Kia ora koutou,
We have made it through what feels like a very long term indeed! It has certainly been a time like no other, and students, staff and parents have all had to show resilience and flexibility to keep adapting and adjusting through the different alert levels. Thankfully we are still in a safe, healthy position as a nation in terms of Covid-19 levels, and I am very grateful that we are all working together as a team to keep each other safe. It is now important that we all take this opportunity to have a good break, relax and recharge with family and friends, and come back rested and ready for another exciting term.
We have had a busy last week of term. Our cross country on Tuesday was a cold and blustery affair. We were extremely proud of the resilience and perseverance our students showed - ka pai ō whakapau kaha, well done for your effort! There is a separate article as part of this digest detailing the event and celebrating our place getters. I would also like to take this opportunity to particularly thank Michelle and Lisa for all of their careful organisation, and give a huge thanks to Belinda Beazer for her unwavering support of students, running the track multiple times to support a range of children across the school.
It was lovely wandering around all the fantastic activities happening across the school yesterday to celebrate Matariki (Māori New Year). Students were involved in weaving, making korowai (cloaks) or manu tukutuku (kites), and learning about the stars involved in Matariki. It was fabulous seeing students mix across the school and engage in storytelling, creating and sharing.
We had a lovely celebration yesterday afternoon to farwell two of our fantastic teachers, Kieron and Derek. We have loved having them with us on our journey and we have been very grateful that they have shared their passions, strengths and skills with us; our school, staff and students are all the richer for this, and we wish them both well on their respective adventures. We were also very proud to celebrate our three fabulous Amesbury Awesomeness recipients: Valentina, Dylan and Jericho. There is a separate article as part of this digest celebrating their achievements.
Things coming up next term
It looks to be a busy and exciting term coming up. We have a number of events and activities happening:
We are very grateful to the Pelorus Trust, which is a charitable trust based in Lower Hutt that raises funds for charitable, philanthropic and sporting purposes. They have provided funding for all students to take part in a module of six coaching sessions at the ASB Centre next term. Students will be able to choose from a range of sporting codes, and they will have one session per week for six weeks, with the coaching and travel costs covered by the grant. This is particularly welcome during our winter term, when students are unable to get outside for PE and Sports as often as we would like.
Most students will be participating in school swimming, either at Johnsonville School Pool (Koru Hub) or Keith Spry Pool (Harakeke and Pōhutukawa). The two older teams will also take advantage of the location of Waitohi Library to visit this wonderful space at the same time.
Our new fitness trail is due to be completed early in the term, and we are looking forward to using the trail as a key part of our fitness programme.
More information about these events, and others, will be sent out before the start of the new term.
Car Park Update
We have kept our car park closed since alert level 2, because the safety in our car park pre-Covid had concerned us and we had seen a significant increase in safety for students within school grounds with the car park closed. During the term we have consulted with Johnsonville Police and Wellington City Council, and we have also sent out a survey to our parent community, receiving 101 responses.
Based on all of this information, we have created a plan going forward for the use of the car park. We are aware that this plan is only part of the longer term solution needed for safe and sustainable travelling to school. We are now looking to continue working with our WCC contact to explore opportunities for increasing the number of students regularly walking, biking or scooting to school throughout the year, as this will significantly reduce the traffic issues we have around school.
Below is the plan for our use of the car park from the start of term 3 onwards:
- The drop off and pick up zone in the car park will be opened up for all parents/caregivers
- Onsite parking in the car park will be open for people picking up Koru students only. This is because younger students in Koru Hub need to be picked up directly from teachers, either in the hub or on the netball courts. This means that an adult needs to leave their car to pick up their child. For students in Harakeke or Pōhutukawa, the students can leave their hubs by themselves, meaning adults who are picking up older students don’t necessarily need to leave their car. We understand that some adults will be picking up children in multiple hubs - an adult is welcome to park in the car park as long as at least one child they are collecting is in Koru Hub.
- We are aware that this simply moves some of the poor parking and driving issues off the main road and into the school grounds. Therefore, we still need to ensure safety within the grounds. Here is the link to the Car Park Safety Procedure. In the case of any driving or parking that does not follow the clear guidelines in the procedure, we will be following a three step process:
A verbal or email reminder (depending on the situation) of the rule not being followed
A formal letter stating a second infraction has happened, and reminding of the final step
If a third infraction happens by the same driver, the car will be banned from the car park
It will be important that we follow this process, so that poor or thoughtless driving does not continue in our school grounds, as it puts our students at risk.
It is the responsibility of parents of our students to ensure that they have passed on these car park regulations to any adult picking up their child. When following up any infractions in the car park, we will communicate with the parents of the student being picked up.
- A member of the leadership team will be on car park duty each afternoon. This person will be based on the walkway through the car park, ensuring safety for students.
- Teachers will use the two parks immediately adjacent to the walkway on either side, meaning these parking spots will not be free for parents to use. This will alleviate the issue of people stopping on or close to the walkway, or reversing onto it as they go in or come out of those spaces.
- A Koru Hub teacher will be on duty by the steps heading down into the car park each morning from 8:30-9am. This teacher will greet students and ensure they get safely across the walkway.
- We are having the entrance to the driveway widened, which will make turning into and out of the school easier and safer. This work will most likely happen in the next school holidays.
We hope you all have a fabulous break and we look forward to having everyone back rested and raring to go next go next term.
Ngā mihi nui,
Urs Cunningham (Acting Principal) and John Bunting (BoT Chairperson)