The Paparimu Perculator: Principal's Blog
Thoughts and musings about learning and education from the
Paparimu School Principal.
Paparimu School Principal.
At the start of this term, I celebrated two years as Principal of Paparimu School. What a journey it has been!
The school has grown so much since October 2014 when I started – including nearly a 60% increase in our school roll! The school looks loved and it is great to see student projects featured around the school. We are fortunate to have a fantastic staff and students who are keen to learn.
The job is a challenging and demanding one, being both a teacher (Mon- Wed in Ako 2) and a full time Principal (the job that never stops!), however I often find myself undertaking a wide range of other jobs. These may be caretaker, sports coordinator, property manager, nurse, part time office manager (on non ‘Mandy days’), event coordinator and (unqualified) social worker - the job is certainly very varied. Above all else, it is a rewarding job – and that is why I am still here.
We are privileged to have a supportive Board of Trustees who take their governance role seriously, and who assist in making the hard decisions. We have an amazing school community, consisting of our parents/caregivers, PTA and wider community members – each who are passionate about our school.
One of the things I have learned in my time here, is the incredibly strong connection to the ‘place’ and the land that people in our community have. We call this tūrangawaewae. Tūrangawaewae is one of the most well-known and powerful Māori concepts. Literally tūranga (standing place), waewae (feet), it is often translated as ‘a place to stand’. Tūrangawaewae are places where we feel especially empowered and connected. They are our foundation, our place in the world, our home.
Paparimu, and Paparimu School is certainly a special place.
Ngā mihi nui
Calf Club/Pet Day is an action packed, fun day for families and Paparimu School is once again celebrating the time honoured tradition…
This year’s big event will be held on Saturday, 24th September, 2016. For years, Paparimu School children have had the opportunity to hand-rear a calf, lamb, kid, chicken or bring their beloved pet to school for a fun day of leading, calling (sometimes chasing!) and showcasing their animal.
This day is a vital experience for our kids as it celebrates and demonstrates New Zealand’s agricultural history and culture, while bringing local communities together. Few schools still have the opportunity to enjoy this rural tradition so we love our whole community to get behind our local kids. Our day is NOT a major school fundraiser, so no need to feel like you will be 'fleeced' for your cash! The day is to celebrate and enjoy this rural tradition with our community.
All children are encouraged to rear an animal/bring a pet along and/or complete a creative project. As part of class learning programmes, they also complete numerous indoor exhibits - last year's (2015) indoor exhibits were by far the highest quality so far!
Calf Club/Pet Day is designed to support students development through structured learning and engagement via hands–on agricultural based activities. There are Calf Club/Pet Day booklets and resources which include information on pet care and preparation and plenty of useful ideas that will be given out to and shared with students. It is very helpful if students regularly track and document the care and progress of their animal.
Students are now being asked to register for this year’s Calf Club/Pet Day. On the day, there will be indoor exhibits, creative projects on display, competitions, food and an assortment of activities for children and adults. More information, and downloads of the Calf Club/Pet Day booklets that have been sent home, are available here, on the Calf Club/Pet Day webpage.
This is an important event in our community and a part of our unique rural school curriculum – probably the most fun day of the whole year for the kids!
Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, friends and extended family members are more than welcome to join in on Calf Club/Pet Day – the more the merrier! Bring them all along!
Ngā mihi nui
The NZ Maths website is successfully used by teachers across the country to teach Maths. It also contains a section for families. This has some fantastic ideas and resources for fun and engaging activities parents/caregivers can do at home with their children. Many of the activities can be completed using equipment you find around the home.
The NZ Maths Families website is designed especially for families and contains a helpful introduction video on how you can support your child's learning in maths.
On the NZ Maths Families page, you can find information on:
As always, your child and teacher will discuss your child's learning in Mathematics with you - informally, by appointment and at Learning Expos and Learning Conferences each term. Additionally, we also include information on our mid and end year reports about how you can assist your child at home in this curriculum area. Keep an eye out for our Maths Parent Evening in Term 3 also!
For those parents/caregivers wanting to find out more, the NZ Maths Families website is well worth an explore!
Ngā mihi nui
At a time when there seems to be a real swing against small schools coming from the powers that be in NZ, there's a pretty strong underlying message in here about the magic that happens in our place...
This week an interesting documentary screened on TV3 by former teacher and documentarian, Bryan Bruce. It was entitled: “World Class – Inside NZ Education – A Special Report”. If you didn’t see it, I would highly recommend watching it online (the direct link is here). In this documentary, Bryan has an in depth look at the NZ education system, examines where he feels it is going wrong, also comparing it with other education systems around the world.
One of the aspects of his report that really struck a chord with me was the research he highlighted that stressed the importance and effectiveness of small schools, and the positive impacts and outcomes they have on children.
There was also significant mention of the importance of community involvement in schools and the fact that NZ teachers are some of the highest trained and most effective teachers in the world. The inequality created through decile based funding, and the importance of a school curriculum that fostered and nurtured inquiry based learning that encouraged creativity and individual interests, rather than a culture of testing, and teachers ‘imparting knowledge’ were also stressed.
I encourage you to watch the documentary if you can, you may just find yourself nodding away and see some excellent correlations to Bryan’s descriptions of what works best, and education provided at Paparimu School.
Ngā mihi nui