Matariki Team 1 Newsletter Term 1 2020

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Welcome back to you all and a special welcome to our new families and children turning 5. We are excited about the year ahead and look forward to establishing and maintaining good relationships with you and your child.

Sun safety is important to us. Sunhats are compulsory this term. Please also put sunscreen on your child before they come to school and supply a small amount for them to reapply during the day. Small reusable lidded containers are often better than the whole bottle or tube.

To contact us:

Room 2: Mrs Kate Koman

Room 4: Mrs Jo Barker Mrs Steffi Duffin and Mrs Steph Masefield

Room 16 Mrs Helen Barlow and Miss Chloe Spencer


Mrs Duffin will be transferring to Room 1 later in the year and will take some children from Room 4 with her.

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

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.

February 6th Waitangi Day, School closed.

February 12th Meet the teacher evening. (In your child’s class at 6:30)

March 13th School Assembly led by Team 1

March 26th Parent Teacher Discussions

March 27th Big Day In (whole school rotation of activities in mixed age teams)

April 8th School Anzac Ceremony (Term 1 ends)


We expect that you will see your child coming home happy and enthusiastic, albeit perhaps a little dirty. Learning is messy, both emotionally and physically. Your child may come home having had a day of challenges in learning both new academic skills and in working through issues as they form and maintain relationships. Allowing quiet, uninterrupted time for your child to process is an important part of learning. Encourage your child to take time with limited external stimuli.


Emergency Supplies:

In the unlikely event of a situation where the school is placed in a Lockdown, we have supplies in the classroom. We ask that each child brings a non-perishable item, which they will eat, in to their class. This could be a canned item (with a ring pull tab) or a long-life packaged item. Please write your child’s name on the item. At the end of the year, if unused, you can collect your item or they are donated to a foodbank.


Food at school:

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 for the long hot days.

We are a rubbish free school and encourage you to reduce the use of plastic and rubbish. Reusable containers with lids are ideal to keep lunch foods separate and fresh. Please remove any food from packaging and use small lidded containers, divided lunchboxes or reusable honey waxed cotton wrap. Any and all rubbish from lunchboxes will be sent home.


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 help them to get through the gates as the safety latches are not able to be opened by children. It is important they report to “Mrs Watson’s window”.


Term 1 Learning Focus

To begin the year we will be focusing on settling in to school life, getting to know our class mates and ourselves as learners. We will learn about the skills necessary for learning both individually and in a group.


Outdoor play is an integral part of our programme. Please put a complete change of clothes in a named bag. This will be left on your child’s bag hook and, when used, the dirty or wet clothes will be returned home for a new set to come to school.


PE Programme

Our perceptual motor programme will start in week 5. This is a co-ordination programme for which we will need parent helpers to commit to one or two weekly sessions. Please see your class teacher or contact if you are able to help us provide this for your children.


Pool use

Class teachers will be taking water confidence sessions in the school pool, beginning Monday 10th February. These will be daily for 2 weeks. Teachers are in the water with the children. Our school pool is shallow at one end and children stay in the areas they are comfortable. Please ensure your child has togs, towel and, if you wish, a cap and/or goggles. Longer hair must be tied up.

Please send your children to school in clothes they are able to get out of and back in to independently.

A warm layer to put on after swimming, for a short time, is recommended.



If you have a source for any of the following, please let your class teacher know. We would like:

napkin rings

large cotton reels

PVC piping

PVC guttering


Outdoor wooden cable reels


Play Based Learning:

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

We encourage children to be engaged in playing which is independently begun; independently continued, extended and adapted; and independently ended.

As children settle in to Matariki and school life, we are helping them to begin to answer the following questions:


Who am I?

What am I capable of?

Where do I fit?

What is my purpose?


Many thanks from us all for your interest and support. Please don’t hesitate to come and see us or email us if you would like to discuss anything. We look forward to meeting with you on Wednesday 12th February.


Kind regards

Jo Barker, Helen Barlow, Steffi Duffin, Kate Koman, Chloe Spencer and Steph Masefield (Team Leader)