Kea Crossing IMG1389 IMG9913 IMG7815 Wakefield School from Lookout 3 IMG4764 Picture from Waimea Weekly

Twisting by the Pool…! 


It is excellent to see the swimming pool up and running, and big thanks to our dedicated pool committee, led superbly by Libby Thomson, for all their work to keep this facility looking good and operating well.   


From next week our children will once again enjoy fantastic swimming instruction from Karyn Young and her team.  At ten lessons for just $30.00 this is amazing value and we thank Sport Tasman and Water Safety New Zealand for their generous subsidy through the Kiwisport and Swim for Life funds, which halves the cost to families.  I know our children will quickly pick up their skills from last season and rapidly extend them. 


As you probably know, we owe our swimming facility to the foresight of the Ministry of Education, the generosity of the community and the hard work of school staff and volunteers over 20 years.  You may not be aware that the pool is owned and managed as the Wakefield School and Community Swimming Pool Incorporated Society, a completely separate entity from the school.   


At a time when other communities and schools are closing pools ours continues to flourish thanks to your support and the work of a small committee of volunteers.  We continue to plan improvements to the pool and hope to have solar power providing some of our energy in the near future.    


Meanwhile we have 5 months of great swimming ahead of us and you can help the pool continue to be successful by purchasing a pool key at the school office.  Key sales make up over 90% of the committee’s income so your support is vital to keep our pool looking good and doing its job providing recreation and swim training for our children and families. 




Peter Verstappen 








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Here’s What We Mean by ‘Student-Led Learning’


Jordan, who is six years old, was recently appointed to our Student Council as a representative of Matai Kereru team.  Last week our Council meeting clashed with scooter training for Jordan.  He came to the office to tell me but I was out, so what did Jordan do?  He wrote me this letter:



To mistir vstn

Sore I cant go to the

Shooht cousool

Becose I

Got scooti

Chraning at



from Jordan.


I love this letter, for two reasons.  First, it is a beautiful expression of a child learning to write; look at how he has made sense of the words ‘student council’, you can hear Jordan picking out the sounds in his mind. 


Second, it is a beautiful expression of student-led learning.  You might ask, ‘what’s he learning?’ but consider this.  Here’s Jordan, 6, as a thinker: he knows he has an obligation to the Student Council, he sees he cannot fulfil it, he comes to tell me, that doesn’t work, he decides he needs to write to me so he creates this letter and brings it to the office.  This is even more impressive because Jordan doesn’t know much about the Student Council yet, he’s only attended one meeting, but he knows he has some sort of obligation to it.  Here’s Jordan as a communicator: if he can’t tell me in person, he’ll slave over this letter to get the message to me.  Here’s Jordan as a planner: he’s thinking ahead and balancing his commitments.  Okay, Jordan will have had some prompts from his teacher, but he’s taken up the challenge and look at what he’s achieved. 


I value the opportunities children have to be leaders at school through the Student Council, committees, monitors and other roles.  Their work in these roles contributes to the smooth running of the school, but as well as leading others they provide real occasions for children to lead themselves, to become masters of their own learning.  And that’s what a democratic curriculum looks like.


Have a good week,




Peter Verstappen 


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