The last week of 2019 in Pōhutukawa

Monday 16 December

Hut day!
Last week, the children got into groups, planned what their hut would look like and decided on what materials each child would need to bring to school. If your child can't remember what was decided for them to bring, we suggest any of the following: sheets, blankets, tarpaulins, pegs, tape, string, cushions, decorations, fairy lights, large boxes and any other supplies which can be easily carried to school.
The materials are only to be brought to school on Monday and will need to be returned home at the end of the day, to ensure we are looking after our environment.
We expect to see lots of creativity, innovation, kiwi ingenuity, working together and children having lots of fun.

Tuesday 17 December

House games and school picnic - 12pm!
Our amazing house captains will be organising a variety of games and fun activities for their houses. After the fun and play, we will be having lunch in the park. All whānau are invited to this school-wide event.

Wednesday 18 December

Water fun on the park, after lunch!
We will be attending the Year 8 graduation assembly at 11am, and then after lunch there will be fun and games on the park, with regards to water. The children are invited to bring their togs and any water guns they may have. We will set up the slip and slide and the children can have a fun-filled afternoon. Fingers crossed that the weather plays its part!

Thursday 19 December

Last day, school closes at - 12:30pm!
At 10am the students will be visiting their new homegroup for 2020. They will be told which home group they are in prior to 10am and also given a letter to take home. Hopefully having seen who is in their class and knowing who their homegroup teacher is will ensure the children happily enjoy their break, and that they will be looking forward to the new year.

Thank you from us all for your support, in such a variety of ways, over the year. We have had a lovely year with your children, and hope that everyone has a wonderful break. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing everyone who is returning in 2020.

Gayle, Katie, Rae, Steve and Tracy

T4W8 in Pōhutukawa

Kapa haka celebration concert Thursday 5 December 6:30pm

The Pōhutukawa kapa haka group, along with Te Whānau Mahi Tahi and the Kōwhai kapa haka group will be performing on the above date, in the school hall.
This will be Sherrilee's last performance as the teacher in charge of our kapa haka groups. 

Road Patrol training Friday 6 December 9:30

Constable Ross will be training a group of Year 5 students who have kindly volunteered to join the road patrol for next year this Friday. The students will be learning theory and then putting what this into practice on our crossing at Sandwich Road. Keeping our whānau safe while crossing the road is an important responsibility, and we appreciate the students taking this on.

'Thank you' croissant & coffee morning Tuesday 10 December 8:30am

You are invited to our "Thank you..."
There are many people within our school community who go the extra mile to help others and make our school the caring community that it is.  Many thanks to all those who recently made meals and baking for a school family who needed a bit of extra support, your kindness was truly appreciated. Thank you to the people who help with trips, being on the PTA, serving on the Board, baking days, book sorting, and many, many more varied activities around our school, that keep the school running and support our tamariki and our staff.

As a small token of our appreciation as a staff, for the work that parents, grandmas, grandads, aunties, uncles, neighbours, friends and others in our community who do support us, we will be hosting  croissant and coffee on Tuesday December 10th in the staffroom from 8:30 - 9:15am.  We would love to see as many people as possible there.

Sherrilee's farewell assembly Wednesday 11 December 9:30am

We have sadly received the resignation of Sherrilee as our Kaiako Te Reo Maori. Sherrilee has been on our staff for 25 years, and has made a huge contribution to our school through her teaching of te reo Māori, tikanga Māori and kapa haka. Sherrilee has been offered work in secondary schools which she is excited about taking up and we wish her all the very best for that.
We will be holding a farewell assembly next Wednesday morning, from 9:30am. We are inviting past students of Te Whānau Mahi Tahi to attend, along with our current whānau.
We would appreciate if parents of current students could bring along a small plate of food to contribute to the morning tea, as a way of contributing to the 'thank you'.

Hut Day Monday 16 December

Due to 'Hut Day' being such a success last year, we have decided to give the children the opportunity to enjoy such a day again this year. 
Next week, the children will be given time to get into groups, plan what their hut will look like and what materials each child will need to bring to school.
Suggested materials will be sheets, blankets, tarpaulins, pegs, tape, string, cushions, decorations, large boxes and any other supplies which can be easily carried to school.
The materials are only to be brought to school on Monday 16 December, as we do not have the storage facility to keep them at school. All materials brought to school will need to be returned home at the end of the day, to ensure we are looking after our environment.

T4 W6 in Pōhutukawa

Speech Competition

And what a competition it was! The teachers struggled to choose only two candidates from each homegroup, with so many children presenting their speech clearly and confidently. A lot of the content of the speeches showed a passion for looking after our environment and animals. We believe our future is in good hands!

Congratulations to these children who were in the finals: Quinn Clarke, Fergus Macdonald, Zoe Winsor, George Smith, Freya Braun, Vida Gerard, Olive Morel, Zoe Clarke, Layla Wallbanks, Frances Daniels-Maxwell. Thanks to Mahli who did a terrific job of being the presenter.

Special congratulations to the top four placegetters:
Zoe Winsor
Freya Braun
Zoe Clarke
Layla Wallbanks

Music Concerts

On Wednesday we were lucky enough to hear the training band concert. What a talented bunch of musicians we have at our kura. Along with playing some popular Christmas tunes, Maree Parr introduced us to the instruments the children were playing. We were also privileged to hear several impressive solo performances. Congratulations to George Smith who received a trophy for having shown the most progress over the year.
Today we will be attending a string and ukelele concert at 12pm.

Sports news

Congratulations to the large number of Pōhutukawa students who attended the South Zone Athletics Day on Monday at Hansens Park. It's always a big day, and the teachers were very proud of the way our students managed themselves in a positive and respectful way. We were very glad to hear that they kept safe and dry when the inclement weather rolled in!
Good luck to these students who have qualified for the Canterbury Athletics, being held on Wednesday 4 December:
Lola Harris: 50m, long jump
Billy Murfin: 50m
Jonty Mitchell: long jump and 80m
Keanna Hakeagaiki 80m
Mahli Boreham: high jump
Josh Breitmeyer: long jump
Year 5 relay team: Anna, Keanna, Bella, Lola

Navigating the Journey

Yesterday we began the sexuality programme of Navigating the Journey. The students are separated into Year 6 and Year 5 groups. Katie and Steve are working with the Year 6 students and Tracy, Gayle and Rae are working with the Year 5 students. The first lesson was about the visual images of Navigating the Journey, setting guidelines and establishing a positive environment. The use of a question box was also discussed. Next week the topics will be under the theme of 'Who am I?' Topics may include describing unique personal qualities, promoting a positive and inclusive body image,  self-worth: identifying gender and social strengths,  identifying and affirming the feelings and
beliefs of self and others, equity issues: recognising and challenging bullying,
stereotypes, and body image messages and recognising media, social media and consumer
When we teach sexuality as a Health topic, we are always guided by how the group of students reacts and the feeling we get from them as we introduce the lessons.
We strongly encourage the students to discuss at home content covered at school, and to ask further questions or for clarification from their whānau.
If you have any queries about this programme, please feel free to contact any teacher.

Pōhutukawa Speech Finals on Thursday 14 November at 1:45pm

Pōhutukawa Speech Finals on Thursday 14 November at 1:45pm

What a wonderful week of speech presentations we have had. The teachers all commented today about the fabulous content in the speeches. The students have worked really hard at pitching their speech to engage their audience, and have impressed us immensely. 

It was a very difficult decision for each homegroup teacher to choose only two finalists, and we discussed at length those students who presented well. Along with engaging and relevant content, we were looking for great eye contact, clear and audible speech, expression of voice and face and use of gestures and body language. 

Congratulations to these students who have been selected as speech finalists:
Fergus Macdonald
Quinn Clarke
Vida Gerard
Freya Braun
Olive Morel
Zoe Clarke
Zoe Winsor
George Smith
Layla Wallbanks
France Daniels-Maxwell

Our speech finals will be held in the hall at 1:45pm tomorrow, and extend an invitation to whānau and friends to attend. 

T4 W4 in Pōhutukawa

Cool Curriculum Classes this term


Katie is taking sketching classes. The children have been learning how to shade and make shadows. They have been sketching realistic images, and took advantage of the weather to work outside today.

Te Reo Māori

Rae has been teaching about New Zealand place names and the stories behind the names. Some places are named after people and some are named after landscapes.


Steve has been overseeing the coding programme. The students are using to learn how to code. Everyone works at their own pace and are on different levels. Some people do pair programming.

NZ Sign Language

Gayle has been teaching the students all sorts of things in NZ Sign Language. They have been learning how to say and spell their names, the alphabet and simple phrases.


Every student has chosen a country to research and has been working on a slideshow of information on that country/culture. Tracy has been overseeing the slideshows.

Sun hats and water bottles

With the increase in temperatures, it is incredibly important that every student has their wide-brimmed sunhat and water bottle at school every day. Being hydrated helps keep the body and brain functioning well. It would also be great to see the drink bottles go home regularly to be washed.
Taking advantage of the balmy temperature today, so children elected to silent read outside.


What a fabulous day it was for athletics yesterday. It was a day for showing 'We love challenge' and for trying your best. It was lovely to see the whole school on the park, having fun and partaking in a number of sporting activities, along with many whānau members encouraging athletes and taking photos. Congratulations to everyone for having a go, and well done to those students who excelled in their events, coming in the top four. Jenny will finalise the list of students representing our kura in the zones athletics over the next couple of days. This event is being held at Hansens Park on Monday 18 November. 

Music Festival

All the very best to the 45 children and Katie who are performing in the Music Festival on Thursday night at the Town Hall. The choir will be having a final practice on Thursday morning at the Town Hall. The choir has been practising for a long time for this special performance, and we know that they will be fantastic.

String and Ukelele Concert

On Thursday there will be a string and ukelele concert at 2:20pm. The concert will go to 2:55pm. The concert is about promoting the option of string and ukulele of 2020.

Whānau Rōpū Hui

Whānau Rōpū Hui this coming Friday, 8th November, 5 pm - 7:30 pm
For our Whānau Rōpū Hui this term we are excited to be having a shared kai/ potluck picnic at school from 5:00pm to 7:30pm on Friday 8th November.  We are looking forward to getting together again to celebrate Te Ao Māori, share some kai and enjoy some games - including the exciting sport of Ki o Rahi. Nau mai haere mai, welcome. These hui, get-togethers, are a great opportunity to get to know other tamariki, children and whānau, families in the school community.