Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A strong sense of community

Dear Parents/Caregivers

One of the things that I really like about Papakowhai School is the sense of community that we enjoy together. This is evident in the way that our older pupils look after our younger pupils. There was a real buzz at 10:30 yesterday as children got into whanau groups in preparation for the picnic on Thursday.
It was great to see our new Year 8 leaders stepping up to explain how the day will work and organising children so that everyone has a buddy for the day. This is a very special feature of a full primary school.
The weather is looking great for our picnic tomorrow and I hope that you can join us even if it is just for 30 minutes down at the lagoon.

Classes for 2013 are working well and I have been around rooms looking at children’s work and seeing classes in action. Teachers have spent the last several weeks establishing class norms and ways of working together and these are being well established. I look forward to you being able to meet this year’s teacher at our interviews next week.  Why don’t you also check out our new classrooms while you are here? I will also be in my office both evenings and parents are welcome to pop in and talk with me or make an appointment if you would like to.

Another way that shows that our community is working together for the best of our children is with the wonderful volunteer help we receive. In the past week we have had people put their hand up for netball, Maths support, special needs support, spelling testing, camp helpers and parent helping in classrooms.
We really value this support. If you would like to help but don’t know what the needs are I would love to talk with you.

We are also building community in an online environment because we know that the majority of our parents cannot come to school between 9 and 3pm. All classes have a class blog and we have been appreciating the comments that you have been posting. You may have noticed that there are also 3 new blogs called, Reading, Writing and Maths. These blogs have been posted to give you ideas about how you can support your child at home. Teachers will explain this further at the interviews next week.

Swimming has been a good example of community and school working together. The participation level has been brilliant. Todd Morton and his team from Easy Swim have done a great job with the children and we have seen many Totara children improve from being able to swim less than 40 metres to more than 200! Currently we have our new entrant children swimming for 2 weeks. Working in a concentrated 2 week block seems to be working well for children’s confidence and progress. In the week starting 11th of March it will be Mrs Trlin, Mrs Dacre and Miss Simpkins classes’ turn in the pool. The week starting the 25th of March it will be Miss Koorey and Mrs Smith/Mrs Lewis’ class turn.

I hope you are enjoying this golden weather.

Kind regards
Mark Smith

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