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Waitaki Valley School 

17 August 2016

Tena koutou katoa, greetings.

Where is the term and the year going?  It is hard to believe that it is nearing the end of Week 4 already.
As is usual it is a typically busy term and I ask you to please read thoroughly over all of the information in the newsletter below - there is a lot going on!
In particular I want to draw your attention to the NZEI Paid Union Meeting on September 8th.  Please read over the specific information below and return the slip on the note home today.
As winter sports draw to a close it has been wonderful to see so many children involved in the team sports of netball, rugby, basketball, hockey and soccer. Thank you to all the parents who are part of this in the clubs, who make it happen, by coaching, supporting and transporting.  
Our little hockey team (joint with Omarama and Duntroon) had a very successful season getting runner up in their grade and our 'Waitroon' Basketball team have their final game tonight playing off for 7th! It's been wonderful to offer this wider range of sports to our children.  
Good luck to our children competing in the North Otago Cross country on Monday.  Mrs Sime has sent the notices for the children who have qualified home today. Please return these by Friday.  The School PE tops will be issued to children attending.  Please wash these after they have been used, and return as soon as possible.
With our Olympians enjoying increasing success - let's hope our children compete at the Cross country with as much enthusiasm!
Have a good week
Joint Paid Union Meetings with PPTA

Thursday 8th September

In an unprecedented move, the unions of both Primary and Secondary teachers and Principals are holding joint meetings to share our concerns about the government's latest initiative of a new funding model for education.

I'm making you aware that ALL classroom teachers and most of our support staff will be attending this meeting in Oamaru at 9am on the 8th September.  We will have a 'skeleton' staff supervising students so that members can attend the paid union meetings.  ALL NZEI members have an entitlement and an expectation to attend this meeting. Our usual teaching staff will be back in their classrooms to resume 'normal' programmes from 11.30am.

BUSES on this day will run 2 1/2 hours later so that children can still be collected from home, and be at school for when normal teaching programmes resume.

A form is coming home today, where we are asking you to indicate if your child/ren will attend for the morning of the 8th September. requiring supervision, so that I can be certain that we are staffed appropriately. I appreciate that this is still a couple of weeks away, however organising staff to cover can be a juggling act. Please return these forms by Tuesday (August 23rd).

I also appreciate that this will be an inconvenience to many of you, however the fact that I have never known of anything like this in more than 20 years in education, indicates to you the enormity of this issue.  Please read the information below to be fully informed of the issue at hand.
The NZEI (Primary Teachers' Union) Paid Union Meeting, in conjunction with PPTA (Secondary Teachers' Union) is unprecedented.  NZEI does not hold meetings in school time unless it is a significant issue - and this is.

The Government's proposing a "global budget" for education that removes the split between funding for staff and funding for operations. Schools will be forced to trade off the costs of teaching staff against other costs, which means:

  • fewer teachers and bigger class sizes
  • no consistent student:teacher ratios for year levels
  • increased casualisation of teaching jobs
  • even more downwards pressure on support staff pay
  • passing the buck for issues like class size onto schools
  • increased inequality — bigger and richer schools can raise funds to hire teachers, while smaller and rural schools will struggle

They're calling it a global budget, but it's just bulk funding under a different name. Teachers and parents rejected this years ago, and we still don't want it today.

The focus of the joint paid union meetings all over the country is to decide how we'll fight this.  Please take the time to read over the fact sheet here that outlines the seriousness of this issue.  You can also listen to an interview with Radio New Zealand with the Union Presidents here.
In advance I appreciate your support.

Many thanks to all those of you who took the time to give us feedback as to what you wish to see in our Health and PE programmes.  Many of you believe that aspects of rural safety such as safety around dogs and guns should be up to families.  We appreciate your support on this, and while it will be touched on in the Yr 6 Safety Day session each year, they won't be major areas of focus for us.

Strong trends to come through were the importance on teaching about friendships, general safety through the 'Keeping Ourselves Safe' programme, Mindfulness and Personal Hygiene in our Health programmes.  In PE there was quite a bit of feedback asking us to expose children to a variety of sports, with the importance of the EOTC (Camp) and Aquatic programmes coming through of greatest importance.  We also appreciated the range of comments that gave us positive feedback as to the programmes that are currently running for our children to enjoy and learn from in PE at school.

The winner of the 'spot' prize was Nick Chapman.  We'll get your prize to you NIck!
The Board of Trustees has been reviewing and reformulating our Governance Policies.  Our 'Concerns and Complaints Procedure' is part of this and so it is timely to bring your attention to it as we review it.  Please take the time to look at it on our website (direct link here) and offer any suggestions or queries.
Please put any feedback either in writing to the office or email to
Aoraki:             Kane Winter
Hauwhenua:    Alexia McCormack-Anderson
Moana:            Hailie McSkimming
Pukepuke:       Maddy Phillips & Kara-mai Herbst 
Mahutonga:     Ria Dennison

Principal's Awards:
Ella Phillips 
Sam Chilton
Alex Faulkner
If your child/ren are going to be absent from school for any reason please ensure you call, email or text Michelle at the school office so she can mark the roll accordingly.
$2 per sausage
$2 per muffin
(GF Sausages available)
A reminder that there are no heated lunches on a Thursday
Fotographix will be here next Tuesday for our school photos.  Family photos will start from 8.30am in The Street.
This week's 'Caption This' Winner - Ellie Scotland
YEAR 5 & 6, 7 & 8
In the first week of Term 4 our Tuakana students will be heading away on their EOTC programmes - also known as camps!  We are excited this year that our Yr 7 & 8s are heading to Wainui at Akaroa from 10th-14th October, while our Yr 5 & 6 children will be heading to Camp Iona at Herbert from 12th-14th October.

We are grateful to the Friends of the School for their contribution to support our camps. The fundraising that has taken part has also contributed to reduce the costs, bringing the cost of camps to just $55 for Yrs 5 &6, and $200 for Yrs 7 &8.  (These costs are both less than half of what it actually costs to run the camp).

We ask that camps are please paid for in full by WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 21st.  These can be paid as a lump sum, or 'drip fed' over the next 5 weeks. If this creates difficulty for you - please see your child's teacher, or Mrs Senior. 

Forms for those parents making themselves available are coming home today, and we will be letting people know later next week if they are accompanying the groups or not.  Please return these forms by Monday.

Children will come home next Monday with their consent and medical forms.  Please return these ASAP.
Year 6 Safety Day

On Wednesday the 10th of August the Year Sixes went to Oamaru to do a clued up kids safety day. We learnt all about firearms, civil defence and earthquake drills, and heaps more.

First of all we got split into groups throughout all different schools and then got on to it. We went to 11 different stations around the Rec Centre. We got to learn about heaps of different gun facts and got to pass around different guns to feel and inspect them.

Next we went to the first aid station.We had one patient in a situation and had to figure out what to do if we were ever in a situation like that.It was heaps of fun and we all learnt heaps from just one section.

 After doing all the activities all the schools finished up with a quiz question from each instructor. When we got out of the building we walked backed to the vans and drove home.

Overall we all had a great day and learnt so many new skills but I hope we don't ever have to use them.

By Kara-mai and Meg P
The Community Society are updating their website and are after photos of the wider community.  We are obviously part of this and would like to contribute to this upgrade by supplying photos of our kids in action at school.  I would like to be able to provide them with the photo of the entire school down by the 'Big Richie' sign in the village last year, prior to the Rugby World Cup Final.  

While we have asked for permission from everyone in regards to publishing your children's photos on our school Facebook page, we haven't asked for sites such as this.  We respect that some people don't want their children's photos on sites, so if you oppose to your child's photo being on the Community site, could you please email me (Deidre) here.  No questions asked - just let me know that you don't want their photos as part of our contribution to the Community website. Please do so by Friday (19th August).
Many thanks
WGHS 'Hands On' Afternoon

Due to the Joint Union meeting the WGHS Hands on session for Yr 8 girls on the 8th September has been rescheduled for the 25th November.
WGHS will be in contact with all girls who have enrolled.
Kids 4 Kids
All Year 5-8 children are busy practising for the Kids 4 Kids concert.  The children will be part of a larger choir who will sing with Jackie Clark to raise funds for charity.  The concert is on the evening of Thursday 1st of September at the Oamaru Opera House.  It is a great evening out. Children will be bussed to Oamaru during the day for the rehearsal, however parents are asked to take children to the performance in the evening.
Tickets are available from the Opera House or online. Online tickets are available atthis link.  Tickets do sell out quickly so please don't hesitate to get them.
Monday 22 August            North Otago X-Country - Oamaru 4pm
Tuesday 23 August           School Photos
Thursday 1 September     Kids For Kids Concert - Oamaru
Thursday 8 September     Paid Teacher's Union Meeting
                                          Buses running 2 1/2 hours late
Friday 9 September          Yr 8 Rural Schools' Career Day
Monday 19 September     BOT Meeting
                                          Ski Race Day
Friday 23 September        End of Term

Please return your Oral Health Consent form ASAP.
This will enable the Oral Health ladies to set the wheels in motion for their visit.
Kurow Blue
vs Duntroon Diamonds - 11am Pearsons

Kurow Red vs Maheno - 10am BNZ

Kurow White vs St Josephs - 10am Fitness 24
Kurow White vs North Magic - 11am Fitness 24
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

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Waitaki Valley School · 1 Settlement Road · Kurow, Otago 9435 · New Zealand

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