Term 4 BOT Newsletter 2018

Dear Parents and Families,

As 2018 draws to a close we welcome you to the last HNPS Board of Trustees newsletter.  The last term has been a busy one and we want to take this opportunity to provide you with a brief update of what’s been happening.

Survey Feedback

We received 102 responses to the Board survey.  It isn’t an exact science but we estimate this to be about a quarter of the families that attend the school.  The feedback we received was constructive and largely positive.  Importantly the large majority of families feel their child(ren) enjoy coming to school, with most feeling that their child is making good progress in their learning.  There is also strong support for the science and mindfulness programs.

Feedback on the Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) was positive.  There was a lot of constructive feedback in the comments around ILE. Noise levels was a concern often raised.  As a result of this Nick used a tool to measure decibel levels.  While this is also not an exact science, there was no discernable difference between the ILE and single celled classrooms.  The lack of achievement in the ILE was also raised.  While the Ministry of Education (MoE) no longer require the school to report on National Standards, we have continued to measure against these given the lack of an alternative,  Using this data to compare year on year progress we can see that (again) there is no discernable difference between progress in an ILE versus the single cell.

The feedback on ILE and the learning pathway highlights the need to ensure we up-skill the school community about this way of teaching and learning and look at the different means with which we do this.  Nick Reed’s weekly Tuesday Times is the main source of communication in relation to these initiatives.  There are a number of different communications emailed from the school, but we would encourage you to read the Tuesday Times on a weekly basis.

The one other question which warrants feedback was around the need for a permanent fence between the school and the community centre; 25% of respondents stated a fence was necessary.  Interestingly many of these parents had older children at school.  We are the only school in Havelock North without a fence.  In considering the feedback we have decided to maintain the status quo.  We feel the following controls are in place:

  • Additional teachers patrol the Dell area during play breaks
  • The children have it ‘drummed’ into them that they are not permitted to leave the school grounds.

The last thing which influences our decision to not build a fence at this stage is that we feel if a child was intent on leaving the school grounds, a fence (which would have a gate in it) would provide very little form of resistance.

Thank you for your feedback via the surveys we send out; they are the best tool to get an accurate view of the community’s opinions so we appreciate you answering these when you can.

Achievement Data

As previously stated the MoE no longer require schools to report on National Standards, however, the school will continue to monitor these.  The data across the Reading, Writing and Math is pleasing. We set targets at the start of the year, broken down between girls and boys, and ethnic minorities.  While we didn’t reach the ambitious targets we set, we did make incremental improvements on 2017 data.

We try very hard to provide targeted children with the extra help they require.  Relationships between the teacher and child are key in raising the achievements of students and a real focus at the school.  If you feel there is something the school should be aware to help enhance your child’s learning then please share this with your child’s teacher.

Strategic Plan

Each year in November the Board holds a strategic meeting where we plan ahead for each of the next 3 years.  This work forms the basis of next year’s Annual Plan.  The focus of the Strategic Meeting is to achieve the aims set out in the following 4 pillars:

  • To grow student achievement by providing quality teaching, where all learners are engaged and achieving their potential
  • To develop and empower well rounded and capable students who are confident and engaged learners
  • To ensure a safe and caring optimal learning environment
  • To develop a fully inclusive school culture where whanau and community partnerships are nurtured and strengthened.

As a Board we are confident we have strategies in place and with the amazing and capable students we have at the school, along with quality teachers and a supportive community, we will continue to meet these aims.

Hall Extension

The final plans have been signed off.  These will go out to tender early in 2019 with work expected to commence soon after.  We are grateful for the contributions and expertise provided by parents who work in the construction industry and who have generously assisted us on this journey.

Fundraisers

The Home and School Committee, once again, did an amazing job with the Blast In The Park event. A whopping $24,500 was raised. This kind of fundraising is just not possible without the tireless efforts of this committee alongside other parents who put up their hand to help.  All offers of help, big or small, all add up and enable the school to stage these fundraising events.

Thank you also to Jo Throp and her team of superstars who organised an amazing Peak Trail Blazer event. The school is proud to be associated with this event and always grateful for the generous financial contribution made to the school. The funds earned over the past 9 years, in conjunction with a sizeable Home and School donation, will be put towards the hall upgrade and expansion project.

Property

Every 5 years we receive funds from the MOE to upgrade our buildings.  The funds are based on the number of children attending the school.  2019 is the commencement of the next cycle.  The MOE are promoting ILE’s and as a result have provided a further $200k to open up additional classrooms into ILE spaces.  This work will not be able to start until the hall extension is finished, as the hall will be required as an interim classroom space.  Once the hall has been upgraded, Rooms 3-7 will be the first classrooms worked on.  Then Rooms 3-5, followed by Rooms 11-13.

Crossing

It was pleasing to finally see the crossing on Campbell Street (outside the school hall) in action. This has made a noticeable difference to traffic flow and safety. We appreciate parents using this crossing and leading by example. Please continue to encourage your children to cross safely at the crossing, not anywhere else along Campbell Street.

Staffing

We bid farewell to Emma Boyd, Georgia Harris, Ben Philpotts and Catherine Madden at the end of this year.  While not formally a teacher we thank Sam Newton who has done a great job as the Sports Coordinators.  At the very last minute Sam has accepted a role at Havelock North Intermediate.  We thank them all for their dedication to the students at HNPS and wish them well for their future endeavours.

We are excited to employ Ellen Denny, Sarah Allen, Emily Cooper, Helen King and Rhys Harman to permanent positions for 2019.  We are currently in the process of recruiting Ben Philpotts’ replacement and will let you know once this is confirmed.

Thank you to all the staff across the year for your selfless, tireless and enthusiastic efforts with our children. You have deserved a break.  Put your feet up, relax and be safe!

As always we value your feedback. Feel free to share these with your teacher or Nick Reed.  Our Board email address is board@hnps.school.nz if you would like to contact us directly.

We wish you all a safe and happy break and a positive year ahead.

Kind Regards,

HNPS Board of Trustees