Kia Ora Parents,
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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 email@example.com 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)