Thursday, 9 April 2020

Thursday 9 April 2020 Two Weeks In To Our Stay Home Period

As we plan for our school to re-open for distance learning after the Easter break next week, I have been mindful of our core school vision of Valuing the Individual and Striving for Excellence. All school families will have had different stresses and experiences over the past two weeks of isolation. Whether it is trying to work from home while maintaining family life, or having a great deal more time on your hands to spend with family, or being an essential worker who has to work out in the community, we all have different experiences. As we plan for distance learning, it is important to remember that the most important thing is that you look after both your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your family. 
The Mental Health Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing can help guide our actions as we think about what distance learning can look like for different families. We can follow these practices within our family bubbles and spread kindness and manaakitanga amongst each other. 
  • Connect - talk and listen to each other, build relationships with those around you
  • Give - your time, your words, your presence; do something nice for and with your family
  • Take Notice - be curious
  • Keep Learning - embrace new experiences, see opportunities, surprise yourself
  • Be Active - do what you can; enjoy what you do; move your mood.
There are so many learning opportunities around the home that we can make the most of. This is far more important than whether each student has completed every last task that they have been set. Most importantly, be kind to each other, be helpful, learn new skills around the home and enjoy each others company. 

Take care and enjoy your Easter break. 

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Thursday 2 April 2020 One Week In To Our Stay Home Period

Well, it's one week in and everyone seems to be doing well. One of the things I have been doing is having a spring clean at home. I came across a book by Jason Ohler about living in the digital age. The book was written in 2005 as we were coming to grips with how we make sense of a digitally overdone world. At the time, I had copied out a quote from the book that is still absolutely relevant now:
Our attitude about learning will control our aptitude because knowledge will be so fast changing that only those who actually enjoy learning will thrive.

This is certainly food for thought at the moment as we try to stay connected with our students at home. How do we support students from a distance in a meaningful way? We talk about students taking ownership of their learning, and I see this as a huge opportunity to explore the realities of what this can look like in this new environment.

I would welcome your thoughts and comments about distance learning and what you believe works and makes a difference. We want our students to be excited about learning and we want all of our students to thrive.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Day One - Thursday 26 March

“Connecting with people who make you feel safe and loved is the most important thing you can do to look after your mental health and the mental health of people around you.”

I've been thinking about this today as we settle in to our first day at home. I hope you are all making the most of being with the people you love. It was so lovely to connect in with all the teachers today via a Zoom meeting. We are so lucky to have the technology to stay connected even when we are not in the same room together. 

A big focus of our enforced isolation at home will be to stay connected to each other. I would love photos and comments from you about how you are doing this, as when we work together, we come up with even better ideas. 

I felt a bit sad when I left school yesterday, knowing that none of us would be allowed back for at least four weeks. However, I am also extremely grateful for the community we live in. We have so many caring, kind people who make this place special.
Keep in touch with each other and stay safe at home. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Garden to Table Resources

Over the coming weeks when we are all at home, I think the garden is the very best place for all of us! Here are some ideas for what you might like to do while you are at home.

Brainstorm - Why do we garden? (making sure to include that gardening has mental and physical benefits e.g. can improve our mood, gentle to vigorous exercise, we are connecting with our natural environment and we are 'connecting' with our family). Central to GTT is the nutritious fruit and vegetables that we grow and get to eat and nourish our bodies to keep us well.

Quiet activities - from a sitting position count flying insects and animals.....How many butterflies/honey bees/bumblebees/birds can you see? (Turn the data into a graph)

Drawing - Explorers, such as on James Cook's expeditions, had artists onboard who documented the plant and animal life. Explore the garden world in detail. This can be done inside or outside. Children can draw a leaf in detail. An insect in detail. A fruit or vegetable cut in half so that you can see it's interior. 

Garden signs - Make markers for new plants/seedlings, larger signs for beds and trees. By painting the background white, the coloured letters will stand out clearly. Can re-use wood or unused corflute signs (e.g. real estate 'for sale' signs). This can be done inside or outside. 

Looking after ourselves - looking after the garden. Keeping ourselves warm and comfortable in the garden now that the weather is getting cooler. Similarly, your garden may need a bed of mulch to stop it from drying out in the autumn before the rain comes. Mulching will help keep the soil warm, like a blanket, through the winter.


Friday, 5 July 2019

Term Two

I have just spent the last three days at the New Zealand Principals conference in Auckland.  This was a great opportunity to reflect on what we do and even more importantly why we do it.  The conference theme of Renaissance explored ideas around what an education personalized to the needs of every student could look like.  It highlighted the need for us to continue to focus on an inclusive culture within the school.
Next term, our parent, teacher and student interviews will provide an opportunity for you to share what is important to you and your children for their ongoing schooling. I hope to meet up with you all then.
In the meantime,  I wish you all a safe and happy holiday break.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Welcome to 2019

It was wonderful to welcome everyone back to Rosebank this week and to hear all the holiday stories from students. We also welcomed 23 new students to Rosebank School this year with a special welcome assembly on Tuesday.
Classes are all well underway and everyone has coped amazingly well with the heat that has come our way this week. I think everyone is pleased to see the rain today after yesterday though!

We have welcomed Mr Gordon Edwards and Mrs Tiffany McRae to our teaching staff this year, and we are very pleased to have both of them here at Rosebank. We also welcomed Mrs Jasmine Goodwin on to our support staff. We have been very fortunate to attract such high quality staff to Rosebank to join our happy team here.

Our first event on the calendar is school interviews next week, and I hope to catch up with many of you as you come along for these.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

A celebration of culture

We have had another successful and exciting time at Rosebank this week. Last night I attended the 2017 annual Chinese Prizegiving at Columba College in Dunedin. Eight of our students were identified for their excellence in Mandarin classes this year and four of these students attended the prizegiving ceremony. It is an honour to receive this award, which reflects the hard work and commitment the students have shown in their Mandarin classes over the year.
Congratulations to the following students who received an award this year:
Anna Lloyd, Archie Smith, Latoya Hewitt, Brooke Kendall, Brooke Stratford, Ulysses Cu, Alex Ryan and Connor Bond

Mrs Miller and I visited the preschools on Friday morning. It is one of the great parts of this job to get out and visit our four year olds in their own settings. Mrs Miller had a lovely chat with Ava at Big River Educare. Ava chose this photo of Mrs Miller to bring back to school.

The Year 7 and 8 social on Tuesday evening was a fantastic opportunity for students and their families to enjoy some great dancing. The social skills that are reinforced through the dancing really contribute to the value of activities such as this. It is a great Rosebank tradition and a lovely way for students to share their learning with families. I really loved the dance off, which was a new addition to the programme. It was as much fun for the audience watching as it was for the students performing. Well done to everyone for an outstanding evening.