2021 Class Organisation and Staffing
To the parents/caregivers of Otaika Valley School,
Next year we have some staffing changes, resulting in a reshuffle of teachers within our classes.
Renee Downey will sadly be leaving us after 9 years of teaching and has an exciting new job in a Hamilton School, that is further developing their Mantle of the Expert/Dramatic Inquiry approaches to learning. This move will allow her to further develop her high level of skills and is a great career move. Her contribution to our school over this time has been outstanding. We thank her for hard work, expertise, fun and enjoyment of teaching and learning. Many children and teachers have benefited from her passion of teaching and learning over the years. We will acknowledge her more closer to the end of the year.
Due to covid-19 factors, our round-about traffic hold ups and changes of family circumstances our student roll numbers are down this year. Our enrolment policy does not allow us to take any out of zone enrolments outside of the opening times in the Sept/Oct and February enrolment periods. We have had to turn away prospective students throughout the year, even though we have a few spaces. This year we didn’t hit the 151 student numbers by mid-year to get fully funded teachers for 7 classrooms. This is not a problem, as all schools are funded on students’ numbers to pay for teachers. For 2021 this means we will most probably start a 7th teacher approximately around mid-year. This situation is normal and we have an experienced team of teachers to provide quality learning at each level.
2021 Class Teachers
Room 7 – Frances Cowan
Room 6 – Heidi Nieddu
Room 5 – Courtney de Boer
Room 4 – Hayley Alchin
Room 3 – roll growth class
Room 2 – Maggie McClune
Room 1 – Anna Keogh
We have not started class lists at this stage. When we do, we print off all of the students names, year levels and shuffle them around on large tables. The teachers and I discuss academic levels, social factors, friends that would benefit being together or separated, any clashes of personalities, gender balances etc. All of these discussions are in depth, challenged, negotiated, changed multiple times and finally decided on. It is complex task and taken very seriously. The teachers really understand the children within the school environment and have all children’s needs at heart.
At the end of the day, it also comes down to a numbers game for class sizes, therefore we can not always please everyone.
Some of these staff class level changes will mean students will have a teacher for multiple years. This can be a real strength. Smaller schools operate like this every year, with great success. A teacher really gets to know each child’s learning intimately and can foster strong relationships when they have them for longer.
Our decisions around who teaches in which class next year have been carefully thought through, with a number of behind-the-scenes strategic factors influencing the leadership teams thinking. Personally, I am excited about 2021. We have some exciting learning planned, but let us finish this year first.