Kia ora Koutou
It was wonderful to be able to catch up with many of our parents and whānau at our Student Achievement Interview Day last week. I do hope that both you and your child found the day rewarding in terms of the feedback and guidance which was offered by our teaching staff. As always, our Assistant Principal, Carole Lake, welcomes any comments about the day. These can be sent to her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning continues for the introduction of our whare (House) system to be introduced at the beginning of 2020. This model has proven to be very successful in other schools, however it is important that we put our Riccarton Way ‘flavour’ to this structure; one which will see both the Kaihautu (Head of House) and Kaitiaki (Dean) working together to lead a group of whānau teachers in providing pastoral support to our students. Whānau time will also take on a different look next year with students being organised into smaller vertical type groupings (Yr9-13) for 2 short and one longer whānau time during the week. While the shorter sessions will be used for basic administration tasks and whare assemblies, the longer whānau time will focus on providing our students with those essential life skills required for what is a radically changing world. We look forward to communicating further details around this exciting initiative in term 4. You will find an overview of all our planned changes for 2020 by following this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14ZH7DnvR4lzu-n1gLByakrmnp5cnReUC/view?usp=sharing
Recently I have been having conversations with around 300 Year 11 and Year 12 students with regards to their thoughts on learning and how they think about Riccarton High School in terms of setting them up for the future. I have included below a few of the questions that I have been asking and the top 3 answers which have been given for each:
Question 1- What makes a good teacher?
Top 3 Answers
Someone who understands you and your needs
Someone who wants the best from you
Someone who uses humour!
Question 2 - What helps me learn?
Top 3 Answers
A good teacher- someone who is passionate
Being able to work in a group/collaborate/do practical things
Seeing the learning as relevant
Question 3 - What does ‘success’ look like?
Top 3 Answers
Knowing you’ve done your best
Reaching your goals
One thing that I have really appreciated with this exercise has been the openness and honesty shown by our students. It was also interesting to note that for the majority, we as a school, rank highly in terms of preparing them for life beyond school, however, there is always work to be done and I look forward to exploring how this student voice can be used more in curriculum design, identifying appropriate pathways for our diverse students and in providing feedback to our teachers.
Enjoy the holidays and I look forward to seeing you in term 4.