Amesbury School

It has been a busy and exciting start to the 2020 school year. It is wonderful watching all the different happenings around the school at the moment, between biking, trips and exciting learning. Pōhutukawa Hub is very busy with Pedal Ready bike skills training last week and this coming week, helping students with different levels of riding skills and bike safety. We are very appreciative of the Pedal Ready instructors, who are all fabulously supportive and patient with our students.

Harakeke Hub were the first of our teams to head to the He Tohu exhibition. Students will all have an opportunity to find out more about Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and to view the treaty document, which is an amazing opportunity. Huge thanks to Jemima and Demelza for their carefully thought through planning of these trips.

Our first module of electives will be starting in a couple of weeks, and students are now signing up for the activities they would like to do. Teachers and students always enjoy electives; they are a great opportunity for students of all ages to interact, work together, make new friends and work with different teachers. Across the school it is always buzzy and energetic at elective time - very exciting! This term students will have a chance to choose from a wide range of electives, including futsal, scooting and biking, mindfulness, art, gardening and flax weaving. We will keep you up to date with information about electives as we go through the term.

Our Meet ‘n’ Greet last Friday went really well and was very well attended. It was good to see so many parents and students heading along to socialise and meet hub teachers. Big thanks to Lisa for her fabulous organisation, and to Navy, as always, for keeping the food side of things running smoothly. Greig was fab on the barbecue, and thanks to Mary Jane for jumping in there too, when needed. Well done to all of the teachers for talking through the key aspects of their hubs, and thanks to our community for coming along. A true community event!

Over the last few days we have been welcoming back students and staff who self-isolated themselves after travelling from or through China. Again, we thank them for their willingness to keep our whole community safe, and we are really happy to have them back with us. Thanks to the people who are still staying away to ensure they are fully well before returning to school.

Sadly, we have had several instances of students making negative comments to or about other students regarding the Covid-19 virus. We do understand that the situation is something that makes people anxious, and that it is in the news and talked about a lot. Students will be hearing some of this and may well want to talk about it. However, negative or thoughtless comments can be hurtful and unhelpful at an already difficult time for people, and it is important that we help our children to be thoughtful and considered about what they say. We can do this by being thoughtful and considered ourselves in how we talk about the ongoing situation. Continuing to talk with children about the virus, ensuring that they have the correct information, will be vital. Let them know that it is a respiratory virus, that it is not linked to a particular culture or group of people. The link with China is due to the fact that this is where the virus was first contracted by humans; it is not linked specifically to Chinese people.

The area to focus on most with children is how to keep yourself safe and healthy - regular handwashing with soap and water, sneezing and coughing into tissues and discarding tissues safely and washing your hands afterwards. 

It has been good to note that in one of the incidents of negative comments at school, an older student challenged the comment and stated that this was not a fair or correct thing to say. If we can all follow that student’s example and speak out if we hear incorrect or negative statements, then this will help all of our students and their whānau to feel safe and welcome.

Have a great week.

Ngā mihi nui,

Urs Cunningham

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