Dear Parents/Whanau,

Winter does seem to be here, but we have been very fortunate to strike such a long run of good weather over the summer and autumn.

The tamariki have been very settled since returning to school and it has been great to catch up with them and many of you over the past couple of weeks. However, it has taken some getting used to having so many people around again! Suddenly we moved from about 25 on the school site under Level 3 to 330 under Level 2… that’s quite a leap in numbers, however I have enjoyed the sound of the tamariki. Redwood School now sounds as it should sound… full of life again.

Parents as Teachers…

As parents we spend many, many years teaching our tamariki. We do this sometimes deliberately e.g. teaching a child to ride a bike. We also do this indirectly e.g. tamariki seeing the way we behave towards and speak to others. However, as parent teachers, you had to pull a few home teaching ticks out of the bag during lock down and we have appreciated your efforts because you have helped your tamariki learn but also shown that you value learning by teaching and learning with them.

Your efforts, combined with the distance learning set up and supported by our amazing Redwood Team, have helped keep our tamariki learning through some interesting weeks. Our tamariki really have returned as Reddie Learners ready to learn!

Keeping our Tamariki Safe

Thank you to parents/whanau for following the school protocols regarding sign in/sign out, social distance, hand washing, etc. This helps keep our tamariki safe. Even though the risk of contracting Covid 19 is low, we still need to carry on with safe practices.

PTA events and fundraising

Our hard-working PTA has had to ‘mark time’ for the past couple of months during the lock down. However, after last night’s PTA meeting I know they are wanting to get back to helping around the school, organising events and raising funds. Thank you to Maria Boddington and Team as they gear-up again.

Over the fifty-one years of Redwood School’s existence the PTA has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars towards supporting our Redwood tamariki and their learning. Did you know one of the first major fundraisers the PTA did was to hold a fair in 1970, one year after the school started, the money raised going towards building a swimming pool. They raised $1850. That same year they also collected two tons of paper for recycling, raising $40 for their efforts… $40 then is worth over $600 now, so the fair in 1970 raised the equivalent of over $28000 in today’s money. What has been the PTA’s biggest fundraising effort? Around $300000 raised towards the building of the Hillary Hall. We can thank our community from nearly 20 years ago for the hall we use today. The PTA certainly made a difference for Redwood School in 1970 and it has done so right through to 2020!

Look out for more information from the PTA regarding the Easter Raffle which was organised before lock down and other PTA activities through the rest of the year. Thanks to the PTA for all their continuing efforts.

The School Redevelopment

The following things have happened recently or are coming up soon through 2020/beginning of 2021

  • ·Plans have been finalised
  • ·Projected costings have been checked
  • ·A project manager has been appointed
  • ·The tenders are being called for to undertake the project
  • ·The Decanting (Staging) Plan has been developed… this involves the emptying of rooms/blocks to allow refurbishment or building demolition
  • ·Hillary Hall will be reclad (leaky building)
  • ·Hoiho Hub will shift rooms first to allow for the library to return its original building. Hoiho will be in Rooms 10 and 11 temporarily. This will happen most likely for Term 4 2020
  • ·Rooms 9, 13 and 14 demolished
  • ·New playground developed on site of Rooms 13/14 at the western end of the Hillary Hall
  • ·Rooms 19/20 demolished Christmas holidays 2020 or Term 1 2021.

The Board and Staff have worked hard to achieve a very positive redevelopment plan for Redwood School. Working with the Ministry of Education and architects we have stuck closely to the feedback which we received from the Redwood community over the years since the earthquakes as we went through consultation. The result will be a much more modern, child-friendly, attractive and ‘fit for purpose’ school. We are really looking forward to the finished product.

Keeping you up to date…

I will keep you up to date regarding any further developments regarding Covid 19 Alert Levels and any implications for Redwood School.

Nga mihi,

John Stackhouse