Start of Term Newsletter / Te Pānui mō te tīmataka o te Wāhaka Hou

Kia ora rā koutou mā!
Nau mai ki tētahi wāhaka hou!

As I type this, I am sitting uncomfortably on my chair (after putting my back out last week) and isolating with Covid. Me aropapaki te whiu! Be unyielding, like the waves that relentlessly hit the shore. – a phrase encouraging people to persevere and keep strong. (just like my dog is doing at the beach in the photo, and I am doing now!)
Unfortunately, I tested positive yesterday so I won’t see all our awesome students on day 1, but hopefully on Friday!!! Dean Isherwood (DP) and Clara Mapley (AP) will be co-principals in my absence.

Logistics / Drop Offs / Pick Ups / Masks
We survived Term 1 without having to move to online learning! This is, in my opinion, due to the diligence of our families and the safety precautions you all took! Unfortunately, the numbers in Canterbury have not lowered much over the two weeks, so we are still asking you to be diligent. Please still be aware that we have at risk families with immune compromised family members. We request you are cautious in your actions.

At Orange, face masks are no longer required at school, however public health advice is that masks continue to be strongly effective in slowing the spread of Covid when used indoors. For that reason, we request visitors and parents wear a mask whenever they are indoors on school grounds.  This includes walking through the indoor entrance! If you don’t have a mask on, please walk around the buildings.

We will also encourage and support children and staff who choose to wear a mask at school. Additionally, if the number of cases at school or in a class begins to rise, we may ask that masks are worn in classrooms until they decrease.

Please note that at Orange, students aged 12 and above are still required to wear a face mask at school or on public transport.

We will continue to keep health measures in place that we know to slow the spread of Covid. These include ensuring our indoor spaces are well-ventilated, maintaining good hand hygiene (including cough and sneeze etiquette), appropriate physical distancing whenever we can, and most importantly, staying home if we are sick.

We are looking forward to fewer restrictions this term and returning to school life that is a bit closer to normal.

Note: The below may change as the situation changes in Canterbury.
Drop offs

We continue to recommend dropping on the court as children all developed independence from this, however, in orange, this is not a requirement. We encourage parents to wear a mask when coming onto the school grounds, but again, it is not a requirement when outside. Please remain outside of the classrooms and cloakrooms unless masked and it is essential to enter (i.e. your new entrant child needs assistance getting ready for the day). If visiting the office, it is still one in, one out and a mask needs to be worn. If you have forgotten or have an exemption, give us a wave and we will come out!

Pick Ups
In the past, pre ‘red’ level some parents have waited right outside of the classrooms, however, this is really distracting for students as it becomes a daily, ‘Whose parent is that? Where is mine?” and before you know it, work or prayers have ‘gone out the window’.  If you are coming onto the site to pick up students, we ask that you are not on the seats outside of classrooms or stand right outside of classrooms as they exit. This causes a bottle neck and as said, is really distracting. We would prefer you waited out of sight of the classrooms on the bench seats in front of the office. We also ask that you arrive at 2.45pm ish (2.50pm finish) at the earliest. In the past, some parents arrived early and walked through PE on the court and often let younger children play on the playground. Again, this is a distraction and is not a pick up. We are a school and not a park. Sorry to be blunt.
Please also leave by the 3.05pm bell. We have this so teachers can have meetings, organise for the next day and let Kidsbase use the school grounds without confusion as to who they are supervising.

Our Charism
Do you know who set up our school? Do you know anything about them? Do you know what our charism is? These are some of the questions our students have been asked and Room 6 has made it their challenge to teach everyone. Please watch this short video and you will know the answers for yourself.
Our Charism Short Film

Homework Challenges for Rooms 5-7
Remember, if you lost your booklet, go to our website!

Farewell (photo below)
After school on Holy Thursday we had the ‘Last Supper’ with Pam Grant as it was her last day. We wish her all the best in her retirement and thank her for her many years of service to education. Below is a photo of Room 1 and 2 giving her a card with LOTS of ideas of what she can do with the extra time she will now have. I joined them for the farewell and there were so many laughs!

Ka nui tēnā!

Dallas Wichman

Please click on the below to see the pictures of our Stations of the Cross / Ka Tūka o te Rīpeka.