next BoT meeting will take place on 8th August at 7:00pm in the Board Room where the Board will consider how to fill the vacancies left by Faga Siaki and Vanna Blucher, both long-serving trustees who have given great service to the school and the community, who have now passed the baton over to the next generation. Rebecca Lamb has already risen to the challenge to become our new Board Chair.
Our newsletters will now include a regular ‘View from the Board Table’ rather than an occasional communication at the end of the term. Ka pai!
The NZ education system is also renewing itself. Apart from the demise of National Standards, the Minister is now looking at the way Boards work in the ways communities are represented. Special Needs is also under the microscope, with a special focus on trying to understand why so much of the money dedicated to supporting Students with Special Needs doesn’t actually seem to reach schools or the students who need it. About time.
I have had a lot of feedback about the changes we have made to the way we report to parents, and especially how we are trying to increase student ownership and autonomy. Student Led Conferences do not happen in a vacuum, but depend on rich learning experiences in the classroom then informed analysis of the experiences and the work outcomes that arise – ideally a dialogue between student and teacher, or possibly between students. I hope that whanau enjoyed the opportunity to participate in these discussions at our student-led conferences. We are already getting better at this, and our students were magnificent, taking ownership of their own learning and actually leading the process.
We know it isn’t as good as it can be yet though, so we will work with our Tamariki Council, teachers and focus on groups of parents to get feedback and to make things better. Watch this space.
Soon Rooms 21, 6, 7 & 19 will receive their reports and an invitation to Student Led Conferences.
Next week our Year 6’s begin their transition to Intermediate School. Things go round so quickly, eh?
Play Based Learning – This is as important as ever. We are working to develop our understanding and practice even further, and to ensure that we are distributing the learning and sharing practice across the whole team of teachers. There is a significant body of research which shows that all schools have some good teachers, but the best schools never stop working, they share and distribute expertise across the whole team to the point where it becomes the most obvious aspect of the professional culture of the school. As for Play Based Learning, it’s been around in New Zealand Classrooms for about 50 years, but it got a bit squashed by National Standards. Now it’s wonderful to see it regrowing and renewing at Matipo and many other places. Young children will play whenever they can, it is how they learn, so, the key question is so why do we need a teacher? As a school we need to understand and to be explicit about the role of the teacher and how good teaching makes Play Based Learning powerful. I shared a link to the NZ Quality Teaching Early Foundations: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration (BES) on the Ministry’s ’Education Counts’ website a previous newsletter, and the executive summary of that document is simple and short and probably the best explanation about this. Here it is again: https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/series/2515/5963
We are planning a parent information evening, but have put it back more than once. To be quite honest, I think we need to do a bit more work to development understanding and to ensure we have a consistent and shared model of practice across the whole tam first, so we are no looking for a good outside facilitator to help with this, and to lead and support in our meeting sight parents and the community. I hope this helps understand why we have not yet gone ahead with this evening. Watch this space!
Digital Pedagogy – another area for growth and rebirth! We have 100 chrome books safely stored, and we are waiting to get the security cabinets installed before we put them into the classrooms. We are also working with a facilitator from Team Solutions University of Auckland, and have a submitted an application for funding for support with our development in this area. Fingers crossed! Our facilitator will work with staff, the Board and with parents and students to find the best ways to support and use digital pedagogy in our year 5 & 6 classrooms. This is slower than I hoped for but it is much safer and much more certain to get a real good outcome for everyone, but it does mean that we are going a bit slower than I had hoped. We expect to have our meeting with parents late term 3 or early term 4, but we promise that this consultation process will happen before we roll out anything into the classrooms.
One or two other changes you may have noticed – Our alarm system has been upgraded, though this will not be completed for another couple of weeks. We have rekeyed the school with a secure and modern lock and key system. The drinking foundations have been moved off of our Tiger turf – the cause of many accidents and a lot of water on the turf. Our offices are being ‘deprivatised’ and modernised, with some new carpet, improved filing, and some reorganisation. Shelley our Finance Lady has move d to the office next to reception. This means we have a decent office/meeting room for Holly Moore, especially important in her role as SENCO.
We have cleared a whole lot of debris and rubbish off site, bit still have more to do!
The Koru is unfolding slowly and hopefully with definite purpose. We have another fantastic term ahead of us. Our, systems and our teams are getting better all the time, so you will experience fewer problems especially around communications.
I’d better stop….
Nga mihi nui
Happy Birthday this week to; Isobel Lamb, Gabriella Tavita, Tane Reid, Evelyn Cowan, Olivia Cullum, Hazel Yates, Charlotte Zhao, Zoe Hickman, Indiana Clews
Pasifika Cultural Festival This term Matipo are proudly hosting the Pasifika Cultural festival that sees our Culture groups joining other local schools participating in a range of cultural performances. The date is the last Thursday of Term 3. This is a whole school event where some of our students will be leading behind the scenes from organising, promoting, catering and sharing ideas how to beautify our school. A schedule outlining this event will be posted up on our school Facebook page closer to the time. If you can help in any way for this event please contact Ms Oto email@example.com
Wardens Parent help URGENTLY needed, for WARDENS down at the shops – Taikata Road & Matipo Road. Days are Monday & Wednesday mornings from 8:10am – 8:45am. Thank you
Important Dates 31 July – TAI visit for Y6 students 13 – 17 Aug – Maths Week 14 Aug – Netball Field Day Y6 (Rain Day 16/8) 31 Aug – Daffodil Day 12 Sept – Basketball Field Day 19 Sept – Rugby Champions of Champions (Rain Day 20/9) 20 Sept – Market Day 27 Sept – Cultural Festival 28 Sept – Loud Shirt Day 28 Sept – Term 3 Ends