Newsletter #16 2023 / Pānui-ā-Kura #16 2023 (13/10/2023)

Ni sa bula vinaka kece sara (Greetings everyone),

Welcome to the week of the Vosa Vakaviti (Fijian Language). We only have a few children with links to Fiji, but we celebrate anyway. This year’s theme for Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti – Fijian Language Week is Me vakabulabulataki, vakamareqeti, ka vakaqaqacotaki na vosa vakaviti, which means, Nurture, Preserve and Sustain the Fijian language.

I know what you are thinking, that theme sounds similar to all the other language weeks. THAT’S BECAUSE IT IS!!! This year, the point is really trying to get out there that language is distinctly part of culture and they exist together. There is a general push back to ‘English’ being the most important language for everyone on this world. Yes it is a good bridging language as it is used in so many places, however many are recognising how important one’s indigenous culture’s language is, at the same time, some, especially young, don’t realise this and we don’t want them to live the saying/song, ‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone!’ in regards to their heritage language! Kia kaha tō reo tupuna! Keep your ancestors’ language strong!

Manu Kōrero Competition
During the last week of the term, at the same time as the National Manu Kōrero Competition at Ōtākou, we held a mini version. Students had challenges to present in their classes and then the best presented in assembly. Those that made it to the ‘big time’ were sung to by their classmates for their efforts. Thanks to Te Māio Tamati-Stirling for organising this and getting the prizes. Well done to all children who spoke! The photo is of Nathan and Marisa of Room 6 being sung to for their efforts!

Pilot Class (Letter sent home-for years 5-8 in 2024)
We are excited to present the opportunity in 2024 for up to 16 students to be a part of a pilot bilingual classroom for years 5 – 8. This classroom would move students from their current 30% of the day speaking and using Te Reo Māori to 50%. This is open to all students/families to express their interest, however, our management team will make the final decision especially where numbers exceed what can be catered for in 2024.

The benefits of this opportunity would mean students get:
-A small class size with a far lower student to teacher ratio as offered by the Ministry of Education. This will benefit all subjects (Māori, English, Mathematics etc).
– Increased funding to be spent on the classroom for resources and trips.
– Increased cultural competence – a necessity for many jobs in Aotearoa New Zealand.
– Increased likelihood of fluency of second/third language. To obtain fluent speakers of a language it takes a certain amount of time. 50/50 increases the likelihood of this far more than 1/3 of the time, especially if sustained for a few years.

Potential questions:
How will you meet the different needs of students between years 5 – 8?
This is something that happens in every classroom, teachers are always trained to cater to a wide range of needs. As this classroom will have a lower teacher to student ratio and increased teacher aide hours this will be even more manageable than a normal classroom.

Will this have negative social repercussions?
Students may have less time for current friendships but they will still be fully integrated at break times and they will combine with peers from other classes for different activities like sport. It also has potential social benefits – giving younger students role models to aspire to and older students the opportunity to lead.

How will we ensure that their English does not suffer?
We are choosing to start this classroom at year 5 because by this point students should be gaining fluency in their reading and writing skills. Essentially students will still be receiving the same amount of English literacy teaching as they would in a lower immersion level class, but with less students for the teacher to be spread between.

Will this run for more than a year and would they be with the same teacher?
At the moment, this is a pilot. We want to see data of gains in our key areas (Māori/English/Mathematics) that exceed other rooms. If so, we will look at how different teachers can lead it so it can be maintained or expanded throughout the school.

The decision for who will be included in the classroom will take into consideration their interest, current level of participation at immersion times, competency with learning and positive social groupings. In order to express your interest for your child please contact Dallas via; or face to face. As soon as possible please. We need 16 students in order to make this dream a reality. Confirmation of who will be in the class will be advised later in the term.

Prize Giving / Homework (senior)
A reminder that Mahi Kāika is due at the end of week 5 (Friday 10 November). As we say year in, year out, if your child wants to be considered for our excellence awards (our dux) at Prize Giving, this needs to be completed. Also, to receive the trip and badges/carvings. Remember there are only 10 challenges this year! (Down from 12 in previous years). Please remember they are found here.

A New Addition
Congratulations to the Tamati-Stirling whānau who had a baby boy in the break. We welcome Gray Hēmi Tamati-Stirling to the world. We wish the growing family all the best. Te Māio will be away on parental leave Thursday 12 October to Tuesday 18 October (back Wednesday). Matt Broren, a regular here will cover Room 6 most of these four days whilst the family adapt to being four strong.

Hip Hop Lessons
Last term we were fortunate to have Jobelle from Euphoria Dance Studio to teach our Filipino students a dance for the cultural festival. She has offered to run Hip Hop lessons at this school this term. These will be on a Tuesday starting next week 17 October at 3pm-4pm (10 weeks). The cost will be $150 for all ten weeks. If your child is interested, please provide their name and payment to the office before Monday 16 October. It will be first in first served as there a limited spots available.
Please note, as it is an outside of school company, we are just helping to ‘make it happen’. It is still the parents/caregivers responsibility to ensure they get there from school and are picked up on time, and a high behaviour standard is an expectation.

Youth Group
Please see the below for information regarding youth group. Today is for both groups!

Sexuality Teaching Lessons -Term 4
In term 4 as part of our health and physical education curriculum all classes will be undertaking our sexuality unit. This is taught in our school every two years. Our teaching is based on the recommendations from, The Framing Document – Human Sexuality Education: A guide for Catholic Communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Here are the focus statements and achievement objectives:

Upcoming Events / Ko kā mea e haere mai ana
Put on your calendar.  Email address for contact person should you need more information or have a question.  If no contact email, it is yet to be fully finalised  and contact will be added when contact is available.  There will be more events to come but the focus in the upcoming two weeks having all details.

Week 1 – Fijian Language Week / Last week of Mahuru Māori
Friday 12 October – Fijian Language Week – students of Fijian (Fijian Indian also) descent can wear cultural/traditional attire for the day!
Friday 12 October – Most teachers out on a course.
Friday 12 October – 3.15pm-4.15pm Gen 1:1 Youth Group (School Years 5-6), 4.30pm-6pm Crowns Youth Group (School Years 7-8)
Week 2
Monday 16 October – 3pm Hip Hop group enrolments due
Tuesday 17 October – Faith Team at Vinnies
Tuesday 17 October – Hip Hop group 3pm-4pm in the hall
Thursday 19 October – Touch Rugby 3.30pm Yrs 0/1-2, 4.05pm Yrs 3-4, 4.40pm Yrs 5-6, 5.15pm Yrs 7-8 McCormicks Bay Reserve
Friday 20 October – 4.30pm-6pm Crowns Youth Group (School Years 7-8)
Week 3 – Tokelau Language Week
Monday 23 October – Labour Day Holiday
Tuesday 24 October – Hip Hop group 3pm-4pm in the hall
Thursday 25 October – Touch Rugby 3.30pm Yrs 0/1-2, 4.05pm Yrs 3-4, 4.40pm Yrs 5-6, 5.15pm Yrs 7-8 McCormicks Bay Reserve
Friday 26 October – 3.15pm-4.15pm Gen 1:1 Youth Group (School Years 5-6), 4.30pm-6pm Crowns Youth Group (School Years 7-8)
Week 4
Monday 30 October – School Photos, correct summer uniform please
Sunday 5 November – 10.30am Mass (Room 2 and 6). Although it is Rooms 2 and 6, we have a student being baptised from our school so would love as many school students there as possible this Mass.
Week 5
Monday 6 November – Swimming begins (two weeks daily-9 days)
Friday 10 November – Mahi Kāika due
Week 6
Monday 13 November – Road Patrol training for 2024
Thursday 15 November – Last day of swimming
Friday 16 November – Show Day / Canterbury Anniversary public holiday
Week 7
Monday 20 November – Top Team Challenges Years 7/8
Week 8

Week 9

Week 10
Wednesday 13 December or Thursday 14 December – 2023 Prize Giving – Date and venue TBC
Friday 15 December – End of term Newsletter with classes etc.
Week 11
Tuesday 19 December
– Last day 2.50pm finish
Tuesday 19 December – Hip Hop group last day 3pm-4pm
Wednesday 20 December – 9am-12.30pm – Drop in and meet your new teacher and room (may not be super tidy at this point though)

Praying the Angelus
The month of October is the month of the Rosary. To celebrate this, we will be praying the Angelus daily at midday for the rest of the month. The Angelus is a Catholic prayer that is traditionally said three times daily, at 6 am, noon and 6 pm. The Angelus reminds us of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with great news! If you would like to pray the Angelus at home with your child, click on the links below!

Download the file (PDF, 762KB)

Vinaka vakalevu,
Dallas Wichman