Staff change in Te Ohanga (New Entrant team)
With an increasing roll Team Te Ohanga has started this term with a fourth teacher. Chanelle Wootton, who was meant to be returning to the Te Ohanga team, has requested extended leave due to personal family circumstances. This has been granted and therefore Ian McCabe has stepped in to fill the ensuing vacancy in Team Te Ohanga for the rest of this year. We welcome Ian to into this teaching roll and look forward to working alongside him.
The Waipahihi Learning Journey...
Displayed below, and coming home today in hard copy, is an overview of how our Seesaw Reporting process is being rolled out to you. The key dates to note are:
Thursday 28 July - Seesaw information booklet sent home
The mid year Learning Conferences run over multiple days from Monday 8 August to Friday 19 August.
Please take the time to browse over the information coming home today (and linked below) and we'll see you next week at one of the parent sessions.
Our developing School Vision
Below is our developing vision from our initial consultation and development with staff, board, FOS and Whanau Hui. The foundation of our vision is centred around our Kaitiaki (guardian) 'Tia' who stands at the front entrance to our school with the 'Diploma of Life' in his hand (for more about the story of Tia click here). Tia stands as a reminder to us all that we are all working together, whether we're a student learner or a teaching team supporting the learning, in this journey of "Learning for Life". Together this is represented by the statement "Working Together as One - Mahi Tahi Tatou".
Our why (the centre) is supported by the key principles of our practice - the how this looks in our school, and then by the outer circle, what these principles look like in practice across our teaching teams.
Early next term I'll be sharing and discussing this overview of our vision with those same groups (staff, board, FOS and Whanau Hui) again and will also have some opportunity during the 'parent - teacher' learning conference sessions in Weeks 3 & 4 for you catch up with me about this development. It's exciting to breath some new life into the vision of our school as it centres and drives everything we do. I look forward to catching up with you at one of those opportunities early in the new term.
Our Reporting Philosophy
Our Reporting to parents practice that is going to be showcased around your child's Seesaw learning journey is based on the philosophy of acknowledging the learning process that develops across the full six year journey of primary school. Every child progresses and achieves in a different way - unique to who they are! We use assessment strategies as a tool to support our understanding of everyday learning observations and conversations, not as the key indicator. We want to share with you your child's real life authentic learning examples, based on developing the Key Competencies (Managing Self, Relating to Others, Participating and Contributing, Thinking, Using Language, Symbols and Texts)
These rich, key competency based, journal entries will be shared with you via your child's seesaw account. All supporting comments in any journal entry will provide the learning context that the skills being displayed represent and will give you an understanding of what their progress and achievement, relevant to your child as an individual, looks like against national expectations.
I look forward to sharing the beginning of this 'Seesaw' journey with you in Week 2 of Term 3 and to its rollout being supported by our Learning conference sessions in Weeks 3&4.
Education Resourcing Review
Last week I attended the first Ministry of Education session on the proposed directions for change around the way our education system is funded. At the moment our school is funded the following way:
Anyway we're at the start of (apparently) a process that they want to have developed and refined before the next census in 2020 (which is when they recalculate the deciles again). Have a browse of the seven proposed directions for change but take note that these are being proposed with no funding increase, that is the size of the funding pie does not change! Note number seven and ask yourself where the money is going to come from for the increased private school funding?
Over the next term this is another thing that I'll aim to discuss with the different groups across our school so when the real consultation with the Ministry begins I can truely represent the feeling of our community.
Have a great term break!
Sharing our children's learning journey
Last week I shared some of the many ways we try to communicate with you around school life. Another important element of communication that is targeted specifically to you and your child/ren are our 'formal' reporting points at the mid and end of year around their learning journey progress and achievement. This year the way we want to do this is through a medium that helps bring alive the reality of your child/ren's learning across the curriculum. We want to share with you real authentic examples, based on developing the Key Competencies (Managing Self, Relating to Others, Participating and Contributing, Thinking, Using Language, Symbols and Texts) of how your child's learning is happening and in ways that could answer the following questions:
The way we are going to do this is not through a written report, or through a bit of paper that ticks a National Standard box. This year, our school will be using Seesaw, a secure online learning journal where students can create and upload examples that document their learning, in real time. Your child will add things like photos, videos, worksheets, drawings and voice recordings to their Seesaw journal. It can demonstrate in real time learning that can't be summed up on a piece of paper, or given real context by ticking a box. These rich, key competency based, journal entries will be shared with you via your child's seesaw account.
Seesaw has the ability to have you sign up for a Seesaw Parent account to be notified when your child adds new content and have access to their journal. It is set up as an app on your phone and only lets you see learning entries that are posted by your child or shared with a group that your child is in - just like at school. When your child adds new work, you will receive a notification to see, hear and respond to your child’s learning item. You only have access to the work that is shared with you and all of the content is stored securely within the Waipahihi School Seesaw structure. It is not able to be shared onto an outside social media timeline. Your access to this will be set to go and shared with you early next term. These will then be used as the foundation of our learning conference opportunities that you will be able to book in across Weeks 3 & 4 of Term 3.
We are looking forward to your child using Seesaw to document and share their learning this year and to develop this process with you!