The New Zealand Curriculum
This term I will be running a series of curriculum articles in the monthly newsletter. Each article will explain an aspect of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).
In the May newsletter I will discuss the NZ Curriculum – what is this and what does it include. In the June newsletter, curriculum vision and values will be explained and how this aligns to our own school vision and values. Finally in the July newsletter Principles/ Purposes and Key competencies in the NZ Curriculum will be explained, in particular how they are incorporated into classroom practise at ANI.
The NZ Curriculum – what is this and what does it include?
Parents frequently ask “How do schools know or decide what to teach?” or “Do all schools teach the same?” During this term we will write about the New Zealand Curriculum document which provides the “road map” that gives direction to school leaders as they develop the programmes in their particular school.
The New Zealand Curriculum is a Ministry of Education document which underpins school programmes. The curriculum is a “statement of policy relating to teaching and learning in English medium New Zealand schools.” The Curriculum document sets the direction for student learning. As well as stating the achievement standards expected at each year level of schooling and the subject areas to be taught it sets out the vision for the attributes, we want our young people to develop. The values and Key competences which schools must seek to develop in our young people.
Finally the curriculum lists the eight learning areas or subjects to be taught. While they are at ANI your children will cover class programmes in all eight subjects.
One of the most difficult things for students to navigate through in the early adolescence years are friendships. Sometimes they’re all on, and the next minute they’re not. For some students this can be quite stressful which in turn has an impact on their learning. It’s important we work together at times like this to provide “wrap around” support – parents and teachers play a major role in these formative years helping our young people develop independence and make decisions for themselves. Letting them know you trust their judgement and that they will make a wise choice in a given situation means it’s more likely that they will. All emerging adolescents want support from parents around the friendships they are forming so it’s a good idea to be interested and involved , but don’t interfere or interrogate. Share your experience and thoughts while avoiding the dad jokes (especially dads with daughters !).
While friendships for boys and girls during adolescence serve quite different purposes (adolescent girls often share secrets or worries a with their friends and adolescent boys tend to share activities, or sport, and hobbies) the following tips should prove helpful for both genders in any situation:
- the best way to learn about their friends is to have an open door (and fridge!)
- don’t expect to like all your sons/daughters friends – they may not like all of yours
- focus on their close friends rather than the larger circle they may socialise with.
- try not to judge hastily and look beyond the superficial.
- maintain standards especially around the way the adolescents treat others but be relaxed about extreme fashion trends. Believe it or not, they do pass
- keep communication open, it’s important to look for signals that he/she wants to talk but don’t force the issue
- if they are feeling left out at school make time to discuss the situation with the teacher and see if they can buddy your child with someone who has similar interests.
- encourage them to get involved in different sporting activities so that they can mix with other children who share a similar interest, or suggest they start a brand new sport ( have a go!)
Remember: The only way to make a friend is to be one (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
What an amazing celebration of success we had on the last day of term when we congratulated a large number of pupils on their significant achievements. Thanks to those parents who joined us and also board chair Simonne Eldridge for assisting with the presentation of awards on this special occasion. As you read in last months newsletter we spent some time scouting out venues for this assembly and were very fortunate to have the support of Eden Park Trust CEO Nick Sautner come to the rescue. He very generously offered us use of the main hall which was perfect in every way possible. A great outlook, plenty of space, awesome atmosphere and helpful staff.
Getting to and from the venue did present some challenges as we shuttled 700 plus students, teachers and other staff to Eden Park via buses. These were generously paid for by the Ministry of Education (due to the loss of our hall) and we appreciate their support also. All in all a fabulous toile was had, so much so that we have booked Eden Park for all end of term assemblies and also our end of year prize giving. A big shout out again to Eden Park Trust CEO for looking after local schools – thanks Nick.
Students in Rooms Before School
With the wet and cold weather not too far away we want your children to be safe, warm and dry if they arrive at school before 8.15am which is the time teachers are in their classes. While it is our preference that students arrive after 8.15am we realise that for some families there may be times when you need to drop them off a bit earlier. If this is the case please tell your son/daughter to go directly to the information centre (library) where they can wait in a dry and warm space.
Since our devastating fire in January we have been working hard behind the scenes with the Ministry of Education to:
- secure eight new temporary learning spaces (relocatable classrooms)
- reinstate ground where the demolished buildings were
- develop a masterplan for the new build
While the process has taken longer than expected the school needs to ensure that the final outcomes are thought through carefully so we incur as little disruption as possible to learning programmes.
One area that is close to resolution is the position of the temporary classrooms (relocatables). Initially we had hoped to place them on the lower field close to the university. Unfortunately, this is no longer an option due to consent issues. The position of these eight classrooms will now be on the top field with four running parallel to the Poronui Street driveway and the other four running parallel to the adventure playground. This may mean we have to reposition and remark the soccer and rugby fields but rest assured there is still plenty of room.
Once the plans of exact positioning have been confirmed we will share with you. This should be in the next couple of weeks.
This term we welcome Aaron Moore as the Room 12 teacher who comes to us from teaching in a private school in London. Aaron is replacing Saasha Jolley who went on maternity leave at the end of Term 1. Congratulations to Saasha and her partner Todd, they welcomed a beautiful wee boy – Kobi Isaac May, born on 17 April at 4:42pm. All the best to the three of you.
Congratulations to Sam Hughes (Te Reo and Release Teacher) who won the Deputy Principal position at Tolaga Bay Area School. On Monday 29 April we handed him over to the new school with a very moving powhiri. Good luck Sammie!
On 10 May, Patrick Kennelly leaves us to take up a position at a primary school closer to home. The very best of luck to you Pat and thanks for your great work at ANI. Taking his place we have Sarah Ireland who is returning to teaching after time out in the private sector. She is an outstanding sports woman and we look forward to sharing her skills.
DEPUTY PRINCIPAL’S NEWS
Last month we shared with our community ways in which our young people could use a variety of skills and techniques for their well-being and own mindfulness. This month we are sharing how our adult community use the different types of tools available if they find themselves in a stressful situation (thanks to Tori Shaffett, our Mindfulness Coach).
Mindfulness Tools for Adults to use throughout the Day
These tools can be used for Adults when dealing with stressful situations in the workplace, at home or when dealing with the many stressors life can throw at you sometimes! These tools can aid in helping you stay in the moment and provide you with full awareness, attention, compassion and more.
Take a few deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or other difficult emotions. Challenging situations often trigger physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, and sweating. By taking a moment to breath slowly, you can avoid panicking and impulsive reactions. A way to do this could be to turn off the lights in your house, and lie on your back or sit in a cross-legged position. Just a couple minutes of focused breathing each day can have a positive impact on your mindset.
Stay in the moment when you’re leading any situation, conferencing, or meeting with people. Make eye contact with the person you’re listening to, and focus on their body language. Avoid interruptions, lean forward toward the person talking, and ask thoughtful follow-up questions to show you’re engaged in what they’re saying. This active listening makes adults feel heard, which is essential for fostering a learning community that is engaged, respectful and connected. Better relationships with adults (parents) leads to positive interactions and increased helpfulness during and after work hours.
Focus on the physical sensation of your feet on the ground when you feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Imagine that you have roots coming out of your feet that are literally grounding you to the floor. This visualization fosters a sense of calm and control, like an immovable tree withstanding a storm. Often, stress is a symptom of feeling overloaded, like running too many apps on a computer at once. By paring down your focus, you can clear your mind and use your clarity to make better decisions.
Take a Drink
Sip a glass of water or tea when you need to pause during the day. Focus on the sensations of the liquid hitting your lips, in your mouth, and going down your throat as you swallow. Taking a moment to divert your attention from one emotional sensation to another can help your body relax and allow you to get on with your day with a more positive mindset.
Use Positive Affirmations
Say positive affirmations in your mind throughout the day, especially when you feel emotionally drained. When we repeatedly internalise different thoughts or statements about ourselves and the world, they become true in our minds. These perceptions are powerful enough to become the lens through which we see every opportunity and action in our lives, bringing more positivity or negativity to everything that happens to us. Promote positive thinking with affirmations such as:
“I can do this, I am enough.”
“Be present. Be here now.”
“I am happy and peaceful.”
“I am kind to myself and others around me.”
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Write down positive situations that you’re grateful for. For example, “Today I woke up healthy. I made connections with Susie during our meeting and noticed the great gains she has made in her work. I ate lunch with a friend and supported her during a difficult time.” Cultivating gratitude is scientifically proven to improve our health, relationships, sleep, self-esteem, mental strength and the ability to be empathetic.
Where to next?
Below are some Mindfulness websites that may be of use to our community. (Thanks to our School counselor, Laura Edwards for her suggestions).
This site above explains what Mindfulness is and what it aims to do, quite accessible and nice!
In terms of website or Apps that offer Mindful practice the two below are well reviewed:
Headspace is a well known and well used/recommended site that offers different mindful breathing exercises to help kids (aged 5-12 years) with calm, focus, kindness and sleep.
Smiling Mind https://www.smilingmind.com.au/mindfulness
Smiling Mind is a lovely Australian mindfulness meditation smartphone app, for both adults and kids. It was created as a non-profit initiative to improve the lives of Australians through increasing clarity, calm and contentment and reducing stress via mindfulness instruction and encouragement.
The app can be downloaded for free, and then getting started is as simple as registering and choosing your age preference. Each age group is given a set of guided meditations designed to bring users from a beginning level to a ‘mindful master’ level over time.
Kids start with a fun meditation called ‘The Bubble Journey,’ while adults start with a basic body scan. Badges, reminders and a recorded history help to encourage daily use and make practicing mindfulness a purely positive, rewarding experience.
Ski Team Trials
Ski team trials will be held on Friday 14 June at Snow Planet, with the opportunity to represent our school at the North Island Primary School Ski Championships held in August.
Students can come along to a meeting and get a permission slip from Mr Devery, on Wednesday 1 May, in the library if they wish to trial or alternatively pick up a letter at the office if you can’t make the meeting. Trial letters and money ($48) need to be returned to Mr Devery no later than Wednesday 29 May to secure your spot at the trials.
All information about the trials will be highlighted in the permission slip including trial costs, organisation and transport on the day.
Overseas Trip Evening: Japan or Cairns
A reminder that the overseas trip evening will happen today (Wednesday 1 May) in Room 4 at 6pm. The evening will provide parents with information about the activities the students will be involved in as well as the costs involved and what students can expect if they are chosen to attend a trip to either Japan (Osaka and Fukuoka: Cultural and Sister school exchange) or Australia: Cairns (Ecological focus).
It is not too late to ask for an application form if your child is still thinking about applying for either trip but as numbers are limited we may have to hold a ballet if required. Application forms can found in the reception area, please ask.
2019 International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS)
The ICAS Schools competitions, organised by the University of New South Wales, will be offered to students at ANI who wish to undertake an external test that sits outside the school’s assessment schedule.
These tests are an optional assessment and the cost is $16.00 each. The five areas to be tested include: Digital Technologies, Science, Writing, English and Mathematics. A letter will be given to students on Thursday 2 May. Permission slips and payment must be returned by Monday 12 August, to the office (not class teachers), if students are considering taking part in any of the five tests.
Student Assessment Results
At a recent assessment evening held in term one we indicated parents could access their child’s test results through the parent portal on Edge. However, we have been informed that this function is not available currently, however parents can gain access to the test data through your child’s personal e-asTTLe account.
If you are interested in learning more about your child’s latest e-asTTle testing results in reading, writing and math please ask your child to log onto the e-asTTle site and they will be able to share their learning pathways and explain their learning outcomes/results and what they need to do in order to lift their achievement. Ask your young person to share with you their learning console and strengths and weaknesses.
School Reports (Mid-Year) and Parent Interviews
This is early notice that teachers are gathering assessment data that informs the mid year school report which will come home on Friday 28 June (week 9). Following that we will have parent interviews to discuss your child’s achievement and progress on Monday 1 July, 3 – 5pm, and Tuesday 2 July, 1 – 7pm. More information will be sent out closer to the time on how to book your interviews with classroom and specialist teachers.
Device use empowers learning
The world our young people are moving into is an exciting one. Research shows that we will see a rise in career paths which tap into the realms of creativity, innovation and collaboration. This generation of young people require room to grow and develop in these areas which is where the use of devices play an integral part.
The notion that devices simply replace books is both inaccurate and naive. They propel learning and enable both the learner and the teacher to partner in the learning process and tap into the unknown – ‘next practice’. They provide a platform from which future focussed pedagogy (way of thinking) can thrive.
Device use in the classroom fosters and enhances collaboration. Students will often work together on the same document or piece of work regardless if they are in the same class or not – a practice seen in the workplace today. They encourage creativity and innovation while allowing young people to tap into a myriad of web and app-based platforms which provide the tools they require to express themselves in these areas.
Devices allow parents to partner in the learning process. Before the days of devices, it was easy for parents to see what was happening in the classroom as it was all visible in their young persons workbooks. Contrary to popular belief, the same is true with devices. In fact, the move to a greater use of devices in the classroom has meant that parents can not only be an ‘observer’ in the learning process, but a ‘partner’ in the process. Parents have the ability to see and comment on what is happening in the classroom by either asking their young person so show them their SeeSaw or Google Classroom or by getting them to share them into the Google based documents. We have seen this work extremely well already in the classroom and encourage all our parents to inquire into this as the outcomes are powerful.
We thank all our amazing parents for their continued support and partnership in ensuring our young people are prepped to not only engage with their world but to transform it.
Shane Devery & Bryce Mills – Deputy Principals
UPCOMING EVENTS THIS MONTH …
Wednesday 1 May – ‘Meet the Teacher’ sessions for Room 10 (Sarah Ireland) and Room 12 (Aaron Moore) at 5.30pm; Overseas Trips (Japan and Cairns) Parent Information Evening at 6.00pm in Room 4
Monday 6 – May Mufti Monday; PTA Meeting at 7.00pm
Monday 6 – Friday 10 – Road Safety Week
Tuesday 7 – Central Zone Boys Futsal
Wednesday 8 – Overseas Trip Applications due; National Young Leaders Day at Vodafone Events Centre
Thursday 9 – Central Zone Girls Futsal
Friday 10 – Overseas Deposits ($500) due; BOT nominations called for
Monday 13 – May Mufti Monday; Central Zone Waterpolo
Tuesday 14 – Interzone Orienteering
Wednesday 15 – Board of Trustees Meeting at 6.00pm
Thursday 16 – Central Zone Rugby; Yvonne Godfrey Event at 7.30pm
Monday 20 – May Mufti Monday
Tuesday 21 – Open Morning at 9.00am; Central Zone Rugby; Parent Evening at 6.00pm
Wednesday 22 – Central Zone Year 7 Girls Football
Thursday 23 – Central Zone Year 8 Girls Football
Friday 24 – Central Zone Rugby save day; BOT nominations close at 12 noon
Monday 27 – May Mufti Monday
Tuesday 28 – Central Zone Year 7 Boys Football; BOT voting papers sent out by today if an election is needed
Thursday 30 – Central Zone Year 8 Boys Football
Monday Mufti Days – every Monday in May is an optional mufti day for students – $2 coin.
Jo Beer – ANI PTA
Nominations will be invited for the election of four (4) parent representatives to the board of trustees this month. All caregivers should receive a nomination form in the post by Friday 10 May (dependent on NZ Post). As this is a postal ballot, we need accurate addresses, so if you have shifted recently, please make sure your address is up to date with the school office so the nomination form will reach you. If you do not receive a nomination form by Tuesday 14 May, please contact the Returning Officer, Deidre Merriott, on email@example.com.
Nominations will close at 12 noon on Friday 24 May 2019.
If an election is needed, voting papers will be sent out by Tuesday 28 May and voting forms will need to be returned to the Returning Officer by 12 noon on Friday 7 June 2019.
Last month in the newsletter I wrote about defining and understanding anxiety. This month I’d like to share some easy to use strategies parents can use to help their child manage anxiety better.
- Allow children to experience the change in their mood/feelings from baseline to the peak of anxiety and then the descending of the anxious feelings back to baseline. It’s great to provide reassurance and support but don’t act to remove the anxiety provoking experience unless it is unsafe not to do so.
- Normalise the experience of anxiety for children. Everyone experiences anxiety/worry. It often feels worse than the situation is.
- Encourage and model talking about feelings. Sometimes children have difficulty talking about their feelings because they don’t have the language to describe their feelings. Parents can model this kind of talk by using labels for feelings. What are some of the labels we give to feelings? You can play games with these words, for example charades, where one family member acts out a named feeling while the rest of the family guesses which feeling they are acting out. There are commercial games available which focus on the language of emotions and feelings.
- Link feelings with the way we are thinking. Behind every worried/anxious feeling is a thought.
- Talk about where in the body anxiety or worry is felt. At times our bodies may experience increased breathing rates, shallow breathing, urge to go to the toilet, feeling hot and/or sweaty, tears, aching stomach, trembling, blushing and others. Start by talking about where you feel anxiety. Encourage your child to talk about their experience. Some children may find it easier to show you on a soft toy or doll. Naming these experiences and talking about them helps us as adults understand what is going on for the child and we can share the thought that the child isn’t alone in their experiences.
- Using a scale. Scaling helps people to put their thoughts into context. You can use a 1 – 10 scale with 1 representing relaxed and 10 very worried. Talk about a situation that your child may be worried about and encourage them to select a number that represents how worried they are. A good question to follow up with is what we could do to help you feel just a little bit better. If your child says they are a 7 on the scale, then what is one thing that could make you be reading to move to a 6. Brainstorm possible ideas.
- Encourage and model realistic thinking with your child. When your child is worried or anxious it is easy for them to jump to the worst-case scenario or to catastrophize the situation. Help them to think through the reality. Even in very difficult situations solutions can be found and a way forward identified. Remind your child that their thinking is creating the feelings and that thinking can be used to manage the feelings and find solutions to the situations they are concerned about. When appropriate model your own problem-solving process when faced with a challenge.
- Praise your child’s management of what they perceive as difficult situations. Keep the focus on what they can do rather than delving into the difficulties.
- At school: Mindfulness programs at school, small group programs are offered throughout the school year. From term 2 onwards each teacher will be undergoing professional development in order to implement mindfulness practices in their classrooms.
- Yvonne Godfrey: look out for her sessions held at ANI in Terms 2 and 3
- Mindfulness apps: Smiling Minds (Australian, designed for schools, children as well as adults), Calm (American, designed for both children and adults, has some exercise videos), Headspace, (British, designed for both children and adults). These can be useful to help develop an awareness of the way thinking influences feelings, among other uses.
- Hey Sigmund: https://www.heysigmund.com/about/ (very comprehensive website focused on anxiety with a huge range of resources for a wide age range)
- 3P Psychologies: https://3ppsychologies.com/ (website covers more than just anxiety but is a treasure trove or useful resources)
- Helping your anxious child, second edition, Ronald Rapee, Ann Wignall, Susan Spence, Vanessa Cobham, Heidi Lyneham (excellent resource is you are facing persistent difficulties)
Registered Psychologist (working at ANI)
SPORTS NEWS BY NICK EDWARDS (teacher in charge of sports)
Term 1 Sports Assembly
On Friday 5 April, ANI had it’s first Sports Assembly of the term to celebrate sporting achievements by pupils at our amazing school. Those achievements included a vast array of accomplishments, including sportsmanship and enthusiasm in every competition, across a range of sports from cricket to orienteering. It was a great opportunity to celebrate success in sport.
Active Shield Semi-Final
On Wednesday 10th April, the ANI Girls Cricket Team took part in the semi-final of the Active Shield Competition at Huapai Domain. We earned our place in the semi-finals thanks to some strong results in previous fixtures. We played Remuera Int. in the semi-final and, although we lost the game, we played with a tactical awareness and became a better team because of the challenge. A special mention the Anahera Rangi and Alyssa Wong who took as over 100 runs and recorded over 50 runs as a batting pair!
For more information on future events, and to organise training sessions, please search for the ANI Cycling 2019 group on Facebook. As admin, Mr Edwards will accept your application to join the group where you will be able to coordinate and share information. For cycling tops this year, there will be a $5 processing and admin fee levied so the total will be $85 but you will receive the $80 bond back.
If you would like to pay by cash, then you can give the money in at the office, like a normal school trip. If you would prefer to pay by bank transfer, can you transfer $85 to the ANI Bank Account with the student’s name and ‘cycling’ on the reference.
Nick Edwards, Sports Coordinator
HOST FAMILIES NEEDED FOR SHORT–TERM INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN JULY/ AUGUST
Have you ever considered hosting an International Student?
Auckland Normal Intermediate has a large number of short-term international students (and sometimes parents) joining us in July/August this year. They will be coming for a period of between 2 – 6 weeks.
Hosting a student can be rewarding in so many ways! Learn about another country and culture; establish a lifelong link to a family in another country; and create a great friendship between your son/daughter and the student.
Students benefit from living in an English-speaking environment with the chance to study and experience life in New Zealand.
If your family can offer a friendly, supportive and caring home environment or you think you might be interested to host an International Student, please contact Sarah on 021 021 91 000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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