Here we are at the end of the 2020 school year. Coming ready or not. I always smile when people ask if we are winding down for the end of the year. That’s what I call a wind up.
Laptops: Thank you to one of our school dads, Shailesh Singh at Niwa, who has nominated us as a school to receive their obsolete laptops. By obsolete I mean newer than most things we have in the school. This is an incredibly generous offer and we have seized it with all hands. We can add the laptops to our after school programme for Coding and Robotics and as time goes on and they continue to support us, we have talked about other options to make sure that all children have the same advantages.
Generosity: Thank you to South West Baptist Church who gifted grocery vouchers and care parcels for our families with recent bereavements and hardship. Thank you to C3 who gifted Christmas presents just to make it special for families who may have struggled to find the bonus dollars for Christmas presents for their children this year.
We also have several families who have donated camp fees, vege vouchers, library books and many other things out of generosity and NOT because they are rolling in extra dollars. I don’t have their permission to mention their names so if you are one of those fantastic people, please take this as a personal thank you. If you have been the recipient of some of this generosity, it would be lovely for you to let us know your, “Thank you.”
School devices and internet: Jared and I spent this morning with one of the senior classes sorting out their breaches of our internet contracts. The devices are for learning. Children have no idea of the dangers they place themselves in when they wander off piste, online. The big issue is that they waste valuable learning time and when we wonder why they haven't made the progress they should, we can see the logon times in prime learning. Please talk to your child about keeping the terms of the contract. The pressure this puts on a classroom teacher is unreal and despite the fact that we expect the teachers to have eyes in the back of their heads, it’s not always possible.
Concerns process: If you have any worries or concerns please raise them with the classroom teacher as the primary contact. If you feel that the issues are not being addressed, please make a time to speak with me. Facebook and social media are not platforms that we use to raise issues. Sometimes if we can all sit and talk through everything, we can all make changes for the best interests of the child. When we work in partnership, we can make progress to sort out the things that are bothering all of us.Sooner rather than later is the best course of action. Our children’s wellbeing and achievement matters to all of us.
Farewell: We are saying goodbye to a few staff members this year. Nessa Ladley, Simone Whitu, Angela Foster and Jessica Gledhill are leaving us after working with us for several years. Ange’s boys were students here when I was first appointed. We wish them every success as they take up new appointments, or take time to reset. It takes a few months for the realisation to hit and I always start the year by looking for them in the staffroom.
Our Year 6 tamariki leave us for greener pastures. We have known many of them since they were a twinkle in their parents' eyes. It has been a pleasure to watch them grow. Our staff has walked alongside so many of them to help them through the bumps and holes of childhood, and to support their learning journey. Childhood is not an easy ride when there is so much for them to learn and big disappointments come along. Often when the heat is on, they show their very best and we are so proud of them. We wish them well as they go to their new schools
Achievement data We will publish our achievement data shortly. The board has committed a lot of money to professional learning particularly around PAC. We also had MOE support through PLD and for that we are very grateful. We have had Brent, a facilitator from Evaluation Associates, who has taken the staff through a very challenging process on the efficacy of data. Teachers have to provide video evidence of their precision teaching at the point where the “stuck “ child has made the shift. Each shift has an item bank explanation and we have seen some superb progress over the past 15 months. This year we are confident that our assessment data is a much more accurate picture of the achievement of our children and we can see radical shifts. The heartening thing is that we also see a clear picture of the children who are talented.
As part of the reporting process to the board we present:
Additional support programmes available for children who are not making the desired progress
Information on how we identify those children
Updates on the progress of the intervention
Our board has conducted its own longitudinal study on a cohort of students over their years at school based on data from the assessment team. This year that cohort graduates as year 6.We worked with a SAF from the MInistry of Education for 2 ½ years at our request so we could improve practice and have an outsider's eyes on the process.
We will start another study next year and track a cohort through.
I chose an analogy of a Traffic Control Tower to try to explain what it has been like for us to manage the build project. At present we have a large number of “planes in the air, waiting for permission to land.” Everything is contingent on something else. The landscaping can't start until the tender process is complete, the drains and sewers can't be started behind the admin block until we know the impact of the design on the land, the security system can't be started until the wiring is completed, we can't order the switches for the new GPON system until we have an agreement as to how many we need and who will pay for them…… Some days we laugh, or we would cry.
When we go home we are going to organise for parents to visit the new learning spaces during learning hours so you can see how they operate. We’ll do conducted tours with our senior students in charge. I know there are still misgivings about big spaces and we too have seen examples that would make a grown man cry. Our staff is working on new norms and non negotiables. The quality of the teacher in front of the children will never be taken for granted. Attachment will remain the underpinning philosophy.
We are seeing tired, grumpy children as this year closes. This is the time that children make mistakes and seem to find lots of tears. The tears are good! Don’t shy away from them. We adapt and change when we cry over the things that don’t work for us and the things that we cannot change. Go with the flow (pardon the pun). Children and adults get stuck in patterns of behaviour and blame when the tears do not come. You will be able to tell the difference when a child goes from tears of frustration and blaming everyone else, to the tears of adaptability and mixed feelings. Children need reassurance that you have got their back and that together we can make the changes. I hope after a few days' rest, that the excitement of Christmas spent together making happy memories, will give new energy and smiles.
Enjoy the sunshine and the company of family and friends who love you.
Kindest end of year regards,
News from Harakeke
We have been focusing on kindness and creating our ultimate New Zealand holiday using our Banqer money from the term. This is inspired by the ‘Do Something New, New Zealand’ campaign.
Matua Glen took a group of students to Barrington Mall and Spreydon Baptist Learning Centre to perform some Christmas songs.
The Year 6’s had an amazing time at their dinner at Lone Star. So awesome to celebrate them.
Stevie Loveridge won a prestigious award for her essay writing competition. We are so proud of her!
Seth, Joel, Briar, Alyssa, Jess and the Year 6’s have put together an online Yearbook of their memories from Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School. You can check out all their hard work at https://takwssleavers2020.weebly.com/.
The Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School Christmas Choir performed twice on Tuesday, 15 December. The first performance entertained shoppers at Barrington Mall. The choir members sang beautifully despite some techy issues from the sound system. The choir then went back in time to the Spreydon Baptist Early Learning Centre on Lyttelton Street, where many of the children went as pre schoolers. There were lots of children reminiscing! Once the Xmas choir had finished, the children at the learning centre sang a lovely song back to us, before offering a koha for our singers.
Our thanks to Jill Kearns at Barrington Mall, Lynda Hinman, Colleen Thorman and the children at the SBELC. Thank you to Matua Jared who helped out with the technical stuff and a BIG kia ora to Pauline Dumbleton for joining the choir as parent help. Nga mihi nui!
Glen Campbell - Performing Arts
On Wednesday, December 2, our Central Zone Athletics Team competed at Nga Puna Wai. Tessa, Tiana, Millie, Ethan and Connor were entered in the 1000m distance and 80m sprint respectively. All of the athletes did extremely well and are to be congratulated, coming in the top half of the competitors from all around Christchurch. Fantastic work team!
At the end of year show Charlotte was awarded the Southern Cross Irish dancing cup for her achievements this year, role modeling and kindness She was also given distinction in all 3 grade exams.
Stevie Loveridge from Room 3 has received a Certificate of Commendation in recognition of outstanding effort and achievement in the 2020 Intermediate (Year 5 &6 Section) Writers Award.
Fantastic work Stevie! Amazing job.
Learning Conversations 2021
On February 3 & 4 we are holding our Learning Conversations for 2021. Please click the link below and choose a time that works for you on either of the two days. This is a time of whanaungatanga. The teacher will spend time getting to know you and your tamariki. We can't wait to meet with you in the new year.
If you have any questions or concerns please call the school office. You can also make a time at the office as well if needed.
Tumuaki Tuarua / Deputy Principal
Skool Loop App
Please get the Skool Loop App so that you are receiving all current school information!
If you have any questions ask Matua Jared.
Board of Trustees
So it looks like we made it!! What a most unconventional year it’s been.
Our recent meeting was centred around student achievement data which showed some formidable leaps and successes for many.
The build is progressing fast now and will be such a treat to move home to. To the year 6 students who leave us all the best, remember the lofty mountain! Keep aiming high!
Thank you to Marriene, Jared, Marina and Rachel and Helen in the office for your formidable teamwork and support this year too. Our staff and leadership team all need gold medals for getting through this year!
Happy holidays to you all
West Spreydon School Friends and Whānau Group (WSSFW) Update
We would like to thank everyone that supported the WSSFW and ultimately our Tamariki this year. It sure has been a crazy time! Lets hope we can get together more often and return to the magic of "community" that our school fosters. It will be so nice to be back in our refurbished school.
A big shout out to our committee members who are leaving this year...Anna Cobley, Gabby Skjellerup and Ansley Hickson. These ladies will be missed for their dedication and hard work to bring events and fundraising ideas to the table....On that note, we are on the lookout for new members. If you feel you can give some time to help organise small events, run the odd sausage sizzle and light up our Tamariki's smiles, then please get in touch via e mail or Facebook. We meet once a month on either a Monday night or Friday morning in the school staff room. We look forward to seeing some new committee members soon!