Principal's Blog

17 April 2014
17 April 2014

All the talk this week has been dominated by the Glitz & Glam Ball and just how much fun everyone had. We are so appreciative of the efforts and enthusiasm of the PTA Ball Committee in making this event so successful. The raising of $8000 was wonderful, but building the community spirit and involvement is priceless. I have heard many say they must attend next year, so fingers crossed this amazing team of parents on the committee can find the enthusiasm to do the same again, in the future.

While the ball was a highlight, the weather has been the opposite. It has delayed the completion of the playground surface, postponed the cross country and added to making everyone feel a bit tired and frustrated. So I hope the thought of the holidays and a few Easter treats lifts everyone’s spirits. We are certainly seeing some very tired children who need a well-earned break and a few sleep-ins.

Next term, we are altering the school timetable slightly. The rationale behind the change is to maximize children’s learning and engagement. The morning tea break is being moved to 11.00am so that we get a good chunk of time in the morning when children’s concentration is at its best. Teachers may be offering a quick brain break at ten but each class will be sharing their decisions around what this will look like. The lunch break remains the same. This timetable has been introduced in other schools and the feedback has been really good, so we will be watching to see if it has a positive impact for us.

The next new entrant class will open when we return and we welcome Nikki Western to the staff. We also welcome Sarah Johnstone to the team teaching combination for room 3. Both teachers have already started to meet with their teams and are well underway. Michelle Wilson remains on our staff in a part-time role and we have loved her involvement with room 3 this term. We also welcome back Michael Keats to a part-time role. Michael has decided on a more gradual return to teaching and we are just so glad to see him back and looking so much better.

The first term of any school year is always extremely busy with teachers building relationships, establishing learning needs and engaging students on their learning journey for the year. Moving around classes it is very apparent that a lot of fabulous learning has been occurring and that there is wonderful collaboration in classrooms, across classes and across year groups. I appreciate the efforts of our tremendous staff and the role that all parents play in this process. So thank you to everyone in our school community for a very eventful and engaging first term.

Week 9 Term 1
08 April 2014

We have welcomed Tony Mason from Australia to our school this week and he has been working with every class across the school sharing his wealth of knowledge of Polynesian music and dance. By tomorrow his goal is to have every year group present and share their learning with the other students. It is a huge commitment and he is building the children’s confidence to try new things and to work together, so a lot of our key competencies around self-management, relating to and respecting others, contributing and participating are being incorporated into the sessions.

Parents are welcome but there may be limited space. This is not a highly polished performance as it has all been compiled and practised in just four days but it is a chance for children to learn in a different way and rise to a new challenge.

The playground continues to progress and should be complete early next week. We appreciate that it has been a little awkward moving around that area and thank the families who have used the Tomes Road entrance to relieve the pressure of foot traffic.

We are starting to reshape the middle school garden and have a pathway framed. We will be spreading bark along the pathway. If anyone had any spare time to spread some of the bark over the next week or so that would be appreciated. We are hoping to plan a working bee to build some more permanent gardening beds and really get our environmental and gardening projects underway next term.

The awareness about ‘Nood Food’ is making a real difference and we have really noticed a huge reduction in litter around the school. There is still room for improvement but we are really grateful for the work of last year’s room 10 children to get this project underway and the growing awareness from children and parents.

Coming up next week: on Monday we have an evening to update parents about sport. This is a follow-up to one held last year where parents shared some wonderful ideas that we have put into practice. We really welcome parentsattendance as we appreciate the opportunity to share our thoughts and glean ideas from you. The finale for the week will be the Glitz and Glam Ball - there is still time to buy your tickets and be part of this exciting community event.

We are wishing the year 5 and 6 girlsgrade A cricket team all the best tomorrow as they are through to the final against St Albans. Go well girls and enjoy the game.

Warmest regards,
Raewyn Saunders - Principal (Acting)
saunders@paparoastreet.school.nz

27 March 2014
31 March 2014

 

Last weekend was very special for our staff being involved with the ‘Relay for Life’. We entered a team because we cared and wanted to support some folk in our community but the gains were far more significant than that. We raised close to $1800 which was great, but the real gains were about the commitment and camaraderie with our staff. We had moments of laughter, emotions and poignant sadness. Did you know that marmite on toast at four in the morning is a great pick me up? A very special thank you to all the families who have supported this cause and to those that came along. We enjoyed having children join us on some of the laps.

Throughout this week we have again appreciated the community engagement with the 3-way conferences. Research tells us of the importance of parents in the learning journey for children and we value the role you play. The children are settled into the year and are keen to share their learning and what they are striving for this year. Progress is different for everyone, but the best progress is when children know that their efforts and enthusiasm for learning are valued and celebrated. If you missed a conference then you can contact your child’s teacher directly and arrange a suitable time.

During last week, Room 7 were involved in an online regional maths competition with 14 schools entered, and students had up to 1000 questions they needed to try and answer. Tania Soal said that it became a very competitive week and it is very exciting to report that they were the winners. Well done room 7.

It is always wonderful to hear about ex- students. Yesterday, we welcomed some players from the Tactix team and among them was Sophia Fenwick who attended Paparoa Street School. Our year 6 netballers were delighted to be able to talk with them and also learn a few tips for this season.

Next week is our ‘Spirit of Polynesia’ week. We will have Tony Mason from Australia working with every class on various songs and dances from around Pacific. Through the music and dance he will be sharing many messages about resilience and well-being. This will be a

very special week and we are hoping parents will be able to assist with some of the activities.

The playground improvements are underway and this is going to make the entrance near the reserve a little problematic for the next two weeks. We really do encourage you to use the main entrance on Tomes Road. It may be a little further for children to walk but it is just for a short time and then we will have a gorgeous new playground surface to enjoy.

Have you booked your Glitz and Glam Ball tickets? Do come and join us at this event. It really does sound as if it is going to be a night to enjoy. If you are like some of us who were worrying about what to wear, then don’t. It really is about just being there as part of the community so we hope to see lots of you there.

Warmest regards,
Raewyn Saunders - Principal (Acting)
saunders@paparoastreet.school.nz