About our School
Weston School is full primary with a well-established but also changing community. We have growing dairying families who are bringing diversity and richness to our school culture.
Our school has very active children, they take part in many out of school and in-school sports. Our school is currently the lead school for North Otago with the Sports Activator Programme. We offer a wide range of Out of Hours Music and Art programmes with tutors available for drums, guitar, saxophone, clarinet and art.
Literacy is encouraged across the Curriculum. Weston School strives hard to lift all children who are at risk of not achieving in reading and writing. Teachers use a variety of assessment tools to gather reliable information on children and this is gathered and analysed closely. We have support from RTLB and RTLit for a number of children as well as Teacher Aide support. These children are often the subject of teacher inquiries in order to improve teaching and learning in our school.
Numeracy & Mathematics –Weston School has a commitment to improving capability in Numeracy. All teachers are striving to lift all children who are achieving below or at risk. Their progress is being tracked throughout the year and teachers are encouraged to seek innovation and use flexible learning groupings to develop learning and understanding. Teachers use all the current numeracy tools to assess progress and applicants would need to be well versed in these. To raise Numeracy achievement in 2013 we were successful in gaining entry to ALiM for two groups of students. We have gone on to incorporate JAM since 2014. In 2016 teachers have undertaken a school wide inquiry to lift student’s knowledge and strategies with Place Value. We hope to engage with the ALiM programme again in 2017 in order to offer equity for children to access the curriculum successfully.
Weston School has embraced Science as a subject that is vital in 21st century learning. Two teachers undertook fellowships with the Royal Society and the school has worked to deliver an exciting programme that has included the building of teacher capacity, collaborative lessons taught on rotation. Our students are strong participants in local and regional Science Fairs. They thoroughly enjoy our participation with the University of Otago’s Outreach Science Programme and get to engage with real Scientists. We are concentrating on the 5 capabilities building our curriculum and developing meaningful assessment. Our biggest drive though is engagement and curiosity!
We were part of an exciting initiative known as Whitestone Pathways – a Community of Learningthat saw local schools working together to engage with families and whanau about their child’s learning. This was called a Learning and Change Network. Our school has gone on to engage with the idea of forming a COL in 2016. We are working with more schools and are picking our way through the requirements to make sure this initiative is set up for success. We are focused on the strong and sustainable development of student agency and our students engaging with 21st century learning practices that put them in charge of their own learning. We wan to work altruistically with our wider communities to support local business and government to create open sourced opportunities for our children’s future. We will all be active participants in breaking down barriers and providing genuine sharing across schools. Our COL currently includes Primary, Secondary and ECE.
At our school we are building our use of technology to support student learning. However, we still believe in tactile experiences and being able to hand write is an important skill which as research tells us helps memory and reading competence.
We are using variety of 23 iPads, 45 Chromebooks, 10 Smart TV’s, 2 Activboards and 30 Android tablets to enhance the learning of our students. We operate with sustainable planning and have an annual purchasing plan. We also run a BYOD programme for our Senior Students. We are a Google Apps for Education school and have been since 2010.
We have dipped our toes into POND through N4L and are fully up and running with Ultrafast Broadband.
Weston believes in equity and excellence for all students and enjoys an inclusive culture that allows all children to access education together as a basic right. We have been working towards creating a school and classroom culture that is caring, supportive and respectful.
The school has a multi-purpose room, a large learning centre, external storage for equipment, a P.E shed, and an adventure playground for both juniors and middle/seniors. It has large grounds which are pleasantly planted and well looked after. The school has easy access to the adjacent local sports ground, providing a large area for children’s activities. Courts are sealed with provision for basketball and netball, with cricket nets and tennis courts also available for use at the sports ground. The Weston Hall provides a covered venue for assemblies, gymnastics, folk dancing and concerts. The school has two bus runs, and children arrive at around 8.30 a.m. and are largely gone by 3.15 p.m. Year 7 & Year 8 children leave the school for Technology at Oamaru Intermediate for four full days per term.
The school became a Cool School in term three of 2007 and offers Bringing Cool Schools Home to parents as a workshop on a bi-annual basis. We have peer mediators who support playground behaviour and conflict resolution. As part of its strategy to combat any type of bullying, the school has established itself as a ‘no hurting place’. Coupled with our ‘no secrets’ policy, Weston aims to be a happy school where parents and teachers work together in the best interests of our children.
Weston is a semi-rural community with a country flavour situated only five kilometres away from the thriving provincial town of Oamaru. Presently 43% of our pupils reside at a rural address on farms or on life style blocks. Weston Township itself continues to grow with several new sub-divisions underway or being planned for. Many of our families have more than one caregiver working in employment on farms, in Weston, or enjoying the short commute to Oamaru.
The school community is of approximately 81% Caucasian, 14% Māori, 4% Asian and 1% Pasifika. We have a growing Filipino community due to the dairying industry. Over recent years Weston has merged with Ngapara and Enfield Schools onto the Weston site. These are farming and dairying districts who have successfully settled into becoming part of our school community. Interaction between the school and community is warm and open. We have a very supportive community that assists with Home & School activities (including our major fundraiser each year ‘Fireworks at Weston’), Education Outside The Classroom (EOTC) activities and in-class assistance.