Welcome to my Principal blog.

This blog is designed to provide the latest in news and updates on the happenings at Peak School along with information on a number of topics related to education.


Bill Garnett


Edublog have announced their Top 5 education mobile applications for 2011.  In first place was an application designed for teachers but in 2nd place is an application called ABCDay.


Designed for younger children it teaches the alphabet (including phonetically), the correct way to create each letter and it focuses a little on spelling.  Please note the price is shown in NZ dollars.  Simply search this application in iTunes to locate and buy.  It is designed for the iPhone but plays nicely on the iPad as well.  Mr G.


The ESF Stakeholders survey will take place during the month of March.  We use this survey to find out about the impressions that parents, students and staff have formed of our school and how well they think the school is doing.  The feedback from the survey will help shape our new 3 Year Strategic Plan which starts at the beginning of the next Academic Year.  Our school results will then feed into an ESF-wide analysis and build on a similar survey conducted in 2010.

Responses will be treated as confidential and completely anonymous. The survey is completed on-line and invites are sent to participates and these will be sent by email in early March. For parents, one survey invite per child will be sent to your primary parental email address, as per our current gateway records. Therefore, a parent with two children at the school will receive two invites and can opt to either fill in the survey once, on behalf of both children, or fill in separately to reflect the different experiences that their children might have.

I strongly encourage all parents, appropriate students and staff to complete the survey so we can get a clear indication of what it is that we are doing well and what areas we really need to develop.

Survey categories include; Philosophy and Objectives, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Leadership and Management, Student Well-Being, Resources for Learning and Student and Community Life.

HOME LEARNING UPDATE (previously known as homework)

Since the beginning of this term (Term 2) we have been using the new home learning guidelines to shape the home learning activities for your children.  Year 3 and up children are now using the Home Learning Grid.

News and relevant documents regarding this new approach was emailed to all parents via the school newsletter at the end of Term 1.  The feed back thus far has been very positive but it has come to my attention that some parents are not fully aware of the new arrangements.

Information regarding the new approach can be downloaded in the following two links;

Home Learning Agreement Dec 2011

Homework PMI (Positive, Minus, Interesting)




As previously mentioned (see Annual Plan and Principal’s message) we are focusing our efforts this year on redeveloping the Performing Arts area which is located on the lower ground floor of the school.   School staff have been working in conjunction with the School Council, our PTA and ESF to come up with plans that creatively utilize the space we have downstairs to enhance the teaching and learning experiences for all.

Please download the following document to find out more information about this very exciting project.

Performing Arts Redevelopment Overview

The potential $6.5 million dollar project will be jointly funded by ESF,  School Council and PTA.


The ISA Writing, Maths and Reading results for your child/ren are now available for you to download from Gateway.

All Year 4, 5 & 6 students (who sat the assessments) have a Maths, Writing and Reading “student profile” sheet available to download.   These student profiles have been provided by the team at ISA as part of the assessment package and clearly show the strengths and areas to develop for each child in each discipline.   ISA have also provided an example to help parents interpret the “student profile” sheets and this is at the beginning of both documents that are available to download from Gateway.

The two documents to download from Gateway are;

1 – Writing Assessment Student Profile from September, 2011

2 – Maths and Reading Assessment Student Profile from October, 2011

Please follow these instructions to access the documents on Gateway as outlined above;

  1. Go to the Gateway homepage by clicking HERE
  2. Enter your Gateway username and password (you have been issued with these already)
  3. Choose Student Demographics from the Admin Menu
  4. Choose Standardised Assessments from the menu on the right hand side
  5. Choose the document under Assessment Documents on the lower left.

If you have more than one child you can choose another child from the drop down menu on the upper right side of the screen (near the print option).


As with all standardised assessments, this is a “snapshot” of where your child was on the day.  Teachers use this assessment and other teacher and school assessments to ensure we have the full picture of where your child is at.

The following tables are provided to assist your understanding of the ISA Mathematical Literacy and Reading Literacy reports for your child.

Table 1. Content comparisons between ISA and PYP mathematics.

ISA  Content Variable PYP Mathematics Strand
Uncertainty Data Handling
Quantity Number Measurement
Shape and Space Shape and Space
Change and Relationships Pattern and Function

Table 2.  ISA Comprehension Demands

ISA Comprehension Demand Description
Retrieving Information Locating one or more pieces of information in a text
Interpreting Texts Constructing meaning and drawing inferences from one or more parts of the text
Reflecting Relating a text to one’s own experiences, knowledge and ideas.