Kia Ora Tatou, Greetings to all
We would like to welcome everyone to the 2016 school year and extend an especially warm welcome to all our new families. We hope you have had a restful and happy time during the holiday break.
At this time of year it is timely to reflect on our school vision, values, learning themes and our Whakatauki:
Nurtured by community (inclusive)
Inspired by creativity (teaching)
Empowered by strengths (learning)
To be responsible global citizens (thinking critically to make a positive difference)
Our learning mantra is: ‘Together We are Strong’
Our Whakatauki – Maori Proverb is:
Kia ngãtahi ai te tu
E pakari ai te tuarã
Stand united, stand strong!
Epsom Normal as a Model (Normal) School
Why do we have Normal in our name?
Normal Schools have been in existence since the 16th Century when a group of schools in France became interested in preparing people for teaching. The French concept of “école normale” was to establish schools to model best teaching practices thereby setting a standard or norm for student teachers.
Setting this standard has been the function of Normal schools worldwide. The 22 Normal schools in New Zealand appointed by the government work in partnership with our national universities to provide opportunities for student teachers to become inspirational teachers in the future.
In recent years we have been moving towards a team teaching approach to optimize learning opportunities for your children. This year your children will have many opportunities to work with another teacher as well as their own teacher in our shared learning spaces. We believe that when teachers team teach, they can better utilize their strengths, which benefit a greater number of students. Our physical learning environments reflect this commitment to team teaching. The latest building completion for Years 2 and 4 provides our students with a modern learning environment to learn collaboratively.
Term 1 I am a Geographer
Term 2 I am a Physicist
Term 3 I am a Teacher
Term 4 I am a Performer (School Production)
Artist of the Year 2016 – “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream” – Vincent Van Gogh
Our artist of the year for 2016 is Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh was a prolific Dutch post-impressionist painter whose work had a great influence on 20th century art. He worked in many mediums, such as oil painting, watercolour and printmaking. We look forward to using van Gogh’s unique style as inspiration for our art making this year.
Music Focus 2016
This year, our composer of the year is Claude Debussy. Debussy was a very influential French composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his works include stunning orchestral, piano and ballet music. Students will come to recognise famous works by the composer, and will study his style and life at the time. The school orchestra will also be playing music written by the composer.
A warm welcome to our new staff members, Ryan Abbott who will be teaching Year 5 students, Irena Ekens who will be teaching Year 4 students, Melissa Timperley who will be teaching Year 3 students and Millie Rowan who will be teaching Year 2 students.
Sabbaticals for 2016
Our Deputy Principal Deb Cooke is fortunate to have been awarded study leave for most of this year. She will be taking up her sabbatical in Week 9 of this term and will be on leave for the rest of the year. Martha McFaul will be Acting Deputy Principal for the Middle School.
I also have been awarded a 3 month sabbatical, which I will be taking up in Week 7 of this term and returning in Week 6 of Term 2. Ateel Sudkhakar will be the Acting Principal during this time.
Sean Anderson will be leaving us at the end of Term 1. He is travelling abroad and is planning to teach in Europe.
Hope to see you on Thursday 25 February in Week 4 for Meet the Teachers, from 4.45 to 5.15pm and the school picnic which follows from 5.15 to 7pm.