Saturday, May 25, 2013

Amesbury School Partnering Document and Complaints Policy

Introduction

Last year Lesley worked with a group of parents to create a document that describes the kind of relationship/partnership that we would like to see exist between parents and the school to benefit the learning of the students. As part of this development, the parents ran focus group sessions in which parents were able to feedback regarding expectations of the relationship between school and home. Staff were also included in the consultation. Having collated and analysed the data from this consultation, the draft partnering agreement was written up and reviewed several times by the parent group and the Board of Trustees. Below is the final document. Please feel free to feedback any thoughts you might have. Also included is the Board's Complaints Policy. This policy provides guidelines for how complaints should be made to ensure the process guards the dignity, rights and personhood of both complainant and the person the complaint is directed at. And most importantly, to ensure that relationships remain positive and open.

A big thanks to Melinda, Simon and Debbie who worked with Lesley on this project. 

Apologies for the dodgy formatting. Microsoft word is not completely compatible with Blogger.

Amesbury School Community
Partnering Agreement

1.       Purpose
There is a large body of evidence to suggest that educating children is most effective when there is a strong partnership between home and school. This partnership has a significant impact on the levels of student achievement and happiness of children at school. This research also suggests that the nature and focus of the partnership is significant in terms of what the partnership achieves and how well functioning it is.

The purpose of this Partnering Agreement is to establish a partnership framework that ensures parents/caregivers, teachers and students are working together effectively in a way that positively impacts outcomes for students.

2.       Parties to the Partnering Agreement
The parties to the Partnering Agreement are Amesbury School:
·         Parents and caregivers
·         Teachers

3.       The joint endeavour: Our task - educating our children
Through:
·         a supportive community;
·         the provision of a broad range of experiences;
·         creative, fun-filled learning programmes;
·         meeting the needs of students and increasingly empowering them to take responsibility for their learning;
·         a culture that is underpinned by strong family values and inclusivity;
continually develop the potential of all our children to be the best they can be, preparing them for their future and developing in them the capacity to be innovative, questioning, authentic, contributing and responsible adults who live well in and for the world.

4     Roles, responsibilities and expectations of each party

       School:
      Communication

  • Communicating in a range of ways in an open, regular, clear, concise manner to enable access to relevant and timely information
  •   No surprises - informing parents and caregivers early of any issues related to their child’s learning/behaviour.
  • Communicating clearly about the school’s philosophy
Transparency

  • Acknowledging the centrality of the role parents and caregivers in their child’s education by always being transparent and treating parents and caregivers as “insiders” in the education of their children
  • Regular reporting on student achievement, providing a very clear picture of where students are at
  • Valuing transparency, honesty and integrity in all collection, collation, analysis and reporting of student achievement data
With Students
  • Developing positive relationships with students that build their confidence and assist their learning
  • Developing in-depth knowledge of the students – their individual needs, strengths, weaknesses, gifts and talents and their preferred learning styles.
  • Intervening early – acting quickly when concerns become clear
  •  Having high expectations of students – encouraging and motivating students to aim high and do their best
Learning programmes

  •   Providing a broad curriculum that acknowledges the importance of holi
  • stic growth and development including the academic disciplines, the arts, creativity, physical education, learning competencies, social justice, and, seeing diversity as a social good
  •  Providing the most effective learning programmes possible, blending the best of traditional and innovative practices
  •  Providing programmes that increasingly empower students to take responsibility for  their own learning and ensure that students are engaged meaningfully in shaping their learning pathways
     Home:

With your child
  •  Doing the best to ensure children are well fed with plenty of brain food and come to school feeling refreshed and in a good, relaxed, positive frame of mind.
  •  Spending quality time with children. Having high level conversations with them. Engaging them in talk about school and their learning. Finding the right questions that open up the conversations
  • Ensuring a high level of attendance at school and informing the school in a timely manner of all non-attendance
  •  Remembering that each child is on a learning journey and that the journey will look different for each child. Comparing one child's achievement with another is not helpful or necessarily relevant
  • Taking every opportunity to know your child as a learner
  • Supporting/reinforcing children’s learning. Using the documentation provided by the school to identify areas of need and providing support
Communication
  • Keeping the school informed of all relevant issues and information
  • Being open and receptive to information regarding children’s learning and behaviour
  •  Seeking information/clarification when you don’t understand or have not received the information you would find helpful
Engagement

  • Being actively involved/engaged in school activities
  • Attending parent/teacher/student learning conferences  and being proactive in initiating discussions with teachers
  • Understanding the school’s philosophy and contributing to its development
With teachers

  • Having realistic expectations of teachers’ time and availability

     Both parties:

  •  At all times, being protective of the school’s reputation and speaking positively about the school with/in front of students, with each other, in the school and wider community
  • Always speaking positively about each other – teachers, parents, students. Giving the benefit of the doubt and avoiding negative, deficit thinking. Not making assumptions – checking things out
  • Showing grace to each other - no one is perfect and all are busy. Being realistic in our expectations of each other
  • Being non-defensive in all interactions and giving consideration to the perspectives of others
  • Providing/taking opportunities to get together and dialogue about issues of importance
  • Contributing to the ongoing development of the school through surveys and consultation processes. But don’t always wait until asked – be proactive

5     Support: The parties agree:

  • To enable, encourage and support each other to carry out their roles and responsibilities
  • To value the contribution made by each party and to make this known to the other
6     The parties agree that we will treat each other in the following ways:

  •  Open communication: Seeking to understand each other’s perspectives and being open to the fact that our own perspectives may not be accurate
  • Use face-to-face communication for difficult conversations as much as possible and arrange an appropriate time and place
  • Be willing to put our names to all feedback and be prepared for it to create a conversation
  • Be positive in the way we feed back. Praise and encourage each other and always be solutions-focused.
  • Ensure all interactions are respectful, appropriate and kind – concerned with the other’s good as well as our own
  • Honour our commitments
  • Value each other’s cultural perspectives
  7     Resolving differences

      Addressing concerns with the person concerned using the approaches outlined above will be normal       practice at Amesbury School. If after these “normal” approaches, concerns still remain, the school will have a Complaints Policy which will outline good practice for taking the matter forward. For Complaints Policy see Appendix 1.

8    Review of the Partnering Document

The parties agree to review this Partnering Agreement annually.

9      Appendix A: Complaints Policy

Complaints - Operational Policy

Rationale
While Amesbury School is focused on providing the best possible service to students and community, there will be occasions when the school’s practices do not meet certain standards or expectations, and a parent, student or others may wish to complain. Managing complaints appropriately, using fair and consistent practices, is an important aspect of the school’s operations and, by being open, provides an opportunity for the school to review its practices and improve them.
Relationships are central. The way the school deals with complaints will influence whether relationships are built and made better, thus strengthening the school; or whether negative feelings prevail, thus weakening the school.
This policy links with the partnering document developed with the school community which describes our shared understandings about how we work together in the best interests of the students and the community in general.

Purpose
To provide clear procedures that enable staff, management and Board to utilize the best possible practices when addressing complaints and to ensure that all relevant legislation and employment contracts are abided by.

Principles:
  1. Receiving a complaint provides an opportunity for self-review.
  2. The process should be honoring and respectful of all those involved.
  3. The purpose is to find solutions not to apportion blame. The problem is the problem. The person is not the problem.
  4. In the first instance, complaints are always best addressed face to face (kanohi ki kanohi) than via a written form.
  5. Small issues escalate into big problems over time when they are not dealt with.
Procedures:
Step 1:
1.       In the first instance, parents are encouraged to discuss any concerns they may have regarding their child’s education with the person concerned. They are encouraged to make an appointment to ensure a mutually acceptable time outside of normal classroom hours. All complaints should be expressed and received in an open and honouring manner. Due to the openness of the staff member, parents should leave feeling listened to and with some certainty that the issue will be addressed. An action plan should be agreed upon.

2.       Quick progress on the action plan should follow. At an appropriate juncture, there should be a follow up meeting with the parent to discuss progress to date. This should be arranged prior to the end of the first meeting. These meetings should continue until all parties are satisfied with the outcomes. Senior leaders should be informed of all complaints.
Step 2
3.       If the issue is not resolved to either party’s satisfaction, the next step is for the complainant to make an appointment to speak with a Hub leader or the principal. If the complaint is directed at the principal then a member of the Board of Trustees should be approached. It needs to be noted that at this point in time, this is not a formal complaint but the Trustee will try to resolve the problem, (through the principal if the complaint concerns staff) with the parties concerned. The procedures outlined in one and two above should be followed.
Step 3
4.       If the matter remains unresolved, or if the matter is an allegation of serious misconduct, the next step is for a formal written complaint to be sent to the Board of Trustees’ Chairperson. The Chairperson will inform the principal of receipt of the complaint and have the complaint put on the agenda of the next Board meeting unless it is urgent in which case a special meeting may be called. The complaint will be acknowledged in writing within three days of receipt.

5.       In the meantime, the principal and Chair will investigate the matter to ensure that all relevant information is received and all parties have the opportunity to respond in full to the complaint. If the complaint is against the principal, the Chair will identify other Board members to assist with the investigation. It is likely that the Board of Trustees will seek direction from New Zealand Schools’ Trustees Association or other relevant agencies to ensure that they follow procedures that align with all legislation and collective contracts and best practice.

6.       When all relevant information has been received, the Board will consider the complaint in committee and determine a course of action. The Board’s decision should be forwarded to the relevant parties in writing as well as being delivered in person.

7.       Conclusion:

Relationships are central. In the case of complaints, the school will follow procedures that honour people and recognise the importance of maintaining productive and caring relationships.

BOT Elections - Voting Closes Noon 30 May. Get your vote in!

It’s time to vote
for your board
of trustees

National Election Day is on 30 May



Being a school trustee is an important role that needs people with a variety of skills, experiences and attributes, who believe in making a positive difference to our children’s learning.
Make sure your vote counts. All parents of full-time students who are on the school voting roll, can and should vote in the elections.
Look for your voting papers in your letterbox and make sure your vote is received by noon 30 May.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Amesbury School's First Noho Marae

The Hangi


The Hangi Maker - Multi kai cooker

And Chris Love (Not one for the photos.... we only managed to get his back)....but THANK YOU Chris and Nicola

Thanks Crisanna for your wonderful organisation and passion for tikanga Maori and sharing it with us.


All the best from all of us for the birth, Crisanna!

Our People....





















Our sleep














Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Amesbury Digest – Week 3, Term 2, 21 May 2013


This digest is a summary of the main recent BLOG Posts with links to the full posts.

Amesbury Digest: This is a trial version of a digest as we attempt a more personalised approach to communication from the school. That is, we are exploring how we can enable parents to choose the level of information and access to information they would like. For those who do not want to read the more expansive BLOG Posts or access school information outside of their email accounts, we are providing a summary of the posts with links to the online BLOG so that you can decide whether to seek further information or not. 

To do – URGENT!
*Find out about the BOT candidates and VOTE by 30 May.
*Book into “An Evening With Pio” (see later in digest or on BLOG)
*Make sure Crisanna is expecting you for the Hangi and Noho Marae.
*Shop at New World – support New World to support Amesbury School
*Send in toilet rolls, newspaper, shoe boxes or cardboard boxes, old plastic bowls and wool for  
  Fiona’s Papier Mache Friday elective

Dates…Coming Up
*BOT meeting, Wednesday, 22 May, 5.00 – 7.00pm
*School Cross Country Champs, Friday, 24 May, 11.30 – 12.30pmish
*Meet the candidates, Thursday, 23 May, 7.30pm, Library
*Noho Marae, Friday, 24 May, 4.45pm
*ERO Visit, 4 – 6 June. Powhiri – 1.30pm, Tuesday 4 June.
*Indonesian evening, Monday, 17 June, 7pm Amesbury Hall

For the full list of dates for the rest of this term:

Gail away on leave: Gail is away for the next few weeks. Thanks to Jo, Mary Jane, Vicki, Amaria, Sharon and Karen who will be covering reception. Please pay accounts by internet as much over this time.  http://amesburydrive.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/gail-away-on-leave.html

ERO visit: ERO will be at school 4 – 6 June. Their review question is “How effectively does your school’s curriculum promote student learning – engagement, progress and achievement?” A powhiri to welcome the ERO team will take place Tuesday, 1.30pm, 4 June. All welcome. 

Recapitation: The Ministry of Education has acknowledged our application and has begun its consultation with schools in our network. We have a meeting with Hon. Peter Dunne on Wednesday, 11.30am, 22 May. We are trying to tee up further meetings with the Minister of education and other MPS.  http://amesburydrive.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/recapitation-update.html

Book your family’s “Evening with Pio Terei”: Wednesday, 12 June, 5.30 – 7.30pm. Refreshments and supervision for children provided. To assist with catering and Kelly Sport, we need numbers. Please follow this link to fill out the form. https://docs.google.com/a/amesbury.school.nz/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDM2NnVYR0hCUFFUMGVXN2dsd2VIVmc6MQ#gid=0

Khan Love’s Rugby Experience: A student’s experience of the Lesley Training Clinic for Rugby. http://amesburydrive.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/khan-loves-experience-at-lesley.html

Go for Gold at New World:  New World’s promotion to support community organisations in Churton Park including Amesbury School. Please support Churton Park New World to support Amesbury School. Pick up a card now and start filling it. http://amesburydrive.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/go-for-gold-new-world-promotion.html

Our High Five: You don’t even have to look carefully to see that “Our High Five” are everywhere. These are the values and principles that are really important in learning and living at Amesbury School. They are on the sign at the end of the drive. You will see them on windows and doors. This prevalence is to ensure that we keep thinking about living and learning with Excellence (always realising my potential), Connecting and Including (learning to live together), Creating and Enquiring (learning to learn), Authenticity (being the best me) and Sustainability (ensuring a better future). For more information and the “Story of the Hand” follow this link: http://amesburydrive.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/our-high-five-valuesprinciples-and.html

Amesbury School Cross Country Championships: 11.30 – 12.30pmish, Friday, 24 May. Remember to bring a change of clothes to school. The track may be quite muddy if there is rain this week. More information available on the BLOG. Come and cheer the children on. http://amesburydrive.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/amesbury-school-cross-country-friday.html

Amesbury School Board of Trustees:
*Next Board meeting: Wednesday, 22 May, 5pm, Meeting Room, Te Rito. All welcome.
*Board notes: A summary of information from the last Board meeting (16 April 2013) is provided. Please follow the link to find out what business was conducted. http://amesburydrive.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/summary-of-information-from-bot-meeting.html
*BOT Elections: Don’t forget to VOTE for your next Board of Trustees. If you need further information, please attend the Meet the Candidates Meeting.

School donations: School funding is such that schools are reliant on the payment of School Donations to supplement teaching and learning and school development resourcing. 72% of school families have paid this donation so far this year. If you haven’t paid, please consider whether this is something you are able to do.

Matt Ives, Google Certified Teacher, and Amesbury School feature in Sunday Star Times: Follow this link to read the article and see the lovely photo of some students in Harakeke Hub.

Indonesian Evening – a celebration of Indonesian Music, Dance and Food: Monday, 17 June, 7pm. His Excellency the Ambassador of Indonesia will be the keynote speaker. This is taking place at our own Amesbury Hall and is a great opportunity to experience Indonesian Culture. Please email office@amesbury.school.nz for tickets - $25.00. Follow this link for further information http://amesburydrive.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/indonesian-evening-at-amesbury-school.html

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Recapitation - An Update

Recapitation - becoming a year 1 - 8 school

We have received a letter from the Ministry of Education acknowledging our application to recapitate. Further to the consultation we did with them, they have sent out letters to all the schools in our network to seek their responses to our request to recapitate. Having received these, they may meet with us and give us an opportunity to respond.

There does not appear to be any intention to consult with the community as part of the Ministry's consultation.

We have requested meetings with several MPs and the Minister of Education to put our case for recapitation. The Minister has acknowledged our request and is currently considering it. The Hon. Peter Dunne responded very quickly and is meeting with us on Wednesday at 11.30am. We have not yet had a response to our request from several other MPs including an Associate Minister of Education.

We requested documentation under the Official Information Act regarding the initial consultation carried out to determine whether Amesbury School would be year 1 - 6 or year 1 - 8. At that time, early 2009, the Ministry consulted with Churton Park School, Raroa Intermediate and Newlands Intermediate. The community was not consulted at all.



Gail away on leave

Gail, our amazing office administrator, is away for a few weeks and we will be lost! 

However, we are really grateful because a group of parents have offered to fill the HUGE gap that she is leaving behind. Our sincere thanks to Jo Lockery, Mary Jane Robiony-Rogers, Vicky Gilchrist, Amaria Picard, Sharon Nel, and Karen Hayward who will be covering reception. 

While Gail is away, could you please make as many payments as possible by internet banking instead of sending cash or cheques to the office.  If you make an internet banking payment to the school during this time, you will not receive an electronic receipt until Gail's return. However, all cash payments will be receipted on the spot.

I want to thank you all in anticipation of your patience during this time. 

Lesley will be checking Gail's email account, but it may take longer than usual for a response to be sent.



Education Review Office Visit

A team of two reviewers led by Ruth Nicholas will be coming to carry out a review of our school in week 5 this term. They will be arriving at 1.30pm Tuesday 4th June and will report back to the Board of Trustees at midday Thursday 6th June.

As you can see from this tight time frame, the reviews are very focused. They are most interested in the school's self review. That is, they want to know how well the school is able to keep improving itself and whether it is responsive to data. The overarching question that guides the review is:

"How effectively is your school's curriculum promoting student learning - engagement, progress and achievement?"

As well as this general focus, the review has two national focuses:

i. Success for Maori as Maori - that is, how well are Maori students able to achieve success in our school while feeling supported and celebrated as Maori.

ii. Raising Student Achievement - this is a focus on looking at how our school is striving to increase numbers of students achieving at or above the national standards.

Powhiri: We will be welcoming the ERO team with a powhiri on Tuesday, 1.30pm, 4 June. You are welcome to attend. We would love to see you there.

Following the Powhiri, the ERO team will be taken on a tour of the school during which several students will present to them.


Book your family's spot at "An Evening with Pio Terei"

Keep this evening free:

Wednesday, 12 June, 5.30 - 7.30pm because Pio Terei is coming and he is sure to

entertain as well as share some very useful parenting tips.

Refreshments will be provided and Kelly Sport will keep your children entertained and safe while you experience an evening with one of New Zealand's most popular entertainers.

We hope that every school family will take advantage of this unique opportunity.

To secure a place for your family and to help us with catering etc. please go to this form and let us know how many people to expect.

https://docs.google.com/a/amesbury.school.nz/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDM2NnVYR0hCUFFUMGVXN2dsd2VIVmc6MQ#gid=0




Important Dates for Term 2 2013



The following is the link to the google doc on which we keep an updated record of the dates for the year
https://docs.google.com/a/amesbury.school.nz/document/d/139v9Lj_IZxDpchS6zltZPt91_3RU2Zws7Shdrpf9wPI/edit


22 May

23 May
Board of Trustees’ meeting

Meet the BOT Candidates
Meeting room 5.00 – 7.00

Library, 7.30pm - 8.30pm
24 May
Amesbury School Cross Country Champs  Lisa
11.30 – 1pm
24 May
Noho marae - whole school, Hangi dinner
Whole school Māori Tikanga experience- Hall and school grounds
30 May
Board of Trustees Elections

4 - 6 June
Education Review Office Visit

4 June
Northern Zone Cross Country 
Nairnville (pp day 11 June)
12 June
Community Evening – An evening with Pio Terei
5.45 – 7.30pm
14 June
Amesbury Invitational Junior Cross country - LIsa
11.30 – 1pm
21 June
Year 6 transition visit to Raroa

25 June
Interzone Cross Country  - Lisa
TBC (PP day 27 June)
26 June
Board of Trustees’ meeting
Meeting room 5.30 – 7.30
4 July
Harakeke Swimming Sports @ Tawa pool

9 July
Regional Cross Country
Rathkeale College Masterton (PP day 11 July)
10 July
Reporting to Parents on Achievement - Written Reports emailed

12 July
Learning Celebration
1.45pm

Monday, May 20, 2013

Khan Love's experience at the Lesley Training Clinic

At our end of Term 1 Learning Celebration, Amesbury student Khan Love was very surprised when it was announced that he had been chosen to be the lucky recipient of a scholarship to attend the day long Rugby Lesley Training Clinic. From his mother....

"Khan had the most enjoyable day at the Lesley Training Clinic over the school holidays. The only thing he didn't like was when it was home time. He said he wanted it to go on forever.
He learnt some fantastic skills which we can see he is already using in his games and he meet a great group of kids. He has already come across a few of them at his Saturday games. I have attached a few pictures that I took over the time I was watching. Kris and I would both like to say thank you for selecting Khan for this opportunity.
Thanks again, Khan thoroughly enjoyed his day."

Thanks Nicola and Khris for this update. We are so glad that Khan got so much out of the day. Well done, Khan!



Go for Gold! A New World Promotion

New World Churton Park is committed to supporting our community. Having just finished the Anchor Milk promotion which saw Fonterra give over $3000 to educational institutions in the suburb (we received $1000), they have started another promotion in which over the next 4 months they are willing to give away up to $30,000 to particular community organisations.

Jan and Butch Phelan have been very generous supporters of our school. As well as providing these promotional opportunities they have willingly and generously provided produce for our fundraising activities. I would like to take this opportunity to express our huge appreciation to Jan and Butch for their ongoing and generous support. Could I please ask you (our community) to support New World because they support Amesbury School.


Go for Gold is a new promotion that seeks to turbo-charge New World Churton Park’s support of these local schools, sports and community groups, with potentially over $30,000 of sponsorship contributions available. And deciding who gets what will all be in the hands of the Churton Park community!

Across the next four months, customers shopping at New World Churton Park will be able to record
their spend on a stamp card. When they reach $200 of spend at the store, they’ll receive $1 which they can allocate to the participating school or community group of their choice. They’ll also be running prize draws each month for shoppers, and also giving away an additional prize to one of the participating schools and
community groups every month!
They said, "We’re really excited about the opportunity to pull together with our
local schools and community groups, and get all of the Churton Park community in behind you to drive some well-needed sponsorship contributions."


In the Go for Gold  promotion, New World has put racing tracks down their aisles. Each sponsored community organisation has been allocated a racing track. Ours is the first one and we look to be doing pretty well! Don't forget to get a card and every time you spend over $25 you'll get a stamp. Once you have collected 8 stamps you get to donate $1. The $1 is put onto the racing track and the race is on! Who can get the most dollars??!

As with the last promotion, the funds we receive will go towards improving our grounds for the whole community to use. The following is our blurb:

"Help us develop our school grounds to create a real asset for the whole community. As well as looking great, we are keen to see our grounds assist people to be active within the community, to provide a space for kids to be kids, and for all to enjoy the great outdoors."

Please get involved. Support New World and support us! Thanks New Worls

Our High Five Values/Principles and the Story of the Hand....Te Pakiwaitara o te Ringaringa

Kia ora koutou

Our High Five sign: I am sure you will have all noticed "Our High Five"
signage that has been placed on the back of the Amesbury School sign at the top of the drive. We decided to put "Our High Five" there because its what we want children, staff  and all community members to take with us as we leave the school. These values/principles are not only important to us here at Amesbury School, but they are important "out there" in the other dimension of real life. We hope that children will take "Our High Five" with them and live them out in their daily lives away from school.

Very soon you will see smaller versions of Our High Five hands around the school on windows and doors. The children are currently learning about these important concepts as part of the "Living Stories" inquiry they are involved in at the moment.

The Result of Consultation: Values/principles similar to these were first decided on by the Establishment Board in consultation with the community. We have since reviewed them to see if they still fit. We consulted with the community about them at our third term community evening last year and the board and staff then did further work on them. The ongoing conversation narrowed down the number of value/principles to this five. Our High Five should be considered in everything that we do. They guide how we live and they guide what we value. We consider them as we make decisions every day. Time spent at school should be an ongoing inquiry into how we can value these on a day-to-day basis.


Te Pakiwaitara o te  Ringaringa – The story of The Hand
Our High Five
Power of Hands

“We engage the world and its wonder, sensing and creating primarily through the agency of our hands”
Hands are central to learning because we experience much of the world through our hands – sensing and creating, touching and feeling, writing, drawing, gesturing and communicating.
Hands are a very significant and powerful part of the human body. It is interesting that when we attempt to subdue people (arresting, for example) it is the hands that are restrained first. It seems somehow that restraining hands subdues more than just the hands. Conversely, releasing hands from restraint, empowers more than just the hands – it releases the spirit, the mind, the sense of empowerment etc. Hence it is appropriate that we use the “hand” as a metaphor for our vision of empowering learners at Amesbury School.

Koru
The Koru represents our learning process as well as the transformational nature of learning – that is, the unfurling that takes place as we go through the learning process. This is also inscribed on the palm of the hand to signal its centrality to our school vision for empowering learners.

Open Hand
The hand is palm up with hand flat and fingers spread. This signifies:
1.       Generosity – we are open handed – and share what we have with each other, with our immediate and wider community
2.       Transparency – the openness of the gesture signifies that we are not hiding anything but are always transparent with our school community
3.       Kindness – the open handedness also points to our openheartedness – our kindness and warmth
4.       Exploration – openness to allow children to explore and inquire, but it is appropriately “boundaried”
5.       Openness of mind – an acknowledgement that none of us holds all the answers but need to hear the voices of others
6.       Hands can be used to control others – but the open hand cannot. Rather it empowers others by asking questions, by allowing exploration and inquiry, by its transparency, kindness and generosity.

Fingers and thumb
These represent our “High Five” – the five values/principles we hold to be important and that will be nurtured, cultivated, evidenced and celebrated.

“Our High Five”

Excellence                                                  - Always realising our potential
Connecting and including                             -Learning to live together
Authenticity                                                 -Learning to be the best me
Creating and Enquiring                                 -Learning to learn
Sustainability                                                -Ensuring a better future

There are four fingers, each in touch with the thumb. Excellence (always realising our potential) will touch everything that we do.

The fingers and thumb work together in harmony. The values cannot be separated, but are dependent on each other for their fulfilment.

Koru and the hand
The hand is common to all humankind. This represents our global connectedness and our commitment to “hold hands” with all others and to embrace all humanity with its diversity.

The koru is particular to Maori. Its use signals our pride as New Zealanders in our bicultural heritage and our celebration of it.