Principal's Pen

Dear Parents, Caregivers and friends of the school,

Tena Koutou Katoa Nga mihi nui Ki a Koutou Katoa,

As a community focussed on learning, I have been pleased with the attitude, effort and application of all our students. The tone of our school is extremely positive with students engaging in all that our school has to offer. From a cultural and sporting perspective, there have been a number of meetings and trials being held for a variety of sports.  Information about these can be obtained from the sports section of our school website. 
Assessments are underway and staff are now analysing their class data to establish individual learning goals and personalised teaching programmes for their students. We look forward to meeting with you at the first parent-teacher conferences in March/April to share and discuss your child’s individual pathway for the rest of the academic year. We will provide details on how to book conference times closer to the date.
Activity fee ($100) and donation ($375)
Thank you to all the families who have paid the annual activity fee and donation since the last newsletter. Unfortunately, we still have a significant number of activity fees outstanding. The activity fee was due at the beginning of the school year; if you have not paid yet, we would appreciate your prompt payment as soon as possible please.

We would also greatly appreciate your payment of the school donation. Funding plays a significant part in the number and quality of our teachers, our learning facilities, the range of extra-curricular opportunities we can offer and the sophistication of our technology. Belmont Intermediate School receives limited funding from the Ministry of Education due to our decile rating and therefore we rely heavily on our parent donations to support us in delivering the key components to a superior educational experience for our students. Specifically, our parent donations enable us to fund curriculum resources and additional teachers to support students in Literacy and Numeracy.
The donation of $375 is voluntary, but the school could not operate without your support and payment of it. Please note that the donation is eligible for a 33% tax rebate, making the actual cost $251.25, which if paid before 31 March, can be claimed in the current tax year.  We can provide tax receipts for you to attach to your tax return for this purpose. Both the activity fee and donation can be paid via our Online Shop.
From an attendance perspective, could I request that parents please do us the courtesy of ringing or emailing the school office (489 4878 or or filling out the absence form on our website or via the Flexibuzz app. If you intend for your child to be absent for 5 days or more you are required by law to seek the permission of the Principal.
Our Integrated Studies project this term is focused on Health and Social Science with our key question "How do I value my identity?".  Our Year 7 and 8 teams will be developing their understanding and appreciation about what makes us who we are and valuing our identity. There will be an emphasis on the uniqueness of each individual and demonstrating that we all have something to offer the world. Our mission is to explore what makes us special by looking at various aspects of life that make up and influence our identity, such as; cultural background, family beliefs, values, feelings, hobbies and interests. These concepts also relate well to our Hauora programme, which explores our personal wellbeing.

Our end products for this learning experience will be to encourage students to be as creative as possible, having the freedom to design their own identity board or documentary about themselves. This project also lends itself well to our Family Fun Night, where our students will be designing their own stall to encourage our community to come together and embrace our school culture of identity. More details are found in the “Upcoming School Events” section of this newsletter.

As we continue to move through the term, I encourage all parents to remember that your perspective on your son or daughter is invaluable. I can recall many instances when parents have shared stories or anecdotes about their children that have immediately given the school important insights that made a significant difference – enabling us to provide guidance or support. If ever you have concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. This kind of communication is welcomed and part of the critical partnership between your child, your family and Belmont Intermediate School.

As we embark on this exciting year, here are five tried and tested guidelines for children which ring true for parents and teachers alike:

Help your children focus on problem-solving, not the problem.

Provide ways for your children to be givers and not takers. Talk about what it means to be humble. Humility is one of our six values.

Listen and recognise the process of listening to your child is more important than the outcome.

Work towards long term goals as a parent – fight battles small enough to win and big enough to matter. That means - let some things go!

Finally and most challenging – sometimes say “no”. We can make life hard for children by trying too earnestly, to make it easy for them.

Nga mihi nui

Nick Hill