Nga mihi nui ki a koutou
Welcome to term 3. I trust you all had a wonderful time with your children over the holidays. They certainly came back with some great stories about what they did over the break. This is a nine week term, so it will be over before we know it and then Christmas will be staring at us. I don't mind the Christmas thing because I love Christmas and all my family will be coming home; but there is so much to do in the meantime that we need time to slow down, not continue to hurtle.
We have some great plans in place for this term - doing some hard ("real") science which was requested of us by students at the end of last year. Students seem to be thoroughly enjoying this so far. Playing with oobleck and learning that it is both a liquid and a solid - what could be more fun! Sorry about the cornfloury clothes. By the way, if life is stressing you out, make some oobleck and play with it a while. It is so soothing!
We are working hard to continue to improve our personalisation of learning and our consistency of it across the school (as per our ERO review) and, of course, as always we want to continue to think about how Amesbury School can be a humanising environment for all our children. The challenges we face as a school are considerable and there is no template for what we are doing - other than to follow the data and always be quickly responsive to it. We feel that we now have some pretty robust systems in place to assist personalisation of learning; but because it is very different from the way teaching and learning happens in most schools, our biggest challenges are recruiting the right teachers and speeding up the induction of all teachers new to the school. This challenge is exacerbated by a now rapidly growing roll, and the continual need to recruit new teachers.
Another significant challenge we need to address is teacher workload and how we ensure personalisation of learning is manageable within a reasonable working week.
In a couple of weeks, we farewell Andrea as she goes on a term's maternity leave and we welcome JeeWon - a beginning teacher joining us from an innovative learning environment in Christchurch - and Urs (back into a teaching roll).
Here's to a successful term three for all!