Kia ora and Greetings,
Haere mai, Welcome
Welcome to the start of the 2020 school year.
The year has got off to a great start, with classes settling quickly into work and NCEA courses already underway. My thanks to the staff members who have worked hard to get all classes underway as quickly as we have.
Congratulations to the many, many students who have made a great start to their learning for the year.
In this, the first newsletter for the year, I am including a range of things that we believe are important to share with our families.
These are in no particular order, but will hopefully give you a good understanding about the year and the term ahead.
The First 8 Weeks
We are placing a lot of emphasis on the next 8 weeks. Focussing on routines, expectations, communication and student engagement.
There is a lot happening during this time, ranging from starting to write the first school reports for Year 11 to 13 students to PolyFest.
Equally as important is that the start of the year provides the foundation for the rest of the year.
For our students and staff to succeed, and for our school to continue to improve and develop, we will ensure that we support everyone to succeed.
This includes maintaining our expectations; focussing on values and qualities; and growing student leadership. As well as doing all we can to make learning engaging and appropriate.
One of the simple mantras that you might hear is our expectation that everyone is “in class, on time, and ready to learn”.
Please help your child to be here at school by 8:35am each day. School starts at 8:40am every day, except Wednesday when we start at 10am. The habits formed at school, like being early or on time, also help them later in life, including in the workplace.
By now all our students should be enrolled in school and in classes learning.
If you have whanau or neighbours who have a child who should be at school, please encourage or help them to come in to enrol.
Every day of learning is important.
Our new website is probably the best place to look for information, including all school newsletters, calendar, and links to other useful websites (e.g. information about NCEA).
Our Facebook page is updated daily and will highlight current events and student successes.
We send home school newsletters throughout the term, and your child will also be given notices from the teachers from time to time about school activities.
Or, if you are unsure, please just call in to our Office, or phone and ask.
Tumuaki•Principal’s “Office Evening”
Knowing how important the start of the year is, for the rest of this term I will be at school in my office every Monday evening from 6 to 8pm.
Please feel free to pop in if you wish to – you don’t need an appointment.
Please come to the front door of the school office.
Many whanau will know that we now track every single student’s progress in their NCEA. This is an ongoing individual focus on over 600 students.
We are happy with the progress we are making in ensuring that every student achieves NCEA qualifications. But we are also ambitious to keep improving what we do and how successful our students are.
Later this term, after NZQA finalises the results, we will publish our results on our website.
New Years 9 and 10 Curriculum
Last year we reviewed our school curriculum with a specific focus on the courses our Year 9 and 10 (junior school) students are offered.
I am very proud of the work that has come out of this, and thank you (again) to the families and students who provided feedback and ideas to our staff.
We have rewritten or revised all of our Year 9 and 10 courses, with a view on also making them more engaging for students. This year we are implementing these new courses, with a close cycle of revision and review as we do so.
We are also building into these courses pre-learning that will better equip our students to succeed in NCEA, including learning about Achieved, Merit and Excellence levels of achievement.
Amongst the dozen or so reviews currently affecting New Zealand schools, is a review of how NCEA works and what is required.
This is potentially quite far reaching, but we still don’t have many details, and these changes are due to start next year.
As you can appreciate, the quality of teaching and learning throughout the year, as well as the new Year 9 and 10 courses and being ready for NCEA next year, will be major priorities for our staff and school this year.
We have changed out timetable from the start of this year. The major change that may affect families is that (like many other secondary schools) every Wednesday morning from 8:25 – 9:40 we will have Staff PLD (professional learning and development).
This means that school on Wednesdays will start for students at 10am (Period 2).
Thank you for your understanding.
We spent much of the last two weeks confirming every Year 10 to 13 students’ courses and options with them.
From this we have finalised classes and set a timetable for the entire school.
Students have now been advised that if they are requesting (another) course change they must complete a simple written request, which are all due in this Friday. All changes will be considered by the DP and senior staff responsible for the timetable, and any changes made will occur over the weekend or early next week.
Prefects Leadership Trip, Thursday 13th February (This Thursday)
As part of their leadership development, our Prefects are spending the day at Rangitoto Island.
JCHS Athletics, Friday 14th February (This Friday)
This is the first major inter-house event for the year, and is also important for selecting students to compete at the Counties-Manukau inter-school competitions later this term.
Your child will receive a notice about this later this week.
ASB PolyFest 2020, 18-21 March at the Manukau Sports Bowl
This year our school is again sharing the lead (Kura Matua) with Kia Aroha College for the Māori stage, and we are the lead school (Mana Kura) for the Tongan stage.
A large number of our students, staff and whanau members are involved in PolyFest.
Students are being asked to join groups, which is a fabulous opportunity to share in their own, or another culture’s, performing arts; get to know other students; and perform in the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest cultural event.
We will also have a showcase event the week after PolyFest. Details of this will be published soon.
I have been watching the afternoon practices and we are all impressed with the commitment of everyone involved and the quality of the performances.
Thank you and well done to all involved.
Many of our students attend PolyFest on the Friday and Saturday. As in previous years, school will be open throughout the week – but we understand that many students/families will be attending PolyFest at times.
Tumuaki • Principal,
09 268 3954 or firstname.lastname@example.org