From the Outgoing Principal - Tumuaki - Judith Beales
Welcome back to the new beginning to Term 2 2020. These are unusual times indeed but we are all trying our best to keep up with the adaptions being made to our normal lives and routines in order to keep us all safe amidst the turmoil this worldwide pandemic has produced.
Nigel Easson, your newly appointed school principal, will be introducing himself in this newsletter and will take over communication with the Sheffield School community from this point.
I will work alongside him to support his transition into the school and am happy to continue supporting the school in any way I can until the transition process is complete.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the school community - students,teachers, BOT, and parents for your kindness and support in my term as Acting Principal.
A special shout out to our teachers who worked hard and fast to create an online learning platform for your children and who continue to refine and improve on it to better meet the needs of each student.
The junior and senior school teachers will be contacting you tomorrow by email to keep you informed on the online learning opportunities available to students and to let you know when they will be online for questions and feedback.
From the Incoming Principal- Tumuaki - Nigel Easson
Kia ora e te whānau
Ko Nigel Easson toku ingoa
My name is Nigel Easson (The first Sheffield Principal who will start in the virtual world of learning).
I never thought I’d be introducing myself to you in this way, I know in the coming weeks we will meet face to face formally but until then, we need to listen to our government and stay home. As I write this from home (still in Burwood), my children are playing nicely and baking shortbread with Nicki (my partner).
We are lucky to have Bottle Lake Forest at the end of our street so we can stretch our legs (we love biking). My family and I are looking forward to moving so we can settle into our new life in the Sheffield community, in fact, today was moving day for us. Oh, how plans can change so quickly.
I’m very aware that we are moving into a new style of learning that is not familiar to any of us and could be a challenge for all of us. The learning activities are going to vary tremendously from one family to another over the next few weeks, with each family’s home situation being unique. Please be kind to each other, well-being comes first.
I’ve spent several hours getting to know the staff over Google Hangout, Zoom, and even the phone (again, a little weird having a cuppa with the team while looking at the screen). I must give a huge ‘shout out’ to the entire team for their work to get our online platform up and running so efficiently (thanks team, I feel so privileged to be part it). We are all ready and waiting for you in the virtual world of learning, however, that may look for your family.
In the coming days, I will be sending out regular updates from the Ministry of Education on the back of the announcements from the Beehive. I’ll also be available via email if you have any questions (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). Children, I’ll be checking in with your learning via Seesaw and Google Hangout, so feel free to communicate back to me, if you have time (I’d love this!!).
I have three key ‘take aways’ for you:
Take away 1: Stay home and save lives
Congratulations to us all for staying home and saving lives! This work has been, and continues to be, the primary job for every one of us in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Take away 2: Care for our children
As caregivers (at home), and as staff (at school virtually now), our job is also to provide a balanced and individually appropriate education for our children and ensure their wellbeing. Over the past two weeks, as well as trying to get a holiday of sorts, our staff worked very hard to reshape how teaching and learning will look in this new era. We know that your role now, in supporting your children's education has changed too, and we want to work together with you as we travel this road together. Each one of us wants to do our best. What that will look like will be different for each child, each family, each teacher, and each school. Our staff will be checking emails daily so don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need support. They will reply in a timely manner.
Children (parents can help), if you get a chance send a thank you email/photo/blog to your wonderful teacher :)
Take away 3: Be kind
The key message, for all of us, is to 'be kind' to each other as we continue to run this 'marathon' together.
“Our motto of ‘Learning in Partnership, Reaching our P.E.A.K.’ allows the children, staff, parents and wider Sheffield community to all be active members in the design and delivery of our teaching and learning programme at Sheffield Primary School.” So true in the current situation, whether we are at home, or school, our values remain at the heart of what we do.
I look forward to meeting you all in person sometime soon.
As you know, children's online safety is important. At school, Network for Learning (N4L) helps keep your students safe from the bad side of the internet. During lockdown, the students' place of learning shifts to their home. So N4L has worked out a way to help parents keep their children safely connected at home. Click on the following link https://switchonsafety.co.nz/
We encourage all families to familiarise themselves with our 'SchoolDocs' site. This site highlights all of Sheffield School's Policies and Procedures.