A Partnership with High Expectations and Committment
What a wonderful day we were able to enjoy on Friday! I posted the following on our school’s Facebook page on Saturday as I contemplated the week past and particularly the day of our Official Opening –
‘Yesterday highlighted to me three reasons why I love RCS –
1. The students – our students demonstrated such pride in their school. From making sure their uniforms looked lovely to sweeping the paths, our students did everything they could to show off their school.
2. The staff – how blessed we are to have such a diverse, yet collaborative team of people. Everyone pitches in with what they are good at, and many great things are achieved!
3. The parent community – again we are so blessed to have a group of people that really get behind the school. The servant-hearted nature of our parent community blows me away on a daily basis.
Thank you everyone for contributing to a lovely and memorable day yesterday!’
It was also an honour to host a number of local and national politicians. I enjoyed the conviction and passion they had for the work they do, and their willingness to support us in the establishment of our school.
I have spent some time over the weekend reflecting on what Hon Hekia Parata said to our parent community, encouraging them to demand things of their school. My reason for reflecting on this point is because I would generally associate the word ‘demanding’ with very negative connotations, and I needed to think on whether I would agree that demanding parents increases the standard of education children receive.
My reflections have led me to think that thriving schools, where children are all experiencing academic and personal growth, are founded on partnerships between home and school where there are high expectations and levels of commitment from both parties.
I have also been reflecting on how blessed we are here at RCS that we have strong levels of trust and respect between our staff and parents, because I believe that at the heart of a strong partnership is trust. I believe that one thing that leads to high levels of trust is openness and transparency. We are currently working on developing ways for our parent community to have a greater understanding of what goes on between the hours of nine and three. Our parent information evenings, for example, are designed to give parents an insight into not only what we do, but why we do it. I am a firm believer that if we are not able to tell our parents why we do something, then there is a high chance we shouldn’t be wasting our student’s time by doing it. We hope that by the end of this year we will have a number of ways in which parents can have a good understanding of the educational experiences our students enjoy. Parents have a part to play in this process too, hence a partnership. We hope that parents will take the time to read the information the school provides, attend the information meetings we hold, and ask questions about the areas they are unsure of.
In a trusting relationship I think we can challenge each other to take a bigger step. I have decided that within a trusting relationship I think it is ok to be demanding, because it means that both parties will be open to doing what is needed for the good of the child and both parties will do what it takes to support the other as they take that challenging step.