Windy Ridge School Newsletter
22 April 2020
Term 2 Week 2
KINDO: online school shop (click on KINDO to register)
Respect, Resilience, Kindness, Integrity
Hello, Kamusta, Hola a todos, As-salāmu ʿalaykum, Kumusta, Annyeonghaseyo, Ni Hao, Konichiwa, Namaste, Zdravstvuyte, Ciao, Cześć, Szia, Hallo, Bonjour, Salut, Fakalofa Lahi Atu, Talofa Lava, Malo e Leilei, Orana, Kia Ora Koutou
News from the Principal
“He waka eke noa”
“We’re all in this together.”
Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa,
Well life has changed so utterly for us all since you last received a newsletter from us. Who would have believed that we could have adapted to our ‘new normal’ so quickly. We’ve stayed home and read the paper online. We’ve gone for walks and seen half the neighbourhood, many of whom we’ve never seen before, out there doing the same. Teddy bears have become the rock stars of our world. We’ve learnt more about technology than we ever knew before, so that we’re now ‘zooming’ all over the place. We’ve baked and baked like its going out of style. And every day at 1.00 pm, we stop what we’re doing to listen to Aunty Cindy and Uncle Ashley share with us a few critical facts and figures that have the power to shape the direction and pace of our lives. Who would have foreseen it!
Apart from the odd ‘idiot’ as Jacinda labelled them, we have rocked this new world. We have committed and stayed the distance. And it’s certainly paying off. I feel very proud, and quite emotional, about how well we’ve done as a nation, how awesome we kiwis are, and that feeling of pride has absolutely extended to our school community. And so onto stage 2 – Alert Level 3. It probably doesn’t feel like much of a change to many of you at home, but at school we see it as a chance to get back on site, and part of the more significant transition towards Level 2 that we hope will be coming before too long.
I have been pleasantly surprised and extremely impressed by the enthusiastic and positive attitude that our learners have shown towards the opportunities to engage in learning remotely. Their personalities and passions have come through very clearly and I think many of our students have really enjoyed the chance to get a little time in the spotlight. I am also extremely proud of my staff. Learning in this mode is new to all of us, and it has been a steep learning curve, both from a technological standpoint as well as the design of tasks suited to remote delivery. They have worked tirelessly, sacrificing their holiday time to upskill, plan and connect with and help parents so that we were ready to deliver learning programmes from the first day of term. They have worked full time, many of them while working around their own family responsibilities, to feedback, connect with and support students in their learning. They are amazing!
Yesterday 27 school devices were couriered out to families who didn’t have any. This will make a significant difference to these learners, who have not only missed out on learning opportunities but also on connecting with their classmates through Zoom (Y1-4) or Google Meet (Y5-6). We hope that these children make the most of their learning opportunities. Could I also ask parents to email me to let me know that the device has arrived and remember to sign the device contract and return it to me as soon as possible.
Thank you also to those families who have very promptly filled in our survey about their Level 3 Intentions to either keep their children at home or return them to school. We do need every family to complete this survey. Knowing how many children to expect will also allow as to calculate how many staff we will need on site. And as you can imagine, we also have a lot to do to prepare the site for a return of staff let alone learners. We have many restrictions on what we can and can’t do over this time, including staggered starts and finishes, social distancing, no access to any PE equipment or playgrounds and keeping learners in bubbles of ten or less. We need to both supervise on site while still overseeing the majority of our students learning from home. It will be challenging, but we are feeling positive that we are up to the challenge. Those families that have indicated their children will join us next Wednesday will receive approval and paperwork outlining the conditions for return by Friday 24th April.
This year Anzac Day will look very different than it normally does. For us at school, we would have been undertaking some form of inquiry into Anzac, and I would have taken our school prefects up to Glenfield College in the last week of term as well as preparing them for the Anzac morning parade on Saturday. That won’t be occurring of course, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t spend some time remembering and honouring the role that our forefathers have played in helping to maintain the rights and freedoms that we have today. Despite those freedoms having been clipped somewhat over the last month, we know that they will be there waiting for us on the other side.
Because we can’t march in honour of those past heroes, we though we’d celebrate with a Friday funday instead. If your children would like to, we invite them to dress up as their favourite superhero. If they’re lacking a costume in these restricted times, something red to represent a poppy would be fine. Hopefully our teachers will dress up as well. Any opportunity your children can take to share themselves on Friday – through zoom or google group meet or Seesaw video will be wonderful.
Finally, we have really missed welcoming our new students and celebrating our independent, focused learners. The teachers have nominated two students per class to receive a certificate.
And here is a video of me at home presenting the certificates. Welcome to our new students and congratulations to our certificate recipients. Not nearly as much fun as the last video but I’m sure those students who are getting a certificate will appreciate it.
Well, keep up the good work everyone. We miss you, and are looking forward to seeing everyone again, hopefully soon.
Kia kaha, kia haumaru, kia ora tonu
Stay strong, stay safe, keep well