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Photo by Debbie Halkett

Principal's Message.....

Rebecca Meek —

Our Purpose: To prepare students to be active participants who will contribute to their community.

Tēnā koutou katoa, Malo e lelei, Talofa lava, Bula vinaka

It is hard to believe that we only have eight days of school left for this term. It seems like yesterday we were sitting in the school hall waiting in anticipation for the year to start.

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the touch coaches and parents who have stepped in and supported us when needed. We were able to field 12 teams giving a large number of our students an opportunity to participate. We could not give our OIS students the opportunities that we do without your support and we are very grateful for it. A special shout out to the teachers who sported touch teams especially Sharon and Whaea Jamaya who ensured that it all ran smoothly.

Digital Citizenship has been a hot topic over the last few weeks in a number of classrooms. Digital Citizenship is about confidence and positive engagement with digital technologies. Being a Digital Citizen refers to a person who has the knowledge and skills to effectively use digital technologies positively.

At O.I.S each student has signed a Digital Agreement and we are constantly reminding students of these expectations, and the importance of being responsible with their devices.

This week I have had to have conversations with students around messages/conversations that have been sent via Snapchat, Instagram or talking while playing online games, which have been very unkind. These messages have a huge impact on the emotional, social and mental wellbeing of all. While these messages may not have been sent during school time, they have a huge impact on learning and relationships which often boil over at school.

We as adults have a role to play in setting boundaries and educating our children when they are navigating the internet or a social media platform. It is up to us to protect our children and model appropriate use of social media and digital devices. Our children look to us for guidance.

If your child does have access to a social media platform, interact with others when gaming or go online, go over these key ideas with them.

  • Keep private information private, don’t give out passwords - even to your best friend.

  • Be respectful and expect respect. Respect for yourself and other people is important in all relationships, and it's no different when you're online - how we speak, and the words we use, should always be respectful.

  • If it is not something you would say face to face, then don’t be a keyboard warrior online. If you were to read your digital footprint what would it say about you?

  • Friends - know who you're friending and talking to. Unfortunately, not everyone online is genuine and wants the best for your child.

With the end of term fast approaching, students are all feeling tired. It is important that we set our students up for success by ensuring that they get enough sleep to enable them to get the best out of the learning opportunities that are available. Nutrition goes hand in hand and we all know how we feel if we are lacking sleep or food/water. This is one of the biggest ways you can support your child's engagement and learning at school.

Over the last two weeks, the teachers in charge of sports are starting to put teams together for basketball, netball and hockey. It is important to get in touch with us as soon as possible if your child missed out on signing up for a sport, to ensure that they don’t miss out on having a spot on a team. If you require any information about sporting opportunities then please contact our sports coordinator Sharon Wilson sharonw@oamaruint.school.nz  

There has been a wonderful tone in the playground and classrooms this week. Year 8 students are enjoying their second round of technology with some brilliant outcomes coming together. We are encouraging our students to show courage, to stand up for what is right, and show courage to do the right thing or to walk away.

Phil Richardson will be leaving Oamaru Intermediate School at the end of Term 1. He has decided to have a change in direction and is going to take some time out with his family before he takes his next steps in his career journey. Phil has been a very valued team member and teacher at OIS and his kind, caring and calm presence is going to be missed around the school. He is a role model for others and is always willing to go the extra mile to support the students in his class.

He waka eke noa - We are in this together

Rebecca Meek