Newsletter #8 2023 / Pānui #8 2023 (29/5/2023)

Talofa lava,

Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa 2023 / Samoa Language Week 2023

O le autu e faatatau ma faamamafaina la ta gagana Samoa. O le gagana o le faavae lea o le malamalama’aga o le tagata i le aganuu faapea foi lona faasinomaga, o ia o le Samoa. O le itu tāua e lē na o le iloa ma malamalama i le gagana, a o le fa’aaogāina o le gagana e fesootai, ma tautatala ai i aso uma. A faamāsani ma to’a’aga tagata e talanoa faasamoa, e le taumate le ‘oa ma le tamāoaiga o lona silafia ma lona malamalama, ma o le a faapena foi ona maua’a ai lona faasinomaga, o ia o se tagata Samoa.

The theme for this year’s Samoa Language Week focuses on the importance of the Samoan language and identity. It impresses on us the need not only to understand the Samoan language, but to also use it as much as possible. When you are proud of your language and can speak it, you will also be more grounded in your identity as a Samoan.

1 in every 4 students at St Anne’s is of Samoan descent. To celebrate the week, students of Samoan descent can wear cultural attire all this week and on Friday ALL STUDENTS can replace uniforms with pasifika clothing if they wish. Please, we would love lots of parents and aiga to come along to our classroom opening on Friday at 1pm or to join us afterwards for the fun. See the invitation below.

We celebrate Pentecost as the birthday of the church.  It is when the disciples received the power of the Holy Spirit to go forth and make disciples of all.  We know they had the ability to speak in many languages that day.  At many churches on Sunday, prayers of the faithful were spoken in numerous languages.  It was at Te Rangimarie and St Annes!  At school we celebrated by praying in Samoan, receiving a resource with prayers and songs in different languages and playing ‘birthday’ party games like pass the parcel.  Well done Faith Team and Mrs Fleming for inspiring us all!

Wednesday: The strike has been called off! PUM instead!
The strike that was happening on Wednesday has been called off, however, all teachers are attending a Union Meeting instead.  We will still be open, but as we will be very short staffed with just myself and support staff helping, it will be supervision only.  If you would like to, you are welcome to pick up your children early this day.  Anytime from 1.20pm, just pop to the office to sign your child out.

Classroom opening and HAL parent engagement afternoon
All welcome! If you would like to join us for our ‘Official Classroom Opening’ please be at school and seated by 1pm outside our new block.  You will see seats out for you.  If it is raining, we will be inside the new rooms.  Classrooms will be open to have a look through with me as your tour guide.  We will have Samoan food for our children, but you can sample some first. From 2pm, the students will eat and then move between classes and outside, if fine, to participate in physical activity challenges.  Inside each room there will be  surveys you can complete to be in to win prizes for your child/children.  If you leave before 2.50pm with your child, just remember to sign them out on the Vistab in the office. Otherwise, we aim to go to about 3.15pm to allow as many parents as possible to view the rooms and complete the surveys. See you there!

Our juniors participated in the Fire and Emergency New Zealand
Year 1 and Year 2 Get Firewise Home Fire Safety Programme this term. They loved the visit from the local firefighters and their cool truck! Thanks heaps for coming team!















I was blessed to be able to attend the New Zealand Pasifika Principals Conference on ‘Leadership from a Bilingual Perspective’.  This programme allowed me to visit the many bilingual and immersion options in Auckland.  These are all Pasifika or Māori options at the moment.  It was great to experience the feel of these spaces as they not only grow the language but identity and culture.  I know I always harp on about the benefits of bilingualism or multilingualism, but the evidence was clear, students who are bilingual, have better literacy success than their monolingual counterparts (in either language).  Even if students were delayed in receiving English instruction and received Māori or Pasifika languages in immersion for the first two or three years, they caught up and surpassed those in English only.  When I arrived at St Anne’s  the data showed this as well.  Students coming in with English as a second language, achieving higher than their monolingual peers with only English by Year 8.

There is no limit, a bilingual special needs school just started in the North Island.  Some are so quick to say, it’s too hard for our children; or, spend more time on English to get better at it. Sorry National Party, but the research doesn’t back these two points. 

Your children are now either bilingual or multilingual due to the effort of St Anne’s teachers and Board members. They are doing amazingly well!  Whilst they may not be fluent speakers in the Māori language yet, it is amazing how much they are understanding. Rooms 7 and 8 wrote stories in te reo Māori on Monday.  Whilst, I get the question, how long does it take?  Research shows, to get to a point where we can say, they are fluent, it won’t be lost, etc. is around 6 years in a 50/50 school setting.

Three is not too many! So, if you have a home language, teach and use it if you can. Their brain won’t explode. Those with more than one language, ‘get languages’. Go for it team! Note: Some of our students have four languages.  

A school in Auckland had the sign, ‘Blessed to be bilingual’ upon entry. This is so true! We say each language you speak is a superpower, it helps you do, participate in or obtain jobs others can’t, because they don’t have the powers you have!!! 

I still hold, that if we can produce fluent speakers of at least two languages by the time they leave St Anne’s, they are set up to tackle the future like Levi Aumua!  They will have strong literacy skills and that will set them up for any subject or direction they take.

Tea Towel Takeover
A family of the school is fundraising for schools as well as helping local artists. The Tea Towel Takeover will be launched soon, and if you are interested in some amazing looking tea towels to add to your collection, you will be in luck.  Keep an eye out as we hope to get out during Samoan Language Week as the designs definitely have a Pasifika feel to them!!! Each tea towel that is bought, helps the school also!  Like chocolates, you can sell to your friends and neighbours, but no pressure, we know a lot of people are struggling at the moment.

Senior Competition (Rooms 5-8)
We are on! Like last term, students completing extra work shall be rewarded!!!!! Heaps of prizes! I already have $500 worth of prizes stored and ready, more to come. To be in this, students need to have completed:
#  Half of their total gold bars (see pie graph) in Mathletics.
#  Achieved 50% of all yellow on VOCAB TRAINER (Māori or home language)       inlanguagenut,  and  Completed with 100% score those same topics  on SENTENCE BUILDER (The list to make it easy: About me/Hobbies and Pets/Where I live/How I look/Animals, Colours and sizes/Food and Drink-total 6 activities/tests)
# Presented a story to the class by the end of week 8 for the storytelling sharing we are having.

We have been fortunate enough to have cameras installed in almost all classrooms during the recent refurbishment and classroom build,  adding to those already existing  in the entrance and exterior of school. These cameras are for the safety of your children (and ours, as Mr Halkett’s and I both have children attend St Anne’s), my staff, our school and all the assets we  fortunately have now. Cameras can deter crime, and stop it reoccurring.  We hope that this helps reassure you with another layer of protection for your child. They are video only, are obviously not in toilets or changing rooms, and you can see for yourself how visible they are as you walk around.  For more information on our camera policy, head to our policies which can be found via our website page called: Policies / Kā kaupapa here.  While you are there, feel free to review any of the policies under review this term. Click on the ‘Under Review’ tab. No pressure, most are best practice and similar throughout New Zealand.

Frostbuster reminders
We would like bikers to meet at Ferrymead Park between 8.30am and 9.00am on Wednesday 31st May.  Please see Mr Wichman or Mr Isherwood on arrival to help setup. Otherwise, the runners/walkers will be bus from school at 9.00am sharp.  Please don’t be late. The races will start without you.
Feel free to park in the Ferrymead Golf Club car park but please observe all no parking signs and walk students to the meet area.  It is school sports uniform.  There will be no toilets close by so be sure to go before you leave home or take your child to the Ferrymead Golf Club or Soccer toilets as seen on the map.  A roll will be taken at the venue.  Bring heaps of warm clothes, drink and food as we will be there until about 12pm!
We will walk / bike children back to school with their bikes at the completion of the event.
Team enduro can share a bike if you wish.  Also, don’t forget a proper fitting helmet.  Brakes must work and students must be able to work them. There are sharp corners and decent little hills.
Get any last forms back, bring warm clothes and food! Wear PE gear and a smile.

King’s birthday public holiday
This is on Monday 5 June (this weekend). Please be aware, school won’t be open this day.

Fa’afetai lava,
Dallas Wichman