Kia ora te whanau o Te Kura a Rohe o Whaingaroa

A very warm welcome to the beginning of our school year. The powhiri this morning was very well attended and I would like to thank those whanau that were able to take the time to join us. We notice each year, and particularly this year, a larger number of whanau and are encouraged by your presence.

My condolences to those several whanau who have lost loved young ones who are ex students of our Kura over the last few weeks. I acknowledge your loss and pain as do many of our staff who were their teachers.

There have been a number of changes to staff and it is wonderful to welcome Alison as a long term reliever, Gabrielle who returns to us, along with Naomi and Kerry in the secondary area. I would also like to again acknowledge the mahi of Bronwyn and to congratulate her on her very recent marriage. Yesterday a koopuni of staff, kaumatua and friends were part of her kawe into her new position at Melville Primary School. I would like to acknowledge and thank Mel for her very considerable mahi for our school and for the Board as she steps down from the Chair role, and to formally welcome Joe Hassell to that position.

There are a number of strategic changes that will be implemented this year in response to feedback from our community. We are looking to phase in the use of Chrome Books beginning of term two and we have recently purchased a school communications app which will be ready for use shortly. There is also a determined effort to lift achievement particularly in writing across the school this year. We are also continuing to implement the Te Reo Curriculum through yrs 1-10 English Medium within the context of our community and Te Ao Maori.

We are very encouraged by our NCEA results at the end of 2017 and I wish to especially acknowledge the mahi of our students and the support their teachers gave them. Across all levels of NCEA we improved our results and out-performed the national averages. A 96% pass rate for year 12s in level 2 was particularly gratifying.

Again welcome and thank you for joining us for another exciting and engaging year.

Nga mihi