Sunday, 28 August 2011

Week 17 progress report

We began the week shortlisting for our PA/Sectretary role. With over 80 applicants it was a big undertaking and took us a while but we have our shortlist to interview next week.
Our advert for teaching staff went into the Education Gazette print version on Monday and we have had over 100 requests for application packs for the various roles. We have our teacher information evening on 7 September at the National Library and are working on what we think prospective applicants will want to know as well as what they need to know before applying. If you have read the pack and browsed the blog and can see something is missing please let us know so that we can fully inform people of what we are all about, when you are immersed in a project it can be hard to see what you are not communicating well! Anyone who has not seen the ad and is interested can view the scale A positions online here and the leadership positions here.
We have been working with the establishment board on our vision, logo, motto etc and the weaving together of these elements to represent what we are about. One of the great responsibilities we have in establishing a new school is in creating the history and traditions of the school. We are not entering a place with traditions that have been there for 5, 15 or 50 years, but entering into a relationship with a school community to create those traditions and ways of being. There are no rules, no "we've always done that", no boxes to confine our thinking … each and every decision needs to be considered and challenged to check that it fits with the vision and fits the ethos of the school. Some of these decisions come from questions from parents around what we will have or do, some of them come from us asking why when faced with a decision to be made. There are, of course, legislative parameters we have to work within and we have spent a long time looking at policies and procedures to ensure that we are meeting our legislative requirements, while also holding true to the vision of the establishment board of trustees. In having a robust vision we will be able to link our mission and strategic planning clearly to our learning and ethos. The more clearly we can see the links the more embedded learning will be for our community.
In our visit to Albany Senior High School this week we were able to see how their vision has developed over the past 3 years to become an integral part of how and why they are as a school. The personalised learning and empowerment of students at the school is nurtured by the teachers and students alike and there is a sense of engaged purposefulness in the school. We are grateful to Mark Osborne for taking the time to show us around (again). As always we came away with questions on our own practice and inspiration from yours! Our schools may be at opposite ends of the motorway and catering for opposite ends of the age range but there are several parallels between them.
In building news this week; the final parts of the roof are due to go on and the learning studios are taking shape with windows and gib up and beams being painted. We are hoping to have a photo of the final roof installation this week!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Week 16 progress report

Our teaching positions for 2012 went live on the Education Gazette site on Monday! We are looking for 5 scale A teachers, one e-Learning leader and one Future Focus leader to work in our collaborative studios. We have had 91 expressions of interest so far and are looking forward to the information evening on Wednesday 7 September at the National Library (4pm - 6pm) when we will get to meet some of the people interested in joining us, as well as share some of our journey with you.
Our PA position closed on Friday at 4pm and we will be shortlisting on Monday. We have had a wide variety of people and experiences apply and look forward to interviewing and finding out more about the applicants.
On site this week there has been great progress with gib on all the studios and the most of the roof on. NZ Strong expect the final pieces of roofing to be on next week which will be a big milestone! Our e-BoT were very impressed with the progress at the site visit on Wednesday. The cladding on the outside is looking great and we can see the beginnings of the colours on the roof beams. The data and electrical wiring is well underway and our floor boxes are being chased. Seeing the number of wires and outlets shows the amount of thought and detail that has gone into the data plan from the architects, engineers and builders so that we can provide seemless e-Learning for our students.
The e-BoT have finalised the concept designs for the logo and we are just tweaking the layout and colours for the final versions which we hope to have next week. Spending some time this week looking at all the business cards we have accumulated in the past 15 weeks was an interesting exercise. We looked at what we liked, didn't like, what we needed to know, what we thought was excessive information and determined what was important to us to have portray on our cards has helped us. No doubt in 10 years someone will go through the same process to update and modernise what we have designed! The concept and layout we have now is a starting point for what we hope will evolve to be an important way of being for the HPS community, but as learning is an ever evolving journey, the concept and story will continue to evolve over time.
On Tuesday we spent the day with Douglas Harre investigating our IT infrastructure and next steps. We have the data plan, wiring is well underway and we know what devices we want to use and how we envisage them being used. Our next step is to engage an IT network service provider and we will be developing a tender document over the next week or so.
Our community meeting on 31 August at Strathallan Library (7pm - 8pm) has been a focus this week. We aim to provide a balance of information, visual displays and small group discussions on a range of topics we know are of interest to our community. There will be information on the learning studios, our vision, transport, our sustainability focus, furniture concepts, uniform, zoning etc. We look forward to meeting more members of our community at the meeting. Children are most welcome to attend as we value their thoughts on their new school.

Latest build photos:

Monday, 15 August 2011

Teaching postions available!

Check out our adverts on the Education Gazette for five scale A teachers, one e-Learning leader and one future focus leader for 2012!

We are looking forward to applications from collaborative, innovative and pioneering teachers!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Week 15 progress report

On Tuesday we had the pleasure of having the leadership team from Amesbury School in Wellington visit. Amesbury is a new school being built in Wellington and will open in February 2012. We took Lesley, Angela and Urs to visit our school site and talked over our journeys to date. It is really interesting to talk to others who are in the same role and at the same stage. We swapped ideas, talked about furniture, colours and uniforms, discussed our educative philosophy and shared our story.
Our foci for this week have been staffing and IT. Our advert for a PA/Secretary is attracting great interest and we are looking forward to reviewing the applications in a few days when the postion closes. If you are interested or know someone who is just right for the job please check out the advert online at SEEK.
We have also been looking at our staffing plan for teaching staff. Our advert will be in the next two issues of the Education Gazette, and should be online early next week. We will be employing seven lucky teachers to be foundation staff at HPS. We will post the link on our website as soon as it is live.
Our IT focus this week has been phone systems; PBX and softphones, cloud or server, hosted or not. We are investigating a few options and have had some interesting meetings with providers this week.

Our leadership team on site:

Latest build photos:

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Job opportunity! We are looking for a PA/Secretary

We are looking for a fabulous PA/Secretary - if you know anyone or are interested please check out our ad on SEEK, applications close on 19th August

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Week 14 progress report

Week 1 of term 2 and we welcome our fabulous new Associate Principals to Hingaia Peninsula School. Hayley Ryan joins us from Dawson School after a short time at Point View School and Cole Paige joins us from Te Awa School in Napier.
This week we spent time on site and at the architects to allow Hayley and Cole to learn about the buildings and how they impact on our vision for teaching and learning. The 3D models that the architects use allow us to see how the rooms will look once they are complete and the site visits give a sense of scale and space. We have continued to investigate furniture and created an initial spreadsheet of items with plans of the studios. The discussions around which chair, what stool and table size and shape have been informed by visits and discussions with teachers and students at other schools as well as taking some children to the furniture showroom to try out some of the items and give us some honest feedback.
Our uniform is coming together with samples being made for establishment board approval. These designs are also "child tested" by our own children and we have consulted parents that have popped in to see us at the office. We hope to have samples to share at our community meeting along with indicative costings for the uniform.
We had an interesting meeting with the lanscape architects and the enviro schools consultant when we looked at the vision for the school in terms of sustainability, use of land, initial and future planting and how the students could be involved in the design of their environment. Together we made some changes to the initial plan, including a hedge of fruit trees, indicating placement of vege planters and a possible location for an orchard. We feel it is an important component of our development that we grow from being a green star school in terms of building to being an environmentally sustainable school in terms of operation and that the students are as fully involved in this learning as possible.
Other environmental issues affecting the school are transport related. We are in discussions with the council regarding the road and transit concerns on both Hingaia Road and the proposed school road as well as the continuation of the pavement on Hingaia Road to reach at least the junction of Oaklands Road. We are aware of the concern of prospective parents and have raised this issue with Auckland Council. While the work ongoing on the adjacent roads is not under the responsibility or control of the Ministry of Education, we are also concerned about the safety of our children and are working towards a solution in time for opening in February. We will keep you updated.
A busy week for us at HPS and a delight to have Hayley and Cole officially on board. Please pop in to meet them or come along to our community meeting on Wednesday 31 August from 7pm-8pm at Strathallan Library.

Latest photos: