Deputy Principal Archives

13 May 2019

Online assessment and Reporting through LincEd:
Parent Education sessions: Tuesday 28 May at 9.00am and 2.30pm in the Staffroom.

At Elmwood we pride ourselves in being up-to-date with best practices for teaching and learning programmes and assessment. We continue to ensure that what is best for your child’s academic achievement, social and emotional well-being drives every decision we make.

Last year (after the removal of National Standards) the teachers committed a vast amount of time developing a new school-wide framework for assessing progress and achievement in Reading, Writing and Mathematics across all levels. Reporting on your child’s progress in these core learning areas is sent out to you via our cloud-based reporting system, LincEd.

Our first two parent information sessions for this year will be held on Tuesday 28 May at 9.00am and 2.30pm in the staffroom. During these sessions we will assist you to access and understand your child’s progress in LincEd. You will also have the opportunity to view our Reading, Writing and Mathematics Progress and Achievement Frameworks.  

The session will run for approximately 20 minutes. If you participated in these session last year you will not need to attend.

How do I access my child’s LINCED page?

Step 1
Visit https://elmwood.linced.com/wp-login.php?action=lostpassword

Step 2
Your username is the email address that you have previously shared with the school. Enter your email and then click Get New Password.

Step 3
An email will be sent to you containing a link for you to click on. The link will take you to a page where you will see your new password. If you choose to personalise this, you can delete the generated password and enter your own strong, secure password.

To ensure you can find the login page in future, we suggested that you bookmark it.

Step 4

Enjoy reading, viewing and listening to your child’s learning.  Become part of the conversation by writing a comment or adding a ‘Like’ to the post.  

Bully-free NZ Week
This week is Bully-free NZ week. The key message behind 2018 Bully-free NZ Week is ‘Whakanuia Tōu Āhua Ake! Celebrating Being Us!’  The week provides a great opportunity for students to celebrate what makes them unique – such as talents, interests, appearance, disability, culture, beliefs, race, gender or sexuality – and encourages schools to build environments where everyone is welcome, safe and free from bullying.

Here at Elmwood we aim to provide a positive environment in which each child is respected and his/her rights to learn and play are encouraged and protected. We have five behaviour goals based around our school values, that underpin our Growing Great Citizens Programme. They exist to encourage students to “do the right thing.” These goals are outlined in the image below.

Pink shirt day, held annually by the Mental Health Foundation, celebrates diversity and supports schools to prevent bullying and be a safe place for all students. Elmwood will be supporting this movement.  This Thursday 16th May, the children are invited to wear a pink shirt or another piece of pink clothing to support this cause and bring a gold coin donation.

More information about how you can support a Bully-free Aotearoa can be found on the following website.  https://www.bullyingfree.nz/

ESOL (English as a Second Language) Parent Meeting
This Wednesday 15th May, there will be a meeting for parents of children who are part of our English as a Second Language programme (ESOL).  This meeting will be held in the staffroom at 9am. We will be discussing how we assess children’s learning at Elmwood, and how to use our online reporting system – LincEd.   

You will also get a chance to visit the ESOL room and view some of your child’s work.

Please rsvp to jille@elmwood.school.nz.

Jill

6 May 2019

ICAS exams
Usually about now the first of the International Competitions and Assessment for Schools exams (ICAS) are being sat by students all over Australasia, however this year the schedule for these exams has changed and they are all now set down for Term 3 (please see below for the dates). The other change is that the majority of them are now online tests.

These exams are available for Year 3 – 6 and are completely voluntary.  The results are not used by the school as part of our assessment process.

Later this term you will receive an email with details of how you can enter your child into these exams if you wish to do so. The exams cost $15.00 each (excl GST).

ICAS Science – Thursday 5 September
ICAS Writing – Tuesday 10 September (offline for Years 4 & 5)
ICAS English – Tuesday 17 September
ICAS Mathematics – Thursday 19 September

ESOL (English as a Second Language) Parent Meeting
On Wednesday 15th May, there will be a meeting for parents of children who are part of our English as a Second Language programme (ESOL).  We will be discussing how we assess children’s learning at Elmwood, and how to use our online reporting system – LincEd. It will be held in the staffroom at 9am.

You will also get a chance to visit the ESOL room and view some of your child’s work.

Please rsvp to jille@elmwood.school.nz.

Jill

29 April 2019

House Day – Friday 3 May
Elmwood Normal School has four `Houses’ named after prominent people in our school’s history; Rhodes, Fee, Wylie, Coberger. Our House System is designed to embody the core values and ethos of our school. It aims to create smaller communities within our large school in order to strengthen tuakana-teina relationships (old and young learning together). It provides an interactive, real world context for our children to unite and collaborate in teams.

Our aim is to provide every child in each house with the following:

    • A sense of camaraderie and belonging within the school.
    • The opportunity to interact with teachers and children that they would normally have no reason to know.
    • Opportunities to develop team-building and social skills across different contexts.
      • An awareness of individual and collective responsibility.
  • Younger students with role models to look up to in the older students and older students the opportunity to mentor younger students.

        and last but by no means least …

  • Fun and excitement through healthy competition.

To assist with the strengthening of these connections, this Friday 3 May Elmwood will be having their very first House Day. This is an opportunity for the children to come together with other members of their House for a day of fun team-building activities.

The children are invited to dress in their house colours for the full day. There will be small prizes for the most creative costumes.

ESOL (English as a Second Language) Parent Meeting
On Wednesday 15th May, there will be a meeting for parents of children who are part of our English as a Second Language programme (ESOL).  We will be discussing how we assess children’s learning at Elmwood, and how to use our online reporting system – LincEd. It will be held in the staffroom at 9am.

You will also get a chance to visit the ESOL room and view some of your child’s work.

Please rsvp to jille@elmwood.school.nz.

Jill

1 April 2019

Whist attending the ENSCA Quiz night on Thursday, I was once again struck by the incredible, collegial spirit of our Elmwood community.  The friendly camaraderie, laughter and banter that echoed around the room throughout the evening as we racked our brains to work out the answers to such trivial questions as “What does ABS stand for?” provided some well needed light relief after what has been an emotionally fraught couple of weeks.

Our sincere thanks go out to the incredible ENSCA team who are a constant presence around the school, quietly working in the background to bring our parent community together, and support our staff and children.

The words of a whakatauki that is often used, but still so significant at times such as we have seen recently resonate.

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takimana. My strength is not that of an individual but that of the collective.

Jill Evans
Deputy Principal

4 March 2019

Carpe diem – Seize the day

Elmwood school life continues to be busy with many opportunities starting up for our children. Part of the fun at this time of year is children taking up new opportunities and trying out activities for the first time.

With my office positioned opposite the Music Room, I have enjoyed the sounds of the various music groups getting back into their practice routines on several afternoons this year. I often catch myself tapping away to the range of tunes rehearsed by our dynamic school orchestra and senior school choir – both with many new members this year.

A notable inclusion to the music on offer at our school, is the addition last year of a second choir made up of our junior and middle school tamariki. All children from Year 2 – 4 are invited to sing together on a Friday afternoon. Last week 108 students turned up voluntarily!

Our waengarahi wharekura (middle school) and pāhake wharekura (senior school) kapa haka groups began with gusto last week. Again, an impressive turnout with lots of enthusiastic participants, including the teachers!

Events coming up on the sporting calendar provide other opportunities for the children to take risks and challenge themselves. The school swimming sports and swimming carnival, cross country and the duathlon – to name a few.  Other events such as the Kid’s Lit Quiz are also happening this term.

Special thanks must be extended to the huge number of Year 6 students who have volunteered for leadership roles for 2019.  At our first Celebration Assembly of the year we acknowledged these students and thanked them in advance for the work they will be doing to support our school this year.

Please encourage your child to get involved, try new things and make the most of what we have to offer over the coming months.

Road Safety
Please can you emphasize to your children how important it is to cross Aikmans and Leinster Road at the pedestrian crossings outside the school entrances. If you are dropping your child off opposite the school, they must walk down the road to this crossing. Please do not help them to cross opposite the school on either of these busy roads. Thank you for your support with this.

Jill

11 February 2019

Leave no trace
We recognise that the majority of our school community are right behind our rubbish-free school initiative `Leave No Trace’, and we thank you for your collective effort. This began in Term 3 last year by removing the rubbish bins from around the school and encouraging the children to take home the food waste and packaging they brought to school each day. Gradually we moved to encouraging them to not bring single-use plastic wrappers/containers in their lunchboxes. It has been wonderful to see the number of children who proudly show me their plastic wrapper free lunches over the past two weeks.

For those of you who are not sure as to the reasoning behind this initiative, here is an excerpt from our New Zealand curriculum that explains it some more.

“Environmental education, together with sound legislation, sustainable management, and responsible actions by individuals and communities, is an important component of an effective policy framework for protecting and managing the environment.

Environmental education is a new focus for education. It is a way of helping individuals and societies to resolve fundamental issues relating to the current and future use of the world’s resources. However, simply raising awareness of these issues is insufficient to bring about change. Environmental education must strongly promote the need for personal initiatives and social participation to achieve sustainability.” (New Zealand Curriculum, 2015).

Jill Evans
Deputy Principal

4 February 2019

The beginning of the school year
Welcome to the new school year. Can you recall the first day of your primary school years?  The melting pot of emotions that churned away inside as you entered the school grounds – excitement, anxiousness, anticipation. For many of the children, last Wednesday was possibly the biggest day in their year.  They would have possibly spent more energy processing new sensory information on that first day than they would have over the whole of their summer break! This coupled with the novelty of returning to school, the heat of the day, catching up with old friends and building new friendships, would have led to us sending home some rather exhausted (but hopefully happy) children last week.

With Waitangi Day approaching, this week the teachers will be integrating teaching and learning opportunities that recognise Te Tiriti o Waitangi – the founding document of Aotearoa, New Zealand.  Through this curriculum `Focus for Five’ (learning occurring over five days), the children will learn about the history and heritage of our unique country. Make sure you take time to ask them about what they have learnt. Such practices will help to develop citizens who are comfortable and confident with New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage.

We are extremely fortunate at Elmwood to have an incredible team of dedicated teachers who have spent the majority of the past fortnight working to create welcoming learning environments for your children. In addition to this our two Teacher Only Days last week focused on ‘Learner Agency’.

Learner agency is embedded in the New Zealand Curriculum as one of “the capabilities that young people need for growing, working, and participating in their community.”  It is important for our students to learn to be agents of their own learning; to advocate for themselves, to make choices, to practice self-awareness, and develop an understanding of themselves as learners. Over the course of our two professional development days, we looked at the key components that make up learner agency.  Mr Armitage put us all in the learner’s shoes, challenging us to strengthen our own agency through a collaborative Digital Technology activity. Sue Graham, the maths advisor who has been working with us for two years now, supported us to think about how increased student agency might look within our Mathematics programmes.

Learner Agency is our year-long professional development focus aimed at continuing  to strengthen our skills in presenting the best teaching and learning environments possible for your children. We will continue to update you on ways we are developing agency across the school throughout the year.

Jill Evans
Deputy Principal