News and Events
Term 2, Week 3: Week starting 14 May 2018
...talofa, ni hao, mālō e lelei, hallo, hola, chomreabsuor, sabaidi, bonjour, namaste, kumaste, kia orana, yassas, as-salam ‘alaykum, cześċ, Kon'nichiwa, and hello to all of our families.
We had a wonderful time at the official opening of the Tawatawa-Vogelmorn Bike Track and were very pleased to have so many parents join us. Special thanks to everyone who helped out on the day.
Ms Weren and Ms Jessep are taking 2 teams to the Strictly Jump Jam competition on Thursday June 21. This is an evening event, held between 6 and 8pm (the venue is yet to be confirmed). We’ll be entering 2 teams, 1 junior and 1 senior, each made up of 8 - 15 students. There is a cost of $22 to enter, and all team members receive a Jump Jam competition t-shirt.
Late next week a registration form with payment details will be posted on our website, but interested students should speak directly to either teacher. (If your child is in Year 1 - 3, please talk to Ms Weren on their behalf.) Teams will practice the routines during lunch breaks. There may be an audition process if a large number of students want to be involved.
NZCER - Research Project
Our school will be participating in a research project led by NZCER and the Marie Clay Literacy Trust. The project aims to establish up-to- date statistics about the reading and writing of 5 to 7 year olds in New Zealand. You can read the parent information letter here. If your child is aged between 5 years and 7 years, and you do not want them to be involved, please contact Raelene in our office and let her know, email@example.com
Paid Union Meeting - Tuesday 19 June
NZEI members from Ridgway School will be attending a Paid Union Meeting on Tuesday 19 June. We will not be closing the school, but will only be providing supervision in the afternoon. If you are able to collect your child early on that day, however, we would be very grateful. Please note that this is also one of our Learning Conference days. Teachers will be back at school from 3.30pm to host conferences.
Children can be collected from the start of lunch at 12.40pm. If you decide to collect your child early please sign your child out in the usual way at the office. If you wish your child to be collected by someone other than yourself, please notify the office by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers - Library and Fundraising
Schools rely completely on the voluntary efforts of parents and community members. We are very lucky at Ridgway to have many parents helping out in a wide variety of ways.
Currently we have just 3 mums working towards our next fundraising projects - and they are very hopeful of bringing some more people on board. Upcoming fundraising projects include the next gala - hopefully in Term 4. Please leave your name at the office if you’d like to join the fundraising crew at this time.
Our school library is open for children to use at morning tea and lunchtime. This provides a place for children who would like to read and is a nice place for children to go when they want some time away from their friends. It’s especially popular on colder days.
We have a number of older students trained up as Student Librarians to take care of issuing and returning books, but really need more parent volunteers to supervise the library during the break times, and to help with keeping it tidy. If this is a way that you’d like to contribute to the life of the school, please get in touch with Anneleah in the office email@example.com.
Over the past 5 years school staff, parents and the board have become increasingly concerned about the state of our buildings and frustrated at the slow progress and constant delays. Essential work has not been done and consequently the buildings have continued to deteriorate. Leaks around the school and bad smells are the obvious signs that all can see. I have added a Timeline outlining the things that have happened relating to property over the last 5 years to our website, for those that are interested.
Continued leaks over time from the flat roof areas above parts of Room 1, the library and the junior toilets, have seriously damaged the building. At the end of Term 1 the Ministry agreed that urgent work was required, and close inspection confirmed that the toilets need to be completely rebuilt. Design work is nearly complete and the consent process is underway. We hope the demolition of the current toilets will take place in the holidays and that work will be completed mid way through Term 3.
In certain rain conditions we have closed the junior toilets, believing the water on the floor made them unsafe for children to use. This has meant that children had to be escorted to use toilets in other parts of the school and caused considerable disruption to learning. The situation was completely unsatisfactory. Last week the staff took the unprecedented action of writing to local MP Paul Eagle to bring attention to our problems and seek support for an acceptable solution. Since then we have met again with Ministry of Education (MOE) representatives and they have agreed to provide temporary toilets until the new ones are ready to use. As the forecast was for rain today, the MOE arranged for the 2Loos trailer toilets just in case roof leaks caused flooding and puddles in the junior toilets. Next week we will have our temporary toilets installed alongside the playground and we will be closing the junior toilets permanently.
Damp and dust
The smell in Kūkupa classrooms is unpleasant and of great concern to staff and the board. Recently air quality testing was carried out again in all areas of the school (air testing was previously done in 2015). Reports have again showed that spore counts for all types of bacteria are very low and well within acceptable limits.
Our cleaners will be carrying out an extra clean of Rooms 6, 7, and 8 over the weekend using a special dust filter and wiping down widows and other surfaces. The outside of the building will be washed down on the next fine weekend. This work should remove the moss build up along window ledges. We’ve taken down curtains in this area for cleaning also.
We are fully aware that there are various other issues around the school that need to be resolved and the staff and board are anxious to see the MOE action the promised refurbishment and rebuilding work. The board are holding a special meeting on Wednesday 16 May at 7pm at which Ministry of Education officials will outline their next steps for bringing Ridgway School property up to standard. If you have questions that you’d like the hear answers to, please send these to Richard Ngatai (Board Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org. While this meeting is not specifically for parents, you are entitled to attend any board meeting; if it is your intention to attend please let us know so that we can ensure our meeting space is large enough.
Pink Shirt Day
We’ll be supporting Pink Shirt Day on Tuesday 15 May by encouraging all of our students to wear something pink (possible). At 2.40pm the whole school will gather on the field to form a giant heart. Parents and siblings are welcome to wear pink and join in.
Students at all levels will be addressing bullying in their homegroups and learning to make sure it doesn’t happen at Ridgway School. Children will learn about the difference between someone being mean and someone bullying. The Bullying Free NZ website and the NZ Police No Bully site provide lots of great resources for parents and whānau.
13 Reasons Why
The Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why has attracted considerable attention in the media due to it’s controversial portrayal of serious issues confronting many young people. The Film Classification Office has published a Guide for parents: Talking with young people about what they’re watching. The Mental Health Foundation also has advice and resources useful for parents.
Wellington Space & Science Festival
As a School-gen school we’ve received a special discount code that families may use when purchasing online tickets for the Wellington Space & Science Festival. The code is “Genesis”.
I also have 3 tickets to give away - to the first student who can tell me 3 facts about solar energy.
Hei kona mai
Juicies continue to be sold on Wednesday and Fridays - fundraising for the senior camp later in the year.
Lunch order reminders
Monday - Subway
Thursday - Sushi (via Lunch Online)
Friday - Pita Pit (via Lunch Online)
Repeated from previous newsletter
Reporting to parents on student learning
Learning conferences will be held in Week 8 of this term (18 - 21 June). These conferences are important as they allow parents, teachers and students to discuss what has been learnt, where the child is at, compared to where we expect them to be based on their age and year level, what they need to learn next, and how whānau can help at home. Closer to the time you will receive information about how to book a time that is convenient for you.
All students are building up a digital portfolio of work on the Seesaw platform that they and their teachers will have commented on. The samples of work gathered in Seesaw during the year are selected to highlight your child’s achievement and progress across all learning areas. Regularly checking your child’s Seesaw portfolio enables you to stay informed about what they are learning and how well they are going. At any time you may comment on this work or ask questions about it. The Seesaw digital portfolio is now our main way of reporting to parents.
If you have difficulty accessing your child’s Seesaw digital portfolio, please discuss this with your child’s homegroup teacher.
New report format
At the end of this term, following Learning Conferences, all students will receive a short written report on a new format. This format is not intended to give detailed information as this is found in Seesaw, and elaborated on during the Learning Conference. It is simply a brief summary stating the level your child is achieving at in the key learning areas of reading, writing, and maths. There will also be an indication of how well your child demonstrates our values of respectfulness, resilience, resourcefulness and responsibility. This written report will be sent home with your child in the last week of the term.
Information Evenings and Focus Groups
The use of Seesaw for reporting on children’s learning is a significant change and we want to ensure that parents understand the benefits of these changes and have excellent information about their child’s progress and achievement. We expect to offer an information evening for interested parents in the future to explain our reporting processes in more detail.
It will be helpful for us to get feedback on how parents are experiencing the Seesaw digital portfolio and how well informed they feel about their child’s learning. For this reason I am seeking to gather a couple of small groups of parents together into focus group. If you want to join a focus group and are available to meet on either a Friday morning or a early on a Monday evening, please let me know.