Individual Learners' Blogs

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Week 9, Term 4

Dear Parents, Friends and Caregivers,

It has been an amazing year. Such a lot has happened.

We started the year with our school camp, which was a wonderful community building time in which our learners developed self confidence through climbing the high ropes, kayaking, archery, swimming, team games requiring leadership and problem solving, cooking their own dinner over a fire, camping outside, caving, and being part of a talent quest. What a great start to the year, with most of the school families attending for some or all of the time.

In terms of developing strong thinking skills, we have seen considerable progress. In the first half of the year we did a lot of science investigations, developing questioning skills, observational skills, labeling skills and helping the children to think like scientists and to say why they think something happens rather than only to regurgitate facts.

We have also done a lot of work with Feuerstein this year. This has given the children specific activities to work on together or as individuals which have developed increasing confidence in strategies to solve problems, and the ability to control impulsivity, create mental pictures, develop spatial awareness, and a whole host of other skills. These cognitive skills set the children up well to be lifelong learners.

Thinking skills have been further developed by our Author Think process which all senior children use to help them reflect on their own and others' work, provide and receive constructive feedback and revise their work in response. The junior classes are developing a beginning understanding of this approach.

We have had Gifted education for a day each week, and Japanese lessons, courtesy of Lynn Williams.

We have had a focus on developing self management skills, helping children to set and understand their own learning goals and to achieve goals within an expected time period.

In those first six months, we started our MCSTV and had our learners understand the various roles in a TV production and participate in making news clips about our school, we had a wonderful study on ANZAC, with each child in Years 4-8 researching a real life soldier who died in the war, and recording the information to share with others. This study was culminated in a moving service in which we showed respect for those who died for our people and country. Younger children did research projects and created e-books on animals of their choice.

The second six months has included work on understanding the various components of a musical production, and working hard so that all children in the school were participating to a very high standard in a dance and in group singing, and many children also had singing and acting parts. The senior class designed (and made most of) our costumes, designed and made the sets, tickets and programme.

Children have been sailing, surfing, visiting Chipmunks, skateboarding, swimming lessons at the beach and at the Mahurangi College pool, done metal work and cooking, and in several cases had specialist leadership training.

We have participated in almost all interschool sports, coming second in interschool hockey. On Saturdays our junior team won the Illingworth Family Trophy for the entire junior division and our seniors won the second division competition. Volaki has been selected for the North Harbour Hockey Representative Development Team and Tiraha has been selected for the 2016 Under-13 squad for Maori Netball.

We participated in the Interschool Speech competitions,  and Sam Lund got first in his Year 3-4 age group and Volaki came third in the Year 5-6 group.

All of our learners have had one to one and small group teaching in areas of weakness.

To conclude, we are delighted to see that we have had significant progress in Reading, Writing and Maths.

In all cases, we have National Standards results that are well above the National Average (which is in all cases between 71-78% At or Above National Standards). 
Our results are 
Reading: 86% At and Above 
Writing: 83% At and Above
Maths: 91% At and Above

Considering the fact that half of our learners new to the school were achieving Below National Standards when they arrived, this is a great testament to our teachers' diligence and student-focused teaching, and to the way they work to help the children own and celebrate their own learning results.

All of these things are testament to the extremely committed and hard work of your children's teachers and the commitment of the Board to fund additional staffing, and the help of volunteers like Amy Rabey who taught dance several times per week for four months, and Lynn Williams who donates a day each week to share her wealth of experience in gifted education, each as a volunteer. The Ministry of Education only funds our school for 2.8 teachers plus me. In actual fact, we have 4 classes each with their own teacher, 1 fulltime teacher aide, 1 nearly-full-time teacher aide, a Reading Recovery teacher who works five mornings a week with children who are struggling, and a host of volunteers who come in to listen to reading, teach in areas of specialty like cricket, dance, basketball, health and first aid education and financial literacy.

Our children have lacked for nothing this year in terms of variety and excellence of opportunity, and this is because our teachers and friends go above and beyond the call of duty to invest in what is best for each child.

I am both grateful and proud of the way our school is growing from strength to strength. Size is not a weakness here, but a strength we embrace.

Thanks for sharing with us in the journey. Next year promises to be even better!

Helen Pearson

School News                                                                           

Prize giving
This Friday morning at 9.15am we will be having our end of year prize giving for all of the students.  Parents, caregivers and friends are all welcome to attend and celebrate the achievements the children have made this year.

Last Day
School finishes next 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.

$4 School Lunch this Friday
Friday lunches have now finished for the year.   

A bracelet was found after the Snoops Production last week.  If you are missing a bracelet please contact the office.

Praying for the school
Every Monday morning from 8.45 – 9.15 we have prayer time for the school. All parents, caregivers and friends of the school are welcome to attend.

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.

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
 Our popular Hooked on Hockey Holiday programme is back in the New Year on January 26th & 27th catering for children aged 5 – 12 (school years 1 – 8).  
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.

1 comment:

  1. Great write up Helen, and wonderful to reflect on the year and all the amazing opportunities our children have had throughout the year. Looking forward to even greater growth and opportunities in 2016.


We welcome your comments on our blogs. Thanks!