By Rachael van Rij | Posted: Thursday December 13, 2018
Congratulations to our truly awesome Amesbury Awesomeness Award recipients!
We enjoyed a lovely morning celebrating our 3 stars for Term 4.
We have attached the presentations for Andrew and Garv, and you can see Abeer's in this link here. We are very proud of you!
We farewelled our year 6 leavers together with other students and staff who are leaving Amesbury today. We wish each and everyone of you the very best.
Please also see photos below from today's water fun and games.
ALF reporting and Password security
Please read the information in the two links below. The first link relates to issues with viewing reports in ALF, and the second is general information about password security issues with Gmail at home.
Final Board meeting of the year
Here are some brief notes from the final Board meeting of the year which took place last night.
New Build Education Brief. This large document was passed by the Board as being ready to send to the Ministry. Lesley said that the process of developing it was really useful in contributing to her thinking about the ongoing development of the school. The Board said that the brief creates a very vivid picture of what the new build will look like and of what it will provide. Once sent to the Ministry, a link to the document will be provided for interested parents.
Unisex toilets and transgender legislation. The Board has been looking at recent legislation to consider how well the school’s policies and procedures align with the requirements of the legislation. Last night it discussed expectations and requirements in relation to inclusion and transgender people. The advice schools are receiving is very clear, that transgender people are entitled to use the toilets of the gender they identify with. As a result of this, the Board wants to clarify for the school community that our gender-based toilets are inclusive of those who identify with that gender and are not just biologically that gender. Secondly, we have single unisex toilets available in each part of the school for any children who are more comfortable with that option. As part of the new build, we will include unisex, individual cubicle toilets. We understand that this is a difficult issue for some, but the Board believes that transparency is the best option. We would appreciate you talking to your children about this in the way that you see fit. Please do not hesitate to talk with Lesley or Urs about this if you wish to. Lesley is available until the end of Wednesday next week and then will be on holiday until 7th January.
2019 Charter. Staff shared a number of the development plans that will make up the 2019 Annual Charter. These were in the draft stages of development but some general themes were identified.
The need to increase opportunities for student voice, agency and insiderness
The development of a more consistent learning culture and expectations right across the school
The overcrowded curriculum and the need for more integration to ensure effective coverage of all learning areas
Continued focus on developing our capability to meet the needs of English Language Learners
Continuing to develop our school as a place that is culturally sustaining – celebrating New Zealand’s bicultural heritage and the increasing multi-cultural nature of the Churton Park community
Opportunities for parent community contribution in achieving charter goals
Farewell and festive greetings. The Board passed on its thanks for a great year and wishes everyone a wonderful festive season. Stay safe and ka kite ano – see you again in 2019.
Final note from the Board Chair:
To: Parents and Students, Amesbury School.
As we bring the curtain down on the 7th year Amesbury School has been open its time to reflect on the year that’s been and what the years ahead may hold.
Firstly, as a Parent I need to say a huge thank you to the teachers and Staff of Amesbury School! Our team here put in an incredible effort every day and every term to make difference in the lives of our children. They do a great job, and all put in way more hours than really, we should expect to deliver the education our children deserve. They are an amazing passionate team that consistently go way above because they are passionate and driven to make a difference.
Secondly to our staff and students that are leaving us for new challenges next year I thank you for your contribution to our school and wish you all the best for the future.
When I look backwards, I see the many faces of our teachers and students (past and present) and the truth that it is they who are Amesbury School, our buildings while important and lovely are just shells. How we invest in those that make up our school family is what will create the legacy and make the impact on our world we so desire.
Our school has grown dramatically throughout these past seven years and the fact we now have a new build approved and underway to accommodate a further 200 students is testimony to how quickly we have grown and that the growth will not stop anytime soon. This growth gives us wonderful opportunities and also many challenges. While we have a new build coming to solve some of the issues of space, we still need to look at how to address the fact our Teachers and Office team are busier than ever and face ever increasing workload. This year saw teaching staff take industrial action for the first time since 1994. This fact alone should tell us how concerned our teachers are about the education sector – they want the very best for our children and are desperate to see change. Change is not just about money, in fact it is more about the sustainability and improvement of education. We need excellent, refreshed and motivated teachers focussed on their core role of being educators! What we see is more and more tasks being added to the roles of teachers by society and government that are not core to their roles as educators.
So, what can we do you may say, how do I help? Well as we head into next year, we need to look really closely at we can do to take workload away from our teachers. We will be communicating with you to try learning what as our school community you want to see from the school and how you want to engage with the school. A second aspect we will look into is about building the school community and that is about us a parents and caregivers interacting with our kids and each other – we need to understand what it is that we actually expect or want in this area to better plan for the future.
Looking forward next year seems to be another major year for the school. We will be full steam into the design and build process around our new building. We will again work through the possibilities of Recapitation with the ministry of Education (as long as this is still something the community wants us to pursue). We will also need to understand and work through the major changes being recommended to the education sector and how they apply to our school. We will look to continue to work on and refine the tools we use drive planning, track and report on education progress in every student. So yes, it’s huge! On top of all that we have the elections for the Board of trustees that come around every three years in the middle of the year.
While this does all seem huge, I am so excited personally by these challenges. After seven years being involved with the board, I find my desire and determination to be part of helping our school to only be increasing. Our principal and staff are amazing driven and passionate to make a difference and I want to be part of helping them. So, I look forward to the challenges of the New Year and how we as community can get behind making our school an even better place for our children.
Have great and safe holiday,
Chair Amesbury Board of Trustees.