Welcome to term three. I don’t know about you, but I am finding it very hard to adjust to the fact that we are now in term three. The missing weeks because of Covid 19 lockdown seem to have thrown our internal calendars out.
Thank you for your extra vigilance around things like personal hygiene and keeping children at home when they are unwell. That does make a huge difference to the overall well-being of everyone at our school. We have been speaking to our public health nurse and getting good advice from her. Covid 19 was a very rude wake up call for all of us and alerted us to the dangers that we place each other in when we do not take care. It’s appalling to see the figures around the world and realise that many countries are still in deep trouble. I found it astonishing that some people refuse to take precautions because they are claiming their own rights to freedom. If COVID-19 taught us nothing else it was that we are a global community and rely on each other for health and Well being. I would not like to be the principal of some of the schools overseas where the adults have decided that they know best, and that they will make up the rules about what they will or will not abide by. A few years ago we saw the effects of Norovirus in our school as it swept through the school population over several weeks. There is no comparison to a deadly virus like Covid 19 and the damage that could do in the school situation. It’s not worth thinking about.
Thank you too for ensuring that your children are at school on time every day. For a while after lockdown we did have a problem with absences and with lateness. Those things affect how children learn and their progress.
Just to add to the things that we miss; our school assemblies. We haven’t had an answer back about the rebuild of our school hall yet. I was hoping we would’ve heard something last term. In the worst case scenario at least we have an old hall to go back to that we can use to bring people together. Some of our new learning spaces will also be big enough to have large groups of people gather together. The great thing about that is, that there are kitchens in each area. The library will also have an area for parents to gather for coffee or tea on Friday mornings. We weren’t successful in getting a coffee machine but I think the old one will still work at a pinch.
We are starting to find our way after the sad loss of Tricia. We have interviews for a new personal assistant coming up this week. We are not looking for someone to fill her shoes; they must bring their own shoes to the job. Tricia is irreplaceable but we are confident that we will find someone who will love our school just as she did. I do want to thank Rachael Stafford for the ways in which she has stepped into dozens of roles in the office and has had to learn new things at a frenetic rate. Rachael is calm and unflappable and we are so lucky to have her. She started this job on the first day that school properly reopened after lockdown.
After Tricia passed away we had so much support from Principal colleagues and the Ministry of Education. I especially want to thank Denise Torrey and Julie from Somerfield Te Kura Wairepo, Gavin Burn from Cashmere Primary Te Pae Kereru , Frank McManus from Sacred Heart Te Kura o Te Ngakau Tapu, Ross Hastings from Christchurch South Karamata Intermediate School, Donna Buchanan and Juanita from Addington primary and Christine Harris and Jude from Te Kura O Huriawa Thorrington primary school. Jude is their retired PA and she worked for us for several weeks to help us back on our feet.
Abbey and I had a zoom review with ERO at the end of last term. I spoke about the loss of relationships we suffered when we had to take a hard line over things like lockdown, rigourous hygiene measures and a gradual return to school. I also spoke about the loss of connection with school whanau because children now bus to school.
Our Board of Trustees is already talking about reviewing our strategic goals for the next 3 to 5 years. We are so conscious that we have lost relationships with our Whanau and local community through the shift from the Lyttelton Street site and because of the Covid 19 restrictions. We went from a school who encouraged parents and preschoolers to come in and meet us, to a school where we were discouraging anybody from coming on the school grounds including our own children during alert level two and three. That went against everything we believe as a school and we need to do a lot of work to rebuild the strong connections that we had. It is fantastic to see the foundation being poured on the Lyttelton Street site. Every milestone brings us one step closer to our return home. With new buildings and a new layout we are very hopeful that we will have a physical environment where we can once again meet as a school family and include our families and school events.
Jared, Marina, Bill and I will be down at the Lyttelton Street site each week day to help to supervise pedestrians and vehicles. We are all rostered on, on different days. It is an extra responsibility for us, but with heavy machinery now coming into the school on a daily basis we are more comfortable being on site to make sure things are going smoothly.
Unfortunately we are still noting some irresponsible behaviour which does put others at risk. Yellow lines on the road and in the bus bays mean that cars cannot stop or park there. It does nothing to create good relationships when we have to get stroppy with a few of our folk. The no parking restrictions apply to everybody. Please remind your children to use the crossing and not to walk out between parked cars to take a shortcut to the buses. We’ve had a few close calls.
The buses leave at 8.30. A few children have made it by the skin of their teeth. The buses are under orders from the bus company and us to leave at 8.30 as they have other runs to complete. We don’t control their coming and going which is why sometimes they are late for after school pick up.
Please help us to keep everyone safe.
On Tuesday it was the South West Zone Cross-Country competition held at Halswell quarry. Ethan Cox was the outright winner of the year six students. We are thrilled at his success.
We are hoping to host a Fono/hui before the end of the term. We would also like to do a few parents sessions around some areas of curriculum and also the use of seesaw as a communication tool for parents to view their children’s learning and to help parents to understand what is taught and how it is taught. Maths is a prime example of things being very different from when we were kids.
It is getting a little bit lighter every morning and sundown is delayed by about 10 minutes each evening. I’ve noticed that the daffodils are blooming at our home school campus . The other morning I heard the birds singing. I was so shocked I had to slow down the car and open the windows to listen. Spring will soon be here.
Please make the effort to keep in contact with us. If you have a worry or a complaint you know the process. If you just want to say hello, please do.
On Tuesday, 28 July, our South West Zones Cross Country team braved the elements to run the 2km at the Halswell Quarry Park track. Despite the fog and cold conditions, our Year 5/6 runners comprising of Taylor, Sebastian, Millie, Jasmine, Ruby J, Ethan, Joel, Charlie, Cosette, Tessa and Molly-Ann showed grit and determination to get round the course, with Ethan, Millie and Tessa making the top 12 in their respective Year groups to go through to the Centrals competition in August.
Well done to all the runners. You earned yourselves a hot chocolate!
Room 9 has been exploring the world. We have visited 5 different countries to find interesting things about each one.
We flew to the different countries and you tube helped us with videos from the cockpit of the aeroplanes.
We learnt about the animals living in Antarctica. We visited Scott base and walked through the housing complex.We went to India and looked at all the different types of transport they have in their country. We compared the transport to transport in New Zealand. We presented our posters to some year 3 and 4 classes. Some of us enjoyed eating the samosas.
In Japan we looked at their traditional clothing. We then made a paper doll in a kimono. We also looked at their treasured fish – The Carp and made Carp kites. We also tasted some yummy sushi!
In Italy we visited the Colosseum and The Leaning Tower of Pisa. We know they use lots of olive oil, eat pasta and pizza. We enjoyed sharing a pizza for lunch.
We finished our trip in England and visited the queen at Buckingham Palace. We had rides on the overground train, a black taxi and the underground. It was great to fly back home.
Genavieve Graham from Room 3 was a winner in the Otago Daily Times Newspaper Search competition recently and came away with a goody bag filled with treats. Well done Genavieve!
Skool Loop App
At Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School we are excited to be rolling out a new free app for our school community. The idea behind this is to have one place for whānau to see all our current notices, newsletters, permission slips, make contact with us, lodge absences, see the school calendar and more! All of the information for you to download the app is below. Once you get the app select 'Te Ara Koropiko West Spreydon School' and you will be set. If you have any questions ask Matua Jared.
Out of zone ballot 2020
Term 4 2020:
For children who are living outside of our school zone and wish to enrol in term 4, 2020
Advertisement Date: Wednesday 22 July 2020
Applications close: 4 pm Wednesday 19 August 2020 Ballot Date: Friday 21 August 2020
To apply please fill in this form and give it to the office before the above closing date.
If you have any questions contact Matua Jared at email@example.com
Health and Safety
We are really aware of the online safety of our tamariki. Please be vigilant about the safety of your children when they are accessing the internet at home. Children cannot be left unsupervised on devices. Children should not have access to social media at this age. Please accesshttps://www.netsafe.org.nz/for some really helpful parenting tips and advice.
Please make sure you are getting your children onto the bus on time
To ensure the health and safety of all please ensure that you don't enter the buses in the mornings before school
Please use the pedestrian crossing to get across the road to the buses
Board of Trustees Update
The board are starting to begin our brainstorming and planning to help us set our next 3-5 years of strategic goals. Our job is to think big picture, dreams and hopes for our future school and students. It’s an exciting time knowing that we will be in new buildings with facilities that allow more options and diversity in learning for our teachers and students.
We are also working towards becoming a cashless school. This means that whenever possible we prefer your payments to be made by online banking. The usual bank account for school payments is the Board of Trustees account 12-3148-0131-756-00. Occasional there may be PTA or Pool payments but the account will be given if this is the case.
Thank you too, to all the parents who filled out the Board survey surrounding communication and understanding the children’s learning. This information helps us to make sure every child can thrive and we can foster relationships between home and school. It’s especially important while we are ‘away from home’ as many of you are not seeing teachers face to face.
Board of Trustees Chairperson
West Spreydon School Friends and Whānau Group (WSSFW) Update
Thank you for the $274 of donations for the Lego day.. and all the Lego! We are topping this up to $500 and so that we can get a good supply.. We hear from whaea Anna that Lego club has started and going well.
We have also installed a lost property storage in the foyer of the office so have a look here to find that missing uniform.
We have Entertainment books for sale. These are purchased through the app and last for 12 months from purchase and much easier than having to carry the book around with you as it is all on your phone! If you would like to purchase one please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide the details.
We would love new members to help us with our plans for the rest of the year please join us at our next meeting at 7 August 9am at the staff room at school.