Kōwhai News Week 9 Term 1

 Kia ora whānau, 

It was a gorgeous day today for our first house games of 2021! This week we finished our inquiry rotations exploring historical change in Aotearoa. Over the last five weeks the students have investigated our first travellers to Aotearoa, housing, toys, technology, fashion, transport and created their own ships and pa's using Minecraft for Education. We explored the past, the current day and talked about how things could change in the future as well. We will be focusing on art for our final few weeks of this term during Inquiry time. 

Some of our Kōwhai kids have been taking part in various sporting events over the last few weeks. Jenny has shared a few photos of miniball practise and the students who participated in a mountain bike race in Hanmer. Well done to Laura and Ben Stoney, Archie Chapman, Izzy Clark, Kaio Herangi, Kawa Taylor and Nick Reedy.  

Structured Literacy
Thank you to all the parents who came to the Structured Literacy presentations by Caroline on Tuesday. If you were unable to attend there will be a video available of this soon.

Some parents asked about the sounds of our letters in New Zealand. Here is a video that helpfully shares the 44 sounds of New Zealand English. 

Learning Conferences
Week 11 - Monday 12th April and Wednesday 14th April

School will close at 2pm on both days, to allow Learning Conferences to begin at 2:15pm.

Please go onto the School Interviews website and use the code kk64k to book your learning conference. The Learning Conferences are for 15mins each, except for Year 7/8 where you need to book a 15-minute slot, but allow 30 mins (it works!)

The focus of these Learning Conferences will be to update you on how your child has settled into the school year, and to give you a picture of the areas of focus they are working on, particularly in numeracy and literacy.

Have a lovely long weekend!
See you on Wednesday the 7th.

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

Whole School Structured Literacy

 Kia ora whānau,

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.

Your child may bring their Literacy Folder home (NE to Year 4). Inside 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. If your child does not bring a Literacy Folder home, they can choose a book of their choice to read, to continue to support their literacy development.

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 Netball Term 2

Kia ora whānau,

This is a notice about forming a Year 3/4 Netball team this year. This would involve playing a game once a week at the Christchurch Netball Centre in Hagley Park. The games will be on Friday afternoons, starting in Term 2 and running through to around the middle of Term 3. Parents will need to take their child to and from the courts each week for the games. Practices will happen at school once a week either during lunchtime or after school. 

If you would like your child to play in a netball team representing Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto, please e-mail Rowe back immediately and she will forward these onto Carolyn Aitken, who is the parent in charge of Year 3/4 netball.  We currently need at least four more players to create a team. Please email Rowe by Thursday the 18th of March.

We also need some support from parents. If you are interested in helping with coaching please let Rowe know.  Coaching is easy, as skills and drills are provided, with easy to follow weekly plans. 

Thank you so much.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Rowena Barker


Kōwhai Trip to Ferrymead

Kia ora whānau,

We are very excited about our upcoming trip to Ferrymead Heritage Park on the 23rd and 24th of March. This trip links strongly to our theme of ‘Change’ and the main focus will be on heritage life and development/change over time. 

The following homegroups will be visiting on these days:

Tuesday 23rd March - Nick and Meagan’s homegroups

Wednesday 24th March - Laura, Rowe and Quynh’s homegroups

On each trip, our tamariki will be divided into four groups and participate in the following workshops:

  • Heritage school
  • Picnic games 
  • Bakery
  • Heritage accommodation 

We will also go on the tram, have a tour around the village and dress up in old fashioned clothing.

On the day of the trip, your child/children will need to:

  • Be at school by 8:45am
  • Bring a filling morning tea and lunch in their lunchbox
  • Bring a full water bottle
  • Have sunblock applied before arriving
  • Ensure their sunhat is at school (if unsure, send a spare)
  • Bring a light waterproof layer if it appears overcast
  • Wear comfortable shoes

We will need approximately 2-3 whānau helpers for each homegroup. This will involve helping to oversee small groups of learners, supporting food breaks and joining in with activities. 

Please make contact asap with your child’s home group teacher if you are able to help us on the day. 

Unfortunately, there are limited numbers of helpers, so if you miss out this time there will be more opportunities later in the year to help. For health and safety reasons we are unable to accommodate siblings/preschoolers. We do have some room for whānau who need to come with us on the bus, otherwise there is ample parking at Ferrymead. 

We will be in contact with those parents who will be coming along next week. 

The cost of this trip is covered by your school contribution. 

Ngā mihi nui,

Team Kōwhai






Kōwhai News Term 1 Week 3 2021

Kia ora Kōwhai whānau, 

We have had a great Week 3 in the Kōwhai Hub - our first full five day week! The students have been enjoying continuing with the water play (when the weather has allowed!) and the students who chose not to participate in water play have had a fun time enjoying various art activities. 

Today was the last day of water play as we start our new inquiry unit topic next week. Our inquiry focus this year is Change and we are starting explore this by looking at historical changes around Canterbury - from the first waka to our shores, to today. 

To start off our inquiry learning journey about historical Canterbury… Next Thursday, Kōwhai children will be boarding the Kōwhai Hub Ship, recreating the 1800’s immigration from Europe to Aotearoa New Zealand. Please bring any blankets, pillows, pegs, and ropes that you have to help build the ship’s cabins. Please make sure everything is named. 

We have started our Kapa Haka lessons for the year with Whaea Cath. We have also been learning about rakau (stick) games in the hub. The students will be creating their own rakau over the coming weeks. We are still looking for newspapers and magazines to help create these - so if you have any spare at home, please send them in with your child. 

We have added a doll house into our learning through play activity. If you have any spare toys at home that you no longer use and that would suit imagination play in a doll house, please send them in with your child. 

Here are some pictures of our learning though play activities this week. 

Have a lovely weekend. 

Ngā mihi, 

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