Cobham Newsletter – Week 4, Term 2, 2023

Christine Lambie |

May 18, 2023

Kia Ora, Talofa Lava and warm greetings,

I hope the week is going well, and it has been good to have positive glimpses of autumnal weather.

Show Quest – it was a pleasure to watch the incredible achievements of our Cobham Intermediate students, who represented our school with the utmost talent and professionalism at the Show Quest event on Monday night. Their outstanding performance captivated the audience, showcasing their dedication, creativity, and teamwork. Their commitment to excellence and their passion on stage bodes well for other school performances this year. The award for best choreography of the night was obvious, even to my untrained eye. We congratulate all the students involved and express our gratitude to Miss Crawford and Miss Hardy and the parents who supported them in this remarkable journey. Watching such performances always makes one proud to be associated with our school, and well done, Cobham students!

Gumboots – we are happy for students to wear gumboots to and from school on wet days. The path from Ilam Road deteriorates quickly after the rain, and gumboots are often the best option.

Attendance – regular school attendance is pivotal for academic success and overall development. Justifiably, there is plenty of media coverage about falling attendance in NZ schools and sadly, our Cobham data sits right in the middle of national trends. For example, in term one this year, only 66.5% of our students had 90% or better attendance rates!! Another 22% of our school population attended school between 80 and 89% of the time.

We need your help. At least 25% of our students need to improve their attendance. We hear all the excuses, from “being up too late gaming”, to “it’s too wet” and they “aren’t feeling it today!”. Yet, we know that consistency of attendance ensures an uninterrupted flow of learning, offering new opportunities to expand knowledge, engage with peers, and interact with teachers. In addition, by being present consistently, students establish strong foundations, build habits, and set themselves up for success in high school.

If you require any support with getting your child to school, please speak with your child’s teacher or Natalie Dirkze, our DP.  Furthermore, if barriers prevent your child from regularly attending school, please let us know, and we can support you with lunches and uniforms. Furthermore, we also have counsellors who can help families. We want students at school.

Vaping – unfortunately, vaping is common among teenagers, and high schools are dealing with significant numbers of students vaping. We don’t want our students to start, and for as long as we can prevent it, we don’t want them exposed to vaping. Touch wood, we haven’t had an issue at school for a while, and I’m hoping that I haven’t jinxed it!!

Education and resisting peer pressure are essential. Role-playing scenarios are always suitable for emerging adolescents, giving them strategies in advance. Simple questions – What will you do when you are offered a vape? What could you say to the person offering you a vape? Also, unpacking, why might another person offer you a vape? Finding the right time for these conversations is vital, but preparing students for what might be ahead of them is always important.

There has been a considerable lag in education services/providers since the proliferation of vapes and, notably, vape stores. (A simple Google Search of “vapes shops near me” highlights how accessible vapes and the associated paraphernalia are to our students here at Cobham. I know the legal age for purchasing vapes is 18, but availability increases the chances of them falling into the hands of intermediate-aged students.)

Sadly, we had a planned performance from Life Education today around vaping, but had to postpone due to the inclement weather. (It was going to be an outdoor performance.) We hope to reschedule in the near future.

Winter sports start next week in earnest. We look forward to a positive start with our competitive teams going about their games with positive intent and for those in the elected options looking to enjoy and embrace their options. Yesterday, Wednesday, 17 May, was the final day to pay for elected sports activities. As all elected options need to be paid prior to commencement, if you haven’t paid then your child will be moved into a free option at school.

Basketball – seeing so many families at basketball over the last two weeks was wonderful. Once grading has been completed, we will see closer games. Again, thank you to the parents who have helped manage and support our teams.

High School Open days – for those considering high schools for 2024, there is plenty of information on high school websites regarding Open Days. Please familiarise yourself with the details, including the times to visit. If your child needs to leave school during the day, please remind them to sign out at the office.

Cobham enrolments for 2024 – are now open through our website. Please let your friends and colleagues know. Group tours, weekly, will begin towards the end of this term and again in Term 3. Tours can be booked via our website.

Teacher only day – we have scheduled this for Friday 2 June, the Friday before King’s Birthday Weekend. Staff will partake in professional development for the day alongside their colleagues from neighbouring schools. The school will be closed for the day for students.

Pink Shirt day tomorrow at school.

Enjoy the rest of the week and the upcoming weekend. 

Eddie Norgate