Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Merry Christmas

This will be the last blog post of the year from the Stanhope Board of Trustees, following what has been another big year.
We would like to thank the teachers and support staff for keeping their focus on the students and their learning during the period of uncertainty. We had two big "reveals" earlier in the year, which were a huge success. This work by the students and teachers has now culminated in our new logo.

Here is a summary of some of Stanhope's achievements for 2014 (in no particular order):
¤ Mutukaroa home partnership programme in place in Junior School
¤ Runway collectives with student proposals for the uniform and logo
¤ School movie created and presented
¤ New principal appointed (farewell Ms T; welcome Ms Hansell)
¤ Whanau Ara Mua (Certificate in Early Childhood) Class of 2014 graduation
¤ DIY Dads first project undertaken
¤ National Standards achievement data at least as good as Auckland average
¤ Mathathon and Whanau Nites organised by the school and Stanhope Parent Group
¤ New Stanhope logo
¤ plus many more

I, personally, would also like to thank my fellow board members for the tireless work that they have done all year round. Your commitment and positive attitude is to be commended. We are a good reflection of the Friends, Learners,  Guardians ethos.

Safe and happy holidays to all.

David Grant

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Principal Appointed

The Stanhope Road School Board of Trustees are very excited to announce the appointment of Ms Corinne Hansell to the permanent Principal role.

Corinne is exceptionally well qualified, having recently been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for Services to Education. Not only does she have a wealth of experience as a Principal, but she has also worked on innovative digital curriculum initiatives in the Tamaki area. We believe that she will be an excellent fit for the school and will continue to drive our future vision for this school.

Corinne was the Principal of Tamaki Primary School for nine years, ending in December 2013. During this time, and under her leadership, the school underwent a complete rebranding and transformation, that included the recapitation of the school bringing in Year 7 and 8 students. She brings valuable leadership experience to our school as we go through our own period of change and rebranding.

We are very much looking forward to working with her.

On the whole, we received a very positive response to the advertised position and consequently, a very high calibre of applications.
In the short time that Corinne has been in the acting role she has accomplished a lot, and her interview was very impressive.
It is testament to the great work of the leaders, teachers and Board of the school. The Principal advisor we used to assist with the appointment process stated that we had a very strong field of candidates. He believes that we are a school on the rise. We are very grateful for his independent professional assistance.

Finally, thank you to everyone; staff, students and parents, for your contribution and your patience throughout the appointment process.

Please join the board in congratulating both Corinne and ourselves for what we have accomplished

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Principal appointment process midway

It has been a very busy time for the Board of Trustees over the past few weeks. After receiving a good number of high quality applicants, we have now short-listed to three people to interview. Reading the applications was an inspiring and exciting part of the process, but also difficult, so I was very appreciative of the professional support provided by our principal advisor from Cognition Education. My fellow board members were outstanding, and worked together very well in arriving at our final selection.
Interviews will be in early November, and shortly after we plan to announce who the new Principal is.

Our next Board of Trustees meeting will be on Monday, 10th November at 7pm in the Whanau room. The meeting will be preceded by a parent forum at 6:30pm, where you can meet the board:

¤ Anyone interested in learning more about the group being set up for the families of special needs students, is welcome to come along and meet Linda who has been working to get the group going, and who would love to meet and talk to you. She will always be present and available during the usual parent forum prior to the monthly board meeting.

¤ Jason and Grant will be available to speak about DIY Dads, and what the plan is for the remainder of the year.

¤ To find out about the uniform and logo, come and speak to Liz and Jenny. They will be sharing what has been achieved so far.

¤ Dean will talk about the removed classrooms and the plan for a modern learning environment in the senior school.

Lots on the go. We would love to see you at the forum, or feel free to leave a comment below.

Let's talk!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Farewell Laurayne

When we first met Laurayne, there was only one word to describe her: Fire! Two years ago, the school was not in the state that it is now; we were not achieving to the levels that we should have been.
Two years on, and the Fire has consumed the school - setting everything alight. Everyone is learning: students, teachers,  the board, and the parents.

Thank you Laurayne for your amazing enthusiasm for learning, and your guardianship of our school children.
Following are a few of your accomplishments during your time here:
¤ engaging the whole school community in learning using inquiry questions
¤ enhancing teachers' skills using practical professional development and curriculum mentoring
¤ sorting out the finances and managing resources
¤ providing better achievement reporting to the board of trustees and the wider community
¤ encouraging the board of trustees to grow and become more transparent
¤ helping SRS to identify its heart and create the FLaGship values of Friends, Learners and Guardians

We will miss you, but we know that you have set us up well for the future.
All the best in your new role.

Aroha nui

Monday, 15 September 2014

Principal appointment process underway

Thank you to everyone who came along to last week's parent forum, or who provided feedback on what we want in our new principal.

The vacancy was advertised in the online Education Gazette last Friday, and already there is a lot of interest in the role!

For those interested, the Principal Application Pack can be found on the right hand side bar of the SRS home page. Please take this opportunity to look through it - it includes time lines and a person specification for the appointee, as well as a fresh perspective of our school.

Applicant details must remain confidential; however, if you have any questions regarding the process, then they should be directed to David Grant at chairperson@stanhope.school.nz

Let's talk!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Acting Principal Appointed

As a board, we are very excited to announce that Corinne Hansell has accepted the role of Acting Principal Term 4 2014.

Corinne is exceptionally well qualified, having recently been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for Services to Education. We believe that she will be an excellent fit for the school and will continue to drive the branding and uniform changes that we have begun.

Corrine was the principal of Tamaki Primary School for nine years, ending in December 2013. During this time, and under her leadership, the school underwent a complete rebranding and transformation, that included the absorption of the local intermediate school. She brings valuable leadership experience to our school as we go through our own period of change.

We are very much looking forward to working with her.

The appointment process for the permanent principal role will continue as planned. Our next Board of Trustees parent forum is on Monday the 8th September at 6:30pm in the Whanau Room. Please come along to hear about the process and take this opportunity to help us define the type of person you would like for the role of principal. Alternatively, you may email chairperson@stanhope.school.nz with your ideas.

Let's talk!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Important Announcement

It is with both incredible pride, and regret, that we are announcing Laurayne Tafa will be standing down as principal of Stanhope Road School at the end of this term.

Laurayne feels that this is the right time, and has made the decision to dedicate more of her time to the ground-breaking relationship based learning programme based on Russell Bishops’ research she has been helping to develop in her time here. Her new position with Cognition Education Limited will improve the educational future and achievement of various people and in particular indigenous people groups worldwide.

Laurayne has proven herself to be a highly capable leader. The Board of Trustees are very happy with the progress made in, and by, the school over the past two years.

Her many achievements in her time with us include:
¤ key interventions for achievement and accelerated progress - and the monitoring of this
¤ school and community partnerships
¤ authentic involvement of families in their children's learning
¤ and, robust financial and resource management

As a board, we have enjoyed working alongside Laurayne in establishing a new strategic direction and vision for the school. It is a vision that reflects the dynamic within this school: a vision that the entire school community has contributed towards.

Laurayne invested so much during this time, and the school is now well set up to continue this progress and to thrive. SRS now has effective systems and structures in place to function well,  and achieve high outcomes for students and families.

The principal appointment process will begin soon with an advertisement. Our intention is to appoint an interim principal for Term 4. We aim to make a permanent appointment for the start of 2015.

The Board of Trustees are experienced in this process. We are going to make this process as transparent as possible, and will keep the community informed throughout this journey. To this end, we will hold a Parent Forum before our next board meeting, to address any questions about the process. It will be held at 6:30pm on Monday, 8th September in the Whanau Room.

We would like to thank you all for your support during this period of change. Please note that there will be an opportunity for the community to farewell Laurayne. Details of the event will be shared once the date is confirmed.

Yours sincerely,
Stanhope Road School Board of Trustees

Thursday, 24 July 2014

SRS Working Bee

Part of being a friend, learner and guardian is being able to use your skills and abilities to help each other. As a school, we would like to give the parents and children an opportunity to chip in and help make our school a fresher, brighter place.
Later, in August, the Variety Club will be volunteering their time to waterblast, clean and paint our adventure playgrounds. We would love to use this as an opportunity to launch a new Dad's Working Group.  There are quite a few jobs that need to be done. Get in touch with the school if you're interested.

Let's talk!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Showcasing SRS

As we come to end of the second term of the year, and begin the school holidays, I would like to share with you two experiences that I had this morning which really highlight how great Stanhope is:

Early this morning, I had the fortune of meeting with the Mutukaroa coordinator, Mrs Down, to discuss the progress of my youngest son and work out our goals for the next ten weeks. What a fantastic initiative - and I know that we will both get a lot out of it! If you want to find out more about Mutukaroa at Stanhope then contact the school.

The second highlight was having the opportunity to attend the 'Runway Reveals' - the final presentation of the uniform and identity investigations that the students have been doing for the term. The runway collections were amazing. Check them out at:

These ideas and your thorough research will be giving the Board of Trustees a lot to work with when deciding our new look.

All the best to our students traveling to Japan. We hope that you have an experience you'll not soon forget.
To everyone, have a safe and enjoyable school holiday break.

David Grant

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

One Tree Hill College zoning conference

Laurayne and I had the privilege of attending a brief after-school meeting at One Tree Hill College yesterday afternoon. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the proposed placement of a zone for OTHC. It was a valuable introduction to this process, and I'm pleased to say that, as it stands, the SRS enrollment zone is completely captured by their proposed zone. Early days, but this is part of the continuing transformation of the college.

The main reason for the zone is the Ministry of Education's projections for growth in the region.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Our FLaGship programme

The enquiry question that the school is looking at this term is, "what is our identity, and how do we wear it?" SRS has been thinking about our identity now for the last two years, and some of the outward stuff will soon come into fruition. We are sharing some of the results with you now via the Report to the Community and the website.

You told us what the character of the school was, and the great thing is that all of the brand changes will just be a reflection of this: Friends, Learners and Guardians (FLaG)

Keep providing feedback and talking to us. One way that you can do this is by posting on this blog, or you can email the chairperson at dgrant@stanhope.school.com

Alternatively, our next BoT meeting is on Monday, 9th June at 6:45pm in the Whanau room. The agenda will be posted nearer to the day. See you there!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

What has happened over the last 18 months

This week saw the school connecting with parents through Home-school conferences. Not only was this an opportunity for parents to see how their children are performing, but also another chance for the Board to talk to the school community.
During the evenings, teachers handed out the SRS Community Report - something that we are all very proud of. Have a good read -The school has accomplished a lot over the last 2 years.

Hopefully by now you will be aware that the Board has a vacancy that needs to be filled. We have chosen to fill this by selection, but as parents, you have a right to request an election. Please contact us if you would like to be considered for the role.

We are continuing to enjoy the presence of extra parents at our board of trustee's meetings. We like to hear your voice, so when you get a chance, come along. Our next meeting is Monday the 9th June at 6:45pm in the Whanau room.

Let's talk!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

We have been SNUPPED

You may have noticed the thick, white plastic tubing that is working its way through all of the classrooms and the administration block at Stanhope Rd School. This is a combination of optic fibre and copper wiring that has been installed as part of the School Network Upgrade (SNUP) issued by the Ministry of Education.
Our students and teachers are now connected to the rest of the world by an incredibly fast internet connection, opening up the possibilities for digital collaboration even further.
The upgrade process has been time consuming and has created interruptions to classes, making them move about. In thanks for all of the inconvenience caused to staff over the past term, the Board of Trustees put on a luncheon for all staff today. Enjoy your holidays.

Last Monday (7th April), we had another paperless Board meeting, with continued interest from our parent community. This time, we were able to successfully hold it in the Whanau room. (Our next meeting will be held in the shared learning space in the junior block; as we discuss the exciting new use of this space. Our next meeting is 12th May, so come along.)

Here is a summary of our main discussion on Monday night:

  • We have decided to keep our current enrollment zone, and we want to become the school of choice for the students in our enrollment zone. This will be achieved through wider advertising, and maintaining a regular presence in articles in the local newspapers, where we are able to showcase some of the great things that are going on at Stanhope. We will also encourage people to enroll their children earlier, rather than later, and give them opportunity to look at the school using Open Days
  • Reporting from the school will:
    •  highlight our strategic goals, and include clear actions that parents can assist with
    • show student achievement results for Stanhope students in comparison to the whole of NZ
    • publicise our major achievements from 2013 

Finally, when we all return from our holidays to the new term, the trees will have had a long-needed haircut. All of our trees (including the famous Oma and Ollie) are touching school buildings and gutters, creating potential to damage the property. The trees are iconic around our school, and must be maintained to protect both them and our school community.

'Til next time

Let's talk!

Monday, 31 March 2014

An exciting last few weeks of term

We're so proud of everything that is going on at the school lately. Two weekends ago, a bunch of teachers and students attended the Auckland Festival of Education. They had a truly inspiring time (and some of our students showed their journalistic talent - interviewing keynote speakers and leaders). We have also been extremely privileged to be the host school for a group of Japanese exchange students from Auckland's sister city, Fukuoka. They were welcomed with a tremendous powhiri on Monday (31st March), and you can follow all of their exploits (hourly) on the SRS facebook page. The SRS Parent Group and SRS Event Managers have also been busy; both teams have organised a raft of exciting activities over the remaining couple of weeks of term. Get into it!

What about the board? Well, the board have been active too. Two weeks ago, a few of us met with a number of other Mt Wellington school boards, and we are looking into some ways of sharing knowledge and resources more effectively between ourselves. This could be part of a bold new adventure.

Our next meeting is Monday, 7th April, where the key discussion will be, "reporting our results and goals back to the community - what media should we use, and what languages should be included?" Come along to the Whanau room at 6.45pm and get to know your Board of Trustees over some light refreshments.

Let's talk!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Our first paperless Board of Trustees meeting

As the title suggests, last Monday (10th March), we successfully completed our first (almost) paperless Board meeting, and I want to thank the school for the investment that they have made in Google Chromebooks and Learning in the Cloud. Working interactively online made the meeting more efficient and possibly even more enjoyable.

Thanks also have to go to the parents who responded to our invitation and came along to see what our meetings are like. It was encouraging to have you all there showing an interest in the school - a very positive start to the year.

Here is a summary of our key discussions on the night:
  • A representative from the Ministry of Education, John Parrish, came and spoke to us about our zoning options. Using their mapping software, they have mapped the locations of most students at SRS (as well as the locations of students from other schools). There are many other schools that have students from our zone, and we have to consider what the implications of this are. We have asked John to carry out some further analysis, and then we will make our decision. Watch this space.
  • Our school charter has been completed and will be communicated shortly. This will include keeping a copy on the school website, in the foyer of the school, and highlighting key elements of the new mission and student achievement results on blogs and the school newsletter
Our next meeting is on Monday, 7th April, so think about booking this evening out and seeing some of what goes on behind the scenes at Stanhope Road School. We will tell you the main discussion topics closer to the date.

Remember that we're always happy for you to post your comments on our blog also.

Let's talk!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Stanhope Rd School

Thank you to everyone who made Whanau Night an awesome success. The Board of Trustees had a great time, and we hope that you did to. There were some good conversations held, and we received some constructive feedback on what our parents think of the school.

We received a lot of clear direction, and it is very good to know that the Board, the staff, the students, and the parents think and feel the same way about our school - Stanhope Rd School. Firstly, the name will not be changing; secondly, we will be doing something to improve the uniforms; and thirdly, we have almost finished our Charter document on the mission and values of SRS - based on your voice. Once the wording is finalised, we will make copies available on the website and in the office.

Please continue speaking to us and sharing your thoughts. As you will see in the SRS calendar, the next Board of Trustees meeting is on the 10th March in the Whanau room at 6.45pm. Feel free to come and join us for light refreshments and get to know your Board, prior to the official meeting start time at 7pm.

Let's talk!

Monday, 17 February 2014


Nothing ever stays the same; time always marches on. We have now entered a new year - welcome back everyone - and most of your children have new teachers and have new things to learn.

The same is true of the Board of Trustees, where a new chairperson needs to be elected at the beginning of every year. Our new chairperson is David Grant. Adding further to the excitement, two of our trustees resigned at the end of 2013. It is with regret that we said farewell to our previous chairperson, Dr Nicholas Rowe, and also to Andrea Gordine who played a major role on the SRS Parent Group. They both have extra work commitments this year, and we wish them the best.
Nick's leadership over the last couple of years has been crucial, as the school has worked through a change in principal and the following school-wide transformation. Andrea's involvement with the local marae, and her contribution to discussions on community involvement have been invaluable.

Your voice is very important, and to this end, we are looking to co-opt another member to the SRS Board of Trustees. Board of Trustees meetings are public events, so before each meeting we will put out an invitation for the community to attend, as well as the key discussion topics.

In signing off, we hope to see you and hear your voice at Whanau night on Thursday, 20th Feb.

Let's talk