Kia ora koutou
*Welcome to Camella – teacher in Koru
*Lisa is back
New Teacher: First, it is my great pleasure to welcome Camella Botha as a teacher in Koru Hub. Zelda Van Zyl was to arrive from South Africa to take over from Alexis who went on maternity leave at the end of last term. Unfortunately, Zelda’s arrival has been held up and she will now arrive in time for the beginning of next term. In the meantime, we have employed Camella for the next twelve months to teach in Koru Hub and to help us cope in the longer term with the ongoing roll growth we are experiencing. Many schools are struggling to make appointments in this time of a teacher shortage, and so it was really without much hope that I advertised for a teacher who could start immediately so that Urs could be released from full time classroom duties – and we were overjoyed when Camella, mum of one of our new students, applied. A warm welcome to Camella – we are just so pleased to have you here!
Lisa is back: It is also a great pleasure to welcome Lisa back from her family visit to Sweden. I told you about the sweet shop she visited with 700 different types of sweets – well she came back bearing sweets – yummy! Everyone is looking forward to having you back on deck next week, Lisa. We have missed you.
New Build: For those who are new to the school, you may not know that just over a year ago, the Minister of Education announced a new build at Amesbury School for a further 200 student spaces. It has taken a while for the build process to get underway but finally it has. The first step in the new build process is to appoint a Lead Designer. This is well underway and as soon as the Lead Designer is appointed in the next few weeks (hopefully), things will really start to happen. The Lead Designer will begin by talking at length with the school about the kind of teaching and learning the design should enable and support. We have already provided a plethora of ideas in the Education Brief presented to the Ministry at the end of last year, following consultation with students, parents and teachers. However, it will be good to see the ideas presented in writing take more shape once they are in the hands of the architects. This will be a very exciting project, but no doubt it will go much slower than we would like. According to the Ministry, the new build is not likely to be ready for opening until the beginning of 2022. I was hoping for 2021!
Principals’ Action: Next week the Primary Principals will be attending Paid Union Meetings to decide on how to progress their claims. The suggestion is for us to continue with our non-engagement with the Ministry until October; and a strike day for later in August with a national gathering at parliament has been proposed. You are unlikely to experience any disruption as a result of any actions. They are directed towards the ministry and should not disrupt students’ learning at all. Anyway, the good news is that we have just been told that a new offer is coming from the Ministry and should be received in time to be discussed at the paid union meetings. It would be good to have this settled.
I know some people are going skiing this weekend. I hope you have beautiful weather and glorious skiing. For the rest of us, it looks like it will wet and, perhaps, wild - a good excuse to curl up in front of the fire/heater with a good book.
Nga mihi nui