Kia ora koutou.
I hope this message finds you well despite the increasing presence of the 'winter bugs' on top of the Covid situation. This week's message will start with a few reminders about our Covid responsibilities and how we will manage the situation if we have increasing ‘within school’ spread. We will also share what may happen if we have a number of staff away and we are unable to safely staff the school. We will also share some of the learning going on and will update you on a couple of other things.
The Covid Situation
We are monitoring this closely. Our response will depend on the accuracy of information our whanau give us when they report student absences. When reporting your child's absence please indicate if your child has tested positive, or if they are in isolation because another member of your whanau has tested positive. Please also advise us if they subsequently test positive. This is important and will help us know if we have a number of classes affected, or give us information that there may be some spreading of the virus within our school.
Currently it is nearly impossible to get relievers in the school. In the first instance if a staff member is away for a short time, we are likely to spread the class around, or join up in our current teams. However, if a staff member is likely to be away due to Covid, or needing to isolate, we may need to have the class (or classes) learning from home until we can safely staff the school. We understand that this creates inconvenience for you all and want to assure you that this will only be used as a last resort. This will also be the case for students who need specialist care, if the affected staff are needing to be away.
These are no longer mandatory in schools. Masks are a sensible first defence against the virus and we will support all families who insist their children wear masks. Students will require masks for class trips (depending on the venue policy or location - e.g., Indoor/Outdoor) and we encourage them to be used when our families are taking other students to events in private vehicles.
Positive Behaviour For Learning (PB4L)
Under ‘About Us’ on our website you will see a link to our PB4L work. Our school PB4L programme is based on our social learning curriculum. This social learning curriculum in essence is about our children learning, interacting, playing and behaving around others in ways that show other children that they are a good friend. Each aspect of our social learning curriculum has an outcome to help children learn that their behaviour teaches others about them. Students will learn this through a variety of experiences and activities as they interact with others in our school. When our students demonstrate these behaviours, they are in the best possible place to learn effectively. Students will learn about these aspects and receive feedback on their learning when they are in the playground, in class and in more formal instructional times. If you have any questions about our PB4L programme, speak to your child’s teacher in the first instance.
It takes a village…
While talking about this PB4L work, I would like to remind our community that the support each of our tamariki get is vital to their ongoing growth and development. I have always felt that warm and positive relationships between the staff at a school, between the whanau and community, and between the community and the staff, will increase the likelihood that our students will relate to each other well (I base this belief on the work on the theories of psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner). There will be dramas as students learn to deal with other people, and there will often be misunderstandings in social learning contexts (there are always TWO sides to a story). Our tamariki rely on the adults around them to make sense of the world. Because of this, they need to learn in an environment where they are not judged, and where we all learn to accept people’s differences and learn to adjust to these differences.
I would like to take the time to thank our community for getting around and supporting some of our students who experience difficulties. I was so pleased to see this happening last weekend with members of our community ensuring our kids are supported. Many of our students find aspects of their learning difficult and it is HUGELY important that none of our kids are victims of adult behaviour (especially when the adults should know better! :-D).
A reminder that we will be having some vacancies on our Board of Trustees for this year’s elections. Are you interested in contributing to the direction of the school and have the interests of ALL of our kids at heart? Do you feel that you have skills that can contribute to growing our school and community? Come in and speak to myself or Lisa Charles (our Board’s ‘Presiding Member’, formerly known as the ‘Board Chair’). We would love to hear from you.
Remember that we do have a ‘Concerns and Complaints’ policy at school (see my previous blog post). It is really important that when you raise your concern with the appropriate person that it is done so in a pleasant, non-judgmental manner. This makes it so much easier to address the concern, and hopefully allows us to rectify the issue and maintain positive relationships (see above) with everyone in our community.
May 30th to June 3 - IEP week
June 3 - Rugby in School Coaching (TRU)
June 6th - Queen’s Birthday Monday.
June 8th - EGS Cross Country (PP Day 9th of June)
June 14th - Interschool Cross Country (PP Day 16th June)
June 15th - Quick Rip Tournament (Yrs 4-6)
June 24th - Matariki Day Holiday
June 30th - Board Meeting
July 8th - School Term Ends at 3pm
Thank you all for your ongoing support. Please have a wonderful fortnight.