Wednesday 16th October 2019
- Fri 18 Oct – Michael Spring Festival for school, please arrive at 1.15 pm for 1.30 pm start (no picnic will follow)
- Fri 18 Oct – Normal day for Te Arakura and Kindergartens
- Tue 22 Oct – Kindergarten parent meetings 7 pm
- Tue 22 Oct – Te Arakura Community Consultation meeting for the BOT’s Strategic Plan at 6 pm – in the Cowshed
- Fri 25 Oct – School Teacher Only Day, School and Te Arakura are closed, Kindergartens operate as usual
- Mon 28 Oct – Labour Day, School and Kindergartens are closed
- Tue 29 Oct – Music Assembly Concert at 2.00 pm in the Whare, visitors welcome
- Tue 29 Oct – BOT Meeting at 5.30 pm in the Staffroom
- Thu 31 Oct – All Hallows Ceildh for school children 6pm-7pm
- Thu 31 Oct – Pizza Night for Te Arakura families 5 pm-5.45 pm
- Thu 31 Oct – Royal Garden Party for kindergarten children (a separate communication will follow)
- Fri 1 Nov – Remembrance Day, school classes only
- Mon 4 Nov – Travelling Musicians, concert and music workshops for school children
- Thu 6/Fri 7 Nov – Class 5 & 6 overnight Noho Marae
- Fri 7 Nov – Class 5 & 6 Noho Marae
- Sun 10 Nov – 2019 Fair and Open Day
- Mon 11 Nov – Teacher Only Day, School is closed, Rambling Rose operates for those who need it
- Tue 19 Nov – WST Meeting
- Wed 20 Nov – Kindergarten Information Afternoon 3.15 pm – 4.15 pm
- Tue 3 Dec – School Ensemble Hot Pools & BOT Meeting
- Mon 9 Dec – Fri 13 Dec – Class 7 Odyssey & Class 5 Olympics
- Wed 11 Dec – Class 1 2020 (Te Arakura) Parent Evening
- Mon 16 Dec – Rose Graduation 6 pm
- Tue 17 Dec – Spepherds Play and last day of school term – school finishes at 1 pm, kindergartens finishes at 3 pm
SCHOOL PARENT MEETINGS:
- CLASS 1 2020 (TE ARAKURA): Wed 11 Dec at 1.30 pm in the Whare
- CLASS 1 & 2: Wed 30 Oct at 7 pm
- CLASS 3 & 4: Mon 21 Oct at 7 pm
- CLASS 5: Wed 23 Oct at 7 pm
- CLASS 6: Wed 6 Nov at 7 pm
PROVISIONAL TERM DATES 2020:
- TERM 1: Mon 3 Feb – Thu 9 Apr
- TERM 2: Mon 27 Apr – Fri 3 Jul
- TERM 3: Mon 20 Jul – Fri 25 Sep
- TERM 4: Mon 12 Oct – Fri 11 Dec
SCHOOL SPRING FESTIVAL RESCHEDULED on Friday 18th October.
Be here for 1.30 pm kick-off!
Kia Ora Whanau and welcome back to Term 4 which began with a bang.
By 9.20am on Monday Class one for 2020 was on their way – out the blue kindergarten gate one last time, dressed for business.
Firstly serenaded as well as sweetly farewelled by the lower school, who looked for all the world like a sea of sunflowers, this was a warmly poignant moment as nearly all of the children on the deck had formerly shared a kindergarten with the children of this new class.
Next was the formal school welcome. As the Te Arakura children rounded the corner of the junior classrooms the call went up and the waiata began. This is of course not a matter of manuhiri and tangata whenua but the older children reinforcing the idea of whanau and hikoi.
The hikoi wended its way and just as suddenly it’s a kind of goodbye with parents watching their children take the next big step forward in their learning journey and our Class 7 students offer a big kia ora koutou singing them through with our school song.
Supporting the Te Arakura experience for Class 1 2020 in these first weeks as they transition from the kindergarten program to the farm, is Suzanne Allen who needs no introduction as our longest serving staff member. Roanna Gornall ex- class teacher and current release teacher throughout the school, Hayley one of our stable of long term trusty relievers is joined by new-comer Kaeli Gibson who flew back from Scotland on Friday night to join the team.
Some of you may have seen Kaeli around the place last term when she did some volunteering and orientation with us. With parents who are Waldorf teachers themselves Kaeli is very familiar with Steiner schools and herself attended several in the United Kingdom and internationally. She comes to us fresh from a teachers training course on the back of a psychology Masters degree. We are very much looking forward to working with her and hope you will say hello and make her feel welcome. For those of you who are wondering, Mary is still the tallest person in the school despite appearances.
MUSIC ASSEMBLY, Tuesday 29th October 1.45pm-3pm
Parents of Class 4-7 are invited to a performance next Tuesday in the Whare, 2-3pm.
Classes 5, 6 and 7 students will showcase whole class music items, culminating with a String Ensemble performance demonstrating their progress since Class 3 violin lessons.
On Monday 4th November, we have an Australian musician performing a concert to the school and involving students in music workshops. Michelle plays harp, and Mickey a jazz violinist. They are trekking the Te Araroa trail, and bringing awareness about Osteoporosis. See the link for more details www.mickeymichelle.com
LIONS CLUB RAFFLE – It’s that time of year again.
Each year the Welcome Bay Lions Club invites us to work with them on their annual fundraiser- a Christmas Raffle which accumulates and coordinates funds which they in turn donate back to local schools. Towards the end of the year, members of the service group attend an assembly here at school and present us with a handsome cheque.
The amount is calculated by gifting us back $3.00 for every book of 3 tickets we sell. The full price of the raffle booklet is $5.00 and as we have grown as a school, so has the amount. Last year we received $1000.00 which, as in years past, we add to boost the total Fair effort. Our participation in the Lions raffle therefore lightens the load for our Class 2 Fair Team as the raffle administration including collection of is all done for us leaving us to concentrate our efforts on showcasing our particular brand of Waldorf magic for the children of Tauranga Moana.
The other angle to the Lions Club fundraiser which you should know about, occurs at the end of the year and consists of surplus funds being further donated to schools, this time in the form of Service Scholarships to Senior students. These are presented variously for training and development programs, and /or vouchers for stationary and other gear needed for Secondary school. The scholarships are keenly sought and prized by our Class 8 children.
Conscious of wasteage in terms of printing as well as lost opportunities for selling in the past, this year the Club has asked all the schools to organize ourselves a little differently to ensure that we benefit the children and the climate as much as possible. So whereas in the past we have handed out three books to every family, (and many have got sadly munched up by the monsters that live in most children’s schools bags), this year we are asking you to sign up for the number of books you feel you can sell. You can still hand these back with tickets unsold, but the aim is to cut down on lost books and maximise revenue.
There are two ways you can sign up for this effort- either write your name on the form outside your child’s class or email or text the office telling us how many books you are prepared to take. The timeline will look like this:
- 15-22 Oct Sign up to help, lists are outside your child’s classroom but email of text office if this doesn’t work for you
- 23-24 Oct Office staff prepare, number record and distribute these books to you
- 25-28 Oct You are so successful selling at Labour weekend that you ask for more (this step is not compulsory)
- 6 Nov All books returned and the Lions Club does the rest leaving us free to have fun with and at the Fair
We would love your help with this again this year. It’s one of those times when we look beyond our own community and try to contribute to the wider Welcome Bay and Tauranga efforts. The Lions Club works hard to make a difference to the lives of many , not just our school and our kids, and this is a way we can actively value their partnership.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT THE ROSE RING KINDERGARTENS:
- 22nd Tuesday, Kindergarten parent evenings 6pm
- 25th Friday, Kindergartens will be running as usual
- 31st Thursday Royal Garden Party , please do not share with the children yet and see separate newsletter
- 11th Monday, Rambling Rose operates for those who need it
The spring season brings about change in a number of ways and there are exciting changes happening in the kindergartens. Our Spring Rose room is being renovated extensively over this term so the children and teachers, Sam and Simone, have now moved into the Autumn Rose room. The children and teachers, Donna and Deanna, who were in Autumn Rose are spending the mornings outside and the afternoons in Summer Rose. Although this change may cause some initial confusion, this will pass and with such wonderful teachers the children will settle quickly into their new spaces.
With our oldest children having left us this week to transition to school, we are now able to enrol again. And our spare spaces are filling quickly. We would like to give a warm welcome to all of the new families who are joining Rose Ring Kindergartens and the Tauranga Waldorf School community. We would also like to give a warm welcome to our new teacher, Deanna, who begins her full-time position in the kindergarten co-teaching with Donna this term. Deanna is an experienced teacher who we all look forward to working with and are sure will be a great asset to the teaching team.
Tēnā koutou katoa, Hi my name is Deanna Lambert-Fu, I am a fully qualified and registered Early Childhood Teacher with over 13 years of experience in the sector – My Early Childhood Teaching career has taken me around the world as I have had the pleasure of teaching preschool children in Auckland, London, Sydney and now Tauranga. I feel truly excited about joining the Rose Ring Kindergarten community.
I moved to Tauranga from Sydney with my husband Nicholas in December last year and in my spare time when I am not teaching I enjoy bush walks, reading, baking and spending quality time with my friends and family.
I am passionate teacher who believes in creating warm, home-like environments for children where they have the freedom to be creative and imaginative. I believe children learn best when they have time to play and explore the natural environment that surrounds them.
I look forward to meeting you all over the next few weeks.
Ngā mihi nui
THANKFULLY RECEIVED GIFTS FROM THE PAST –
GIVING FREELY IN THE PRESENT FOR THE FUTURE
During the holidays we are hoping that you all received your termly pledge overviews. These detail all the donations we have received from you so far this year and let you see if there is any gap between what you committed to and what you have achieved, giving the opportunity to make this good or communicate with us about it. Enclosed with these summaries was the new pledge form for 2020 which we are needing you to return by 25 October.
The reason for this timeline is that both the school and kindergarten are required to prepare and present 2020 budgets to the Board and Trust the following month in November, so having this information and confirming your intention to maintain your child/ren’s enrolment next year is essential to us being able to do our part.
Please help us to plan a really rich and exciting program again next year for all the children by indicating how you see your ability to contribute towards the special character education you have chosen. If you have any questions at all or would like to discuss any aspects of the pledge-form please email me at email@example.com
Thank you for your ongoing support
Last week we heard that we had been successful in winning yet another Pub Charity funding application to purchase replacement units for our Auditory Retraining program. The $6000.00 donation we’ve been awarded will make the purchase of two more program units possible.
This grant, the latest in a sequence of what has really been regular annual or biennial boosts for us, helps sustain this expensive but highly effective program, now being experienced by up to 90 children each year. This year’s grant application was supported by a number of parents who wrote testimonials attesting to positive effects for both the learning and wellbeing of their children, and was backed up by our own long-term cumulative data demonstrating its efficacy and value.
So, while it’s important that we thank PUB CHARITY for the funding, and we are very grateful, actually there’s a heap of acknowledgments needed here including to Robyn in the office who knuckled down and put together our application. And further back too actually, our thanks and acknowledgement needs to go to a past student, on whose shoulders what has come to be known as the Listening Program was founded.
Way back in 2008 at the age of 10, this young chap , now 21 could not yet speak as a result of hearing difficulties and other issues. Using some of his teacher aide hours and with two units and an audiometer bought with a first successful $10,000.00 PUB CHARITY grant- we launched. Back then the resource could only be shared by just one other student one hour a day, but as our roll and therefore our pledge donations grew, the WST began to support us to extend the program to more children. Today they donate the equivalent of 1.2 staff to run the program with yearly grant applications firstly buying and latterly replacing the equipment needed for 5 or more groups of up to 8 children daily experiencing programs of various lengths- sometimes up to two terms.
It all seems so seamless and normal now but back in those early years we needed to be pretty creative to make the program happen at all. Small groups of 3 or 4 listeners were housed on the floor of variously the class 2 and class 1 kitchen which in between also doubled as the extra lesson space – as well as junior resource room and for a time the junior library. We also used pledge deed volunteers to supervise the sessions in those early days and at one point ran the sessions on the back field because there was no room at the inn. Gradually we built our numbers as well as our practitioner expertise and finally settled the program, in the chalet, four years ago.
As a signature program in our Therapeutic stream, the Listening Program supports the development of attention and focus by training listening skills such as filtering, directional attending, auditory figure ground and auditory closure. In the last years we’ve been proud to share our experience and expertise with other schools and have been especially proud to pay back a little of the guidance and practical help our own school received in our early years from the oldest Waldorf School in the country Taikura in the Hawkes Bay. In the last years we have sent our staff down to the Bay to train their staff, lend testing equipment and expertise, speak to staff and parents and generally support the set-up of the program. Nice to think of good deeds going around and that’s not the least of what we can to be thankful for in our little corner of paradise.
FROM THE TRUST
Those of you who attended our Founders reporting meeting earlier in the year will already carry an overview of what the WST was hoping to achieve in the 2019 year as well as into the future, but for those who missed it, here is a bit of a status update on our annual and strategic plan.
The need to balance maintenance and development, the present and future needs of both our school and kindergartens is an ongoing challenge for the WST who are charged with the responsibility for not just the physical quality of these operations but the spiritual quality also- via our special character as a Waldorf enterprise. That being said, supporting our teachers to deliver quality to the children right now is inevitably the most compelling category for us, so here is a quick summary of developments year- to -date.
Class 1 and 2 porch facilities have been refitted to help the children manage their gear better.
Classes 2 and 3 have just had new custom-built curriculum resource cupboards created as well as some much-needed sport’s uniform storage added to the class 2 kitchen. Class 2 also had new carpet fitted in the last term break
In the last weeks both Class 6 and the Yurt have now got new curtains.
Huge thanks to the parent who agreed to extend their pledge contribution for the year by making all these for us- you know who you are. It’s worth repeating that pledge deeds continue to be greatly appreciated by us and acknowledging that just like financial gifts, they also make a difference for every child.
It’s worth mentioning two things here because on the surface new curtains may not seem like an especially significant or important improvement. The teachers tell us though that being able to screen children from distractions, as well as the sun, becomes ever more important for the children’s learning. Furthermore, schools and kindergartens are subject to increasing compliance levels so the days where we could achieve this with cheap and cheerful calico are long gone. Now not just curtain replacements but the soundproofing project which we continue to make our way through year by year, requires us to use materials that are fire-rated and therefore much more expensive.
Class 6 has had some extensive attention this year with the completion of a large porch that doubles as a very useful breakout learning space and includes a hard surface play area with extended new adjoining traffic paths that get children to and from the toilet without needing to traverse mud. Now if we could just get them to remember to put on their shoes, on the way to the loo and the rubbish bins, the difference this really does make would be more apparent to parents of senior classes. Finally, this gorgeous old building, inherited from the Historic Village site and re-housed here in 2008 has had its traditional old wooden sash windows on the northern wall, lovingly replicated and replaced.
Now onto our early childhood/kindergarten facilities who’ve had special new fencing put in allowing for more supervision of the wilderness area from various vantage points,
From now to the end of the year will be experiencing huge changes with the last of the kitchen and porch upgrades that we’ve been systematically working through, in the last years. With a curriculum which focuses on play and work, or to put it in adult terms life and leisure, kindergarten kitchens are an important learning resource space and in this last term, Spring Rose, which has already had its interior gutted will experience a serious up-styling as well as some extra helpful insulation and acoustic treatment and other improvements.
Having tried and failed to complete kindergarten refits and even some much smaller projects in the summer term break multiple times past, we have decided to try a new venture this year which will also double as something of an experiment towards the future. Make sure to read the ‘From the Kindergarten’ section in this newsletter to find out more.
Two years ago, after saving for many years, the WST was able to undertake a really significant and much longed for infrastructure project which would form the basis for all our development into the future. With such a long campus area and the need to continue to develop further up the site and closer to the farm, a full sewerage and waste water system was introduced to operate over the full 16 acres, eliminating the old sewerage tank system and making new and more toilets possible. Subsequently we continued to plug away at replacing the old cowshed black alkathene pipe that had been so generously donated back in the day but was systematically failing to keep up.
Over this last term break we have taken another large and important step forward by thrusting piping to introduce more and better water pressure at the farm. You’ll notice areas across the amphitheatre, through the field and up to and over the farm having been worked over, where this has occurred. For many years now when a hose is running at the school there is no water at the farm, so this being remedied in the next while will be very welcome, as will the ability to finally introduce water inside the whare complex for the first time. And we are not nearly done for the year! There is more to come.
A project that we were planning to have operational in 2019 and which we now hope to begin after the Fair and complete in time for the beginning of 2020 is an extension to our Care and breakout facilities in the area surrounding the yurt at the bottom of the field. Beginning to be referred to as the Michael Hub or The Michael Complex depending on your sympathies, staff are very much looking forward to supporting our wonderful care team practitioners to have more space to work in with individuals and small groups.
Looking further than 2019 we continue to move forward positively with the proposed next two big steps. Plans for the amphitheatre, an ambitious project which will offer multiple performance and play opportunities for children continue to evolve, as do those for our next big build which we are continuing to save towards. Situated at the farm and designed to increase our outdoor classroom capacity enormously, allowing multiple activities and classes to work and learn together in this area at the same time, a plan for a large workshop outdoor classroom hub continues to be shaped in conjunction with the school’s architect and planners.
I am very conscious as I write this that we have only referred to physical things in this report and that parent pledges actually provide the children of our community with a great deal more than this, but for now, I hope you have enjoyed this account of what has been achieved this year as a result of your generosity. A characteristic of all Waldorf schools worldwide is that parents and teachers together create an education for the children of a community and I hope you will feel proud when you see what you have made possible this year already.
For the WST
FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Thanks so much everyone who took the time to complete the school and kindergarten communication surveys, we received some great and useful feedback. We’re still analysing the results but the initial findings which you can check out below show that overall the community feels well informed. Reading emails from the teachers and the Wednesday Window were most often cited as key sources of information. Overall your most preferred methods of communication are currently the website, emails from the school and the Wednesday Window.
The survey information will be used to inform some key decisions about communication into the future and your input is greatly appreciated. The 10 winners in our lucky dip online random generated competition are as follows:
Please call into the office to uplift the vouchers. The children’s tickets will be distributed closer to Fair time.
Community Consultation and the Board’s Strategic Plan
One of our most important tasks as a board is to ensure improvement and development of our school via the development and monitoring of a Strategic Plan. The Board’s last plan is coming to an end and we are now looking to consult with the parent community to get a feel for your aspirations for the learning and wellbeing of our tamariki.
We will be attending class parent evenings in the next weeks to collect this information so make sure you take the opportunity to share your views. Once collated we will then combine it with those of the College, and the Waldorf Schools trust to plan our steps together over the next few years.
Lisa Hickling and Mel Auld