September 2021 Newsletter

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COVID ALERT LEVELS AND OUR DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMMES

Who would have thought that two weeks ago on the morning of Tuesday 17 August when we left home for school we wouldn’t be back there for some time. How quickly things change and here we are looking at a month long lockdown.

 

The good news is that Auckland is doing its bit to keep the country safe and while today we may be the only area in the country still at Level 4 we know it’s for a good reason. The SLT wants to shout out to the teachers and staff who have been doing double duty over this period. Many of them are juggling their day job as well as managing their own children and families which is not always easy. If you’ve caught a few Zooms you may have seen them teaching with little ones on their knees – am sure you can appreciate this is no mean feat! We are fortunate to have committed and talented staff who are keen to do the best for all our young people.

What does our distance learning programme look like?


As mentioned in the COVID comms sent out on 23 August our online learning programmes fall into two categories depending how long we are in lockdown.

A) Seven days and under we use a task board approach.

B) Over seven days we move to online learning that is directly related to the class
programme.

This means that from Monday 30 August the online learning programme will be directly related to classroom programmes and delivered using either Google Classroom or Education Perfect.

The teacher will be in regular contact with either the class or groups of students via ZOOM. With this in mind, it is important that as parents you are aware of ZOOM’s privacy and security policies. ZOOM’s privacy and security policies are available at:
https://zoom.us/trust/security.

As a school, we have also developed a list of zoom guidelines and meeting etiquette for students. Again it is important that as parents you are aware of this information. Please read our Zoom Guidelines and Zoom Etiquette linked here.

FIVE USEFUL TIPS -SURVIVING LOCKDOWN WITH THE EMERGING ADOLESCENT

1. Understand their frustration over not seeing friends
For the emerging adolescent friends are hugely important, and they are supposed to be — bonding with peers is one of the essential developmental tasks of adolescents. If your teen is sulking about being stuck at home with parents and siblings, a conversation might be helpful to acknowledge that you know it’s frustrating for them to be cut off from friends. Listen to what they’re feeling, validate those feelings and then be direct about how you can work together to make this situation bearable.

2. Validate their disappointment
For many the most painful part of this crisis will be losing important experiences such as AIMS, school production, class trips, music rehearsals, ski trips etc. Give them room to share their feelings and listen without judgment. Some may also be worried about missing ICAS exams or work that will help with upcoming secondary school applications or scholarships. They are understandably wondering how this will affect their futures. Again, give them room to share how they are feeling and acknowledge the stress they may be under. Then express confidence in your young person’s ability to rebound.

3. Help them practice mindfulness
Mindfulness techniques can be very helpful in this kind of situation, where our routines are disrupted and we may feel overwhelmed by frustration and disappointment. Mindfulness teaches us to tune into our emotions in any given moment and experience them without judgment.

4. Support remote schooling
You can help at home by creating a realistic schedule for getting work done in defined periods, building in breaks and times for talking ( or texting) friends, exercising and entertainment. The key principle: do a session of work first, then reward yourself with something relaxing. Keep in mind that it’s not going to be as effective as school, but it may get to be more effective over time as everyone on the school front, as well as the home front, works to improve remote learning.

5. Encourage healthy habits
The emerging adolescent will do better during this stressful time if they get adequate sleep, eat healthy meals and exercise regularly. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule, with predictable times to wake up and go to bed, is especially important to maintain a positive mood and meet class work expectations during the day. Missing out on the routines they’ve come to rely on can be a big source of stress, so even more important right now to maintain healthy habits!

Finally- this whakatauki refers to the importance of learning being the key to your wellbeing. If you follow the path of learning, the world will be your oyster.

Whāia te mātauranga hei oranga mō koutou
Seek after learning for the sake of your wellbeing

MATHEMATICS-OUR BACK TO BASICS APPROACH

Rational: Why is our approach ‘back to basics’?
After communicating with our contributing schools and following discussions with the local grammar schools we have decided to take a back to basics approach when teaching and learning mathematics. This means teachers will be using some of their teaching programmes to practice and improve student knowledge in equations and activities such as times tables, basic number facts, confidence and understanding decimals, fractions, percentages, and algebra to name a few. More focus areas have been listed below.
We also took into consideration a recent research paper ‘Restoring confidence in mathematics education in New Zealand’ (2021), by Dr Audrey Tan, Mathmo Consulting, which suggests that students’ basic skills, knowledge and understanding of mathematics has dropped significantly since 2012.

While our recent school PAT math results from our year 8 students (term 3, 2021) indicates our students achieving at 92% At or Above their expected Curriculum level (level 4) we have seen a drop in basic facts/number knowledge which in turn limits students success when completing
more complex equations and applying this knowledge to get the correct outcomes particularly at speed. Our intention is to improve recall of the basic facts at speed. This will help immensely during the examinations our students will be sitting in the not too distant future.

ANI is going back to basics so students are more confident in their strategies, knowledge and processes in mathematics and can do this at speed.

What does this look like?
The expectation is every class in year 7 and year 8, will have an element of basic facts as part
of their daily maths lessons. This may include warm ups, games, rote practice (Prototec), short
basic facts tests, or basic facts homework, speed tests etc.

What areas will we be focusing on?
● Rote learning of times tables (if not already known)
● Instant recall of times tables
● Speed testing of times tables
● Conceptual understanding and procedural fluency in all four basic ops (add, subtract,
divide and multiply)
● Fluency with decimals, fractions and percentages (adding and subtracting confidently)
● Proportional reasoning
● Confidence calculating area, perimeter, volume
● Comprehension of word problems
● Basic algebra skills, e.g. simplifying expressions, substitution, linear equations
● Basic graphing skills, e.g. plotting coordinates, linear patterns
● Clear, written solutions to multi-step problems
● Understanding a variety of problem solving equations
● Recognising patterns and making connections

Whanau Partnerships
We really appreciate the support our ANI Parents/Whanau provide at home that support our young people in their understanding of these basic mathematical concepts. We see this learning as a joint effort between the school and home, which in turn helps learners improve outcomes and progress.

While some students have a good understanding of their basic facts our ‘back to basics’ approach aims for every student to make progress whether it be a big gain or small steps-everyone is different in how they learn and the time it takes for a concept to become embedded.

ERO VISIT

This year we are expecting an ERO evaluation visit, the date yet to be advised. An evaluation partner (previously called a reviewer ) will work alongside our school, building a professional relationship over time and will connect with our strategic planning and reporting cycle as part of the school’s ongoing improvement journey.

ERO is supporting schools to build and sustain high-quality evaluation as part of their planning for improvement focus. There is a shift to a more developmental approach to evaluation, supporting each school’s improvement over time. This new Operating Model, will identify an opportunity to undertake evaluations at a community level.
More information is available on the ERO website.

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 SEPTEMBER

Put these dates in your diary so you are aware of what is continuing and what has been cancelled or postponed.

Wednesday 1 September
CZ Cross County – Girls and Boys (CANCELLED)
Wednesday 1 September
2022 Prospective Student School Tour #4 1.30-2.30pm (CANCELLED)
Out of Zone Applications close at 3.00pm (CONTINUES)
2022 Prospective Student Parent Information Evening #4 at 6.00pm (ON ZOOM)
Thursday 2 September
Queenstown parent evening at 6pm (POSTPONED)
Friday 3 September
Kauri team trip to Wets Workshop (CANCELLED)
Sunday 5 – Friday 10 September
AIMS Games (CANCELLED)
Monday 6 September
PTA Meeting at 7.00pm (POSTPONED)
Tongan Language Week (CONTINUES)
Wednesday 8 September
Out of Zone Ballot Drawn (CONTINUES)
Friday 10 September
Out of Zone Successful Applicants notified by this date by email (CONTINUES)
Monday 13 – Friday 17 September
North Island Ski Championships (CANCELLED)
Tuesday 14 September
School Musical Rehearsal all day (POSTPONED)
2022 Enrolment one on one interview bookings for Year 6 go live on website (CONTINUES)
2022 Prospective Student School Tour #5 9.00am-10.00am (POSTPONED)
2022 Prospective Student Parent Information Evening #5 at 6.00pm (ON ZOOM)
Tuesday 14 – Sunday 20 September
Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori Language Week (CONTINUES)
Wednesday 15 September
CZ Basketball- Boys (CANCELLED)
Thursday 16 September
PTA Social (POSTPONED)
Thursday 16 September
CZ Basketball- Girls (CANCELLED)
Saturday 18 September to Thursday 23 September
Proposed Queenstown trip (POSTPONED)
Monday 20 September
PTA Chocolates fundraiser assembly (POSTPONED)
Monday 20 – Sunday 26 September
Chinese Language Week (CONTINUES)
Wednesday 22 September
Entrance Testing at Newmarket and Mt Eden Normal Schools (TBA)
Board of Trustees Meeting at 6.00pm (TBA)
Thursday 23 September
Entrance Testing at Epsom Normal School (TBA)

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

NEWS FLASH:
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).

STUDENT CONGRATULATIONS

Congratulations to Lali Room 26 for her haiku poem. Out of many Haiku poems submitted for the 2021 Poetry Competition, her work has been selected for the 2021 New Zealand Poetry Society anthology. Lali is happy to celebrate her achievement with you all- enjoy.

“brown leaves
a satisfying crunch
fire explodes trees”

Congratulations to our student Juliana González who is receiving her gift from Education Perfect as she came 1st place in Languages in their Young Kiwi Challenger Series.

PSYCHOLOGIST & COUNSELLOR SPOT

Here we are in lockdown again! We all hoped 2021 would be different but alas, Delta had other plans. Experiencing a wave of Covid once was enough but a second time can be downright exhausting. If you’re wondering whether you have enough juice left in the resilience tank then you’re not alone. Therefore, as we ride this second wave, here is a reminder of the most helpful, practical strategies learned from 2021 and the extra support available.

1. Go on a media diet – Make conscious choices about how your household consumes Covid-related media. It’s amazing how the global angst invades your head. Children don’t have the ability to rationalise and filter information like adults so limiting their consumption is crucial.

2. Flexible routines – Structure makes us feel safe and less anxious. Create new routines for your ‘’new normal’’ (bed time, exercise, meal times, work) but allow room for them to change when necessary. 

3. Maintain connections – Strong relationships are crucial for wellbeing especially during
challenging times. Isolation breeds mental distress. Friendships are incredibly important during
adolescence and help to foster belonging and acceptance. Ensure your child has a means to
connect online.

4. Focus on what you can control – Make two lists with your children. What can we control? What can’t we control? Give all your attention to the things you have influence over.
Worrying about things we cannot change is a waste of energy and sends us into negative
thinking spirals.

5. Cut yourself some slack and do what makes you happy – When the chips are down it’s
important to deliberately seek out positive experiences. Carve out time to do the tasks and hobbies that make you smile. Little and often is key here. Spending more time reading that book and less time cleaning the house can do wonders.

If you or your family are feeling overwhelmed then reach out. Friends and family are usually the first port of call. If you are not coping, reach out to a health professional.

ANI has a trained School Counsellor, Gina Speedy. Parents can contact Gina with questions about managing their child’s emotions, friendships, learning and more. Sometimes a quick phone conversation or email exchange is enough to boost confidence and find solutions. Otherwise, it’s possible to book a series of meetings. Meetings can take place via zoom during all lockdown levels and are confidential. Gina works in a team which includes Robyn Stead who is a registered educational psychologist. Gina and Robyn have a network of school counsellors and outside agencies to contact for further resources as needed. You can email Gina Speedy on counsellor@ani.school.nz

 

Below are national helplines that offer support, help and information. They are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to speak with trained professionals.

Need to Talk? — free call or text 1737

Youthline — call 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz

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

PTA NEWS

Term 3 School Social – Cancellation


Due to the extension of Level 4 lockdown in Auckland and the likelihood that we may be at heightened alert levels for the rest of the term, we have made the decision to cancel the Term 3 School Social. While many kids are likely to be disappointed by this news, it feels like the best
option for the safety of the kids and community. We will look into options for whether we can safely run an event like this in term 4 once we gain a better understanding of how the situation is developing.


Thank you for your support and stay safe everyone.
ANI PTA 

ANI ECO COMMITTEE

Pranvi Mathur, Room 15, has written a fabulous article all about soft-plastics and ANI Eco Committee’s fight against them. As part of the Eco Committee, she and her fellow eco warriors completed a survey of soft-plastics being used in classrooms. Since then, soft-plastic bins have
been introduced and last week, Pranvi and the team sorted through each ILE’s bin to gather all the soft plastic ready to be taken to a soft-plastic recycling station.

Above is Pranvi, Room 15, fabulous article all about soft-plastics and ANI Eco Committee’s fight against them


Ms Louisa Pielichaty
Room 21 Teacher

HOUSE POINTS UPDATE

Despite being in lockdown, our house system is still running! Teachers are collecting points remotely and awarding their classes with points for their hard work, zoom participation and much more. The house leaders have been working hard to create challenges that can still be run, even from home! Their latest one is a house coloured cooking challenge which can be seen here!

Te Hau is leading the pack. Watch out as Whenua, Ahi, Wai and are all nipping at your heels – it’s a close race!!
Despite being in lockdown, our house system is still running! Teachers are collecting points remotely and awarding their classes with points for their hard work, zoom participation and much more. The house leaders have been working hard to create challenges that can still be run, even from home! Their latest one is a house coloured cooking challenge which can be seen here!
Term 3 is looking promising for Te Hau, who are currently in the lead but being chased hard by Whenua. Mr Rice has promised to do a lip sync in head-to-toe yellow should Te Hau win this term so let’s do our best to ensure that happens! Thanks Mr Rice!

Stay safe, be kind!
Mr Gleeson

MONTHLY HOUSE CHALLENGE!

Challenge:
This month’s house challenge is to bake a meal/dish in the colour of your house. Eg: for Wai you could make cookies and put blue food colouring in the dough. Most creative wins! The challenge will run until the end of September (30th).
Guidelines:
● The food must be the colour of your house, it can be the original colour of the food eg: a banana for Te Hau, or it can be dyed with food colouring or something else.
● It is due on the 30th September 2021.
● The top one from each house will then be ranked again, against the other house’s top design. The winner will receive 100 house points, second: 75 house points, third: 50 house points, fourth: 25 house points.
● Post a picture of your dish/food on these slides saying what house you’re in, your name and room number and what your dish is. One slide for each design
● Have fun and be creative! Good luck.

COMMUNITY NEWS

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

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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.