Hi everyone, what a great couple of weeks it has been here at Pirinoa. The classes are humming, I have been working on some extra projects with some senior boys who need a bit of hands-on project time, the TUPU Programme is in full swing, we had an amazing day at the river last Friday with Taylor the Scientist and a very cool trip to Kohunui Marae on Wednesday despite the crazy weather that day.
There’s only a couple of weeks left now until the holidays so it’s worth giving you a reminder that, like most schools across the land, we will not be open on the day before ANZAC Day. So combined with Term 1 finishing on a Thursday for Easter, the kids aren’t going to see much of April in the school grounds! All these details are in the school calendar on the website.
So what will the teachers be doing on the 24th April? This is actually going to be a pretty epic day as we embark on a workshop called ‘New Understandings of the Treaty of Waitangi’. This will be with staff and Board of Trustees members. We are also combining with staff and the Board from Kahutara School so will be a great way to connect with them. Schools are going from ‘honouring the treaty’ to ‘giving effect to the treaty’ which requires more of us and ensures that we are actively making a difference. This workshop will help the staff and Board to do this.
Parent Survey results
Now to the feedback from our parent survey held at the end of last year. We got 16 respondents plus a couple of parents added some comments by email. So that’s around half the school represented. About as good a turnout as local government elections! I’d like to see everyone filling out the next survey later this year so any suggestions on how we can do that would be very welcome. We’ll also be setting our next Three Year Plan later this year so 2023 will provide lots of opportunities to have your say. We genuinely listen and shape our school based on many things including parent input so don’t think this information goes into a vacuum!
In the survey I asked for ‘two ticks and a wish’ meaning two things that are going well and one thing you’d like to see improved.
On the ‘two ticks’ side the comments fell into some broad categories
Small school with great teachers where individual needs of students are catered for and your children are known, valued and looked after
A friendly, relaxed vibe
A responsive principal and Board
A rich set of opportunities and experiences and ‘extra stuff’ with planting days, sports tournaments, marae visits, visitors, Dinovember, kapa haka etc
On the ‘wish’ side some themes emerged around…
More regular opportunities for ‘non-sporty’ kids e.g. coding club
Better links between home learning and school. Not homework as such but ways to understand and enhance what’s happening in the classroom
More challenge for Yr 7s and 8s
I asked about how well you know what our school values are and asked you to list them. Quite a challenging question and one parent confessed to having a foggy brain because they were doing the survey late at night on their phone – maybe that’s why we didn’t get more respondents!
But the responses were great and the lists very much fit with what we’re trying to focus on around confidence, problem solving, trust, curiosity and kids allowed to be kids. 80% of respondents said we were doing well or very well at this. We would love this to be 100% so clearly still some work to do in this space.
You were asked about the newsletter and most people say they read it consistently, and a slight majority said to please not change it too much. They especially liked the classroom updates. One person said my principal’s message can be too long so whoops sorry you’ll be disappointed by this fortnight’s issue! =)
In the last part I asked for general feedback and mostly it was very positive, however there were a couple of comments about bullying and kids speaking disrespectfully to each other. We have been looking into this and addressing these concerns.
Overall the survey was a good chance to get some really constructive feedback for us as a staff and we were heartened that you mostly think things are great here at Pirinoa and that the team is doing a great job.
Thanks again to all those respondents and remember that i am open to feedback at any time, as are the teachers.
Room 1 News:
We had a huge day on Thursday for sport! Scott from Rugby Wairarapa came and taught us some ball handling skills for Rippa Rugby, and in the afternoon we had two ladies from Hakinakina teaching us some fundamental sport moving skills (jumping, running, hopping, throwing etc).
Our trip to Kohunui Marae was a big hit. The children all loved the activities the teachers and Whaea Leanne prepared for them. They played string games, sung waiata, heard stories, made kowhaiwhai patterns to name a few things the day had for them. Rolling down the hill was by far their favourite thing (judging from their story writing yesterday!)
Room 2 News:
The past two weeks Room 2 has had lots of opportunities to participate in some awesome learning activities. We have learnt about our local streams with scientist Taylor, brushed up on our Rippa Rugby skills, visited the Marae, written an instructional piece on how to make fairy bread, and worked on replanting our mini gardens with Room 1.
Room 3 News:
The Year 6’s are loving tech days in Room 3! We have been exploring photography skills, playing heaps of games and cooking. Last Monday we enjoyed making chocolate chip cookies (which we had warm with milk) and today we are off to pick apples so we can make apple pie (to eat with ice cream!). In amongst all this, we are learning to follow a recipe and use fractions in real-life situations.