News from the Koru team Week 9

 Kia ora whānau,

We trust this finds you all having had a wonderful and relaxing Easter break, whether it be at home or away.

It was wonderful that so many of you were able to attend the Structured Literacy meetings for parents last week, run by our Resource Teacher of Literacy, Caroline Morritt. It's great to see that, hopefully, this meeting may be repeated early next term, for those families who weren't able to attend last Tuesday. It will be well worth attending if you haven't yet done so.

Our weeks in the Koru team have continued to be very busy indeed, with wonderful learning taking place in some many different areas: Literacy and Numeracy, as well as many other curriculum areas, during our Learning Through Play. Learning Through Play naturally supports the practising of our school kete values of 'We Care', 'We Get There Together', 'We Love Learning', 'We Love Challenge' and 'We Make a Difference'.

Over the last few weeks, we:

  • have continued our focus on learning the first 8 letter sounds, along with learning to blend and segment using these sounds
  • have been focusing on teamwork during our Learning Through Play
  • have also been focusing on construction with our 'Three Billy Goats Gruff' and 'Three Little Pigs' Learning Through Play themes
  • have been working on our Skip and Bounce pen and pencil grip
  • have been spending time with our big buddies from the Kauri team on Friday afternoons
  • have attended our first whole school House Games for this year.
Playing schools: a Structured Literacy lesson in progress!

Practising how to pick up a pen correctly (the Skip and Bounce way!)

"Pinch, pinch, pinch, pick it up, lay it back."

"Is there space for Curly Caterpillar to creep up between my pinching fingers?"

"Is my 'pillow finger' in the right place? Are my 'resting fingers' tucked away?"

Building a secret hideaway for the teddies.

Joining a house of bricks to the hut in the distance: what persistence!

Teamwork - well done, boys. You worked very well together on this project.

What a great construction, complete with bedroom and bathroom.

The teamwork continues...

A stairway up to the railway tracks.

An animal wonderland!

Fun with Digitech.

A carefully-balanced bridge, complete with 'water' flowing below.

A variety of resources needed here for this 'set up'.

More fun with Digitech, with some of our preschool visitors.

Another amazing construction, and... could that be you, Skip or Bounce, carefully balancing aloft?

Oh, it's you, Skip! 

What a fantastic construction, using the magnetic shapes.

Another wonderful example of teamwork - very well done, team!

The beebot's perspective.

Great balancing skills here!

Well done!


Playing a game of 'Jump', using the letter sounds, following a Structured Literacy lesson. 

Practising correct letter formation.

Playing 'Jump' as a team.

Beautiful letter formation.

More beautiful letter formation!

Counting words in a sentence.

Segmenting and blending consonant, vowel, consonant words.

More letter formation practice.

What amazing focus!

More fantastic focus.

And still more - what wonderful concentration!

We love Structured Literacy!

Our Kauri team buddies reading to us.

Reading a library book to Skip and Bounce.

Playing Octopus at House Games last Thursday.

Will this runner be tagged?

Stretch out wide!

We had loads of fun playing games with the other children who are in the same house at school.

Can you help?

We are getting rather low, once again, on our supply of construction materials. If you have any small boxes or interesting bits and pieces which you think may be suitable, we would really appreciate these in the hub. If you're unsure of suitability, please check with one of the team to see if it would be useful.

Once again, we hope you have enjoyed a very happy Easter break, and we look forward to seeing you all again tomorrow.

Ngā mihi mahana,
Jo, Nicola, Stacey and Elizabeth

Koru Team news: Term 1 Week 3

Kia ora, e te whanau,

We have had an amazingly busy and productive fortnight - it's been SO much fun, and in amongst all of the fun, the children have very quickly shown fantastic gains in their independence and their confidence.

We have:

  • made ice cream
  • started visiting the library
  • started exploring simple programming using the Beebots
  • made tiger handprints
  • been exploring the Maths equipment
  • made tiger masks
  • worked with the Year 7 students, participating in activities planned and organised by the older children
  • set up a tank for our tadpoles 
  • practised our core strength exercises, in preparation for the start of our handwriting programme.
Carefully pouring the first ingredient for the ice cream (cream itself).

Stirring in the second ingredient (condensed milk).

Whipping the cream.

Sprinkling in the chocolate.

Stirring in the chocolate.

Eating the ice cream.





Learning about the library.

Programming the Beebots to move through a maze.

Working together to problem solve.

Will this Beebot make it safely to the other end of the maze?

Oopsy daisy!

We take very good care of the Beebots.

Decorating a tiger cupcake with the help of a Year 7 friend.

Decorating a Rainbow Fish with the help of a Year 7 friend.

Listening to The Rainbow Fish.

We really enjoyed this story!

Working together with a Year 7 buddy to create a set up involving the castle and the blocks.

Painting with our Year 7 buddies.

Adding the stripes to a tiger handprint.

Exploring with Oobleck.

Learning how to make a leaf rubbing.

An expert at 'planking' - working on developing core strength.

Keeping a VERY close eye on our new tadpoles, and making sure they're safe and happy in their new home.

What a lot of great times we've been having at school over the past fortnight!

Parents, a request ... are you able to help us out, please? We are searching for the following items for our Learning Through Play:

  • any old baking equipment you no longer need (suitable for a 'mud' kitchen) 
  • baby clothes ('prem' size best) to fit 41 cm. dolls
  • old bits of downpipe or other plumbing 'parts'
  • old sandpit toys (preferably in quite good condition), including dump trucks and diggers, as well as buckets and spades
  • an old children's size pop up tent
  • old toy cars to add to our somewhat depleted collection
We'd be very grateful if you have any of the above items which you'd be willing to donate to us. Please just touch base with Nicola or Elizabeth if you do.

Our Library time has now been confirmed as being on Fridays, and you will have noticed your child's library folder in your child's bag today. The books can be kept at home until Friday next week, but need to be returned by then, if your child is to have new books issued.
You will also have noticed that your child's poetry book is coming home now too. Please read the new poem, as well as the previous weeks' poems, with your child. Any colouring that hasn't been completed can be finished off at home. Your child could also colour in the title page at the front of their book. Please ensure that your child's poetry book is returned to their school bag and comes back to school each Monday.

We have also learnt some new songs, which we have added links to here (if you would like your child to teach you at home!):

Your children are doing a fantastic job at school! We hope you all have a wonderful, warm and relaxing weekend, and look forward to seeing all of those happy, smiling, little faces back at school on Monday.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,
Nicola, Jo and Elizabeth

Term 4 Week 8 News from the Koru team

Kia ora koutou,

It's hard to believe that we're so close to the end of the fourth term. The children are managing themselves very well, and continue to remain focused, engaged and happy in their learning, whether it be during Learning Through Play, or during their more formal reading, writing and Maths lessons. 

Māori Myths and Legends:

After our wonderful trip to Rāpaki Marae, we have continued to learn about the Maori myths and legends that are important to Aotearoa. We have focussed in particular on ‘Maui and the Sun’ and this has led to some amazing retelling, as the children have written about Maui’s adventure. The focus for the children has been to ensure that their retelling is in the correct sequence. Maui has certainly captured the interest of all tamariki, and, in fact, we have enjoyed all of the myths and legends that we have been dipping into, and which are such a special part of our cultural history in Aotearoa.

Working in our Rāpaki booklets

Retelling the story of Maui and the Sun

Parent help for end of year:

We are seeking offers of assistance from any parents with time, energy and inclination, to help us out with a variety of cleaning, sorting and organising jobs, both in Pūkaki and in Kōmanawa. Please touch base with your child's Home Group teacher, if you enjoy such jobs! This will most likely be taking place in the final week of term, however, if Friday this week suits you, then that would work well for us too.


As our athletics was postponed earlier in the term, we would like to remind you that we have arranged a new date to hold our junior school athletics. Our new date is this Wednesday, 9th December, from 1:40 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. We will be participating alongside the rest of the junior school (Y0-Y4) out in Beckenham Park. Parents, caregivers and supporters are all welcome to come and watch. Please remember to slather your children with sunblock in the morning. We will apply more before the athletics start. A hat and a named water bottle are crucial.


Speaking of hats, now that we have the opportunity to get outside more, we are mindful that the children must be wearing hats. It’s hard on our children to find places to play during ‘Learning Through Play’ and break times in the shade. When their peers are out and about playing, it can be a challenge to not be part of the friendship groups. PLEASE ensure that the children bring their hats to school every day. As a ‘sun safe’ school, we pride ourselves on ensuring that the children are wearing a hat at all times. Don’t forget the sunscreen in the morning. On those extreme days, we will offer children the opportunity to reapply sunscreen throughout the day.

House Games:

The Koru children have had a fabulous time participating in our Friday House Games. Our wonderful senior children have been demonstrating ‘We Make a Difference’ by planning, organising and leading these whole school games. For the Koru team, this gives the children a chance to meet up with their siblings, interact with students throughout all the year groups and be part of the wider Beckenham whanau. The children in the Koru team have been making us proud by participating with enthusiasm, energy and gusto, while at the same time making wonderful new connections.
Parachute fun: We Get There Together

Learning Through Play:

The wonderful weather has enabled us to have so much fun with sand and water play. While teachers are aware of the many wet clothes that come home, this play is an opportunity for our little innovators, designers and problem solvers to come together and create some amazing structures in and around the sandpit. This really is a hit with many children who continually surprise us with some of their impressive creations.

If you have any spare sandpit toys or items such as plastic pipes, buckets, old cake tins, trowels or similar, we would happily accept all donations.

Playing the very popular 'Handstand Game'

Working together in the sandpit

Building together

More building together: how high can we go?

Combining water with sand!

Hut building in Treemendous

Water colour painting

Team construction

Experimenting with propulsion

Practising letter formation

Supporting a friend to balance on stilts

Blue whale


The swallow's nest

Our feathered friends dropping by for a visit!

Awesome art work!

Visiting our 2021 Learning Spaces:

Koru have now had two visits over to Kahikatea, in preparation for moving to their new hub next year. The children have had a fabulous time working in the new learning space. We have had wonderful feedback from the children saying that they have loved meeting old friends, making new friends and getting to use the equipment. The children are very excited about the move to their new hub next year. The staff and current Year 1 children in Kahikatea have enjoyed making connections, forming new relationships and, from the teachers' perspectives, observing the interests and passions of the children they will be teaching in 2021.

Friday afternoon in Kahikatea

Playing 'Heads Down, Thumbs Up' with Katie

What a great time we all had! Thank you to the Kahikatea team for inviting us over.

Thank you:

A big thank you to those parents who have been helping out in Treemendous on Fridays, as well as supporting the children in the learning spaces during Learning Through Play, and also to those of you who have been putting reading books away for us - we know that this is a very busy time of year, and we appreciate that you continue to show up and support us in these ways.

All the best for a lovely week ahead, and we'll see everyone again, bright and chirpy, tomorrow morning!

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,

Jo, Sari, Sophie, Stacey, Paul and Elizabeth
















Term 4 Week 3 news

 Kia ora e te whanau,

What a wonderful start the children have made back to school for this last term of the school year. All children have settled beautifully and are thoroughly engaged in their learning.

Here are just a few of the areas that we have been focusing on over the past three weeks in our Learning Through Play:

  • the circus (juggling and stilt walking)...just look at these examples of We Love Challenge!
A budding juggler...

Wow! She's up - well done!

... and on her way down!

What great persisitence is being shown here. Both up!

Keep trying.

You can do it!

Good job!

We Get There Together.

Team work.

Another wonderful example of persistence winning the day!

  • the archaeological dig and museum artefacts
The tooth of which dinosaur, we wonder?

Could this be the tooth of an ichthyosaurus? We think so.

The archaeological dig, in progress.

Artefacts for the museum.

The digging continues...

Budding archaeologists at work.

  • the helicopter game

  • dancing

  • playing schools

  • other learning through play

Creating a little pony game.

Small World play.

What a cosy hut!

Water play.

Could this be a chocolate cake?

You will have read at the end of last week, that you will be hearing as soon as possible about the new date for the Years 1 - 4 Athletics Day. Once this this date has been announced, please do ensure that your child comes to school slathered in sunblock, with a full bottle of water and wearing sensible shoes for our outdoor activities in the park on that day.

The marae trip:
Our big day out at Rāpaki is booked in on Wednesday, November 18th,  and we are greatly looking forward to being able to engage with the tangata whenua at Rāpaki, experience being inside the wharenui there, be involved in a powhiri and to hear about the history of the marae, as well as to explore the surrounding area. 

Thank yous:
... to those parents who have offered their help with supervising play in Treemendous, with helping to return reading books for us, with our visit out to Rāpaki marae, and with helping in our learning spaces. We can't express just how crucial your help is to us! 

Teachers are very busy with report writing at the moment. What follows is an outline of how we will be reporting to the parents of our New Entrant/Year 1 students at this time of the year:
  • Children who started school last year through to the end of February this year, will be receiving a full school report
  • Children who started school from the beginning of March this year through to the end of July will be receiving a transition report.
  • Children who have started school since the beginning of August will either have had or will be having a transition to school meeting.
We trust that you all have a great week to come!
Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,
Jo, Sari, Sophie, Stacey and Elizabeth

Koru News Term 3 Week 8

 Kia ora e te whanau,

What a lot of interesting and fun Learning Through Play has been taking place over the past couple of weeks!
The children continue to be reminded about why we call it Learning Through Play ("because while we're playing, we're learning") and the kinds of things we might be learning and practising during our play. This is especially as we have new children starting school, and we're noticing that many of our older children are really stepping up to model these behaviours for our 'newbies'.

Using these images, the children were asked to relate the relevant ideas below to the school values which were being displayed.

The children brainstormed these ideas about their Learning Through Play.

Learning Through Play:
For our topic this week, we have been looking at restaurants, eating out and cooking. During Learning Through Play, we have been amazed by how creative the children have been, building restaurants, 'creating' food, designing menus and taking our orders in their cafes and eateries. We will continue with this theme during this coming week, and our focus will be working as teams to create shops and restaurants, and to problem solve the variety of challenges that can arise as the children play together.

We Care

We Get There Together

We Love Learning

We Love Challenge and We Get There Together

We Get There Together

Wacky Hair Day:
We had so much fun admiring the wacky hairdos that arrived at school on Friday. What impressive effort and creativity families put in that Friday morning - we suspect that many of you were up well before the crack of dawn, judging by the impressive results that walked through the gate, between 8:30 and 8:55! Thank you to all of those who supported the child cancer society and donated a gold coin for this wonderful cause.

Wellbeing and Friendship:
We have been having a big focus on continuing to build and develop friendships in Koru. This week we introduced an activity, whereby the children needed to work together to solve a problem. Using their index fingers only, they had to solve how they could pick up and carry an object. It was great to see the children working together in pairs, communicating, problem-solving, and taking on a challenge, while at the same time having fun.
Some of the objects the children tried picking up were:
  • A pen
  • A glue-stick
  • An eraser
  • A thick book
  • A block
  • A soft toy
All children displayed our kete values of We Get There Together and We Love a Challenge, as they participated with their buddies to successfully pick up each item.

Tricky! How did they manage that?

Talent Quest Auditions:
The teachers in Koru had the pleasure of auditioning the children for our Talent Show, which is going to be held on the last day of school for this term (25th of September). We were delighted to see how confident and talented our Year 0 and 1 children are. As always, it is so difficult to make a choice as we would obviously love to send all children who entered through to the finals, however we are delighted to let you know that Moana, Vienna and Joseph will be going on to the finals at the end of this term. 

Kete Awards:
As we are unable to hold our assemblies at level 2, the Koru team held a hui in Pūkaki on Friday, August 28th. Congratulations to the children below who received kete awards. We are incredibly proud of how you uphold the Beckenham te Kura o Pūroto values.

Peter Rabbit:
It was with enormous sadness that we have had to farewell Peter Rabbit, who has been a faithful and loyal friend to hundreds of children at Beckenham te Kura over the past 9 years. Peter has been cuddled and loved by children, read to, played with, taken out to the park for time on the grass, and has helped children who have been feeling sad or upset by simply allowing them to hold him, and most children at Beckenham will know him really well. Something that Peter did incredibly well was to help children who were having trouble saying goodbye to their families at the start of the school day - Peter was worth way more than his weight in gold.
Peter Rabbit died of old age last week. In human years, he would have been about 85. He will be greatly missed, and remembered by all with enormous fondness.

Peter, aged nearly 9 years.

Have a lovely week, everyone. We look forward to another wonderful week of learning with the wee ones!

Ngā mihi mahana,
Jo, Sari, Stacey, Sophie and Elizabeth