27 March 2013

From the Principal

Greetings, Kia ora, Namaste, Ni Hao, Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Kia orana, Ni sa bula vinaka, Salam

Dear parents and caregivers,

It was great to see so many of you on 6 March to meet your child’s teacher and to talk about the year ahead. We have had a wonderful start to the year and feel very excited about our planned learning activities for your children. Please keep in touch with us regularly. We really appreciate a phone call if there is something we need to know about and similarly we will contact you if we need to meet with you. Our teachers are happy to chat informally with you before or after school, but if you need a formal meeting, that can be easily arranged at a mutually agreed time.

Student Achievement Targets: As you know, the Ministry of Education requires us to formulate achievement targets around the government’s national standards, each year. At our school, following analysis of end of year data, we develop a target in each of the core curriculum areas of reading, writing and maths.

In addition, we have individual reading targets for all Maori, Pasifika and English language learning students. Our teachers also have targets for gifted and talented students in their rooms.

We intend of course to maximise learning for every student in all curriculum areas. We have very high expectations of all students and you can be assured that your children will be encouraged to achieve at their optimum level of achievement. All students are tracked and their learning monitored regularly. Adjustments are made to their learning programmes accordingly and all our teachers work extremely hard to enhance and accelerate the learning of your children.

School Leaders: Please check out Showcase on our website for this year’s student leaders. Our school council, playground role models and Maori and Pasifika student leaders all make a wonderful contribution to the smooth running of our school. We could not manage without them and it is great to see them all grow and develop their leadership capabilities over their time at PCS.

Pasifika Fono Meeting: Thank you to Associate Principal Ross McGowan for leading this meeting last Thursday evening. Many thanks to all families who came along to support your children and to support our school. We really appreciate your ideas and insights and we look forward to our term 3 Polyfest and your involvement in it.

Gift from the St George Trust: We have recently received a wonderful donation from our local St George Trust. As a result of the Trust’s generosity, we will be able to replace the adventure playground and fitness trail matting during the upcoming April school holidays and next year, we will be able install an all-weather multisport astro turf pitch. We are very grateful for the generous donation to our school and wish to acknowledge and thank the St George Trust most sincerely.

Other Property News: Under our property planning arrangements with the MOE, we plan to replace the six relocatable classrooms – rooms 13-19 with a new double storey building in 2015. In addition we will refurbish the former dental clinic into a new learning space.

Daily Story Time: Each day, a teacher reads a story to children in our school library during the lunch break. This is an optional session for children who are keen to enjoy a story along with other students from our school. It is great to see them selecting their choice of seating – they love the bean bags! The story of the day is advertised on the day sheet each morning and it is great to see a good group of students in the library at this special time each day. Thank you to Alex Hanson, Paul McAleer and Sharlene Howe who have read to children this term.

We are already planning our 2014 book week in early August. Please get in touch with Leia Reid if you have any suggestions to help us plan this special week.

Our New Mural: I am sure that you will have noticed our wonderful new mural on the year 5 classroom block wall facing St George St. Please check out the photo on Showcase on our website as well. Our talented former deputy principal Pelu Leaupepetele came up with the concept design, our gifted school librarian Leia Reid designed and painted all the images and our star property manager Kevin Deed constructed the finished product. It depicts our beautiful country in a really special way. I hope that you all enjoy it. Sincere thanks and congratulations to all concerned on a fine effort.

Local Papatoetoe Soccer Club Invitation: Tomorrow evening at 5.30pm there is going to be a fun-filled soccer evening at the Papatoetoe Sports Centre next to our school, with a focus on 4-6 year old children. There will be games, spot prizes and a barbecue and you are warmly invited to attend. You will receive a very warm welcome and you are assured of an enjoyable family evening.

Hats and Drink Bottles: Reminder: Please make sure that your child has a school hat as it is compulsory for hats to be worn during break times this term and in term 4. As it continues to be very warm we want all children to have a drink bottle that they can fill from the water taps at school.

School Uniform: (Black footwear and socks): Reminder: We would like to remind you that all students are expected to wear black footwear to school. In the cooler weather, we ask that they wear black socks. Could you please also ensure that all school uniform is named. We always end up with many uniform items in our lost property box. These can be easily returned to their owners if they are named.

Warmest wishes for a wonderful weekend as we continue to enjoy the beautiful late summer weather. I hope that you can make the most of some outdoor activities with your special children.

Kindest regards

Marilyn Gwilliam

General Notices

Welcome to our new students: Simran Kaur and Deyzell Hiraka-Love

Assembly Day: On Monday, 31 March, Room 26 will lead our assembly. As always you are most welcome to attend but please make sure that you are seated by 1.15pm.

Class visit to St Christopher’s Residential Home: Tomorrow, Friday, 28 March (weather permitting) at 1.30pm, Room 26 will be visiting St Christopher’s Hospital.

Music lessons at Papatoetoe Central School: Kids in Time are back this year offering lessons in Piano, Guitar, Ukelele etc. For further information contact Heather on 09 235 5485

PTA: We’d like to extend a big thank you to our PTA who have been working very hard on their fundraising this term and a very special thank you to Shara who has been organising chocolates in room 3 for several weeks now! The PTA fundraising is always really valued and we appreciate very much the support from our PCS families.

School Photos Important Information: A prepaid envelope for each student was sent home this week. Please have the form and money returned to the school office by Monday, 7 April ready for photos to be taken on 8 & 9 April. For a special photo of your children together, collect a pre paid “Sibling Envelope” from the school office. No individual or sibling photos will be taken without pre payment. Please make sure you use the form with the attached envelope as it is pre printed with your child’s name, room etc and Photolife only gives us a few spares for new children.

Absences: A reminder to parents that we have an answer phone on each morning so that absence messages can be recorded. A large number of parents still have to be contacted when students are away and one of our staff members spends a considerable amount of time on this each morning. If the school is not notified from day one of their absence, your child will be marked as truant. Please stay in contact during their absence and make use of our answer phone by simply leaving their name, room number and a brief reason for their absence or leave a text message on 021 245 5663.

Term Dates

  • Tues, Wed, 8 & 9 April – Individual & class photos
  • Thursday, 10 April – Yr 2 Zoo Trip
  • Thursday, 17 April – Yr 6 Camp fundraising mufti day
  • Thursday, 17 April – last day of term
  • Friday, 18 April – Good Friday

 Thank you ASB

A huge thank you to the Hunters Plaza ASB who presented the school with a $500 cheque from their ‘Supporting in your School’ promotion.

At this stage the $500 or Samsung Tablet offer is available until 31st March 2014 and closer to that time we will advise if the offer has been extended or the value changed.