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December 2016

posted 13 Jan 2017, 12:54 by

Kia ora koutou,

Academic year 2016 has finally drawn to a close.  So, first of all I would like to congratulate everyone on an incredibly successful year.  This year presented our community with some real challenges and we have shown strength, resilience and perseverance as we have risen above every single obstacle that we have met.

I would like to thank everyone in the community for the amazing support that they provided both when we were working off-site and when we were back in school.  Thank you, to all of our staff for the wonderful job that they have done in providing our students with the opportunity to succeed in their learning despite all of the difficulties.

Thank you to all of the coaches, managers and helpers who have run our teams, supported our performing arts events, supported trips and visits and helped to provide wealth of unique opportunities for our students. Thank you also to the BOT for helping us to navigate some pretty stormy waters this year, particularly at the start of the year after the fire.

Finally, well done to all of those students who have given their best and enabled our teams to succeed to such a high level and for making it such a pleasure to be a teacher at our school.  Let’s hope that we can make next year even more successful.

I would like to give best wishes to everyone who is leaving the school.  All of the students who will be moving on to another stage of their life journey.  This includes year 13 students heading for university or other colleges, as well as those moving to different parts of the country. I would also like to wish all of the teachers who are leaving every success in the future.

For those of us who remain we have a lot to look forward to.  We will be continuing our journey to rebuild the school as well as the development of the community and sports centre.  Our aim is to make sure that both projects become part of the same vision and that the community has a great opportunity to be involved in the process.  It is important, however, to remember that they are two separate projects and that our first priority has to be to ensure that we do an excellent job of replacing the damaged parts of the school building.

As I have said, at all of the large school functions towards the end of the year, we have had to be more relaxed about things this year because of the lack of resources and because of the stress and trauma that people have been through.

So, next year is a fresh start and we will certainly be raising the bar higher.  This time last year we had strong evidence of improved attendance and better behaviour by students and we were keen to build upon this.  Unfortunately, this was not possible.  Our focus on attendance in 2015 led to an increased attendance of more than 10%.

In 2017 we will return to the system of reporting attendance to parents at fortnightly intervals but we will develop this further to include information about attendance, attitude and achievement.  This will enable you as parents or carers to know about issues much earlier and therefore to be able to provide the support for our students to get back on track for success.  We will also be focusing more on uniform next year and if students are not in the correct uniform they can expect the school to be contacting whanau on a regular basis.  School uniform creates a positive image of the school and this leads to more opportunities from the community such as jobs in the future.  It makes sense to create a positive image of the school that provides a better future for our students.

We will also be signing up to the Toki Pounamu Cluster and this will bring exciting new pedagogical practices to our school. We will be taking big steps to build better learning focused relationships with students, whanau and the community.  The school will have been upgraded considerably when we return and most of it will have been repainted.  So we can continue to make our school better in every sense and create a school that we can be even more proud of in the future.

The arrangements for the start of term are in this newsletter.  However, can I draw special attention to whanau of students in year 7 next year to make sure that chromebooks are ordered through the school by the 27th January.  If you have any problems please contact the school.  Please note students in any year group can take advantage of the offer for chromebooks, so if you are interested just contact reception.

In conclusion, I would like to say well done for making 2016 such a successful year, thank you for all your support and I look forward to an even more successful year in 2017.  Have a great holiday, seasons greetings to you all and the very best wishes for the new year.  If we continue to work as a team and build stronger learning focused relationships we can guarantee an even more successful year.

Nga mihi nui,

Trevor Jones.