Attendance Matters at MHS

Over the years, Motueka High School students have attended Form Time as part of their formal timetable. Whilst the uniform has changed, the one thing that remains constant, is the friendships that are fostered in each House Group through and across time!

In Term 1, the following information was shared with teaching staff, giving explicit guidance on the purpose and expectations of Form Time. Please see the responsibilities and objectives below:

When:  House Class Meetings are scheduled during ‘Form Time’ -

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10.50 to 11.05 am

House Class Teacher Responsibilities:

  1. Record attendance on KAMAR
  2. Follow up unexplained absences indicated with an ? and code correctly e.g. M for short term illness, or D for visit to dentist/doctor and/or N for school based activity etc., either using the green ‘Absence Concern’ slip, or in person.
  3. Read out daily notices
    1. Notices are on Kamar - Pathway is Teachers > School Notices. 
    2. It is important that students hear the notices so please insist on full attention when they are read.
  4. ​​​​​​Develop a system for clearing absences within 48 hours of a student’s return to school. 
  5. Make the school expectations clear about attendance.
    1. Form Time is considered a ‘class’ and the attendance affects the overall ‘attendance rate’ of the student.
  6. Repeated absences
    1. Work with whānau to improve attendance in the first instance (there may be a valid reason for an absence) and elicit their support.
    2. Record calls/emails on KAMAR
    3. If a pattern of truancy is identified, use your professional judgement to ascertain whether this is a disciplinary matter or a pastoral concern, such as a student avoiding class due to bullying. 
      1. If disciplinary, liaise/make a referral to the Year level Dean/SLT who will action a response.
      2. If pastoral in nature, consider whether a referral to the counsellor is required for health and safety reasons, or whether the matter needs to be referred to the Year level Dean/SLT for support and guidance.
  7. If you have health & safety concerns about a student's well-being, please refer the matter to the Dean and/or SLT as soon as possible. 
    1. If a student is presenting as dishevelled, unclean, malnourished, unusually bruised or exhibiting injuries, please make a referral to Te Whare Pora  and notify the Year level Dean/SLT accordingly.
  8. If a student is presenting with mental health issues, please make a referral to Te Whare Pora and notify the Year level Dean/SLT accordingly.

“Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual can realise his or

her own potential, cope with the normal stresses of life,

work productively and make a contribution to the community”

(Strengthening mental health promotion, Fact sheet No 220,  WHO, 2001).

  1. Uniform: The most effective way of improving the standard of uniform at any school is to collectively address issues during house group time.

           a. If a student presents to House Class, wearing non-uniform clothing, please check to see if they have a uniform pass/and or a note from home. Send the           student to the Deanery/DP office if a uniform pass is required - before school, interval, lunchtime and hand write a note in the interim.

b. Tip: When busy, on route to class/teaching etc., try Whaea Karen’s wisdom:   ‘Nice  to  see  you  this morning [name], and it would be even better to see you wearing your correct uniform jacket tomorrow’. This agentic, non-combative model, means you are supporting the uniform code, yet without feeling overwhelmed with ‘the problem’.

  1. If the student presents as cold, wearing non-uniform items for warmth and you suspect that the family is unable to provide sufficient uniform, please send the student to the Deanery/DP office, as we may be able to provide a new jacket/shoes from ‘KidsCan’.

d.  Ring/email home to discuss uniform concerns and/or to reassure that we can support whānau.

  1.   Log the call/email on KAMAR.

Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe 

e kore te waka e ū ki uta

Work in unison to achieve a goal

To end, form class is a critical feature of a students’ schooling, as it provides a common point of reference for a student on their learning journey.

Whilst the Ministry of Education’s description of this role is brief…

                                      “The form teacher is with the class for the school year and gives out daily notices and takes the roll.

The form teacher will usually be your first contact if your child has any problems or issues they need help with”

…we all know that House Group is much, much more than the aforementioned responsibilities listed. Fifteen minutes can fly by when attending to administrative tasks, so it is important not to layer further mahi, but to check in with wellbeing, perhaps implement karakia (either student led or teacher led), enjoy moments of celebration - birthdays, sporting/academic/cultural successes etc. - and foster a sense of whānaungatanga among your students, so that they can fly! 

Mā te huruhuru, ka rere te manu!