Term 4 Newsletter

Welcome back to Term 4.

In this Newsletter we cover off:

  • New entrants - Supporting families who are new to the school
  • SPS Going Above and Beyond– how the school looks to extend learning
  • The Power of Community – acknowledging our amazing school spirit
  • School Communications – update
  • Voluntary Donations – how are we tracking
  • Trustee Profile – Roger Smith Chairperson

New Entrants

For people who are new to the school, we welcome you and hope you are enjoying your experience to date. We are looking at ways of making it easier still to assimilate your family into our community. The Board has received some feedback as to how we can make the experience of new entrants and their families an enjoyable one.

Before children first come to the school, we will be organising official open days. These will give children and their parents the opportunity to pre-plan their visit to the school. The visit will provide the family with a sense of what to expect when they come here.

Currently we run a welcome to the school morning tea for new parents each term. These will continue and parents of newly enrolled children will have the opportunity to attend a second session if they wish. In this way, questions that may have arisen in the time their children have been at school can be covered off.

We will approach the parents of new entrants to get some further feedback as to what other refinements can be made.

SPS Going above and beyond

When National Standards were introduced, the rationale was that it would allow for greater transparency between the achievement/performance of different schools. One of the insights gained from admitting children to the school from other areas, is that different interpretations of the National Standards apply in different schools and the expectation and interpretation Shelly Park can be a variance with the interpretations of other schools.

What this also makes us realise, is that what we accept as being standard/normal, is exceptional in other learning environments. So, our children are getting educational experiences which extend them in ways they would not get elsewhere. Examples of this are the wide range of sporting and cultural events that our children perform outstandingly well in.

Similarly, the school recognises its obligations to help all students to realise their potential. Not all children find all aspects of learning easy and it is important that the school makes an effort to engage with these children in a way that supports success. To this end we employ two part time teachers to support Literacy and extend Mathematics and, where circumstances require and finances permit, Teacher Aides are employed throughout the school to assist learners. Finally, all Pods enjoy exciting ventures outside the classroom.

Nevertheless, the school is not resting on its laurels. The school is looking at ways it can create additional educational opportunities for those pupils that demonstrate a greater willingness and appetite for learning. These include e Learning, extending thinking groups, targeted Math's groups etc.

A key enabler of a child's success, is the preparedness of parents to positively engage with the school and support their learning and development at home.

The Power of Community

Our motto 'Working together to Succeed' encapsulates our spirit to good effect. As a school, Shelly Park punches well above its weight. We've noted how the school goes above and beyond academically and we know that when it comes to sports and cultural events, we have excellent participation rates and do exceedingly well.

A significant contributor to this success, is the attitude of parents in our school community. Not only do we encourage our kids to get involved, through support of school activities, such as cross country and the upcoming sports day, and through fundraising events, like the recent bagging for the marathon (or was that marathon bagging?), we demonstrate the importance of these things to our kids.

Parental involvement, particularly fund raisers, has always been a feature of this school. Inevitably, as time passes and children move on, the faces at these events change. However, they have always been a great way of meeting other people in the community. And, they will always be a great way of leading our kids by example.

Thank you and please keep it up!

School Communications

The school recognises that it needs to use multiple channels to download information through to the school community. This was acknowledged in our last email. An update on the Facebook page. This was set up this year as a vehicle for the school to communicate with parents.

While the school recognises the importance of communication between parents, this is not the intention of this page. The wide ranging communication between parents leads to a dilution of the key messages from the school. It can also lead to confusion brought about by well intentioned, but inaccurate comments.

Adjustments are being made which will ensure that the information available to parents is as accurate as possible.

Voluntary Donations

Previous Newsletters have referenced the importance of the voluntary donations parents make to the school. Nearly 70% of the invoiced donations have been received. We thank those parents who have taken steps to pay these. These donations make a world of difference to the quality of education the school is able to provide.

If you need clarification on how to make the donation, please speak with the team in the office. Worth noting, is that Voluntary Donations are tax deductible. So, we can claim back around 1/3rd of the donation amount in our tax returns. Please do what you can to support the school!

Trustee Profile – Roger Smith

Roger Smith is Chairperson of the current BOT. Roger and his lovely wife Carmen have been involved with Shelly Park School for 15 years. They have had three children attend Shelly Park, their two daughters Caitlin and Brittany and Son Ajay who is in year 6 in 2014, he expects his time as a Trustee to come to an end in April 2015. Roger was first co-opted onto the BOT in 2007 and took over as Property Trustee during that year. He was re-elected onto the BOT during the 2010 and 2013 BOT elections.

What were your reasons for getting involved as a Trustee?

The major driver for joining the BOT was to give back to a school who had done an incredibly good job with our daughters at that stage and too lend some business and marketing support to a decile 10 school undergoing changes in government funding, an expanding roll with student growth and a growing area at the time. Also to support a very dedicated Principle and teaching team and family that is the core of Shelly Park School.

How do you feel about Shelly Park School?

Shelly Park has always had a family atmosphere of support, encouragement, opportunity, partnership and success. In my very unbiased view as Chairperson of the BOT I honestly believe it is the greatest primary school of its size certainly in Auckland and potentially New Zealand for all of the things we achieve as a wider school group. This ranges from results in curriculum areas to dance and drama, choir, kapahaka, fundraising and of course our outstanding results in anything sports related.

What have you learnt from your time on the Board?

The time on the Board has been extremely enlightening and rewarding in the achievements we as a group, school and family have made in our time here. There have been plenty of frustrations over this time dealing with Ministry over leaky buildings, changes to bulk funding, the change in teaching ratios, the building of new classrooms and the re-draining of the main field and gully areas. However the learning curve is huge when managing people and a public asset. At Shelly Park you always know this school has your support and in turn you as a BOT have the schools best interest protected at all times.

What are your greatest memories from your time on the Board?

The greatest memories are seeing the POD 4 rebuild happen and the learning spaces we have created in there and the enjoyment of all staff, children and families using this space. It was the upgrade of the playground and the gully area and the technology trialed for underground heating for parts of the school. It was the numerous Telecom phone book bagging nights and running the streets delivering these with friends and family and the wider school community.

The sub committees for appointments and the opportunity to give Beginning Teachers a chance to start their careers at Shelly Park school.

The debates we have had over the years on curriculum setting and national standards and budgets and funding all make a person and the BOT and school stronger.

Shelly Park will always have a very special place in the hearts of our three children as well as Carmen and I.

One of the greatest memories will be the Shelly park school camps I was so very fortunate to be a part off with some excellent teachers and parent helpers and always a confident and willing group of Shelly park children determined to get the most out of the week or few days away from home. The smiles and achievements of the children when they reach a goal or complete the unknown at camp is always a highlight.

Want to find out more about the Board?

If you would like to find out more about what is involved with being a Trustee please approach one of the Board Members and have a chat!

If you require any further information, please contact us on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Kind regards

Shelly Park School Board of Trustees