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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

Newsletter - Week 9, Term 1 2022

Principal’s Update

Kia ora Waitetuna Whaanau, I would like to firstly share with you our appointment for the Middle Room. Brenda Wollen is employed in a job share position with Liz Amoore for the Middle Room from week 3, term 2. Brenda will be with us until the end of year. Unfortunately the nationwide teacher shortage impacted on our applicant numbers and the suitability of applicants. We will readvertise the permanent position around October. We are delighted that Brenda can take on this roll and welcome her to a new role at our school, previously she was covering release mainly in the Junior Room. We are also delighted to announce that Robyn Marquand has been appointed to take over from Lara as our school’s new Deputy Principal. More detail to come about Lara’s farewell.

The last two years has seen growing knowledge of Tikanga Maori and Te Reo Maori of our hapuu and rohe (area) with our mahi with Lisa and Ngaa Uri o Maahanga. Our school motto Te Reo Maori translation had macrons over the long vowel sounds in words but we will be transitioning our school documentation to all show the double consonant vowel instead.

You may have seen the media frenzy in response to the ‘Literacy Strategy’ released on Friday. Teachers have been invited to respond in some way to this strategy.

Many feel the Literacy Strategy is disheartening, nowhere are the terms ‘Science of Reading’ or ‘Structured Literacy’ mentioned. The Science of Reading is the vast international research which has resulted in consistent findings of how the brain learns to read and the most efficient way to teach reading. Structured Literacy is the teaching approach which has been informed by this research and which many have invested two years of Professional Learning so far in Structured Reading and have more Professional Learning to come this year.

Structured Literacy is the evidence based approach that will have the greatest impact for ALL learners. We now know the elements and principles of Structured Literacy that are crucial to enable all our children to become proficient readers and writers. Two of these principles are explicit and systematic teaching following a ‘Scope and Sequence’ using decodable readers at the initial stage of learning to read, as well as decodables (catch up readers) for older struggling readers, enabling all children to become proficient readers. We also continue to build on this with handwriting, fluency, spelling, vocabulary, and syntax.

The Strategy lacks reference to international research as well as current New Zealand research that is the basis for international best practice for teaching reading, spelling and writing. We are proud of the changes we have made al-ready in our classes towards Structured Literacy and share these proudly as our school data remains consistently high in achievement of reading and writing. We invited parents to hear about these changes at the beginning of last year. Please ask us how you can help at home using the Principles of structured reading. In some cases Robyn, Lara and Ali have sent home specific examples. I will certainly let those who are making these systemic decisions hear our voice.

Covid update — I was informed of two further cases of Covid last week after the newsletter went out and we had two positive cases over the weekend. None of these cases were at school when deemed infectious as they were already isolating. So great news that we have had no positive cases this week. Ngaa mihi, Have a great weekend, Amanda and staff.

All The Happenings

  • Surfing—Senior Room—Wednesday 6th March.

  • Toasted Sandwiches and mini instant pudding—Wednesday Week 11—only $3—last week treat. Sweetcorn, Spaghetti or Ham toasted sandwich-es Gluten Free Ham toasted sandwiches available. Bring your own cup or bowl for instant pudding.

  • Last day of term 1—Thursday 14th April.

Action Stations—surf action continued

Looking to Lead

Two teachers from the Waikato Institute of Sports Studies came to school on Friday to work with our Year 8s. They participated in a wide range of leader-ship activities in the morning and then in the afternoon planned an afternoon of activities for the Year 3-7 students to participate in next term.

Senior Room—Toby Marquand—For showing confidence in yourself and growing your resilience

Te Reo Maori phrase of the week

Ka pai te wehi

Waitetuna Way

Middle Room—Audrey Fisher and Senna Valentin—for developing confidence and resilience

Together we are growing the seeds of success

Na too manaaki, na tooku manaaki, ka puawai mai nga kaakano

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