Principal News

By Simon Clarke | Posted: Wednesday January 29, 2020

Another busy year ahead...

We have had an excellent and very settled start to the year.  Children and teachers have come back refreshed and ready for another year of learning.

It will be a year where many of the projects that we have started, come to a conclusion and become fully implemented. ...

This year is the final year of our innovation funding from the Otago Community Trust on Project Based Learning.  We have invited the worldwide experts on PBL to work once again with our teachers in early March from PBL Works in the USA.  Nearly all of the teaching staff will be working with these experts between the 18th-26th March so expect to see some of our familiar relievers in your child's class over these days.  The professional development programme concludes with a teacher only day on Friday the 27th of March.  This is a big commitment for the schools in the cluster (Wakari, Maori Hill, Halfway Bush and Balmacewen) and it is important that we get the most of these experts while we have them in the country. The students from the cluster have been asked to be involved with the hospital rebuild plans and this will be the major project in Term 3/4 and a chance for the teachers to put their new learning into action.

Speaking of rebuilding, we will see the start of the construction of our own rebuild this year.  I am expecting work to begin in the second half of the year and we have a large model in the office of what the school will look like if you haven't already had a chance to see it.  The second major focus for the teacher's professional development this year will be investigating and understanding further how we will use the first 7 learning spaces at the start of 2021.

In regards to providing feedback on your child's learning, we have evolved from physical portfolios to google documents and have finally settled on using the Seesaw software.  We plan to provide more feedback on your child's goals and learning via this platform as well as what they have been doing in class generally.  This will be discussed at the upcoming parent-teacher interviews in a few weeks.  The interviews will be earlier than usual and have replaced the "Meet the Teacher" evening.  Half of you already know who your child's new teacher is, and if you don't, feel free to pop in any time before or after school to introduce yourself.

Throw in camps, sports, cultural events and of course planning for the 2020 fair it will no doubt be another very busy year!

We welcome two new teachers to our staff.  Anya Matravers has joined the senior team and has come from Pembroke School in Oamaru.  Anya will be working in Room 1A.  This is the old library and has just been equipped with all new furniture as well as an interactive TV and Chromebooks from GLI computers.  The library is now in Room 11 which is next to the hall and will reopen in week 3.

We also welcome Jody Bolger back.  Jody was the final year student in Room 7 and she has returned as a beginning teacher in the junior team.  Maggie Adlam is our new Assistant Principal and will be leading this team from the front in Room 8. 

Kind regards

Simon Clarke