Newsletter 27th July 2023
From the principal
Kia ora koutou
Behind the scenes – Y7/8 learning experiences
As the new principal, my approach this year is very much about allowing the status quo to happen each term, in regards to how this school operates. This allows me to assess the why, how and what we do, through discussions with staff. Maungatapere School comes with a high reputation in many ways. The standouts for me so far, are the level of behaviour and focus on learning within classes, due to the school wide attitudes and values of the children and staff. It is my belief that this school is the exception to the rule in this regard, particularly post epidemic with many of my principal colleagues expressing major concerns in regards to increased levels of behavioural linked challenges.
Last Thursday evening, 13 parents and a number teachers had a meeting to discuss the Y7/8 learning experiences offered at this school. The format of this evening was a general conversation about the Y7/8 programme from a deputy principals’ (Terry past and Rachael present Y7/8 DP) perspective, as well as hearing the perspective of parents who were present. What followed was a robust conversation with varying views, suggestions, ideas and critiques.
Thank you to all of those parents who contributed either to the discussion or added their comments to a positive / minuses / interesting document. The discuss notes and written documents will help the leadership team design a google survey, to guide a review of our Y7/8 learning experiences and timetable.
Once we have formulated this survey I will make it available to complete.
On Tuesday night the AIMS Games basketball teams helped parents run basketball games for those who registered. Well done to the parents, Y7/8 players and the students who signed up for basketball. It was great to see lots of young children trying basketball for the first time. For those children who have never played before, I was impressed with your attitudes to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Well done.
When this newsletter goes out we will probably be part way through completing the second night of parent/teacher interviews. We value the engagement of parents discussing the learning and needs of their children, and then planning forward for the second half of the year. This is an important time to pause and reflect, celebrate, raise concerns, refocus or just touch base to build or maintain relationships. Please do not wait until parent/teacher interviews if something is on your mind about your child’s learning throughout the year. Communication and listening to each other is always the most productive way to make effective change.
Parent interviews are a highly valued time for sharing information between school and home. This leads nicely into the importance of communicating throughout the year with either teachers, deputy principals or the principal.
Communication - at times is hard, causes worry, or unnecessary angst
If you didn’t already know, it is hard to be a parent. As a parent, being at home and dealing with your child’s perspective, version or recount of events at school, is often hard. You deal with your child’s emotions and upsets and often take them on yourself. In my time as a teacher/parent and particularly as a principal, I believe parent worries can heighten when only one side of the story is known. If you have concerns in regards to anything major that has gone wrong in the eyes of your child, please let either the teacher or principal know (depending on the situation).
Child significant worries or something has happened – the normal school procedure is…
1. Parent lets us know what is worrying their child or themselves
2. Teacher and or principal – gather information from a range of sources
3. Teacher or principal examines the information gathered from 1, 2 or more sources
4. Teacher or principal rings or emails parent to communicate the ‘known’ information and make a reasonable decision on any action or follow up.
The above is in regard to those major incidents that may occur. Minor, everyday incidence happen within the school and are dealt with by staff. When this occurs there is no need for parental contact. In my experience when school and parents respectfully allow this process to be worked through, worries, concerns or more serious incidents get resolved with time and effort.
In my experienced, when concern are voiced via
1. complaints to friends, or on social media
2. are left too long
3. teachers are left guessing or unaware that something is eating at you or your child
Then the school is unaware and not in a position to resolve the issue or concern.
I have not written the above message because my office has been inundated with complaints or lots of worried parents. This is far from the truth. A few parents have recently chatted with me about minor things, without issue. The recent Y7/8 evening involved robust critique and feedback, and a highly valued follow up conversation (clarifying and positive) that has constructively added to my contemplations about Maungatapere School and how we operate and why. I have written this to share with you how I work as your principal. Ring me if you want to chat. If you want to catch me after school, I am usually at the R13/14 deck waiting with children.
Lucas Perry Room 14 Pushing himself outside his comfort zone during cross country. Keep it up Lucas!
Devon Neumann Room 6 For fantastic work on her science fair project.
Alexis Magee Room 7 Outstanding attention to detail ensuring completed work is the best that it can be!
Xander Tissink Room 6 For great work on his science fair project.
Isla Wright Room 8 Keeping herself motivated and focussed on her goals. Showing her school values every day.
Nate Neeley Room 2 For being a fantastic role model in Room 2!
Eli Roughton Room 3 For switching onto his learning and demonstrating a positive growth mindset.
Room 7's turn to shine!!
whats coming up!
3 Aug WBHS Open Evening
4 Aug Tauraroa Area School Open Day
22 Aug WGHS Enrolment Interviews at Maungatapere School
23 Aug School Cross Country
30 Aug Barge Park Cross Country
2-8 Sep Aims Games
12 Sep Year 7/8 Speech Competitions
20 Sep Mangakahia Lions Speech Competition
22 Sep End of Term 3
9 Oct First Day - Term 4
28 Oct Ag Day
Room 1 - Tin Can Phones
Cross Country Practice
Miss Ruth is determined not to let anyone beat her!!