Principal's Pen

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of the School,

Tena Koutou Katoa Nga mihi nui Ki a Koutou Katoa,

Thank you to the large number of parents who have supported our EOTC programme throughout the week. Without your support, we are unable to run the extensive activities that we offer. It is clear that all our students have had an enjoyable week and will reflect on their own development in the weeks to come. My thanks to Claire Janes and all the Year 7 teachers for their organisation, energy and enthusiasm throughout the course of the week.

Our first student conferences for the year will take place on Monday, 3 April and Wednesday 5 April.

Based on the results of our 2016 parent survey and a desire to provide more structure around our conferences, we have increased the conference meeting time from 10 minutes to 14 minutes, with a one-minute change over time. We value the feedback we have received and have incorporated the it into our conferences, with increased emphasis on the areas that were raised as needing more attention, specifically:  

  • What curriculum level my son/daughter is at in reading, writing and mathematics?
  • What are the next steps in his/her learning?
  • What the school is doing to accelerate the progress and achievement of my child?
  • What can you as parents do to assist in your child’s learning?

 What is a student-parent-teacher conference?

A student-parent-teacher conference is a three-way conference where the student, parents and teacher meet to discuss the student’s learning, with the student taking an active role. During the conference, the student presents work in different curriculum areas, discussing the process of learning and the progress made to date.

Our aim with the three-way conference is:

  • to help students demonstrate evidence of learning
  • to teach students the process of reflection and self-evaluation
  • to facilitate the development of students' organisational and oral communication skills and to increase their self-confidence
  • to encourage students, parents, and teachers to engage in open and honest dialogue
  • to encourage students to accept personal responsibility for their learning 
  • to increase parent understanding of their child’s learning through improving attendance at and satisfaction with the reporting process.

 Our student conferences will follow an agenda, as outlined below:

 1.    Self-reflection and evaluation

            a.    Settling into intermediate school (Year 7s only)

            b.    Reflecting on achievements to date

2.     Goal setting for 2017

            a.     For each of reading, writing and mathematics:

                        i. Setting specific and realistic learning goals including an achievement level and timeframe

                        ii. How can my teacher assist me with my learning?

                       iii. How can my family assist me with my learning?

            b.     How can I better prepare myself for high school (Year 8s only)?

We feel that this agenda will provide clarity and structure to the conference and help to achieve our goal of improved coherence and consistency across the school.

As part of their regular learning, teachers will spend time with their students assisting them with preparing for the student conference in the coming weeks.

To conclude, our overarching aim is for our parent community to be more informed about the progress and achievement of their children and to feel that the conference has meaning, is beneficial for all concerned and provides specific and personalised direction for the remainder of the academic year. We welcome your feedback and have plans to hold discussion forums with parents, after the student conferences are completed, to obtain your comments.

We look forward to meeting with you at the student conferences to share and discuss your child’s progress and achievements to date. To book a conference time please click here - code is 9qr5k

I look forward to connecting with many of you at our Family Fun Night next Friday 24 March from 5pm.

Warm regards,

Nga mihi nui,

Nick Hill

Principal

 

Archive 2 March 2017

This year we are taking a different approach to our Family Fun Night, which means that all students across the school will be involved. Each class have been using their Integrated Studies lessons to plan and prepare an activity or item to showcase at the Family Fun Night. Therefore, we ask that you accompany your child during the event, so that you can see your child’s work and the activities that each class have prepared. This is a fundraiser, and students will be competing to see who can raise the most amount of funds. Therefore, we ask that you bring your family, a picnic, and some loose change to take part in the various activities on display. I look forward to seeing you all on the night.

Continuing with a fundraising theme, our school has been in the fortunate position of having an outstanding PTA over the last 2-3 years. In that time the PTA have raised in excess of $50K for the benefit of the school and our students. The following are a few examples of how and where the money has been spent:

  • 35 brand new tents at a cost of $18K
  • $3K towards new Kapa Haka uniforms
  • 60 Chromebooks at a cost of $20K
  • 9 new sewing machines to support our elective programmes
  • $11K towards new AV and lighting for future school productions
  • Purchasing of new art screens
  • $10K towards new sports uniforms

In partnership with Kooga, local sponsorship, the PTA’s contribution and the school’s reserve funds, our students have now been supplied with brand new sports kits for all our major sporting codes. This has been a combined effort over the last two years and illustrates the commitment of the PTA and their unwavering support of the school and it’s priorities. You can see from the list above that we have tried to ‘spread’ the pool of money across the cultural, musical and sporting landscape. I feel we we have achieved this.  This years fundraising campaign and the money raised will go towards a purpose built Media Room. This will be an exciting addition to our electives programme and enable all our students to be creative through the use of digital media. My vision is that our students will create their own TV and radio stations, while also using a ‘green room’ in a variety of ways.  I would value your support over the next 8-9 months at the many events we have planned.

I would like to congratulate our new leaders who were commissioned at our service last Friday. It was wonderful to see the support of the parents and grandparents who attended this assembly.  Our leaders have been put to work this week organising school sport, fundraising initiatives and our Family Fun Night on the 24th of March. Please take a look at the photos of our school leaders for 2017 in this newsletter.

We have been gearing up for our first of two camps next week. This is a special time of the year for our year 8 children and I know that they have been looking forward to experiencing the many challenges that lie ahead.  I will be attending the Team Rangitoto camp and will attempt to improve my ability on a surfboard. I am sure the kids will find this amusing as my balance can, at best, be described as poor. My sincere thanks to all those parents who have given up their time to support not only their own children, but all our students who attend camp. I know that you will enjoy yourselves.

Warm regards,

Nga mihi nui,

 

Nick Hill, Principal

 

Archive 16 February 2017

As a community focussed on learning, I have been pleased with the attitude, effort and application of all our students. The tone in the school is extremely positive with students engaging in all that our school has to offer. From a cultural and sporting perspective, there have been a number of meetings and trials being held for a variety of sports.  Information about these can be obtained from the Daily Dash and our school website http://www.belmontint.school.nz/sports/  

Assessments are underway, and staff are now analysing their class data to establish individual learning goals and personalised teaching programmes for their students. We look forward to meeting with you at our first student-led conferences to share and discuss your child’s individual pathway for the rest of the academic year.

As a start to the year, we will be holding a New Parents Welcome Evening on Wednesday 1 March at 7pm.  This will give our new and existing parents an opportunity to come along to find out about the current and future direction of our School, as well as talk with our senior leadership team. I look forward to seeing many of you on the night.

Moving to health and safety matters, could I respectfully remind all parents that our driveway and carpark is not be used as a drop-off or pick up zone due to the large numbers of bicycles that use this space before and after school. This includes the Carpark in Gate 1. At present over 200 students ride their bicycles to and from school.  Currently, over 90% of our students are meeting our expectations by wearing their helmet and high visibility vest. Could I also ask that you support the school and your child, by ensuring that they wear the high visibility vests if they cycle to and from school. This is done with their safety in mind.  

Our busy PTA is preparing for the year ahead, starting the year with their sunblock fundraiser.  Their first meeting and AGM is Thursday 23 February at 7.30pm in the staffroom.  Our PTA is a friendly group and they would welcome new members, so if this sounds like you - please come along to the meeting next week.  Looking forward, our PTA is organising a Family Fun Night on Friday 24 March starting at 5pm; I look forward to seeing many of you and your families there.

Archive 3 February 2017

Dear parents, caregivers and friends of the school,

Welcome back to Belmont Intermediate School for the start of 2017.

I trust that you have all enjoyed your holiday and spending quality time with friends and family.  We have started the year with three focussed and productive teacher only days with the central theme being ‘Understanding our learners’ and ‘How to build learner centered relationships’. Our staff are extremely well prepared for the year ahead and looking forward to building on the successes of 2016.

A very special welcome to parents and students new to the school and parents of returning students. It was wonderful to meet a large number of Year 7 students and their families during our ‘Meet the Teacher’ day earlier in the week.  I also enjoyed the opportunity to talk to some parents as they made their way through the school.

Please feel free to contact your classroom teacher if you have any further questions as a result of your interview. Email addresses for all teachers are on our website at  http://www.belmontint.school.nz/contact-us/   A full schedule of events for Term 1 is available on our website calendar  http://www.belmontint.school.nz/calendar/   and upcoming dates are in this newsletter.  You will also notice that our new electronic sign on Lake Road is operational.  We look forward to using this new tool to celebrate the successes of our students and keep you informed of the many events that take place at our school on weekly and fortnightly basis.

All teachers have talked to the students about our Student Guide for 2017 and its contents.  Can I suggest that you create some time to go through this booklet with your child over the weekend so that they are aware of the standards and expectations of our school.  A copy is available for download at http://www.belmontint.school.nz/administration/   

Continuing with a focus on health, can I ask for your support with our ongoing focus on sun sense. All children who attend BIS will be required to wear a school cap or bucket hat during Terms 1 and 4. Please ensure that your son or daughter have a hat at school everyday.  We will provide a week’s grace with all students expected to have a hat at school by Tuesday 7 February. All classes have sunscreen available for students.

Starting a new year and intermediate school can be daunting for your son/daughter, so I would like to offer some suggestions about how you can make the transition as smooth as possible:

Start your routines again as soon as you can. Getting back to school-day bedtimes is a good place to start. Decide on a school-day routine and stick to it. Finding a quiet place to complete homework is also beneficial for your child’s learning.

Talk about change. Whether it is a new school or a change in your family’s circumstances, make time to talk about any fears or worries. Accompany your child so they can get used to the new school.

Address any problems left over from the last term. If your child has had problems at school, discuss what they want to happen this year and how they can achieve their goals.

It has been an extremely positive start to the year. I have enjoyed visiting all the classrooms, greeting students at the gate and talking to them about their aims and aspirations for the year. I am sure that 2017 is going to be an exceptional one at BIS.

Warm regards,

Nick Hill, Principal

Archive 14 December 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of the School,

Tena Koutou Katoa Nga mihi nui Ki a Koutou Katoa,

Our school prizegiving will be held on Friday 16th December at the Harbourside Church, Esmonde Road, Takapuna. This is an opportunity to celebrate our successes in 2016 and farewell our year 8 students, as they head off to high school.

Prizegiving is a formal occasion with a range of cultural performances and presentations. All students are expected to wear the correct school uniform. We welcome parents and caregivers to come along and join in with the celebrations of our students. The prizegiving commences at 9.30am, and we would love it if you are able to join us. Students will be bussed to and from the venue and will be dismissed once they arrive back to BIS from prizegiving.

To the students, thank you all for your enthusiasm, energy and love of learning. As a group, you are confident, receptive and keen to make the most of your opportunities and for this, you must be congratulated. You have responded well throughout the year, and I am proud of the way in which you have all finished the year strongly as a group of students. You have been a pleasure to lead.

The BOT has continued to provide high-quality governance of the school, and they have again been focused on monitoring achievement and working with me to ensure that we are focused on continuous improvement and providing the very best education for our students and the community. We have enjoyed another strong year as a school and look forward to evolving in 2017. Thank you also to the PTA for supporting school events and taking every opportunity to raise funds for a range of school projects throughout the year. Thank you to Rachel Blackwood, Kate Dobbin and Maire Vieth for their individual and collective efforts throughout the year. I would also like to acknowledge the large number of parent volunteers who supported all our fundraisers throughout 2016.

It is wonderful for a Principal to have such a supportive group of parents who understand what we are trying to achieve. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the highly skilled and dedicated group of teachers that we have at BIS. They have continued to inspire your children and provide them with a high-quality education. They are passionate and committed to our school; it’s vision and intent. I am proud to work with and lead you all.

As this is my last newsletter for the year, I would like to wish the entire BIS community a Merry Christmas and enjoyable holiday season. As a school, we have certainly appreciated your support throughout the year. 

Warm regards,

Nick Hill, Principal

Archive 1 December 2016

Last week I received a call from a member of the public to congratulate me on the manners, behaviour and humility of our students. The group in question had attended Motat for the day and were on one of the trains. Without being asked a number of our students stood up and offered their seats to elderly patrons. It’s these types of phone calls that make me proud to lead our school as it is the human interactions that make us who we are. Well done to Team Rakino and their teachers!

I enjoyed touching base with many of you last Wednesday as we celebrated the huge amount of musical and theatrical talent that exists in our school. It was obvious that students who took part were enjoying themselves and that the standard of performance continues to be high. This is an encouraging sign as we continue to plan for our school production next year. My thanks to Robyn Norwell for her co-ordination of the event and to Hannah Coyle, Emma Mason and Lia Tui for their collective efforts as MC’s.

As a result of reviewing our approach to student leadership at BIS we will be offering more opportunities for students to lead across the sporting, cultural and pastoral landscape. An example of the change will be to appoint House Captains and Deputy House captains for 2017. In addition we will be appointing a Head Boy and Head Girl for the first time in our history. The successful students will lead our student council, represent the school on official occasions, lead school assemblies and connect with our local community. We are in the process of seeking staff, student and senior leadership input, prior to conducting interviews for the positions.

Included in this I am pleased to announce the launch of Belmont Intermediate School’s online shop. Our online shop is designed to make it easy for you to manage school payments, complete permission forms and purchase school lunches. It will be our preferred method of payment in 2017 and therefore I encourage you to register an account. The online shop is in line with our strategic objectives and offers a more efficient way to manage school payments. The online shop is available now for registrations and payment of 2017 fees and donations. As stated previously from 2017 our students will be able to order delicious and nutritious food using Ezlunch. We feel this change will align our practices with the new Health and Safety Act and promote more healthier options for your children’s lunch. As a result of this change our Tuckshop will not be trading from 2017. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bev Johnson, who has run the Tuckshop for almost 20 years and wish her all the best. My thanks to Bic Edley for her smooth co-ordination and implementation of this new initiative.

In staffing news it is my pleasure to announce that Mrs Claire Janes has been appointed as our new Assistant Principal for 2017. This role, along with a range of other internal appointments, has been created to ensure that our school recognises and develops talent and continues to build leadership capacity on our staff. Claire will continue to teach her class and will be assigned specific responsibilities that align with her skill set and the strategic direction of the school. I would also like to announce that I have appointed Mrs Renae Kettle to the role of year 7 enrichment teacher. Renae comes to us from Belmont Primary and will bring a huge amount of energy, knowledge and expertise to our teaching staff.

The teaching teams for 2017 have been finalised and are as follows:

Year 8 Team Rangitoto Wendy Hay (Team Leader), Fiona Lysaght, Deb Dickinson, Steve Ramdhanie, Susan Revell and Frances Brown (Enhancement Teacher)

Team Motuihe Tim Oldham (Team Leader), Paul Howard, Carly Tustian, Shannon Oswald, Jo Needham, Larissa Johnson, Fiona Sokolich and Linda Dahlberg

Year 7 Team Rakino Jen Bauer (Team Leader), Leonie Bloor, Claire Janes, Madison Guppy, Jo Hilario, Robyn Norwell, Scott Boniface/Mike Ferguson

Team Motutapu Jo Powell (Team Leader), James Lauder, Lauren Tyler, Simon Hughes, Renae Kettle and Corrina Kagaya (ESOL)

All of our new teachers will be in the school prior to the Christmas break and will be attending our three teacher only days in January. Our school prizegiving will be held on Friday 16 December at the Harbourside Church, Esmonde Road, Takapuna. This is an opportunity to celebrate our successes in 2016 and farewell our year 8 students as they head off to high school. Prizegiving is a formal occasion with a range of cultural performances and presentations. All students are expected to wear the correct school uniform. We welcome parents and caregivers to come along and enjoy the celebrations.

Nick Hill, Principal

Archive 17 November 2016

As is customary at this time of the year, we are looking forward to acknowledging all in our school community who have contributed to the life of the school this year. If you have assisted us in any way, you are most welcome to attend our annual Parent Helpers’ Morning Tea on Thursday 24th November at 10:30am.  If you intend to come (and haven’t done so already), please email resource@belmontint.school.nz for catering purposes.   

Moving to staffing matters, Mr Bill Holland has informed me that he will be retiring at the end of the year. Bill has added a significant amount of value to the school over the last 7.5 years of service. Bill will not be lost to the school, as he will be returning next year in a relieving capacity.  After 10 years, Miss Jennifer McWilliam has decided it is time for a change and will embark on the next stage of her career at Takapuna Normal Intermediate.  Both Jennifer and Bill will be missed by both our staff and students, and we wish them well in their future endeavours.  Mrs Lauren Tyler, Mrs Claire Janes and Miss Jo Hilario will be moving to Year 7 next year.  Mrs Jo Needham will be taking on a new challenge and moving to Year 8. I would like to take this opportunity to announce the appointments of Miss Carly Tustian (Year 8), Mrs Fiona Sokolich, who will be sharing the Food Technology role with Mrs Lynda Dahlberg. We also welcome Mrs Frances Brown, who will be our new Enhancement teacher.  Further announcements regarding staffing will be announced later in the term.

The process for class placements for 2017 is well underway and staff are spending many hours considering placements that are appropriate for each individual student. We do our utmost to ensure that your child is placed in the best environment that suits their individual needs.  Our Deputy Principals have spent a considerable amount of time talking with all the Year 6 primary school and Year 7 teachers, assessing student achievement and specific information provided to them by parents. After parents have been informed of class placements the transition process for Year 6 students will culminate in school visits, towards the end of November and start of December. During these visits students will meet their 2017 teacher, have an opportunity for a Q & A session, and receive key information for 2017. Our current Year 7 students and parents will be notified of their 2017 teacher on Friday 9 December. As a result of parent and student feedback we feel that these changes will benefit all students and lessen the anxiety and tension that can sometimes build over summer. The management of change is an important part of learning and we hope that this process is welcomed by our students and parents.

Thank you for contribution and comments in relation to our Community Survey. Our school is committed to continuous improvement and it’s stated vision of “Leading Excellence in Intermediate School Education”. From the feedback we have received, the Board and Senior Management will be reviewing the following areas in the weeks prior to and after the Christmas break:

  • Our current extension programmes that are offered with a particular focus on the purpose and philosophy behind the extension classes in Year 7 and 8. 
  • Specific aspects of our external communication with parents
  • The structure and purpose of our current Parent/Student Learning Conferences and the way in which we communicate the educational progress and achievement of your children.

The Board has also engaged an experienced, future focused educational specialist to assist us in our next phase of strategic development. I will update our Community on the outcomes and areas of strategic foci in the new year. I will provide more detail behind the actions we will take to address the three bullet points above.

I am looking forward to spending some time with our Year 8 students as they complete their week long camp at Waipu Cove. I am also looking forward to our final concert evening of the year next Wednesday evening, 23 November, at 7pm. I hope to see you there.    

Enjoy your weekend.

Warm regards, 

Nick Hill, Principal

Archive 3 November 2016

As in past years, our Orienteering Day on Sunday 30th October was a huge success. The event raised a total of $8,000 which will go towards the upgrading of lighting, sound and acoustics for the school hall. At this stage we are planning for a school production to take place at the end of Term 3. I would like to personally thank the PTA for their organisation and hard work and in particular to Michelle Millington, Rachel Blackwood, Kate Dobbin, Maire Vieth and Denise Isaacs. I would also like to thank all the families who supported us by competing in the event, it would not be the success it is without you. Thank you also to the BIS teaching staff for their efforts with marshalling.

Our girls cricket team did very well coming up against Diocesan School in the semi final and going on to challenge Viscount School in the finals of the Active Shield. The girls were unfortunately beaten, but came in an impressive 2nd, winning silver medals. Well done to all the girls – a fantastic effort and congratulations to Anna Browning who scored a combined 105 not out in the two games.

Please come along and support our Quiz Night, Friday 11th November. Get a team together, or just come along and join in on one of the tables. It is going to be a fun night, and our BIS staff team are really looking forward to the challenge!

Our annual Athletics Day is tomorrow, Friday 4th November on the BIS fields. Parents and caregivers are welcome to come along to watch the children compete. Let’s hope the weather is kind to us. Our busy PTA will be selling sausages at $2 each. I look forward to seeing you on the day.

Our 2016 Parent Helpers’ Morning Tea will be held on Thursday 24th November at 10.30am. I would like to invite those parents who have assisted BIS in any aspect of our programme throughout the year, either in the classrooms, attending sporting events, zone days, school trips and camps, etc. If you would like to attend could you please RSVP to resource@belmontint.school.nz

Teachers are now in the process of completing student assessments and formulating end of year reports. These reports will be distributed on Thursday 15th of December.

Finally, our second group of Year 8’s head off to Waipu Cove on Monday 14th November. I wish them well and hope they have some great weather. I am looking forward to joining them for part of the week.

Enjoy your weekend.

Kind regards,

Nick Hill, Principal