Principal's Blog

Another Busy Week
20 February 2014

It was this time last year that we re-launched our ‘Houses’ with Rata, Kahikatea, Totara and Kowhai. On Friday we had our ‘House Day’ with the choirs and tabloids and it was wonderful to see all the children representing their Houses with real spirit, supporting each other and the older children stepping up to lead and encourage the younger children.

The senior swimming sports were held yesterday at Jellie Park Pool. The House Relay showed the same spirit as the relay teams were very loudly and passionately supported. This was the finale of a very well organised swimming event. Well done to all the students who competed and thanks to Roger Fenemor and Alison Field for their efforts.

The juniors also had a wonderful day at Halswell Pool on Tuesday. We were lucky with the weather on one level as it was a great day to be able to cool off in a pool but it also created a very hot bus ride home. The fact that some of the buses had minimal ventilation has been addressed with complaints sent to the bus company.

Last year, we trialled the Fonterra Milk programme and the decision has been made to continue with this programme for year 2 classes upwards. The little 5 year olds have struggled with the quantity of milk to consume and the folding of the cartons for re-cycling. The re-cycling is a requirement of the programme.

Our support for the ‘Relay for Life’ on 22/23 March is building. We have a team of 27 staff involved. This has been a wonderful response and so if you do feel like supporting the ‘Paparoa Pacers’ we would really appreciate it. Details are in the newsletter.

Today we had our first kapahaka session with our new teachers Matua Norm and Matua Maaka. We welcome them to our school and look forward to seeing this group develop through the year. If your child is interested they will be meeting every Thursday 8.30 to 9.30am in the hall, and if you would like to know more, Amanda Keith is the teacher to talk to. Amanda has a real passion in this area which we all value.

You will have noticed the Life Education caravan on site. All classes will have sessions over the next two weeks. The feedback so far is that the lessons are engaging and address some very important issues. Harold the giraffe continues to be a favourite. A special thank you to Kathleen Hungerford.

Carlo Ballara has come to see me with a wonderful opportunity to start a ukulele orchestra. This would be an additional musical option if you wish your child to participate. The details are in the letter attached. We need to see if there is sufficient interest first, so do let us know if it appeals. I love the name he has suggested for this group, ‘Papalele Orchestra’.

The first PTA meeting for the year is tonight. This is an amazing group of parents who contribute such a lot to our school. It is an opportunity to network and meet other parents, catch up with things that are happening at school and also be part of their wide range of activities. They would love to have more parents involved. If you are interested, we will be meeting in the staffroom at 7.30 and everyone is very welcome.

Warmest regards,
Raewyn Saunders
Principal (Acting)


Term 1 2014
06 February 2014

Welcome back for 2014. It is always exciting to start the year and observe how eager children are to return to school and catch up with their friends. They appear to have changed; growing taller, more confident and ready to accept the new challenges and expectations that the next year level brings.

We are fortunate to start the year with a very stable staff but there are always some new faces. Emily Wright has joined the middle team with a year 3 class, in room 25 and we also are delighted to have Michelle Wilson and Jill Bayliss team teaching in the senior team, in room 3.

A very special welcome to all the new children and families to our school. We hope you enjoy becoming part of the ‘Paparoa Street School Family’.

At the beginning of every year teachers organise interactive and co-operative activities for children to get to know each other and to feel part of their new class setting, their syndicate and their House. As a school we also enjoy getting to know our community so please feel very welcome to be part of the events coming up.

Each term we will have a morning tea for parents where you can come and chat to staff, raise questions or just get to know a little more about us, how we operate and also share your thoughts and ideas. The first of these is next Tuesday 11 February, 9.00 in the staffroom. This is an invitation to all parents who would like to come and make a connection with us. There will be representatives from the Board and PTA to meet as well.

With the return to school you will be back into the routine of school lunches. This year we are launching ‘Nood Food’. We will be encouraging children to bring healthy lunches with no wrappers. Children will be talking about ways to have a nood food lunchbox and we urge you to talk about

these ideas and support your children and the school.

These are all life skills that have an impact on our school and wider environments.

Wishing everyone a fabulous term one.

Warmest regards,
Raewyn Saunders
Principal (Acting)

Week 2
24 October 2013

I wish there was an app for selecting the right weather for Athletics Day! In spite of the chilly southerly wind we went ahead on Tuesday and it certainly did not diminish the effort and enjoyment that the children displayed. Thanks again to Roger and Alison for another very well organised sporting event and to the parents who also came in support.

Yesterday, I joined room 8 for the opening of their “Writers’ Walk”. I thoroughly enjoyed taking time to walk around the block and sharing the poems and stories about brothers and sister. This is the second time for this event and the interest has been amazing. There were 480 entries and those selected are quite outstanding. So do take the time to go on the stroll through the school and around the block and share these talented pieces of writing. ‘Brotherly and sisterly love’ is expressed in a variety of ways!

Last night we had the parent presentation from Kathryn Edmands about supporting ourselves and our children three years down the track from the earthquakes. It was interesting to hear of her experiences working in the area of mental health and the huge impact we as a community are continually coping with. She shared that we are all quite remarkable to have come through such an event and be doing as well as we are. Anxiety is real, both for us as adults, and for our children. Through our Red Cross grant we will be able to have Kathryn assisting with some more support. Even if you were unable to attend last night but feel your child is showing signs of anxiety or not coping in certain settings do let me know. Kathryn is happy to run some more sessions for small groups or to work with specific families.

You may have seen the “Walk your Wheels” posters that the children have made and which are displayed around the school. This is a real safety issue, particularly first thing in the morning and after school. There have been several accidents from children zooming along on scooters and rip-sticks and colliding with other people. While most people are showing respect to others and walking with their wheels we still have a few who are forgetting. Please, I urge you to have a chat with your own children around this safety and also to support us with pre-schoolers. We had another incident just last week that would have been avoided if the child with the scooter had been walking their wheels.

I really hope you have an enjoyable long weekend and that the weather is more settled for us.

Warmest regards,
Raewyn Saunders – Principal (Acting)