Important: Reminders for Monday 18 May

We are looking forward to having all our students back at school on Monday. In order to ensure a smooth transition, we shared an ‘assembly’ video with them this morning. You may wish to watch the video yourself (25 minutes) so that you can reassure your child that there are good hygiene and contact tracing protocols in place to keep them safe. The video covers a range of protocols, including access points for each whānau, if they are entering from the front of the school. Students who usually enter via the back gate will continue to do so. All students will start at 8.30 am and finish at 3.00 pm.

 

Here are the most important reminders for students, parents and caregivers:

  • Sick children and visitors will not be allowed at school. If a sick child comes to school, they will be sent home.
  • Parents and caregivers only enter the school grounds if it is absolutely necessary. Only incapacitated students can be escorted into/out of the school.
  • The Loop Road will be closed before school, as well as, after school for drop offs/pick up.
  • All appointments with staff need to be made by prior arrangement.
  • All visitors need to observe physical distancing of 1-2m.
  • Please make online payments wherever possible - Westpac A/C No. 03 0166 0303466 00.
  • Students need to stay out of others’ ‘moist breath zone’ and not touch others.
  • Students travelling on public transport will need to sanitise their hands when boarding the bus.
  • Hand sanitiser is widely available and students will need to sanitise their hands on entry to the school. They will be required to sanitise their hands frequently - before and after breaks and PE/Sport, if they have changed classes and when they have been to the bathroom.
  • PPE is not required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health Service. Students are allowed to wear masks, however, this is not compulsory.
  • Students are not allowed to share food.
  • Students are required to bring a large, filled water bottle to school each day. There will be designated places to fill their bottles.
  • Students will be required to bring their own stationery and headphones.
  • Digital devices are to be fully charged.
  • The library will be accessed during scheduled class times and will not be open during breaks.
  • All canteen orders need to be placed online. There is a reduced menu. You can place orders from Monday 25 May. Orders need to be placed by 12 noon the day before. The first delivery will be Tuesday 26 May.
  • Students are to wear their full school uniform and bring the sports uniform, as well as, a colour T-shirt to wear over the sports top (this is instead of the school bibs for team games). Retail stores only opened recently and we will allow a grace period to transition into school shoes. All students are expected to be in school shoes after Queen’s Birthday weekend.

As mentioned previously, our focus initially will be on ensuring all students and staff re-adjust to school life. Teachers will focus on student wellbeing and provide opportunities for students to share and process their experiences. If you have any concerns for your child’s wellbeing, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or our school counsellor, Sarah Markham: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Buses will be operating their usual timetable. Hand sanitisers will be available for each student to use as they board the vehicle, seats in close proximity to the driver will be left empty and buses will be sanitised after each journey by the transport company.

 

While there are no South Eastern Zone sports competitions for Term 2, we will be enjoying class and school sport, as well as, preparing for the Term 3 sporting codes. We will be informed at the end of May if the AIMS Games is going ahead in September.

I will keep you updated with any developments. For now, we are focused on the return to ‘normal’ school life. Enjoy not having to juggle teaching and all the other many things you have to manage. We’ve got this!

 

School Open for All on Monday 18 May

 

On Monday 11 May, the Prime Minister announced that we will be moving to Alert Level 2 from Thursday 14 May and that schools will be open for all students from Monday 18 May. More information about education at Alert Level 2 can be found here.

 

We are so pleased and are looking forward to having all students and staff back at school. Please be assured that at Alert Level 2 schools are safe environments. The two key public health control measures are to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing. This means minimising the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and secondly, ensuring we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with a person, if someone in a school is infected.

 

You can help by reinforcing good hygiene practices at home which includes everyone coughing into their elbows, handwashing and drying. Very importantly, please keep your child at home if they are sick, even if it is a slight sniffle, sore throat, cough or fever. We will send anyone home immediately if they show any symptoms.

 

There is no minimum distance requirement for schools at Alert Level 2. It is simply impossible to avoid being in close proximity. However, students and staff are advised to observe physical distancing wherever possible. Dr Payinda in his NZ Herald article, explains that “Covid's not measles or chickenpox, it doesn't hang in the air for hours waiting to infect passers-by. It travels on invisible drops of spit.” Therefore, the advice is to keep out of others’ ‘moist breath zone’. Students and staff can wear masks if they prefer to do so, however, this is not compulsory.

 

We have all the necessary hygiene practices in place. Students will be required to wash and sanitise their hands frequently throughout the day - when they arrive at school, before and after breaks and PE/Sport, if they have changed classes and of course, when they have been to the bathroom. There is also a regime of regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. If you have any questions about our health and safety plan, or have a child who might be vulnerable to serious illness and would like to discuss a plan for them, please contact their Deputy Principal.

 

Strict contact tracing protocols will also be in place throughout Alert Level 2 so that we know who is at school, who our staff and students have been in close contact with and we can take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe. As always, the only access point to the school is reception. We request that parents and caregivers only enter the school grounds if it is absolutely necessary. Please do not walk with your child into the school grounds or enter the school grounds to collect them, unless they are incapacitated. Any appointments with staff members need to be made by prior arrangement.

 

Our focus initially, will be on ensuring all students and staff re-adjust to school life. Teachers will focus on student wellbeing and provide opportunities for students to share and process their experiences. If you have any concerns for your child’s wellbeing, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or our school counsellor, Sarah Markham: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

While the online distance learning has been highly successful, students and teachers need time to re-connect, engage in interactive and deep learning for sustained periods of time and focus on progressing learning. We have therefore decided to forego the Teacher Only Day scheduled for Friday 29 May. Learning has been disrupted significantly during COVID-19 and we will do everything possible to maintain the focus on learning. It is for this very reason that we have also decided that we will not require teachers to spread their focus by committing a considerable amount of time to completing written mid-year reports. We will still be reporting verbally to parents at the three-way conferences that are scheduled for 28 and 29 July.

 

In the next few days, would you please start to prepare your child for school. Routines like going to bed at a reasonable time, getting up at the usual time for a school day and ensuring their device is fully charged in the morning, will be helpful. Uniform items will need to be checked to ensure they are neat and tidy. The cooler weather has arrived and your child will need the required school jersey/cardigan, school socks and shoes. Please ensure you only purchase footwear approved by Somerville Intermediate. You may also wish to purchase the optional school jacket. All uniform items can be purchased from John Russell Schoolwear in Howick. You can purchase online or from the shop front (Alert Level 2 protocols will be in place).

 

Water fountains will remain out of bounds so please ensure your child has a large, filled water bottle each day. There will be designated places to refill bottles. Students are not to share food and protocols for ordering food from the canteen will be in place.

 

Buses will be operating their usual timetable. Hand sanitisers will be available for each student to use as they board the vehicle, seats in close proximity to the driver will be left empty and buses will be sanitised after each journey by the transport company.

 

On Thursday and Friday teachers will be preparing for the return to school. Students will be set independent work that they will be required to continue with, after the roll on both days. On Friday morning a link to a recorded ‘assembly’ will be sent to students to welcome them back and go over all the Alert Level 2 protocols. School will start at 8.30 am and finish at 3.00 pm for all students as from Monday 18 May. The term breaks remain as they were originally set and Term 2 will finish on Friday 3 July.

 

Finally, I would like to thank all our teachers, parents and caregivers who have not only survived, but have thrived during this period of online distance learning. Many of you have risen to the challenge of teaching at home and we thank and applaud you! We are so fortunate to have such a supportive community. While it has been a very challenging time, we will take many positive things from the experience. I believe that as a school community, we are now even stronger and everyone has played a part in that. We look forward to welcoming the students back on Monday and celebrating school life once again.

 

icon download Chinese Translation - Return to School

Online Learning

Somerville Intermediate is well-placed to deliver online learning to students. Lessons will be delivered through Google Classroom and/or a Google site. Classroom and Aspiring Centre teachers will maintain teacher/student connections by checking in with each student at least twice a week to see how they are progressing with their learning. Class and Aspiring teachers will be available from 10.00am – 12.00pm, Monday to Friday for questions and clarifications about learning programmes.

 

In addition, specialist teachers will provide theory-based lessons via Google Classroom and/or a Google Site. They will schedule at least one conferencing session with their specialist groups at least once week. This may be through Google Hangout Meet, Flipgrid or another suitable online conferencing platform. A tutorial on Google Hangout Meet can be found here: Google Hangout Meet Tutorial and a Flipgrid tutorial can be found by following this link: Flipgrid Tutorial. Specialist teachers will be available from 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Monday to Friday for questions and clarifications about their learning programmes.

 

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Online Learning Update

The school break is coming to an end and Term 2 gets underway on Wednesday, 15 April. Hopefully, the children are re-charged and have enjoyed some quality time with the people in their bubble. Along with everyone else, we wait to hear from the government about when learning will resume at school. We look forward to the hustle and bustle of school life and the many happy moments we share as a school community.
 
These are certainly challenging times. I wish to express my appreciation to you as parents for making our hurried exit from school so seamless. The Board of Trustees and all of the Somerville team have been absolutely amazing! Their ‘can do’ attitude meant that we were able to, in just a couple of days, ensure online learning programmes were in place and operating effectively.
 
We are very fortunate to be so well-supported by digital technology. Where we have been made aware of issues in accessing online learning, we have requested that the Ministry of Education deliver either hard copy learning resources or a loan device.  These should be delivered within the next few days. In addition, from 15 April, Home Learning TV | Papa Kāinga TV, on TVNZ, will run from 9.00am to 3.00pm on school days on TVNZ2+1 and Sky channel 502. Some lessons will also be available on TVNZ On Demand. There will be content for parents and whānau with preschool children, as well as, lessons for children 5 to 15 years of age. The lessons will cover a broad curriculum that includes movement, music, physical education, wellbeing, numeracy, literacy and science through an integrated approach to curriculum.
 
We have all had many things to juggle. For some, this has included having to deal with uncertainty about employment. It is important that we acknowledge these stresses, as well as, the demands that come with working and supporting children’s learning from home.
 
Personal Wellbeing

In a crisis such as this it is important that as adults, we put our oxygen mask on first - we need to take care of ourselves so that we can be there for others. Please remember to take some time out for yourself – exercise, listen to your favourite music, laugh and have fun with those in your bubble. Here are some Actions for Happiness ideas.
 
Below are further ideas and resources provided by the Ministry of Education to support adults:
Information in languages other than English:
The Somerville website, COVID-19 page, has links to some great resources to support the wellbeing of children, as well as, physical activity. Somerville COVID-19 page.

Helping children stay safe online
 
Please continue to discuss with your child the importance of staying safe when they are online.  Approving sites they can visit and reinforcing appropriate behaviours will safeguard them from the dark side of the web. Here are a few helpful tips:
  • Review and approve games and apps before they are downloaded.
  • Review privacy settings of sites and applications.
  • Check your child’s profiles and what they are posting online.
  • Check the sites your child is accessing.
  • Remind your child that anything that is posted online will be permanently on the internet.
  • Take the time to understand what sites they are visiting and who they are talking with and check in regularly.
  • Some social media sites have age restrictions to join, check these before letting your child use them or join them.
  • Monitor your child’s use of the internet and consider having them use it in an open, common area of the house
  • Make sure your child knows to report any activity they don’t feel comfortable with to you straight away.
Online learning

Teachers will continue to use a range of online tools to deliver lessons. They are trying to incorporate learning that is creative and that supports parents to engage in learning with their children. It is not the expectation that teachers will deliver online lessons from 8.30am to 3.00pm. Students need to work independently between teaching sessions to complete and consolidate learning. They are still accountable for meeting deadlines and completing work to the best of their ability.

While all teachers will be checking in with students during the day and/or across the week to get an update on progress, the schedule below provides an opportunity for students to connect with their various teachers on a daily basis, in order to clarify any aspects of their learning:

Class teachers: 10.00am – 12 noon

Aspiring teachers (extension, support and ESOL programmes): 12.00 noon – 2.00pm

Specialist teachers: 2.00pm – 4.00pm

The new specialist cycle starts on Wednesday. Students should know what specialist subject they have.

Students can use the 6-day timetable below, if it’s helpful in structuring their time.

Wednesday 15 April - Day 1 (Start of the new specialist cycle)
Thursday 16 April - Day 2
Friday 17 April - Day 3
Monday 20 April - Day 4
Tuesday 21 April - Day 5
Wednesday 22 April - Day 6
Thursday 23 April - Day 1
Friday 24 April - Day 2
Tuesday 28 April - Day 3 (if we are back at school this will no longer be a Teacher Only Day)

Routines for learning

As you would normally do at the start of a term, please ensure your child has good routines and has everything ready for learning:
  • To bed at a reasonable time.
  • Up, fed, dressed and ready to start school work.
  • Device charged and other learning resources ready.
  • The roll will be taken by class teachers at 9.30am each day - Class teachers will email both parents and students before Wednesday to inform them how this will be done.
  • A schedule for learning to be completed for the day.
  • Scheduled breaks for snacks, lunch, time for fresh air, exercise Physical Activity and an activity that fosters wellbeing, Sparklers and Calm.
  • A check in with their teacher(s) about what they have achieved and progress on their learning.
  • A check in with you some time in the day about what they have achieved and progress on their learning.
While the Easter weekend does not offer the possibility of heading away or gathering with friends and loved ones outside our bubbles, I hope you still find time to relax and connect virtually with others.

Specialist Online Learning Programmes

 
As Specialist teachers, we have been busy preparing engaging lessons for the beginning of Term 2 that commences Wednesday 15 April 2020.  We are excited about the possibilities that online learning presents.
 
Specialist programmes usually contain a wide range of practical, hands on activities but with online learning we have had to adapt our programmes to cater for the limitations of working from home.
 
Each Specialist teacher has set up groups within Google Classroom and has invited students via email to join. Would you please ensure that your child has accepted the invitation and completes any assigned tasks on time.
 
Specialist Conferencing
 
Specialist teachers will set work using Google Classroom and we will check in with each group once a week to explain concepts and tasks, or answer any questions. Conferencing with students will take place during these times:
 
Year 8 Kawarau - 2pm Monday
Year 7 Kawarau - 3pm Monday
Year 8 Rangitoto - 2pm Tuesday
Year 7 Rangitoto - 3pm Tuesday
Year 8 Ruapehu - 2pm Wednesday
Year 7 Ruapehu - 3pm Wednesday
Year 8 Aoraki - 2pm Thursday
Year 7 Aoraki - 3pm Thursday
 
Our first priority as a school is student welfare, so if your child or family is under pressure in any way, we are happy for you to prioritise the workload and know that we are here to support. If your child cannot make the conferencing times due to other commitments, we will understand. We will endeavour to check up on them if we do not hear from them or they are not completing tasks.
 
We are available during normal school hours so please feel free to contact us if we can be of any assistance.
 
Hard Materials - Paul Bennett This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Food Technology - Debbie Thorpe This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Digital & Visual Design – Katie Fowlds This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Dance & Drama – Catherine Kelly This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Visual Arts – Rebecca Ferguson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Music – Adam Ward This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Science A – Carol Duffield This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Science B – Stuart Read This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Latest Updates

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