Nearly there!

Tuesday 26th May, 2020

Kia ora koutou,

The new play space is VERY close to completion with the final paths and gardens being completed this week (25/5/2020). Tony (from Greenscapes) and the rest of the Greenscapes team aim to be finished by Friday 29th May. We are in the process of being gifted a name for this area from Ngāi Tahu and hope to have this finalised by the end of the week, too.  The development of this play space has taken a long timed due to the complex nature of the ground and we are so excited to have it ready to be used by our tamariki next week!

At this stage, our plans (still to be confirmed) are to open the play space next Tuesday, 2nd June, just before lunch. At this stage with the Level 2 restrictions, this will just involve the students. We have asked Greenscapes to keep the fences up until Tuesday morning to prevent people from going on it until we have formally  opened the space.

We need all of our community to look after and care for this space by being the Kaitiakitanga - the guardians - of the area. We will be teaching the children the importance of doing the following to nurture and care for this area.

We only walk on the paths 

We stay off the gardens
Only one person on each slide at a time and we only go 'down' the slide
We can play in the river
The bark needs to stay on the ground

and, for the meantime, we stay off the grass (whilst the Ready-Lawn is taking)

Moving Forward...

We will be planning another working bee to install some small huts in this play space and in the gardens by the hall. The new area still needs the Sensory Garden, nets for the balance play area and some willow tee-pees to be installed. However, the ready-lawn grass needs to be established before we layer anything else on top.

The Outdoor Spaces team will be working on the next staging plans across the school on Friday. Some of the plans we will hope to action next include; 
* Creating a new all-seasons mini football pitch at the end of Tahaki
* line markings for games on the asphalt across the school
* Seating for students and parents

That's all for now. We just wanted to keep you 'in the loop' with where we are at. 

Ngā mihi nui
Outdoor Spaces Team

Kōwhai News Week 8

Here is the latest from the Kōwhai team.

Kapa Haka

Last week, we began our Kōwhai Kapa Haka programme with Whaea Cath. She will be taking the whole team for kapa haka each Friday so all children can experience kapa haka. We are lucky to be able to provide this opportunity for our students. Here we are in action as we learn the actions to a new karakia.


A huge thank you goes out to Nathan, Jamie and Mike who kindly offered to coach our three miniball teams this term. Without your support, we would not have been able to enter teams into the Pioneer competition. We very much appreciate the time you have given to encourage, coach and support our tamariki with beginner basketball skills. 
Due to the term, being cut short, please keep your child's miniball top in a safe place. We need these to be returned to school when it reopens next term.

Learning Through Play

We have seen many of the children lifting the level of their learning during our Te Taikario time each day. There has been a huge improvement across the team especially in relation to problem-solving, being creative, working co-operatively and asking questions for inquiry. Here are some of the activities the children have been undertaking.

Learning at Home

As Sandy explained in her post earlier in the week, the holidays have been brought forward to the start of next week. We understand that every family will be different and as you settle in to this new normal, schoolwork may be far from a priority for you. Below we have listed some learning activities that are part of the normal weekly routine for the children in our team. If you would like your child to engage in learning over the next few days, the list below could guide you. Prior to school finishing, we set the children up with a login book for them to be able to access their codes from home. Here are some options that your child might like to explore.

* Study Ladder
* Maths Games

* Epic
* Sunshine Online
* Ready To Read 

* Google Docs
* Google Classroom Literacy

That's all for now. Please stay safe and enjoy your time at home with your family. We are looking forward to seeing you after the holidays and Easter break via our new online learning programme! Until then...

Kia Kaha

Kōwhai Teaching Team

Kōwhai News Week 6 Term 1

Kia ora whānau,

Kōwhai Kid of the Week

Next week, on Friday, we will be handing out Kōwhai Kid of the Week certificates at our team hui. When a child receives a certificate, they get to make pizzas for their lunch the following Friday at school. We will provide the bases and the children just need to bring along the toppings (pre-cut) for them to put on their pizza. To ensure you know if your child is making pizzas, we will send an email to let you know.


We are so excited! One week to go until our Twilight Fair 4.30-7.30pm on the school grounds on Friday 20th March. Today the children each brought home a plate for baking. These need to be returned to school next Friday with baking on them. There will be a table for the baking outside the hall. 

The PTA desperately need more helpers to make this epic night happen. If they don’t get enough helpers they will need to cut stalls and there will be massive queues, which will mean sad faces on the night :(. Click the following link if you haven't yet signed up to help on the night. As they say, 'Many hands make light work!': Would love to help at the Fair!

Inquiry- Identity 

Following on from the Life Education visit, we have been learning more about our body and how it works and learns. Over the next couple of weeks, the children will be conducting experiments to learn how our body digests food, what germs are and how they spread (keep an eye out on our experiments in the Maker Space), how our eyes work (children will explore real eyes and dissect them to learn how they function) and they will learn about the importance of water and our nervous system for learning and growth. In some of the sessions, the children will view actual organs to give them an understanding of what they look like and how they function. Please note: If any children feel squirmish and do not like the idea of working/handling/dissecting organs, they do not need to participate in that session.

Donovan Bixley
Next Friday, the children will be lucky to hear the wonderful author Donovan Bixley speak about being an author. We are excited to have him share his journey and we hope this will inspire some of the children to do the same!

School Photos
We have school photos next Wednesday 18th March. This will involve a homegroup photo and an individual photo. Please make sure your child is wearing their correct school uniform for this. Thanks.

Kapa Haka
Next Friday, we will begin our kapa haka sessions with Whaea Cath. All the children in our team will have the opportunity to participate in these sessions. For the remainder of this term, we will divide the team into two and each group will have 25 minutes with Whaea Cath, learning action songs. We are really excited about this opportunity and know the children will enjoy these sessions.

That's all for now.
Have a great weekend ahead

Kōwhai Teaching Team
Rowe, Nick, Laura and Paulette

Kōwhai News Week 5

Hi everyone,

Here is the latest news from the Kōwhai team.

Arrival time at school

We have noticed some children arriving at school very early and children are only able to enter the hubs at 8.30am. Before this, teachers are often in meetings or setting up for the day head. Any children who arrive early are unsupervised until they can enter the school buildings. BOSCO is available for before school care if you have to go to work early in the morning.

Photos for the whānau tree

If you haven't yet sent in your photo for the whānau tree, we would love you to email us a picture/photo for us to print so we can add it to our tree.

Collaborative Art

We are all busily co-constructing our collaborative artworks for the school fair on Friday, March 20th. It has been great to see the children enjoying working together to create a unique piece of art and we hope to have these completed by Friday. The PTA is after parents to assist on the stalls at the fair. This is a great fundraising event for the school and every bit of time that parents can offer makes a HUGE difference to the success of the event. There are sign up sheets at the front of the library each morning along with boxes for donations of clothing, toys/games, books etc.

Kōwhai Choir - School Fair

The children in our team will be performing 4-5 songs at the school fair. We are have been really impressed with the singing skills of our children and are looking forward to providing an energetic and fun-filled performance for you all. Our performance time is yet to be confirmed and when we know this, we will let you know where to bring you child(ren) on Friday 20th March.

Book Folders

We have noticed many children are forgetting to bring their folders to school each day. These are a key component of our literacy programme as they are required not only to transport the readers to and from school but also help us to see who is reading daily. Please help us by making sure your child has their folder and home book in their bag each morning. Thanks


We are about to offer the children in our team the opportunity to play netball during Terms 2 and 3. At this stage, we will only be able to enter one team into the competition as we only have one parent who has offered to coach. If you are keen to coach/manage a team, please contact Rowena as she is coordinating this on behalf of the team.

Life Education

We have a great time visiting the Life Education van last week. The children learnt the importance of looking after their body and how they are unique. We had a lesson on empathy and the importance of putting ourselves into others shoes. These will be building on this knowledge over the next few weeks as part of our inquiry into IDENTITY. We will learn about the importance of sleep, how our body functions, how it learns and what we need to do to keep ourselves healthy.

Up and Coming Events

9th April - Wacky Hair or Wig Day- School Council Fundraiser for Child Cancer

Working Bee

THIS Sunday1st March 8.30am - 12.30pm

Come along with your gardening tools to help us get the school grounds in shape for the up and coming school fair.  Any time that you are able to give will be greatly appreciated.

We hope to...
Weed and stain the seating area by Tahaki
Distribute mulch around the gardens
Weed gardens around the school
Painting the back shed behind Tahaki
Sweeping pathways
Staining seats

Bring your loppers, brooms, shovels, hand tools, wheelbarrows, painting clothes etc.