OCTOBER 2021 NEWSLETTER
In today’s newsletter we have the following:
● News from the Principal and DP’s
● Upcoming Events for October and November
● ICAS Test Dates
● Property Updates
● Psychologist and Counsellor Spot
● PTA News
● House Points Update
NEWS FROM THE PRINCIPAL AND DP'S
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Tēnā koutou i ngā whānau o te kura.
Spring is in the air
With the warmer weather and longer days, spring has certainly arrived and with it we look forward to opportunities to gather with the pre lockdown freedom before too much longer. The upcoming holidays are a great opportunity for students to reconnect with friends and family, reduce screen time and get out of the house for some exercise and fresh spring air. While these are all very important activities for our young people it’s also a timely reminder to do them within current COVID Alert Levels. We encourage you all to keep up the safety measures– scan everywhere you go, wash your hands often and regularly clean and disinfect surfaces. Together, we can continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
As we prepare for term 4 and the return to school, there may be questions about staff being vaccinated.
The Ministry of Health advises that everyone who is eligible should get a vaccination, however no one in New Zealand is legally required to get the vaccine. A person’s vaccine status remains private information. While they are encouraged by the school to be vaccinated, our teachers are not obliged to share their vaccination status and have the same right to make a choice about their COVID-19 vaccination as everybody else.
While high rates of vaccination in our community are very important, there are also a large range of mitigations in place in our school to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including staff and students staying away if they are unwell, regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces and keeping rooms well-ventilated.
We know that compared to other places, schools and early learning services are not environments where we have seen significant spread of COVID-19.
If you want further reading about the vaccine, there is some really great information available on the Unite Against COVID-19, Ministry of Health and Karawhiua websites.
Managing anxiety and keeping calm – transition back to school next term
The Ministry of Education has some excellent resources on their website around supporting young people who may be feeling anxious during these challenging times and in particular preparing to come back to school after the holiday break.
They have also suggested that a video with tips and advice on managing anxiety from Dr Hinemoa Elder (child and adolescent psychiatrist) and Nathan Wallis (neuroscience educator) is well worth a view. It’s only 8 minutes long and offers a number of practical strategies. https://youtu.be/J1GuXHFSOHc
If you are concerned about your young person coping back at school and need extra help, remember to reach out and talk with a health professional. There is plenty of support, information and help on the health website or send Gina our school counsellor an email.
The intentional acts of calm listed below are helpful suggestions to help your young person manage when they may be feeling overwhelmed with change.
When you feel overwhelmed, ask yourself, “What is a different way of looking at my situation”? Doing this is a key step toward being a problem solver.
Take a walk. If you’re walking with a dog, that will help you get out of your own head.
Drink plenty of water as it not only removes toxins but improves cognitive functioning.
A short burst of physical exertion releases nervous energy.
Visualise an admired person. What would they do?
Use the Pomodoro technique:
Work in 25-minute chunks followed by 5-minute breaks, and after four cycles, take a 15-20-minute break.
Clear clutter. This is especially helpful just before going to bed.
Sometimes letting go of the need to control outcomes leads to greater acceptance of your circumstances.
And finally for the holidays …..
Make a fun plan. Think about how you will use social media to contact people who are good for your mental health – this creates positive anticipation.
Staying focussed in term 4, end of year school reports and assessment:
Staying focussed in term 4
As we move into term 4, it is really important to ensure we hit the ground running. We have a number of important assessments which take place as well as our Year 8 exam preparation programme. This is in addition to the many exciting term 4 programmes already planned!
With all this in mind it is very important to remind our students they need to remain focussed for the remainder of 2021. A full transition back to school after lockdown has been planned to ensure that each young person’s wellbeing is a priority. Once transitioned back, the message to all our students is to finish the year strong and put in 100% effort for the remainder of 2021.
End of Year Reports
Our end of year reports will be distributed at the end of term 4 as planned. They will be in a similar format to those that were sent home with students at mid-year, although it will be a revised report given we have been in lock down for 8 weeks this term. The reports will also be available online.
This report will include a comment from the teacher on Literacy, Mathematics and a general comment. Teachers will provide a curriculum level based on evidence they have gathered since the middle of the year in literacy and mathematics. The report will also include assessment in the area of the Key competencies.
Students will be asked to make a comment on their own learning and progress as they did in the mid-year report.
Students will continue to be assessed by their teacher next term, using assessment strategies similar to those that were in place during lockdown. In addition to this, more formal testing will take place at the start of term four- we anticipate this to be at the start of November.
For year 7 students these tests will be onsite and for year 8 students these will take place off site at the University of Auckland (Epsom Campus), COVID level dependent. Details will be available at the start of term 4 – we are hoping to secure a booking at the Auckland University lecture theatre in the third week of term (early November).
Once we receive information on lock down levels in Auckland, and the availability of the University facility we will confirm arrangements.
If the venue for year 8 exams needs to be changed, this information will be updated and shared with you all. Watch this space!
Speed Limit around ANI – proposed change
We have been advised by AT that a consultation phase is about to commence investigating speeds around our school. ANI have been selected, along with 56 other schools for a proposed speed limit change in the first phase of their Safe Speeds programme.
“A message from AT:
What does this mean for your school?
We know that even a small difference in speed can make a major difference, especially for children. Safer speeds around schools are defined under the Ministry of Transport mandate as permanent or variable 30km/h limits in urban areas, with 40km/h limits considered by exception. The speed limit changes required around your school have been assessed by our road safety engineers based upon the relevant safety needs, and within current legislation.
What are the next steps?
Between 27 September and 14 November, AT will be seeking public feedback on the first phase of proposed speed limit changes around your school, and 56 others across Auckland.
We will provide residents within the zone information on the proposed changes and encourage them to provide feedback. For more information about the Safe Speeds Programme, visit at.govt.nz/speed.
We welcome any initial feedback you have via ATspeedprogramme@at.govt.nz.”
Happy holidays and remember parents -give yourself a break too, this has been a massive term and you’ve all done an awesome job homeschooling. Our thanks and appreciation, enjoy the down time.
Kia ngatahi ai te tu
E pakari ai te tuara
Together we are Strong
Jill Farquharson – Principal
Bryce Mills and Shane Devery – Deputy Principals
UPCOMING EVENTS FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
|Prospective Student School Tour #6||Wednesday 20th October Postponed|
|Rescheduled Teacher Only Day||Friday 22nd October Continues|
|Labour Day||Monday 25th October Continues|
|Teacher Only Day (Assessment)||Tuesday 26th October Continues|
|PTA Halloween Social||Thursday 28th October TBA|
|PTA Meeting Monday||1st November Continues on Zoom|
|Prospective Student School Tour #7||Thursday 4th November TBA|
|Prospective Parent Information Evening #7||Thursday 4th November TBA|
|PTA Social (Tentative Date)||Thursday 4th November TBA|
|2022 Out of Zone Student Testing #1||Monday 8th November Continues|
|2022 Enrolment Interviews||Tuesday 9th – Thursday 11th November TBA|
|BOT Meeting||Wednesday 10th November Continues|
|2022 Out of Zone Student Testing #1||Monday 15th November Continues|
|PTA Chocolate Fundraiser Assembly||Monday 15h November TBA|
|2022 Enrolment Interviews||Tues 16th – Wed 17th November Continues|
|Kauri Field Trip (Weta/Art Tour)|
(Weta Workshop/Art Gallery Tour)
|Friday 19th November – New Date Continues|
|HPV #2 Vaccine for Year 8 AND |
Boostrix Year 7 Catch Ups
|Thursday 25th November TBA|
|PTA Meeting / 2022 Planning||Monday 29th November Continues|
IMPORTANT DATES TO TAKE NOTE OF:
Please note the following dates as they indicate when the school may be closed or have a different finish time:
Friday 1 October – school closes at 2.00pm for end of term
Friday 22 October – school closed for Teacher Only Day (transferred from 23 August)
Monday 25 October – school closed for Labour Day holiday
Tuesday 26 October – school closed for Teacher Only Day
Tuesday 14 December – school closes at 12.00 noon for end of year
The TOD scheduled for Monday 23 August was cancelled due to Level 4 lockdown. The PD planned for this day has been transferred to Friday 22 October (Labour weekend).
ICAS TEST DATES: RESCHEDULED
These are the new test dates for the ICAS Writing, Science, Math and English tests. Should Auckland be in alert level 2 or alert level 1 at the beginning of term four the following tests and dates will proceed at the specific times – venue for all feta is at school.
PSYCHOLOGIST & COUNSELLOR SPOT
Communication between parents and their teenagers can be tricky at the best of times. Despite spending more time together, lockdown doesn’t make it any easier. All of a sudden we have compressed home, school, work, sport, play and socialisation into one space. This is occurring right when your child is biologically programmed to explore other environments outside the home and primarily socialise with peers.
We would like to acknowledge the incredible job parents are currently doing. It’s okay to have good and bad days. There is no right or wrong way to get through this time. If you are looking for strategies and perspectives on how to improve communication with your teenagers, below are some suggestions to try out.
Balancing teens’ need for autonomy or freedom and a parent’s concern for safety may be in focus. One parenting style which has been identified as successful is an authoritative style. This means that while parents set the rules and expectations, they include their young people in these discussions and are prepared to share why this is important. Of course as with any parenting style, conflict may still arise. A good way to handle this is to take a break if the conversation gets heated. Consider alternative ways of sharing points of view and ideas such as sending texts, emails or writing notes. Sharing a task such as taking the dog for a walk or washing dishes also provides a time to hold a conversation in a less intense way for your teenager.
Use of technology can also create difficulties with communication. Keep in mind that being overly controlling of a teen at this stage of your parenting journey can lead to secret keeping. Ask what your teen is doing with their technology. If they are socialising with friends, working on school projects or exploring quality content then perhaps some discussion of how they are balancing this with other activities is all that is needed. Proactive monitoring has been linked with lower media use along with teen’s ability to self-regulate. This just means talking with your teen about setting guidelines for using technology, checking in with them periodically to see how they are going and then supporting them to make good choices. Don’t forget that your teen will be watching what you are doing with technology too, so make sure you lead by example. It’s always okay to make a mistake so talking to them about what you do when you overuse technology is great.
Make it a priority to check in with your teens about their mental health. At this stage, it’s likely that being empathetic and understanding is more important than giving advice. Teens want to know that it’s normal to be feeling the way they are feeling. Some teens may not mention their own feelings but instead might talk about a classmate or friend who is having difficulties. This can be a way to get the conversation started.
A great podcast to listen to is this one by Dr Louise Hayes: Challenging Times During Adolescence Louise does an excellent job of acknowledging how hard this time is for us all, young people in particular, and then suggests how to move forward despite the difficulties.
Below are national helplines that offer support, help and information. They are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to speak with trained professionals.
Where to get help
Need to Talk? — free call or text 1737 Youthline — call 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email email@example.com
Lifeline — 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
Depression and Anxiety Helpline — 0800 111 757 or free text 4202
We’ve done this before; we can do it again.
Gina Speedy & Robyn Stead
School Counsellor and Educational Psychologist
Details of events and updates are coming soon- thank you all for your patience and support.
Stay safe everyone.
HOUSE POINTS UPDATES
Lockdown has provided so many opportunities to gain house points. Ranging from baking contests to our weekly IB certs, the houses are locked in a competitive battle for the crown of Term 3!
It looks like we might have another first this term with Te Hau currently edging out the rest. The termly house winner will be crowned at the upcoming end of term assembly on zoom!