Koru Term 3 Week 8

Kia ora koutou, 
We have loved catching up with the children over the course of this week, and hearing all about their lockdown experiences! It has been lovely to see the enthusiasm about being back at school, and to see friendships continue to strengthen. 
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your flexibility and efforts throughout the lockdown. We have noticed improvements across many areas, and the children have come back with an engaged attitude to learning. 
We would like to introduce Leonor, Terence and Stella who have joined the Koru team following lockdown. We are delighted to have them join us. They have settled in beautifully and are already developing new friendships. We welcome Charlie back following his trip to see family in France. 


Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori:

This week the children have enjoyed listening to Māori Myths and Legends, including 'How Maui Slowed the Sun.' Children were encouraged to retell different parts of the story during whole class shared writing. They talked about how Maui and his brothers felt throughout the story and how they worked together to solve the problem of their days being too short. 

Children have created some amazing Māori art work, both collaboratively and independently. They have also been given opportunities to sing, count to 10 and say simple sentences and answer questions in te reo Māori such as, "Kei te pehea koe?" (How do you feel?), "Kei te pai ahau" (I am good). 

We have continued with our Wellbeing program and this week our focus has been 'Taha Tinana' which is our Physical Wellbeing. It is about how our body feels, moves and how we take care of it. The children have come up with many ways they can keep fit and healthy. They have participated in physical class games and yoga. 

We hope you enjoy looking at the photos of our children in action throughout the week. 

How Maui Slowed the Sun

Independent Art

We Get There Together

Children have continued with their Structured Literacy learning and it is fantastic to see their proud faces when they learn a new letter sound, complete a stage or read their book independently. We want to thank you for helping your child with their letter sounds, heart words and reading each night. It really makes a huge difference with their confidence and momentum. 

Thank you for your patience and preparing your child for the Level 2 drop off and pick up. We are very impressed with how well the children have adapted to this and have quickly eased back into school routines, with an independent skip in their step! We love sparking the children's curiosity and creativity during our learning through play. We will continue to nurture this aspect of their learning throughout the remainder of this year. 
Have a lovely and relaxing weekend together. 

Ngā mihi mahana, 

The Koru Team: Elizabeth, Tracey, Nicola, Chelsea and Stacey

Koru Term 3 Week 3

Kia ora koutou,

What a great start to Term 3 we have had in the Koru Hub. Our busy days are providing many learning opportunities for our tamariki and we are enjoying seeing the progress they are making.

It is so lovely to hear about all the practice the children are doing at home with their sound cards and heart words. It really does make a difference to their progress at school. Once they have secured the sounds, they can use the sound cards to make small words and put the words together, in conjunction with their heart words, to make simple sentences. If they need extra letters, they can make their own on paper. Children can also practise writing the words they make. They will be able to show you their 3 friends pen hold and how they pick the pen up with their holding fingers which they pinch together to pick the pen up correctly. Once they are able to decode words by sounding out the individual sounds, their next step is to blend the sounds together as they read them. This will help them to become fluent readers and make sure they are understanding what they are reading. 

We  have been offered the use of one of the planter boxes, that are in front of the hall, to plant up and look after for the rest of the year. This week we have been learning about planting seeds and how to take care of them. We wrote some instructions for planting seeds and have begun to plant some pea and bean seeds in class. We are very excited about looking after them and watching their growth progress.

During our Learning Through Play, we have been focusing on the learning that is taking place. We spent some time last week discussing exactly why we call it Learning Through Play. It was great to hear children explaining that it's "because we are learning as we play." This week we have been identifying the ways in which what we do during Learning Through Play also relate to our school values.
We Get There Together

We Love Learning

We Get There Together

We Care

We Make a Difference

We Love Learning

We Get There Together and We Love Challenge

We Care

Using the cloud dough to make heart words - We Love Challenge and We Love Learning

Our shared book this week was about a gardener who created a maze out of hedge plants. During Learning Through Play we had a go at making and drawing our own mazes.

Creating a maze out of painted stones

Drawing mazes on paper

Using a whiteboard to draw a maze

We have begun our Keeping Ourselves Safe lessons in class. We have been talking about what makes us unique, along with the important information children need to know as part of keeping themselves safe. We have noticed that most children do not yet know their address or a contact telephone number. This would be a great time to have a practice with your child at home so they know how to contact you in an emergency. They will be bringing home a copy of the sheet they filled out, with support, at school to practise with you at home. Next week, we begin our lessons with Constable Ross.

We hope you have been enjoying participating in the school readathon. There is one more week to get those 'reading' minutes up. We will celebrate the end of the readathon next Friday with a Book Character Dress Up day, so get those creative hats on!

Have a lovely relaxing weekend together.

Ngā mihi mahana,

The Koru Team: Elizabeth, Tracey, Nicola, Chelsea and Stacey

Term 3 Week 1 in the Koru team

Kia ora koutou,

We have loved catching up with the children over the course of this week, and hearing all about their holidays! It's been lovely to see all of those happy smiles, and the excitement about being back at school.

Everyone, of course, is extremely excited about our new building which many of you will have had the chance to look around on Monday at the official opening. We are loving the spaces, and feel very lucky to have such a beautiful outlook over Ōpāwaho, and through the trees with all of their birds and wonderful birdsong.

You are welcome to come into Hangere on any day after school, and have your children show you around. 

The children are showing impressive respect for the environments they're learning in, as well as the resources we're using. Their level of tidiness is to be highly commended!

Here is a guided tour for you, in photo form...

Our games and jigsaw puzzle 'shelves'

Soft toys awaiting a good book!

View beyond the al fresco dining area and into one of our breakout spaces

A closer view into the same breakout space

The small group teaching space

The wet area and kitchen

Structured Literacy Home Learning:

As of next week, we are going to be starting to add some extra Structured Literacy activities into the children's Literacy folders. These are short paper-based activities which you will be able to supervise and support your children to complete at home. Once finished, these can be returned to school and will be checked by teachers and filed for each child. These activities are purely optional, and there will be no compulsion to complete them. These activities will not be coming home every day, rather, just on occasional days.

Today the Readathon cards are coming home. For our learners who are within Stages 1 to 6 of our Little Learners Love Literacy programme, we would not expect independent and fluent reading of texts beyond the children's reading level. Some of our children who are not yet bringing home reading books from school, will have alphabet letter cards in their Literacy folders. Children are also able to practise their letter sounds, join letter cards together to make up words, and make up simple sentences using their heart word cards as well as their letter cards. Children might need to make extra letter cards if they find that they need more than one of some of their letters when making up little sentences.
We have left the 'Reading Target' (number of minutes per day) blank, and we ask you to fill this number in so that it is appropriate, while also being a little challenging, but at the same time, achievable, for your child.
We would love to use this opportunity for our learners to engage passionately with books and Literacy in general. This could include whanau reading library books to/with their children, children enjoying a picture book independently, and could also include a focus on the language comprehension strand of the ‘Reading Rope’ below:

Identifying, and getting excited about, new vocabulary is particularly beneficial and fun and can have a large impact on writing too. Have fun throughout the Readathon, everyone!

Cafe Theme:
We are having SO much fun with our Learning Through Play theme this week! The play the children are engaging in is absolutely delightful and clearly they have a great deal of experience in this aspect of life, given the inspiration they are bringing to their role play! The cafes have been named, menus have been concocted, there are sign in sheets, QR codes, and indoor as well as al fresco seating available. Orders can also be phoned in and the phones are running hot! Our chefs and wait staff have been kept very busy and customers have been highly appreciative. Their manners are impeccable. The queues on opening day were out the door and down the path! 
We will definitely be continuing with this theme throughout next week. 

Yum, yum!

The 'sign in' form

The al fresco dining area, with a very busy kitchen beyond

Orders being taken

Checking the baking in the oven

Queueing at the door into the cafe

The QR code ready for scanning

Opening up for business

A VERY enthusiastic team of chefs

The cafe menu, including orange juice, apple juice, blueberry muffins and strawberries

Healthy Lunches:
Please note that our school approach to children's lunches is to have a balanced and healthy range of food items. We understand that some children have particular dietary requirements. We encourage the children to eat one or two items for their morning tea, but to save the main items in their lunchbox (e.g., sandwiches, filled rolls, wraps, yogurt, pizza) until lunchtime eating. We ask the children to eat these main items before eating any of their remaining snack items.

Please note that the Canterbury District Health Board has brought back this campaign, with its key message being 'Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste!' Follow the link above and this will take you through to the CDHB website.

  • Please ensure, when you drop off and pick your child up each day, that you are using the main school gates or the entrance from Eastern Terrace, rather than walking through one of the school carparks. At school, we ensure that the children know that the carparks are out of bounds
  • Also please continue to encourage your children to be as independent as possible at these drop off and pick up times. Your children are able to take responsibility for their own schoolbags, both carrying them as well as packing and unpacking them. This independence is encouraged even further when you say your goodbyes in the morning, outside the classroom doors, where there will most likely be a staff member waiting to greet them
  • Literacy folders need to be returned to school every day (please remind your children to unpack their folder and take it indoors each morning when they arrive at school)
  • Friday is our library day so your children need to ensure that they unpack their library folders and bring them indoors each Friday morning. Library folders will come home again each Friday after school, and can remain at home until the following Friday
  • Poetry books will also come home on Fridays, and need to be returned to school on the following Monday.
All the best for a lovely weekend, everyone, and we look forward to seeing the wee ones again, bright-eyed and with wide smiles, on Monday.

Ngā mihi mahana,
The Koru team: Elizabeth, Tracey, Nicola, Chelsea and Stacey

Term 3: welcome back!

Kia ora, e ngā whānau,

We do hope that this finds you all at the end of a very happy, warm and 'not-too-wet' holiday.

Welcome back to school for the third term of the year. We are looking forward to a fun term, including lots of further growth and development in all areas of life and learning!

We are very excited to be looking forward to the official opening of our new building, Hangere, on Monday morning. Please remember that if your child is in either of Elizabeth's or Tracey's Home Groups, we would like you to deliver your child to Kōmanawa, where they will be able to take their bags indoors. Once inside, one of the teachers will show the children where they can leave their bags, in the meantime. Children will then be able to settle in and reconnect with teachers and friends in Kōmanawa, before the bell rings at 8:55 a.m. Once the register has been taken, teachers will then bring the children over to Hangere for the official opening.

Have a lovely weekend, koutou, and we look forward to seeing you all again on Monday.

Ngā mihi mahana,

The Koru team - Elizabeth, Nicola, Stacey, Chelsea and Tracey

Koru Team News Term 2 Week 9

Kia ora,

Can you believe we have just finished Week 9 of the term and only have one more week until the July winter break starts. I'm sure everyone will be looking forward to some relaxing family time over the break.

This week in the Koru team we have been learning about Matariki. The children have been busy engaging in some Matariki activities and learning about the 9 Matariki stars. It was great to see many of our children and their whanau gathering for our Rōpū Hui on Wednesday night to celebrate Matariki. We hope you enjoyed your night participating in the fun range of activities available.

We have been enjoying hearing about all the practise children are involved in with their Structured Literacy at home. Thank you so much for your support with this, it is making a huge difference to their progress throughout the stages. Just a reminder that children who are just starting their Structured Literacy journey will be bringing home a few letter sounds to practise at home and these will be added to as they progress. These can be used to practise the pure sounds the letters make and then can be blended together to form words. Heart words, these are words that cannot be sounded out, will also start coming home for children to practise. Once they are proficient in segmenting and blending the first 8 sounds together, and know the heart words, they will start bringing home decodable books to read with you at home. The ability to segment and blend sounds together is paramount to their success at decoding words, so this stage may take longer for some learners. It is exciting to see their progress take off once they have accomplished this skill. The next step is for the learner to be able to write the sounds they hear in words and we do lots of practise with this within our lessons. This would be a great home learning activity once they are secure in the sounds they are bringing home.

In our maths programme over the past week we have been using frogs and ponds to create number sentences. We started with 5 frogs, and increased the numbers during the week, and looked at how many different ways the frogs could be in and out of the pond and recorded our findings.

In Kōmanawa we have been enjoying exploring the different equipment and activities on offer during Learning Through Play.

The lego has been very popular.

We loved seeing this team work together to create this construction. 

The playdough table has also been very busy.

We love how our 'golden oldies' help to settle our new students in.

The puppy school still has lots of puppy students.

Well done to those children who participated in the fun run on Friday to support the student council in raising funds for the charity KidsCan. You all put in an incredible amount of energy! Ka pai!

We hope you have all had a relaxing and fun weekend with your tamariki. 

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,

Elizabeth, Jo, Stacey, Chelsea, Tracey and Nicola