Kia ora koutou
Camps are over for another year: What a dramatic end of the day on Friday with buses from camp and fire engines (for the year 0 – 2 campers) all parked in the carpark, and then the end of school day traffic! I was so impressed with the bus drivers who managed to back out of our driveway and out onto the road. There must have been some tricky moments for them. However, they got safely out onto the road with little drama. Thanks to Urs who directed the traffic on the road and made sure the road was clear for the buses.
A huge thanks to our teachers for taking our children on camp. They will no doubt be exhausted! Thankfully, assessments are done, reports are written and teachers should be able to have a relaxing weekend. In particular, I would like to thank Lisa, Demelza, Andy, Amaria and Kalesha for spending the week in the South Island with the year 5/6 students. I have organized and run many, many week long camps, so I know how exhausted they will be. A big thanks to the parent helpers who supported each of the camps. Without you, these types of EOTC (Education Outside the Classroom) activities would not be possible.
Kāhui Ako: A kāhui Ako is a group of schools that work together to achieve agreed upon outcomes for all students in the cluster, supported by resourcing from the Ministry of Education. Our Northern Suburbs cluster of schools has been considering whether to become a Kāhui Ako for several years now. When Communities of Learning, as they were originally known, were first introduced by the National Government, there were many criteria and restrictions that made it unappealing to our cluster of schools. Over the last few years, the requirements have become much less restrictive and our cluster of eleven schools (Khandallah, Raroa, Onslow, Churton Park, St Brigids, Ngāio, West Park, Johnsonville, Amesbury, Crofton Downs, Cashmere Avenue) has now put in the paper work to become a fully-fledged Kāhui Ako. As far as I am aware, all Boards of Trustees have agreed to move forward with this.
It has taken us time (as a group of principals) to consider what it is that we could do “better together” than apart. Having consulted with teachers and leaders and having looked at a lot of data from across the cluster, the Achievement Challenges that we have presented to the ministry as the focus of the Kāhui Ako are:
i. Strong, secure cultural identities and sense of belonging
ii. Hau ora and wellbeing
iii. Confident, capable, empowered learners
iv. Equitable outcomes for all
For the fourth achievement challenge, we have identified several groups of priority learners who will be a particular focus for the Kāhui Ako. These include Māori (and Māori boys, in particular); Pacific students; students with diverse learning, behavioural and health needs; students with high anxiety; and, English language learners.
Our cluster of schools has been working together for a long time. This is an exciting opportunity to access considerable additional resourcing to support, strengthen and progress the work we are doing to help us meet the needs of all our students across the Northern Suburbs’ cluster of schools. We still need to get the final go ahead from the Ministry, but we should have that soon. In the meantime, we are working towards the appointment of the positions that are resourced to support the work we will be doing.
Last week of school: Well, it is nearly here! Teachers will be very excited and, no doubt, relieved after an incredibly busy year. How are you feeling, as parents? I am excited because I love Christmas and summer; and John and I will be doing a bit of glamping! I am quite excited about the breakfast basket that will be delivered to the door of our tent every morning. Clearly I am easily pleased!
We have quite a range of activities happening this week, including the Year 6 Leavers’ Dinner - which is always a lovely event, our annual last day water fight, barbecue and other activities, our year 6 transition programme and the transition programme for all transitioning students, our farewell assembly on the last day of school etc., and, of course, clearing out and cleaning up the hubs.
And beyond: I will write my final editorial towards the end of next week and you will not hear from me again until 2021. This will become Urs’s job for 2020. The Board have employed me for a day a week to carry out some tasks including supporting the new leadership team next year. However, the tables will be turned – Urs will be my boss! So you may see me around, but in a quite different capacity. Anyway, more about this in my final editorial of the year.
Here’s to a sunny, enjoyable last week of the school year.
Ngā mihi nui