Kia ora koutou
Resignation – Beckie Duffy: I have put this notice first because I do not want this information to get lost in the plethora of words. Beckie Duffy’s contract is coming to an end. We have really loved having her with us, but sadly she is not renewing her contract at this time for personal reasons. Perhaps, at some stage in the future....?? She will finish at the end of next week. We thank her for her wonderful work for the school, wish her all the very best. We are pleased that this is only au revoir not goodbye.
A heads up: A paid union meeting is being held Tuesday 13th March. Our teachers will be attending, so we will only have a skeleton staff in the afternoon. We are keen to keep the school open. However, it would be very helpful for as many children as possible to be picked up at 1pm and taken home.
Powhiri and Amesbury School as a learning community
It was wonderful to see so many people at the powhiri on Monday afternoon. I think it is the biggest turnout we have ever had – lots of children, parents and grandparents/whanau to be welcomed to Amesbury School. Thank you to the established parents, especially Mary-Jane, who come to powhiri to “tautoko” or support the welcoming of our new parents, students and teachers. A new teacher to our school, Kieron from Ireland, spoke of how much he enjoyed the powhiri and how, as a visual learner, it was helpful and meaningful to see the children involved in the physical act of moving from the place of being manuhiri (visitors) to joining the rest of the school as tangata whenua (people who are now formally part of the Amesbury School Community).
I do think powhiri is a very powerful representation of the act of joining a community. One of the things we know is that the act of learning is highly social and happens best within a caring and committed community. Being part of the Amesbury School community brings with it both rights and responsibilities. Members of the Amesbury School community have the right to expect high quality teaching and learning for their children. They have the right to expect to be part of a school that is always learning and getting better at what it does. They have both the right and responsibility to contribute to that growth and development in positive ways; and the responsibility to support the school in its endeavours. Being a community member doesn’t mean leaving your unique identities at the door, it means bringing them as gifts to the community, so that the whole community is enriched as a result.
One of the responsibilities of the school is to support parents in their role as parents and to always speak positively of parents and families to children. However, that also needs to be reciprocated – not mainly for the sake of teachers, but for the sake of children. Trusting relationships are absolutely essential for positive learning to happen. Children need to have trust in their teachers and a positive view of them if they are to continually fulfil their potential in their learning. We ask that you actively build your child’s trust in his/her teachers. This does not mean not addressing concerns that you have. But it does mean addressing them with the teacher or school leadership in positive ways that do not undermine your child’s trust in that teacher. It is sad, but true, that occasionally parents express their completely reasonable concerns about aspects of their child’s education, in ways that actually undermine the very education they are hoping to improve.
Being part of a community means each of us thinking about what is best for all those who belong to the community and taking actions (which may include providing feedback) that build a strong community. But most of all, it is every member of the community gathering around a shared task or vision and ensuring that our contribution builds and creates that vision, not takes away from it. Our vision is to ensure all our students experience what it means to be fully human and continually fulfil their potential. We want our students to be confident, have a positive view of themselves and to be mentally healthy. That requires a healthy, confident, positive community committed to working together in the best interests of our students.
Nga mihi nui