Permaculture Association Sustainable Backyard Garden


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Permaculture Association Sustainable Backyard Garden

  1. 1. Rotokauri SchoolNewsletter Issue No: 8 31 May 2012 ENVIRO GROUP TRIP Ph Our school Enviro Group is made up of 14 students from Rooms 3 to 7. The purpose of our group is to gain relevant gardening knowledge that can be passed on to their class members and to take a lead role in school environmental projects. On Friday, 25th May, the Enviro Group had an interesting trip to the Hamilton Gardens and Rhode Street School. We met up with Cheryl Noble from the Permaculture Association in the Sustainable Backyard garden. She explained how plants and animals work together in gardens. We learnt about composting, worm farming, organics and companion planting – how it is beneficial to plant some plants together. We then headed to Rhode Street School where we saw a holistic approach to gardening. We were impressed by their orchard and enjoyed hunting through their sensory garden looking for different types of leaves. We got some tips for our worm farms and found their hydroponics greenhouse very interesting. The children and I came back very inspired and look forward to putting some of our ideas into practise. A big thanks to Kim White and Michelle Tyrie for providing transport and supervision to our group.
  2. 2. ROTOKAURI SCHOOL Telephone (07) 849 5068462 Rotokauri Road Fax (07) 849 4371RD9HAMILTON 3289 Email: ParentsNga mihi o te wa kia koe me to whanau. ROTOKAURI SCHOOL MISSION STATEMENTOur positive environment will actively engage our students in learning. ROTOKAURI SCHOOL VISIONWe are responsible, confident learners and communicators. ROTOKAURI SCHOOL VALUESRespect, Responsibility, Honesty, Persistence and Excellence. PARENT AND VISITOR CODE OF CONDUCTWe are proud to offer a very open school where parents and visitors are welcome. Ourparent roll is now in excess of 300 and visitors within our school too numerous to count.Due to the increasing numbers we need to be aware and consider the possible distractionto the children that visitors, during class time, can cause and additionally we need to beaware of behaviours or standards that are unacceptable.Our school values were developed over the last five years through consultation withstudents, parents and staff. They are relevant to all members of the RotokauriCommunity. Our Staff has a code of conduct as do the Board of Trustees, the PTA has ameeting code and our students have values and rules to abide by. Unfortunately, whenRotokauri staff have been in situation where behaviour has been unacceptable theresolution has been difficult as Rotokauri School has not developed and published whatthe expectations of a parent or visitor are. Fortunately, these situations have been rarebut the issue must be addressed.The Board of Trustees believe it is appropriate that we facilitate the development of a setof expectations and / or etiquette for how we speak and act in front of our students, fellowparents and staff and that there needs to be true ownership for this to work from thecommunity. Every parent has the right to have a say in how this code should look. Sendyour thoughts to Mark and he will give them to a committee of parents to be self-selectedat a later date. Additionally, the children’s thoughts and ideas on what is important tothem will be included, therefore, we will seek their input by having the Student Councilsurvey and consolidate the children’s ideas. For parents wanting to put ideas into the mixplease email Mark at Any comments will be passedonto a committee anonymously. Comments need to be in relation to this article. Please donot make comments regarding individual students, fellow parents or current or past staffmembers.
  3. 3. BOARD UPDATEThere have been a few changes in members of the Board recently. Ron Woolerton hasbeen a valuable asset to the Board organising the property side of the school around hisextensive work commitments. Unfortunately, Ron and his family are moving to Chile andRon has stepped back from his role and offered to be a mentor for a new person. Theproperty manager role, as you can imagine, is very time consuming so we would like totake this opportunity to thank Ron for his work and organisation. Most recently Ronoversaw the building of the stage outside Room 3 and it was definitely enjoyed by theschool in the ‘People Like Us Show’. Nick Spiers has been co-opted onto the Board andwe thank him for stepping into the role. Miranda Collinson has also been co-opted ontothe Board in the role of Secretary. The other Board members are Darryl Yorke(Chairperson), Tim Dashfield (Personnel), Fiona Webber (Finance), Mark Goodson(Principal), and Janice Skiffington (Staff Trustee). It is an exciting time for the Board withthe 5 and 10 year plan to be decided upon and the new area outside the junior school tobe upgraded. PARENT HELPERS SUPPORTING OUR CHILDRENOver the last couple of terms we have had a lot of parents coming in to support theteachers and students in Maths, Reading, Writing and Spelling programmes. I havewatched with great interest those that have worked with our students in the staffroom orsurrounding buildings. Thank you to the following parents - it must be a great feeling toknow that you are making a difference. Hopefully I haven’t missed any parents out.Apologies if I have. Anne-Maree Vincent, Donna Hayde, Bridget McLaughlin, AntoniaWithey, Hayley Yorke, Cate Thorley, Carla Duncan, Leigh Westgate, Heather Perring,Kim White and Marie Carlson. SUPER SUPPORTERCongratulations to our Super Parent Supporter Claire Halpin! She did a fantastic job oforganising the pie orders in Week 4. Thank you…and the pies were yummy too!  HAPPINESSThis year we have talked a lot about happiness with our students and parents. TheHerald published an interesting article on Friday 18th May that basically said people arehappy when they have friends and family. Yes, it sometimes can be that simple.If you want to extend this concept of happiness into other areas a book called Flourishwhich I have quoted before talks about the five elements of well-being. These fiveelements of well-being include - positive emotion, engagement, meaning, positiverelationships and accomplishment.Using this 5 point criteria as a means of happiness across nations makes for interestingreading. The happiest nations in the world are as follows (in order) – Denmark,Switzerland, Finland, Norway and Ireland. New Zealand did not appear in the top 20nations. We were even beaten by countries that are experiencing social and financialturmoil e.g. The Russian Federation, Spain and Portugal.It’s vitally important that in front of our children we always remain positive and happy.
  4. 4. WRITING GOALSOver the course of this year we have shared some of our 2012 goals with the community.One of our major goals is to improve the quality of writing in years 2-8. The staff andstudents have worked very hard to achieve this goal. Here are some writing samplesfrom the junior students.My tooth is wiggly. It is nearly going to come out. Cooper Miller (Room 1)I went down the bottom field to have the cross country. I was cheering for mybuddy and I was cheering for my sister Jaimee.I went so fast that I couldn’t stop running because I went past my buddy. And Iwent down the hill and I stopped at the finish line.The green team won. And then we went off to lunch and then it was class time.Next I did the race with my buddy and I was fast. And I went past Ella because Icouldn’t stop. Rylee Carlson (Room 8)On Thursday we ran down the hill. It was our cross country for all of our children. Ialmost won it but my sister won it and she got skittles.I ran so fast and my sister ran like a rocket. My sister got in first place. I saw afresh cow paddy.I sat on a chair with Cole. We watched the race begin and it took 2 hours. I watchedmy sister running with her friends and she won it. Brooklyn Snelgrove (Room 8)This doesn’t usually happen but it did!It happened on Thursday at the park. I fell off my bike.Me and my Dad and my little sister were riding at the park.I was going down the hill on my bike and I crashed into the light. It wassore. I had to go to the doctors to get some stitches. Shaelyn Erasmuson (Room 2)Here is a light brown soft teddy bear. The teddy bear is as soft as a pillowand her nose is as rough as a cat’s tongue. Underneath her she has a darkpurple ribbon. She has got gleaming gold glasses that gleam in the sun. Theteddy bear’s name is Isabella. Isabella has a black dress and a tie that is asbright as a sun. Mya Ruediger (Room 3)
  5. 5. A Time I Tried Really HardI was at the starting line. The man was counting down from three. Then heslammed the bricks – woosh we were gone! My heart was beating and the windwas slapping in my face. My feet were stinging. The creek with sharp rocksmust have cut them. My mouth was leaking with spit. I couldn’t reallybreathe and swallow properly. Nicholas Westgate (Room 3) FEEDBACK ON RESILIENCEI love when parents give us feedback on articles that we have shared with the community.Jake Taylor shared this concept of Resilience -Resilience is the strength of spirit to recover from adversity. When we experiencedisappointment, loss or tragedy, we find the hope and courage to carry on. Humourlightens the load when it seems too heavy. We overcome obstacles by tapping into adeep wall of faith and endurance. At times of loss, we come together for comfort. Wegrieve and then move on. We create new memories. We discern the learning that cancome from hardship. We don’t cower in the face of challenge. We engage fully in thedance of life. CAR SHOW MEETINGThe car show was a great success for our school and our community last year. We havetaken on board new and exciting ideas from last year’s review. This year the students willbe fully involved in setting up and running stalls as part of their enterprise programme.The tentative date we have set for the car show and it’s important that we don’t clash withother car events is Sunday 11th November.We will have our first committee meeting for the car show on Thursday the 28 th June at7.30 p.m. in the staffroom. Everyone is welcome to be a part of this committee. MĀORI CONSULTATION MEETINGThere will be a Māori consultation meeting on June 5 th at 6:00 p.m. All parents who havetheir child or children enrolled as Māori will receive a phone call and a letter about themeeting, but anyone can attend. We have put it at a later time in hope of getting a fewmore parents attending. We will be discussing Māori achievement in New Zealand andhow it is reported on. We have a few questions to get your opinions about aspects ofeducation for Māori students. Mike Watkins and Lisa Mitchell COMMUNITY CONSULTATIONPlease feel free to give feedback regarding the sorts of questions that should make up thecommunity consultation survey. At the time of writing this I have not received anyfeedback from previous invitations to comment.
  6. 6. BIKE RIDELast year we had a couple of Sunday bike rides around the river bank track. It was fairlysimple - we turned up at 9 o’clock outside the Café at The Hamilton Gardens Lake andaway we went. The only rule was that you brought your child and that you were totally incharge of their safety at all times.We would like to do this again on Sunday, June 17th. This is a great family bondingsession. SCHOOL DONATIONSRemember we said that we will have a prize draw for everyone who has paid their schooldonations. This will take place on Friday 29th June. So be in to win. TEACHER UNION MEETINGSThere is a lot to discuss in education these days isn’t there? The Government wants toincrease the class sizes and they want to have performance pay just to name a couple ofthings.There are a number of union meetings taking place around the Waikato in mid June. Wehave, as a staff, selected 12th June. This will not cause any disruption to our teachingprogramme as the meetings will be starting at 3.30 p.m. We would ask that all studentswho are not going to the after school programme be off site by 3.15 p.m. SICKNESSYes, it’s that time of the year when students and staff get sick. We have tried to promotesimple hygiene habits e.g. washing of hands after going to the toilet. It could be a longwinter ahead of us. Please inform us if your child is too sick to come to school. THANK YOUThank you to all the parents who have managed to get their children to class on time.This definitely has helped the disruptions of lessons caused by children walking in late. SCHOOL BALLOTFrom time to time our school runs ballots for people who would like to join our school butcurrently live outside of the zone. On Saturday, 2nd June an advertisement will appear inthe Waikato Times. We will be asking for 4 students turning 5 in either July or August.We will also be asking for 4 Year 3 students who will start on the 16th July – the first dayback of Term 3. STAFF DEVELOPMENTDuring the last couple of days our management staff have been at writing courses to helpsupport our writing strategic plan. The new skills and techniques they have been learningduring these professional sessions will be passed onto other teachers and then find itsway to all our students. Over the coming months we will publish some of the writingcourse literature so that you too can support your child’s learning.
  7. 7. FRUIT AND VEGETABLES FOR SALEFruit and vegetables are for sale by the school gate every Wednesday from 2.45 p.m. Thevegetables have been grown in the school gardens by our students or have been donatedby families that have too much in their own gardens. All money raised goes towardsschool camp at the end of the year.If you have got excess fruit on your trees or extra vegetables in your garden that youwon’t be able to eat, please bring them to Room 6 and we can sell them to our Rotokaurifamilies. In our school garden students have been growing lettuce, spring onion, snowpeas, carrots, broccoli and cauliflowers this term. Some have been harvested and othersare not far from being ready.A big thank you to Kim White for gathering all the fruit and vegetables together each weekand selling them after school. This wouldn’t be possible without her.