Kia ora koutou
Welcome back to another year in the life of Amesbury School. I hope you all had a refreshing festive season and holiday break. I am really glad to see that you have all come back safely. I have seen lots of students arriving with new bikes, and I guess that is in anticipation of the Bike Track being opened.
The Bike Track Project has been quite challenging - particularly with such unhelpful weather. The first phase is now largely finished, but we have decided to keep the fence up (and bikes out) for another month to allow the track to settle and harden. Hopefully, this will ensure that students don’t rip it up when they first get onto it. Certainly some maintenance work will need to be done, but hopefully no major remedial work. So, thank you for your patience. People have been amazing at remaining on the right side of the fence- we look forward to this continuing. It is going to be such a wonderful community resource!
It has been great to welcome our wonderful bunch of teachers this year. We are staggered by how our teaching team has grown this year. We have purposefully started this year with more staff than the Ministry are paying for, so that we can keep our ratios down to no more than 1:20 in Harakeke (it was 1:30 last year which is about the Ministry staffing ratio for year 4 – 6 students). The staffing ratios are also starting lower in the junior part of the school. The ratios will grow slightly in Koru and Harakeke as the year goes on with new enrolments and students moving up from Te Rito to Koru and from Koru to Harakeke (which is likely to be necessary). However, we will have very low ratios for a significant portion of the year which will allow all teams and hubs to get off to a great start with learning. It will also assist our new teachers to more quickly become inducted into the ways teaching and learning happens here. A BIG thanks to the Board of Trustees who have seen the value in reduced class sizes and are funding a great start to the year.
Given our growing roll, this year we are starting a middle leadership development project which will be significantly funded by the Ministry of Education. Last year we successfully secured $76,000 contestable funding to carry out a project over the next two years in which we will explore the development of middle leaders to work with teachers to transform teacher practice. Over the next few weeks we will be collecting baseline data from students, teachers and parents. The baseline data will be in form of online surveys.
The parent survey will ask how well parents feel we are meeting the needs of their child/ren. The questions will ask for your “general” experiences and there is an opportunity at the end of the survey to provide comments outside the scope of the survey and perhaps, provide more specific information.
Here is a link to the survey. I will also email it out. It is now open for responses. The survey is made up of 16 multi-choice questions (required, but with a “don’t know” option) and one free box for any comments you might wish to make (not required), so it will not take very long. Thanks in advance for your support of this.
Nga mihi nui ki a koutou