Dear Parents, Caregivers and Children,
This time last year I wrote the below for our newsletter and as I read it I find it interesting that the message is very relevant and on point 12 months later.
Term 4 by nature is a bit of a sprint, 9 weeks of learning which includes lots of events. Purely by this description you can create a sense of urgency and even panic around having to fit all the events and tasks in before the end of year. As a result your mindset changes and even your behaviour / approach. This is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it is a positive to change gear, increase your speed and achieve more in a shorter time frame, you could argue you are improving your fitness towards the job (whatever that job maybe). The important thing to consider when doing these things is to also ensure we see it for what it is, 'a phase', 'a moment in time' that requires a bit more of you. It has to be just that, as the speed and pace in that period of time are not sustainable (they're not supposed to be). When you find yourself in these periods it is important to not see this current status as a problem but rather an opportunity to achieve more and enjoy the energy that surrounds it. The reason why I feel it is important to take this mindset rather than the alternative is that these 'urgencies' don't last, they fade. Knowing this and knowing that we will outlast the current status allows us to accept the challenge and do so with courage and confidence, not with panic.
What interests me is what have we learnt from this, are we better at dealing with the sprint? Have we developed better strategies to 'run the race' more effectively? What is worth noting is the comfort of predictability. We know what is coming, we know what needs to be done and we know the time frames. The 'no surpise' factor helps.
This week I shared a book to our children in assembly titled 'the Flower Man'. It is a wordless story. The essence of it is how a man brings colour to peoples lives, he role models and lives the change he wants to be. It was an important message to all our children, in particular our seniors as we look to them to finish their time here strongly and continue to role model the values, behaviours and expectations we have as a school.
Finally, in two weeks (Week 9, Tuesday 10th Dec and Wednesday 11th Dec) we have our Term 4 Student Led Conferences. These conferences are a wonderful opportunity for you to come in and share in the learning that your child has been doing over the last couple of terms. Please take the time to book a slot using the www.schoolinterviews.co.nz website. Our code is: 2ctst. We will be asking for an early pick up (1.45pm) if possible on the Wednesday as our teachers will be involved in conferences from 2.00pm onwards. Thank you for your support with this.
Sadly at the end of the year we will be saying goodbye to a couple of staff members. Miss Nikki Oldridge is moving to her home in Whangamata where she can be closer to her fiance. Nikki has won a position at Tairua Primary School. In addition Miss Shae Warren will also be leaving us. Shae is moving to Melbourne to also be with her partner. Shae has won a position as an educator for Dream City. While both Nikki and Shae are significant losses to both their syndicate teams and our wider school team, they have our full support and we wish them well.
As a result over the past few weeks we have been going through the process with making new appointments. I am delighted to let you know that Mrs Kim MacPherson will be remaining with us on a more permanent basis. Kim has been our new entrant teacher since Term 3 and has developed wonderful relationships with both the children and parents. She has proven experience and skills. As well, Kim is a mother of two children, one we are lucky to have attend our school. In addition, Miss Hannah Richardson will be joining us for 2020. Hannah is Puketaha through and through. Having lived here for 15+ years now and being an ex pupil of our school, Hannah brings with her some genuine knowledge of our school and our community. Having worked as YMCA Team Leader this year while finishing her studies in our before and after school care we have seen first hand the care, kindness and time she gives to our children. We are delighted with these appointments and look forward to the skills and knowledge they will bring to our team.
Another exciting addition to our team for 2020 is the appointment of Raewyn Forsyth. Raewyn takes on a new Ministry of Education Role of Learning Support Coordinator (LSC). This initiative is designed to ensure we are able to facilitate and coordinator as much specific support as possible to children who need it and ensure that the support is accessible and close to the child. This role will be shared with Rototuna Junior High in a 60/40 ratio. Raewyn is early childhood trained and for the last 3 years has worked for a private tutoring company specialising in supporting children with Dyslexia and Disgraphia. In addition Raewyn has worked for both the Ministry of Education and Oranga Tamariki (previously known as CYFS). She has done a large amount of professional learning under the 'Speld' umbrella. We feel very fortunate having Raewyn join our team in this capacity and know she will add much value to our learners, in particular our learners who are needing that extra support.
Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to refurbish the learning environments of Rōpū Kākano 2 and 9 as we transform them into an ILE and bring them into alignment with the rest of our school. The disruption to learning has been minimal and this can be credited to the commitment and organisation of our Rōpū Kākano teachers.
The completion of this space is due to be handed over on Friday 13th December. Then the builders will move into Rōpū Māhuri for their upgrade (which is mainly the decking area) and then finally the roof over Rōpū Puāwai.
Obviously the disruption to our entranceway has been the most significant. Please continue to be mindful of traffic and others around you as we drop off and pick up our children at the start and end of the school day. It is by nature a very congested time, your patience and thoughtfulness of others is appreciated.
At this busy time of year please make a note of events coming up at the end of the school year, we would love to see you there.
Tuesday & Wednesday 10th & 11th December: Learner-Led Conferences
Early pick up 1.45pm
Thursday 12th December: School Disco
Friday 13th December: Powerful Learners assembly 2pm
Christmas Picnic from 5pm
Tuesday 17th December: Footsteps Performance & Prizegiving 12pm - 2.45pm
Wednesday 18th November at 12pm: Last day of School