Welcome back to term 2. I hope the break afforded you the opportunity to enjoy some rest and recreation, and family time.
I had the very great pleasure of visiting a number of schools in Christchurch at the end of term 1. Firstly the resilience of the people of Christchurch is to be admired after the terrible onslaught of the earthquakes that devastated so much of the inner city and surrounds. My only other visit to Christchurch presented a very different landscape, with the beautiful architecture and history that went with them. Now there are few of those buildings left intact and the rebuilding program sees scaffolding and new buildings springing up where once there had been much different scapes to enjoy. The schools I visited were also incredibly resilient.
At West Spreydon school they told of the huge community effort that had seen the restoration of the school pool which had been central to family life for decades. The pool was reopened to the public three days before the earthquake quite literally lifted it up and relocated it torn and useless. One of West Speydon’s values is ‘adventure’, and the school community subsequently combined forces once again and a huge rope and climbing facility has been erected for all students to use regardless of their age or acumen for climbing. Obviously the students love it, as they do the huge trees that remained unscathed that they climb and play cubbies in. West Spreydon, as with the other schools visited were actively engaged in celebrating the different cultural aspects of the school populations, as we would also see as very important to the development of ‘community’. We will be asking our student voice representatives and class captains to garner ideas from our students as to how we might celebrate the many different cultures in our school. In one school I visited the Pacific Island community organised a huge hangi and the entire school community was invited to attend. Let’s see what we can come up with?
Each school visited was also very keen to continue building global relations. We discussed the possibility of developing exchange programs for both students and teaching staff and the sharing of pedagogy especially in the areas of 21st Century learning and Information Technology. Overall I felt the visit was very worthwhile and I look forward to embarking on a program of discovery with these schools.
Congratulations to the Arts team and all staff, students and community members who participated in the Busking Day extravaganza last term. We raised an amazing $6,909 for the Royal Children’s Hospital. Busking Day is becoming bigger and better each year and we can be justifiably proud of the efforts made to support this worthy cause. That’s community spirit too!
Kim Crilly and her team of willing helpers are also to be congratulated on the success of the Carnivale. This is a great opportunity for our community to come together and enjoy some fun time at the school. We hope that the Carnivale will become a tradition and continue to provide this fantastic opportunity to celebrate our unique Creekside culture.
Term 2 is always a busy term and once again students will be involved in a number of activities and learning opportunities that will maximise the learning outcomes they will achieve. Teachers will be preparing the mid -year reports during term. These will be sent home at the conclusion of the term. There will also be opportunities for parents to attend information sessions exploring Mathematics and English teaching and providing helpful anecdotes for parents to use at home.
I look forward to the coming term and encourage you to keep the communication flowing with your child’s teacher/teachers in order to build on the opportunities for continued student learning. Strong partnerships are the cornerstone to successful school experiences.