Wilson School, Term 2 Newsletter
Key Term Dates
2023 TERM DATES
Term 2 - 24th April - 30th June
Kings Birthday, Monday 5th June
Term 3 - 17th July - 22nd September
Teacher Only Day – 18th August
Term 4 - 9th October -15th December
Letter from Principal, Neil Kefford
Kia ora koutou,
Welcome back to school everyone, I hope you all enjoyed the break.
It was great to see so many of you in school last term, either for IEP meetings, visits or the whānau BBQ. The BBQ was a great success, thank you to the team who helped make this happen. We estimated over 120 of you came along to join us, it was a great crowd!
You will be aware that we held a staff only day last week, this was chance for us to work with Dr Debbie Lomax, from Cognition Education and focus on the upcoming changes to the New Zealand curriculum. Details of the curriculum refresh can be found here - https://curriculumrefresh.education.govt.nz/ As part of this work, all schools are being provided with two teacher-only days during 2023. See the update from Kay for more information.
Sadly, we said goodbye to our Executive Manager, June Morton, this term. June has had a substantial career with Wilson School and greatly supported the school for over 20 years. We understand June is already making the most of her free time and has had a great start to retirement. We are well underway with our recruitment process for this position and have been pleased with the response to our advert.
We have two new teachers starting with us this term, Rona Cabreza and Sophie Lim. Both are experienced specialist school educators, they will be working across the school to begin with, getting to know students and staff and covering other teachers for classroom release time.
Our next whānau learning session is booked for Thursday 18th May 2023 at 7pm, this is open to all Wilson School families and will focus on the challenges of picky eaters. This will be run by Magadalena Kuhn and Zsofia Olah. Please let us know if you can attend. Further details can be found below.
Our session at the end of last term was delivered by Nicola Irvine and focused on well-being for caregivers. The importance of looking after ourselves is paramount and in-turn supports us to be able to look after those around us. Often something that can get forgotten.
Have a great term everyone.
Curriculum Update from Deputy Principal, Kay Gunston
The Ministry of Education is currently two years into a five-year programme to refresh The New Zealand Curriculum.
The refreshed curriculum will support every ākonga (learner) to experience success in their learning. It will give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and will be inclusive, and clear about the learning that matters to all of our students.
Last Friday’s staff only day saw all our teachers, therapists and teacher aides come together to unpack the upcoming changes and to think about how we can use these new tools to best support our students.
We are being supported in our journey by Dr Deborah Lomax who understands the special nature of our school and is helping us to develop the new curriculum documents.
Teacher Aides also took part in a fantastic messy play workshop – learning some great tips and tricks to bring fun messy play into the classrooms – we look forward to seeing this in action over the coming terms!
Medication in School
Parent to Parent: Connect, Inform, Support
Are you aware of Parent to Parent? They are group who support by connecting parents and supporting siblings by providing information on thousands of disabilities and conditions. Examples of workshops include:
· Renew, connect and reflect
· Navigating the system
· Championing your needs
· Supporting parents
They also host a number of coffee mornings, helping to bring parents together, sharing experience and knowledge. Their next coffee morning on the North Shore is 8th May 2023 - https://parent2parent.org.nz/events/parent-support-group-north-shore/
Resources, details of events, training and contact details are all published here - https://parent2parent.org.nz/
Hosted by therapists: Magdalena Kuhn (OT) and Zsofia Olah (SLT)
Picky eater and selective eater are terms that are often used interchangeably when referring to difficulty with food in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
When? Thursday 18th May, 2023
When? 7:00PM to 9:00PM
Where? Wilson School
Please register using the form below by the of 11th of May:
* Number are limited, please register your interest and we will be in touch to confirm.
Ministry of Education – School Donation Scheme
From the start of 2023 Wilson School will be opting into the MOE School Donation Scheme. This means we won’t be asking for school fees, contributions towards trips/visits or towards classroom programmes. Our Board will be providing the money received from the MOE directly into classroom budgets for teachers to utilise towards their programmes and visits. Please note, this will not cover Riding for the Disabled, who will continue to invoice families directly should this be used. We will also still request stationary (where required) at the start of the year, lists will be sent out.
Should you wish to make a donation, you are welcome to at any point, this will be gratefully received and will go directly towards our students.
Donations can be made at any time: ASB – Wilson School – 12-3109-0011807-0
School Policy Reviews – Have your say
We use the services of School Docs who design policies for many New Zealand schools; updating them to reflect current legislation. Periodically parents are asked to review certain policies. This term parents are invited to have their say about the following policies.
Term 2 review topic: Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC)
- Visit the website https://wilson.schooldocs.co.nz
- Enter the username and password
- Follow the link to the relevant policy as listed or click ‘Current Review’
- Read the policy.
- Click the Policy Review button at the top right-hand corner of the page.
- Select the reviewer type “Parent”.
- Enter your name (optional).
- Submit your ratings and comments.
- If you don’t have internet access, school office staff can provide you with printed copies of the policy and a review form.
What's going on at Wilson School?
Whānau Update from Assistant Principal, Anju Raza
It was lovely to see everyone’s happy faces after the holidays! Last term we renamed our Whanau groups: - Nikau Whānau compromises of Bayswater 1 & 2 and Base Room 1 and our Pohutukawa Whānau includes Manuka 15 & 16, AJHS T15 & T16, and Base Room 3.
This term, both Whanau groups will be working on the topic Material World looking at Chemical and Physical changes and celebrating Matariki. It was wonderful to welcome our families to some cultural events in our Manuka and Bayswater satellites and we look forward to more such events this term!
In Bayswater 1 and Base Room 1, we spent term 1 learning about ourselves, our classmates, and our teachers! We have learned how to build and follow a routine that works for all of us and how to play with each other- we explored being creative while playing outside and bringing Numeracy in play-based activities.
Bayswater 1 also explored different activities like swimming, Circability, and Music Therapy. Bayswater 2 also enjoyed swimming at Takapuna Pools, discovering or rediscovering new play areas at Bayswater, and ever-growing our relationships with our friends at Bayswater School. Because we did such an amazing job at the pools, Robin surprised us with Domino’s pizza during our last trip. We screamed with delight – ‘Pizza, pizza, pizza!’.
Manuka 15 and 16 students had a wonderful Term 1 with some great events such as the Colour Fun Run and the Cultural Shared Lunch where families were invited to share a bit about their culture and the delicious food. Our Pet Therapy dog Ava is now 13 (in her 80's in doggy years) so she has decided to retire. We had a lovely Retirement Party for her, where we gave her a card and some special treats. Thanks, Ava, for all your service!
As part of their sustainability projects, Room 3 students are collecting organic food, like fruit and vegetables except for citrus and onions which they feed the worms. At the end of every week, Room 3 collects the worm juice, and this is then used in their little garden.
Last term AJ15 and AJ16 had weekly trips to Sanders Reserve as well as an in-depth Sensory exploration of Long Bay Regional Park. The weather was perfect, and they used magnifying glasses to see things in minute detail, played a bingo-style game, where everyone had to find a variety of objects on the beach, and then went for a walk up the hill and found as many different colours as they could in nature.
They were also given a challenge by their house Tui, to make their class code, using only people so they came up with TWILS = T for Tui and WILS for Wilson school.
For National Down Syndrome Day, they also had great fun making their own funky socks using an assortment of items to decorate!
Team update from Assistant Principal, Emma Harper
We loved welcoming everyone back to term 2! Our whānau groups are: Toetoe Whānau which compromises of and Base Rooms 4,5 & 6 and Windy Ridge 1 & 2 and Karaka Whānau includes Base Room 2 and Glenfield Juniors, Glenfield Transition Junior and Glenfield Transition.
After a challenging start to the year, Term 1 was full of learning and exciting opportunities for our young people. There was a strong focus on getting out in the community and finding learning opportunities outside of the classroom. We have had classes exploring our local beaches and parks, visiting cafés like Flourish in Takapuna and the Wairau Café hosted by fellow students at Wairau Valley Special School. Several classes have also had the opportunity to visit the Pumphouse for a play called ‘The Lighthouse Keepers Lunch’.
Glenfield College Transition classes have been busy. They have been out and about to the city for the Abilities Film Festival which was so inspiring! They have also had wonderful feedback about their work at both Shakespear Park and Kaipatiki Project. They love our weekly visits to Wairau Cafe, and they’ve still managed some sensory downtime too! So many new skills being learned and lots to celebrate!
Glenfield Juniors have had a great term getting involved in different activities alongside the WVSS classes including joining them for events like fundraising for the floods and their recent cultural day.
Room 2 have been making wraps for the school café and selling them to the staff at base. They have also been visiting ‘Flourish’ Café, the Library in Takapuna and swimming at the pools. They have also been doing lots of great learning in class with a focus on recycling and the effects of rubbish on our environment.
Room 4 has spent a lot of the term settling back in to school and re-establishing classroom programmes and routines. They have enjoyed engaging in their physical programmes and practising for the base school sports day, which was a great success!
Room 5 celebrated Easter by inviting whanau to school for morning tea. It was lovely for the staff to sit and chat with the families and talk about anything under the sun. They also played an Easter egg hunt with the shaving foam.
Windy Ridge also had a great day celebrating Easter with their class whanau too! They made Easter bunnies, had an Easter egg hunt, listened to a special Easter story, and ate hot-cross buns together! They also had a great to Butterfly Creek and Pumphouse Theatre to finish off a wonderful term!
Is it time for a booster for you or your child? - COVID-19 Vaccinations
If you are worried about getting the vaccine, you can talk to a trained advisor in the Healthline disability team. The team is made up of people who have experience of a disability themselves, or who have worked with the disabled community. They will support you, your whānau or someone you care for and answer any questions you may have about:
· Accessibility arrangements and getting mobility assistance at different vaccination centres.
· Getting your vaccination safely.
· Home vaccinations
· Any effects the vaccine may have on your or your medications.
The disability team is available Monday to Friday, from 8am to 8pm.
· Call 0800 28 29 26 and push 2.
· Free text: 8988
We are very lucky to be supported by some amazing orgainsations within our community.
Rotary Club of Takapuna
(with funding from several other Rotary Clubs and the Harold Thomas Rotary Trust).
Made an exceptionally generous donation of $8908, supporting a project to invest in sensory toolkits for each of our classrooms across the school.
Remuera Lions Club
Supported us greatly with a very kind donation of $6000. This is being used to invest in Numicon equipment to support with Maths, Sensory Learning and Physiotherapy equipment.
We really appreciate the support of these two organisations and their members.
Spectrum Care School Holiday Programme
Spectrum Care run a school holiday programme for Wilson School students. For further details please contact -
Darryl Benge – 0272948892 - email@example.com