Tēnā koutou katoa
Ngā mihi nui, kia koutou katoa – Warm greetings to you all.
Welcome back to school. We hope you have all had a relaxing break with your children and created some lovely memories together. We would also like to extend a special welcome to all the new families who have joined us this term.
Apart from the initial lockdowns at the start of the year, we have had a fantastic start to the year with the children settling into their new classrooms and diligently carrying out their school-wide responsibilities. We would like to also acknowledge the excellent support you give us and your children. Working with parents and whānau as partners in learning is important to us so that we can enhance the academic and social outcomes for all our learners.
Outdoor Education Week
We had a brilliant Outdoor Education Week, with our students experiencing a variety of challenging outdoor activities. The programme provided an excellent learning environment for students to grow and develop their competencies as self-managers, thinkers, communicators, team players and contributors. It was great to see many displays of inclusion, encouragement, participation and perseverance. They had many opportunities to test their personal limits through a variety of physical challenges! 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.
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!
We have an exciting term ahead of us with 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 carryover of our Social Science inquiry from Term 1“ANZACs and Us”. We will continue to look in-depth at the specific events that took place at Gallipoli and how it has affected the lives of New Zealanders in the past and today.
We will investigate and understand relationships between planet Earth and its solar system, galaxy, and the universe. This will lead us into Matariki, the Maori New Year. This is an important festival that reflects our bi-cultural heritage. Matariki provides an ideal opportunity for us to explore the ways that people pass on and sustain aspects of their culture and heritage. We plan to have a team Matariki Day on Tuesday 22 June and a Matariki Kai time (shared lunch) on Wednesday 7 July.
Students will continue to revise and develop their knowledge of the features of different writing structures including narrative, report, argument, recount, and description.
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.
Please remind your child to read every night for 15 (or more) minutes. Your child also has a Reading Eggspress account. Website: https://readingeggs.co.nz/ Please take the time to sit with your child and look at the programme and the activities it offers. 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.
Your child has a subscription to Vocabulary A-Z. Your child’s teacher will have sent home information about this programme and your child’s username and password. This is an excellent programme we are using at school and we would encourage you to use it at home as well. Children will continue to practise grammar and spelling activities in class. Vocabulary A-Z Website: https://www.vocabularya-z.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 at home, 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. Website: http://nz.mathletics.com/
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. We have timetabled these sessions for Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays. Our school cross country will be held on Thursday 10th June with a Save Day on Friday 11th June. As part of the KiwiSport initiative, our students will take part in a 6-week Endzone American Football Programme. This starts on Tuesday 4 May.
If you have any concerns or queries about anything in this newsletter or anything regarding your child’s, learning, social or behavioural needs please do not 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.
Please note on your calendars that we will be closed on Friday 4 June for a teacher only day and Monday 7th June for Queen’s Birthday public holiday.
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.
Michaela Nicol (Team Leader)
Nicola Le Lievre