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Waitaki Valley School 

19 October 2016

Tena koutou katoa, greetings.

School Charter Update: Last week I mentioned of how Term 4 certainly wasn't a time to wind down - but there was still plenty to do!  This has certainly been the case for our Board of Trustees who are currently going through the process of redeveloping our School Charter.  A Charter is a key planning document that sets out a school's objectives and targets.  It guides teaching and learning programmes and the activities of the school.  This document drives our Vision and Values and should reflect all that we represent.

It was felt that our previous Vision and Values weren't alive in our school, and were difficult to put into a context for all of our children to understand.  We have taken the feedback from the consultation with you last term, and put together a concept that we believe reflects our school. The BOT have put together the Vision, Values and Strategic Goals of the new Charter and would now like your feedback.  

The background to the Vision Statement 'Our Place - To Belong, To Learn, To Achieve'  reflects the unique environment that our school area encompasses, as well as our desire for all people in our school community to feel a sense of belonging to the school.  With that belonging obviously comes our desire for all children to reach their potential through the 'To Learn, To Achieve'.

The Values suggested come from one of Kurow's most famous - the one and only Richie!  His recent movie 'Chasing Great' encompasses the message that he didn't just want to be an All Black - he wanted to be a 'Great' All Black.  We want to take this message to our children and families - we don't want our kids just to be kids - we want them to be GREAT kids!!  For our children though - they need to know what we mean by 'GREAT' and so from that we are using GREAT as an acronym - 
G = Good Friends
R = Respectful
E = Engaged
A = Aiming High
T = Teamwork

To view the detail of this document (ie the specific Strategic Goals) visit our website here.

Also required to accompany this is an introductory statement about our school.  This has been penned and is below.

As you can tell there has been a lot of thought and purpose put into this significant document. This is just compilation of ideas, and we now want to hear what you think of what has been put together - 
  • Do you feel this reflects our school community?
  • Can you see this will be able to come 'alive' and in action in our school?
  • Will your children be able to relate to this?
  • Does this reflect the needs and aspirations of our community?
Please take the time to let us know what you think - and we will take this into account in the next stage of our development of this. The feedback form is here.  This is a very important document and we really do wish for you to give us feedback.  Again - a spot prize will be offered to one lucky person who contributes to this.

CAMPS:  Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our Yr 5&6, and Yr 7&8 camps last week - the fundraisers, the teachers, the camp parents and the students.  I want to thank Mrs Jepson and Mrs Sime for their work in planning and implementing such great experiences for our children.  School camps are such an important opportunity for learning (often about yourself!), however they are often complex events to put together!     
Thank you also to the parents who accompanied each camp.  Your time, energy and effort is much appreciated.  I know from seeing you all arrive home, that you would have rested well last Friday night!

We are wanting our assemblies to be a real celebration of the learning and activities that we are undertaking.  With the Ski Programme over our assemblies will move back to Fridays at 2.30pm, each fortnight (starting this week).  Each Learning Hub will be responsible for sharing their celebrations - and this week it is the turn of 'Tuakana' who I'm sure will be sharing some of their camp highlights!  You are welcome to join us in
'The Street' for this.
Coming home with your children today is a newly released booklet from ERO (Education Review Office).  These booklets fit very nicely with our emphasis of working to involve you, the families actively in the learning of your children.

This booklet is for parents, families and whanau and provides information on how  to form effective relationships and educationally powerful connections with schools.  The research is continuing to emphasise that strong connections between schools and parents are essential for the achievement of our kids, particularly those at risk of underachieving.

'Partners in Learning' sets out what you can expect from us, and more importantly, how you can help your child/ren to do well at school.  It describes what you as parents can do if you are concerned about your child's learning and progress, and what you can expect us at school, to do to help.

The booklet also contains links to parent information on ERO, NZQA and the Ministry of Education websites.

This of course builds on our current focus of developing closer relationships with parents, in regards to student learning.  I hope that as you read this booklet, you can see similarities with what we have been doing at Waitaki Valley.

We welcome Mrs Kendall Milne to the teaching team for the term.  She will join us for half a day on each of Thursdays and Fridays to teach textiles technology to our Yr 7 & 8 students.

Writing Book Update - Waitaki Valley Writes - I am just waiting for our first draft from the printers of 'Waitaki Valley Writes' - the collection of writing from all students at our school.  With this now in the serious stage of production, it is getting quite exciting.  When we have more details regarding it's final print, we will let you know.  This will be distributed by the Friends of the School, so make sure you are ready to order copies not only for yourself but also for other friends and family.  They will be easy to post and will make wonderful Christmas presents!

Have a great week


Waitaki Valley School is a decile 8 full primary (Year 0-8), located in the rural service town of Kurow, North Otago. This purpose built modern learning environment was constructed in 2010 after the amalgamation of Cattle Creek, Hakataramea, Kurow Area and Otematata schools in 2004. This has created a unique community of families from geographically isolated areas, together forming the “hub” of the Upper Waitaki Valley. Our school has a roll of between 100-110 students from a diverse range of ethnicities (74% NZ European/Pakeha, 2% Pasifika, 18% Maori, 6% Filipino), with 90%  of our students travelling to school by bus. The Kurow township is situated in the Upper Waitaki Valley on the south bank of the Waitaki River. The surrounding landscape is a spectacular part of New Zealand offering a range of experiences including alpine sport, water activities and outdoor pursuits.

The main school building consists of  five modern classrooms linked to “The Street”. This state of the art building means we can utilise the spaces for collaborative, child-centred learning. The school  environment is separated into two “hubs”. Both  junior (Teina) and senior (Tuakana) hubs are active in supporting relationships for our students in all of their endeavours. The school campus also boasts a gymnasium, technology facilities, a covered heated swimming pool, a community library and the Waitaki Valley Preschool.

Waitaki Valley School is well resourced, has committed experienced teachers, offers a specialist teacher and a Reading Recovery teacher to assist in day to day learning with our students. One of our major strengths  is the support we receive from  enthusiastic parents, an active and committed Friends Of the School and our BOT. Waitaki Valley School offers many and varied learning opportunities and yet doesn't charge school fees.

Waitaki Valley School provides an exciting and diverse range of opportunities for our students including camps, technology programmes (Year 7&8), cultural activities (itinerant teaching of speech & drama, and piano are available on site), ski programmes (Year 7&8) and various sports (touch rugby, basketball, hockey). Several other club based sports which are strongly supported and available in our area include netball, rugby, soccer, cricket, and squash. The two school vans are invaluable in transporting our children to the many and varied cultural and sporting events they attend.

Our school works closely with other schools, both primary and secondary and this collaboration allows our students and teachers to have learning, sporting and leadership experiences whilst interacting with other schools. Being part of the Upper Waitaki Sports Assn means our students are competing in swimming, athletics, cross country and a winter skills day with other Upper Waitaki students. Our involvement with the Waitaki Rural Schools' Network allows our Year 8 pupils to participate in several leadership days to support them in their transition to High School. The school also works closely with the local Pre-School with a weekly transition to school programme  to ensure new entrants are supported in their first school experience.

At WVS we actively promote family, whanau and community involvement. There is an environment of trust, respect and co-operation, where the children are friendly, caring, energetic and excited to learn.

We were very excited with the 30 odd entries that we received for the Holiday Extreme Reading Challenge. 
It was just SOOOOOOO difficult to judge that we had 3 finalists - 1. Hailie and Logan McSkimming (at Moeraki Boulders)
2. Sam and Sydney Slee (with a tractor) and 
3 OUR EVENTUAL WINNER . . . .  SAM CHILTON! (Enjoying the landscape)
Thank you everyone - we have a little something for each of you who sent in a photo and a prize for our finalists and winner. Their photos are below.
Diana (Year 6) and Paul (Year 1) Flores to Waitaki Valley School - from the Phillipines. We welcome them and their family to our school and the Waitaki Valley area.
Year 7 & 8 Wainui Camp.
$2 per sausage
$2 per muffin
(GF Sausages available)
Athletics Notice

A permission slip has been sent home today with your child/ren for the Zone Athletics on November 3rd 2016 in Twizel.

Please fill these out and return to the office by this Friday - 21st October.
Things are looking great!!! 
Mitre 10 and their suppliers generously donated many seedlings for all the wonderful children to plant in our school garden.
Does anyone have an abundance of eggs? If so would you like to donate them to the school so we can use our vegetables from the garden and cook up some delicious omelettes?
Cheers Bianca.
Year 5&6 Camp 
Under 12: (Born in 2005, 2006 or 2007)
Boys: Thursday Oct 20th 4pm at Centennial Park.  Any queries contact Nathan Cunningham 027 6178564
Girls: Friday Oct 21st 4pm at Centennial Park. Any queries contact Mark Robertson 027 8900713
Under 14: Thursday Oct 20th 4pm (born 2003/2004)
Sorry - no information about Under 14 boys yet. 
Watch the North Otago Junior Touch FB page for information.
To Regan Laughton from Livestock Specialists who has donated sun block for each of our children.  We will distribute these to children for Athletics Day.
Wednesday Oct 19:   Life Ed Bus here (til Friday 21st)
Wednesday Oct 19:   Whanau Hui, 3.15pm
Thursday Oct 20:       Textiles Technology for Yr 7/8 starts
Friday Oct 21:            Assembly 2.30pm - Led by Tuakana Hub
Monday Oct 24:         Labour Day - School Closed
Thursday Oct 27:       WBHS students taking sports activities
Friday Oct 27:            Year 8 Leadership walk with Rural Schools Year 8s
Saturday Oct 28:       Jump Jam Regional Finals - Christchurch
Thursday Nov 3:       Upper Waitaki Zone Athletics - Twizel
Friday Nov 4:            Assembly 2.30pm - Led by Teina Hub
                                 Postponement for Athletics - Twizel
Monday Nov 14:       Yr 8 Science Lab day at Oamaru High Schools
Monday Nov 21:      North Otago Athletics (Nov 28th - Postponement)
Wednesday Nov 23: BOT Meeting
Thursday Nov 24:    Year 8 Rural Schools Day - Glenavy
Friday Nov 25:         Surf Life Saving Lessons (whole school @ WVS)
Monday Nov 28:      Education Review Office - Review of WVS (til Wed Nov 30)
Registration, Parent Meeting and Coaching Session for players
Wednesday October 19 - 3.15pm
Kurow Rugby Grounds
Any enquiries contact Russell Smillie

If anyone is interested in learning to play Piano please contact -
Sally Galvin 438 7891
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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