Eddie by Christine Lambie

From The Principal's Desk

Week 6, Term 1, 2019

Kia Ora, Talofa Lava and warm greetings,

This week is the first of our Year 7 camps to Glen Tui, a great opportunity to see Cobham students and teachers in a different setting. The waterfall slide and jump from the rock are either highlights or significant challenges for students, but like many camp activities the waterfall activity places all students on an even footing, it puts them at the limit of their comfort zones and students are able to achieve shared success. If your child is away this week I do hope they had some positive camp experiences and I look forward to observing the upcoming groups at Glen Tui over the next three weeks.

Last year we introduced a counsellor to assist with our well-being programmes, to help teachers and most importantly, to assist all students. This was successful and this year the BoT have increased funding to further support this initiative. One aim this year is to ensure all classes are exposed to our counsellor, Marg on a regular basis. To find out more about what Marg offers, click here.

The phenomenon that is “Ditch the Desk and Dance” in nearly upon us for our Year 7 classes. This is a uniquely Cobham event and one that we love. For those families new to Cobham, each Year 7 class has a three-week window to learn a dance that they perform in an assembly against other classes from their cohort and also in front of the all important, independent judges. Classes are given some professional advice and guidance at the beginning of the process and then the teachers take over until competition day. The process is very competitive, it helps to cement a class culture and all students get to perform on stage. Good luck to those performing tomorrow.

As part of the national Education Conversation | Kōrero Mātauranga, the Government is reviewing our schooling system. (You may have noted recent media articles and associated opinion pieces.) The report has some key recommendations about the Intermediate School provision. In the coming week we will be surveying all families with three short questions specifically referenced to schooling provision. Your responses will help the Board of Trustees to formulate a submission.

Obviously here at Cobham we are advocates for this schooling type and believe that we provide a fit for purpose option that meets the needs of the emerging adolescent age group. We know this age group like exposure to new opportunities, we know they like to take risks, we know that their skills in building and retaining friendships are important to them and we like to tailor our learning and interactions accordingly. The Taskforce has challenged our thinking, indicating that what we endeavour to achieve, is best suited to a Year 7-9 school or a Year 7-10 middle school. Your responses are important.

One aspect that we are keen to reinforce with the Taskforce, is from our understanding, parents appreciate the element of choice when it comes to education. We know that some students thrive in the intermediate setting and we appreciate that Full Primary Schools have a role to play. We do encourage you to make your own submission. Written submissions or queries can be emailed to tomorrows.schools@education.govt.nz

View the report and supporting information below:

The canteen has been open for the last three weeks in a limited capacity. We have filled a vacancy and the canteen will be fully functional from Wednesday 13 March. For more information on what we offer click here.

It was pleasing to watch students at last week’s swimming sports and as usual the competition was fierce. I congratulate all students who entered the various events and acknowledge those who placed in finals. Those who placed will be acknowledged at assembly and I wish those who will represent Cobham at the Canterbury Intermediate Swimming Sports on Tuesday April 02, the best of luck. Thanks to Miss Ross for her organisation.

In the coming days there may be some media attention around paid union meetings for NZEI members. Many staff at Cobham are NZEI union members and they will attend a meeting on Thursday March 21 from 2pm. Cobham Intermediate will remain open during this timeframe with a slightly modified programme.

In the April school holidays we are offering three holiday programmes for year 6 children.  Please let your family and friends know.  Details are here.

Thank you for your continued support of Cobham Intermediate.

Ngā mihi nui,