BoT Newsletter – December 2020

Dear parents and caregivers,

It was great to see our school community come together to celebrate students and their achievement at our annual assembly on Tuesday 15 December. We would like to share with you some final updates as 2020 draws to a close.

Kohimarama Way

Every three years the Board of Trustees refreshes the school’s strategic plan. In March 2020 we shared the new strategy plan for 2020-2023. We are delighted with how the Kohimarama School community has bought the school Vision, Purpose and Strategy to life through the Pohutukawa motif and song.

Academic performance

The board’s most important responsibility is for student achievement. 

Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) scores provide performance metrics from nationally standardised tests of year 4-8 students. These tests are performed in Term 1 and Term 3 to track academic progress across the year. The Term 3 results indicate that 94.5% of our students are performing at or above national average in Mathematics; this is a very high score albeit down slightly on our result of 96.2% in 2019. Literacy scores were similarly high with reading comprehension (92%), reading vocabulary (95.8%), listening comprehension (92.6%) respectively. These are excellent results!

Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJ) scores are determined by our teachers based on performance throughout the year for students in years 1-8. OTJ scores focus on Mathematics,  Reading, Writing and an Overall score. The OTJ score are not nationally standardised but provide a rich view of student performance.

The board considers both PAT and OTJ results when seeking to understand academic performance across the school. We are pleased at the level of achievement through 2020 and have confidence in the plans set out by school management for the year ahead.

Detailed assessments for each student are available in SchoolTalk with summary reports for each student shared by the school last week.

New Member of the Board of Trustees

We are pleased to introduce Mark Thomson who has joined the Board of Trustees by co-opt in December. Mark has a wealth of experience planning and delivering major capital projects. His insights will be valuable as the school works with the Ministry of Education to address our property requirements. Mark also has experience and an interest in communications and engagement making him well placed to backfill the function left by Matt Bolger when he departed earlier this year.

Mark has three young children, the eldest having joined Kohimarama School earlier this year. Mark leads the Programme Advisory practice area at professional services firm Beca and his team works across many of New Zealand’s largest capital projects and programmes. He is enjoying living back in Auckland where he completed his schooling before working in NZ and abroad.

This change means the board of trustees now has seven representatives again. Mark joins Brad Dunstan (chair), Kathryn Furness, Craig Jordan, Kristin Sutherland, Paul Engles as Principal, and Carrie Mills as Staff representative.

Property planning

Our school roll continues to grow and we finished the year with 597 students enrolled within our school.

A key pillar of the school’s strategic plan set by the Board earlier this year is to develop a great learning environment.  This includes property planning for both the short term and long terms needs of the school. 

To address our short term needs the Ministry of Education has confirmed they will provide two additional temporary classrooms adjacent to the lower field. We have been informed these rooms will be available for teaching from Term 3 2021. This will relieve some immediate pressure.

We continue to engage in dialogue with the Ministry regarding the best way to meet our long term needs. Finding a suitable long term property solution is a priority for us.

Donations and Fundraising

We’d like to say a big thank you to the 80% of parents and caregivers who paid their donation this year. The Ministry of Education funds most of the schools operations but doesn’t fully cover all resources sought by the school and desired by the board to enable students to achieve their potential. The donations, alongside PTA fundraising, enables the school to supply additional resources and teaching support to enhance student learning environment outcomes.

Thank You

We would like to acknowledge the resilience and adaptability of our students, parents and caregivers, and the staff at the school in addressing the challenges 2020 bought in the form of COVID19. The focus on students and their wellbeing along with the continued support for learning is appreciated by the Board of Trustees.

We wish you all the best for the holiday season. For those students and families who leave the school community this year we wish you all the best in your future endeavours. For the many who are returning we look forward to seeing you in 2021.