The rest of the Board comprises parent representatives:
Deputy Chair Paul James with Freya in Year 3 and Perry in Year 1;
Chris Wikaira with Joshua in Year 5;
Belinda Bryant with Pia in Year 3 and Joe in Year 1.
Our other two Board members are principal Perry Rush who has Ben in Year 4 and Sofia in Year 2 and our staff representative Chris Wratt who has Toby in Year 1.
We are also ably assisted by Board secretary Janine Kerr with Lachlan in Year 3 and Joel in Year 1.
We have recently farewelled two of our board members, Elaine Cooper and Nigel Smith and thank them for their contributions as a members of the board.
We are conscious that the Board has not communicated with the school community as often as we would have liked this year, and we will be looking to provide a newsletter each term to help keep everybody informed about the activities and work programme of the Board.
During the course of this year we are working to complete a review of the School Charter. Every five years schools are required to upgrade their Charter to reflect their short, medium and long term goals. The review process includes input from the school community, parents, teachers and students. Feedback from the school community has been taken from focus groups, the Whanau Group, teachers, student leaders and the Board who have all contributed their ideas to create a vibrant mix of views. Key themes have emerged around community engagement, greater student voice, open communication, support for professional development, valuing diversity and ensuring our school offers a modern learning environment.
Our new Learning Hub is rising out of the ground and it will represent a vital heart for our school where whanau, teachers and children can come together to create learning opportunities. We salute Perry’s vision in conceiving this space and in working so hard to achieve it. The Board would also like to thank the Home and School Association for their support and their dedication of many fundraising activities to this effort. Several parents attended fundraising meetings for many months which culminated in a very generous donation from a former student Sir Ron Brierley and several on-going grant applications.
To reach our fundraising targets for the Hub, we do need your support. With the current Lego fundraiser run by Home and School, we hope that many of our current and future students will see their own name on a lego brick when they check out a book in the new school library. I have heard some great stories where students have taken on small jobs around the home or the neighbourhood to raise half or all of the funds to get their named brick added. We can all look forward to sharing the benefits of the Learning Hub knowing that we helped make it a reality.
We would like to thank the fantastic teachers and other staff of Island Bay School for their passion and hard work. It was exciting for the Board to view some of the fruits of the inquiry learning approach at our meeting last night where Margaret Zlatkov and Deborah Fenton led us through their syndicate’s inquiries into The Sun and Moon and the Material World respectively. The students’ journeys from first understandings to deeper understandings showed how our school’s approach is helping to create inquiring learners and deep thinkers. We also thank the many parents and whanau who contribute their time and energy inside and outside of the classroom.
Finally, I invite all parents to view some of the clips and links that Perry has sent out with the school newsletter today. One of the benefits from serving on the Board is that I am gaining a greater understanding of the inquiry learning approach that we foster at Island Bay School and how it encourages our students to be passionate about their own learning. It is an innovative approach and I encourage all parents to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the school leadership team and teachers to explore what makes our school unique.