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27 March 2020

posted 26 Mar 2020, 12:41 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 26 Mar 2020, 12:50 by Stephanie Williams ]
For the last 2 weeks, what I have written in advance has had more relevance than I ever intended, but has most definitely required some tweaking at the last minute.

Very quickly, our staff have adapted to a new normal for a while and I hope we have provided you with plenty of opportunity already to keep engaged and 'whole'. It has made me realise how, although the team have families, we are too very much a family. We are totally together, connected and supporting each other. This means we can continue to give our best to our children and community.

When I wrote the piece below last Friday, I was thinking about Worser Bay School as one part of the bigger us, the wider community of schools - the Kāhui Ako. I certainly didn't realise that a few days later that 'bigger us' was going to mean so much.

Miramar North, Miramar Central, Miramar Christian, Seatoun, Lyall Bay, Hataitai, Roseneath, Kilbirnie, Kahurangi, Evans Bay Intermediate, Wellington East Girls College, Rongotai College along with a number of Early Childhood Centres and us make up the Motu Kairangi Kāhui Ako. This means we are all working together on the same priority areas and learning from each other as we go.

Whilst the formal agreement and funding is between schools, it is important, and we are grateful that we work closely as a Kāhui Ako with all of the Early Childhood Centres that link to our various kura.

You may be able to hear Worser Bay School coming through strongly in this plan (above). Especially with our focus on Sustainability of Culture, People and Place, Cultural Responsiveness/Te Ao Māori, and Wellbeing - our strong focus on Positive Education. It doesn’t happen randomly or by chance. It is based on what our curriculum data gathering amongst the schools is telling us we need to magnify knowledge and practice to enhance student outcomes.

We are fortunate that at our school are well down the journey already with all of this work. This allows an opportunity for some of our staff to also contribute plenty to the ‘greater good‘ as well as give their best to the Worser Bay School community. This is important in terms of their professional growth and I applaud them for their passion and commitment.

If you were at karakia a couple of Friday’s ago, you would have heard me mention the Year 4 bus trip to Camp and what a totally incredible conversation Suzanne witnessed 2 children having for the entire hour with ‘Uncle Sonny’, the bus driver. (Who I have since heard is known as the best driver in town, no less!)

The conversation ranged from the importance of Whetūkairangi, the wider peninsula, Tiriti o Waitangi, land wars, Kapa Haka... onto the women’s suffrage movement, right to vote..... and on it went! WOW! I could see those achievement challenges in neon, flashing brightly! This is when you know you are making an impact.

Often, in primary schools, a lot of the hard graft put in socially and emotionally........ isn’t realised until many years later. Sure, we have great results in terms of moving children academically and we can witness the academic progress more easily. And, we also know that in terms of life outcomes it’s the other ‘stuff’ which will take them over the line - the Self Control, Perseverance, the GRIT. That’s why our achievement challenges, as a Kāhui Ako, are also what they are.

Our last Parent Wananga - the Hikoi - the History Walk - was a huge success. We are looking at doing something a little similar next term. This time, walking and talking and getting deeper inside Inquiry Learning and its links to Sustainability. We will keep you posted as we see what the lay of the land is, literally.

So, that was last week, but the messages around Sustainability, Wellbeing and Te Ao Māori remain the same, and I'm sure you will see those shining through the learning opportunities we provide.

Right now, I am more proud than ever of how we implemented such a strong and evidence based Wellbeing/Positive Education programme many years ago. If you haven't had a chance yet, I really recommend this short video for parents about supporting our children's wellbeing at this time (and our own).

You may want to highlight Character Strengths. Here is a PDF of our own Character Strengths poster that you can look at at home and here is a link to the VIA site with more information about the Strengths.

As for me - well, I need to engage my top 4-5 now more than ever. 
Humour, Leadership, Love, Honesty and Creativity. 

(But not dial up tooooo far......... or my marriage may have a wobble!)

Parents - you may want to give the free survey a go?