Term 2 2018

Kia ora koutou.

Greetings to you all and welcome back to school. We hope you have all had a wonderful and relaxing break with your children.  We would also like to extend a special welcome to all the new families who have joined us this term.

We are thrilled with the wonderful start we have had to the year with the children quickly settling into their new classrooms. Already the children are demonstrating initiative in their structured work, class routines, duties, and general conduct, both inside and outside the classroom. We would like to also acknowledge the excellent support you give us and your children with ensuring homework is completed as well as your offers of assistance with activities inside and outside the classroom.

The Learning Links mentioned in this newsletter are home learning suggestions for how you can support your child’s learning at home. We hope you find these helpful. Thank you to all those family members who came to parent/children discussions last term. This was a great opportunity for your child and teacher to discuss their assessment results and learning pathway going forward. Together we are looking forward to yet another busy, engaging and productive term with your children!

Term 2 Theme: From Seed to Sandwich

We have a number of exciting learning experiences planned for students this term. We have integrated learning across curriculum areas around key concepts or big ideas to ensure students make connections and link their understanding.

Our term will start with a Science focus on the Living World-Making New Plants. Our enduring understandings are:

  • Flowers have to be pollinated before they can produce seeds.
  • Different parts of the flower have different functions.
  • The fertilised flowers of many plants form fruit that contains seeds.
  • Seeds have different features to aid dispersal and germination.

Our major curriculum Science focus will be investigating how heat causes change in bread making materials, observing, and describing the properties of yeast. This integrated unit will also have a minor Social Science and Technology focus. The children will identify and explain the significance of different bread types to the culture and heritage of communities as well as the wheat to bread process.


Students will continue to revise and develop their knowledge of the features of different writing structures including narrative, report, argument, recount, and description.

Learning Link

Writing: As part of our home school partnership we strongly encourage you to look for opportunities for purposeful writing at home. Try to provide opportunities for writing letters/emails to family and friends in other parts of the country or overseas. Play with words. Thinking of interesting words and discussing new ones can help increase the words your child uses when they write and speak. Share your own writing with your child–lists, planning for family events or an email. You can help them to see that you too use writing for different purposes.

Reading: Please remind your child to read every night for 15 (or more) minutes. They should be reading a wide range of fiction and nonfiction texts on a regular basis. Show an interest by asking them questions or talking to them about what they are reading. You could take them to the public library or read aloud to them. By reading the books your children are reading you will be able to have discussions with them. Reading to your children provides the opportunity to meet and discuss new vocabulary. You could try reading a classic to your child or a text which is slightly beyond their reading ability to stretch their language and content knowledge. A good website to practise developing children’s vocabulary is http://freerice.com/

You may also want to check out the National Library website at http://schools.natlib.govt.nz/creating-readers/community-readers/reading-home for some great suggestions on how to get your child to read at home.

Spelling: Your child will bring home spelling words each week. Get them to practise these words. They continue to practise grammar and spelling activities in class. In addition to this, test your child throughout the week and get them to learn any words they are unsure of. Some websites to try for spelling practice are-  http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/dynamo/

Spelling & Vocabulary Website: http://www.spellingcity.com/


This term our Numeracy Programme will continue to teach and revise Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division and Proportions and Ratios knowledge and strategies. It is important that your child continues to practise their basic facts for homework, as speed and accuracy will support this programme at school. This term our strand focuses are Measurement: length, area, perimeter, volume, capacity, weight and mass as well as Geometry – 2D and 3D shapes.

You can help them to learn their basic facts by encouraging them to study a particular times table or set of multiplication and division facts. They will know from their programme at school which basic facts they are up to learning. Once they have studied these you could ask them questions while doing the dishes together or travelling in the car etc. This on-going practice at home and school will help your child to gain more confidence with their mathematics. Please also encourage your child to complete the set tasks that have been assigned to them on their Mathletics accounts.

Physical Education

The Physical Education programme will focus at the start of the term on distance training and building stamina in the weeks leading up to the whole school Cross Country event. Students are encouraged to improve on their own personal best times whether running or power walking. Can your child please bring appropriate clothing to train in for sessions on Wednesday-Friday. As part of the KiwiSport initiative, our students will take part in a Kiwisport Badminton programme.

Home Learning Programme

All children in the team will be given homework to take home on Friday afternoons. If children would like feedback on their work they need to bring it back completed by the following Thursday. An information sheet with guidelines is glued into the front of your child’s homework book. Could you please read these guidelines as they may help to clarify any queries you may have about the programme.  We are very aware that many of our children and parents have very busy lives outside school and we are conscious that sometimes homework places additional pressure on children and families. We really appreciate the support and encouragement that you give your child with completing these independent tasks, and ask that you continue to help your child with learning their basic facts and spelling words to assist them with our programmes.

How You Can Help At Home

Homework is meant to be a positive experience and if you get involved, you can benefit too. You will get to know your child’s particular strengths and difficulties and you will also find out what they are studying. School will also gain by having motivated pupils and well-informed parents who are fully involved with their children’s education.

  • Let your child have a bit of time to unwind after school.
  • Decide together how long the homework will take.
  • Give them a snack and a drink before they start.
  • Choose a space where your child can do their homework – some children work better with music or background noise, but turn off the TV.
  • Get them to make sure they have everything they need before starting, such as pens, colour pencils, paper, glue stick, small containers for science experiments, or other projects, coloured card, cardboard. A set of ‘fun’ stationery just for homework can be a great motivator.
  • Encourage your child to learn and discuss the importance of homework.
  • Let your child show you their work and give positive and constructive feedback.
  • Celebrate your child’s achievements – help them find out what they’re good at and what they might need help with.
  • Make homework a special time that you both look forward to.

Outdoor Education Week

We had a most successful Outdoor Education Week with our students experiencing a variety of challenging outdoor activities. The students were provided with opportunities involving co-operation, trust, problem-solving, leadership, responsibility, communication, decision-making, goal setting, and reflection. There were also opportunities to develop attitudes and values such as respect for others, acceptance of difference, a sense of fair play, and a willingness to become involved. Such experiences specifically cover a wide variety of achievement aims from the Physical Education and Health curriculum. All other areas of the curriculum were integrated and transferred into the planning of classroom programmes.

Needless to say in order for any of these programmes to take place we require a large amount of parental assistance, so a special thank you to the many parents who put their names forward to assist us in these most valuable learning experiences.

If you have any concerns or queries about anything in this newsletter or anything regarding your child’s, learning, social or behavioural needs please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher. They are the people that will have the best insight and experience to deal with any issues that your child may be experiencing at school.  If the issues continue, you may be directed to Mrs Nicol (Team Leader), who may decide to follow it up with the senior management team if needed.




Final Note

As always thank you for your support, whether it be helping with homework, discussing school with your child, coming in and helping out, or encouraging your child in the background.  We always appreciate your time.


Kind Regards

Michaela Nicol (Team Leader)

Glenn Sheers

Imogen Field