Home Learning and our Structured Literacy Workshop

Kia ora whānau,

You will notice that there are some literacy Home Learning resources in your child's reading folder this week. These resources are to support what they are learning in their structured literacy lessons. More alphabet letters and resources, such as heart words will be added. 

If you have queries about the structured literacy programme or are interested to hear more about it, please join us for the workshop detailed below.

The Structured Literacy Approach: Parents and Caregivers workshop - understanding how our children learn to read.

Join us in the staffroom at 3.15 pm or 7:00pm on Tuesday 30th March 2021.

Caroline Morritt, our Resource Teacher of Literacy will explain this approach to teaching reading and writing. Based on the Science of Reading, Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto uses an explicit, systematic structured literacy approach to build a strong literacy foundation.

Decodable books support targeted classroom teaching of phonological awareness and blending and segmenting skills for accurate, automatic reading and spelling. 

Team Kahikatea (Lisa, Charlotte, Amber & Katie) 

School-wide Structured Literacy

 Kia ora Whanau,

This is an information letter providing an update around our school-wide approach to teaching Reading and Writing -  Structured Literacy. 

The Structured Literacy approach is based on over 40 years of world-wide academic research. It is an approach in which children are taught systematically and explicitly to firstly recognise speech sounds, as our brains are designed primarily to process speech. Reading and writing are human inventions, so it is vital we work from speech and then move to print. Children are taught to recognise individual words, syllables, onset sounds, rime and individual sounds in a word.

At the same time, children are gradually introduced to the letters of the alphabet and the sounds the letters represent. They are also taught to write the letters. As the children increase their letter/sound knowledge, they will be shown how to read and write words with these letters. 

The children will be learning to read using decodable books. Stage 1 of these books contain words the children can decode (sound out) using the first group of 8 letters (m, s, f, a, p, t, c and i). Stage 2 introduces 8 more letters, and so on. As the English language is not phonetic, the teachers will gradually introduce the spelling rules and patterns we need to know in order to read and write in English. The books we will be using follow a sequence and will support the teaching. 

Your child will not necessarily bring books home straight away. They need to know the first 8 letters and the sounds they represent, as well as the skills of segmenting and blending sounds, before being given a text. This is to ensure success and accurate reading, rather than guessing. In the first instance, we will be supplying you with flashcards for each of the sounds the children are being taught. Reinforcing the sounds they have learnt at school, when at home with you, will be extremely helpful for your child. 

In our Senior Classes the explicit, sequential teaching will be done with small target groups and also through daily whole class phonological awareness and spelling sessions.

When your child brings their Literacy Folder home (NE to Year 4), you will find literacy resources that you can use at home to support their learning. Please ensure the folder is returned to school the next day with all the resources inside.

We are excited to be helping the tamariki with our fun, engaging and evidence-based literacy programme this year.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your child’s Home Group Teacher.

Kōwhai News Term 1 Week 5

 Kia ora whānau, 

We have been a busy hub this week, starting into our new inquiry unit - exploring Canterbury historical life and how it has changed over time. Over the next few weeks the students will learn about the first waka to come to Aotearoa, changes in technology, fashion, school, animals, plants, housing and transport in Canterbury
. We will also be visiting Ferrymead for a day in Week 8. A notice about this will come out next week. 

We now have our library days set in stone for this term and they are as follows:

Nick and Rowe's homegroup - Monday

Laura's home group - Tuesday

Quynh and Meagan's homegroup - Wednesday. 

Please help your child by reminding them they need to bring their library folder with their books to return on their day of the week. 

During our Team Hui this week we had a discussion with the tamariki about our hub toilets, and making sure we keep them nice and tidy. We have had some instances of urine on the floor and around the toilet. Please help us by having a chat to your child about their toilet etiquette at school. Thank you! 

We have been busy in Discovery this week: 

We have been asked to pass on the following notice from the Southern Districts Cricket Club about Year 3/4 Girls Cricket. Please see the information below. 

Have a great weekend! 

The Kōwhai Team - Laura, Meagan, Rowe, Quynh and Nick 

Ferrymead Heritage Park – Final Reminders

 Kia ora whanau, 

We are all very excited to be going on our trip tomorrow! 

There has been a lot of organization going on behind the scenes by all our teacher to help make sure we have a safe and happy trip. 

Please take a look at this Social Story with your child BEFORE tomorrow. It has been shared with them at school already, however it would be helpful for them to take another look! 

Ferrymead Trip Social Story


Please apply sunblock before sending your child to school tomorrow. 

Everyone needs to have a drink bottle filled with water. 

Parent helpers: meet Lisa in our theatre at 8.30am. 

Thanks everyone! 

Team Kahikatea Term 1 Week 2

 Kia ora whanau, 

Thank you for coming to our Learning Conferences! It has been wonderful getting to know your child/children and hearing all about their strengths and learning goals for this year. 


There are many ways to contact your child's homegroup teacher and we encourage whanau to be proactive if there is any information you need to share with us. In the first instance,  please your child's homegroup teacher.  Alternately, each morning one of our teachers will be at the hub door to meet and greet your child/children and they can answer any questions you may have or pass a message to the homegroup teacher.  Teachers are in hubs from 8.30am and after school until 3.15pm should you need to meet face to face or  you can email your homegroups teacher to schedule a meeting time . 

Supporting your Child's Independence

We are thrilled to see so many of you are supporting your child/children's independence by dropping them off and letting them come inside by themselves in the morning to complete their daily routines. 

At the end of the day it would be helpful if you and your child had an agreed "meeting place". This could be the library steps, the hall steps, the flag pole or some other agreed spot or area outside the hub.  Thank you! This will help enormously with the congestion at the end of the day.

Can you help us on Fridays, 2-3pm?

Are there 1-2 parents available to help on Friday afternoons 2-3pm? We would love to take groups of children down to explore the ponds, but need additional adults to do so safely. Please email Charlotte at charlotte.verity@beckenham.school.nz if you are able to help. 

Here are some pictures of our gorgeous tamariki engaged in Learning Through Play: