This week we welcomed back all our students to school. Thankfully, things in Auckland have settled down for most.
Kia ora te whanau o te Kotuku
The powhiri on Tuesday for new students and staff was once again a poignant moment and one that is always uplifting. It was really great to see all the fresh faces of our new students, including a small group of International students. Finally we can celebrate in person and look to the future with a bit more certainty .
Getting off to a good start
A strong rope starts with just a few small threads focused on the must do expectations for all within the Kotuku flock. Structure liberates. Routines and habits provide safety and consistency. The last three years have made it difficult to build those foundations of consistent expectation. We cannot assume that our rangatahi and teachers all know the ropes if we don’t make it explicit.
The structures in place that reinforce a good start to the day and school in general are:
Teachers greet students at the door, they are warm and demanding in equal measure.
Teachers reinforce the positive behaviours, words, deeds, and actions that we value.
We all keep the small things small.
We also remember that what we tolerate we teach as acceptable behaviour.
We say please, thank you, excuse me, and sorry and remind students that sorry is a verb. Sorry means I will change my behaviour.
Teachers have a structured orderly entrance and exit from classes. Students wait to be released from classes.
On average it takes 66 days to embed a habit so teachers will be reinforcing the structures and routines until it becomes embedded into everyday life.
We value authentic relationships built on trust. Our words, deeds and actions have synergy and consistency.
Teaching and learning is a partnership. What is your 50%? What can students expect of teachers? What is the 50% we expect from our students?
Energy flows where attention goes. Our collective attention needs to be concentrated on the ‘must do’ expectations that are good for all. This creates the foundation for positive change.
Excellence is a series of habits not a one-off event and every day matters School attendance is a crucial component of student engagement and wellbeing. At Rutherford we are passionate that students have all the support they need to attend school regularly. If your child faces any barriers in attending school, please let your child’s Dean know. This could include assistance with uniform, stationery, public transport, or lunches. Please remember to report any absences through the School Portal via the school website.
Term 1 is off to a busy start with the following events occurring:
15 Feb – Swimming Sports
16 Feb – Athletics (all day)
16 Feb – BBQ for all students new to Rutherford (and their whanau) – 6pm – 8pm – tutor teachers and staff will be here to welcome you. Venue: In the quad behind the administration block. This is a great opportunity for you all to come along to meet staff and other parents.
17 Feb – Scholars’ Assembly – 1pm start in the School Hall. Scholars’ Assembly is to celebrate all students who obtained a Merit or Excellence endorsement of their NCEA qualification and to acknowledge our top scholars for 2022.
23 Feb – Photographers will be in the school taking photos for our new prospectus and website. They will be photographing in a small number of classrooms with students engaged in work or activities as well as around the school during break times.
You may soon notice workmen at the front and rear entrances to the school. The school is putting in gates at both entrances to provide another layer of security for staff and students. We also want to protect the buildings from vandalism and graffiti overnight and in the weekends. Pedestrian access will always be available but cars will be prevented from entering during school times to ensure the health and safety of not only our students but also those of the Kohanga Reo and the Preschool. How they operate will be publicised when we have the installation completed.
Before and after school
There is no access in the morning before school or from 3.00pm onward for parents and caregivers – so please do not enter the school grounds to drop off or pick up students. Drop off points should be in the surrounding streets, Please be mindful of our neighbours if you use Kotuku Street for dropping off and picking up. Please do not park across driveways. The street is a busy area with pre-school, primary school and high school students all arriving and departing in the afternoon. The ideal areas for dropping off would be Gloria Ave, or Old Te Atatu Road, where there is less congestion.
You can sign in to the school portal via the website (located at the top left-hand side of the front page. This is the space where you report absences, view school reports, pay fees and access timetables. Due to issues with the student management system we use (KAMAR), there have been problems with logging in. For the time being caregivers and parents can sign in using the magic link. Click on the magic link to request access and you will be emailed log in information to access the site. You must use the email you have registered with the school. Students can log in with their username and password using the “Sign in with Microsoft” option. Our providers are working hard to remedy the problem and we are hopeful things will be up and running as normal soon.
Year 13 Students
All Year 13 students have no timetabled classes on Wednesday afternoons. This means that they are able to leave the school at 1.35pm every Wednesday afternoon. At all other times they must be in school, in class or in study periods.
Extreme Weather Warning
The upper North Island faces warnings of extreme weather from Sunday afternoon and we urge you to keep an eye on emails and the website for any emergency notifications. Auckland’s state of emergency has been extended. It is hard to know in advance how this might affect Auckland or our local community but the predictions are that we may get a clearer idea on Sunday. Please keep up to date with the local news and weather reports. The Secretary for Education has advised all schools that in most cases the Senior Leaders will be in the best position to determine any action after the weather event. But she also advises that she could consider a directive for schools to close. Any such directive will be based on advice from emergency management services and will be carefully considered in terms of safety of children and the wider public. If the school receives such a directive we will notify you via email and post a notice to the front page of our website. You are encouraged to download the SchoolBridge App to receive these notifications to your phone.