Koru News Term 2 Week 5

Kia ora whānau,

We have had another very busy fortnight, with the children engaging in a range of learning experiences. 

We have explored Space during our Learning Through Play, with the children building spacecraft using a variety of equipment including boxes and tubes. We also followed the Space theme in our Maths, as each child worked with a friend to make up groups of ten astronauts. Each time a group of ten astronauts was formed, they were then able to climb aboard the spacecraft, and some children were even able to make up ten groups of ten astronauts, all of whom were then able to leave the spacecraft, and enter the space station. The children practised their skip counting in tens, and also learnt a great deal about place value as they worked out the number of astronauts in their space craft and added on those who were still waiting to enter the space craft.

The children have also been introduced to a new Maths game called 'Move and Prove'. In this game, they are given a statement, which might or might not be true. Children have worked out that they need to:

  • think
  • decide
  • listen
  • talk
  • be able to say why they think what they think (we have used the words 'justify' and 'justification' when discussing the 'prove' part of the game).
This week we have been exploring Colour to support our Art Gallery excursion. We have used our shared writing time to think and write about particular colours in poetic ways, for example, 'We think black is like a moonless, starless night'. It's been lovely hearing and writing about the children's thoughts on different colours, and this will continue in the week ahead, as they think about the colours blue and green.

Many thanks once again to those parents who were able to lend their support when we visited the Art Gallery. Your help was absolutely invaluable, and we appreciated your presence very much indeed. We do hope you had fun. The children were buzzing with excitement, and it was lovely to hear from Bianca and her support team at the Gallery about how impressed they were with the children's behaviour, thinking and manners! Well done, children! We are very proud of you. Please ask your children to share some of their thinking about Ralph Hotere's art with you.

We hope you enjoy this selection of photos from the past fortnight...

Our big buddies supporting us on a Friday afternoon

Beautiful concentration here!

Having a great time together in the Gallery classroom.

Very happy to be visiting the Art Gallery.

One excited boy with his Dad on the bus!

Love that focus.

Beautiful use of colour.

Showing 'We Care'.

More lovely focus.

We look forward to finishing our art works and displaying them at school.

Great concentration.

This is going to be wonderful when finished.

Gorgeous attention to detail here.

Great work here too.

Carefully taking the tape from the black background paper.

Practising writing our Heart Words.

Providing friends and teachers with a small concert performance.

Viewing and discussing one of Ralph's works, Black Phoenix.

One of Ralph's works on narrow corrugated iron.

Noticing the way the work changes as you move past it.

Listening carefully for sounds in words.

Showing 'We Care' about our learning.

Getting ready to slide the sounds together.

Just a reminder, everyone, that tomorrow, Tuesday, is a Staff Only Day here at school, so we hope that you are all having a wonderful long weekend, and look forward to seeing the children back at school on Wednesday.

Ngā mihi mahana,
Koru team teachers

Art Gallery outing on Friday

 Kia ora, whānau,

A reminder to you all that Friday is our 'big day' out! We're off to the Art Gallery.

Please ensure that your children have their lunch, drink bottle and a change of clothing in their bags.

Also, please note that it will not be possible to order lunches that day.

We're looking forward with great excitement to our big day out, and thank you so much to those of you who have volunteered to come along and help us on the day.

Please note, that if you have volunteered to accompany us on this outing, your child will be bringing a note home for you, in their school bag tomorrow (Thursday).

Ngā mihi mahana,

Koru team teachers

Koru Team – Week 3

Kia ora ki te whanau,

We have welcomed 7 new children into the Koru hub since week 1. A very warm welcome to the new children and their whanau. Our 'Golden Oldies' are enjoying making new friendships and showing our school values 'We get there together' and 'We care' to help our newbies get to know the routines and settle into the hub.

Last week all our children showed another one of our school values 'We love Challenge' when they competed in the school Cross Country. We were so proud of their efforts in running the course. They certainly displayed our school values. 

All lined up at the start.

We were lucky to have lots of senior students supporting our runners.

Feeling happy to have finished our first cross country.

Rocketship numbers

Look at our amazing writing in our structured literacy group.

Working together with a buddy to solve maths problems.

We're going on a bear hunt

Please make sure that literacy folders are coming to school every day with the letters and heart words inside along with any books. It is important they are sent every day as teachers might need to update the letters and heart words throughout the week. For those children who are reading the decodable texts, these books are needed at group time every day.

Thank you to those parents who are waiting in the courtyard each afternoon for their children to come to them. This really does make a difference to the end of our day and easier for children to find their whanau.

For all our new families, and as a refresher as the children are bringing home new letters, here is the link to the video which demonstrates how to make the pure sound for each letter. 

Heads up...
Please keep your eyes peeled for information about our exciting Art Gallery outing on Friday, June the 4th. We'll be seeking parent help for this outing, so look out for further details!

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

Drop offs and pick ups

Kia ora, whanau,

We are noticing some impressive independent behaviour in many of the children at drop off and pick up times each day. Some of the things that you can do to support your children's growing independence are:

  • encourage your children to help to pack their own bags at home before school
  • ensure that your children carry their own bags to and from school
  • give your children verbal reminders, once they're at school and unpacking their belongings, but allow them to be responsible for this part of their daily routine.
It is extremely helpful for us all if parents remain on the deck or even at the bottom of the steps at the start of each day. There is a teacher rostered each day on the veranda to welcome the children and this person will also be available for any parents who may need to speak to a teacher eg someone different is picking your child up that day. We find that the children happily sort out their belongings and settle to a quiet activity much more readily, if goodbyes take place well before the bell goes at 8:55 a.m., and outside the learning spaces. This also allows them time, once in the learning spaces, to quietly check in with teachers and their friends, have a chat and settle into Learning Through Play.

Similarly, it is much easier for teachers and children to focus on the learning right up to the end of the day, if parents and caregivers wait out in the courtyard for the children to be released from class. It can be very distracting and unsettling for children when they know that there are parents at the windows or on the veranda. We thank you for your support with this, as we work together on developing the children's independence in these early days at school.

You are more than welcome to come into the learning spaces after all of the children have been released, if your child would like to show you something, or if you have something you'd like to discuss with your child's Home Group teacher. Teachers will also come out on to the veranda at the end of each day to catch up with parents. 

If you have anything in particular you wish to discuss in more detail, please make contact with your child's Home Group teacher to make a time to meet.

Ngā mihi,
Koru team teachers

Welcome to Term 2 in the Koru team

 Kia ora ki te whanau,

A very warm welcome to all of our new children and their families, and welcome back to the children and their families who started with us in Term 1. We trust that the children have all had a wonderful holiday, enjoying family time together. We are really looking forward to getting to know all of our new children and families, and seeing new friendships blossom through this next term.

The children have had a marvellous first day (back) at school, and we're looking forward to a fun first week, and term ahead.

Our focus for this week is showing care and kindness towards others (especially towards those who are new to school), and showing respect and care for our equipment and the environment.

Bears, Bears, Bears!

We're also going to have a 'bear' theme this week, with 'We're Going On a Bear Hunt' and 'Bears in the Night' providing a framework for the children's play throughout the week. 

Although most of our Term 1 children have already had a Teddy Bear Day, we are going to have another Teddy Bear Day on Friday, along with a teddy bears' picnic (which will simply be the children's own lunches!). Please send (named, with your child's name) teddy bears to school on Friday. If your child doesn't have a teddy bear, they're welcome to bring their favourite soft toy instead.

Start and End of Day routines:

It's very helpful if you are able to say goodbye to your children out on the veranda each morning. You can encourage your children to take responsibility for their belongings by reminding them to unpack their own lunchboxes, drink bottles and reading folders, and then to store them in the right places once they're indoors. Likewise, at the end of each day, it is really helpful if you wait out in the courtyard where you can easily be seen by your child's home group teacher, so that teachers are able to farewell each child once you've been sighted. You are welcome to come inside if your child has something they would like to show you, once all of the children have been farewelled. Teachers will always endeavour to come out on to the veranda to catch up with you, after all children have been collected by parents or caregivers.

A reminder:

Please ensure that, once your child's Literacy folder starts coming home (again), and you've finished practising the letter cards and heart words with your child, the folder and its contents are returned to your child's school bag and come back to school every day. 

Here are some beautiful Day 1 photos, with the children engaged in a variety of activities during Learning Through Play - how lovely to see new friendships forming so quickly!

Have a great week, everyone, and we look forward to many learning adventures together throughout the term ahead.

Ngā mihi mahana,

Jo, Nicola, Chelsea, Stacey and Elizabeth