Koru Team: Welcome to Term 4

Kia ora e te whānau,

How is the holiday break going for you all? We do trust that everyone is having a wonderful, relaxing time, and finding plenty of opportunities to recharge and re-energise for the final term of the year!

We wanted to be in touch in advance of next week, with a few reminders and notices for the term ahead:

  • Hats - firstly, a very important reminder for all, that sunhats are to be worn every day throughout Term 4, whenever the children are outside at school, so now is the time to ensure that your child's named sunhat is packed in their school bag, ready to go on Monday.
  • Library books - we realise that there are a great many overdue library books at homes around the Beckenham area, and would like to urge you to hunt out any library books which might be at your place and pack them into your child's schoolbag now, ready to be returned to school on Monday (we'll be asking children to put their library folders into the library container first thing on Monday morning, if they're not there already!)
  • Friendship List - once again, our Friendship List will be updated at the start of this term, so if you would like your name and contact details added to this list, please email Georgia (georgia.mckenna@beckenham.school.nz) by the end of the first week and she will send the new list out in Week 2; if your name is already on the Friendship List, please don't worry about emailing again.
  • Stacey and Elizabeth's days in Term 4 - throughout Term 4, Stacey will be teaching on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and Elizabeth will be teaching on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; occasionally there may be an adjustment made, and if you do need to double check to know for sure on any particular day, a good idea is to look at the whiteboard when you arrive at school, as the photos of the adults who are going to be at school that day will always appear there!
  • Sarah's Home Group: throughout Term 4, the children in Sarah's Home Group are going to be starting and finishing the school day in Kōmanawa which is the building facing the courtyard and closer to the park; these children will still leave their bags in the blue cubbies, and will need to unpack their Literacy folders and leave them in the usual Literacy folder containers, and take their lunchboxes and drink bottles over to the set of shelves just to the left inside the door into Kōmanawa; these children will be leaving from Kōmanawa at 3:00 p.m. each day
  • Junior Park Explorers: you will have received information through Hero about this outing which is taking place on the Friday of the first week back (Friday, October 13th), and thank you so much to those parents who have already emailed to say that they can parent help with this; we still need several more helpers (some for each of the 3 Home Groups) so please do email your child's Home Group teacher if you're able to come along and support on this day (a reminder that the times are as follows: Elizabeth and Stacey's HG - 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.; Sarah's HG - 10:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.; and Georgia's HG - 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.) 
We have a very busy term ahead, including House Games at various times throughout the term, whole school athletics on Thursday, October 26th (more information to come about this event), and our Junior Park Explorers programme, as mentioned above, on Friday October 13th, along with many exciting learning experiences focusing on bugs and birds, water play activities, and the giving of gifts and various ways to show gratitude.

In the meantime, we wish you all the very best over these last few days of the holidays, and we're really looking forward to seeing all of those beautiful bright eyes and wide smiles on Monday next week!

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,
Elizabeth, Stacey, Georgia and Sarah


Art Gallery Highlights: Term 3 Week 10

 Kia ora, e te whānau,

Once again, our grateful thanks to those parents who were able to join us on this outing and support the tamariki as they engaged with particular art works and then participated in the lesson which Jackie and Julie, the Gallery Educators, ran for us.

Please see below, some photo highlights of our time at the Gallery:

What a wonderful learning experience our wee ones had - so many of them are extremely eager to get back to the Art Gallery again, so what a great idea for a holiday outing!

For now, though, all that remains is to wish you all a very safe and happy holiday ahead, as we sail through towards Friday.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,

Elizabeth, Stacey, Georgia and Sarah

Koru Team News: Term 3 Week 5

Kia ora, e te whānau,

It's been a very busy couple of weeks for us all in the Koru team: we've been completing our Calendar Art; we've had Book Character Dress Up Day; and we've continued to have fun with our Literacy and Maths learning, all the while embracing new friends into our team.

We are very excited to have welcomed Sarah Junghen as the teacher of our third New Entrant class at the start of Week 5. Most of you will have seen Sarah this past week, in the hub, but if not, please do introduce yourselves to her. Sarah has been teaching at Beckenham te Kura o Pūroto for some years now, and we feel incredibly lucky to have her with us in the Koru team!

We also welcome the new children who have transitioned or are transitioning into the Koru team, and are in Sarah's Home Group: Iyana, Lailah, Esther, Ariella, Molly and Mason. Ngā whetu koutou katoa - you are all stars!

Calendar Art:

The children have been working incredibly hard this term on their artworks, which will eventually be available for purchase as calendars, notebooks, cards, etc. We know that you're going to absolutely love these works of art, and we do urge you to support our PTA with this fundraiser. Please keep an eye out for more information about ordering calendars, etc. We will be adding information to our daily whiteboard notices as it becomes available.

Keeping Ourselves Safe:

This term as part of our Health Curriculum, teams are teaching the programme called Keeping Ourselves Safe, in Years 0 - 6. In the units, the Koru children will be: 

- describing where they live; identifying things that make them special and explaining when they feel safe and unsafe

- learning to use the correct names for body parts and describing whether a touch is one they like, one they don’t like, or one that is confusing

- learning to say ‘no’ to touch, behaviour and words that worry or confuse them and talking about moving away and seeking help

- identifying the difference between good surprises and bad secrets

- identifying people they trust and understanding family safety rules. 

We will be starting the teaching in Week 8 (the week beginning Monday, September 4th) and over the course of the lessons we teach, there will be some information and activities which will be coming home in your child's school bag. This is for you and your child to complete at home, and does not need to be returned to school. Please keep an eye out for more information about KOS in the weeks ahead, and if you have any questions, please just ask.

Exciting outing ahead for the Koru team:

We are very excited to be letting you know that on Monday, September 18th, the Koru team children will be visiting the Christchurch Art Gallery. 

The purpose of this outing is to give the children the opportunity to engage in discovering and exploring the work of artists whose work is held by the Christchurch Public Art Gallery. Teachers will explore the Gallery with their students, discuss a range of artists’ work and explore ideas of navigation, belonging, identity and how we are connected across time and place. During the guided tour, students will use signs and symbols to create a pictorial map of their own identity and journey through the Gallery which they will then complete, using watercolours and pastels, in the Education Centre.

Please note that there will be no cost for this outing, as your school donation covers all costs involved.

We will be needing parent help, so please do email your child's Home Group teacher or teachers, if you're able to come along with us on the day. 

Elizabeth and Stacey's Home Group will be leaving school at 9:30 a.m. and arriving back at school at 12:00 noon.

Georgia and Sarah's Home groups will be leaving school at 12:00 noon and arriving back at school at 2:30 p.m.

Beckenham's Got Talent:

We are desperately seeking all budding talents out there: singers, gymnasts, dancers, ventriloquists, magicians...!

Teachers have been talking with the tamariki about this fun whole school event, being held on the last day of term in the school hall. Prior to this date (on Friday, September 8th, for us in the Koru team), each team will hold their own team event and then one 'performance' from the Koru team will be selected, to be part of the whole school show on Friday, September 22nd.

Ideas for performances might include:

  • a dance
  • a song
  • a gymnastics performance (with accompanying music)
  • a hula hooping display to music
  • a set of magical tricks
If you would like your child to participate, do let us know. 
Please note that practices will need to take place at home and if there is to be accompanying music, it would be great if you could pass a copy on to us, or let us know exactly what it is and where we can find it.
Also, please don't feel constrained by the list above. Your child may have a talent well outside of this list, and if they feel enthusiastic and confident enough, we'd love to have them participate.

Literacy and Library Folders:

We have noticed, and many of you will have as well, that the children's folders, purchased when they first started school, are not 'hanging together' very well at all. We have noticed that the light blue folders, in particular, have been breaking down and deteriorating really quickly. We contacted Qizzle and sent photos to illustrate our concerns, and they immediately responded by saying that they were going to change their supplier, and asked how many folders did we need to replace those affected. Some folders (yellow ones, purple, red, orange, etc.) have not deteriorated as quickly but generally look as if they will, soon enough, so Qizzle told us that they just wanted to replace them all! We shall be sending home the replacement folders in the children's schoolbags next week. We thank Qizzle for responding so quickly and positively on our behalf.

Fun with Maths (we love numbers!):

...and one or two other items of interest for you:
  • click on these links and join in as your children sing one of their favourite songs, Sprinkle a Little Sunshine (here with the lyrics, and here, without, but with very cute images instead!)
  • for those new families to the Koru team, a link through to the National Anthem which we sing each morning - your children are doing an awesome job with this, participating and trying their very best each morning
  • clicking here will take you to a variety of links for those of you who would like to read more about The Science of Reading and Structured Literacy.
In the meantime, you do hope that you've had a lovely day today, and that it's an equally lovely weekend ahead for you all!

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,
Elizabeth, Stacey, Georgia and Sarah

Koru Team News: Term 2 Week 9

 Kia ora, e te whānau,

Here we are at the tail end of Term 2 and your tamariki are doing so well, as they strive to keep up the momentum with their learning! It's been a very busy fortnight, including Learning Conferences, our Matariki hui, several children having their transition to school visits and a big focus for our wee ones on the curriculum area of Science at the moment, specifically Electricity.

Firstly though, Friday was tinged with sadness for us all, as we farewelled Sonya, our teaching assistant. The children had made some beautiful cards for Sonya and these we gave to her, along with their very sweet messages about what the children were going to miss about her. Sonya has been a pillar of support in the Koru team, over the past two terms, and we will certainly miss her love, care, skill and talent, along with her creative flair and, as one of the children put it, her amazing tidiness!

We wish Sonya all the very best in the future - we know she'll be treasured by her new colleagues and the children she works with.
At the same time as farewelling Sonya, we have also been welcoming Denise, who is taking over the role that Sonya has held. We're really looking forward to having Denise with us in the Koru team, we can't wait to get to know her well and we welcome her with wide open arms into our whānau.

Junior Park Explorers:
We were really sorry to have had to postpone our Junior Park Explorers excursion on Friday, however we're all looking forward to a warmer, drier outing once we're able to set a new date some time in Term 4. We'll be looking for more parent helpers at that point! The children coped with the disappointment very well, and are to be congratulated for doing so.

We have been taking a dive into 'Electricity' last week and will continue with this focus in the week ahead. We are having great fun as we hypothesise and experiment, share our ideas and make connections with prior experiences.
Last Monday, the children discussed:
  • What is electricity?
  • Where does electricity come from?
  • Have you ever felt an electric spark from something or someone?
  • Have you ever had a power cut and not had any electricity?
  • Have you ever seen an electric car?
On Tuesday, the children learnt about what energy is and where it comes from, as well as having a look at renewable and non-renewable energy.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the children were introduced to the word 'circuit'. We looked at open and closed circuits and learned that a closed circuit is required for electricity to flow. We experimented to find out what electricity would flow through and what it wouldn't flow through. The children predicted that electricity wouldn't flow through plastic, but that it would flow through metal. Using an 'energy tube', we tested our predictions and found out that those predictions were right!
When the energy tube is 'turned on' the circuit is closed and that's when the tube flashes and makes an eerie fluttering noise. We discovered that our bodies conduct electricity, so as long as we had a hand on the metal ring at each end of the energy tube, the circuit would be closed. We even tested, if we were to sit in a big circle and all hold hands, whether the circuit would be closed and the energy tube would light up and make its eerie fluttering sounds, and ... yes, it did!!

One final thing:
A plea from Jossi's family - might Jossi's polar fleece have gone home in the wrong bag, by chance? It's been missing for several days now. Would you please check the names on your child's polar fleeces, just to be sure that you don't also have Jossi's by mistake. Many thanks :)

We hope you are all having a wonderful weekend with your whānau - stay warm, dry and cosy, and we look forward to seeing those beautiful, wide smiles again tomorrow morning!

Ngā mihi mahana,
Elizabeth, Stacey and Georgia

Koru team news, start of Term 2

 Kia ora, e te whānau,

We hope you are all happy and healthy and had a lovely holiday break! It was such a treat to see all of those wide and happy smiles back at school this week. We would like to give an especially warm welcome to William, Eddie, Reinhold, Sylvia and Henri, who have all started school this week. What a wonderful job they are all doing settling in!

All of our tamariki have happily returned to the routines of school, and are enthusiastically embracing their learning. They have been doing a wonderful job in their Literacy and Maths lessons, and are putting lots of energy and enthusiasm into their Learning Through Play.

A reminder about routines:

  • It's great if your child is able to independently carry their own bag into school, unpack it and put their lunch and drink bottle on the shelves
  • Your child's Literacy folder needs to be returned to school every day, and put into their group Literacy box first thing each morning (children who were at school in Term 1 will already know which container is their group's container; new children will be helped with this by one of the teachers)
  • On Fridays, your child will bring home both their poetry book and their library folder. Both these items need to be returned to school by the following Friday
  • We ask that caregivers avoid bringing children in to school through the staff carpark, rather, if entering off Sandwich Road, please come in up near the flagpole or in through the gate down near the corner.
Friendship List
  • If you would like your name and contact details to be added to our Koru Team Friendship List, please email Georgia your information by Wednesday, May 10th, and Georgia will update the list and share it on the Friday of that week
  • Here is Georgia's email address: georgia.mckenna@beckenham.school.nz
  • If your name is already on the list, please don't worry about contacting Georgia again.
Exciting Koru Team outing:
We trust that you have all received our Hero message pertaining to the outing which we have coming up on Thursday, May 11th.
Just in case any of you haven't been able to access this information, here is a copy of the content of the message:

We have a very exciting outing planned for our tamariki! 

The Christchurch City Council Education Outreach team is booked in to run their Junior Park Explorers programme with our Koru students, at our local Beckenham ponds. The session will address outcomes within the New Zealand Curriculum Science domain. We will be exploring biodiversity & ecosystems in our local area, and will be looking closely at birds, bugs and trees/plant life. 

Children will need to bring the following items: 
  • Gumboots (especially if wet)
  • Rain coat
  • Named water bottle
  • Shoes, spare socks and change of clothes (in school bag)
The programme will take place on Thursday, May 11th and will run from 9:30 - 11:45 a.m.

We will need 10 parent helpers on the day. If you are interested in helping, please email your child’s homegroup teacher, as soon as possible.  

Many thanks for your support.

Thank you very much to those caregivers who have already emailed us letting us know that they would like to help. We will be making contact with all those who offer to help, with more information, closer to the time.

In the meantime, we do trust that you all have a very restful and happy weekend.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,
The Koru Teachers: Elizabeth, Georgia, Stacey and Sonya