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23 September 2016

posted 22 Sep 2016, 19:32 by Carolyn Brett
This is it - the final newsletter for Term 3. 

Character Day
If you had a chance to be in school during the day yesterday, you will have been privy to the serenity of mixed groups..... when our older children really step up and support the younger ones. It's like a dose of magic every time we do it!

I loved seeing the variety of character strength based activities on offer. I also loved seeing the teachers have an opportunity to work in different ways and utilise their different character strengths. It was also wonderful to have the opportunity to have a group of parents with me in the staffroom interested in learning more too......... I could discuss it for hours..... really!

Check out more about Character Day: http://www.letitripple.org/

The Sleepover
What a huge success! I'm thrilled that quite a few of the children even managed their first night away from home. An enormous thanks to the teachers for going the extra mile (always!) and a great crew of overnight parents too. An aspect of the sleepover agenda is to reconnect our 3/4s again in preparation for the following year. Which leads me onto...... transition. 

Transition Programme

This year our Transition Programme starts in the first week of Term 4. This is when children learn in their 2017 spaces for a period of time each week. This is a practice which is a little unusual in most schools but because we can...... we do..... and we really value the opportunity.

Children get a chance to mix with their 'new' classmates, who in many cases are also their 'old' classmates. Teachers get an opportunity to really get to know children as learners, not just by name. In fact, it's really just one new cohort for teachers to get their head around, unless you are a new teacher to the school and that requires more fortitude..... in the beginning anyway!

Each year the programme is designed for the children in the space. Gone are the days of turning to Term 1, Week 3 2007 and tweaking it to fit! These days it requires a lot of thought and is quite the creative process.

Based on our current knowledge, we will have a lot of children starting school for the first time, at 5, at the beginning of next year. This, combined with wanting to keep the Tautoru space stable right from the start of the year, the junior team will be working very closely together across Tautoru and Autahi. 

All 2016 Autahi children will start 2017 in Tautoru - which will once again cater for Years 1-3 and we aim to keep the teacher:student ratio as low as we can. It's always a bit of a number juggling game. There will be four teachers in here, like this year. 

Things are constantly on the move in Autahi with children starting daily - so this is the space that can have the sort of programme to accommodate constant 'Happy Birthday!' change. At this stage, we will start with one teacher and build up as the year goes on.

We will finalise who is teaching where as the term goes on - but when your child comes home the first Friday and chats transition, you will now have an inkling of what they are talking about! They are lucky - they have a long time to figure change out and feel like they belong in a new space. In fact, they are likely to have already worked in it even before transition!

So, holidays are upon us - I wonder what character strengths you may need to magnify over the next 2 weeks, this could be quite weather dependent! Remember, just keep focussed on the WWW - What Went Well!