Dear Families

While the school website,  newsletter and our class pages are your primary sources of information, here is a brief outline of our Term Two focus.

The theme that will weave its way through the curriculum areas this term is staying healthy and safe, especially in response  to natural disasters . The major focus is on the Science and Health strands. The big idea is that being prepared and having knowledge is the best way to help ourselves and each other stay safe.  In age appropriate detail, we will explore ways that nature challenges us.   The children will build their scientific knowledge as they work in teams and individually.  They will have lots of opportunity to problem solve. Between classes and within groups a range of contexts will be used.

To give you an example; here is how the unit could be used to learn about flash floods in rivers. This would involve research such as finding out about the flow of a river from mountain to ocean, how a river forms and changes shape over time, and how flash floods  occur.   Activities would involve problem solving such as identifying safe and unsafe camping sites and appropriate responses if in a flood.  One approach could be to use a story character that must be kept safe in a flood e.g. the Gingerbread Man or Mowgli from the Jungle Book.  We don’t want to delve too deeply into the effects of disasters at this young age.

The Life Education van will visit this term. Our team has chosen a unit that builds knowledge about how our bodies work and what we need to stay healthy. It is likely that we will examine a heart or lungs from a sheep. Please email us if you do not want your child to be involved in this lesson.

Last term we had a te reo teacher give lessons once a week in Maori but this term we will continue on our own. We welcome the chance for Maori students to take a leadership role along with us, both with cultural aspects and te reo. Likewise, if you would like to be involved, please let us know.

You will be familiar with the homework given out by your child’s classroom teacher. Although there are some differences in approach, homework revolves around basic maths facts, spelling and reading.  Mathletics is our main homework programme but it is important to have a few basic facts as a focus each week that are practised, with an adult, many times in that week.  

The essential spelling lists are an easy way for you to check and move forward with spelling homework. Looking at spelling patterns is also helpful. Once children have mastered the essential lists it is time for them to develop dictionary skills and to extend their vocabulary. Words they can almost spell are appropriate for spelling practice.

The more advanced reading lessons become, the less the readers come home to read again.  Reading at home, independently and to your child is still important. Children should have a library book and update it regularly. They should be using a range of reading material. Remember bedtimemath.org provides mathematics and reading to share.

Travelwise week is coming up.  We will be reinforcing the importance of walking safely on footpaths and crossing at pedestrian crossings. From time to time members of the community phone to say they have concerns about children crossing the road in a dangerous manner. We encourage all children to walk down to the pedestrian crossing and avoid crossing Glamorgan Drive.

Cross Country is coming up in Week 7.   We are practising as a team in the weeks leading up to this.  It would be appreciated if children have suitable clothing and footwear or bare feet.

We have had our first session of hockey. You will be pleased to know that each class showed respect to Lara, our instructor. Thank you for instilling these manners.

We look forward to another productive and happy term. Thank you for your support.

With regards

Robyn Bennett  (Room 21)

Sue Hobin  (Room 20)

Anna Palmer  (Room 22