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.
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.