Principal's Blog

Welcome Back
17 October 2013

Welcome back to term 4 and I hope that you were all able to enjoy some of the lovely spring weather we experienced during the holiday break. This final term of the year is always busy and exciting with a lot happening and we appreciate all the support from families with the various activities and events.

One aspect that we are going to need to consider is the introduction of the new regulations over child restraint in vehicles. From 1 November the mandatory use of child restraints in vehicles will be extended by two years, with all children required to be correctly secured in an approved restraint until their seventh birthday or preferably until they are 148cm in height. In the future, this will have implications for transport for school trips. At this stage buses are exempt so it will not impact on the swimming programme.

It also has implications for something as simple as arranging for a school friend to come and play after school. For example, if you were intending to drive them home then the child will need to bring a booster seat to school. I am sure it will become automatic in time, but it is something we are all going to need to consider. More information can be found on the following websites: www.safekids.org.nz, www.nzta.govt.nz/childrestraints

With our children’s well-being at heart I would also like to encourage you to come to the session next Wednesday 23 October at 7pm.

“Helping you to help your children”

Kathryn Edmands is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. While the rest of the world may have forgotten about the implications of the earthquakes in Christchurch we are still very aware of the long-term impacts on buildings and roads but most importantly on people. Her session will give us insight to support us as parents on how to respond to our children’s behaviours and anxieties. Children are often secure in the usual family and school routine but when the circumstances change their ability to cope and self manage can change. Ultimately, we want our children to be resilient and confident. More details follow below.

Finally, the other safety issue to raise is the importance of bringing our children up to be well educated and aware of sun safety. The wearing of sunhats is essential this term. Not always easy to appreciate on cloudy, dull days but it is great to get them into the habits of applying sunscreen and wearing a hat.

We have the athletics sports for years 3 to 6 next Tuesday so we would love to see as many parents as possible here. Fingers crossed for a lovely day, so don’t forget the sunscreen and hats.

Warmest regards,
Raewyn Saunders – Principal (Acting) 

End of term 3
27 September 2013

The yachting has definitely been the talk of the week and kept us all trying to be positive and willing our team to come through.  While we are all incredibly disappointed it has kept the country passionate. We still have so much to be proud of for the teamwork and commitment to keep trying.

It was this sort of team commitment and determination that we saw with our two Jump Jam teams at the South Island finals last Saturday.  The year 1 to 3 team looked wonderful in their pink and black and put on a great performance. Then our year 4 to 6 team’s performance was incredibly polished and their hard work paid off winning the competition. They will now attend the nationals in Auckland on November 16. Well done to all the girls and to Jess Andrew, Tania Soal and Jen Laird for all their time and effort working with these girls. At the end of their performances the girls were asked some questions about their training and it was lovely to hear them acknowledge the efforts of these teachers. Next term there will be some fund raising to help with the travel to Auckland and we certainly wish them well.

This term has certainly been busy and it is lovely to open the school today so that our community can come and see all the learning that has been happening. From the class based learning to the extra curricula dance that the senior school shared in the hall. Moving about our school you definitely get a sense of teamwork and commitment from our students, teaching staff and also our wonderful support staff. All that happens in a school is definitely as a result of different groups or teams of people leading and initiating different aspects, that all contribute to the running of the school and the engagement of our gorgeous children.

This afternoon we will all head to the hall and enjoy ‘Paparoa Street Idol’. It will be an afternoon where we see these qualities again evident. To all the children who have got together in groups or individually, thank you for your efforts and commitment to be part of this event. To those in the finals, I hope you really enjoy the experience. There will be winners and those who don’t but it is the involvement, the passion, the commitment and the sense of team that are the qualities to value and treasure.

To everyone, I hope the holiday break brings some time to chill and relax before the fourth term, this is always the busiest term in a school year.

Keep safe and happy holidays.

Warmest regards Raewyn

Week 8 Update
19 September 2013

Lots to celebrate!

Hopefully we will soon be celebrating the America’s Cup very, very soon.  Yachting has never been so exciting, fast paced and challenging as it is today and this reminds me of education.  I have been away at the Canterbury Principal’s Conference at Hanmer Springs and engaging in conversations about the future possibilities for our school and our wider community.   Phil Harding was one of the presenters so it was lovely to catch up with all his news. Change is stimulating and challenging and it is very important that we bring everyone on the journey with us.

While looking ahead is exciting, the last week has been action packed.  We have had a visit from the Sydney Grammar School orchestra. They are an outstanding group of young musicians and a real treat for us as an audience.

We have had children involved in the Christchurch Primary School Aerobics competition.  Well done to Ashleigh Brett gaining first place in the individuals and Ashleigh and Lucy Stroud gaining first place in the pairs.

I also missed acknowledging the wonderful success of Cameron Hudson gaining second place in the speech competition and Theo Henderson being awarded a highly commended. Well done also, to all the other students who have given their best in various competitions. Sadly, we cannot all win but getting involved and participation is an achievement in itself. This weekend we also have Jump Jam teams competing and I am really looking forward to watching them.

Throughout the last month so many children have auditioned for ‘Paparoa Idol’. I have missed organising this event this year as I always enjoy watching all the talent and enthusiasm. I am really looking forward to the finals next Thursday.

Next week, Thursday will be a real community day. From 11 o’clock the school will be open to see learning in action. The senior school have a dance celebration in the hall and then will be returning to their classes and the rest of the school will be open for you to wander and see classes working and also take time to view the many science inquiry displays that the various classes and teams have been involved with this term. You are then welcome to stay and have lunch with your children.  The afternoon will be the finals of ‘Paparoa Idol’. So the parents of children involved in the finals can stay on.

It is hard to believe another term is nearly over.

I sense tomorrow morning may see all of us with eyes on screens.

Go New Zealand in the yachting!!

Warmest regards

 Raewyn