Individual Learners' Blogs

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Week 10, Term 4

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends,

Well, after a pretty amazing year, we can peak 'over the horizon' (dare I say it?!) and see a holiday in sight!

This week the children have the Life Education bus giving fun health lessons, and school will close on Wednesday at 1.30pm.

The staff wish you a very happy Christmas and new year.

Please, for those of you who were not at the Prizegiving, find notes from my End of Year Address to conclude:

“No one cares what you do. They care why you do it.”

That’s the premise of a great book called Start With Why, by Simon Sinek.

Martin Luther King had a strong sense of why he did what he did when he said, “I believe in a world…” He shared his driving belief, the reason he got out of bed, and the change he wished to see in the world.

Apple didn’t say “we make great computers.” They said, “we challenge the status quo and believe in thinking differently.” Dell, on the other hand, talked about making great computers. Now which brand has built a cult following?

No one cares what you do. They care why you do it.

So how does this apply to your child, our school?
Why: Why is a belief that drives you. The reason you get out of bed in the morning.

For example: one of my whys is to equip and facilitate teachers to unleash their full potential for the benefit of your children so that together, we can provide the best possible, most holistic education.

I believe with a passion that a spiritual education, strongly rooted in our Christian faith, community, traditions and writings is most powerfully able to transform education and to transform us as individuals, old and young in our community.

For example: one of our whys as a school is to equip and facilitate your children to unleash their full potential so that now and in the future they are increasingly able to positively change the world.

For example: one of the whys for your children’s very clear understanding of what their own goals are and how they can achieve them is because we know that in learning and progressing and achieving well - whether that is socially, emotionally, physically, spiritually or academically - we keep alive in them a gift they were given at birth - the gift of knowing the joy of being a learner and a growing contributor to the world.

At times, children lose the spark for learning and growing. It is a tragedy.

A very big why for us at Horizon is to keep that spark alive.  The Why, Simon Sinek says, is what underlies the How and the What.

The Whys I have mentioned are the reasons our teachers were heard planning for 2016 with the question Why? Why is this important for these children to know now? Those Whys are what is underneath our teachers’ constant inquiring and reflecting on what will work with your individual child. In large schools with single age-band classes that are focused on What the children must do instead of Why, it is easy for  teacher to consider she has taught if she has simply delivered information for children to learn.  But at Horizon, we believe that each individual should be considered as an individual and served in as unique way as possible, within the context of a busy classroom.  This means helping the children understand the why - the end in mind.  It means helping them to act as adults-in-training to whatever degree they are able - whether that is making a an e-book to share or doing a dance to an excellent standard, or showing compassion and understanding for someone who has an emotional or physical problem, or designing and creating merchandise for sale - the DVDs are now available today!  It also means giving children some age and stage appropriate choice.

The term ‘student led learning’ can give the impression that learners do their own thing in their own time in their own way, if they choose. If that was the case, we would quickly sink to the lowest common denominator.

However, when we think of student-led learning differently, we see that we start with the child and not the programme, we inquire about what gifts God has given them, what brings them success, what their family wants for them. We start with the end in mind we see for that child. The contributions you made to that discussion on the graduate profile and curriculum was significant and we will report back to you on this process early next year.

Because of these things, we adapt our teaching and give children guided choice, reflecting all the time on what is working and what is not.

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that our National Standards are, once again, well above National averages, and that for the first time we have over 90% achieving At and Above in a learning area.

Reading: 86% At and Above  Writing: 83% At and Above  Maths: 91% At and Above

What is the most pleasing about these results is that half of our new learners in have achieved below National Standards on arrival, and these results represent great ownership of learning by these children, a great sense of achievement, a wonderful culture among our teaching staff, and great shared commitment of you, the parents, to work with your children at home.

Many of the other rich learning experiences were mentioned in my annual report, which you have in your hands. It has been a wonderful year.

We are sad to lose Mrs Hendrina Hancock who has served as a teacher aide this last term, Mrs Alice Lund who has been absolutely wonderful to work with and done a stirling job in a time of added administration with the change of the school name and ownership, and Miss Louise Pryde, who has significantly helped our school to become more student-focused and more able to engage our learners with real life learning opportunities and the use of technology. We are so grateful for the way they have each become bound into the fabric of our school community, and even though they leave their employment, we welcome continued contact and friendship.

Finally, we are thankful to God, the author and finisher of our faith, the giver of all good things.

Helen Pearson

School News                                                                           

Last Day
School finishes  Wednesday 16th December at 1.30pm.

The NZCPT will be the new Proprietors from January 2016.  Information packs have been sent out to all current families, with new Automatic Payment Forms.  It is important that those forms are returned ASAP, so that the payments can be set up for next year.  Please contact the office if you need another form emailed to you.

Lost Property
We have a large amount of lost property at school at the moment.  Could you please check the lost property in the office before the end of term.  All unclaimed items will be taken to the hospice shop at the end of term.

Baby Bunnies for Christmas
We have four baby bunnies that will be ready to go to new homes by 15 December.
They are extremely cute
If you are interested please call Isabelle on 021 985508

Community Notices                                                                

Ray White – A little Ray of Giving
Ray White is partnering with the Rotary Club of Warworth to collect gifts in December to distribute to less fortunate families in the region through the Home Builders Family Centre in Warkworth.  If you would like to support this initiative, please drop off wrapped gifts at the Ray White offices in Warkworth and Snells Beach.

Warkworth Agricultural Show
The Warkworth A & P show is on Saturday 23rd January 2016.  The Bubble Muffin Kids Cooking Club will be there providing a free practical hands on cooking programs for the children.  Contact for further information.

Learn to Surf
Get the kids off the X-box and down to the beach this summer with our Learn to Surf week at Tawharanui&Orewa Beach
·                     Open to Kids aged between 7 – 17 years old
·                     Surf sessions 9.30am-12.30pm or 1.30pm-4.30pm
·                     Orewa16-18 Dec/4-8 Jan/11-15 Jan/18-20 Jan
·                     Tawharanui4-8 Jan/11-15 Jan
·                     Cost $99 for 3 day $150for 5 days

Hooked on Hockey Holiday Programme
Open to new or existing players. Groups streamed by age.
 Tuesday 26th & Wednesday 27th January, 9.00am - 3.00pm, North Harbour Hockey Stadium (Attend one day or both)  

Drop off from 8.30am. 9.00am start. 3.00pm pick up.
$50 per child/day - normal rate
$45 per child/day- family rate (when registering 2 or more children from same family).
$80 per child - both days

 Any questions, please contact Briar

Aquakidz Swimming Programme
Monday 18th to 22nd January 2016
$75 - 5 days
Ages 4 years and up!
Mahurangi College Pool
Contact Cindy 4259924 / 0211635050

Kip McGrath
Kip McGrath Warkworth - English and maths tuition aligned to the NZ curriculum. Programmes designed to suit individual learning styles for Years 1- 12.
Phone Ann Cook on 422 2305 for a free assessment.

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