By Demelza Topp | Posted: Friday January 29, 2021
This article contains some basic admin information for Term 1, along with details about our Module 1 inquiry and main events for this term.
Welcome to the 2021 school year. A warm welcome to all new students and whānau joining us, and a warm welcome back to all returning families. We hope you have all had a lovely summer break with family and friends and are well rested and ready for an exciting year ahead!
This term Koru has six whānau groups, Harakeke has six whānau groups and Pōhutukawa has five whānau groups. The role of your child’s whānau teacher is to act as a learning advocate for your child at school. They are your first port of call if you have any questions, comments or concerns about school or your child. The whānau teacher is not your child’s overall ‘class teacher’, most students will work with multiple teachers throughout the year, but the whānau teacher will have particular oversight of your child.
The following information is relevant for all students throughout the school. If you have more than one child at school, you will receive an email for each child, letting them know who their whānau teacher is. However, you only need to read the following information once!
We are happy to introduce two new teachers to our Amesbury team. Onaitta, who was a student teacher with us in Term 3 last year, is joining the Pōhutukawa team. The teachers and students in Pōhutukawa absolutely adore her outgoing personality and fabulous hair. She is a great asset to the team and the whole school will benefit from her knowledge of visual arts. We also welcome Grace who has been teaching in Auckland for the past couple of years. She will begin as a release teacher and will then move full time into Koru as the numbers grow. Finally, we will have a student teacher, Hannah, joining us two days a week for the whole year. She will be based in Koru. We are very happy to have all of our new staff joining us and we are sure they will be very positive additions to our fabulous team.
Our teaching teams for 2021 are:
Koru: Amaria Picard (team leader), Angela Herman-Childs, Camella Botha, Elena Taylor, Esther Koh, Jemima Colquhoun and Regina Singh
Harakake: Eilís Ni Chaiside, Lisa Bengtsson, Natalie Douglas, Sonali Singh, Zelda Van Zyl and Zoe Jiang
*Teachers in Harakeke will be taking on different aspects of hub leadership.
Pōhutukawa: Kalesha Segatta (team leader), Andy Little, Gar Kee Wu, Michélle Prinsloo and Onaitta Setefano
*Grace will be a release teacher across the school for this term but will move into Koru as the numbers grow.
*Navy Ny will continue as our amazing teacher aide. She does such a fantastic job and we are pleased to have her join us again in 2021.
This year, we moved over to LINC-ED Hero for all our communication, learning and administration. Here is a link to more information about this platform and how you sign up. Hero will be regularly updated with information about school admin, events and general educational information, along with information about events in our local community. All of this will be reposted on our school blog and our school website.
We have a school planning site, where planning for all teachers is stored and can be accessed by everyone. No personal student information or names will be included in this planning. Any documents or planning including specific names are kept as private documents and cannot be accessed by anyone except Amesbury staff. Here is the link to ourplanning site.
Module 1 Inquiry
In previous years, we have always had one inquiry per term. However, we find that the timeframe is often too short to get to the depth and breadth of learning that is necessary, particularly in Term 4. This year we will be running three 12 week inquiries. As such, the timing of our learning celebrations will change this year, to link in with the end of each inquiry and celebrate the learning completed within that module. Our first learning celebration will be Thursday 13 May (Week 2 Term 2).
The first inquiry will run from Week 1 Term 1 to Week 2 Term 2. In this inquiry, students will explore the big questions - Who am I? What do I need to live well in the world? How do I successfully work with others? Students will begin the inquiry by exploring where their families have come from and how this has shaped and is shaping who they are. They will then move on to explore who they are and what they need in three contexts - hauora (well being), passions and learning. Finally, students will learn how to successfully work in a group through completing a collaborative project with other students.
Our Term 1 Mihi Whakatau to welcome new students and staff will be held in Week 1 of the term. The mihi whakatau will happen on Friday 5 February at 2:30pm in the hall. Everyone is welcome to come along and join in. Families of new students are warmly invited to come along and join in the mihi whakatau as we welcome you all to our school community.
Teacher only days in 2021
As part of the Primary Teachers Collective Agreement, schools can take 8 days across three years (2020-2022) as teacher-only days for professional development, without extending the school year. We took two of these days in 2020 and have decided to take three of these days in 2021. Those days are:
*Wednesday 7th April (Wednesday after Easter Tuesday) This will be a day where schools in our local cluster meet together for professional development.
*Friday 4th June (Friday before Queen’s Birthday) This will be a day where we continue developing our mathematics knowledge.
*Friday 27th August This will be a day where schools in our local cluster are all spending the day doing professional development.
Open morning and Meet the Amesbury Team
We wanted to let you know in advance about two special events to add to your calendar. On Friday 12 February we will hold a Meet the Amesbury Team event at Amesbury School from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Come along to meet the teachers in your child's hub(s), find out some general admin information about how the hubs run, and learn about useful links and information sources to help the year run smoothly. This evening will also be an informal community event, with a chance for all families to spend time playing and eating outside in the evening sunshine. More details will be sent out shortly.
We will also be having an open morning across the school on Tuesday 23 March between 9:00am-11:00am. This is an opportunity to observe how learning happens at Amesbury School, see how things run in the learning spaces, and ask questions. Again, more information will be sent out about this closer to the time.
Your child will be issued with everything they need for the year, including books, pencils and felts/colouring pencils. There will be a cost of $45 for the year for this. This cost is charged to school accounts at the start of the year. There has been a slight increase in the stationery fee this year. The fee has been $40 since the school opened in 2012, and it has increased slightly to $45. This includes a subsidised ‘Matific’ (online Maths programme) licence fee, and a subsidised ‘IXL’ (online English and Maths programme) licence fee.
If students have their own personal stationery that they would also like to use, they are very welcome to bring it in and keep it in their tote tray or bag. All students in Years 5-6 will be issued with a Chromebook and all Years 3-4 will have access to their Chromebook when necessary at school. Younger students will have access to a range of devices. If you would like to purchase a Chromebook so that your child can use it at home and at school, please contact Andy Little ([email protected]).
Clothing and lost property
Named items within hubs will be handed directly back to your child. There will be a small lost property box in the main school office for any unnamed items, but no items with clear names in them will be held here.
In order for all items to be returned to their owners quickly and easily, please ensure that all uniform items are very clearly named with your child’s name before the first day of school. Please be aware that children will often be the people reading the names on clothing, so ensuring that names on all items are clear and easy to read is important. Thanks for your help with this. We recommend purchasing iron-on name tags to make ownership of items very clear. Here are a couple of label companies to consider: Stuck on You Name it
Toys/Belongings at school
While we do not recommend that students bring toys to school, we do not have a ban on this. If your child chooses to bring a toy or another item of interest to school, it will need to be put away in their bag during learning time and we cannot take responsibility for lost, traded or broken toys/items. Therefore, we do recommend that your child leaves any treasured possessions at home.
First Day of School
On Tuesday 2nd February school begins for the year at 9:00am. Children can head straight to their hub and sign in on the touchscreens - teachers will be in each hub to help with this. Children will need to come to school in their uniform and bring their school bag, school sun hat (named), lunch and water bottle. In Term 1 (and Term 4) all children need to wear a school sunhat outside for sports and break times. We ask all students to take their shoes off before heading inside - there are shoe racks outside of Koru and Harakeke to put shoes on. For students who are in Pōhutukawa, place your shoes against the wall under the overhang by the hall kitchen or under the overhang by the piano hall door. Here are instructions for settling into the hub on the first day:
All students in the nurture group will leave their bags inside the shared space in Kōwhai(yellow carpet). Then find and greet your whānau teacher who will sign you in. When the bell rings at 9am, we will all meet in Kōwhai. All students in the main group will leave their bags on the blue matting area (outside Karaka/Orange). Then come inside to find and greet your whānau teacher who will sign you in. When the bell rings at 9am, we will all meet in Karaka. We will organise students putting their bags and shoes in the right places as part of our day. At the end of the day we ask that parents wait for their children outside on the netball courts.
When the bell rings at 9am, students will meet in the space their bag will be kept. This will be projected on the screens, along with the What’s on. We encourage students to check the screen when they get to school. Teachers will sign students in on Tuesday, following this students will sign themselves in every morning. At the end of the day, students are released from the hub. If students are not walking home by themselves or going to Kelly Club, please either wait outside in the courtyard area or organise a meeting point with them.
Upon arrival on Tuesday morning, students can choose to put their bag on one of the bag racks under the overhang by the hall kitchen or on the shelving/up against the wall in our ‘bag shed’ on the far side of the hall. Once students have done so, they can then check out the What’s on that will be projected on the big screen in the hall. This will let students know what we will be doing throughout the day and give them a chance to ask any questions they may have. Then, students can find and greet their whānau teacher who will make sure they are signed. We will show the students how to sign in on Tuesday so that they are able to do so independently from Wednesday onwards.
Hubs are open for students from 8:30am onwards. We ask that students do not arrive at school prior to 8:30am, as they are not supervised by teachers at this time. Kelly Club operates a care programme before school for students who need to be at school before 8:30am. Please see the Kelly Club information page on our website for more details.
We encourage all students to be at school by 8:45am. This allows children time to settle in, put their bags away, read the timetable for the day and then say ‘hello’ to friends and teachers before the bell goes.
Lunch time activities
Throughout the year we will have a number of lunchtime activities running. This term, we will have:
Tuesday: Coding Club
Thursday: Science Club
The library will be open every lunchtime for students to read books, play board games and create amazing arts and crafts.
Term 1 Dates 2021 As always, our school events are all added to our school calendar as soon as we become aware of them. Please follow this link to our school calendar, housed on our school website. Some events may be added to our calendar as we go through the term, so please keep an eye on the weeks coming up on the calendar. Here are the main school events to date:
Tue 2 Feb First day of school
Wed 3 Feb BoT Meeting
Fri 5 Feb Mihi Whakatau
Mon 8 Feb School Closed - Waitangi Day observed
Wed 10 Feb Wednesday co-curricular lessons begin
Fri 12 Feb Friday co-curricular lesson begin
Fri 12 Feb Meet the Amesbury Team
Tue 16 Feb Parent Information Session
Mon 1 Mar Electives begin
Wed 3 Mar BoT Meeting
Tue 23 Mar School Open Morning
Tue 23 Mar Parent Info / Consultation Meeting
Fri 2 Apr School Closed - Good Friday
Mon 5 Apr School Closed - Easter Monday
Tue 6 Apr School Closed - Easter Tuesday
Wed 7 Apr Staff Only Day
Wed 7 Apr BoT Meeting
Wed 14 Apr Student Conferences
Thu 15 Apr Student Conferences
Enjoy the last few days of the school break and we look forward to seeing you all next week.
The Amesbury Team