Kia ora te whānau,
A very warm welcome to the 2023 school year at Dalefield. I know we are all looking forward as a community with hope that 2023 will be a year that we can all start putting the harsh times of the pandemic behind us. Welcome also to our new students and families - I will officially welcome them all in the first school newsletter next week.
This first newsletter is by way of an introduction to Dalefield and will hopefully answer any questions you may have.
Click on the link above to see meet the amazing Dalefield staff team! I also want to welcome Naomi Oliver onto the staff. Naomi will be here for three days/week, working with our students.
8:55am All students at school
10:30am-10:50am Morning tea
12:30pm-12:45pm Eating Lunch
3:00pm School ends (staggered end from 2:50pm)
Hero is our school app. It is the main way we communicate with whānau - ie newsletters, information from teachers, student achievement and a record of learning etc. We are holding an information afternoon during the first term for new and current families about the app and parental engagement with it.
We don’t have a school uniform but do have a top provided for sports events and other activities. We also have a wonderful papa haka uniform that was worn with pride at the Wairarapa school’s festival last year.
First aid is carried out promptly when accidents occur. Parents are contacted immediately for more serious accidents or if a child becomes unwell. Staff have up to date first aid training.
We have an active Home and School Committee and parents are welcomed and encouraged to join up. The committee will get up and running again this term and as indicated below, will be supporting the fundraising priorities for the school. The first communication from the committee will be to invite new members and outline the priorities. Please consider becoming a member and watch out for the first communication.
Meetings held monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Again, contact with the community will be made shortly from the board.
We are part of this wonderful initiative here at Dalefield. All children receive a school lunch every day.
The progress has not been as fast as was intended and it's not looking like the seal and kerbing of the car park will be complete by opening day on Wednesday - however there is always hope.
The entrance and exit to the school is still compromised and will require a staggered exit at the end of the school day - as per last year. Our youngest children will be dismissed to parents from 2:50pm and the older children at 3:00pm. Parents are asked to continue to use the hall as per last year until the new seal is in place. I will keep you posted as to progress. Please note: The side entrance gate on Thomas Road is closed.
Reinstatement of the school playground equipment is a major focus for the school this year. With no budget for the works (but a design by the students), the fundraising for this is a top priority, along with the tree-planting in response to the '10% of the Dalefield grounds given over to native ecosystems' goal. Again, the staff and I are coming up with ways for our children to explore the free-play, experimentation and coordination gains that are enabled by the use of playground equipment, in the interim.
The teachers have been meeting up at school planning and setting up classrooms in readiness for the year. I am excited and truly grateful for the amazing team of professionals at our school.
On Monday, all the South Wairarapa teachers, principals and teacher aides are getting together at Kuranui College, for a Kāhui Ako professional development day. The programme features Nathan Wallace which will be rewarding for everyone attending. On Tuesday all staff will be back at Dalefield planning, preparing and sorting in readiness for the school year. We will also be having input from a professional in regards to the learning needs of children with trauma.
This year we are working with a neurodiversity expert. She will be working with staff over the course of the year, and with students. We are also looking at the digital curriculum under a neurodiverse lens, in order to best meet the needs of all our students.
We will shortly be starting up house duties on a Friday. Our students are assigned a special Dalefield House on arrival at school. The senior students are the house leaders and part of their growth is to support and encourage our younger ones to contribute to the upkeep of our environment. The duties are rostered for approximately 20 minutes on a Friday afternoon.
The school office will have all stationery requirements for the students. Lists will be sent out on Tuesday 31st and those items already purchased are therefore not required.
Staff will be in touch with you all and as above, communication will be through Hero. Please talk to Lisa in the office or myself if you are having any issues with the app. Newsletters are also on the school’s website and Facebook pages.
At Dalefield, we always make sure we do as much outside the classroom as possible. There will be visits stating early on in the term and we will always give as much notice as we can. We are also sending out a generic local permission form to sign so that every trip does not require parental consent. Information about every trip however, is sent out prior.
We are again heading to the Hood Aerodrome in Masterton on Friday the 24th. This was such a great experience last time and the organisers are finalising details for us. We will let you know as soon as arrangements for the day are confirmed.
Finally, I just wanted to update you all about the accident I had at the end of the year, whilst on the school camp. I have recovered and am looking forward to the year ahead. I am however having to have further surgery around my right eye to repair the damage. This was initially going to be on the 14th of January but had to be delayed. I am now having the surgery at Hutt Hospital on the 31st and will be in overnight. Whilst not ideal in terms of timing, it has to occur. I am hoping that I will be back at work on Friday 3 February. I also want to sincerely thank you for your messages and kind words - it was hugely appreciated.
Ngā mihi nui,
The first communication to whānau for 2023.
January 29, 2023