Message from the Principal

Dear Parents

There are a number of things I want to talk to you about so please do click on the READ MORE below.

We welcomed the Education Review Office (ERO) into our school a few weeks ago. For independent schools these visits can tend to be an audit of compliance. However, we were keen to gain their feedback on all aspects of our school. This feedback doesn’t get put into their report. Rather, it gets given to me in as verbal feedback on their last day in the school. I scribbled notes as fast as I could because it was truly wonderful feedback. Not a single comment was even vaguely negative.

ERO use a process of triangulation  to evaluate schools. They look at what we say we do in our documentation; they talk to students;  they talk with staff; and I was really pleased to see them go into classrooms and observe teaching and learning.

Here are just a few points from their feedback: Good systems and processes; clear correlation between curriculum documents and what is being taught and assessed; high trust culture that is working well; school values showing that we are shaping learners; students appreciating that they can access learning online; students feeling that they have a voice and that they feel confident to have opinions and share them; learning that is highly focussed…..and I could go on for several pages as that is the quantity of notes I took! All in all this was probably the best ERO feedback I have been part of. I hope you join me in being proud of our school.

Next term we are going to trial banning mobile phones and gaming devices in the Titoki campus between 8.30am and 3.15 pm.  This has come about through student and parent voice.  We will publish the process of how this will work in due course and I will be speaking to the students about it at the upcoming Principal’s assemblies.  The teachers are very supportive of this.  We believe the biggest impact will be at break times.

In the last newsletter we brought you up to speed with some of the approaches to learning for 2020.

Our school is unique in that we are fortunate with the high standard of maths ability. For example, in Year 7 three quarters of the cohort are stanine 7 and above. This is highly unusual in New Zealand.  Consequently  the advanced Mathematics programme at Year 8 will be delivered across all of the classes. There are simply too many capable students to have one or two advanced classes.  We believe this differentiated programme within each Maths class will lead to improved results and increased opportunities for new students to “settle in”, get up to speed, and excel in Maths.  The advanced Mathematics programme ( separate classes)  will therefore commence at Year 9 and the number of classes will be determined by the standard of excellence.

We will be making some small alterations to our daily timetable in 2020 to allow 5 minutes of moving time between classes and to simplify the structure  As a result lesson lengths  will become uniform and the whole school will go to breaks at the same time. This allows for a more expansive programme of clubs and activities. The  start and end time of the day will remain the same. One of the strengths of this amendment is that it will allow for subjects currently taught on a rotation basis, to be taught continuously. Subjects like Music, Art, Drama and Computer Science will become full year courses.

We remind parents of the opportunity to meet with key personnel from Inspired on Tuesday 24 September at 6.30pm.  If you wish to attend, please rsvp to jennifer.wheadon@acgedu.com by Friday 20th September.

I wish the CIE and IB students all the best in their preparation for exams.

Kind regards
Russell Brooke

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