Thursday, December 14, 2017

2017 Prize Giving Principal's Address

Yesterday our annual Prize Giving was held for the Year 1 & 2 students at 9am and the Year 3 - 8 students at 11am. At both Prize Givings the Tauriko Settler's hall was packed full of our parents and whanau who had come to celebrate the success of our students who received awards and the year that was.

Troy Barnett and Jenny MacKinnon, our head students, both gave speeches which will soon be on their blog for you to read. Both students spoke beautifully and shared wonderful messages about leadership. 

We were thrilled to announce that our Head Students for 2018 are Rico Martin and Charlotte MacDonald. Congratulations to both these students. We know that they will lead and represent our school beautifully.

Principal's Address:
Kia ora koutou katoa, Talofa Lava, Malo e lelei, Ni Hao, Anyoung haseyo, Konichi wa, Gruetzi, Guten tag, Bonjour, Ola, hello 

At our annual prize-giving it is always a pleasure to speak to you all about highlights of the school year and aspects of what the future holds for Tauriko School.

In speaking to both parents and staff, the range of learning opportunities students are offered at Tauriko School both in and out of the classroom continues to be a strength of the school and makes for a very busy but exciting year for all our students. Every week, in morning tea and lunchtime breaks, our students can be found taking part in a range of extra-curricula activities.

Students have represented our school in school cluster and regional sporting events across a range of sporting codes, learning competitions such as problem solving and EPro8, and in a wide variety of cultural events - the choir performed in the annual Tauranga Music Festival, our Kapahaka group performed at Ra Whakangahou, students achieved success in Speech making, our Year 5 & 6 and 7 & 8 Marimba Bands were involved in the opening of the Gull Station across the road. Students have taken part in these academic, sporting and cultural opportunities, representing us with pride and achieving success.

This year events such as the school production, our hangi, book week, leadership week, our Maths-a-thon and most recently our Scientrific Spectacular have also been highlights.

Our library was refurbished this year and is a wonderfully attractive space for children to use, for learning to happen for students and staff alike and for meetings to take place. This is a well utilized learning space and one we are very proud of.

We continue to be extremely proud of communication between the school and its community. The myriad of ways in which this happens is something we are very proud of and are constantly looking to improve.

Every year we find, with rapidly changing technologies, that there are increasingly better ways to communicate with our community. Facebook continues to be a way to share information quickly with families.

The weekly email to families that goes out on Sunday night informing you of what the week ahead holds has been well received by all. I want to thank Athalae Elliott and Jo Te Whaiti for the wonderful job they do every week on a Sunday to send this out to you all.

This year we have also once again revamped our newsletter. A huge thank you to Natalie van Dijk for her on-going management of this and her support for staff and community members to enable them to contribute to this. I think you will agree with me that the newsletter is of a high quality and enables the school to communicate as it should in a 21st Century environment.

Moving forward with this, we will revamp our website next year. We get wonderful comments about our website, but we are aware that there is so much on it now that it has become a bit of a monster and there is a need to update the look of this and make careful decisions about the information needed on this.

With the building of our new Flexible Learning spaces this year, collaborative teaching spread beyond our Wee Sprouts space. Our Five Year property plan involves renovating the Wee Sprouts space in 2018 and the Board have engaged a project manager to begin this process. Gradually, across the school pairs of teachers will develop collaborative teaching and learning partnerships that enable them to share their strengths while meeting the needs of their students.

All staff are continuously developing 21st Century teaching practices that support our students to be fully engaged in their learning, able to articulate their learning, why they are learning what they are learning, how successful they are and what their next learning steps need to be. 21st Century learning skills, such as problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, innovation and adaptability are woven through our curriculum.

In 2018 we will need to meet with parents to discuss our reporting formats to better reflect this. This is timely too with the new Government removing National Standards. We need to have a conversation together about what this means for us as  a community and what sort of reporting is important to us all.
Conversations like this will also support consultation conversations the Board will have with the community around the strategic direction of the school. 2018 will be exciting as we look to the past ( in our centennial year), celebrate our present and dream of the future for our students and us as a school community.

As a community, we are a team. As a Team we will create the dream and moving forward “the teamwork will make the dream work”.

I want to thank the Board of Trustees for their support and deep commitment to Tauriko School and each and every child who learns here. You represent this community with integrity, making decisions that support us to deliver high quality education for all students.

Thank you to the PTA for all your work to raise funding for the school and to enable the community to get to know each other. I know Jolene will talk to you about all their many achievements that support our students to have greater resources that support their learning.

At this stage of the year I wish to again thank my amazing staff (teachers, admin staff and teacher aides) for their passion and commitment to our students and the school as a whole. I thank them all for their support, it is much valued and I enjoy working with you all each and every day.
A special thank you to Lisa, my wonderful Deputy Principal, this year. While I took a Term’s sabbatical to learn more about growing leadership she stepped in as Acting Principal and ran the school beautifully in my absence. I am very grateful for your experience and skill Lisa. I love working with you.

To the students here today also I wish to say a big thank you for the wonderful way in which you approach learning so positively every day.

I want to thank all the many students who have lead in a range of different ways throughout the year, especially our Tall Poppies. All leaders contributions to the school support our school to be the great place it is. The skills you learn in this service for others you will take with you into the future, contributing to the communities you belong to and making them a better place.

Finally, I wish each and everyone of a you a safe, peaceful and happy Christmas and summer holiday. I look forward to seeing you all back rested and ready to make 2018 another wonderful year.

Suzanne Billington


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tall Poppies, Leaders In Our School

Kia Ora Koutou Katoa, Talofa Lava, Malo e Lelei, Ni Hao, Anyoung Haseyo, Konichi Wa, Gruetzi, Guten Tag, Bon Jour, Ola, Hello. 

Last week I was fortunate to spend time in Rotorua at the GRIP Leadership Conference. This is a conference run by an Australian group for senior Primary aged students to focus on aspects of their leadership.
Our school's motto is "Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow" and we develop young leaders from Years 1 - 8 throughout their time at school here. Our Intermediate age students have many different sorts of  leadership roles in our school with one of the most important being their role modelling of good leadership to younger students across the school.
Each year our Year 7 Tall Poppies attend the GRIP Leadership conference with our Head Students to consider different aspects of leadership, to think about ways in which they might contribute to Tauriko School the following year through their leadership and to plan for this.

While there were many key messages for the students, one that stood out for many of them linked closely to our school value of Integrity. They were asked to lead like a strawberry rather than a watermelon - to appear much the same on the outside as on the inside. That as leaders in all situations your actions and words (seen on the outside) match your thoughts, beliefs and values (on the inside). 
Our Year 7 students thought of a variety of different ways to enhance our school next year and I look forward to seeing some of these ideas realised in 2018.

At the end of the school year, our graduating Year 8 students have some special events that they attend as a group to celebrate the end of their time at Primary School and different aspects of their learning as young people. Last Friday I enjoyed going out to dinner with our Year 8 students at the Kaimai Cafe and watching them at our rural school cluster's Social Dance event. 
I was so proud of the beautiful young people I spent the evening with. They dressed for the occasion and conducted themselves beautifully at the dance. They all had opportunities to ask students from other schools to dance, they accepted invitations to dance and our young men took their partners back to their seats after each dance - the social etiquette involved in this and learnt by all students was great to see. You will see from the photos above what a great night it was.

This week I accompanied our Year 8 students to the French cafe "Le Chat Noir" in Greerton with their teacher Mrs Te Whaiti. Each year we celebrate our Year 8 students' learning in French this way.  We dress for the occasion in berets and all students  individually order their meal in French. The staff member was impressed with our students manners, the orders they gave and ability to pay for their meal - all in French. A big thank you to Mrs Te Whaiti for teaching our students French. This second language experience really adds something special to our Year 7 & 8 learning programme.

Rachel Whalley, the Principal of the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) Primary School, visited our school this week to meet the Intermediate students who have been having extension art opportunities all year with a teacher from  New Zealand's online school. She had heard from their teacher, Sophie, how impressed she was with the artwork the students had produced and Rachel took the time to visit our students, talk to them about their learning and look at some of the art they had produced throughout the year.
Sophie is due to have her baby any day and we wish her all the very best with her new wee cherub.
Other students in Tall Poppies have also been involved in VLN extension learning opportunities in Maths and computer programming throughout 2017.
We are excited to have five  new staff for next year. As staff write blurbs for our website next year I will share these with you so you can begin to get to know the wonderful new teachers who have joined our team for next year :

Miss Georgia Flower, Room 7 Year 3 & 4 
Kia ora! My name is Georgia Flower and I am very excited to be joining the Year 3 and 4 team at Tauriko School. This will be my first year teaching in Tauranga, so I am looking forward to establishing relationships with students, whanau and the community. I am a kind, warm and enthusiastic teacher, who loves creating authentic learning experiences for my students.
I have grown up on a farm in Whanganui with my crazy, fun loving family! I am the eldest of four girls (I know, poor dad!). In my spare time I enjoy spending time with friends, swimming at the beach and exploring what New Zealand has to offer.
I look forward to continuing my teaching and learning journey with Tauriko School.

Mrs Romy Wilson, Room 13  Year 5 & 6
Kia ora tātou,
I am excited to join Tauriko School in 2018 as part of the year 5/6 teaching team. As a recent teaching graduate I have gained teaching experience in primary and intermediate schools within the Bay of Plenty area, predominately at the middle and senior school level. Prior to training as a teacher I worked for many years as a teacher aide.
In my practice I aim to foster the development of confident, independent, inquiring learners. Therefore I value establishing a classroom culture where effort is recognised as fundamental to success, where rich oral conversation is actively promoted and where learning is perceived as an exciting ongoing process.
I thoroughly enjoy teaching within and across all learning areas, in particular mathematics. Besides teaching my passions in life are spending quality time with my wonderful husband and children (both who attend Tauriko School), traveling to new destinations, cooking and cake decorating!

Mr Sam Cleaver, Room 13 Year 5 & 6
Kia Ora,
My name is Sam Cleaver and I am thrilled to be a part of the team at Tauriko School. I have moved back to Tauranga after spending time teaching in the Waikato and South Korea. I have a huge passion for sports and the outdoors. I am a keen diver, fisherman and sportsman.
I enjoy having students who have a passion and motivation for learning. I set high expectations of my students focus and diligence. I look forward to being a part of my students learning journey, as they develop and learn.

Miss Megan Holden, Tall Poppies Year 7 & 8
Hello, my name is Megan Holden. I am originally from Hamilton, but have lived in a few different places as an adult. I began my teaching career in Christchurch with Year 7/8. While I was there, I had the honour of teaching my class as well as leading the school in Sport, PE and Health, which I thoroughly enjoyed. After Christchurch, I travelled to London to live and work for three years. I taught in two lovely schools while I was there. One was a large state school with Year 5 children, the other was a very small private school with Year 4 and Year 2. I had amazing experiences in London, where I was able to travel in the weekends and holidays, explore London and discover exciting events and places, make new friends, feel out of my comfort zone several times, as well as learn and observe different styles, techniques and programmes in teaching and learning. I am excited to be back in New Zealand now, settling in to Tauranga and being close to family.
In my spare time I enjoy walking around the Mount, travelling, baking, boating and fishing, spending time with my friends, water sports, going to the beach, reading a good book and playing sport.
I am a passionate and committed teacher, and am looking forward to building strong relationships with the children at Tauriko School. I am excited to be a part of the team and community at Tauriko.
I'm looking forward to our "Scientrific Spectacular" this evening 5:30 - 6:30pm. I know you will enjoy listening to your children talking about their learning in science. I'll see you there!