Matariki Newsletter Term 4 2019

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Welcome to the final term for 2019, and for some, your first time at school. We welcome Mrs Justine Seed to our teaching team.

This is a busy term both at school and in home lives. With longer summer evenings and the many events that families often participate in, particularly through November and December, children often become out of routine and very tired. Please be mindful of the impact this has on young children.

This term sunhats are compulsory and water bottles are highly recommended. Please remember to name all belongings.

To contact us:

Room 4: Mrs Jo Barker and Mrs Steph Masefield

Room 16 Mrs Helen Barlow and Miss Becky Taylor

Room 2: Mrs Kate Koman

Room 1: Mrs Angela Stoffberg

Room 25: Mrs Justine Seed


We find email contact with parents an effective way to keep in touch, especially those who are not able to visit the school regularly. We encourage you to email us. Please email us a short message so we can create a class list to help us with contacting everyone.

If you have an urgent message, please contact the school office as teachers do not check emails during teaching time.

Food and rubbish at school:

We are a litter-free school. We ask that you transfer food from its packaging to lidded containers or use a lunchbox with separate compartments. Please try to provide a healthy lunch and snack options for your child. A sandwich, wrap or sushi together with fruit or vege and a small biscuit or cake treat are always good options.

Remember we do not allow nuts, nut spreads, muesli bars or eggs to be eaten at school due to children with severe nut and egg allergies.

Water bottles are essential.

Any rubbish from lunches will be returned home in the lunchbox.

School Hours:

School begins at 9am. It is important for your child to be ready for learning at this time. Please help them to arrive at school with time to manage their belongings and settle. We find it difficult to settle our classes when parents are saying goodbye or children are arriving as the bell goes. Your help with this would be appreciated. If your child arrives after the school bell, please teach them to walk around the office and in to our area as the safety latches on the gates are not able to be opened by children. It is important they report to “Mrs Watson’s window”.

Please be aware that our junior area is gated.  If you use the drop off zone in the mornings please drop your child by the shelter (not at the entrance by the caretaker’s room) and teach them to walk up past the office and all the way around through the gate by Mrs Watson’s window (this is the only one left open in the morning). Children are unable to open the other gates and may injure themselves if they try to climb the others.

Term Learning Focus

Our final term of learning this year will be focused on aspects of safety (road, sun and water).

We will also be making use of our outdoor environment to learn about native birds and plants. A key aspect of this will be the importance of our guardianship over the land, and the need for us to take care and respect our place.

School Poetry Competition

Every year our school holds a poetry competition. This begins with every student memorising a poem to present to their class. Students are then selected to represent their class at the Team Competition and then may be selected to present in the finals at the School Competition.

Your child will need to learn a poem to present in mid November. The more time you work together on this to memorise it and get it ready to present, the better. The judging criteria includes: volume, expression, props, and audience engagement.

PE Programme

Our PE focus this term is on the foundation skills for athletics (run, jump and throw). This will include our junior athletics morning on Monday 4th November.

Play Based Learning:

We believe that children learn best through play and all classes in Matariki/Team 1 use this approach.

The excerpts below are from an article about “Risky Play” by Tanya Valentin

When we support children to take risks we reinforce that we trust them, and will support them with gentle guidance to achieve their goals.  Our hope is that our children see challenges as part of learning and that learning is rewarding; that they can achieve anything with the right strategies, help and effort.

The ability to revel in risk-taking allows children to develop a growth mindset.  By developing a growth mindset, our children will be more likely to try new things, persist with difficulty, put their hand up in class to ask a question or to volunteer an idea.  In later years this mindset will stand them in good stead when applying for a job, backing their ideas in a staff meeting, asking for that raise, or even asking someone out on a date.

Not taking risks can lead children to have a fixed mindset about trying new things and they tend to play it safe.  There is a tendency for children who are not allowed to take risks in the playground to strive for perfection and for them to give up or not even try if this perceived perfection cannot be achieved.

Play, especially risky play, helps children to develop their executive function – the parts of the brain in charge of decision-making.  You see children don’t learn to make decisions by being told what to do.  They learn to make decisions by making decisions.

Instead of “Be careful”  try fostering the child’s awareness by saying:

  • Notice how  – the log is slippery, the branch is strong
  • Do you see.. the running water, the long grass, your friends nearby?
  • Try moving… your feet quickly, carefully, strongly
  • Try using your … arms, legs, hands, feet
  • Can you hear…. rushing water, the wind, birds?
  • Do you feel …. Stable on that rock, the heat from the fire?
  • Are you feeling … excited, frustrated, tired, scared, safe?

Help the child to problem solve by prompting:

  • What is your plan…
  • What can you use….
  • Where will you…
  • How will you…
  • Who will…

(adapted from

The full article can be found on

Dates for your diary:

Please read the notes in the school newsletter (emailed to you and available on the school website) and on the school noticeboard as additional information is available on these.


Junior Athletics Day: Monday 4th November

Class and individual photos (all Matariki classes): Monday 11th November

School Poetry Competition: Thursday 28th November

Reports and class placements home: Thursday 12th December

Matariki End of Year Celebration: Monday 16th December

Last day of School: Tuesday 17th December (closes at 1pm)


Many thanks from us all for your interest and support. Please do not hesitate to come and see us or email us if you would like to discuss anything.


Kind regards

Jo Barker, Helen Barlow, Kate Koman, Justine Seed, Angela Stoffberg, Becky Taylor and Steph Masefield (Team Leader)