Ad Augusta Term 3 December 2013
Dear Parents and Guardians
I am delighted with the year that has been, for Takapuna Grammar School. Now at the end it is gratifying to look back and consider the many arenas of students’ achievement and the various successes which have characterised 2013.
We have been delighted with the end-of-year for the seniors and continue to be impressed by the Year 9 and Year 10 students. It has been a wonderful year, with much to celebrate. Our particular congratulation goes to our 2013 Dux, our Head Girl, Claudia Brick.
With 2014 in our sights, we are well under way with the planning for next year in respect to staffing, budgets and programme design. One of the recent developments has been the progression of a Takapuna Grammar School Application for mobile phone users. This “Tak App” has been a project taken on by one of the Young Enterprise student teams who have been working with Robert Johnson of Benefitz. The students are Hanna Zaloum, Katie Mantell, Sophie Latch, Kelly Min and Natasa Vaglenarova.
Benefitz continue to be fantastic supporters of Takapuna Grammar School and we remain committed to their involvement in the school. The “Tak App” is now available, free, on iTunes. It provides parents and students with access to notices, timetables, events calendars and also caters for “push notifications” when the school requires urgent messages to be sent to its users. The App is being populated now and will become another key communication tool in addition to the existing methods. Thanks, again, to Robert and the team at Benefitz for their continued support.
The building project remains a dominating feature of my programme and that of our Senior Management team and Property Manager, Mark Helas. The work is commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Auckland, who are in effect, the client for the many engaged contractors. The project is complicated, involving primarily restoration work of the Main Building internally and externally as well as the development of a Science Precinct in “N Block” and the relocation of the Food Technology Room from N Block, to the Sir Peter Blake Building. The work will be visible in the following order:
- Prefabricated classes will be moved on to the site during the months of December and January. These will cater for the decanted classes of the Main Block and of N Block, as required. They will total between 14-20 buildings to be sited at the rear of the school.
- A new classroom will be built on the north eastern corner of the Sir Peter Blake Building on the second floor which was structured for this purpose in the original construction of the building in 2007. This work will begin in about August 2014. The actual Food Technology Room will be sited as an industrial kitchen alongside the existing Food Technology Room. The Art Department will take up the new space on the top floor.
- The northern half of N Block will be developed to take up seven Science Laboratories replacing decanted laboratories from the Main Building, enabling the Science Department to be located in one area of the school. This work will begin in December 2014.
- The Main Block will begin a restoration process in August next year. There is much work to be completed on this building including the restoration of the outer walls to address weather tightness issues as well as a complete refurbishment of the inner classrooms and spaces. This will secure the building’s longevity. There remains the consideration of completing this work in three stages, a longer period of two years, or one stage, in one year. Clearly my preference in one year but that is dependent on the availability of the quantity of professionals required to complete this more intense and extensive option. The view held at present is to start with the western wing, that closer to Lake Road.
The entire project is to be fully funded by the Ministry of Education and is projected to be in advance of $8,000,000.00. I am appreciative of the Ministry’s continued support for the school and am grateful for their consideration of the additional development held in the Sir Peter Blake Centre, the Science Block development and the internal development of the Main Building. I have referenced the plans to the Principal Desk, so invite you to follow the link: http://www.takapuna.school.nz/news/from-the-principals-desk
, to view these plans as they stand at present.
Additionally, I announce that have been granted a sabbatical in 2014. This grants me the opportunity to investigate an area of interest to me; the most successful dynamics surrounding the delivery of on line learning. Many of you will be aware of the well-publicised drop off rates associated with the dynamic of course delivery online. You may be less aware that Takapuna Grammar School is this year already delivering “Conversational English” courses to Korea on-line so the topic is relevant to school’s interest and intention to add this to the offerings to students, both domestic and international. Given the building projects described above, I intend to take this sabbatical in Term 1, returning prior to the start of the extensive building process which will take up the balance of 2014, at the very least. Mr Brian Wynn will be the Acting Principal in my absence.
Please contact the school if you have any concerns of questions. The most direct way to do this is to send an email to email@example.com
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