Monday, May 31, 2010

Wearable Arts

I have had a discussion with parents today. Its good to hear a parents point of view and it opened my eyes a bit. How much do are parents know about the curriculum? How much have we informed them about and how much are they taking on.
The curriculum isn't just Maths and Literacy it is the Arts as well and when worked properly the entire curriculum can be worked around an arts topic. Reading writing maths can all be a part of our wearable arts it can also be a product for introducing all the key competencies.
Isn't problem solving an important part of day today life. Our students our children have experienced all this in the last 10 weeks.
The support from the community has been vital and extremely positive. I applaud all the support you have provided for us and I am looking forward to it all coming together on the night.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sir Ken Robinson

Organic versus manufacturing. I like it! What are we doing by creating clones or robots but only sterilising a wonderfully diverse gene pool. Schools need to be vibrant and different! It's what I love about my job. No day is the same, the relationships with children, parents and teachers see to that.
I don't want to work in a school where everyone is trying to be the same.
Every year 4 is different so how the hell can there be a set standard.
Oops I said hell.
Luke Sumich would be proud.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Watch this video

Does this ring true with where we could be heading?

School Closure.

Having to announce yesterday that the school was closing at the start of the poetry competition was a bit freaky. Operating on the advice of the road engineers a call had to be made. I would do it different next time. get the kids to go back to class with there teachers in a more orderly fashion would be a start. I was nearly knocked down by a Nana who was very determined to beat the children out the door.
You forget that an event like this is going to have differing effects on the children. Some were over the moon and some were a wee bit frightened.
Note to oneself. Must taper the way I deliver messages to the school.
That's the 3rd time we have had to close the school since I have been here,flood,snow still waiting on fire and pestilence.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Okay so I am a doctor today. I have my case list in front of me of what to expect I am trained and ready to go. First appointment is at 8.30 I wait in my office reading the notes.
This patient has ingrown toenails,appendicitis,mumps,rubella, gout,broken arm,ruptured Achilles tendon,broken nose and eczema. Oh thank goodness it is not one patient but 9, that's much better but I am seeing them all at once!!!
Such is the lot of the teacher. 9 is the size of a reading group, you would hope it was smaller but even within that group even if we place them as close together as we can in ability there are still differences. This is why I don't get national standards you see we are being informed that there is a year 4 or 5 or 1 standard of work. How can that be when all children experience different things and come to school with varying degrees of knowledge. In fact some children aren't ready for school until they turn six, I hate to be stereo typed but its mostly boys.
It sound over the top but when we are only just starting to receive any professional development as teachers now, how are we going to help our communities solve this National standards dilemma if we are not informed ourselves. Would you trust a surgeon who is reading a how to do book on vasectomies as you are lying on the bed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Winter is here!

Its dark and I am in my office . It is hard to believe it is nearly 8 but with all the rain we have had all night it is definitely winter. Poetry trials all week in class so there will be some nervous children out there and some who developed anew strain of anti school illness. i wonder what impact this weather will have on behaviour as this is the first real wet day. With that in mind i am sure we will find out today what the plan is if the Cross country is postponed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Board of Trustees

Congratulations to the newly elected Board.
Pamela Simpson
Tim Loughnan
Andrew Penny
Andy Leslie
Jason Gardiner
Gill Robinson

Thanks to everyone who put their names forward as this is a huge commitment for all the children of Ashley School.

Cross Country.

What a great turn out on such a wonderful day.
There have to be some positives from Global Warming?
Our children, all of them, did themselves proud. It is for some, a long way around that track, and to see the look of pride when they crossed the finish line was just great. Well done all of you will look to post some photos in the next couple of days to this blog maybe even video if it gets edited quickly.

Coffee Morning part 3.33'

It happened!!
I had a guest to listen to my ramblings and she couldn't get away. So I will hope for a 100% improvement next week and aim for 2 people. it was pointed out though that many people are involved in the WOW and are helping the children so I will suck it up and get over the lack of turn out.

Thanks to my one fan.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Coffee Morning Part 3

Well with heart in my hands I head to another coffee morning. This morning no subject well probably the last two that haven't been used. Must use the Pike Fish Market as a reference for everything I do. Give up the safe stuff and believe in the direction I wish to head with everyone at work. Get my parents involved and have fun with the children.
Gotta get moving create the tone!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Coffee Morning

Another Principals Coffee morning another no show from community what to do, what to do? Can anyone who wants to comment on what I should do to get parents to these community consultation mornings that are vital to keep that link between school and community. PLEASE!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


No bruising but three outstanding wins at the Golden Oldies tournament on Sunday. As the amber liquid flowed at the after match, there was lots of “The older I get the better I was,” to quote a phrase.

Well wearable arts is starting to take shape and the classrooms are full of interesting looking donations of stuff and there are also a large number of bemused parents asking the teachers, what do I need to do?
By now the design phase should be well in advance or over and the children will be constructing their piece of Art. I must have been out of my mind to agree to this. When Gill, Lyn and Glenda returned from Wellington last year we never knew just how big this would grow. Thanks to all the community who are getting in behind us and supporting the project. If you can’t get down here during the day to support your kids the best way is to show up on the night. We are finalising costs and we will have the ticket prices out soon. There will be limited numbers so as soon as they are available we will release them.
Lets all make this a night to remember.

On Monday staff gathered to examine the way we assess our children’s writing. It was interesting to se how much we all focus on just the surface features of a piece of writing like spelling and punctuation. These are both very important (I wish my teacher had spent a bit longer on me with them) but only a part of the writing package. We will be looking at the impact of the piece, the ideas and the use of sentences starters and endings. Over the next few months we will be reviewing our writing starting from the junior school right through. It was and will be a big task but one that was definitely needed.

I spoke to Linda and Pip this morning about teacher development, maybe not a riveting topic for all of you but it has lead me to re-think a number of things. With the new Board soon to be elected, and please don’t forget this Friday is the cut off, we need to be educating our staff as we educate our students. You don’t simply walk out of University and know everything! We want to make our teachers the best and that means a commitment from them to get better and for the school to provide opportunities to follow that path. If our children a the future then educating all the people guiding them to that future would seem to be important.

The weather is like ground hog day and I know that a few showers are on the wish list, I don’t mind as long as they are at night and they can be after Wearable Arts on the 18th of June.

The School Council is planning a “Wheels day” on a future date please keep a watch on the newsletter for more details.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy playing taxi to all those children who need to attend events all the way across Canterbury. To all the Mums have a very restful day on Sunday. Put your feet up and get someone else to cook if you can.

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.