By Urs Cunningham | Posted: Thursday December 8, 2022
This is always a very busy time of year and things can move and change quite fast. This article is to let you know of some updates for next year.
Staff Only Days in 2023
The term dates for 2023 were put out to the community earlier in the year, and are in our school calendar. As a school, we have always put our teacher only days in the holiday breaks - we have two days on the second week of each term break, where staff come together for professional learning and planning.
In our previous collective agreement schools were allocated 8 staff only days to use across 2020-2022 for professional learning, where schools could close for instruction but not extend the learning year. This provision was not included in the latest round of contract negotiations, but the Ministry of Education has very recently allocated two staff only days for schools in 2023 and two in 2024, to be used for preparation and development around the refreshed curriculum and changes to NCEA. In 2023, schools must use the first staff only day in the first two weeks of Term 2, and the Ministry will let schools know in due course when the second day must be taken.
Schools in our local cluster (Kāhui Ako) have all scheduled this on the same day to make it more manageable for families with tamariki at different local schools. Our first staff only day will be held on Monday 24th April - the first Monday back of Term 2. Onslow College and Rāroa Intermediate will also have the same staff only day, which will hopefully help with consistency for families. The second day of Term 2 is ANZAC Day, which is a public holiday. This means school will begin in Term 2 for ākonga on Wednesday 26th April.
We will let you know when the second staff only day will be held in due course.
Staffing in Pōhutukawa Hub
We informed you recently of Kalesha's resignation, due to taking a leadership role at Newlands Intermediate School starting in Term 1 2023. In Pōhutukawa Hub we have three whānau teachers for 2023 - Brent, Onaitta and Gar Kee. Lisa will be a learning partner working with students and teachers three days per week, and working for Thursday and Friday each work as an Across School Lead Teacher in schools across our ten local Kāhui Ako schools, including Onslow College and Rāroa Intermediate.
The fourth whānau teacher in Pōhutukawa next year will be Ciara Lynch. Ciara is already familiar with Amesbury, as she has been working as a release teacher in Koru Hub this term. Ciara migrated from Ireland to New Zealand in September after teaching for four years in a primary school in Belfast. Prior to that, she worked as an Early Childhood teacher for a number of years. She has settled in beautifully at Amesbury, and it feels like she has been part of the team for far longer than one term. Despite her strong assertion that Irish chocolate is far better than Kiwi chocolate, we have no doubt that Ciara will settle in well in Pōhutukawa Hub and be a fabulous addition to the team. You can find out more about Ciara here.
Onaitta will continue in her current of learning leader in Pōhuutkawa next year. Onaitta is a member of the Design of Learning team, and she works with Demelza and a small group of teachers to design integrated and engaging learning programmes across our three inquiry modules. Gar Kee and Onaitta will share the team leader role, supported by Lisa as the learning partner (supporting teachers and students) in the hub. Ably supported by Brent and Ciara, these fabulous kaiako will do a great job of leading and supporting the hub next year.
Update on Brian
Brian was taken ill last week and will be away for the final weeks of this term, to recuperate. He is recovering and is up and around a wee bit. We are keeping in touch with him and his whānau to check he is taking it easy and recovering, and we will see him back at school in the new year.