About Belmont School
Belmont School, established in 1965, is a Decile 7, U5 Contributing School with a Grading Roll of 384 students. Our school has 18 fulltime and 7 part-time teachers, one of whom is a Reading Recovery Teacher. Eleven Support Staff complement the teaching team. Our Principal, Robin Thomson, is non-teaching, although she takes a very active role in teaching and learning in the school. The Reading Recovery Centre and Tutor, and the Resource Teacher Literacy are based on the Belmont site. Where appropriate or necessary, the school works closely with other agencies to provide effective support for students and their families. These agencies may include Public Health Nurse, Children, Young Persons and their Families Service, Child and Family Service, Group Special Education, Resource Teacher: Literacy, Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour, School Support Services.
We seek advice and guidance from a variety of education and associated sources, to ensure that our students and staff have a safe physical and emotional environment and that the National Curriculum and the goals of our community are delivered through high quality programmes that promote achievement for all students.
We are proud that our commitment to “Best Practice” is recognised by many external agencies. Our teachers are asked to trial curriculum materials, participate in focus groups and to be on programme development and review groups. We are regularly visited by other schools who wish to observe specific practice or to discuss the teaching and learning journey our school is undertaking.
Our School Community
Belmont School enjoys a unique physical position. It is bordered by the Hutt River, Kennedy-Good Bridge, and State Highway 2. This special location gives us the environmental advantages of a rural school as well as easy access to the educational, cultural and sporting opportunities of Lower Hutt and Wellington. The school is securely fenced to ensure student safety at all times. Students walk, bike or are transported to and from school because the immediate school area is non-residential.
An attractive physical environment is important to teaching and learning. Most classrooms have undergone an extensive refurbishment, and classes are equipped with a Soundfield system to enhance students’ learning opportunities. Belmont School has a heated swimming pool, extensive playing fields, court areas, and a senior and a junior playground. We also enjoy the use of Belmont Memorial Hall for assembly and gymnasium purposes.
Developing the Arts is important to our community. Sports teams take part in a variety of extra-curricula competitions and inter-school events. The use of community skills in all aspects of school life is encouraged. Education Outside the Classroom is an integral part of curriculum delivery.
For funding purposes, the Ministry of Education has classified the school as Decile 7. While most students come from the Belmont area, others come from a broader catchment area as a result of family choice. The school is situated in a community that has traditionally been very stable. New subdivisions are being developed on the Western Hills adjacent to the school. There is a cross section of age groups and occupations within the Belmont Community.
The community has high expectations of the school. These are realistic and attainable. The school actively nurtures a strong and effective partnership in learning with families and the community. All “systems” operating in the school demonstrate the priority given to this. Open, honest and timely communication helps to ensure positive relationships with all partners in learning. The community expects that the students will be taught by a skilled, professional and caring staff that will encourage all students to have an attitude of excellence, a pride in themselves and their actions, self esteem, and a respect for themselves and others.
The school is earning a reputation for a high standard of curriculum delivery through relevant and innovative programmes that aim to meet the varied needs of all students. All the staff have a commitment to their own on-going learning, and this is encouraged and financially supported by the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees and the Home and School Team (HAST) are hardworking and committed to all the dimensions of student achievement. In partnership with the community, they have a clear focus on the ongoing achievement of the school’s purpose:
“To educate the students in an environment of excellence that prepares them for future challenges and lifelong learning”.
The New Zealand Curriculum Framework legislates for and ensures effective curriculum delivery. Strategic and Annual Plans meet this requirement and are developed from information from information from school self review, careful student monitoring and assessment, community surveys, Government priorities and initiatives, and any local or national recommendations of the Education Review Office.
Student achievement is reported to families both formally and informally. Twenty-five minute, Learning Conversations are held. These involve the student, their family, and the teacher. We continue to maintain 100% involvement in this process and have done so since its introduction in 2000. At the end of the year a written report summarises individual achievement. Student progress and teaching decisions are illustrated through the ongoing development of an individual portfolio. The Board of Trustees is kept fully informed of student achievement and curriculum development through the principal’s monthly report.
Special character features:
- Range of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.
- Classroom programmes targeted towards specific student need and passions and interests.
- Strong commitment to partnership with students and their families.
- Specific and ongoing curriculum differentiation to meet identified student need. This includes students who have specific learning needs, high health needs and those students who are gifted and talented.
- Provision for “passions” and “talents” to be explored and developed (e.g. Science Interest Groups)
- School wide participation in the Literacy Enhancement Achievement Project.
- Involvement of Community Mentors (e.g. scientists from nearby GNS)
- Establishing partnership with Naenae College to provide positive role models for our Maori and Pasifika students.
- A commitment to implementing interventions that target student needs as they arise (e.g. “Talk to Learn” Oral Language Programme)
- School Extra Curricula Sports Programme
- Netball Basketball
- Touch Rugby Waterpolo Tennis
- Individual and class “Buddy” groupings
- Environmental Education lunchtime programme