It has been the most intense week for us at school and also the most rewarding at times too. Receiving such overwhelmingly positive messages from our school community has meant an awful lot to us. We know we still have some way to go with this yet, but it is really comforting that so many of you have emailed to say thanks. It of course goes both ways and we can not thank you enough for working alongside us this year.
Alongside all of the staff, I would like to make a special mention to Emily Petronelli, our Deputy Principal, Mickala Venn and Andrea Benwell, our Senior Lead Team for all of the ‘over and above’ extra work they have had to do to get the school ready.
Tomorrow, we will be sending out a comprehensive guide to support and reassure you for our return to school.
Before we do that, we wanted to share some very exciting news with you. It is a bit of a long read, but well worth it! Pictures are at the end.
They say, things come in threes!
Woooooo Hoooooooooo! Celebrating our new status of being a Green- Gold School.
Last week, all of our staff, our enviro students, organisations who have worked with us this year linked to enviro education and projects, met for our Green Gold reflection session. Usually it is hosted in school, as we had planned, but this year we had to share what we have done via zoom.
After being struck down in awe by the amazing experiences everyone shared, we were granted Green Gold status. A huge amount of team effort went into this and was central to our vision for 2021.
We are the very first school in Aotearoa to be granted Green Gold via zoom and the first to achieve it on the island. We are incredibly proud of this achievement.
Miss T has worked over many years as the lead teacher achieving Bronze, Silver and now Green Gold. She was bouncing as high as she could be when we were told. We would like to thank her, as well as everyone involved this year with such a fantastic, special moment. The staff enviro team also consisted of Greta Borren and Mickala Venn.
We will, at some time, share the key moments with you but first, here is an email from Nicky Elmore from Envro-Schools. She wanted to share this with you all:
“Yesterday’s successful online Green Gold Reflection was a fabulous example of just what a committed group of people can achieve collaborating together. It was so heart-warming to see and hear the evidence flow, the collaborative way staff and students shared and the revealing of fantastic evidence as the jam boards were populated.
I would just like to highlight one important point – TE HURUHI SCHOOL IS THE FIRST SCHOOL TO REFLECT GREEN GOLD ONLINE!!!! Awesome work!
I would especially like to mihi to Marie-Anne who has grown and thrived as your Enviroschools key teacher over the years. She has been tenacious and it has paid off. The biggest shift to be celebrated is that by supporting you all as a staff MA has been able to step back and enable you all to fly…… and you have all flown so far as a whole school.
I would also like to mihi to Phil for his leadership and the dogged determination with which he and MA have focussed on an achievable school vision as well for this year. It is important to acknowledge how you have used the reflection process as an enabler to create firm next steps to incorporate into your upcoming Strategic Plan, so the great mahi continues.
I would like to mihi to the fabulous staff who have pulled together and supported each other. The fact that you have embraced sustainability aspects into your teaching and maintained a commitment from your students despite the majority of your teaching being online this year. You have enabled so many students to lead their own learning and this empowerment is something that will always be a part of them. It is so rewarding to see a huge shift from waste to literally all aspects of sustainability being included as an everyday part of your practice. I loved that you didn’t specifically mention some of your Tikanga around Māori Perspectives like termly pōwhiri etc because they are just a part of who you are now……
I would also like to mihi to the gorgeous students who spoke and came to the reflection. One of the sad parts of being online is feeling the passion of the students when they share, and the little off the ball conversations you can have when walking around a school live. They brought this essence to the session and were genuinely inspired by what they have learnt and the action they have been able to share.
This reflection truly was a representation of how collaborative Te Huruhi School are, Alex as property manager, parents, iwi and community groups all play an important role in supporting the school community to move forward. Thanks to all who represented the wider community for your input it was fantastic to have you there.
I hope that you will shout this far and wide and when we can get together again we can celebrate for real!!!”
AND IT DOES NOT STOP THERE!
Positive Behaviour 4 Learning Success
Another key focus for us this year has been around improving positive behaviours at Te Huruhi. For the time we have been in school this year, we saw huge shifts in positive behaviour.
“A school’s culture consists of the customs, rituals, and stories that are evident and valued throughout the whole school. An effective school culture is one in which the customs and values foster success for all; and where clear boundaries are set, known, and agreed to by everyone. In developing a positive culture, effective principals ensure that educational practices are inclusive. They make certain that students and their families do not feel alienated either from their own culture or from the culture of the school.” Culture in Kiwi Leadership for Principals
Te Huruhi is a PB4L school. PB4L School-Wide (Positive, Behaviour for Learning) is helping New Zealand schools build a culture where positive behaviour and learning is a way of life. The framework is tailored to the individual schools culture and values.
Te Huruhi school values are the 5Cs (Caring, Commitment, Co-operation, Courtesy and Courage). PB4L is not about changing the students; it’s about changing the environment, systems and practices we have in place to support students to make positive behaviour choices.
At Te Huruhi the teachers have been working very hard on implementing the PB4L School-Wide principles and the 5Cs for several years, and this year, despite Covid, we are thrilled to have passed the PB4L Benchmark of Quality and are now moving to Tier 2.
Te Huruhi was found to have:
- a school environment that is positive and supportive
- expectations that are consistently clear
- consistently taught desired behaviours
- students that are consistently acknowledged for desired behaviours and undesirable behaviours are responded to in a fair and equitable way.
Tier 2 comes with very welcome funding which will provide further opportunities for Te Huruhi to continue to support and develop our school culture of inclusivity and lifelong learning.
Ahakoa he iti he mapihi pounamu / From little things, big things grow.
We need to thank Lisa Holmes for her leadership and the direct support of the team; Coralie Edwards, Fhiona Wainwright and Tamaara Nicholson, and also the whole staff and tamariki for their active involvement too.
BUT WAIT- THERE’S EVEN MORE!
For the tamariki’s arrival back to school, we have been busy making improvements. Several areas have been planted, our lazy river very nearly completed, our amphitheatre installed and our very, very grand hall entrance, looks amazing. Lots of wows will be heard when we greet our wonderful tamariki this week.
A special thanks to Alex, our caretaker, for the sheer volume of work required for many of these projects.
We will be in touch again tomorrow to share the logistics- in the meantime it’s lovely to communicate the wins too.