It was wonderful to start in Room 12 with our 5-year-olds and see the work they had done on what makes a good sign to help people find their way around the hospital (wayfinding). We finished in Room 1A where we could see the children had created virtual places using Cospaces. They were also learning lots of science and engineering as they were creating prototypes on moving objects around using pneumatics. I am excited to see all of the finished products in all of the classes at the start of next term.
The five schools in the Hills Cluster will be showcasing some of our best work at the Community Gallery in the Octagon on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th of October. You are more than welcome to pop in and have a look or keep an eye on the print and tv media as I am sure this will create quite a bit of interest.
Children working on these sorts of projects just doesn't happen without lots of support from the teachers. I would like to thank the teachers for, in many ways, fundamentally changing how they are teaching. I would also like to thank our Deputy Principal Beth Downie. Beth has carefully and expertly led our professional development programme with the support of our imported facilitators from PBLworks in America.
Next term, amongst all of the normal busyness of camps, athletics and swimming. I have asked our teachers to teach to their and their classes passions and interests. The overall theme is Hauora/well being and we hope that all of our students are able to find success and enjoyment in whatever they are focussing on.
I mentioned in the last newsletter that we were developing plans to counter the underlying levels of anxiety in our students. We hope that the overall focus for next term will help but we will also introduce three new programmes that are either funded by the Ministry of Education or the Board of Trustees.
1. The Board of Trustees have agreed to invest in the popular relax kids programme. This programme teaches the students how to develop their resilience and self regulate better. This will be prioritised to teachers and classes who haven't been through the programme yet.
2. A lunchtime sports programme will start on day one of next term for children who aren't sure how to get involved in a meaningful activity at lunchtimes. This will also make use of some unused space at lunchtime as it is likely that the construction site will be established next term. We have been very lucky to employ Ben from the Otago Polytech who has been a popular teacher in our fundamental skills programme to run the programme.
3. The Ministry of Education is funding a small group of students to take part in a hands-on science programme to help with school and student engagement.
The move to Level 1 is a welcome relief to the Parent Group and myself who are very busy organising our Street Party. Thank you to everyone involved and we look forward to hosting a wonderful community event on the 17th of October. Please make sure you have read the Parent Group article in this newsletter so you can find out how you can help. The holidays are a great time for a spring clean and we would welcome more items for our white elephant, clothes and toy stalls which will be collected in the first week back at school.
I hope as always you get to spend some time together as a family over the students holidays and that they come back refreshed and ready for the final run to the end of the year.