Sunday, 23 May 2010

Waitati School

By Jenna Packer

Waitati school children have been out and about lately. The two most recent
school excursions have seen something for everybody, with a visit to the
Orokonui Ecosanctuary, an Otago Museum sleep-over and urban walk and pool
trip. We had great support from the parents and the tireless teachers in
making the outings possible. And of course the education staff at the
ecosanctuary and the museum who worked alongside our school teachers, to
capture the children's imaginations and attention.
The children were particularly lucky to have participated in a special
programme at the
ecosanctuary involving walking the whole length of the stream and – an
evident highlight judging by the children's comments – testing the health of
the water. The Room 1 children said they really enjoyed "looking in the
stream and finding invertebrates, which meant that the stream was healthy",
"checking the conductivity of the water" and "catching the creatures".
Another real treasure that day was sighting a tieke (saddleback) – a very
rare event! Not only did the children return from the visits enthused and
excited; the staff at both venues observed that our kids have a hunger for
learning, a genuine caring for each other, respect for the staff and
interest in the environments they are in. It takes a village to raise a
child, and the children here benefit enormously from the involvement of the
local community in their education, whether it be academic, sporting,
environmental or social.

The school has, like all schools in New Zealand, recently held Board of
Trustee elections. The new Board will be commencing our term with the school
in good shape, financially and in terms of work done in policy areas and
planning, as well as in the excellent curriculum teaching.

Our new trustees bring great skills and networks to our school:

Bruce Muldrew has had strong exposure to changing and improving culture and
performance in organisations as an engineer. Bruce says, "I have a strong
belief in the value of children attending smaller rural schools as this
offers a far more supportive learning and social environment for both the
children and families of the schools."

Dr Boris Baeumer has been living in Waitati since 2001 and will be involved
with the school for years to come. Boris aims to "make sure that our
children are having access to modern technology" and is "a great fan of
inquiry-based learning, tailored to the individual needs of the child".

Antony Deaker is Ngai Tahu from Kati Huirapa ki Puketeraki at Karitane and
has been proactive in supporting the school to build relations with our
runaka. He's from a family of teachers and
educationalists with two children at Waitati School and two to come.

Nathan Clarke is already well known to the school community as a member of
the previous Board and brings continuity to the governance of the school.

Tania Turei is Ngati Kahungungu and has lived in Waitati for five years. Tania
seeks to contribute to the school community and says "our school is an
excellent school and I am committed to continuing its proud and unique

Of course, the school also continues to enjoy the strong support of the
staff and community, in fundraising, trips and contributions to curriculum.
Many thanks must go to the volunteers who have recently gained a grant of
$5000 to be spent on teaching and learning resources and some outdoor tables
and seats... and with this beautiful autumn weather the children could be
lunching outside for a wee bit longer – touch wood!

From and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
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