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Friday, 9 December 2016

Week 10

Kia ora Tatou, 

It is with sadness that I write our last email for the year.  What a fabulous year we have had with your  children.  We have been so lucky to have such outstanding parent support, and your presence in the classroom has helped to create a warm, secure environment for the children. The many opportunities they have had over this year are due to such willingness and it has been gratefully received.  It will be hard to say goodbye on Wednesday but we are very much hoping that both the children (and their parents!) will continue to pop into the class to catch up from time to time.   

Classes for next year will have come home with reports.  Any queries please don’t hesitate to ask or email. 

We would also like to say a HUGE thank you to Gina Bellward, Jacobs mum, who has volunteered countless hours in the Kowhanga to support the children.  Through baking, art, literacy experiences and one-one assistance with children we have benefited from her kindness and many talents.   Gina, you are truely AMAZING!! 

With only two and half days left of the year we are very much in pack up mode.  The children will have brought home their end of year reports and most of their school books on Friday, with only a few items still to come home. 

Charlottes Web

Our current chapter book that we are reading together is ‘Charlotte’s Web’. Unfortunately we are only half way through, and it doesn’t look like we will get to finish it together this year.  The children have really enjoyed the story so far - if you have it at home or are able to borrow from the library I’m sure they would love to finish it with you. 

We are very much hoping that the children will continue to read, write and practice their addition, subtraction and skip counting over the holidays, and continue to use the strategies they have been recently been developing. While it isn’t always easy to get early readers from the library there are often parts of picture books that children can read along with you. We are expecting that their Reading Eggs login will continue through until the February (although don’t quote me on that one…). This has many readers that they can access, with comprehension activities. 

Hutt Valley High School visit

On Monday morning  at 9am our Hutt Valley High School buddies will return to our class to deliver their stories to the children.   The students have been writing short stories based on their buddies interests, and drawing their illustrations. 


We will then go to swimming, as per usual, at 10.15 (both Monday and Tuesday sessions will be at Huia Pool). Big thanks to Maria, Gina, Gulsoon, Liz, Jamie (and anyone else I have missed!) who have helped out at the pool.  Thanks also for ensuring that they come to school with their togs each day. 

Class Party and Secret Santa

On Monday at 12pm (when we return from swimming) we will hold our class party.  It would be appreciated if each child could bring a small plate of food to share. Please still pack morning tea, and possibly something small for lunch.  We will also do our Secret Santa at this time. These can still be delivered to the classroom on Monday morning.   
After lunch on Monday we will have our fun time.  The weather forecast isn’t looking particularly good with showers and southerlies forecast, but if it clears we will get out for that long -overdue water fun. 


Swimmimg continues, and in the afternoon the children will watch a Christmas movie in class. 


We have our final assembly at 11.30, due to finish at 12.30.  Children can be collected from the class at 12.30pm.  School officially closes at 1pm. 

Hopefully we will see you all before the end of term but wishing everyone a very happy, relaxing and family-filled Christmas and safe holiday. 

Claire and Amy 

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Week 9

Hi all, 

I Hope you are  surviving the busyness that comes with this time of year and that you are managing to stay afloat.  I hope you are still finding some time to stop and have some time to relax. 

  • Each morning (Monday-Thursday) we will have swimming at Huia Pool, with paid instructors.   The times will be the same: we will leave school just after 10am and return to school by 11.45am.  On Friday we will be having lessons at McKenzie Pool.  Any parent help is appreciated.  HUGE thanks to the Fundraising Committee and their many hours of fundraising for providing this fantastic and very necessary learning experience for our children!
  • Lessons will continue on Monday and Tuesday of next week, with no lessons on Wednesday 14th. 
  • On Monday afternoon we will have Discovery  for the children, which will include a variety of activities including woodwork, water fun, arts and craft. The children may want to bring a spare dry towel in case the water play gets exciting.  
  • On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon we will be watching the school Talent Quest. On Thursday afternoon we are lucky enough to have Grace Davey (Milton’s mum) bring her very talented music students to school to share their amazing talents.  
  • Our Carols Evening is on Wednesday night, and the Fundraising Committee are kindly providing a sausage sizzle for all, starting at 5.15pm.  Carols will kick off in the hall at 6pm. 
  • On Friday the children will visit their class for next year and their reports will come home. Books will also come home on Friday. 
  • Next Monday 12th Dec we are planning our class party when we return from swimming. We are keen to make this a shared lunch, and we are hoping that each child could bring a unisex Secret Santa present to pop under the tree. A notice will come home about this tomorrow. In the afternoon we will partake in some seriously fun activities, which will be the children’s choice.  We will keep you informed….and feel free to join us! 
  • Next Tuesday afternoon (13th) we will celebrate the end of term with a Christmas movie in the Kowhanga. 
  • School finishes next Wednesday 14th December at 1pm, with the final assembly beginning at 11.30am. 

Yay, I think that is it, but we will pop anything else up on Seesaw if we have forgotten anything…. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 

Monday, 28 November 2016

A visit form Hutt Valley High School

On Monday we were lucky enough to have a Year 9 Hutt Valley High School class spend some time in our Kowhanga.  The children shared a little bit about themselves with their big buddies, who will spend the next couple of weeks creating a personalised story for the children.  We had a fabulous morning and loved all the attention from big kids!



Today we were lucky enough to have Mr Nash visit our Kowhanga to teach us about sides, and the tricks of inside and outside.  Mr Nash made mobius strips and we made guesses about how many sides are created when paper is twisted and joined.

First we cut a loop of paper that had two sides, and we wanted to see what would happen if cut it length ways.

This created two loops, both with skinny sides.

Then we created a twist in the paper before we cut it length ways.  We checked and it only had one side.

 This created one large loop with two sides. 

Then we twisted the paper twice  and cut the paper length ways.  This had two sides.

This created two loops which were linked like a chain.

What will happen if we twist the paper three times?

Then we created two loops which were twisted and linked together. One of them had a clockwise twist, one of them had an anticlockwise twist.

It created two interlocking hearts!

Then we made a trihexaflexagon where we turned the inside of a hexagon to the outside.  We created a secret third side...

Find a line, crease it, push it's bottom in, there's the secret side!

Friday, 25 November 2016

Week 8

Morning all!  

We had a couple of successful days of swimming on Thursday and Friday where we grouped the children, spent some time doing structured lessons and had some time playing games.  Thankfully the pool was heated and much warmer under the water than above!  We were so impressed with the level of independence from all the children with dressing and undressing. So fabulous!  There is no swimming next week and we will begin again on Monday 5th December at Huia Pool.  

Our Education Outside the Classroom begins next week with lots of fun activities planned.  While it is a busy week we will continue to read with the children wherever possible.  The children will still bring a reader home with them each day and it would be appreciated if you continue to read with them at night, as this is our last week of guided reading.  If you have any readers still at home please start to send these back as all readers have to be back in by the end of the week.  


Visitors 9am-11am
On Monday morning the Kowhanga will welcome a Hutt Valley High School Year 9 English class, and our children will spend time with a buddy talking about their interests, likes, dislikes, and family.  We have already spent some time during writing planning for this, and the high school students will take this information away and create a personalised storybook for each child. We plan to get together before the end of the year to receive these books.  We are excited that some of our teaching parents from Hutt Valley High will also join us.  A fun opportunity to make some connections.  

Athletics fun day: 11am - 12.30pm 
If the weather  permits the Junior Syndicate will be partaking in an athletics fun morning where they will play a variety of games that help develop the fundamental skills of athletics.  This will include sack races (jumping) (three legged races (coordination); Tidy Your Room and The Gauntlet of Fire (throwing) and some other activities.  Parents are welcome to join us. 


Athletics fun day - postponement day

 Middles and Seniors talent quest  in the afternoon 


Trip to Jubilee Park
Thanks to the parents who are able to join us on this trip.  While the long range weather forecast isn’t looking promising we hope that it will clear.  Please ensure your child has a packed morning tea, good walking shoes and a warm jersey/coat.  There is a hill at Jubilee Park which is AWESOME to slide down - if anyone has any large  cardboard boxes lying around at home we would be very happy to take these off your hands and make some sleds!  

Middles and Seniors talent quest in the afternoon


Junior Talent Quest in the afternoon
For anyone that would like to share their talents!  This is entirely optional.  

Dress Up Day 
Come dressed as WHATEVER you want to (children, not parents, although parents are welcome too!)  We will have discovery resources available in the morning for children to create accessories if they choose.  We will also have a wee disco/dance party. 

Week 9: 

We will have swimming each morning at Huia Pool, at the same time (leaving school just after 10 and returning to school by 11.45am.  We will be travelling by bus. 

In the afternoons we will be setting up woodwork, art and craft activities for the children.  Please send your child to school in clothes that are suitable for having lots of fun in.  Children are welcome to bring named water toys to school and we can store them in the classroom during the week. 

Week 10: 

We are tentatively planning to have our class party on Monday afternoon (12th Dec) and we have our fingers crossed that there won’t be any full school events that will change this …but we will confirm this next week.  The loose plan is to have a shared lunch after swimming (around12pm) and then spend the afternoon doing something super-fun. The children will decide what this will be. 

Yay, I think that is it!  

Take care and have a relaxing weekend. Any queries flick us an email. 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Week 6

Firstly, many thanks to our superb team of parents who joined us on Wednesday for our trip to the SPCA.  We were fortunate to have had the only fine day last week and we made the most of it with a walk through the town belt to the Velodrome for lunch.  We returned back to the SPCA via a ‘secret’ hill track which involved lots of climbing. Such enthusiasm!  Over the next few weeks we will continue to look at how we can care for animals, and we will let the children lead us in their inquiries into pets.  

Thanks again to the parents who responded to our survey about learning in our Kowhanga.  The workshop went really well and there was lots of interest from other teachers.  We very much appreciated your constructive feedback and we will certainly move forward next year with the feedback in mind.  If you would still like to comment on anything the survey is still open. 

Our writing focus continues to be on how we can ‘hook’ our reader; use of description to add interest; and mastering punctuation in our writing.  It is always exciting to see the quality content the children include in their writing after a real experience, such as our SPCA trip, or hands on learning in class, and they all wrote with vigour last week!  

Our Friday construction sessions will continue this week - the children are LOVING it!  I am sure you are all very appreciative of the wonderful, HUGE creations they are bringing home on a Friday afternoon (!!!)  Experiences such as these allow for the development of so many skills: team work, creativity, innovation, communication…the list goes on.  Love it!  

In a couple of weeks we will begin our full -school swimming lessons, which will be held at Huia Pool and McKenzie Pool.  We will need parent help for these trips: if you think you may be available to join us we will be very happy to hear from you.  Our two  sessions will be on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th November at McKenzie Pool (the end of next week).  We then break for a week, and continue with lessons on Monday 5th December, and then through until Tuesday 13th December.  More information will come home this week with times etc.  We require the children to be able to dress and undress independently before and after the lessons, and it would be great if you could practise this at home.  

  In our Kowhanga we try to motivate children less with rewards, like stickers and treats, but rather motivate children to succeed through their own sense of challenge and achievement.  We do however have a class system that we call 'bucket filling', and celebrates kindness, awareness of others, teamwork, and celebrating their own and others successes. The class works together on this common goal, earning pom poms which go into a jar.  When the jar is full we plan to celebrate together in some way - a water day, a trip, a party, the children will decide.  This will probably be during Week 9, and we would love families to join us (if you are free).  More information to come as our jar gets closer to the top! 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend - it’s nice to have a bit of a break in the weather! 

Wednesday, 9 November 2016



Yesterday we went on an exciting trip to the Wellington SPCA to learn more about the welfare of animals. A bus trip, watching surgery and exploring the town belt added to this exciting day. Huge thanks to the many wonderful parents who joined us 😊