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Waitaki Valley School 

2 March 2016

Kia Ora koutou.

Thank you to those of you who came to our Open Morning yesterday.  It was wonderful to be able to share our learning environment with you, and the 'buzz' really was evident in the children being proud to show you how they operate each and every day.   Many of you commented on how impressed you were by our Tour Guides, so it was great that they were able to give you an insight into their own understanding of their learning. Thank you too, to those of you who took time to provide written feedback before you left.  This is valuable to us.  

If you have any questions after seeing what you saw, please feel free to make contact with your child's teacher, or with myself.  We are only too happy to explain, or to clarify.  Remember too, that you can make contact with your child's teacher at any stage - you don't need to wait until the formal reporting process.  The forms that you filled in about your children, have given teachers that little bit more (or a lot) of information about your child, and we appreciate getting that insight into your child and your goals for them.

For those of you who were able to visit us, I'm sure you will agree that our Learning Spaces development has started very well. I'd like to thank the teachers for their dedication to the task in working hard to ensure the success of what is being implemented.  Things like this do not just happen overnight - they require an awful lot of planning and shaping, and your children are benefiting from the commitment of our teachers.  There was a very interesting article in the Education Gazette last week in regards to the new schools being built in Christchurch post quake, and how these new builds are enabling these schools to have 'modern, flexible and digitally connected learning spaces'. This is very much the same direction that we are taking for our students. You can read the article here - Modern Schooling Network Rises from Quakes

Last year in Term 1 I was fortunate to have been awarded a Teaching Sabbatical Award which enabled me (in my term before starting here at Waitaki Valley) to visit Innovative Learning Environments around the country.  Seeing the focus on student centred learning was very powerful - all of course with the intentions of raising student achievement.  All of these schools had been able to significantly increase achievement with their change in practice and of course our goal is to replicate that achievement gain here at Waitaki Valley.

Last week we had a visit from a University of Otago Curriculum Advisor who was so impressed with the teaching practices within our environment that she has asked if she could bring Principals from other schools who are also transforming their learning spaces. This is testament to how we have  planned and taken the time to implement this thoroughly. It is quite an accolade to have someone who visits schools around Otago and Southland on a daily basis to pay us a compliment like that.

In order to continue our development, teachers will be visiting a couple of schools in Central Otago in order to view their Innovative Learning Environments in action.  This of course needs to happen on a school day and so as a result we will have a Teacher Only Day on Tuesday March 22nd.  This is the day after Otago Anniversary Day (the school will be closed) and the Friday of that week is Good Friday!  With the intention of causing as little disruption as possible to our families we have chosen a week where things are already interrupted.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to thank our 'Friends of the School' parent body who provided morning tea for the Open Morning.  This is such a supportive group and it was neat to be able to have so many of you enjoy the social side of things during your visit to school.

Last week at our first Board of Trustees meeting for the year, we discussed the information we had received from the parent survey late last year.  The Board will continue to look closely at this information as we reshape our School Charter and Vision. Where patterns of feedback are noted we will look to respond in the most appropriate way.  A summary of the feedback is published on our school website. (Linked from the image below)

Thank you to everyone who is working hard to ensure that our school is the best that it can be.  

Have a great week everyone

Welcome to Kane Winter, our most recent New Entrant, who has started in Aoraki over the past week. We know that you will love Waitaki Valley School Kane!
School Trustee Elections
During May and June the election process for our Board of Trustees for the next three years will take place.  If you are interested in finding out more about the role of a Trustee in the governance of the school, then please feel free to contact one of our current Board of Trustee members (Janina Slee, Shelley Small, Michael Smith, Richard Sime and Nicole Phillips).  We also have information booklets in the office, that have been put out by the School Trustee Association, that provide some background information.  The video on the School Trustee Election page (linked here) also provides information about the role of Trustees.  I encourage you to consider what you might be able to bring to the role as a School Trustee.
Congratulations to our girls cricket team who joined with Duntroon last Wednesday to play against St Hilda's in Dunedin.  While we were well beaten in the 20/20 game that counted, it was great to be able to finish with a win in the 10/10 game.  Well done to Kara-Mai Herbst, Ella Phillips, Ria Dennison, Amy Hawkins, Lucy Taylor and Jessica Smaill who represented Waitaki Valley with pride.
At the time of writing this we have 8 Yr 5 & 6 students representing us in the North Otago Waitaki Valley Festival of Cricket tournament, here in Kurow.  Our team plays against Omarama, Duntroon and Glenavy Schools, with a final being played this afternoon.  We certainly looked good in our first game against Glenavy!  Thank you to Leyton Gledhill for looking after the team today.
The teams were joined by four Otago Volts players - Nick Beard (pictured in the photos below), Ryan Duffy, Michael Rae and Warren Bond.  The day was organised by our North Otago Cricket coaches, Stephan, Ben and Francois.

Bags of Horse Manure for the school garden compost.

If you have some that we can have please contact Michelle at the School Office.
Just a friendly reminder:
If you are paying money into our school account by Direct Credit please ensure you put your child/ren first names eg James and reason for paying eg Touch/Stationery/Uniform.
This helps us to identify your payments. 
Class Certificates
Term 1 Week 2                     
Aoraki               Charlie Hayes
Hauwhenua      Daisy Campbell
Moana               Ryan Bell
Pukepuke         Meg Patterson
                          Sydney Slee

Mahutonga       Dan Patterson
                          Cassidhe Harrop
                          AJ Ede
Term 1 Week 4
Aoraki               Sophie Graham
                          Sophia Pavletich
Hauwhenua      Allie Laughton
Moana               Anna Sime
Pukepuke           Callum Sim
Mahutonga       Fynlay Bishop
                          Shakayne Batt

Principal's Award
Cody Ramsay-Turner
Cassidhe Harrop
Book Club

Orders and money to be in to the School Office by
Friday 4th March 2016
In a clearly named envelope
Friday 4th March:                              Zone Swimming Sports (@WVS)
Wednesday 16th March:                   North Otago Swimming Sports
Friday 18th March:                            Year 8 Day - Papakaio
Monday 21st March                          Otago Anniversary Day - School Closed
Tuesday 22nd March                        Teacher Only Day - School Closed
Friday 25th March -
Tuesday 29th March:                        Easter Holiday. School Closed
Friday 15th April                                Last day of Term  

Kurow Netball Club AGM
Tuesday 14th March 7:30pm
In the back bar, Kurow Hotel
Apologies to Nicole Phillips
436 0472 or 027 414 0456

2016 JAB Registration
Saturday 5th March 2pm
Kurow Clubrooms (Racecourse)
Bring along any of your old rugby boots to sell or swap.
Conatct: Wade Newlands  
027 549 3604
Coaches Needed!!!
Waitaki Valley School
1 Settlement Road
Principal: Deidre Senior

Important numbers: 
School phone: 03 4360 660
Absences: School Mobile Text: 0277142774
School Bank Account: 02 0900 0000532 00