It has been busy up here at school over the summer break. The roofing project got underway in early January; the old fort was removed at the end of December and maintenance work was undertaken on the lower adventure playground. I am really looking forward to the newly sown grass growing and thriving under the oak tree. It will really transform the play space down by the sandpit.
I had an unexpected but exciting holiday in Chicago. Chris surprised me by taking me to see our youngest daughter. We braved the snow (and there was lots of it!) to discover the city’s wonderful architecture and great public art. Whatever you and your family did over the summer I do hope you feel recharged to begin the new school year.
This year we welcome to our teaching team Kate Gallagher, Mathew Quivooy, Walter Nash, Suzy Jones and Juliet Henkes. Kate is teaching in Ruma Tarata, Mathew is teaching in Ruma Kauri and Walter is teaching in Ruma Koromiko. Suzy and Juliet will be providing weekly release time to Ray and Anna on a Thursday.
The teaching team ended the holidays with two teacher only days. We were lucky to again work with Lester Flockton who has a passion for working with schools to develop their own curriculum in order to best meet the needs of their students and school community. Lester has worked on many national curriculum and assessment projects including the revised New Zealand Curriculum that was launched in 2007. Our work with Lester is a continuation of the work we began last year. At our recent workshop together staff reflected on our assessment and planning practices; and our understanding and implementation of the curriculum. We worked together to agree essence statements for each of the eight learning areas that are in the New Zealand Curriculum (the mandated curriculum).
Our second teacher only day was facilitated by Mark Sweeney. Our work with Mark focussed on the staff team exploring how we can work together on strategies to future proof our students by harnessing the power of resilience; shaping growth mindsets; and strengthening and stretching our students’ self-management skills. We looked at the work of Paul Tough who believes we need to build our students’ capabilities of persistence, self-control, curiosity, grit and self-confidence through nurturing and mentoring relationships.
Each year I say this and it’s true. By the time the students arrive on day 1 our Term 1 calendar is filling up. This year is no exception! Our term is shaping up to be a busy one. Ruma Rimu and Rima Koromiko will have weekly Friday swimming lessons; Katie and Kristin and the senior students in Ruma Kowhai and Ruma Rata are heading off to camp in early March; and during the week the seniors are away the rest of the school will enjoy a week of education outside the classroom activities.
Finally a warm welcome to all our new students and their families who have joined our school community. I look forward to getting to know you and your child. I look forward too to discovering the things that excite your children as a learner.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or queries that you have about the school or feedback which you would like to share with myself, the staff and/or the Board of Trustees.
Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays after a wonderful Term 3. In case you had forgotten how fabulous an evening our school production was, here are some links to videos taken from the night to bring back the memories. Congratulations to all the children and thanks once again for all our community and whanau support. See you next Monday 12th October!
Journey to Aotearoa by Koromiko and Rimu (jump to 2min 40s for start)
September is Bee Awareness Month and here at Te Aro School we care deeply about our Kiwi Bees and what we can do to support them.
The National Bee Association is working with councils throughout the country to raise awareness of the important job our bees do and how we can help them.
The focus this year is on providing enough food sources for bees across the year by planting a variety of bee friendly flowers.
At school this month we are going to be planting wild flower seeds, making bee badges, preparing our hives for Spring and Koromiko bee-keepers will be doing ‘Bee Tours’ to each class in the school to share their learning experiences.
Please have a look at the events which are also occurring in our community this month
Here is some information about the whole project being ran by National Bee Association
If you would like to plant some flowers at home, NZ Gardener Magazine is giving a free pack of seeds away this month with each magazine and you can pinpoint where you have planted on an interactive map
Last week, Ben Henry from the Warriors came to Te Aro School and shared with us examples of why it is really important for us all to learn to read and how much fun it is. Together we read a children’s story book about the Warriors. We had competitions and won lots of cool prizes. It was an awesome afternoon!
Click on the link below to watch a video of us reading together with Ben
Last week from Monday to Friday it was the school book fair on Friday to celebrate the end of the book fair we had a dress up day, you could dress up as any book character like the famous Harry Potter or the ever adventuring Tintin. Many people dressed up really well and the teachers looked like they came out of a book! Overall we had a great day dressed up as our favourite book characters.
We have started the new term with a hiss and roar. Claire and Anna’s classes (Ruma Nikau and Ruma Koromiko) have the opportunity to learn in-line roller blading skills so they can play hockey at the recreation centre in Kilbirnie on a Monday afternoon.
Melanie and Amy’s classes (Ruma Tawa and Ruma Kauri) are off swimming on a Tuesday.
Across the school students have been learning about why we commemorate ANZAC Day. From this social science focus classes have been immersed in reading, writing, drawing, and painting. The main foyer corridor has even been filled with the sounds of a bugle playing the Last Post!
The fine weather in our first week back has meant that all the classes have been able to get outside to begin their cross country training.