Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I was speaking recently of Confident, Connected, Actively Involved and Life Long Learners, I witnessed a whole lot of Ashley kids participating in theatre sports and dance with the Dale Hartley School.
Congratulations to Grace and Kitty who were in the winning intermediate team and to Celine, Liz and Olivia who all took part.
It was a great night with a cast of wonderfully talented children.
Congratulations to Jacob Pepper-Edwards who won the top prize for Chocolate sales across the entire school. Jacob sold a total of 19 boxes. A massive effort from Jacob and family and this effort has earned him a brand new bike!! Totals are still to be decided on as far as money goes. Boxes are still coming in and so is the money so we are not sure about the total we have raised.
I am sure we will have at total in the new term.
On Friday night we had our school disco. What a night!! The feedback from all the children has been wonderful.In the New Zealand Curriculum its vision to is to create Confident,Connected, Actively Involved, Lifelong learners. The way the students organised the school disco in conjunction with our wonderful PTA , was all of the things we want for all our Ashley kids.They organised tickets, the posters the sound system and the music they were also our D.J.s for the night.
This is learning the way we want our children at Ashley school to learn.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Learning needs to be focussed so much more on the individual than ever before.The work place and the world is changing so much that we have to prepare our children to be flexible and let them have the ability to solve problems.I look at the way we are still delivering the curriculum and it is so much easier to do one size fits all. But if we true to our profession and honestly believe that we are here for the children then are focus would be on the individual. Good teaching ,like good parenting is harder than the alternative. WE need to read more about our work and find out what is the best practice and how to achieve the best for our kids.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thanks families for the support you gave us yesterday so we could attend a professional development session at Rangiora Borough, Guest Speaker was Derek Wenmouth he is the Director of e-learning at CORE education.
The role allows him to be involved in a wide range of e-learning activities from exploring innovative use of the latest technologies and researching e-learning practices, to helping establish policy and strategies to guide the implementation of e-learning, both nationally and overseas. He spoke of preparing our children for a future that doesn’t even exist yet.
Very wow!
Congrats to Mr Lynskey who also wowed the crowd with his links to digital resources.

I spoke to some year 8 students yesterday who are planning their own learning adventure. There has been such a lot of learning to get them to the stage of writing out the permission slips and organizing parental support. Ringing the airport to obtain the permission for the visit is a skill they will have for the rest of their lives. The general planning skills these kids have are amazing. They must keep asking themselves why they are doing what they are doing and how it will add value to their learning.

As the Touch season has finished and the Basketball and Football seasons wind up it is time to thank the coaches and managers who have given up their time to do what they do. It has been a great opportunity this term to experience a whole range of other school-based activities. I would also like to thank Linda for all the organization of these activities. It is always a tough job as everybody has an opinion of how things should be done. Thank you for all that you have done to improve our students learning opportunities.

Disco Friday night, the juniors (Yrs 1-4) are from 5.30 to 7pm and then the seniors (Yrs 5-8) from 7.15 to 9.00pm.Thanks to the great team effort from the school council and the PTA.I know the children are excited and looking forward to their night.

Have a great weekend and for a burst of inspiration you should try out

Oh and thanks to my avid groups of followers all two of you:0)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Today I spent the day with 4 innovative, forward thinking principals. They are all trying different things in the schools they work in to improve the learning for the student. There's so much going on in schools it is hard to scratch the service of what is the real picture. What is the real picture you ask. It is what is real learning? What is real teaching? Are we doing it and if we are not doing it then how do we?
How do we get better at teaching? How do we provide opportunities for our children to learn in ways. We must move away from one size fits all our children, it just doesn't work that way anymore.
We need to concentrate on one thing at a time. For us it is inquiry learning. Getting in to the best way to deliver inquiry to our children.
We really need to unpack the way we deliver the learning ,how does it empower our learners.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On Sunday we had 14 students from Ashley take part in the Weetbix Tryathlon. Well done to all the students and also to the families who got along to support their children. Great work Maddison, Loghann, Rachael, Yasmin, Emily, Sophie, Nicole, Danielle, Paige, Gabrielle, Maria, Molly-Kate James and Elizabeth.

What a night for touch!
Congratulations to the Ashley Awesomes, who won the final of the Grade 1 Touch competition 3 to 1.This team made up of Aleisha and Jakob Pascoe, Ben and Luke Higinbottom, Matt Couch, Quinn Beynon, Jessie Kelland, Callum Simpson, Olivia Norton, James Mullan and Joshua Neilsen. Well done guys we are really, really proud of you. Thanks to all the supporters who have helped them all year.

I have just got back from a really wonderful experience visiting a school in Wellington Island Bay School. I wasn’t alone I had with me the rest of the school management team. It wasn’t the rooms or fittings or uniform that made this school it was the relationship between the children, the teachers, the parents and the key to it all the learning. The learning we witnessed was real and authentic. It wasn’t outcomes based, outcomes were important but it focused on the process or the journey the students took to get to this outcome.
The New Curriculum wants teachers to use four big ideas that underpin best practice and hone the teacher’s ability to engage students:
pedagogy (the study of being a teacher)
student voice, and
learning environment.
The teacher’s job is to develop inventiveness, curiosity as well as delivering ‘the daily bread’ of curriculum.
We witnessed all this at Island Bay.

Coffee Morning
I would like to put aside some time on a Thursday morning, next term, to have a cup of tea or coffee in the staffroom at 9.00am with anyone who chooses to join me. If you are free and want to have an informal chat, do come and join me. Children are welcome.

Board of Trustee Meeting
Whilst all Board meetings are open to the public, the Board of Trustees would like to extend a special welcome to any person who is currently considering nomination for a position on the Board of Trustees. Our next Board meeting will be held in the Ashley School staffroom, 23.March 2010.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Our Fund raising extravaganza for 2010 is our Wearable Arts Show. It will be held June 11th so grab your calendars right now and mark them. It will be the arts highlight of North Canterbury for the year.
All children will be involved and the creating of Garments will begin week one of term 2.
It would help if you could collect and send to school suitable items that could be used by our children e.g. feathers, wrapping paper, fabrics etc. That would be fantastic!

Teachers have had a small number of requests for extra homework. AS a staff we have decided that we will not be providing this for home. If you do have a child that does request more homework then there are a number of books that can be purchased that will provided lists of basic facts if that is what you need. As Reading is a priority we really encourage you to read to your kids sit by your kids while they are reading and Reading with them.
There is so much you can do with your child to help them learn with out the need to sit a desk all night in front of a pile of books.
On March the 24th school will be closing early. We are all attending a seminar based at Rangiora Borough School as a part of our ICT cluster professional development. Thank you for your understanding.

What a night a touch last night! It was successful for nearly all our teams with the All Stars getting their first win through a powerful team effort. Every player contributed to the teams’ success and to see Olive score her try was just great. The All Sorts had a run away win with 7 tries to none. The Stormers had a 5 tries to two win with Moriah getting two. A wonderful team effort and tries to Sam and Jamie, Player of the Day, Sage eased the pain of a 8 to 2 loss for the Anaconda’s. The Awesomes played a tough game and made it through to the final on the back of a great team try and some hard out defence from everyone but especially Callum, Quinn and Jessie.

Today some of our senior students are taking part in the Bluelight Police Competency Test. It involves doing all the things the police have to do to prove their fitness. The students attack the course and compete against the clock and other teams from Canterbury. Last year we did extremely, but that was last year. I know that we continue to maintain our high standard of teamwork and competitiveness.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This morning we have a senior staff meeting. There are a number of things on the agenda but the most important is to get our few parents who want more and more homework for their children to understand we will not be supplying busy work. That is ,work just to fill in time for them. There are a number of outlets book stores etc that can be used to get lists of spelling or basic facts if that is what they, the parents want.
I can see this being a bit of a bumpy ride for a while.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I will try my first Post this morning. I have spent ages attempting to log in and now that I am in I am out of inspiration. Oh Damn!!

About Me

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Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand
I have been Principal of Ashley School since 2002 and I am still learning my job.I am married with 3 children. I have a love of educating children to the best of their potential. I enjoy Rowan Atkinson, Ricky Gervais, cycling and all other sports.