Principal's Pen

Dear Parents, Caregivers and friends of the school,

Tena Koutou Katoa Nga mihi nui Ki a Koutou Katoa,

From a strategic perspective the key focus and intent of our school has been to build a reputation for the academic rigour we provide our students in Literacy and Mathematics. The following statement comes directly from the Education Pillar of our strategic plan:

We will strive for personal excellence within an environment that promotes independence and self regulation. Our curriculum will encourage and enable emerging adolescents to reach their potential and  follow their passions. We will continue to promote a strong academic focus in the school.

To that end and for the past three years our teachers and students have been using Write That Essay (WTE) as a framework for developing skills in writing, with a particular focus on sentence structure, paragraphing and various forms of transactional writing. Our teachers continue to participate in planned professional learning in groups and individually. We are also sending four staff to the WTE conference in the next school holidays. Education Review office (ERO) has released their much-awaited study of successful writing programmes around New Zealand.  From 129 schools investigated, only six had evidence of sustained accelerated learning in student writing.  Leading those published was Write that Essay (WTE) and their work with a variety of schools.  Our intent is to provide evidence of how we have progressed both individual students, cohorts and year levels, through the use of WTE at the end of the academic year. Please click on the link for the full report.

Moving ahead to term 3, I look forward to articulating the new and research based approach we will be adopting  to the teaching of Mathematics.  From next week our teaching staff will be working with renowned Mathematics expert Lucie Cheeseman as we look to adapt and improve the quality of our school wide Mathematics programme.  This initiative empahsises our intent to continually improve and focus on core curriculum and academic rigour.
A huge congratulations to our Year 8 girls football team, who won the Auckland Football Championships for the second year in a row on Tuesday. The team played some excellent football and will now begin preparations for the AIMS Games in September. Our Year 7 girls team also performed very well to finish third at their respective zone day. My thanks to the parents for their support of both teams and the quality of coaching provided by Ryan Ward.

Reporting and Assessment - New Report Format
At the recent Reporting and Assessment Evening for parents and caregivers we presented the current report format and discussed how judgements about progress and achievement are made at Belmont Intermediate School. To view the powerpoint of the evening, click here.

At the end of this term your child will receive their mid-year report. This will show the progress your child has made and also identify your child’s goals for the second half of the year. A reminder to parents that our school’s reporting philosophy is based on showing progress and achievement by reporting against the National Curriculum Levels.

In a slight change from previous years, and based on parent feedback from 2018, we would like to give you as parents the option as to whether or not your child attends the conference.  In our survey last year 73% of parents indicated that they wanted to have this option available to them.  Our intent with this change is to first of all demonstrate that we have listened and acted upon parental feedback, are being  flexible in our approach and offer options for each family to consider. Our teachers will prepare for both eventualities.

Conferences will be on Tuesday, 30 July (1:45pm to 7.15 pm) and Wednesday, 31 July (3:45 pm to 7:15pm). The student conferences will be 14 minutes long with a one-minute change over time. Click on School Interviews and use parent access code = avfe2 
Please note: School will close early at 1:00pm on Tuesday, 30 July.

Moving to staffing news, I would like to announce to our community that Mrs Claire Janes will be our new Deputy Principal from Term 3. First and foremost Claire is an outstanding person. She leads with a strong moral purpose and her values align strongly with those of our school. Having been in our environment since 2015, Claire brings continuity to the role along with expertise  in curriculum design, assessment, teacher appraisal and student well being.  She is highly regarded by our staff and community and is respected by our students. I wish her all the best in her new role.  

Miss Hilario has informed me that she will be leaving BIS at end of term 2 for personal reasons. We wish Jo all the best for  the future and thank her for the contribution she has made to our school. Mrs Bianca Steyn will start in Room 2 from 22 July. Finally, and after five years at Belmont Intermediate, Miss Maddison Guppy will be embarking on her OE with a role at the GEMS School in Dubai. Maddy was recruited as a beginning teacher in 2014 and has made a significant contribution to our school both inside and outside the classroom. I would like to personally thank Maddison for her energy, professionalism and willingness to continually improve as an educator. She will be missed by staff and students alike. Maddy has recently become engaged and is getting married in several weeks time. Our congratulations to Maddy and her partner on their impending nuptials. Mrs Mari-Louse van Zyl will start in Room 10 from 22 July.

With winter upon us and thinking about health and safety, could I respectfully remind all parents that our driveway and car parks are not to be used as a drop-off or pick up zone due to the large numbers of bicycles and pedestrians that use these areas before and after school. This includes the car park at gate 1.

Could I also ask that each family take responsibility for naming their child’s uniform. Large quantities of uniform items, including jackets and shoes are being picked up and placed in our lost property cupboard with no name. We have systems in place for returning named gear, however this is difficult when items are not named. Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the following students who received a Principal’s Award at the last school assembly: Jorgia Adams, Martim Monteiro, Abigail Goosen, Reese Thomas, Freida Jewell, Laura Blick-Moroney, Connor Clifton, Chamonix Brand, Kristian Riley, Poppy Gallagher, Piper Lodge, Dante Tugaga, Larisa Andrevski and Ben Bowen.  

Warm regards,
Nga mihi nui,

Nick Hill