We have received a wealth of information through this process and as you will see from the attached report, overall parents are very happy with the education Kaikorai Primary School provides.
You agree with us in regard to the two most pressing issues for the school. The rebuild and class sizes. By law we have to take everyone who lives within our school zone and this is why we have some classes larger than we would have hoped for. We made the strategic decision to have our Year 5 and 6 classes 2-3 children above the Ministry recommendation of 29 to free up a classroom to keep the new entrant classrooms to a smaller number than other years.
We have listened to your concerns and we can address some of them very easily while others may take longer. Because there is no identifying information from the Community Consultation we cannot address any specific comments individually. We have explained the general themes below and the steps we can and are proposing to take to address them.
STEM should not take priority over literacy, numeracy and social skills
-We totally agree and that is not the intention at all of introducing STEM/Makerculture into your child's learning. We are starting off at the early stages and trying to introduce some of these concepts to the teachers and ultimately the students. The vast majority of these concepts can be integrated to support literacy and numeracy.
- On the main page when you scroll down you will find three large dots. One is called sports. This will take you to the sports draw.
Communication continues to be a big issue for many parents. With no easy fix as many parents said that we send too many emails and have too many ways of communicating while others have commented that they don't get enough.
- Here is a run down of how we communicate. I have passed some of the technical questions on to our providers as we do not have control over how information is presented.
- Newsletters - Are emailed every three weeks. These are fairly generic to whole school activities, important dates, student successes, syndicate news. These automatically get uploaded to the website.
App - Largely a reminder that an email has been sent out or more importantly emergency notifications such as when the school is shut for snow etc.
Website - Collates all of the information that has been emailed and has other information such as the calendar, sports draws and teacher email addresses.
Facebook/Twitter - Collates all of the information that has been emailed. We don't allow comments as we don't actively monitor the site as it is blocked by the schools network. If you want to ask a question or have a complaint please feel free to email the school.
Face to Face - Most importantly we have an open door policy so please feel free to talk to the teacher about any issues.
All assemblies are on the calendar which can be found on the website. You should receive a personal email invite from the teacher prior to your child's class assembly . Assembly starts at 10:50 and finishes at 11:30-11:45. Parents are welcome to their child's assembly.
School Rebuild- When will we be consulted?
A lot of work went into consultation last year as the Ministry worked with parents, board, staff and students. We will keep you updated from now on via the newsletter
More communication and feedback regarding children with learning difficulties
Individual Education Plan meetings are held regularly with children who have severe learning difficulties and each newsletter has information from Kristen Ferguson about what we are doing in the school in this area. This year we are placing a greater emphasis on dyslexia.
Sports has a higher priority than culture.
It could easily be argued that in fact we value cultural activities over sports. All sports practices are run at lunchtimes for free while most cultural activities such as guitar, kapa haka, ukulele, orchestra are done in classtime. We release teachers to support our cultural programmes at $3,900 while the Kapa Haka costs $5000 a year to run.
- All students are supervised between 12:30 and 12:45. Junior teachers check every lunchbox to ensure that they have had a sufficient amount. Middles and senior students are supervised that they have a lunch and that they have time to eat it but the quantity of lunch consumed is not monitored.
Multi level classes
- Transition is one of the worst things you can do for a child's learning according to the research. By keeping them in the same class for two years they actually have less transitions. It also allows us to even out class sizes as we can spread children out across more classes.
New parents commented on a lack of understanding of what will happen in the first few weeks at school
- Although the enrollment book has much of this information it is often forgotten about from the time of initially receiving it and the first week off school. Mrs Oldfield will work with parents at Kaikorai Kiwis to develop a one pager that can be put on the fridge to help parents negotiate the first few weeks at school.
- Manawa Enterprises will once again be working in all classes this year. A Marae visit is planned as part of this. We haven't invested in bi-lingual signage as it will be largely demolished in 2020. The new buildings will have bilingual signage.
- After a successful trial in two classes last year we are introducing Prime mathematics which uses less strategies, brings in algorithms earlier and is based upon the Singapore Mathematics Programme.
Parent Teacher Meetings
These will be extended to 15 minutes in the mid year. This weeks meetings were intended more for us to get to know your child.
Reports and Homework
- We had a wide range of feedback on this topic and will never make everyone happy. The following is our position on these topics.
Reports - With National Standards abolished we will be reviewing our reports. We will endeavour to show your child's progress against core curriculum areas but also provide advice on whether this is good or poor progress against what might be expected. Most importantly we want to continue to celebrate their successes.
Homework - Once again a wide range of opinion here. We have asked teachers to provide 10-20 mins a night of the basics (Basic facts, reading). This is entirely optional for parents but what we would encourage is that if your child develops a passion for a topic or wants to continue to work at home on their inquiry, that you would support their learning.
Some positives to finish with...
"I love how Kaik is sculpting our children into well rounded, understanding citizens of the future. With all the noise surrounding education in an advancing, uncertain technological age; it is nice to know that the School still places the happiness of its students and parents first. Gold Star!"
"I feel very lucky that my children have such a wonderful school, this was reinforced by the long list of potential problems faced by schools in the previous question. From the distance of a parent it seems that all of these potential problems are being managed extremely well"
"My child is in her second year and I couldn't of asked for a better start to her schooling. She loves going to school and couldn't wait to return after her xmas holiday. She has had amazing, passionate and caring teachers which is so important to begin with. The teachers are all about the best for the children and I hope that it stays that way!"
Please open the results of the survey below.