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

Te Whanau Koru Blog 2021-03-12 10:39:00

Koru Team News - Term 1 Week 6 

Kia ora e te Whanau,

The weeks are flying by in the Koru Team with such busy days!

Over the last 3 weeks we have...

  • made delicious Gingerbread People
  • had lots of fun playing with Spheros in the hall
  • learnt how to play some courtyard games outside
  • built constructions using the big cardboard bricks
  • explored our outdoor play space
  • solved maths problems and explored maths equipment
  • created mud pies and pipe pathways from our new mud kitchen to the sandpit
  • begun our literacy programme in the mornings
  • made scrumptious porridge mini muffins.

Creating pathways for the water to travel down by joining up pipes in the outdoor play space.

Painting with the spheros using ipads to control them.

You can view our finished artworks on the wall in the hub.

Using tablets to control the sphero to travel up the ramp and fall into the pool of water.

Using the big cardboard bricks to construct.

Learning courtyard games outside with some of our Yr 7/8 helpers.

We had fun rolling out the dough to make our Gingerbread People...

carefully placing chocolate drops for eyes in the right spot...

and choosing 3 M&Ms for the buttons. 
Our Gingerbread People were delicious!

Learning about alphabet letter sounds at the jelly bean table.

Baking mini porridge muffins with Stacey. We think Goldilocks would love these!

We have started our literacy programme in the mornings, working alongside our Learning Through Play time. The focus at this early stage is for all the children to learn the sounds for the alphabet letters.  There will be a letter coming home with your child to explain more about the programme and how you can support your child at home. We thought this video clip of a child saying the pure sounds may be useful for when you practice at home. 

Many thanks for all the very kind donations for our outdoor playspace! The children have been enjoying exploring the water play by connecting pipes, from the new mud kitchen, to make pathways for the water to travel through. We love seeing their teamwork while they problem solve to navigate obstacles and fix leaky pipes.

Can you help?
We are getting low on our supply of construction materials, if you have any small boxes or interesting bits and pieces 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.

Have a lovely relaxing weekend together with your tamariki.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou

Elizabeth, Jo, Stacey and Nicola

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

First day of school!

 Kia ora koutou,

We have had such a great first morning at school! 'Goodbyes' to our whanau were positive, and we quickly did our morning jobs and started our Learning Through Play. We have sung songs, listened to stories, eaten our morning tea and had break time on the playground.

We went on a walk around the school, to look at all the places we need to know about. We took the time to learn the boundaries and practise stopping at the yellow lines. Knowing about the boundaries helps to keep us safe at school.

We met Sandy, our Principal, when we were out on our walk. We even had a look to see where we can find Jo when she is out of the Hub and in the office.

Learning Through Play is lots of fun, and we are making new friends and getting to know our teachers.

A reminder that Welcome Assembly will be at 9.15 a.m. tomorrow morning in the school hall.

We look forward to telling you all about our day when we see you after school.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,

Koru tamariki, Elizabeth, Nicola and Jo

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