Jude enjoying Fairton role

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Jude Irwin is the new principal at Fairton School.
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Fairton School’s new principal has settled in and is loving her new job.

Jude Irwin took up the role in January and is a first time school principal

Previously Jude was the deputy principal at Tai Tapu school where she taught for many years.

She was also the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at the school.

Jude said she decided to apply for the principal position at Fairton because she loved the look of the school.

‘‘It was time for a change … I drove out here on a rainy day and when I got to the school the skies had cleared and there was rainbow over the school, so I sat out there and I thought I have to go for this,’’ she said.

Jude said the community had been wonderful and supportive, and the small class sizes is another plus.

‘‘We’ve only got less than 15 kids in each class, and we’re well staffed, we have three teachers and two teacher aides, it’s a really well resourced school.

‘‘The previous principal and teachers have done a really good job setting up the resources here, I’ve been really impressed.’’

Jude commutes from her home in Rolleston and says she is enjoying the drive.

‘‘It just takes around 45 minutes, I’m really enjoying the commute actually, it gives you thinking time before you start the day.’’

Jude said the pupils were great and she will focus on achievement and the core curriculum areas. ‘‘We’re just introducing structured literacy, that’s new for the school.’’

The school will use the Ideal Platform from Learning Matters.

‘‘I had training in that and found it really successful with all children but especially with children with learning challenges.’’

One thing Jude has found with Ashburton is all the support agencies available. ‘‘It really is an excellent community for providing extra things to schools, I have been pleasantly surprised and shocked with how much support there is,’’ she said.