Principal's Pen

Dear Parents, Caregivers and friends of the school,

Tena Koutou Katoa Nga mihi nui Ki a Koutou Katoa,

As a school, we are continuing with our challenging ‘Big Ideas’ and ‘Questions’ in our Integrated Studies in Term 2. In year 7, Team Motutapu is again stepping into the shoes of a scientist where they will be conducting investigations into the properties of water having three key focuses of ‘I notice' (Observing), 'I think' (Inferring), and 'I wonder' (Investigating). Using their understanding and acquired knowledge of the properties of water and the water cycle. Students will create their apocalypse scenario that is plausible and evidence-based. Team Rakino will gain knowledge of what the earth is made of (geology/structure), how the earth reacts to its own physical make-up (tectonic plates, ring of fire), how this affects us as human beings (earthquakes, volcanoes, geothermal activity) and then how we respond to these potential threats (civil defence, evacuation plans, survival kits). In year 8, Team Motuihe will be focusing on different views of the world and its physical features - this includes the beginning of time and when humans were unable to explain the world other than through myth. It will involve a scientific investigation, a visit to Auckland's volcanic field and the design of a new landform with its very own myth and scientific explanation for existence. Finally, Team Rangitoto will focus on agriculture which will explore our world through genetics, environmental impact, consumer pollution and provide multiple opportunities for students to step into the shoes of a scientist and explore the scientific method.

One of the 2018 initiatives that forms part of Belmont Intermediate School’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan is for the school to carry out an external review of our enrichment philosophy and to align it with our cluster schools. To this end, I recently engaged Brooke Trenwith from Cognition Education, to perform an independent assessment of our gifted and talented education programme. Brooke has extensive experience with such reviews, having completed some similar reviews in other schools recently. As part of Brooke’s assessment, she conducted a parent focus group consisting of eight participants with discussions around gifted and talented education. She also conducted focus groups with 15 staff members, both enrichment class teachers, over 40 students of both age groups and senior staff.
 
The Board will receive the full written report at our June meeting and use the findings and recommendations as a basis for potential decisions that we will make heading into 2019. I will communicate key findings and the planned actions we will take leading into 2019 later in the year.

Moving to a sporting theme, I would like to thank personally all the coaches and managers of our winter sports teams for giving up their time to coach, support and encourage our students. Your contribution to the school and the development of our students in their chosen sport is invaluable. I look forward to seeing many of you on the sidelines throughout the next two terms. There is a wonderful buzz around the school in the mornings with the number of netball and basketball teams training hard. Should you have any feedback regarding sports at Belmont Intermediate School, please contact our Sports Coordinator, Alice Browning at sports@belmontint.school.nz.

I would like to thank all of the families who have already paid their donation. The money donated by parents and caregivers helps supplement the operational grant received from the Ministry of Education. The payment of the donation enables us to continue to update the provision of curriculum resources, required to maintain and further develop the learning experiences for your children. Parental support is essential to achieve our goal to provide the best quality education for our students.

Early Dismissal from School on Tuesday, 19 June at 12.40pm
Teacher Shortages and Contract Negotiations – Paid Union Meeting
On Tuesday, 19 June the teachers’ union (NZEI) has called for a teachers meeting to present their offer from the Ministry of Education regarding their contract negotiations and for teachers to vote to accept or reject the offer. Teachers who are union members have a legal right to attend this meeting. Students will be dismissed from school on Tuesday, 19 June at 12.40pm.
 
Please note: if you wish your child to stay at school until 3pm on Tuesday, 19 June, please email the school office at office@belmontint.school.nz.

Warm regards,
Nga mihi nui,

Nick Hill
Principal