Last week I had the privilege of attending the New Zealand Principals Federations Moot. The highlight was an address from Hon Jan Tinetti (Deputy Secretary for Education). She talked at length about the lack of attendance in NZ schools - post covid, the average national attendance rate is 60%.
I am in awe of our school and community, which have highly engaged students with regular attendance. Throughout the pandemic, apart from a three-week blip in term one, where we dipped to 65-75%, we have maintained our usual attendance rates of 95-98%.
Stanley Bay is bucking the trend. My question is, why? Yes, we have a highly engaged community that values education, but I also believe that irresistibly engaging learning is vital for success. Children will be most successful in a school with fun and excitement, opportunities to take risks and try new things, time for hands-on, creative learning. There is no doubt that this learning must be authentic, relevant, and delivered by highly skilled teachers who know, understand and connect with their learners.
At 'orange', we have been able to crank up 'extras' that create a sense of wonder and curiosity, a time to enjoy learning a new skill; ukelele, choir, kapa haka, trampolining, scratch, Epro8, Otago Problem Solving, Chess, basketball, netball to name but a few.
Hon Jan Tinetti urged Principals to consider how we can redefine success in the post covid environment. Consider the notion of 'we've got to catch children up'....catch up to what? Teachers, as always, will teach from a knowledge base of what children know and build on what they need next. There is no 'catching up', just a solid notion of moving forwards and making progress. For some, success can be measured in their engagement and enjoyment of learning, having survived two years of disruption.
Academic success is vital, and we are in no way taking our foot off the accelerator. We enhance academic success by providing a rich and engaging environment where students "generate, evaluate, and improve ideas that can result in original and effective solutions, advance in knowledge, and impactful expressions of imagination". To elevate these skills, alongside the more traditional academic measures of success, is a positive step forward.
This is about students having a positive sense of themselves as learners who can and have achieved success, and to achieve that, the first step is for our children to skip through the gate with a smile on their faces, looking forward to what their day at school may bring.
Maths Information Evening - Thursday 16 June, 6pm
On Thursday you are warmly invited to a Maths Information evening where you will be able to experience student led problem solving activities, find out what maths teaching looks like at SBS and take part in a model lesson.
It promises to be an informative and engaging evening with plenty of opportunities for you to explore how your child experiences maths in the classroom.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Matariki Lantern Making - Tuesday 21 June, 4.30pm
Matariki (the Pleiades) signals the Māori New Year. The appearance of Matariki heralds a time of remembrance, joy and peace. It is a time for communities to come together and celebrate.
Ka rere ana a Matariki, ka rere hōki ngā kōrero pūrākau, ka whakatikatika mō te Tau Hou. He wā tino pai tēnei ki te ako me te kuhu atu ki ngā whakamāramatanga o ngā whakataukī tuku iho.
As part of our week long Matariki celebrations, on Tuesday 21 June, you and your whānau are invited to come along to celebrate Matariki by making traditional lanterns and sharing in waiata. Bring a plate of food to share and enjoy a fun informal afternoon for the whole family.
Please RSVP to Emma Gauntlett email@example.com by Saturday 18 June so we can make sure we have plenty of materials.
A big shout out to FOSB, ably led by Rebecca Newman, for a fabulous disco, this first one we have been able to have for two years. Awesome moves on the dance floor, yummy food and the excitement of SBS's very own popcorn machine...what more could you want.
A great community effort and one that bought a smile to everyone's face!
Matariki Holiday - Friday 24 June
To observe the Matariki public holiday school will be closed for instruction on Friday 24 June.
Learner Conferences - 5 and 6 July
On Friday 1 July you will receive your child's mid-year report, this will be followed by Learner Conferences on 5 and 6 July.
More information and booking details will be emailed in the next couple of weeks.
Covid Risk Management
As we navigate the second wave of Covid, we are continuously monitoring and mitigating risks for our students and staff. We ask for your ongoing support:
Staff absences - our staff have been hit hard in the last couple of weeks. We have many teachers self-isolating and/or recovering from covid. While we are fortunate to have a team of committed relievers, but we are short-staffed. Therefore, it is highly likely that your child has or will have a reliever or be placed in another class in the coming weeks.
Masks - we strongly encourage masks for all staff and students in years 4 to 6. In addition, all visitors to the site are required to wear a mask. This will go a long way to protecting the vulnerable in our school community and help protect students and teachers.
Sickness - if your child is unwell, we ask you to keep them at home. If your child develops covid like symptoms while at school, you will be contacted to collect them immediately. Please continue to err on the side of caution.
As we navigate this wave, we ask for your continued support and understanding.
Don't forget you are welcome to attend assembly on Friday, 9.10am. The children enjoy an audience!
Noho ora mai