24 May 2007

From the Principal

Dear parents/caregivers

Woolf Fisher Fellowship
As I leave NZ next week on my Woolf Fisher fellowship, this will be my last newsletter until the middle of term 3.  I will be back at school on Monday 20 August.  I am looking forward to a very busy and exciting time and I am hugely appreciative of the opportunity.  I wish to acknowledge the wonderful support and generosity of the Woolf Fisher Trust.  I have planned a mix of school visits, a leadership conference and a symposium, a development programme at Harvard University in Boston and meetings with university education staff and teacher trainers in London and Hong Kong.  The focus of my fellowship is effective teaching.  I am very interested in how excellent teachers engage with their students to optimise their learning and achievement.

At our school we have been working on developing our own framework of what we believe are the practices of excellent teachers in relation to their students, in their collaboration with each other and in connecting with the families of their students.  We have drawn on current NZ research in the area of effective teaching and I am very interested in looking at this comparatively in the international context.  

I am also looking forward to sharing my findings with you, on my return to school in August.

The Board has asked Linda Jefferies to be the acting principal while I am away so the school will be in great hands.  

Reading Help
During the April holidays John White, our caretaker broke his ankle and has been shuffling around in a bright pink cast, unable to carry out his  regular caretaking duties.  He has been quite unhappy about that, so he has continued to come in to school every morning and instead of taking care of the school, he has been spending each morning reading with our students!  He has done so well!!  Teachers have sent children individually or in small groups to John in the staffroom and he has heard them read and engaged in the most impressive questioning – He would make a super teacher!  Thank you John for giving up your time to help our students.  

We wish to acknowledge Bunnings, Manukau.  They have donated plants to the school, so shortly you will see a plot of cheerful pansies in the front garden.

Camp Stalls
Thank you for your support for the Year 6 stalls this term.  The stalls are a tradition in the school and the children love them.  Each time we have one it is like a mini gala day.  The Year 6 students take great pride in the stalls and the funds go towards their camp at the end of the year.  The junior children seem to really like having their faces painted!

Best wishes for a fantastic weekend.  Many of you will be feeling very proud of our yachtsmen in Valencia.  The finals starting on 1 June should be thrilling.. Go Team New Zealand!

Warmest wishes for the remainder of the term.  I look forward to seeing you on my return on 20 August.

Kind regards
Marilyn Gwilliam

General Notices

Class visits to St Christopher's Residential Home:  This Monday, 28 May (weather permitting) at 1.30pm, Room 24 will be visiting St Christopher's Hospital.

Assembly Day:  On Friday, 25 May assembly will be run by Room 24.  As always you are most welcome to attend but please make sure that you are seated by 1.15pm.

Individual / Family photos – we only have few outstanding.  Please return these to the office ASAP.
Class photo money needs to be returned by Friday, 25 May 2007.

Winter Health:  With winter on its way it is time to remind our students to be careful about the spread of germs and illnesses.  Students are being reminded about thorough washing and drying of hands, blowing noses and catching sneezes so they don’t spread around.  
As always we appreciate your support with this at home.  Where possible we prefer the students to be at school but if they are really sick then at home in bed is the best place for them.

School Sports Exchange

Puhinui:  These are the results from last Friday, 18 May:
Soccer A won 5-0                Netball A lost 8-7                Netball E won
Soccer B won 2-1                Netball B drew 5-5            Netball F lost
Rugby under 40 won 30-25        Netball C lost 15-3
Rugby under 50 lost            Netball D lost 13-4
Holy Cross: This will be held next Thursday, 31 May.  It hasn't been confirmed who is playing where yet.