School Newsletter – 2016 Term 1 Week 7

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Welcome to this edition of our school newsletter. School life continues to be busy with many opportunities available for our children. Part of the fun of being at an intermediate school is taking advantage of what’s available. Currently staff are holding trials for winter sports and these sports can be a really good way of getting to know more people. I see that an active Chess club has started along with a range of other things for children to do. I hope you will encourage your child to get involved, try new things and make the most of what we have to offer.

It was with real sadness that I read of the sudden death of a young girl at an Intermediate school in the North Island. It seems that bullying, and in particular cyber bullying, may have had quite a lot to do with this tragedy. In Term 2 we will be hosting John Parsons, a well known speaker on these issues and all classes will be having time with him. After school we will be holding a full staff meeting and then in the evening we will be inviting our community in to listen to him discuss current issues and trends. There will be more information available closer to the time, but I strongly suggest that you attend if you can. The evening session will, I think, be aimed more at an adult audience, but should support the learning your child will have already had in the day.

Before the end of this term you will be invited in to meet with your child’s teacher and discuss progress to date. You will also have an opportunity to set some goals for either the short term, or for the rest of the year. Setting goals with your child is a really valuable tool to help children with their learning, which is one reason why we suggest your child should be with you during the interviews. There will be more information available for you shortly.

I would like to thank all of those who were able to support our chocolate sales this year. Money has been coming in quite well, and chocolates have been sold all over Christchurch. I think the pupil who knocked on my door got quite a surprise when I answered, but I have to say she was doing everything really well by being dressed in her uniform, having two friends keeping her company and being very well mannered. It was a pleasure to see how she represented our school. There will be prizes for some lucky (and hardworking) sellers – hopefully this will all be decided before the end of this term.

Our next PTA meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 30 March, and our next Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday 31 March. All interested families are very welcome to attend.

Please remember that if you have any queries, questions or comments, you are always welcome to contact us at school. I hope you and your child enjoy the rest of this term.

Kind regards

Phil Tappenden
Principal

School Newsletter – 2016 Term 1 Week 5

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Welcome to this edition of our school newsletter. It is hard to believe that we are nearly half way through the first term already. I think the school is well settled, with our children very much getting used to being a part of the Kirkwood community for 2016. The Year 7 camps have now finished and it is really good that all camps were able to complete all the activities, rather than having some postponed due to inclement weather. It was really good to see how happy (and tired) the children were on their return from camp. This activity does help to create new friendships and a positive class culture. Many thanks to all the adults – teachers, support staff, parents and our youth workers Jeremy and Lizzie – for your invaluable support.

The Kirkwood PTA held its first meeting last week with a new committee established and office holders elected. This is a really good group of parents and I look forward to working with them over the space of this year. I would like to thank, once again, the many parents who have helped last year and who have now moved on. The support of our community is never undervalued by our staff and we hope that you have enjoyed this experience. I am sure that the PTA will welcome any more parents who wish to join at any stage during the year. The first major fundraiser is the sale of chocolates – there is more information about this later in the newsletter. I do hope you will support this fundraiser, as the money raised is spent to help your child, at your school. Thank you in advance.

In previous newsletters I have raised the possibility of the school organising a trip to China and Korea later this year. It seems likely that our sister school in Jeonju (South Korea) will be keen on a reciprocal exchange this year, which makes our visit much more manageable. I have included the expression of interest form with this newsletter – please feel welcome to return this to the school, or to come to school on Tuesday 15 March at 7:00pm for an information evening. This meeting will most likely be in the Room 7 (the ESOL classroom) and should last no more than one hour.

I do hope you are enjoying your association with our school. Please remember we are to here to provide a safe, happy learning environment where all of our pupils can achieve to their best. Working with you makes this much easier to achieve.

Best wishes

Phil Tappenden
Principal

School Newsletter – 2016 Term 1 Week 3

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Dear Parents/Caregivers

Welcome to this edition of our school newsletter. The first three weeks seem to have gone by so quickly! It is good to walk around the school and see the children feeling much more comfortable and at home. The Year 8 children are well settled and many have applied for the leadership positions we have available. Not all can be successful but that’s life – putting your name forward is a positive step and our advice to all is to keep trying. Our Year 7 children either have been on camp, are on camp, or are preparing to go on camp. I would like to thank all the parents who have been able to offer help with this – without your support we could not offer these opportunities. Thanks too, to the teaching staff who give up so much to ensure these opportunities can happen in a safe and manageable way.

Next Tuesday we will hold our Board of Trustees meeting in the staff room from 5:15pm. On Wednesday we will hold our PTA Annual Meeting at 7:00pm followed by our first meeting at 7:30pm. It would be great to see lots of parents coming forward to support the school. Please feel welcome to contact the school for more details.

On Tuesday I attended two meetings at the Ministry of Education office in Wellington. The meetings were based on On-line Safety, and Bullying Prevention. As part of the advisory group reporting to the Ministry it was interesting to see what is being done in these areas. On-line safety is an area that can cause considerable concern. One of the best suggestions I have heard about home computing is that all internet access is carried out in a public place – like the kitchen or lounge – and that parents have a list of all passwords and check their children’s accounts regularly. Also, I think asking children what they use their devices for and why they need to can lead to interesting conversations. The digital world is one where we all, but particularly children, need to carefully consider what we do before we do it. I am hoping that later this year we can arrange a public meeting where we get an expert in the field to come and talk about this to interested parents.

In the last newsletter there was an opportunity to learn more about a proposed trip to China and Korea later this year. If you would like to know more, please email the office, fill in the form enclosed with this newsletter or ask your child to collect a paper form from the office and return it to school soon. I am hoping to hold a meeting in March to explain more about this opportunity.

I hope that your child, and you, feel a part of the Kirkwood community. Please know we are always willing to talk about any questions you may have, and to work towards ensuring your children have the best opportunities available to them. Thank you for your support of our school.

Best wishes

Phil Tappenden
Principal

 

School Newsletter – 2016 Term 1 Week 1

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Dear Parents/Caregivers

Welcome to this first newsletter for this year. I hope by this time all children are well settled and looking forward to a busy and enjoyable year. Having walked through all of the classrooms I can see that most children already look ready and eager to do well. It is really good to have the school come alive again – being here in the holidays without children around really reinforces that it is, indeed, the children who give a school its heart. This year we welcome a number of new staff, you will see introductions later on in this newsletter.

We are sure that our new staff will work well with our existing staff and will enhance our school’s teaching and learning programmes. Next week we will see our first Year 7 camp heading away to Purau Bay. I would like to thank the Year 7 staff for the extra efforts in this area, as well as thanking those parents who are prepared to give up their time and accompany their children on this exciting trip. I am sure we all hope that the weather allows our children the opportunity to complete all of their activities. Attached to this newsletter is the “Concerns and Complaints” policy. We circulate this at this time every year so that all parents know the way we like to work with you to solve any problems. Please can I ask that if you have any concerns or complaints, let us know as soon as you can. At Kirkwood we really want to make sure that we work with you and your child to get the best out of your time with us.

We have also included the “Blues” criteria so that there is clarity around what earns a Blue, and what doesn’t. If you should be unsure however, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the school.

We will be holding our first Board of Trustees meeting for the year tonight in the staff room from 5:15pm. Parents and community members are welcome to attend. Later this year we will be having Board elections and I believe we will have some current Board members standing down, so if you are interested in joining the Board feel welcome to call me at school or our Board Chair, Paul Lancaster and learn more about this opportunity.

Our first PTA meeting will be held on Wednesday 24 February at 7pm. Please consider coming along and joining our PTA. Meetings are held no more than monthly, last no more than one hour, there are no horrible jobs to be done, and the PTA itself is a really nice group of people!

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter – I hope you find it informative. I am looking forward to this year and to working with our community to ensure that Kirkwood Intermediate is a place you and your families are pleased to be associated with.

Kind regards
Phil Tappenden
Principal