By Antony Deaker
Several big changes have happened at Waitati School in the last few weeks.
Blueskin Playcentre has moved into Room 5. This is a temporary venue for Playcentre as they complete planning and fundraising for the development of permanent facilities and playground in Room 4 (nearest the tennis court). There are many great synergies for the school and Playcentre to be so close to each other.
We have appointed a new teacher to manage the rapid increase in school roll in the junior classes. Naomi Wadsworth is now teaching Years 2, 3 and 4 each morning. Naomi comes to us with a strong background in numeracy and literacy training, having most recently worked at Number Works.
We also have a new caretaker. Danny Barrett of Waikouaiti returns to a similar role he held at school four or five years ago. Cyndi Ngamoki continues as our tutor in te reo Maori and kapahaka and is working hard with the pupils at present in preparation for Polyfest in early September.
The admin building has finally gone. The sale of the building partly funded our extra teacher and the empty space will be put to good use, too. Pupils and whanau are contributing ideas for a possible structure that will have multiple purposes near the entry to the school buildings.
The school put together a great show for Stars on Stage at the Regent Theatre in August. A dance tribute to Elvis which included the junior class as aliens was applauded loudly by a packed house.
The Blueskin netball team with pupils from Warrington and Waitati Schools fought hard to win the semi-final and then the final in their division. We are very proud of their composure and determination under pressure.
We recently held a school open night in which parents could rotate around different stations to gain insight to current teaching and curriculum practices. As it is at least 20 years ago that most of us were at primary school the opportunity to be bought up to date with how it all works for our kids was very valuable.
We celebrated Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori with a school visit to the Te Whare Arohanui in Waitati. The pupils enjoyed korero, raranga, waiata and kai with our generous hosts.
The whole school is currently having swimming lessons at Moana Pool. The years 6, 7 and 8 kids are heading off on ski camp to Coronet Peak this month. The junior class will have a sleep-over at the Museum, then the bigger kids will go to Quarantine Island for a camp in October.
We hope to see you all at the Fireworks night Friday 23 September (24 if postponed for rain) and a Quiz Night soon after.