Hero photograph
Photo by Ben Galletly

Principal's Korero 26th May 2023

Ben Galletly —

Nau mai Haere mai, Papanui Primary whānau

I hope everybody is doing well. Somehow we are already at the end of week five! It has been another great couple of weeks at school with lots going on.

On Tuesday of this week we finally got to hold the cross country/fun run and it was such a brilliant day where the community could get together. It was so great to see many of our whānau at school supporting their kids as well as taking part in the fun run. On Thursday our year 1&2 learners spent the day at the Wigram Airforce Museum and were all blown away by seeing the airplanes and helicopters. Thanks to our parents/grandparents who came along to support this trip.

The basketball team is well into their season and I had the chance to go and see them play this week, which was a real highlight. They showed really impressive teamwork and resilience and did our school proud!

This week we also had Carol Butel back in working with us after school. Carol has been working alongside our staff with Mathematics professional development for the past year or so. This week our teachers shared back to Carol their journey so far this term with teaching measurement to their tamariki. Both Carol and myself were hugely impressed by the standard of teaching and learning that is going on in each classroom. Make sure you ask your kids about the maths tasks they have been working on and what concepts they have been learning.

We are unfortunately starting to see more cases of covid at school. Please remember to test siblings of children who are sick with covid before they come to school and err on the side of caution. The official advice is that you should test daily for 5 days with a rapid antigen test (RAT) from the day the person with COVID-19 tested positive. If any of the tests are positive, that person must self-isolate for 7 days.This will help keep the numbers of tamariki who are sick down and help with our communities health and well being. We have tests at school which you can pick up.

Earlier in the week I sent out the following information about the possibility of teachers striking next Wednesday 31st of May. As you know teachers and principals are in the middle of collective agreement negotiations with the Ministry of Education. Recently teachers voted to reject the latest offer and this week we have had an update to say that teachers overall have voted on a one-day strike which is due to take place next Wednesday 31st of May.
However, due to a process initiated by the Minister of Education to progress negotiations, any decision on moving forward with the strike has been paused by the NZEI National Executive. Talks will take place over the next few days with the hope of an agreement being made. If NZEI feels insufficient progress is made during these talks then the strike will go ahead.
What this means for us and our community is that we don't know for certain if the strike will be going ahead or not. If the strike is to go ahead this will mean that the school would need to close as it would not be possible to access the required staffing to provide normal teaching services or to meet child supervision requirements during the strike.
The Board wanted to give families a "heads up" that as a school we may be closed next Wednesday so that you could make tentative plans for your tamariki. I will of course let you know as soon as I hear one way or the other. At the latest by Sunday evening.
We are hoping that the Ministry of Education presents an offer which addresses the workload and resourcing issues as well as one that values our teachers and the profession as a whole. Your continued support is hugely appreciated.

Yesterday the Friends of Papanui (PTA) met at school and it was a really great get together. We had Matt de Vies who is a Healthy active learning community coordinator from Sport Canterbury come and speak with us. We talked about the the importance of having fun and developing a positive attitude towards sport at an early age. Maree Hewitt, who is our school sports coordinator and I, will be sending more information out about this in the weeks ahead as well as sending out a survey to gather your thoughts and aspirations for your tamariki in regards to Health and Physical Education in school. A big thanks to Anita Smart for organising Matt to come in and for running our get together.

Finally I wanted to say a huge thanks to the awesome Papanui Primary School community. From the kids, to the staff, to all the families I have met over the past five weeks, I have been made to feel so welcome and I am really enjoying my role as Principal. There is such a special feel to the school and I genuinely wake up each day excited to be able to spend my day at such a fantastic kura.

Have a great weekend and we will see you back next week.

Ngā mihi nui

Ben Galletly