School on Sunday

These are some of the keen Waimairi students who are converting a storeroom into a radio station. We had our first work afternoon on Sunday.

We are looking forward to the launch of our community FM radio station in a few week's time, but before we can get on air we need a studio.

Five boys from Room 16 have started clearing out the room. In coming weeks we need to prepare the walls, fill holes, pick the colours and do a big repaint.

Watch this space to see our progress.

Kapa Haka Group Noho

This weekend our kapa haka group held a noho at school. They started at 1:00pm on Saturday and finished at 12:00pm on Sunday. It was a great weekend of learning, performing and fun.

Many thanks to Whaea Teoti and her whanau, Delwyn and her whanau and all of the teachers and parents who contributed to the weekend.

The children in the kapa haka team perform with great pride and skill, this weekend has lifted their skills to an even higher level. Great stuff!

Picutres of the weekend here

A nice story from the school-yard

Dear Mike,

I thought you might like to hear a little story about the friendship seat.

My daughter made a new friend on Monday which came as a surprise to me and the other wee girls mother as they are different ages - xx nearly 6 yrs and xx 7 years old - and don't have a classroom or river in common.

When xx asked her mother and I if xx could go to her house that day to play we both said that was O.K but we were both wondering how this friendship had started - there was no common thread.

When I asked xx later that day about it she told me -

"Well, the friends that I was playing with went away and I waited and waited for them to come back but they didn't. So I went and sat on the friendship seat (she said this so matter of factly as if it was the obvious thing to do) and then xx came over and sat with me. I told xx what had happened with my friends and she said that she hated it when that happened to her. So then we decided to be friends"

I thought that this was something that I should pass on as I thought that it was a lovely demonstration of the school culture.

Kind regards

Sports news – not the kids this time

Room 11 teacher Marty Lukes has made the New Zealand team for the Commonwealth 100km race, he will, according to media reports, actually be one of the favourites for the title. He has run a sub-2hrs 30mins marathon and was fourth in the world 100km championships in 2006 in the excellent time of 6hrs 45mins. Marty is heading to England for the race later this term, we will keep you posted.

Link to media story

Waimairi Design Group

Our wonderful new Te Puna building is a successful learning space due in part to a design group made up of interested teachers and community members providing ideas and a clear direction to the architect.

We are now planning for new classroom spaces at Waimairi School and are forming a design group again. Any teachers, parents or community members with an interest in contributing design feature ideas for new Waimairi classrooms are invited to email Mark Robberds with the subject line design group.

Teachers Learning Lots

The staff at our school have a healthy appetite for learning. Many of our staff pick up the books after a day's work at school because they are studying part-time to add to their qualifications. From post-graduate diplomas to masters degrees, there are always staff members at Waimairi undertaking study.

As well as the formal study which several of our staff are working on, the whole team are busy bringing the Revised New Zealand Curriculum to life. This involves revisiting our fundamental thinking about, and attitude to, learning.

The Minister of Education provided schools with 'teacher only days' to close for instruction to allow teachers to work on the Revised Curriculum. Waimairi School has made some use of these days but, as a clear illustration of our staff commitment to the interests of children and families, the overwhelming majority of staff have voted to complete the remaining work required during 'call-back' days in school holidays.

Six more days of curriculum work are planned between now and February 2011, all to be done during school holiday breaks.

However some teacher professional learning has to take place during school hours. This term 1/2 of our staff have been undertaking an intensive development programme that puts them into their colleague's classrooms taking a close look at their own classroom practice by seeing how others work. The break in contact time between class teachers and their children for periods of time this term will be more than made up for in the fresh approaches and renewed enthusiasm for teaching already evident among the staff who are taking part in this big learning project.

We are looking forward to sharing our learning with the school community early in Term 4 at a community workshop session similar to the one which kicked off this whole process in October last year.

Parent Power

Waimairi School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) continue to power ahead with their dual roles of building community and supporting the development of our school. We are only half way through the year but it is already time to take stock of the investment in the school that has flowed from everyone's support of PTA activities.

$50,000.00 invested in the wonderful new junior playground.
$3000.00 upgrading our courts and sports equipment.
$5000.00 to establish our school community FM radio station (more info later on this).
$3000.00 for classroom wet day games and activities. this space as we are currently working on providing some really challenging outdoor play space and equipment and starting to equip our classrooms with data projectors all driven by PTA parent power.

Thanks to the PTA team and all of the school community members who support their fund raising initiatives.