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Waitaki Valley School 

3 February 2016

Tena koutou katoa, greetings, welcome back to another school year.

It has been wonderful to welcome back such an enthusiastic group of students.  There have certainly been plenty of smiles arriving at school over the past three days.  I certainly hope you had the opportunity to enjoy a break at some stage, and to enjoy your families.  I was privileged to spend a week with the North Otago Primary Cricket team at their South Island tournament in Dunedin. These boys did North Otago proud finishing an equal best ever 3rd for a North Otago team.  Hopefully some of our Waitaki Valley children are up for similar challenges over the next wee while (see notes further in the newsletter). 

I'd like to welcome Mrs Maddy Bullin to Waitaki Valley. Maddy comes to us fresh from her teacher training in Dunedin and we look forward to what Maddy will be able to offer our school.  Maddy will be based in Hauwhenua.

We also welcome Miss Michelle Harper to our Office Administrator position.  Michelle has come to us from Waitaki Boys' High School. I know that Michelle has appreciated those of you who have popped in and introduced yourselves to her.  It certainly makes her job easier if she can match the parents to the correct children!

I'm excited about what 2016 will bring to Waitaki Valley School.  As a staff we have been working very hard to develop our teaching practices based around the needs of the children and our wonderful environment (the building).  This of course is a directive from the Ministry of Education as they look for all schools to be delivering their programmes in ILE (Innovative Learning Environments) over the next 5-6 years.  At WVS we are particularly lucky in that we have a purpose built modern school.  Most other schools around the country (and certainly around North Otago) are working hard to transform old buildings into new spaces.  Having the physical space the way it is, is however the 'easy' bit.  We continue to build our capabilities as teachers in order to ensure that each and every child at our school is getting the best deal that they can.  In order for you to 'see us in action' we will be holding an 'Open Morning' on March 1st for you to see our school and spaces in action.  Please put this date in your calendar as we would love to have you join us.

Organisation within the School
Our major change is in the way our school is organised - into two 'hubs'.  While these are our Junior and Senior ends of the school we have looked to find a connection with our class names, and one that links the two together in our 'bigger' picture. Our hubs will be known as 'Teina' (Yrs 1-4) and Tuakana (Yrs 5-8).  The Tuakana-Teina relationship is an integral part of traditional Maori society, providing a model for buddy systems.  The older tuakana looks to guide the younger teina.  In a learning environment this recognises that the relationship can go both ways.  We as teachers recognise that there are many opportunities for learning both within the hubs and across the hubs (and for teachers too!).  

Meet the Teacher Evening
Next Thursday (February 11th) we will be holding our 'Meet the Teacher' evening.  This will start with a supper from approximately 6.40pm leading into the Tuakana Hub meeting at 7pm and the Teina Hub meeting at 7.30pm.  These meetings will outline the programmes and expectations in place in each hub.  A very big thank you to the Friends of the School who are catering for this.  Please come along to enjoy the social connections prior to the meetings.

Please remember that you do not have to wait until our formally organised days/evenings to chat with our teachers in regards to your children.  At anytime please be aware that you can email a teacher or ring the school office to make an appointment that suits you both.  Our teachers appreciate your involvement in your child's learning and our direction is on us all working together for your children.

Learning Focus
Our Learning focus across the school for the year is 'Going Places'.  Our specific focus for this term is 'Aiming High' - looking at how we as individuals can be doing the best that we can for ourselves and for others.  

There will be a focus not just on children as individual learners, but also on collaborative groups and moving forward together.

Some of you may have noticed our teachers in an outing in Oamaru last Thursday as part of our 2 1/2 teacher only days. While it certainly looked like a lot of fun and a great day out, the focus was on putting them in the shoes of learners - putting them out of their comfort zones, not knowing what was happening, having to work together to overcome challenges and then enjoying the success that a lot of hard work (ie 3 hours running around historic Oamaru) brings.  The learning from this didn't so much happen on the Thursday, but on the Friday when we came back to school and reflected on how our students feel in our classroom environments. It was quite an insightful couple of days!

Our uniform is just that - something that brings us together collectively.  Thank  you to everyone who has sent their children along looking smart in our uniform.  There have however been a number of children wearing necklaces and adornments that are distractions both in the class and the playground.  Please ensure your children are correctly presented in what is a smart looking uniform.

Yr 7 & 8 Technology
Building on from our Textiles programme in Term 4 last year, we welcome Whaea Jamaya Fisilau to our school on selected Fridays over the term.  Whaea Jamaya comes to us from the Technology Teaching team at Oamaru Intermediate and will be delivering Hard Materials Technology (what many of you would traditionally have recalled as Workshop) to our Yr 7 & 8s over Term 1.  Instead of just being focused on Wood the children will work with different materials.  The Year 8s will start with her this Friday.

This term (as most seem to be now) is particularly busy.  We will also have the added challenge of dealing with all the shortened weeks and long weekends!  Please make sure that you have the dates below recorded to keep you up to date with all of our happenings!

We look forward to having you involved in our programmes over the year.

Deidre Senior
Welcome to Waitaki Valley School

We welcome to our three new entrants:
Sophia Pavletich, Charlie Hayes and Sam Peters who have started school this week in Aoraki.  
We also welcome AJ Ede to Mahutonga.  AJ joins us from Rakaia School.
extend a warm welcome to their families to our school community too.
Year 5-8 Ear Buds (In ear headphones)
We are asking that all Year 5-8 students have their own pair of ear buds (like the ones pictured above), that they can keep at school all of the time.  If you have them at home, they can bring them, however we have them in stock in the office for $5 (usually retail at $10.95).  We ask that all students have them by the end of Week 2.
No one knows your child/ren better than you do!  For that reason we have sent home a questionaire that we would appreciate you filling in for each child.  We are interested in knowing as much about your child/ren as we can, as this will help us to best meet the needs of them here at school.  Please return this by February 9th.
Our 2016 Teaching Team and their 'Home bases'
Mrs Danielle Powell - Aoraki (NE/Yr 1)
Mrs Maddy Bullin - Hauwhenua (Yr 2/3)
Mrs Claire Peters - Moana (Yrs 3/4)
Mrs Susan Sime - Pukepuke (Yrs 5/6)
Mrs Pip Jepson - Mahutonga (Yrs 6-8)
Miss Harriet Bremner - Specialist Teacher and Reading Recovery

Tuakana News Flash:
On Friday the 19th February we are planning a day out for the Tuakana Hub, to bike the Alps To Ocean Trail between Kurow and Duntroon.  There are two options:
1.  Biking from Kurow to the Winery and back; or
2   Biking to Duntroon.
This will require the children having a suitable bike to ride the trail and also parent helpers to assist.  The children will need to have their bike transported to the starting point of the Kurow part of the trail and picked up at the end of the day.  Next week we will send out more details and will also being asking for parent help.
Susan and Pip  
NZ Post Cricket Competitions
We are joining with Duntroon School to enter combined schools teams in both the boys and girls competitions of this, this year.  The boys will play Weston at SKC from 12pm on Tuesday February 16th.  The winner of this game will go onto play Maniototo Area School the following week.
The girls team will play St Hilda's and Fairfield Schools in Dunedin on February 23rd.  Notes have gone home for those interested in these.  Girls who have signed up will have coaching from Stephan Grobler on Wednesday 10th and 17th from 3.30-4.30 at school. A team will be selected from these practices.

The age group targeted is Yr 7 & 8 but where we have capable Yr 5 & 6 children these will also be included.  Thanks to Russell Smillie who is over seeing the boys team.
Please make sure all notes are back by Friday.
Once again we will be entering teams in the North Otago Touch competition after school on Tuesdays.  A note has gone home to all interested Yr 4-8 children.  We are also calling for coaches please to look after the teams.  Please return these forms promptly too.


Monday Feb 8:             Waitangi Day Holiday. School closed.
Thursday Feb 11:         Meet the teacher evening
                                     Supper 6.40, Tuakana Hub 7pm, Teina Hub 7.30pm                        
Tuesday Feb 16           NZ Post Cricket Cup (boys) vs Weston in Oamaru
                                     Touch Starts (Yrs 4-8)
Tuesday Feb 23           NZ Post Cricket Shield (girls) vs St Hilda's in Dunedin
Thursday Feb 25:         School Swimming Sports
Tuesday March 1:        School Open Morning
Wednesday March 2:    Festival of Cricket Compeition (Yr 5-6)
Friday March 4:             Zone Swimming Sports (@ WVS)
Wednesday March 16: North Otago Swimming Sports
Friday March 18:          Year 8 Day - Papakaio
Monday March 21:       Otago Anniversary Day. School closed.
Friday March 25 - Tuesday March 29:
                                     Easter holiday.  School closed
Friday April 15:            Last day of term
Photos from one of last week's Teacher Only Days
Kurow Cricket Club
Cricket Practice will start Wednesday 10th February at 3pm.
All potential Saturday players are welcome.
Inquiries to Russell Smillie - 4360287
Professional Tennis Coaching Dates Term 1:
Sunday 14th February
Sunday 21st February
Sunday 6th March
Sunday 20th March

Cost: $40/Child/Term

To register your interest please contact
Nicole Phillips 4360472 or 027 414 0456

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