Greetings to parents and families!
There’s a lot going on at Matipo. In this newsletter I will write about foursignificant changes to the way we work with students:
Special Needs Referrals
We have established a more systematic, school-wide approach to identifying and meeting student learning needs as early as possible. Twice a term the senior leaders will meet with teachers and with our supportive RTLB’s (Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour) to consider any students who may need a specific learning response or even just a little bit of extra help. We have a great deal of expertise and specialist training on our staff team. We are also supported by the RTLB service and where necessary, by the Ministry of Education Psychologist, Speech Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Special Education Advisers.
Before this happens each team of teachers will collect and analyse simple reading data to monitor progress, to identify any concerns, or to respond to parent concerns and questions. Really powerful teaching depends on this collaborative approach.
We also monitor for patterns and respond by establishing ‘programmes’ (such as Rainbow reading) by arranging teacher training about a specific issue, or even recruiting specialist staff.
We always talk to the parents if there is any concern.
At the moment we are considering Teacher Professional Development with Yolanda Soryl, a very helpful phonics- based approach to specific learning difficulties. We will also try to arrange for ‘The Incredible Years’ parenting programme for any parents who might want it.
We are almost ready to start the first cycle of our Enrichment Programmes. Grace Smith has worked very hard with the teachers to organize this. Students may not get their first choice first time but we will try to balance this over time. Look out for the letters about this.
The whole school is working to give students more autonomy and more responsibility for their own learning. The most powerful part of this process is enabling students to understand what they can do well, what they need to learn next to do even better, then planning to make this happen. The sports coaching model is a good metaphor for this – think ‘personal best’ – always challenging oneself, and receiving encouragement and especially specific information from your coach. This is the root of the most powerful motivation. There are some other tools to help this powerful learning process – portfolios, conferencing and especially non-judgmental feedback
I have given our new house leaders three challenges – to organize a Tug-o-War tournament for next week, to take over the running of Monday morning assemblies, and to establish a house point system. All of our adults have also been assigned to houses and the student leaders will work with nominated teacher house leaders. We will elect more positions soon, we need lots of leadership.
Board of Trustees
Last night the Board held its business meeting. There is a great deal of information about how the school is developing in my Principal’s report to the Board. But I did not do this by myself. Deb Shaw, Natalie Kennerley, Sian Foley, Grace Smith, Marion Clark and Kathryn O’Reilly-Dodd all reported in detail about Maths, Literacy, Special Needs, Enrichment, I.T., International Students, and how the teams are going. This will be posted on the website soon for everyone to read.
Congratulations to Lindsay Wills who is planning to take Maternity leave from the middle of the year. We are delighted for her and pleased she is so determined to return to us soon. I will let you know the arrangements for this period at the start of term 2, well before she leaves us.
Karen Verney has decided to step back from her class teaching role at the end of the term. She has given the school such wonderful service over a number of years, and we are very sad to lose her. Thank you, Karen for all you have done for so many students.
Car Boot Sale
Next week our Student-Led conferences take place on Wednesday (afternoon) and Thursday (evening). The Junior Saints will organize a car-boot furniture sale, putting out lots of old furniture on the top courts for you to look at. If there is anything you like, you can make a bid by placing a sticker with your name, contact details and bid on it. We would like as many items possible to be ‘rehomed’. Proceeds will be split between Junior Saints and financial support for EOTC so all our students are included.
We are organizing our camps for later in the year, and will write to you very soon with more information, dates, costs and so on.
Chinese Student Exchange
We will host a group of 10-13 year old Chinese children at Matipo from 2nd to 6th of July. Soon we will write to ask if you would be interested in providing a homestay for one or two of these visitors. The payment is $200 for the week, the experience is priceless.
I will be around throughout our Student led conferences. I hope to see you there.
Nga mihi nui
Happy birthday this week to:
Alex Traub, Tukaha Devery, Amelie Donald, Harper Shallard, Maya Shatura.
Gold Coins for Tonga
Dear parents and caregivers,
This Friday, the 16 th of February, can your child, please bring in a gold coin
donation for Tonga. They will keep this in their bag until we gather on the green court to start the coin trail Can they also please wear something RED.
Matipo school would like to donate the gold coins to Tonga to help rebuild the
houses that have been demolished by the cyclone.
Sincere thanks from Matipo school student leaders.
Chinese New Year Lessons at the Library
Come and celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Te Atatu Peninsula library on Saturday 17th Feb. The Mandarin teacher Ray Chen will be teaching free lessons for kids to learn about Chinese Calligraphy, speaking Mandarin and making yummy dumplings! Please visit the website www.mandarinheroes.comor email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Te Atatu Roosters Rugby League
Upcoming Muster / Carnival Day is on Saturday 17th February from 11am to 2pm at the Te Atatu Roosters Rugby League Club.
(Jack Colvin Park – 44 Titoki Street, Te Atatu Peninsula)