Monday, February 15, 2016

Welcome to Room 15

Monday 1st February

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the new school year.

I hope you have all enjoyed a happy festive season and that the New Year has begun smoothly and cheerfully. I have had a lovely break and am rested and ready to go.

First a little bit more about me. I have been in New Zealand now for 11 years, teaching in Auckland and Flaxmere before coming to Havelock North Primary. I’m originally from England, beginning my teaching career in South Gloucestershire and spending 2 years at an International school in Thailand before coming to New Zealand. I have been accompanied on my adventures by my husband Wilf and three children - Jacob (now 22), Bethany (20) and Kyle (18).

Today you will have received a lot of paperwork. Amid it all is the Middle School Newsletter explaining that we are starting the year with the topic “Whanaungatanga” - belonging to our family, class and school community.

This year at Havelock North Primary we are continuing a Positive Behaviour for Learning programme. The PB4L is a school wide integrated initiative which aims to promote appropriate behaviour in a positive manner that is non-threatening and supportive of all students and staff. It aims to minimise problematic behaviours and maximise and celebrate positive social and academic student behaviors. This week our focus will be How to enter and exit a classroom appropriately, an appropriate topic for the beginning of the year. Each week students who have been recognised for following the PB4L school focus receive a certificate in team assembly.

Important dates:

Swimming this Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - don’t forget togs, goggles and towel.

Leave school at 11 for swim 1
Leave school at 1:50 for swim 2

Leave school at 11

Leave school at 11 for swim 1
Leave school at 1:50 for swim 2

Leave school at 11
If you are available to come and help for an hour on any of these days it would be much appreciated.
School Picnic - Thursday 11th February on the school field at 5:30 - lets hope for good weather :)
Swimming Sports - Monday 15th February. We are all taking part so you are welcome to come and support your child. First race is at 9:20.
Meet the Teacher Tuesday 16th February 6:45 - 7:30 in the hall.
Weetbix Tryathlon is Thursday February 18th. If your child has entered then I hope they have a great day. Prizegiving is usually at about 1 o’clock and children are welcome to come back to school in their triathlon shirts and tell us about their day.
Interschool Swimming - Monday 22nd February This event is for a small group of Year 4s who will be chosen to represent Havelock North Primary at the Interschool Swimming event. Children will be chosen based on their performance at Swimming Sports.
School Triathlon - Monday 7th March. Again we will all be participating, and again it's first thing in the morning. We will be discussing this event in class over the coming weeks to sort out groups and see who is swimming, cycling and running. There is also the opportunity for children who want to, to compete individually.
Relay for Life - Saturday 5th March. Please see the letter giving details about this event.
Tough Kid Challenge - Tuesday 8th March - We are all competing in this event this year. It is held at the Hastings Regional Sports Park and we will be travelling over by bus.
Each week I will email you relevant information and homework details. Children will also get details of their homework in their Google Drive. That way even if the dog does eat their homework book they have another copy! Ask them to show you on their chromebook or home computer how they find their homework sheet.
Digital Devices
Personal chromebooks are optional this year. If you would like your child to bring one they can be bought from Noel Leeming for around $400.  I found out last year that children adapt to bringing a chromebook to school very quickly. They are very responsible at getting them in and out of the locked cupboards and bringing them to school fully charged. There will be class chromebooks for all students to use.
This week we will be discussing rules for using the devices in the classroom.
Classroom Rules
  1. Bring your device to school fully charged.
  2. Lock your device in the cupboard when you are not using it.
  3. Look after your device and only use your own device.
  4. Only use your device when a teacher is in the room.
  5. All activities must be about learning.
  6. School accounts are for school work only.
  7. Be a responsible digital citizen at all times.

When the children are at school they will only be engaged in activities that are to do with learning. If they need to access a website or watch something on YouTube the link will be on our class blog or wiki. The children will have all bookmarked the class blog on their browsers, so there should never be an occasion where they have to google something. When appropriate they will receive lessons in how to safely google information. We also have Watchdog at school, a Ministry approved educational filtering system that keeps our children safe online. It's not infallible and our cyber safety lessons will teach the children what to do should something inappropriate turn up.
At home, your rules apply. I have explained to the children that websites they are allowed to go on at home are fine if their parents approve. But are not to be used at school. Also that their home rules may not be the same as their friends home rules. We need to be aware of this when our children visit other people - that they may not have the same rules we have and that there could be no filtering on the internet. That’s why our cyber safety lessons are so important at teaching our children how to be safe online.
I would advise you to have rules as to where your child uses their device at home. I would recommend they work in a room with other people and would discourage children from taking their devices into their bedrooms. That way you will be aware of the sites they are on. If your child want to join a site (such a Club Penguin - although thats probably very out dated now!) they will need to use a “home” email address not their school one. Get these rules established before they turn into secretive teenagers!
If you have any queries regarding anything I have mentioned or if you think I have missed anything out please let me know. You can email me, find me in the classroom before or after school or bring it up at the Meet the Teacher Evening.
Other paperwork
  • Stationery List - If you would like to purchase your stationery through the school please complete the form and return to school with the money. You can also pay online through internet banking. The details are on the school website We also have EFTPOS available in the school office.
  • Internet user agreements and contact detail updates. These will need to be signed and returned to me in the classroom.

Apologies for the size of this newsletter - I assure you they are not usually this long!
I hope to see many of you at Meet the Teacher and the School Picnic.
Kind regards
Karen Duligall

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