Term 1, 2024

Fergusson Intermediate School

Board of Trustees Newsletter

In this Newsletter:
  • Welcome Message
  • Strategic Plan
  • Achievement Overview for 2023
  • Community Voice/Feedback
  • Health & Safety Updates
  • School Policy Reviews
  • Property Update
  • Meet our Board Members
  • Upcoming Event Reminders
Tēnā koutou katoa and welcome to all our families and learners joining us in 2024. We hope that you are settling well into our school community, and that the first few weeks have been a positive experience for your children.

We have enjoyed sharing with you our mihi whakatau - where our new students and whānau were welcomed by our current year 8’s and staff with a great kapa haka performance, and our Whānau Picnic last week. It is always wonderful to see our students participating in school life, and making the most of opportunities.

The Board wishes to thank and acknowledge our teachers, support staff, along with Principal, Simon Kenny and Deputy Principal, Amy Perkins for their enthusiasm and creating such a positive transition to the beginning of the year for our students.

We are excited to see our learning spaces in Kaitoke block be transformed to provide extra experiences and different opportunities for learning to take place, with the support of our learning support team and the Kick Start Mentoring Programme. Our staff have seen such positive changes with this welcomed addition to our school.

We wish to acknowledge Sarah Spencer for her commitment as Staff Representative on the school board, Sarah has given us valuable insight and connection to our staff over the last year as our Board Staff Rep. We know that Sarah and her positive energy will be well missed by her students and colleagues.

We will be thinking of Sarah and her family as she begins her new journey in life on her soon to be maternity leave.
Sarah Spencer
Staff Rep & Teacher Rūma Rua

Our Updated Strategic Plan

The School Board provides culturally responsive strategic leadership and direction along with a policy framework to guide our school’s overall performance on behalf of the community.

Through collaboration between the BOT, Senior Leadership Team and community we have created a robust strategic plan. The strategic plan creates a pathway for achievement of school goals. It is a crucial element in ensuring our school is an environment that supports all students to learn, be successful and to “amplify their awesome”.

Over the last few months this plan has been reviewed, we have reflected on our needs and performance and it has been adjusted to guide us for the next two years.

Our goals are:

Goal 1: A community-based culture with genuine partnerships where local voices guide and shape our culture and practice

Goal 2: Ensure our programmes, systems, environment, resources and pedagogy
are responsive to the local adolescent in a post Covid Aotearoa

Goal 3: Reflect on, review and refresh our local curriculum inline with the recent
NZ Curriculum refresh, the NELPS and the needs of our rangatahi / young people

You can read more about our Strategic Plan in full on our website with the link below.

Achievement Overview for 2023

Our achievement targets are all about amplifying the awesome. This means we aim to find the balance between aspirational and personal progression goals. We look at what curriculum levels our students are working within when they start Fergusson Intermediate and where we would like them to be when they move onto college - progression looks different for everyone.

2023 achievement in reading, writing and maths is in line with national expected levels of achievement progression for this age group. It is pleasing to report that 80% + of Year 7 and 8 students were at or above progression expectation at the end of 2023.

Our positive attendance rate supports this too. Our students love coming to school, this first hurdle has a big tick. 92% of Year 7s and 86% of Year 8s had an attendance rate of 80-100%.

We know in order to reach our vision, we still have things to work on and improve, but we are in a really good position to do so.

Community Voice/Feedback

Thank you to everyone who attended the Community Picnic last week and to those who added their voice to our survey around this start of year community event at Fergusson Intermediate.

We had 112 responses to our survey and of these 40% attended the event.
As you can see below the majority of respondents liked the casual, picnic approach and 34.5% of respondents would support both an informal and a formal event to start the year.
The feedback from those that attended was really positive and the key themes were that the relaxed, carnival like atmosphere was really fun and welcoming. Whānau enjoyed connecting with each other and the teachers / staff and BOT. Kickstart and their inflatables were a huge hit as were the food trucks. The kids had a lot of fun and enjoyed the activities provided.

The key barriers for those who didn’t attend were:
  • Clashes with other events / activities
  • Work commitments
  • Unaware that this was on
Another reminder that our school Facebook Page is a great place to learn about the upcoming events and celebrate the awesome things happening at Fergusson Intermediate.
Our website also has an “Incoming Awesomeness” button where you can see the events for each week. We also use Educa to share information as well as emailing our whānau important updates. We try our best to promote school events as much as possible.

Health & Safety Update

Education Outside of the Classroom (EOTC)

Message from Toby Funnell
EOTC Coordinator
In the later part of 2023 three staff members attended EONZ (education Outside New Zealand) training. This was Simon Kenny, Anne McPhie and myself to gain a deeper understanding of the why and the how when offering EOTC experiences here at Fergusson Intermediate.

The purpose was to ensure that all EOTC experiences for our students offered worthwhile, safe adventures that built on from our contributing schools'. The training days were fantastic in explaining the policies and governance expectations and helping us ensure our school's overarching Safety Management Plan was fit for purpose.

I then attended a BOT meeting and explained the processes along with the new templates we use to meet not only legislative requirements but best practice to take any students outside of the school boundaries. A big change in these new forms was for schools to really focus on the supervision structure of an event, to clearly show who is monitoring different groups of students. There was also a large focus on checking staff competencies and what the decision process is to recognise the overall risk level of a proposed event. The BOT asked a number of great questions to clarify our school policies and procedures for all staff and students to be safe while attending an EOTC event and to ensure that checks are in place.

It was agreed that it was incredibly important to have whānau engagement with completing and returning the required forms sent home about their children for upcoming events and to either receive permission or identify health or medical conditions etc which may help identify how we plan our events and experiences to ensure success and wellbeing of all our students.

We have confirmed there is a very clear checklist along with a number of communication to be sent home to parents, volunteers and for those parents driving. We have established a clear process with regards to checking drivers licences and confirming WOF and registration checks.

This information is to give you some insight into why we need to work together to ensure we have safe and awesome experiences for our students and Fergusson.

Sun Protection

Even though it is the last week of summer, our students have been enjoying the outdoors and we wish to remind you to talk to your children about being Sunsmart. With the warm and sunny days that we have been experiencing this term (and hope will continue) our UV rating is moderate, and our school policy states that during Term 1 and 4 we encourage students to bring their sun hats to school. These should be worn especially during prolonged outdoor breaks and activities, along with sunscreen, which is available in every classroom for your child to apply.

We do not mandate the style of hats to be worn however students should wear a hat that offers maximum protection, such as a wide brimmed hat. Please ensure that their hat is named.

I’m sure there will be a few 'spot rewards' handed out this term to students being sun smart at school.

Info from Sunsmart NZ

The sun sends out different types of radiation:
  • sunlight (that you can see and feel as heat)
  • infrared radiation (that you can feel as heat)
  • UV radiation (that you cannot see or feel).
You need to be careful when it’s cool (and/or cloudy) outside from September to April. When it’s cool it means there’s less infrared radiation but not necessarily less UV radiation. You can still get sunburnt on cool and cloudy days.

Road Safety

You may have seen the BOT or the UHCC discuss the Draft Speed Management Plan that was open to submissions last year to review and increase safety to our students and community around our school. Unfortunately, we have received communications from the UHCC that upon advice from the Minister of Transport, the Council is pausing their work on this Programme.

We wish to remind our community to please slow down around our surrounding streets, at pick up/drop off times, and during school hours as we do have groups of students and staff on walking activities around the school community.

We have some tight corners, and busy intersections where we need you and our community to be vigilant please. Parking parents and caregivers, please do not park on the yellow lines, please use a safer area to park such as Holdsworth Ave or Merton Street if needed.

If a school bus has stopped, you must slow down and drive at 20km/h or less until you are well past the bus (no matter what direction you are coming from).

Thank you for your support with keeping our school community safe.

School Policy Review

We use approved SchoolDocs for our policy and procedure framework and review our policies on a three year cycle or earlier if needed. Our whānau and community are invited to participate in the review process and provide feedback to us.

Our Term 1 Policies currently under review are:
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • Board Responsibility
  • Parent Involvement
  • Communicating with Parents
  • Community Conduct expectations
  • Documentation and Self-Review Policy
  • School Planning and Reporting
  • Reporting to Parents on Student Progress and Achievement
You can access School Docs and read our policies from our school website, please use the link below. From here you can provide feedback using the online review tool or by downloading the Policy Review form and share with us, we can then share this with SchoolDocs for you.

If you wish to give us any other feedback regarding these policies, please email our Board at presidingmember@fergusson.school.nz

Cell Phone Use & Reading, Writing, Maths

The Government’s Education priorities under their 100-day plan include two new policies for schools:
  • New student mobile phone rules (away for the day)
  • One hour a day of reading, writing and maths in primary and intermediate settings (to be implemented by Term 1, 2025)
The new mobile phone rules will not not change the way in which we regulate phones at school. We currently have protocols that if mobile phones are brought to school, they are handed in to their classroom teacher at the start of the day, and handed back to the student at the end of the day. Mobile devices are only to be used during supervised school time at the discretion of the teacher. We are working with School Docs and the MOE to create a school policy that details our existing procedures further.

The specifics around one hour a day of reading, writing and maths is a little more complicated at an Intermediate level where we are also providing more varied learning opportunities for our ever developing students. Our Leadership Team are currently reviewing and and seeing where we currently sit within this new policy and ensuring all our learning is purposeful and beneficial to our students. We will update you again with our next steps.

Property Update

Last year the front of the hall was redeveloped from our old school office space to our new Performing Arts space, this so close to completion. We are just waiting for the official sign off from UHCC and then we are ready to get this set up! We can’t wait to see the students utilising this area which has been designed especially for them. We are also beginning to landscape the front of the hall and school entranceway, which we are also very excited to see completed.

Meet Two of our Board Members

Each Newsletter, we will introduce to you a couple of our Board Members. We would like to introduce you to Belinda and Phillip.

Belinda Southcombe

Ko Aoraki raua ko Hinerakei ōku maunga
Ko Wairakei raua ko Rotokakahi ōku awa
Ko Takitimu raua ko Mamari ōku waka
Ko Kai Tahu raua ko Te Rarawa ōku iwi
Ko Puketeraki raua ko Ohaki ōku marae
Ko Belinda tōku ingoa

Kia Ora, my name is Belinda Southcombe, I am married to Heath, our youngest two children attend Fergy where I am also a Teacher Aide.

On the Fergy BOT I look after the Health & Safety portfolio, which includes supporting the school with good practices & obligations for the Kaiako, Kaimahi and our Tamariki. I also have special interests with our ORS & Additional Needs students, our Māori students & Te Ao Māori Curriculum and throwing my support behind the goals & priorities that help raise student achievement.

Seeing how much my daughter has thrived being here at Fergy inspired me to put my hand up for the BOT, to help create an environment where she and her peers can succeed.

Mā te wā
Belinda Southcombe

Phillip Hartell

Kia Ora tatou,
Ko Ruapehu te maunga
Ko Whanganui te awa
No Whanganui ahau
Ko Hartell Toku whanau
Ko Phillip Toku ingoa

Hi I'm Phillip and I'm a proud member of the Board of Trustees for Fergusson Intermediate School. This is my second year on the board.

My connection to school is via my son Dylan, who is in year 8 and I also have an elder son who is now at Upper hutt College. As well as my family connection, I have a physical connection as I live next door to the school!

Work wise I have been in the Banking industry for nearly 40 years. With my financial experience, I have enjoyed regular meetings with the Board and offer advice when needed.

Outside of work, I remain a keen sportsman. I referee and coach football, and am privileged to play for the Upper Hutt United Cricket Club, Dads Army cricket team (you have to be grey or bald to be invited!)

Thank you for taking the time to connect with us.

I hope that you have found this newsletter useful and informative. We will continue to publish a Board of Trustees Newsletter for you each term, to give you updates on what we are currently working on, share our school successes, and keeping you generally informed from a governance level.

If you wish to know more about how school boards work please follow the link to the Ministry of Education's Information pages, or please email me with any queries or feedback at presidingmember@fergussion.school.nz

Ngā mihi on behalf of the Board of Trustees,

Paula Glen
Presiding Member
Fergusson Intermediate School Board of Trustees

Upcoming Event Reminders

Teacher Only Day - Monday 4th March

The Board supports our staff to receive the training and development needed to provide effective, informed practice and our Teacher Only Days provides this opportunity for the whole school (BOT, Support staff and teachers) to learn together and ensure consistency across our school.

We only have 2 teacher only days this year, the 4th March - Te Ara Whakamana and 25th October (Upper Hutt Cluster Day).

We are incredibly lucky to have Matua Mike offer an option for the students in Kapa Haka to stay at school for an extra full day workshop on this date - 4th March.
Whānau can register for this here.

Parent/Teacher Interviews - Tuesday 12th March & Wednesday, 13th March

In Week 7 we will be holding our whānau connections over two nights - Tuesday 12th March and Wednesday, 13th March from 3.15pm-7.30pm.

The School Interviews site is now open, here is the link https://www.schoolinterviews.co.nz event code : qxjde

We look forward to seeing you all on those days. If you have any queries or unable to log on to the site, please contact or email Anne McPhie – amcphie@fergusson.school.nz

NZEI Paid Union Meeting - 19th March

We apologise for the disruption, but to allow our teachers to attend their Union Meeting we are asking for students to be picked up at 12:25pm.

These meetings are NOT determined by the school and the school boards are informed by the NZEI on the time and dates that they are required to ensure staff can attend. We try our best to minimise the impact on whānau but due to the majority of our staff attending this meeting, we need to close the school for safety reasons.

Principals have been asking NZEI to consider meetings after school hours for many years but unfortunately this has not been the case. We are incredibly lucky again to have Matua Mike offer an option for the students in Kapa Haka to stay at school for an extra practice on this date.

Our Kids Online - Rob Cope

Free online safety presentation - 19th March 7pm-9pm Fergusson Intermediate School Hall

It is vital that our young people are supported with the digital challenges they face. Almost all of the issues we see presenting at school have connections to social media or online environments. You can be part of the solution. You can keep your child safe.

Join us for a proactive, informative and practical approach to protecting our kids.
This is a must for all parents and whānau.
No cost.

We would love to see as close to all of our whānau attending as possible, if you need support with child care on the night please contact Anne McPhie amcphie@fergusson.school.nz.
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