Kia ora koutou
Welcome to AGHS 2019!
What a huge year we have in front of us – a year that contains a rare event for any student in their schooling lifetime, or for any teacher in their career, for that matter - to move in to a brand new school.
It was great to mark the start of our special year with the arrival of our large Year 9 cohort on 31 January, resplendent in their smart new uniforms. We hope that they are settling into secondary learning and are benefiting from the peer support programme that is underway.
Other opportunities for families to connect are Whānau Hui and Pasifika Fono , held every term, PTA meetings on the second Monday of each month, and Learner Hui, where we aim to meet with all girls and their families, on 21 March. We firmly believe that we are in a much better position to support your daughter’s learning success by working together so we ask you to prioritise attendance at a suitable time for you on our Learner Hui day.
Excitement is mounting as the year gets underway and moving day gets closer. While the focus is very much on teaching and learning, we have a split vision as we work on shift related matters at the same time. I am sure that you can envisage the logistics involved in shifting the resources and treasures of a school for 1000 girls onto a new site 5km away! It is not straightforward!
Following this message is our transition plan which I alluded to in my end-of-year Tatler message. To enable the shift to physically occur and for the school to be set up so learning can get underway, we will require some flexibility for your daughters to continue their learning online at home at the end of term 1 and at the start of term 2. This will enable us to make sure that everything is in place when we open the doors and welcome the girls in to learning.
If it is not possible for any girl to be at home for those days, we will allocate a suitable space on our old site for students to work under the supervision of a teacher. It would be helpful if families could advise the office if that support is needed, so that we ensure that we have sufficient staff in place. Heads of Learning Areas have worked with their staff to plan learning programmes so that there will be suitable and appropriate work for students to work on independently over that transition time.
Our plan is to run a staggered entry for students from the middle of week 1 term 2, so that there is time to welcome each cohort and enable them to have time to get to know the new site and find their way around. We firmly believe this approach will support students to feel comfortable and confident about their new school and to be able to focus on learning when full timetable resumes at the start of week 2, term 2.
I thank you for your understanding of the need for such special arrangements for this transitional period. It is a very exciting time for us all, and we want to make sure that we go about the change in a measured and thoughtful way so that all our students have an appropriate introduction to the site, have the opportunity to tour the school and to be introduced to all the facilities and to find where it is that their learning will take place.
We are planning a number of ceremonies to mark the various steps of our journey:
- The school will have a final assembly and farewell to the site on the final day of classes on site, Wednesday 10 April.
- There will be a blessing to mark the handover of the building to the school at a day and date yet to be confirmed.
- Term 2 will begin with a pōwhiri for staff of both schools and guests
- Each year level will be welcomed in a mihi whakatau.
- A Community Open Day on one weekend morning/afternoon in May.
- An official opening at some stage in June, date to be confirmed depending on the availability of the officiating personnel.
As you will well imagine things are proceeding at pace, and we will communicate further details as they are confirmed. Bus routes and timetables have been confirmed recently, and distributed to families. Traffic safety planning is in progress with preparation of traffic safety zone signage for Bower Avenue and Travis Road, and reduction of speed signage for Frosts Road.
We are very close to the handover of the new school and are very excited to get our first glimpse of the completed campus – inside and out. Procurement of ICT across the school has been concluded and we await delivery and installation in readiness for our term 2 opening. The actual move is very close to becoming a reality.
So much to look forward to!
Ngā mihi nui