Howick Intermediate School

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Dear Parents/Caregivers
At the beginning of this month, schools submitted their charters to the Ministry of Education. It is timely then that our Mission Statement is brought to the fore again, especially in light of the fact that we have our new parents who may be looking for ways to get to know the school better. Our statement reads…

Mission Statement
Howick Intermediate School aims to encourage children to learn at their optimum level,
by recognising their individual needs, by building their confidence and self-worth,
by providing a wide range of worthwhile experiences and a balanced programme,
within a positive, stable, and caring environment.


While the statement reads well, has all the right words and phrases, what matters more is how it translates into teaching and learning. What follows are snippets from our charter that shows how our Mission Statement impacts how we teach, and students learn. As we become more aware of the specific needs of students at this stage of their development, we increasingly seek to
integrate our programme, and make it more responsive to the interests and learning style of preadolescent students.
The preadolescent students we work with, have developmental and learning needs that are unique to their particular stage of development. During these years, they will learn more than at any other stage of their life, apart from the learning that will have occurred during their first three years. They therefore require a programme that gives priority to these needs and recognises that students have individual rates of development and learning styles. This requires that we adopt a differentiated approach to everything that we do. Not all students will reach the same
developmental stage at the same time. This does not reflect success or failure but rather the uniqueness of each student’s developmental pattern. To infer from this in plain language, not every child needs to learn the same thing at the same time. Why then do schools continue to engage in whole-class teaching? At Howick Intermediate, group and individual needs drive the teaching and learning, taking into account student concerns and interests, as well as creating opportunities for active participation in cultural, social and sporting activities. The New Zealand Curriculum is designed to take into consideration the unique nature of its learners and their needs. It recognises, values and celebrates cultural differences in a variety of ways. In so doing, we create opportunities for student-generated ideas (concerns/interests) to be explored. Encouraging our students to exert some influence on the focus of their learning has led to confidently empowering them, to socially act in a way as individuals who can make a difference.

Neetha Mudhan
Acting Principal

 

ATTENDANCE COUNTS
One of the most important things your child can do to achieve academic success is also one of the most basic: going to school every day. In fact, research has shown that your child's attendance record may be the biggest factor influencing his/her academic success. Other benefits include:
Being part of the school community: Just by being present at school, your child is learning how to be a good citizen by participating in the school community, learning valuable social skills, and developing a broader world view.
Achievement: students who attend school regularly are more likely to pass formal and informal assessments.
Exposure to the English language: Regular school attendance can also help students who are learning English by giving them the chance to master the skills and information they need more quickly and accurately even in other subjects!

As a parent or guardian, it is possible to plan ahead in order to limit your child's absences, make school attendance a priority, and help your child from falling behind if it is necessary to miss a day of school. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Help your child get to school on time every day. Teach your child how to set and use an alarm clock.

  • Follow the school's guidelines and attendance policy, and report excused absences

  • immediately. Help us by phoning the school on 534-3922 and choosing option 3. This call needs to be made before 08:30 am, so that your child’s teacher knows where your child is. In your child’s school diary is a form to fill out if your home, cell or work phone contacts have changed so that you can inform the school. This is important in case we need to contact you in the event of an emergency at school.

  • Check homework. Check each night to see that your child understands and completes the day's home-learning assignments.

  • Take an active role. Stay involved with your child's daily experiences at school by asking how the school day went, and then listening carefully to what your child shares with you both the successes and struggles.

  • Locate potential sources of anxiety. If your child frequently appears upset or reluctant to go to school and cannot tell you why, schedule an appointment with his or her teacher or school counsellor to talk about possible sources of the anxiety.

  • Keep updated on school events and announcements. Read the school documents that your child brings home and take note of important announcements and dates, such as open school night and parent-teacher conferences.

  • Plan ahead. Encourage your child to prepare for the next school day by laying out clothes the night before and helping to fix lunches.

  • Promote good health. Make sure that your child eats a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and has opportunities to exercise every day through a sports team or playtime outside. Provide a medical certificate when your child is away sick.

  • Create a restful environment. Finally, make sure that your child can relax before bedtime by doing something quiet like reading rather than do something stimulating. Ensure that your child gets enough quality sleep ideal amounts range from 8 to 12 hours. Getting enough sleep will help them get up on time, be refreshed in the morning, and feel ready for a full day of learning ahead!

By making your child's school attendance a priority, you will be taking an important step in
supporting your child's school success, and setting a good example. Remember every day counts!
Raewyn Forrest
Registered Nurse

BUYING BUS TICKETS
Please talk to your children about being organised with regard to buying their bus tickets. Tickets will only be sold in the morning and at morning tea. There will no longer be ticket sales during lunch. If students forget to buy their ticket, and have no clicks left, they will be required to phone home and get someone to pick them up.

OUR SCHOOL LIBRARY
The library is open to students and staff from 8 am until 3.45 pm every day. Students are welcome to come in before and after school and at lunchtime to spend a few quiet moments, complete homework, read, play cards or chess, or hang out with friends. Students must have their ID card and gold card to issue books, and can take out two fiction and two non fiction books for two weeks. Students are able to reserve books and also renew books required for a little longer.

 
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