Principal's Message....

By Rebecca Meek | Posted: Thursday March 24, 2022

Our Purpose: To prepare students to be active participants who will contribute to their community.

Tēnā koutou katoa, Malo e lelei, Talofa lava, Bula vinaka

While this week was a short week we have managed to pack a lot in with visits from Youth town and North Otago Rugby. Today we have taken the opportunity to stand together and raise money for Ukraine. As always, I am humbled by the way the staff and students at OIS get in behind and support others. We raised $498.70.

This week we are excited to welcome Kim Kennedy to the team. Kim is taking up a Learning Support Coordinator role within our Community of Learning. She will be working alongside Christine and Sue within our schools to help support students achieve their potential. We are super excited to have her join the us.

This week we have felt the impact of COVID to our teaching team with 6 members of staff testing positive. I had to make the call to put two of our classrooms onto learning from home. While this is not ideal, I certainly am grateful for the time that has gone into our online learning site and home packs to ensure students are supported at this time. While I know that this can put extra pressure on family units, we are extremely appreciative for your ongoing support and appreciate the understanding we get when we have to make these calls. Please rest assured that we will alway work with you to provide supervision for your child if you are unable to accommodate this. Again a sincere thank you to our school community for continuing to show kindness at this challenging time.

In the last newsletter I spoke about students making good choices online whether it be on social media platforms or gaming. Unfortunately, a small number of students aren’t heeding our advice or our teaching. In recent times, we have been dealing with students who have been using inappropriate language, racial slurs or teasing other students. Whilst we are talking about a small number of students, their actions often impact many students and adults. I personally visited each room this week and spoke about our digital footprint and how important it is to have face to face connections. Please, please talk with your child about making wise choices with their devices, talk to them about what they are using their devices, what information they are sharing, who they are friending/connecting with and/or if they partake in online games or social media - know and understand what they are up to.

At OIS we are in a very privileged position that we deliver our rural school technology programmes. This means for three weeks of a term our tech team teaches the Year 7 and 8 students from around Oamaru. Due to COVID restrictions these students are running on a different timetable and we are looking forward to being able to connect with these schools in the future. Just like our OIS learners, students are able to have first hand experience with specialist teachers, spaces and resources.

Learning technology in Years 7 and 8 allows our young people to explore future career opportunities in technology, engineering, materials, visual art and hospitality industries.

This year we are lucky enough to have Youthline come and work with the Year 8 classes to deliver a programme alongside our Health curriculum. The purpose of this programme is to provide opportunities for young people to develop and implement a range of self awareness skills, self-management skills along with communication and relationship skills, with the support of a positive and safe environment. Sessions will be facilitated by trained Youthline staff alongside the classroom teacher. The first sessions will begin on Monday 28th March and will run for 7 weeks, which means they will run into term 2. We are grateful to have this opportunity for our students.

I am a strong believer that students who participate in a team sport learn .....

  • It is important for more than just physical fitness, and that playing a sport often means being part of a team which allows for building skills in a whole range of areas. 
  • It is important for learning all of the techniques involved in the sport.
  • Developing life skills is an important part of participating in a team sport.
  • Playing team sports encourages cooperation and sharing, resilience, goal setting and building relationships. Learning to lose is also an important skill that’s often uncovered through playing sport.

With winter sports around the corner we encourage you to support your child to register for a team sport. Here at OIS we have school netball, hockey and basketball teams. If your child wants to play rugby or soccer check the links on our Community Notice.