Logo Kaikorai School by Simon Clarke

Principal News

Getting back on track...

With the movement to Level 1, it is a joy not to have to focus on COVID19 and look forward to the positive aspects of the school's programme.

I was in Room 12 on Monday morning when I noticed 3 children, who had at times got upset in the mornings when their parents left.  They ran into the room, with broad smiles on their faces, put away their bags, took out their personal belongings and put them away before going out to play.  I was discussing this with our school counsellor and she commented that because children are leaving their parents rather than parents leaving them this can help with separation anxiety.  

What I haven't got right is making my messaging clear in my last newsletter.  Our preference is that you allow your child to develop their independence skills and make their own way to and from the classroom but we also recognise that not all children can do this.  What we do ask is that parents not come onto the school grounds until the 3pm bell rings and have a prearranged spot to meet your child in the school so that you can supervise them playing or so they can be collected.  This may be a class, junior playground or the courts.  Anywhere, as long as your child knows where to meet you.

Parents, as always, are more than welcome to come onto the school grounds especially when children want to share their books or work on the wall.  But if you wish to have a more in-depth conversation about your child's learning please make contact with the class teacher and organise a time.  Teachers often have preparation to do in the mornings and after school meetings to get to that can make it hard to have an extended "catch up" and this puts added pressure on teachers.  

Next week marks the start of external field trips and events at the school again with the Life Education Bus.  Follow this link to learn more about the Life Education Bus.

Thank you to everyone who has registered their child to play a sport next term.  This will be another big step towards normality and a chance for our students to burn off some much-needed energy.  Practices for Netball, Hockey and Basketball will start this term with competitions starting in the first week back next term.  I need three more Year 5/6 girls to enter an all-girl basketball team so if your daughter is interested in playing please let me know.

Today we had 4 teachers working with our facilitator in the United States over Zoom on Project Based Learning along with the other schools in our cluster.  On Monday the 29th and 30th of June our teachers who started their course at the start of the lockdown will complete the final two days.  This includes Beth Downie, Megan Day, Rosie Hardie, Mark Pickering, John Bish and Felicia Ward so you should expect a reliever in your child's class for those two days. 

I am very pleased to have had our teachers complete this professional development as it will prepare them well for the next term and our hospital rebuild project.  If you want to learn more about Project Based Learning or the Hospital Rebuild please click on the links.  I note a number of schools around Dunedin have taken Teacher Only Days this term for Professional Development.  Our next TOD is not scheduled until mid Term 4.

Thank you to Paula Fisher for organising another highly engaging book week which has included the book fair, buddy reading and class swaps.  The posters around the school are a good reminder that reading for 20 minutes each day has a huge impact on a child's long term academic success.  At Kaikorai we have a very high percentage of 90-95% of our students reading at or above where they are expected to be.  To maintain this we need our students to be avid readers which is becoming increasingly harder as for many it is no longer their first preference as a spare time activity.  Please continue to encourage your child to foster a love of reading by regular trips to the public library, reading to them regularly and taking an interest in what they are reading.  

Kind regards

Simon Clarke