Sunday, 31 January 2010

Welcome to 2010 from Burnham School

Dear parents/caregivers and friends of Burnham School,

Happy New Year and welcome to 2010! This email is to give you an update regarding the start of the new school year at Burnham School - Te Kura o Tiori. 

Firstly, those of you who are moving to other places in NZ, especially our Year 8 leavers from 2009, we wish you good luck and a happy start to the year in your new schools. You are always welcome at Burnham School. 

I have had a great holiday with my wife, Angela, and our three year old, Isabella. We stayed in Christchurch and got lots of exercise, had some surfing lessons, a chocolate indulgence day in Governor’s Bay (mum and dad only), quite a few day trips to various places like Orana Park/Orton Bradley Park/beaches, and a new dolls' house created for Isabella (in just under two days prior to Christmas)!

Staff has had two days working together and staying overnight on our staff retreat, working on the new curriculum and planning an exciting year of learning for everyone. We have two new classroom teachers, as well as an additional teacher working across the school to provide even more learning support. We also have a new teacher aide joining us and two music tutors. The itinerant music programme will start early in the term and promises to be a fabulous opportunity for those who want to take part - piano, guitar, singing, percussion and keyboard so watch this space! What an inspiring team we have at Burnham School!

Welcome new families
For the new families joining our community, we are looking forward to welcoming you and getting to know you and your child(ren). We hope you are settling in well to the community. There will be some special gatherings just for families who are new to the school early in the term, in addition to the events we will have for everyone. Please ask us if you have any questions and feel free to pop into the classroom(s) of your child to help out if you can. Keep an eye on for events, as well as the Principal Blog: for updates.

Where children need to go first day
Those of you who are returning know that the first day of school is when the children find out their new class and teacher. This can be somewhat daunting for some children and so we will do everything we can to ensure a smooth and happy start for everyone, especially new students. To help this process, every staff member will have a master list of all children sorted by first name, which will help us to direct students to the right classroom and teacher. 

We will also have the names and classes posted on the wall of the library, main office notice board and on a whiteboard outside Room 3 to help this process. If you are enrolling your child on Tuesday for the first time, please come to the office and meet Trish, who will help you. My suggestion for new students and families is for them to come to school between 8.30-8.45 to help us locate children and direct them to the right place. Classrooms open at 8.30am every day.

Children will be issued with their stationery list on the first day of school. You are welcome to purchase your stationery from us or arrange your own.Stationery will be available from the school and we encourage parents using this service to consider using internet banking to pay for it. The office will also take cash or cheque.

Newsletters, Web Sites and Class Blogs:
This year we will have a fortnightly school newsletter. This will coincide with regular class blog updates, keeping you up to date with what is happening in our classrooms. Our newsletter will have a new look and in time, so will our web site. Parents and whanau elsewhere in NZ or abroad will even be able to subscribe to class blogs to be updated automatically. All class blogs are in the format: (note the class number at the end).

School Assemblies and Team Hui
We are improving how we organise and run our school assemblies. The first week of term will be a 'team hui' for both the junior team and the senior team, running from 1.30-2.00 on Friday. Once finished, we invite parents/caregivers who are able to attend to join in the afternoon's learning.

In week two, our first whole school celebration assembly will be lead by Rooms 3 and 6. This assembly will have as its focus the sharing of learning from these classrooms, but may also include celebrations of learning from anywhere in the school! I will explain the thinking behind these improvements in greater detail in our first newsletter. Again, keep an eye on the community calendar at: to see when your child(ren)'s class is leading either Team Hui or Celebration Assembly.

3 Wishes - a request of all families:
Finally, in 2010 we have a new system for schoolwide goal setting which we believe will help us in aligning your wishes as family/whanau with the goals we develop with your child(ren). Over time this will provide the school and family with valuable information regarding progress towards the most important learning priorities of our tamariki.

We ask that every family provide us with their 'top three wishes' for each child for 2010. This information is shared with class teachers, and me as the Principal. We will refer back to it regularly as we evaluate your child's progress throughout the year. Please go to: and complete the survey for each of your children. Class teachers will be following up and providing other ways to gather this information from you at our 'Meet the Teacher' evening early in the term.

We look forward to welcoming you back to school.

Ka kite ano,

Rob Clarke
Tumuaki - Principal
Te Kura o Tiori - Burnham School
t: +64 3 347 6851


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