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Principal Update - Week 2, Term 2.

Updated: May 9

Kia ora koutou e te whānau.

I trust it has been a good start to the Term for your tamariki. The feeling in the papa tākaro (playground) has been warm, both physically and socially, as we get into our learning and continue to support our students' growth. Today's message contains a few reminders and a few messages on some of the things we are working towards to support effective learning in our school.

Whakamaumahara - Reminders.

Learning Conferences:

Next Wednesday and Thursday (15th and 16th of May) are our learning conferences for most students. If you have not booked for these it is not too late, please go to and use the booking code wbqb8. If you are having any issues, contact your child's teacher, or give Tenielle a call in our office (between 10-12pm) and she will be very happy to help out. Please note that bookings will be closed on the morning of the 15th of May. If you have not booked by then, please make an alternative time with your child's teacher.

These conferences are a time to share learning, achievement and progress with you and to give your child some voice in this. If you are new to learning conferences, please let me know via the school office how you are experiencing the conferences (even if you are no longer a novice and have some feedback, I would like to know). We will continue to work on ways to develop and improve the experience for everyone.

Staff Leave:

This term we will lose Louise Reader (New Entrant Teacher, Rm 2) for a period of time as she begins her maternity leave. She and her husband Brad are expecting their first child, and we know that this is an exciting time for Louise and her extended whanau. We look forward to her return in Term 4, and more importantly, meeting her new baby!

Further to this, Leallen Anderson (0.4 Teacher in Rm 13) has been offered a brilliant opportunity to support schools in our district to implement the Accelerated Learning in Mathematics programme. We will still have Leallen with us as our DP, and she will return to us late in Term 4. Congratulations to Leallen, we know she will do an amazing job. Suzy Andrew will replace Leallen and support Eva Cranefield to continue leading the learning with the students in Room 13.

Some things you may have heard about:

Structured Literacy:

Recently the Minister of Education announced funding and resourcing plans to implement structured literacy instruction to support its policy directions for teaching. The good news is that we have been working in this space for the last 2-3 years as we have looked at explicit instruction and supporting student learning in spelling and writing. We are implementing the research informed programme The Code in our Year 3-6 classes and working on elements of it in our Year 1 and 2 classes (particularly shaping letters through writing and letters/sounds). We also have small group support interventions in place for students who will benefit from more instruction to support their learning in these areas. We are using similar approaches in reading.

Another programme you may not have heard much about is the Better Start Literacy Approach which is again research informed and aimed at supporting students in reading, writing and oral language in the first two years of school. We have recently started this work and are already seeing good progress with our students.

Both of the programmes mentioned here are structured approaches to support students and are geared toward ensuring students progress well. These programmes are not remedial, and are designed for all learners. Remedial programmes for students involve more opportunities for us to reteach them, and for them to practice the desired skills and engage their working memories and long term memories for better retention and application of the skills and knowledge being taught.

As always, if you have any concerns around your child's learning, please contact your child's teacher for information how we can support your child.

Have a wonderful fortnight.

Ka kite.


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