3rd November 2020
Notice of NCEA TOD
We have been required to hold a Teacher Only Day for our staff to work on the changes to NCEA following the ministerial review and consultation which took place through 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately we do not have any choice in this day so cannot bring it into line with our primary colleagues. The date for our school is 19 November - along with the Auckland schools. Te Kauwhata College is closed for instruction on this day, but the Primary schools remain open.
End of Year
This year senior students do not get automatic study leave. They will be issued with a passport to take leave if their teachers are all happy that they have done all that they can here at school, and can usefully use the study time to prepare for the exam. While here at school they will be focused on achieving the credits that they are yet to finish and be prepared for any externals that they are entered into.
The Award ceremonies are on the last 2 days of term after all exams are completed (as we did last year) so that students and teachers are not distracted by these. The difference this year is that we are doing them as whole school events, in order to build unity and cohesion and so that all students can celebrate the successes of their peers, with the juniors seeing what they an aspire to.
The Endeavour assembly will celebrate effort, attendance and citizenship, while the Academic awards will acknowledge the highest academic achievements. Both of these assemblies will run during the day with all students present. Parents will be able to attend but we have no invited guests this year as we will need all the room for the students, and we are keeping to the Level 2 protocols under which these events were planned. This is the plan for this year only, given the disruptions and uncertainty we have all been operating under for so long.
MOE is ultimately bringing in enrolment zones for all areas. This is in order to be able to plan for growth. We have been encouraged to put a zone in place in order that we can best cater for the needs of all the students in the Te Kauwhata region who are entitled to attend their local school. The consultation process has been underway with the Ministry for some time, but is not yet complete. It is fair to say though, that a zone will come into effect some time before 2022. Essentially the zone proposed by MOE is the school transport zone. There is no need to panic about this, as the school still has some capacity to grow and will not be ‘full’ for some time. Once the zone is in effect, people from outside the area can still apply to enrol via a ballot. There is no need to leave a contributing full primary school early in order to secure a place. We cannot enrol ahead beyond next year. Enrolments are still being taken at all levels and for Year 7 and 8 in particular, we prefer to enrol in September for the year ahead. This allows us to arrange staffing.
Some people may have noticed that the images attached to our GROW logo have been removed from our website and other places for some time. This was because I had it brought to my attention that we had not undergone the appropriate consultation process with hou kaainga (the local people) for the use of the image of the Rangiriri Paa site. For this I unreservedly apologise. No offence was intended. We had hoped to demonstrate whanaungatanga by using this image to show that we acknowledge the past, the role that all peoples had to play in historic differences, and hope to move ahead together. We removed all the GROW images while we sought advice and guidance. In the meantime we have created a new Whanaungatanga image which we hope will not offend. It is a photo of some local wetlands which show connection to our environment and a link to the past. The Tii Raakau (cabbage trees) were a traditional food source for Maaori as well as a source of fibre for textiles. We are all GROWing our understanding as we proceed. Learning from mistakes is a part of all of our educations.
28th September 2020
Now we have moved back into Alert Level 1 for Covid 19, theoretically there is more opportunity for movement in and out of school. However, because of the disruptions throughout the year, there has been a continual need to change plans and reschedule events. This has created extra stress and pressure on staff and students and the prevalence of feelings of uncertainty. In order to minimise this, we opted early last term, to prepare for the remainder of the year as though we remain in Level 2. This means that we are deliberately planning for as much consistency and stability for learning as we can.
Because there is always the potential for a return to Level 2, we have organised our end of year events to fit Level 2 rather than have to re-plan and rearrange over and over. The end of year will look a little different this year as a result of this, and of the pushing back of NCEA exams. Our aim is to provide our students with as much opportunity to succeed in 2020 as possible. Teachers will be teaching their own lessons and students will be in their timetabled classes with as little disruption as we can manage. Seniors will not get automatic study leave once exams start, unless they have completed all of their internal assessments to the best of their ability. Their classes will continue to run right through until the end of the year.
Prizegivings are to be whole school events during the school day, in the last week of term 4.
27th August 2020
Today the Government announced the following requirements for all school transport services across New Zealand from Monday 31 August.
1. All students using school transport services are exempt from wearing face masks/coverings. This includes buses or vans chartered or used by schools to carry children, students and staff. It includes Ministry contracted (Daily, Technology and SESTA services) and Ministry funded (Direct Resourced and Māori Medium schools), and council operated school transport services.
Drivers are required to wear face masks.
Any children, young people or teachers who wish to wear face coverings wrapped around the nose and mouth (including masks) on school transport may do so if they want to. They are entitled to make this decision and should not be criticised for doing so.
2. School transport providers are not required to display the QR code posters on their vehicles.
School transport services are exempt because school transport services are considered controlled environments where contact tracing is readily available through school bus lists if required. Good hygiene measures, contact tracing and staying away of sick should remain in place.
19th August 2020
We are having a subject choice/NCEA information evening on the Wednesday 26th at the school from 4.30 to 7.30pm. Parents, especially those new to NCEA, can come along and ask questions regarding how the system works and what it means for their child. It will also be a chance to talk with teachers from each subject area about what subjects will be on offer in 2021 and where it can lead in the future. The subject areas will be appropriately spaced out around the school if we are still in Level 2 at that time.
Location: 50-64 Waerenga Road, Te Kauwhata, New Zealand
Phone: (07) 826 3715
2020 Term Dates
Term 1: Wed 29th Jan - Thu 9th Apr
Term 2: Tue 28th Apr - Fri 3rd Jul
Term 3: Mon 20th Jul - Fri 25th Sep
Term 4: Mon 12th Oct - Tue 8th Dec
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