Wednesday 28th August 2019

COMING EVENTS

  • Thu 29 Aug – Class 4 Zoo visit
  • Thu 29 Aug – Class 7 Play for Parents (7.00pm start)
  • Tue 3 Sep-  School BOT Meeting
  • Fri 6 Sep – Class 2 Play for Parents (2.00pm sharp)
  • Week of 9th – 13th Sep -Maori Language week and the AIMS games week
  • Wed 11 Sep – Kindergarten information afternoon 3-15pm in the Kindergarten
  • Tue 17 Sep – WST BOT Meeting
  • Fri 20 Sep – 12 Hour relay – (further information/details to be provided)
  • Fri 27 Sep – Michael Spring Festival and last day of school term – school finishes at 1-00, kindergarten finishes at 3.00pm. Oscar will operate for kindergarten children only in the afternoon.
  • Mon 14 Oct – First day of Term 4

Kia Ora Whanau

 From the Faculty

One of the things we teachers feel very passionately about is the quality that comes from the extra resourcing that comes into the school as the result of our community’s pledges.   As well as paying for all the infrastructure and buildings for our beautiful campus, parents’ pledges allow us to have all our therapeutic programs, our music and eurythmy programs, our outdoor classroom program, as well as extra staff and that’s just the beginning.  

One of our greatest comforts as class teachers is the weeks of support we each receive individually, funded directly by the Trust to put on our plays.  From this funding we receive set and costume design as well as coaching and a whole pile of moral support.  

As a result the  class play experiences are beyond compare for our children, offering children the chance to develop a huge number of skills, across so many domains.  A great deal of the children’s learning journey happens here at the school without audience, so we love the opportunity to show parents, just how our classes are developing over time.   Judging by the attendance rates  we have at these performances we’d have to think you agree they are worthwhile! Here’s some photos of class 3 taken by our clever photographer Cat Main who’s work, again funded by the Trust, we are also very grateful for. 

Class 3 Play Child of the Nile, the story of Moses and the Flight from Egypt.

Moses grows up and is educated in the Pharaoh’s court.

Pharaoh sits on his throne.

Moses identifies with the plight of the Hebrew slaves.

He runs from the Pharaoh’s court and lives as a shepherd.

He grows older and wiser.

He challenges Pharaoh to Let His People GO and with help the Hebrew people escape Egypt.


 

Mid-Year Student Achievement

Parents starting out their school journey at the Tauranga Waldorf School naturally and rightly wonder if their children will be in any way hindered or compromised by undertaking an alternative education pathway that takes quite a different road and at quite a different speed.  So it can be helpful to learn that we teachers collect progress and achievement data for all children and track it to create class and whole school pictures that we then report to the Board of Trustees.  

As part of our reporting process, we devise annual student achievement targets which we use to focus our teaching efforts. This year we have a mathematics target and a writing target.  In both cases we have identified specific students who’s learning we think could benefit from acceleration and we devise all sorts of in-class and other strategies to achieve a lift for them.    Twice a year we report to both parents individually and then to the board about how we are going with that. Having just done that, it is good to share how things are looking with our students’ progress this year.

One of our foundations is ‘learning over time’ and once again the truth and the value of this approach was evident in this year’s mid-year progress report.   Using the graphs and layout from the previous year’s report, I was struck by just how consistently and how strongly  our curriculum delivers in terms of outcomes for our students.   The data changes little from year to year.

Our Class 7 students, historically take off in their academic achievement as the depth of their learning journey and their teacher’s hard work, all comes together and bears fruit. This year’s Class 7 is doing extremely well at this stage of the year, and show that they will leave the school well equipped for secondary school. Out of interest, I checked back to where this same cohort of children were 4 years ago, in Class 4. They were in a similar place to our current Class 4, starting their middle learning years with some wobbles and hesitancy.

‘Learning over time’ is becoming a verifiable reality of the journey our school offers, and it is nice to see that the formative assessments we use are supporting our teachers’ observations. See below for some hard progress data on the targets from the Boards 2019 Annual Plan.

Jo Skentelbery – For The School Faculty.

 

Kia Ora from Rose Ring Kindergartens

 

With less than half of Term 3 remaining and signs of Spring approaching we are anticipating an exciting time of transition and new beginnings. Hopefully we will be seeing an end to all of the winter illnesses that have been causing increased absences in children and teachers. A huge thank you to our relievers who consistently step up to ensuring your children continue to receive a quality education when staff are away.  Thank you also to the parents who keep their children at home during illness, who are using the appropriate channels of communication and are patient with our staffing situation.

The good news is we are soon to have a bit of relief from our staffing challenges as we are currently engaged in an employment process to fill the space left behind by Robyn who resigned from her position in Autumn Rose kindergarten.   Thanks again to relievers and parents who have been patient and supportive during this transition time.

Other ways we have recently experienced support from our parents is seeing an interest in parent education opportunities.  Nathan Wallis is in Tauranga soon and it is great to hear many parents managed to get tickets before his talks on brain development sold out. We also have had an offer from a parent to host some Mary Willow sessions at school after hours – look out for more details coming soon!   

 

Special Character 

 

A number of parents have been confirming their Special Character Preference in recent weeks in preparation for their children going on the school roll.  In our school this happens just before the age of 6 which is the age required by the Ministry of Education. Special Character meetings are held several times and are open to all families.  In fact, it’s a great idea to go to one each year in preparation as it’s a chance to hear more about both life in the school and your responsibilities if you are wanting to enroll your child.

Watch out for dates for these meetings which are posted on the website, and also appear in Kindergarten communication books.  For your interest, the major component of Special Character is your willingness to support the work of the Proprietors Trust.   Here is a graphic which explains their mission.  Come to a meeting if you’d like to know more. 

Transition to Te Arakura

 

Alongside establishing a special character partnership with the Trust, families with children who turn six each year attend a ‘Playdate’ with Mary our school’s principal.    These consist of the children playing some simple games and completing a range of tasks. The word game is one of the favorites of these playdates and is an activity that allows little ones to show what they have discovered about how words work, what they mean, how they can be different and how they fit together in terms of grammar and syntax. It starts simply and gradually becomes more complex. It goes like this….

  1. I sit on a chair.I sleep on a ?                            A .        bed, bunk, cot, futon
  2. I eat from a plate I drink from a ?                     A.         glass, cup, bottle , beaker,  tumbler etc

Because Waldorf kids experience a word- rich environment, reinforced with story telling their answers are often original and/or sensational. Here are some of this year’s treasures to leave you with a smile –  

 

  1. John is a boy. Mary is a . .?                               A.    I would have thought you’d have  known that.
  2. A boy runs.An old man . .?                                 A.    Wears glasses?
  3. A boy runs. An old man…?                                A.    Works of course.

 

The Lamb Burger

 

The kindergarten children have been cooking recently.  The knitted animal goes into the shoot, through the rainbow block smoothie machine and pops out the other side as…. a lamb burger!!  Such ingenuity!!

Tina Darlington for the  Rose Ring Kindergartens Team

FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

 

 

Earlier this year the Board of Trustees was discussing how communication is at the heart of a healthy community. We noted that last year’s survey indicated that parents were feeling well informed about school activities and about their child’s achievement. But the Board recognises that not everyone answered that survey and we are really interested in understanding how we can communicate well with all parents as well as ensuring that they can communicate well with us too.  

So we established a sub-committee of the Board and recently this group identified that we’d all benefit as a community if the views of kindergarten parents were included in our work and that more specific feedback from all parents would be needed to guide the way forward. So, we’d love your feedback!

Shortly two surveys will be sent out – one for school families and one for kindergarten families. We’d really appreciate your input towards building an even healthier community and if you have children in both the school and kindergarten, we’d love you to please complete both surveys as they are different.

To make this a bit of fun, and to help you prioritise this in your already busy lives, there will be a number of Wild Earth Organics/Huckleberry vouchers plus some sought-after children’s money for the school fair up for grabs as an incentive!  

All you have to do is complete the survey, enter the draw and we will all win! The survey will be emailed to you in the next couple of weeks.

Mel Auld

(for the Board)

 

 

 

TOGETHER  SUPPORTING  EVERY CHILD – From the pledge office

 

You should have received the overview of your contributions up to the end of term 2 some weeks ago. Please do check them and get in touch if your records differ from ours. The same data is used to compile your tax donation receipts at the end of the tax year and we appreciate your assistance to make sure they will be correct.

We thought you might like to see how the donations toward the Special Character are shaping up for the year. The following is based on data as of the end of July 2019.

At that time, we had 167 families in our community. The promised contributions look like this

 

This graph is based on the following facts

  • A total of 117 families intend to contribute at least 75-100 % of the recommended pledge
  • The 9 % not having returned a pledge form translate into 15 people, many of them being one of a split family, with the other half making contributions.

 

 

We all know that life always turns out a bit different from what we plan, but if the intentions as  detailed above would become a reality,  it would look like this

This graph includes the following facts

  • 23 families have already made full payment for the year, that’s 13 % of our community.
  • 35 families have contributed over 1600 hours in deeds, they are not included in the graphs, but make a significant difference to the Trusts funding by reducing costs.
  • Only 10 people are not returning calls nor replying to emails nor contributing in any way.

I am always amazed how generous our community truly is! About 110 families make every effort to contribute what they have promised. 35 families are topping up their contributions with deeds – some keep coming to help every time there is need even when they have already contributed above the recommended amount. How marvellous is that ?

Did you know that we also have a handful of members helping by contributing above the recommended amount and further that we are also  lucky to have people in our wider community contributing regularly or when they can, while they don’t even have children here?

Thank you once again, for all the support you give.

Marlis ( for the WST)

 

 

Kia Ora From the Office

 

 

OSCAR PROGRAMME

Some spaces have become available in Oscar – our pre- and after school program, available for children over 5.

Program Philosophy

Our program is based on nurturing, pedagogical impulses aligned with Waldorf Education. The child’s experience should be of one, harmonious day. Therefore, our program provides a restful contrast to the busy school day-time to unwind, to digest school subjects, and time to breathe out socially. The focus of our out of school care is rest, healthy play and good food. The intent is not to structure this time with a whirlwind of activities, but rather to provide a secure daily rhythm within which the child is free to explore options. 

 Hours of Operation during school term only

Morning: 7:30am – 9:00am

Afternoon: 3:00pm – 5:30pm

If you have any questions go and talk to our lovely carers during opening hours, Jeannette, Ella Mae and Siobhan are happy to talk to you and hand you a brochure, otherwise send your query to oscar@waldorftga.nz

 

COMMUNITY SHOP – CRAFTY PUKEKO

Have you noted the roster at the door to the Crafty Pukeko?

We are looking to fill a few spaces to have the community shop open daily. The Crafty Pukeko offers our little people a safe shopping experience while the shelves higher up are filled with great products at amazingly low prices. Do you or someone you know have a bit of spare time and would enjoy volunteering? Please get in touch with Wendy on 021-808-452

        
                   GRATITUDE CORNER!

 

 

Last year we successfully applied for a TECT Grant to improve our security systems. That upgrade has now been finalised and as we are about to receive the money, I just wanted to acknowledge here what this grant and gift has meant to us.  

Thanks to the improvement of our security systems we have not experienced any vandalism this year.  This was starting to be quite an issue for us and those of you who have experienced such things will know just how soul destroying it can be.   Having been able to upgrade to one system that covers the whole site makes such a difference to the quality of our working lives too.   This is because our old system was a patchwork of elements that did not speak or collaborate with each other. Our new system on the other hand is one we can all ( even the duffers amongst us) understand. The volatility of the old system will not be missed.   

Excitingly, hiring out our facilities is now safe as well. This has been a sticking point for us in being able to achieve the WSTS dream of becoming a  community venue.   We can leave clear instructions for people using our beautiful campus and have confidence in the system working as expected.

Finally  and most thrilling for some of us, our new and up- to- date system allows us to monitor from off site, saving many late night phone calls from the security company and subsequent trips through the night to check settings.  We suspect our neighbours are about to get happier too, being freed from random screeching sirens in the night! 

We’d like to formally thank TECT for giving our operation a very tangible leg-up.  We are feeling very grateful.  

Mary T-J on behalf of everybody!!