Hero photograph
Photo by Diamond Harbour School

From the principal ..

Jill Pears —

Tena koutou nga whanau, nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa,

I hope everyone had a lovely break, even though it may seem a distant memory now. We are definitely in autumn now. The field is showing a touch of green (no doubt even more after the rain yesterday) and the leaves, which have been hanging on, are now falling in droves. The beautiful weather has really allowed everyone to appreciate the autumn colours and even yesterday, the sun managed to come out for lunchtime so students could play outside.

Most people will know by now that last term we changed our morning tea and lunch routines to have students eating inside. This has been very successful and no doubt will be appreciated even more by the students as we move into the colder months.

This term we welcome a number of new students to Te Kōhanga: Eli, Harriet, Hazel, Orton, Oscar, William, Ted, Kieran, Owen and Jonty. On Monday we had a mihi whakatau to welcome our new families to be part of the Diamond Harbour School whanau. As the school moves forward on its bi-cultural journey we are becoming increasingly confident in running these events. As usual, our kapa haka group performed exceptionally well.

Next week we have the ‘world famous in Diamond Harbour’ Food Fairy Fun Run. I know that a number of students already have their costumes planned and fundraising has been going well. The Parent Hub is running fundraising at the end of the event so please check out their article in this newsletter. We look forward to seeing lots of parents out supporting the students in their efforts.

Last week we had a bit of a litter focus! Clean ups are not just about picking up litter but about collecting data. Data is a powerful tool to help make decisions and set goals. On Thursday the Green Diamonds took part in Operation River Quest which is a school event aligned with the Mother of All Cleanups. They visited the stream in Orton Bradley that they are kaitiaki for and collected rubbish in the stream and either side of the stream. We were all surprised at the amount of rubbish we collected, including underwear and trousers! Last week teachers also attended training for the Litter Intelligence Education Programme. Again, students are not just collecting litter but they are inputting data about the litter into a national database that gives real understanding of the litter problem in New Zealand. Through this our students are both being citizen scientists and taking action, empowering positive decision making to support New Zealand becoming litter free.

Our major event this term is The Lion King whole school production. Teachers are already spending many additional hours helping students rehearse, making props, costumes and masks. Thank you to those of you who have already offered your support and have been sewing and creating. Remember, if you haven’t put your hand up yet and would like to support please don’t hesitate to contact Sally Craw.

Remember there are two teacher only days coming up, one at the end of this month and one at the beginning of next month. These are part of the 8 teacher-only days allocated, to be used over a three year period, that were negotiated as part of the Accord with the Ministry of Education. We realise these days can be tricky for parents to negotiate with regards to child care and we do appreciate your flexibility around these. One of these days we are using for First Aid training to make sure all staff members are fully trained. The other of these days is used for Pause, Breathe and Smile training. This is an evidence based programme that is shown to improve student focus, increase wellbeing, reduce anxiety and build resilience.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday at the Food Fairy Fun run and we wish everyone a wonderful upcoming couple of weeks; stay warm and dry.

Ngā mihi nui,