Newsletter Week 6 Term 3 / Pānui Wiki 6 Wāhaka 3

Tēnā koutou katoa!

Week 6 is upon us and as we head into spring, here are a few important reminders:

Prizegiving Assembly: We are looking at Tuesday 13th December 5.30pm-7pm at the Church. This prizegiving is for all students and families (we may have a number limit per family though due to our roll being full and the space allowing).
During this assembly, we farewell seniors off to high school, give out the ‘Faith’ and ‘Grit’ certificates for each class, and celebrate the year coming to a close.  Please pencil the date into your calendar.  Also, it looks like the leavers’ dinner will be immediately after prizegiving.
A reminder that if students are aiming for our premium certificate, ‘Excellence in All Areas’ (similar to dux), it is an expectation that this would include our optional homework challenges completed (in all areas of our curriculum).  Please do not get your hopes up if they have not made an effort here.

Masks are now optional due to the lower case numbers in Ōtautahi.  If a student thinks they may have a cold coming on but are unsure, or they are returning to school, we suggest playing it safe by wearing a mask so others don’t become sick unnecessarily.
If a child is away for more than five days due to illness, please provide a medical certificate to the school.  A photo of it can be emailed to if you cannot make it in.

Safety of Children Walking
You may have been made aware that a person was offering students food he had bought from the supermarket on Friday while waiting for the bus.  He also went into the church, stealing a crucifix and then breaking it and leaving it on the road. The church is following up with the police with some evidence from their cameras.  We have spoken to children about how to respond to strangers offering food, car rides, etc., but it would be great if you also did the same at home (considering what happened at Avonside School on Friday also). It is the first time it has happened in the seven years I have been here, but it is wise to be cautious.

We would like to thank Penny for the amazing Disco that was organised for our children. Over $1000 in profit was made and donated to us by Penny.  We are currently organising something exciting to do with the donation.  Also a big thank you to Rob (DJ) and all the parent help on the night!

It is the last week of Friday Sport on Friday.  A big thank you to our regular parent helpers for making this happen for our children.  Please, 100% correct PE gear for the last day.  PE top, black shorts and don’t forget the extras for your chosen sport (mouthguards, shin pads, etc).

School Board Election Voting
This closes 4pm on the 7th of September, get your forms in asap team. Thanks to all the parents standing and willing to get involved!

Social Justice Week
Please read the DRS post in detail as it has lots of important information.

Mahuru Māori and Māori Language Week
Although we have a stance that we should all be able to speak the indigenous language of New Zealand, many cannot.  Mahuru Māori is a month-long effort to increase efforts.  Māori language week is a bit smaller in terms of effort.  Mahuru Māori has started, and it is not too late to get involved, click on this.
Māori Language week will start the day of the next Newsletter!  We will be giving it heaps ‘Karawhiua!’ for the week as a school!
Why bother? On the fence? If not for you, for your child and their future.  Here’s a few research-based reasons to give it an effort for your tamariki:

  • A second (or third) language has a positive effect on intellectual growth and can enrich, and enhance a child’s mental development.
  • Leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.
  • Improve a child’s understanding of his/her first language (yes, the idea of only learning English because more will confuse children to learn more or there is not enough time is a very outdated idea).
  • Research shows bilingual students outperform native language-only students in many ways.  It also makes a third language easier to learn should they be thirsty for more.
  • Gives a child the ability to communicate with people s/he would otherwise not have the chance to communicate with.
  • Opens the door to other cultures and helps a child understand and appreciate people from other countries.
  • Bilingual students are more open-minded. It also helps students to be more social.
  • Increase job opportunities in the future as many careers it is a real asset to know another language.
  • Strengthen our ESOL students’ language acquisition as adding a third language may change the mix of language focus by adding more syntax rules and phonetics to master, it does not delay the learning of language; but rather strengthens it.
  • Promote the enjoyment of learning te Reo Māori.
  • Participate with understanding and confidence in situations where te Reo and Tikanga Māori predominate and integrate language and cultural understandings into their lives.
  • Strengthen Aotearoa New Zealand’s identity in the world.
  • Broaden their entrepreneurial and employment options to include work in an ever-increasing range of social, legal, educational, business, and professional settings.
  • Help students recognise the obligations of the Treaty of Waitangi and the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand. They will also learn that Te Reo Māori is indigenous to Aotearoa New Zealand. It is a taonga (treasure) recognised under the Treaty of Waitangi, a primary source of our nation’s self-knowledge and identity, and an official language.

And lastly from me, speaking Māori and understanding Māori culture is becoming a prerequisite in many jobs.  This is increasing exponentially.  It’s opening doors for our children that would otherwise be shut.  It is hard enough to get a job and/or one of pay you are happy with, and there is little doubt this will help.

Procedures you need to follow

Over the last few weeks, I have spent considerable time sorting avoidable issues.  This week’s newsletter will hopefully remind you of these procedures as it is easy to forget.

If you have an issue you would like discussed and resolved, please speak to your child’s teacher in the first instance.  Even if it does not involve the teacher, they will point you in the right direction.  This could be me, Dean (Deputy Principal), Clara (Assistant Principal), Jo (Special Education Needs Coordinator), a teacher who was on duty, etc.  Please do not try to talk directly to other children about relationships/friendships etc., this is our job.  Thank you in advance for this.

If you are on school grounds after 9 am and before 2.50 pm, please come directly to the office first.  From here, Shelley or I can call the class if your visit is for a pick-up i.e. to attend a dentist appointment, or we can deliver forgotten lunches.  Please do not go directly to a class to do this.  If you are staying for a period of time for a meeting, please sign in (see below).
Please follow this sign!
is below:
If visiting, stickers must be worn so staff and students know you are supposed to be here (see below). Please do not be offended when staff asks you where your sticker is.
If a child is late, stickers are given to the teacher by the student.
If leaving, stickers are taken with you in case a truancy officer asks you why your child is not at school when you are on the way to the dentist or wherever (this does happen but is not very common).

Below: This is how you should look if you are on site i.e. heading to classrooms for appointments or parent help.

Returning forms (Board voting papers, Lucky Book Club, anything for the office)
If you are dropping forms back to the office, please show your children the photo below. Feed the Cookie Monster! This is where all things for the office should go.  Any money should be in an envelope or bag clearly labeled, please.
This is the place for Board election returns. Thanks to all of those that have done this already!  We suggest doing it this week before it gets lost as you cannot get another form.

Mathletics Competition
We are challenging all senior students (Rooms 5-7) to complete as many Gold Bars as possible by the last day of the term (30th September) on the Mathletics website. 30 days to go!
How:   Go to ‘Explore’, then click ‘activities’, where they can pick the subject area they want to start with. There are about 100+ activities that can be completed.  To get a Gold Bar, you need 100% correct or at most, only one incorrect. You can repeat activities until you get this.  If an activity is hard, students should click on the ‘i’ button in the top right corner which teaches you / reminds you how to do it.
Half of their Gold Bars completed by the end of the term (roughly 1 per day) will put students in a draw for small prizes. (chocolate bars etc)
Three-Quarters of their Gold Bars completed by the end of the term (roughly 2 per day) will put students in a draw for medium prizes (vouchers for mini golf, movies, etc.)
Finished (100% completed)-this can be seen in the ‘My Progress’ section on the right side of the main page if you scroll down. Students will go into a draw for an Xbox Series S and other cool prizes.
Finished + 50% of the next year’s level (note-teachers move you up levels) -Students will go in the draw twice!
Rules: No ‘person’ (parent, brother, classmate, etc.) can give answers to any questions but they can help students. Calculators can be used but only if students have tried an activity a few times first without it.
Helpful hints: ‘Are you ready?’ and ‘something easier’, ‘something harder’ do not count in your total.

Languagenut Competition (optional but can be the whole school)
As above, we are doing a similar competition with Languagenut. This competition finishes in week 4 next term, so they have the holidays. Thursday 10 November is the finish day for this one! 71 days to go!
Language options for the competitions: Māori Language and a ‘home language’.
Definition of a home language: A language spoken by an immediate member of the family (i.e. a parent). But, if a parent is of ……….. descent but the language has been lost in the household, if the family is actively trying to recover it at their house, this is okay. If in doubt, check with your child’s teacher.
There are 4 levels:
Within each of the levels are 6 topics with 6 activities each. Therefore 36 activities per level. To complete an activity, students learn the words through practice and then complete the ‘quizzes’. To be complete, they need to achieve 100% on the Reading and Listening tests. We have found writing to be too difficult for children. This will then show a 50% achieved on the main page.
There will be prizes for each coloured level completed.  86 days to go.  One per day would get children close to finishing two levels.   Two per day would be close to completing all.
Like above, the more levels completed, the larger the prizes they will go in the draw for.
Get started today!!!! More information about prizes will come out but will be as good as the above Mathletics prizes! Go for gold!

Parish Car Park (reminder)
The parish has asked me to remind you to please not park in their car park before or after school.   We have a 3 min zone for dropping off or please walk them a little further!
Please respect their wishes!  Also, please do not make your child late by waiting until after 9am when parking may be available.

Enrolments (reminder)
Our lists are looking packed until 2027. If you have a child who is between 0-3 years old, please ensure we have their information if you are interested in them starting here. Waitlists definitely apply in this and next year at present.

Tuning into Kids (reminder)
Below is some information given to me by Hayley Tait, our Social Worker in Schools. I have heard that this programme is amazing.

Tuning into Kids
Emotionally Intelligent Parenting
A six-session parenting programme for parents of children aged 4 – 12 years

Would you like to learn how to:
    be better at talking with your child?
    be better at understanding your child?
    help your child learn to manage their emotions?
    help to prevent behaviour problems in your child?
    teach your child to deal with conflict?

Tuning in to Kids shows you how to help your child develop emotional intelligence.
Children with higher emotional intelligence:
    have greater success with making and keeping friends
    have better concentration at school
    are more able to calm down when upset or angry
    tend to have fewer childhood illnesses

Emotional intelligence may be a better predictor of academic and career success
than IQ!

Where:             44 Bealey Avenue
When:              Fridays, 16 th September- 4 th November (2 week break for school holidays)
Time:               9:30AM- 12:00PM
Facilitators:   Whitney and Nicole

Dallas Wichman