Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Learning Together

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Our new vision statement is Learning Together. Children and staff have been learning well together over the last week. There is a really positive tone in the school and it is really pleasing to see children already engaged in their learning.

The vision of Learning Together is not just for children and teachers; we want it to be a three-way partnership that includes parents and caregivers. Here are some of the ways that we can learn together this year:

Attending Parent/Teacher conferences is really important. On Monday March 4th and Tuesday March 5th we will have two opportunities for you to meet with your child’s teacher.  An online booking system will be available shortly for you to choose a time that suits you. This is an opportunity for you to share about your child and to discuss expectations for the year.

We want your child to enjoy and engage in learning at Papakowhai School. If there is a problem we want to know about it early on so we can do something about it. You don’t need to wait for set interview times. Please email or talk to your child’s teacher about any questions or concerns you may have. You are also welcome to talk with me or email me anytime.

We have an open door policy so you are welcome to pop into your child’s class and look at their work anytime.

Please sign up for our weekly newsletter emails by contact me at . We also have our website and class blogs which are already up and running. Go to our website and click on the Our Learning tab. We would really love you to leave comments.

Often as children get older they tell you less and less about school. This is perfectly normal. I have a 14 year old son who tells me nothing about school. I have found that rather than asking, “How was school?” it is better to say, “Tell me about what happened at school today.” This often elicits more information.

Being at school on time and regularly attending school contributes significantly to children’s achievement levels. Making sure that children get to bed on time (especially on Sunday nights), limiting the amount of term time sleepovers and term time holidays are also positive contributions you can make to your child’s learning this year. Children who regularly arrive late to school miss important interactions with their peers and key instructions at the start of the day.

Please ensure that your child is at school by 8:50 at the latest. If your child is not attending school it is very important that you phone the Office before 9:00 and leave your child’s name, their teacher’s name and the reason for their absence.

When children read regularly and practise appropriate number knowledge skills, it makes a difference to their learning. You should assume that there is homework every week unless you receive a newsletter telling you otherwise.  Homework will contain a reading log to be signed by parents/caregivers. There may also be an optional reading response. There will also be a Maths component for Rimu, Totara and Kauri syndicates.  This will be Mathletics but could also include downloading workbooks from the Mathletics site, practising basic facts or parents setting their own Maths tasks. In Rata, Mathletics is desirable but not compulsory. There will also be a spelling component for Rimu, Totara and Kauri.

It is expected that teachers will monitor homework on a weekly basis. A record will be kept of who has or hasn’t completed their homework. It is expected that teachers will set activities in Mathletics at all levels and monitor what children have done on a weekly basis. If for some reason this is not happening please contact your child’s teacher or myself.

If your child doesn’t complete their homework a letter will be sent home. The child is to return it to their teacher signed by their parent/caregiver. We will incentivise completion of homework by giving whanau points for students who have done their homework. This will contribute to a bigger focus on whanau group pride. Whanau leaders will collect the points each week and points will be posted on the website.

Getting involved with class trips, being a parent helper in the classroom, driving a Walking School Bus, contributing to the Home and School Committee, or standing for the upcoming Board of Trustee elections in April are all ways that you can be involved in the school community. Getting involved is a great way to get a feel for what is going on at school. If you feel disconnected from what your child is doing at school, find a way to get involved. If you are unsure how to be a parent helper or who to talk to about the Home and school Committee or School Board I would be happy to refer you on.

No comments:

Post a Comment