Hero photograph
Photo by Stuart Cameron

Principal's Desk

Stuart Cameron —

Tēnā koutou e te whānau

What a fabulous last couple of weeks we have enjoyed at Halswell School! One of the real highlights for me was watching our Kapa Haka group perform at the Town Hall on Sunday 1 November as part of the Tūhono Festival. As a result of cancellations and delays due to Covid-19, this was the first opportunity our Kapa Haka group has had to perform publically in 2020. They certainly didn't disappoint and put on a performance that we can all be very proud of. I want to acknowledge all of the mahi that has gone into Kapa Haka this year including our amazing tutors Matua Willy and Whaea Tania and teachers Lisa Dovey and Nicky Edwards for their organisation behind the scenes.

As we approach the mid-point of the final term, our teaches are working on completing the end of year reports. These will be shared with our parent community via Hero on Friday 11 December. To help parents get the most out of our online reporting system, Associate Principals Cathie Zelas and Rob Naysmith will be running two parents workshops next week on Tuesday 17 November (9-10 am) and Wednesday 18 November (7-8 pm) in the staffroom. For more details about these sessions, please see the 'Understanding your child's report in Hero' article contained in this newsletter.

At this time of the year, a significant amount of our time also goes into organising the school structure for next year including appointing new staff and finalising T group placements. We expect to be in a position to share the full staff list with our community in the next couple of weeks followed by the T group placements on Monday 14 December.

Finally, as you will be aware, the school is closed tomorrow (Thursday 12 November) for a Teacher Only Day. This is one of the 8 days that have been granted to teachers as part of the latest collective agreement negotiations. The rationale behind these extra days is to try and more closely align the non-contact time primary teachers receive in comparison to our secondary school colleagues.

Tomorrow's Teacher only Day will be used for professional development and to complete a range of tasks, including planning curriculum content and writing the abovementioned end of year reports.

In an attempt to minimise disruptions for families, where possible we have tagged the Teacher Only Days onto existing long weekends. For a full list of 2021 term dates including Teacher Only Days, please visit the front page of our school website.

Have a fantastic long weekend.

Ngā mihi nui

Stuart Cameron