Again, the Board wants to thank Deborah and all the staff for their transition back into the school. All the children seem really pleased to be back, and I know the teachers are too. The transition focused on wellbeing, using dance, drama, visual art, music, PE, and Philosophy for Children (P4C) to help children reconnect with one another back at school and to ensure a smooth and happy transition, and that seemed to work really well.
At our May Board meeting Deborah reported to us on some of the reflections that were collected from the children, parents and teachers about what they enjoyed and found challenging about their distance learning experiences. It was a very interesting read – lots of kids enjoyed the ability to work at their own pace, eat when they needed to, choose their research projects and have the agency to choose what to do during their switch-it-off challenges. I know these reflections will help teachers develop their teaching practice in the future. I certainly enjoyed all the great variety of fabulous workshops all the teachers put together, and I know a number of Island Bay families who are still enjoying the results of Nathan’s sourdough workshop!
Congratulations to Ashleigh, Alishah and Sally, who graduated from their Masters course during the lock down – an unusual way to graduate but I hope you all managed to have a well-deserved celebration, and perhaps another one now we are in Level 1.
Just before the lockdown a new teacher’s aide, Aaron Kling, began at school and since we have been back he has been focusing on supporting the wellbeing of students, and in turn staff, in the learning spaces.
May Board meeting
At our latest meeting we talked about the adjustments we had to make to the school for Level 2. Deborah also let us know that while reporting to parents will still happen in the same way, it will be slightly delayed this year as a result of the lockdown, so we are expecting reporting to parents to happen in Week 2 of Term 3 now.
We met with the firm which surveys our school buildings and helped us to plan for how to care for the school property over the next 10 years. We are lucky in that the school’s buildings are in fairly sound condition. In our plans are improvements to the toilets in the school. The school’s 10 Year Property Plan, as it is known, has now been submitted to the Ministry of Education property experts for their sign-off.
As you are probably aware, we also got some extra money from the government just before Christmas. With this money we are adding a new playground to the bottom block beside the new astroturf and also looking at options for sunshades. The playground work is out for tender at the moment. We are also looking at perhaps making some improvements to the area in front of the main office to make another space to play there, as it has been nice to see the children making use of this area while it was fenced off and not being used for cars. This work is expected to happen soon, and we are looking forward to it.
Just a reminder that any parents are welcome to come along to our Board meetings to observe. The dates and times are on the calendar in the School App or in the community – the link is here. The meetings are generally in the Learning Hub at 7.30pm. The next one is 18 June.