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Message from the Tumuaki

Written by Denise Torrey

08-09-2021

He mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa - Warm greetings to all.

Welcome back under Alert Level 2. It's good to have our tamariki back with us. Life will be as normal as it can be with a number of new conditions to keep us all safe. But many of you already know the "drill".

Reminders and a couple of new safety features

  • At Alert Level 2 we require parents to drop off and pick up their children at the gates
  • Please use the 2 metre rule while waiting
  • Children will be required to go home straight away
  • Anyone entering the grounds we would like you to please wear a mask, we also need you to scan and sign in
  • Staff who are public facing eg office staff and those on the gates, will be wearing masks
  • Masks are not recommended for children under 12 years as they tend to fiddle with them therefore touching their face more often

Most of our programmes will carry on as normal although we have had to push out a number of activities into Term 4. There are greater requirements to ensure ventilation and of course our cleaning carries on.

  • The Year 4-6 Creatives programme will carry on until the end of Week 4 next term instead of finishing at the end of this term.
  • Swimming will continue in Week 1 & 2 next term
  • Keeping Ourselves Safe will be in Week 5 & 6 next term
  • We are hoping the Art Exhibition, Kids Market and Whānau Evening will all carry on at the end of week 6 next term
  • We will re-timetable the 'In school Disco' for when we return Alert Level 1. This was slightly more problematic under new conditions.
  • There will be no assemblies under Alert Level 2 but you will be sent a link at 2pm on Friday, 1st October (last day of term) with the SMART Awards.
  • Our workspaces will be available for children who are unwell or self isolating but as teachers will be teaching classes they will not be zooming and will only monitor the space if they have a child away. Our teams will update them weekly at this stage.

Education workers have been prioritized for vaccination. 70% of our staff are fully or partially vaccinated and over the next week or so that number will increase.

Here's hoping we get back to Alert Level 1 but as always Somerfield Te Kura Wairepo and schools across the motu will maximise learning and wellbeing in any Alert Levels. Learning tamariki can flourish and this in turn contributes to their wellbeing.

We were delighted by the wellbeing check that was carried out by our teachers while tamariki were on zoom and the scores were consistently high. I put this down to a number of factors - we were able to distribute more devices and packs, whānau were doing a great job at home supporting children, the workspaces were engaging and had some structure that whānau found more manageable and the tamariki were able to stay connected to teachers and classmates through zoom. But I also believe another contributing factor is the work we do every day to promote wellbeing in the classes, all our classes have prosocial programmes on a weekly basis. The school also provides a high number of other supports. Prior to lockdown we were able to report to our BoT that 33% of our tamariki received one or more supports from the school - this includes specialist learning programmes and wellbeing supports eg Mana Ake or our own social worker/support workers. That is over 160 tamariki!!

Once again many thanks for the great work you did over the last three weeks and the many emails of support you sent us! They were appreciated!