MBAS Newsletter, Term 2, Week 6

Term 2, Week 6, 22nd May 2020
The first day back at school was a very happy one. M8 made origami butterflies. They then created a mathematical display, looking at the patterns and grouping them (fractions).

Kia Ora – Greetings to you all

It’s a marathon, not a sprint
but the finish line is getting closer!

Greetings to you all

We are now at the close of our first week back at school under Alert Level 2; and it has gone superbly. We have been able to welcome all of our young people back and it is fantastic to see their smiles, hear their laughter, and engage in their “rahui/lockdown” stories.

Our young people are remarkable.

We have all had the same experiences of lockdown (being away from our friends, loved ones) and our young people have come back incredibly positive, engaged in our KAURI expectations and living in the space of working positively with everyone – with Tolerance, with Patience and with Kindness.

It is really special to be part of our kura – the culture that permeates everywhere is
remarkable. Thank you all as parents/caregivers/friends/families for doing what you have done to keep our young people buoyant and uplifted in this time.

The hygiene requirements and social distancing expectations we have put in place are all going well – and your encouragement around these protocols is really helpful. The young people are doing really well, as are our staff.

We have taken a deliberate stand to ease back into schooling and it is working well.
Wednesday we were all back on site – 1000 students and 100 staff – it was fantastic. I have two timelines in my mind – the first is working toward Queens’ Birthday weekend (so we can all have a family break); and the second phase is the five weeks of June which will take us through to the July school holidays (Friday 3 July is the last day of term 2). We will all be ready for the break by then.

A confirmation – our school will be open for instruction on Friday 29 May, 2020 – I had published on our fridge magnets that we had planned for a teacher only day for that day but this is no longer going to go ahead. “School as usual” on 29 May, 2020.

Changes in our Office
Last Friday was the final day for Mrs Dallas Hunt – Office Manager. Dallas has been in our kura for over 20 years in a variety of roles – from our gardener, through to Office Assistant and then Office Manager. Dallas has been an incredible supporter of our kura in all her years with us and has made a great contribution. We wish Dallas and Bryce all the very best in this next phase of their journey. We will certainly miss Dallas – it has been great to have had her on board all these years.

Our new office Administrators are Ms Karin Farrelly and Ms Sarah-Jane Laing. They have made a great start in our really busy office and we welcome them along to our wider kura whanau.

So… as we travel into our second school week at Alert Level 2, we are aiming to practice just what we have this week – an easing into learning; a focus on tolerance, patience and kindness; having our young people here on time, in uniform and fully engaged in their learning.

Kia kaha
Kia manawanui

John Wright
Primary Years
Monday morning brought with it a little apprehension and a great deal of excitement...finally, our children were returning.

We were apprehensive about the protocols we had put into place to try and keep everyone a little safer as we navigate alert level 2. Would parents read the protocols and know how it would work before arriving? Would children be able to manage these new rules? How were they going to be feeling?

Our first few days back have been amazing. Our students have returned happy and grateful to be back, while also grateful for the time they had with their families. With our new staggered breaks the playgrounds have had a happy, quiet and purposeful feel. And the tuis that returned to the school site over the rahui period have stayed, watching over our tamariki as they play and enjoy once again the company of their friends and classmates.

Right across our kura, our focus has been about a gentle welcoming back, ensuring we are re-establishing our connections to each other and the ways we need to accommodate each other in a school environment. We have been reflecting with our students about the "gains" and "pains" of the rahui, what we would keep and what we would change and it has been great to see how engaged they are in using this opportunity to move forward and co-create the best learning environment we can. If you have "gains", "pains",  wonderings or comments from the rahui that you would like to share, please email us. We would love to hear your thoughts.

And finally, I would just like to send a "shout out" to all the essential workers in our community who kept things going so smoothly for all of us during the lockdown period. We literally could not have done it without you - thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ngā mihi,

Anne-Maree McDougall

Mercury Bay Area School
Deputy Principal (Primary Years)
Middle Years
Here we are at Level 2 - returning to school!  What an exciting vibe on the first day. After being at school with a few students, the quietness was quite eerie but Monday brought a whole new energy. Students have embraced the new protocols and are making a real effort to remember the increased hygiene requirements. They are treating each other with kindness and a gentle understanding that the whole lockdown experience has been so different for everyone. We are moving slowly but the real focus for us is on moving forwards. Kindness is the mark we leave on the world. 

Take care

Jenny Bloom
Middle years DP
Student Report
Middle and senior years have arrived back to school this week and have been expected to raise their hygiene standards. Applying hand sanitizer or washing and drying hands before entering classrooms and also wiping down computers, laptops and desks has been clearly passed on by teachers to students. This change since returning to school has been working very well and students have easily adjusted to how they now approach their learning. Teachers feel that the management of each student's space and themselves has been great and the relationship between student and teacher for wellbeing has been very important for a comfortable environment at school.
Daniel Cunningham Y13
Foundation Class
What is happening in class today, well....

“Get your brick on!!!” We are having our own LEGO/Block/K’Nex/Plank/Duplo masters!!

We’ve even got a timer and the sayings that are heard on the programme (it seems many of the tamariki watch the show). After, the teachers are going to take a photo to stick in our writing book where we will write a short sentence.

20 minutes until, “Time’s up, bricks down!!!”
Room 18
We had a great first day, busy and happy. We wrote about stuff we loved when we were at home. Then we wrote about what we missed.  Thank you for all your support during this time.
M2 Writing
For writing, M2 has been learning to identify verbs (doing/action words). We had a picture of a girl in a bath and had various words we needed to choose a verb for. Here is the picture and the list of words we came up with.
Room 22
Room 22 are so happy to be back in their class bubble we have been busy working collaboratively and learning about kindness.
M1 Languages
Antonin was teaching M1 some French. He was a very good teacher.
We learnt how to say hello, goodbye and how to count to 10.
Gardening with M8
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon - the perfect opportunity to get in and weed our primary garden. It was a good lesson in distinguishing between weeds and edible plants. There was lots of self-seeded coriander and cherry tomatoes.
Y9 Walkabout
Ms Clow’s year 9 Learning Coach group headed out to Buffalo beach on Wednesday to enjoy each other’s company, sharing stories after being apart for so long.
Specialist Music Lessons
Specialist music lessons are back up and running!
Students and teachers have been flooding in for their specialist music lessons this week. It has been very exciting seeing everyone and returning to an almost-normal space in our learning. Pictured: Leo Margri (Drums and Percussion Specialist) with students Finn McDougall and Tom Lamason learning to simplify/analyse the structure of hit song 'Slice of Heaven' by New Zealand artists Dave Dobyn and the Herbs.
Library Update
The cover is off! Library open!
The Mercury Bay Area School Library is once again open to all the wonderful students needing to study, research or simply relax and unwind with a great book or two. If your bookshelves have been exhausted during lockdown, students can pop in and find a fresh world to get lost in. Pictured: A completely legitimate and candid photo of students demonstrating the value of this.
Y7/8 Immunisations
Year 7 and 8 Immunisation:
Public Health Nurses will be administering the Year 7 and 8 Immunisation Programme on Tuesday 2nd June.  A Public Health Nurse has been to the school in term 1 to discuss this with all students. Parents/Caregivers would have received a Parent Consent Form to give consent for this to happen or to decline immunisation. If a student is absent on Tuesday 2nd June, then the Public Health Nurses will be in contact to organise a follow up.
Community Notices
Creative Mercury Bay 'Bubble Bites'
The ‘Bubble Bites’ series is an initiative by Creative Mercury Bay aimed at providing an online creative platform for performing artists from around the Coromandel Peninsula area, and their audiences, both local and broader. This online platform will help artists and audiences (new and existing) to remain connected especially during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

‘Bubble Bites’ is a weekly video series of 30 minute pre-recorded shows, featuring three artists each performing 10-minute ‘bites’ of their creative practice. Each show will be available to view on Creative Mercury Bay’s YouTube Channel, every Thursday at 5:30pm. 
Copyright © 2020 Mercury Bay Area School, All rights reserved.

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