Tuesday, 28 June 2011

We have walls!

Today I met with the principal of the new school in Wellington and we went for a site visit. As always it was really exciting to be in the studios and get that sense of space and height.
I was down on Friday for the weekly photos and today when I went down the guys had put the cladding on one of the studios! Fast work! We usually have our site visits after 4pm so the site is quieter, today we were down at 11.30am and the site was full of builders and really noisy - it is just fabulous to see the progress being made each day.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Week 8 progress report

There has been a lot of rain this week and I should have worn my gumboots when I went to take the photos this morning but instead I tried (and failed) to avoid the mud puddles! The guys have made a lot of progress with one of the studios having the wrapping and roof on, the library and technology block framing well underway and the steel supports for the hall are up.
The builders were in the process of preparing the mould for the feature at the front of the school when I arrived and it was really interesting to see them put the polystyrene mould in place and frame it in readiness for the concrete to be poured.
Ongoing this week is development of our logo, investigations into cabling, devices and furniture, preparation of an interim prospectus and enrollment pack, further exploration of travel plans and thoughts on our developing curriculum.
The new learning for me this week has included the concept of soft phones and digital signage and environmental issues.
I had a fabulous meeting with a member of the Auckland Council Enviroschools team about how we can build environmental sustainability into our learning at HPS. My previous school was an Enviroschool, and despite my not having any green fingers, I am keen to implement this programme. The catalyst for this was the amount of thought and work that the design and build team have put into the green star application. It seems remiss to attain a great green star rating for the building and then not develop that further in the use of the land and the learning for our children. One of the criteria the establishment board had when appointing a principal was the ability to blend the rural and urban communities. One of the ways we can do this is to share the expertise and knowledge that some of our rural community will have around animals, farming, planting seasons and use of the land with our students. Thoughts of orchards and vege gardens and native birds and worm farms were discussed and we are looking forward to developing these ideas with our community.
The highlight of this week was meeting two of our prospective families! It was great to talk over our plans and ideas, answer their questions and explain our thinking with them. I am looking forward to enrolling some of our future pupils soon!
We aim to be a school that embraces the community so please call to make an appointment to come in and see what we are doing or to ask any questions. As there is only one staff member at the moment the office is not always open but I am happy to make a time to meet up.

Latest build photos:

Monday, 20 June 2011

Can you help with fundraising?

Unfortunately the Ministry of Education do not fund playgrounds for new schools. We know that playgrounds are an essential aspect of schooling and provide opportunities for developing upper body strength, co-ordination, friendships, creative play and much more.
We want the children of Hingaia Peninsula School to have a fabulous playground and want them to be involved in designing the playground of their dreams!
To do that, we need your help!
If you have any ideas for fundraising, know of someone who might want to contribute, want to be on our establishment "Friends of Hingaia Peninsula School" (FOHPS) then please email us at info@hp.school.nz.
Thank you! We look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Week 7 update

Week 7 was a big week design wise with a lot of time spent with the architects going over details such as wiring, wall coverings, colours, ratios etc. The issue of wall covering is not as simple as choosing colours and surfaces but is confined to ratios of vertiface to paint to windows and non parallel walls for sound proofing. I, like a lot of teachers, thought vertiface was for displaying student's work but apparently that is not the main reason we have it in our classrooms!
We are still working through some ideas for our logo and have a couple of options that we are playing around with. Trying to capture the essence of HPS in a graphic form is interesting. We are trying to create a logo that will mean something for the students of the school, tells a story of who we are and what we are achieving as well as having some links to the local area - a complex task!
Our home zone has been confirmed and we will be able to take enrollments on 1 July. We are currently putting together our enrollment packs so that we are ready for the rush. We have had a lot of phone calls and emails from parents living out of zone who want their children to attend HPS but unfortunately we are not taking out of zone enrollments at this stage. Our zone information is in the previous post and is also on the Hingaia Peninsula School wiki (link at the top of the blog) where the school zone has it's own page.
We are planning our next community meeting and hope to hold that in late August (date and place to be confirmed). At that meeting we will be exploring the learning studio concept in more detail, introducing our fabulous new Associate Principals, looking at ways the community can support the school and fundraising options, gathering thoughts on school uniform, after school care as well as getting to know more of our community members. The meeting will be advertised on the school website and wiki, through facebook and twitter and via newsletter drops in the local community. The meeting would also be interesting for prospective teachers to attend as it will give people an idea of who we are, what we are creating and how they might contribute. We will be appointing scale A teachers and leaders in early term 4 once our staffing and operations grant is confirmed.
Our site visit highlight this week was seeing the roofs going onto the studios. The spaces look amazing and having the roof on gives a real sense of perspective and a feel for space when you are inside. We also have the beginnings of the hall this week and the metal supports for the walls are in place.
Latest site photos:

Friday, 17 June 2011

Zone update

In order to avoid overcrowding, or the likelihood of overcrowding, the board of Hingaia Peninsula School has adopted an enrolment scheme which has been approved by the Ministry of Education and will be effective from 1 July 2011.

Under this scheme, students will be enrolled if they live within the home zone described below.

The Zone is: The entire Hingaia peninsula west of the southern motorway and north of Park Estate Road.  Park Estate Road and any no exit side roads (are excluded).

Hingaia Peninsula School will not be accepting out of zone enrolments for 2012.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Week 6 progress report

I went down to the site on Tuesday afternoon to take some progress photos and the guys from NZ Strong and Brewer Davidson were there having a site meeting. This meant I got to go for a walk on site, with the fluro jacket and hard hat, and have a closer look at the studios, window placements etc. The studios are looking great, there is a real sense of space with the high roof line and the long low windows. The kids are going to love the window seats on each studio and being able to open the windows right up to take advantage of the sun!

During the week we have had meetings with MoE, NZ Strong, Brewer Davidson and eCubed regarding our Green Star application. This covers building, waste management, environment, learning resources etc and involves a cohesive approach from all parties. The application is comprehensive and the school will be working more closely with the team on this from now on as the educational components are required. 
Ongoing through the weeks are policy writing, talking with prospective parents, interior design investigations of colour, furniture, placement, discussions with ICT people, logo design concepts and thoughts about uniform. 
Latest photos of the winter sun on the framing:

Oh - and the recent rain means our field is looking great - we have grass!!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Week 5 progress report

This week we have been working towards finalising the data and power plans for the buildings. We have been liaising with audio visual consultants, people from the National Library, architects, ICT consultants and other teachers to look for the best solution for HPS. As with all things with a new build, there are compromises to be made in terms of dollar value, prioritising of equipment, design layout and the confines of the stage of build. Maintaining a focus on the adaptability of equipment and wiring, the part that plays in enhancing collaborative and creative learning, alongside the need to future proof as much as possible is helping us with some of the difficult decisions!
Early in the week I had a meeting with the National Library's future libraries team. We had some great discussions around what the future of libraries could be, the way our library will be used, the flexibility of space and content, and even what a 21st C library could/should be called. The concepts of learning commons or information centres is popular at the moment and we wondered if the name 'library' was still relevant? I left inspired by what we could achieve in this space and excited by the prospects for learning for our children!
Our cabinetry meetings are ongoing and we are getting towards the last few sketches for some of the inbuilt furniture. While at the architects on Friday we started to look at carpet and lino, further exploring some of the colour concepts with them. It is interesting to discuss the concepts of the studios, and how we as teachers see them being used for learning, with the architects and blend the pedagogy and the design further. After every discussion I have the design for learning becomes enhanced.
Our initial logo design process has started and we are talking with the designer over the concepts and colours we might use to visually represent our school.
We had a visit from Douglas Harre (Core Education) at our board meeting on Wednesday and he discussed the possible future of ICT in learning. He also introduced us to idea paint which is a paint that is also a whiteboard - what a concept! We would love to be able to use this in some way in our studios but will need to investigate costs, environmental constraints and space. I can see how this could enhance some of the spaces we have and really build that collaborative learning concept!
In between these meetings I have been looking at operational procedures to define our policies, further investigating the learning studio concepts, liaising with prospective parents and talking over road access to the school with MoE.
So, a busy week defining the build specs, all very exciting! Every decision is made with the concepts of adaptability, collaborative learning and creativity in mind and every design decision is further defining  those ideas for learning.
And our photocopier arrived - thanks Konica Minolta!