MARCH 2021 NEWSLETTER

In today’s newsletter we have the following:

  • News from the Principal and DP’s
  • Upcoming Events for March (including Postponed Events (due to Lockdown Level 3)
  • Easter Holiday
  • Invitation to our ANI Community – POSTPONED
  • Long Term Strategy for ANI
  • Student Congratulations
  • Psychologist and Counsellor’s Spot
  • PTA News
  • ANI Sports-Pro Programme
  • House Points Update
  • Facebook
  • Community News 

NEWS from the PRINCIPAL and DPs 

Dear Parents and Caregivers 

Tēnā koutou i ngā whānau o te kura.

This month we are trialing what we hope will be an easier way for you to access news and information from the Senior Leadership Team (Jill – Principal, Bryce and Shane – Deputy Principals). 

We have linked a number of short (30-second) video clips to items that could be of interest. They touch on various aspects of school operations or events that we encourage you to click on  – we hope some of these may interest you. 

  1. COVID-19 Alert Level 3 
  2. Building projects 
  3. Achievement in Mathematics  
  4. Our maths achievement results 
  5. Recent assessments – PAT tests
  6. Meet two of our fantastic Teacher Aides
  7. A visit from one of our local Principals
  8. Information from the Librarian
  9. Kauri team games on the field 
  10. Learning in the outdoors
  11. Year 8 Arts programme

THE WEEK AHEAD – A MESSAGE TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON! 

Do mindfulness. Your brain loves it.

Mindfulness helps brains to be calmer, braver and stronger which helps you to be calmer, braver and stronger. Here’s how it works. Mindfulness strengthens the pathway between your thinking brain (the prefrontal cortex) and the feeling brain (especially the amygdala), making it easier to calm big feelings. Mindfulness can also improve concentration, learning, moods and sleep. Over time, it can help you to feel less stressed and anxious, happier, kinder, more able to focus and more in control of your feelings. Wow!

Try these when you need a break from online learning…..

Mindful clouds

Get comfy and imagine your thoughts and feelings are forming into little clouds in front of your head. Let them float around gently and when you’re ready, blow them away. As you blow the cloud away, feel some of that fatigue or negative energy leave  you. Keep doing this as different thoughts and feelings appear. It’s okay if the same ones keep coming back. Just watch them in front of you, let them float around, then blow them gently away.

Breathe-In-Out. 

Strong, steady breathing is like a lullaby for your brain. Breathe out to get rid of all the air, then in for 3, hold for one, out for 3. Do this a few times to bring your thinking brain back online so you can calm your big feelings, make good decisions and be awesome. By doing this you’ll feel more in control and able to respond in a way that is strong, brave and better for you. It’s important to practise when you’re calm, so the pathways can strengthen. Here is a way to practise.

Hot chocolate breathing: Imagine you’re holding a cup of hot chocolate. Breathe out, then smell the warm, chocolatey smell for 3, hold it for one, then blow it cool for 3.

THE WEEK AHEAD – A MESSAGE TO PARENTS WHO ARE TEMPORARY TEACHERS, KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!

• When your young person generates questions about the content they’re studying, they are more engaged, think more deeply, and have better retention. Asking questions is significantly more effective than conventional study strategies like re-reading, highlighting, and underlining key sentences. Give it a go ! 

• Vocabulary ‘sticks’ when students act words out. When students are learning new vocabulary, retention doubles when they use their hands and bodies to dramatise the words. Drawing or looking at pictures is also helpful. Give it a go ! 

• Once students master decoding of words in reading, they will become better readers if they read in context – particularly if this context is related to social studies or their inquiry work.  Focusing on reading skills that have relevance and engage the learner helps them see this is a good use of their  time. Give it a go !

Kia ngatahi ai te tu

E pakari ai te tuara

Together we are Strong

Jill Farquharson – Principal

Bryce Mills and Shane Devery – Deputy Principals

PAT ASSESSMENT

Your child is in the process of completing two Progress & Achievement tests in Punctuation & Grammar, and Reading Comprehension.  Some students have completed both tests and some will complete their testing once lockdown is over. We encourage you to ask them how they have done, what they thought of the two tests  and what they need to focus on to achieve a better result in Term 3.  We will provide comparative data from the Term 1 test to the and Term 3 test to see the progress your child has made during the year. 

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR MARCH

Put these dates in your diary so you don’t miss a beat:

POSTPONED EVENTS (DUE TO LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3):

Monday 1 – PTA Chocolate Fundraising Assembly – POSTPONED

Friday 5 – ANI Māori name unveiling ceremony at 9.00am on the courts or in the Barn if wet (see invitation below) – POSTPOSTED; PTA fundraiser chocolates go home with students – POSTPONED

Monday 8 – Monday 22 – PTA Chocolate Fundraising money collected each morning before school in the Eden Room – POSTPONED

Thursday 11 – PTA School Social at 6.00pm – POSTPONED (NEW DATE TBC)

EVENTS GOING AHEAD (IF AUCKLAND MOVES TO LOCKDOWN LEVEL 2):

Tuesday 9 – Central Zone Boys Cricket – MAY BE POSTPONED – TBC

Thursday 11 – Central Zone Girls Cricket – MAY BE POSTPONED – TBC

Friday 12 – NZ Youth Leadership Conference

Monday 15 – PTA Meeting/AGM at 7.00pm

Monday 15 – Friday 19 – Mufti Week (mufti passes will be on sale from SLT window)

Tuesday 16 – Central Zone League Tag

Thursday 18 – Central Zone Swimming; Hui/Fono

Friday 19 – Wellness Friday

Monday 22 – Thursday 1 April – Dental van onsite

Tuesday 23 – Central Zone Orienteering

Tuesday 23 – Friday 26 – Year 8 Matai Team Camp at Tui Ridge

Monday 29 – Thursday 1 April – Year 8 Rimu Camp at Tui Ridge

Wednesday 31 – Board of Trustees Meeting at 6.00pm

EASTER HOLIDAY

School is closed for Easter from Good Friday (Friday 2 April) to Easter Tuesday (6 April) inclusive.  School will reopen at 8.45am on Wednesday 7 April.

INVITATION TO OUR ANI COMMUNITY – POSTPONED (WE WILL LET YOU KNOW SOON VIA SCHOOL APPS OF A NEW DATE)

LONG TERM STRATEGY FOR ANI

Thank you to all the members of the school community who contributed to the survey in late 2020 which is being used to inform the development of our long-term strategy for the school.  You may be interested in the number of respondents who felt the following factors were in their “Top 3 External Factors” which define ANI’s unique purpose.

Your Board is collating the more detailed feedback into themes that will inform the strategy, our future three-year charters and annual plans.  You will hear more about this over the coming months.

Brett Ogilvy and Rebecca Swinson

Board members leading strategic planning

STUDENT CONGRATULATIONS

A very special congratulations to ex-ANI students Megan and Chen Huan who were awarded as Dux of Epsom Girls Grammar School, jointly in 2020. They went on to gain very high results in their NCEA Level 3 qualification and in the New Zealand Scholarship examinations they have both been named as winners of the Outstanding Scholar Award (58 awarded across New Zealand in 2020). Additionally, Megan has been named as Top Subject Scholarship Award winner in Statistics, topping the country in Statistics. Both of these students also gave service to the School and participated in a range of co-curricular activities and competitions. This year Megan begins a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Biomedical Science at The University of Auckland, aiming for entry to medicine in 2022, and Chen Huan begins a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies degree at the Australian National University as a recipient of the National University Scholarship. You can see an interview with Megan and Chen Huan on the EGGS school website here for Megan and here for Chen Huan.

PSYCHOLOGIST & COUNSELLOR SPOT

Exciting news! This year we’re making changes and basing our newsletter contribution on ANI questions from our parent community. 

askani@ani.school.nz

ASK (Advice, Support, Kindness) is a helpful email for parents to contact us (Gina Speedy – School Counsellor and Robyn Stead – Educational Psychologist) with questions about raising our young adolescents of ANI.  

Chances are, whatever questions you have, other parents have too. We can provide some advice, support and a bit of kindness here in this newsletter column.  No concern is too big or too small.  From how to get your student ready for school without conflict, to matters of identity, mental health, behaviour or learning. Get in touch and let us know what is on your mind.      

How it works…

  • Send your questions or queries to askani@ani.school.nz
  • We will select common questions to answer here in our newsletter column
  • All emails will be treated as confidential and identifying information will be removed in answers. 

Here’s an example…

This week we had many questions regarding gender and identity. Parents are hearing their children discuss terms like non-binary and using they/them personal pronouns. Many parents feel unsure how to respond or explore this and are asking for tips. 

Some ANI students have been talking about personal pronouns.  For those of us raised in a different time it can seem rather disconcerting that there should be any question about personal pronouns.  As an ex-English teacher (Robyn) I’m on one level quite thrilled that young people actually remember what a personal pronoun is and how it might be used.  A more serious question is underlying these discussions though.  People are questioning the use of personal pronouns and how this might describe their gender identification.  

This is very topical in social media at the moment and you may be hearing your young people discussing this.  That’s not surprising. Early adolescence is a time of questioning and forming one’s own identity. Being open to having a conversation with your child about this is a great opportunity to develop your relationship in a way that encourages them to talk to you openly and share what is on their mind, confident that you can listen without judgement.  

The most successful discussions will take place when you rest your power as the adult and ask questions that allow your child to explain their thinking to you.  What are you wondering about? What would you like to know? How could we find out? Why is this important to you? Show them that you are curious about their understanding.

Demonstrate an interest in what your child is thinking about by asking open ended questions and asking them to help you understand.   Allow them to develop their thinking first and help them to do this with careful questioning.   It’s fine to agree to disagree or to say that you see things differently but by being genuinely curious about their understanding you may be able to understand why they are thinking the way they are.  

As always if you have an immediate concern please contact Gina Speedy directly on counsellor@ani.school.nz, your child’s class teacher or a member of SLT. 

Gina Speedy & Robyn Stead 

School Counsellor and Educational Psychologist

PTA NEWS

Super Bowl

The PTA sold $1 ice blocks on Super Bowl day to help keep the students cool, this was very successful, raising $450 profit!

Chocolate Fundraiser – POSTPONED

Our biggest fundraiser of the year will be kicking off as soon as students return to school under Level 2.  We have lots of fantastic prizes up for grabs for our best-selling students.  A notice with all the details will be sent out soon. 

Thank you

Diana Winstanley – PTA Chairperson

ANI SPORTS-PRO PROGRAMME

We are immensely proud of the ANI Sports-Pro Programme. This sports academy is multi-faceted and meets the needs of a wide range of students. Topics and lessons range from high-performance sport and nutrition, to working with learners who find learning challenging. This programme digs beneath the surface and looks at the various components of sport. Have a look at the website dedicated to this programme HERE.  

For more information, contact Mr Carlos on ckucera@ani.school.nz.

HOUSE POINTS UPDATE

Congratulations to Ahi who are leading the charge after the first four weeks of Term 1.

FACEBOOK

Like us on Facebook for all our recent events and photos.

COMMUNITY NEWS

Click here to view what is going on in our community.

School is closed due to Lockdown - Alert Level 3. Please refer to the ANI school app for updates.
Feel free to call the school on 09 630 1109 with any pressing issues, questions or concerns. Please remember that the school grounds are unfortunately closed – this includes the playground, fields and courts.