By Simon Clarke | Posted: Wednesday December 12, 2018
and what a year it has been...
It seems like a long time ago since we kicked off the year with a teacher only day at Balmacewen Intermediate with all of the teachers in the Hills Cluster of schools. Teachers were introduced to new ideas and skills and one of the many highlights this year has been seeing the staff's professional development transfer to our students. The children have been showing how talented they are using a greater range of tools. It has been great to see children solve problems with both high and low tech equipment. Some of the highlights have included the creation of virtual classrooms to explore classroom design, a wide range of objects made on the 3D printers, a number of cardboard constructions across the whole school and the Edison and Lego robots being used. The project continues next year, and we will be holding a parent morning in Term 1 where your child will teach you about how to code, create, design and make.
In February we conducted our biennial survey which once again had largely positive feedback about what we are doing at Kaikorai School. 90% of those surveyed thought the staff were approachable, that the school had a good reputation in the community and that their child received a high level of education.
This was reaffirmed by ERO in March who moved the school from a three year cycle to a 4-5 year review cycle and had no significant recommendations for improvement apart from to continue on the path that we are on.
Through the winter months, we remained busy finding success both in and out of the classroom at such events like the EPro8 challenge, Polyfest, O'Mathalons and ukulele Jams to name a few.
The community pulled together in November as we held a very successful fair raising a record amount of money for the school playground. Thanks again to everyone involved especially Kelly MacKnight and the Parent Group.
I believe that the school has a culture of innovation, of being keen to give things a go. Not everything that we do works, however, and the Google WOW folder that all children have, has not been successful. The concept of keeping parents regularly informed about their children's work is sound so we will be shifting the whole school to using Seesaw in 2019. Many of you will be familiar already with this app either via your preschool/kindy or the successful trial that has been completed in Rooms 4, 7 and 9. All students will still have access to the Google suite of tools and this will be using this regularly, but we hope that Seesaw will be more user-friendly for you to see their best work.
We also look forward to next year as we will be running the popular KAIKville programme in term 2, an on-stage school production and the school reunion. We will welcome a new teacher, Maggie Adlam and farewell two long-serving teachers in Susan Oldfield and Dale Blackie. Between them both, they have spent over 40 years at Kaikorai School and had a massive impact on 100s if not 1000s of our children's lives. Dale will be especially remembered for her work in providing reading support while our Assistant Principal, Susan Oldfield, has led the junior syndicate for many years. We wish them both well for their retirement.
We also say farewell for now to Mrs Fran Hall who has been teaching in our new entrants in Room 11 in the second half of the year.
We say farewell also to our Year 6 students, and we hope that we have prepared you well for the next stage of your schooling. You will have many exciting challenges ahead, and if you keep the Kaikorai values in the back of your mind, I am sure you will go on to many great things.
Thank you to the entire staff of teachers, teacher aides, admin, caretakers and cleaners who all pull together to try their very best every day for your children. The work that you do is much appreciated.
Finally, we look forward to seeing all returning students next year, and we wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Christmas break!