I would like to begin by saying a big thank you to the parents who commented on and provided feedback with regards to the policies/statements that I shared with the school community. Your responses were very helpful, and I have no doubt that they strengthened the policies. As they say, several brains is better than one, because it allows multiple perspectives to influence the final outcome. This will always create a stronger policy statement and is more likely to be one that stands the test of time. So, once again, thank you. The Bullying Prevention and Response Policy and the Health Curriculum Statement were passed by the Board of Trustees last week. They expressed appreciation of the input by parents.
Further business at the Board meeting included:
• An update on the Bike Track. We are currently having more detailed plans drawn up and will go back to companies for quotes when these are finished. In the meantime, the Board has agreed to underwrite the project to get it going; and as well as a track of about 500m, we will put in a pump track and a skills track. This is a very exciting project.
• BOT Elections will be held in May this year. Some Board members are standing down due to the busyness of their lives and we will be looking for further candidates to stand for the Board of Trustees. Gail, the Returning Officer, will be sending out information over the next week or so.
• I provided information to the Board about a New Zealand Curriculum Think Tank I was invited to be part of. The purpose of the Think Tank was to look at ways to more fully implement the New Zealand Curriculum in today’s complex world. It was a very valuable two days and certainly helped to develop my thinking. I think what I was able to contribute because of the thinking we are doing here at Amesbury School was also useful.
• I presented a “map” which shows the complex process of teacher planning for the personalisation of learning as well as for team teaching/collaborative practice and the integration of reading, writing and maths with inquiry. The Board discussed a Phase 2 build of ALF which will automate some of the intense planning process and, hopefully, relieve some aspects of teacher workload and cognitive overload.
• I presented a report on consultation I had carried out with the School’s Maori Community. Three whanau were represented and some very useful information received. I commented to the Board that it would be very useful to carry out similar consultations with other ethnic groups in our school.
• Urs spoke to the Board about the Curriculum Review and Inquiry into the Teaching of Maths that we are carrying out as a school. Over the last few week, data has been gathered about the current situation in terms of teaching and learning in mathematics. Next term, the review team will begin to look at what is considered current best practice in maths which will lead us towards deciding what the most effective way is to teach mathematics at Amesbury School.
• With the new Health and Safety legislation, the Board has agreed to appoint a consultant to review our school health and safety practices and to provide an improvement plan.
As you can see, there are lots of developments going on. We are always looking at how we can improve the delivery of education at Amesbury School - there is always more we can do and better ways to do them. I am particularly excited by the PHASE 2 build of ALF which I believe will be quite unique and will really take advantage of the kind of analytics that technology enables. We will keep you in touch.