Kōwhai News Term 2 Week 3

Kia ora whānau,

We have been doing a lot of exciting activities in the Kōwhai Hub this week.


This term, during Discovery, a group of children have been learning to write computer programmes using Scratch. The children have been learning about concepts such as events, if statements, loops and variables. Some children have been making their own computer games while others have been programming interactive stories.


We have been learning a lot during our science lessons and have been having lots of fun at the same time. Here are some photos of our crystal growing experiment.


Next week, we will be starting a new maths topic focusing on statistical literacy and investigations. The children will be learning about fair surveys, graphs, spreadsheets and more.

Celebration Assembly

Last week, we were able to have Celebration Assembly indoors for the first time in months. It was great to be able to get together again. At the moment, half the school goes to assembly at one time to help us maintain a safe level of social distancing.

That's all for this week.

The Kōwhai Team

Kōwhai News Term 2 Week 1

Kia ora whānau,

Welcome back to Term 2! We have had a cracking start to the term, getting stuck into our learning and doing lots of exciting new activities.


In Discovery, we have introduced some new options, including creating Stop Motion animations on the iPads and developing our dancing skills with Quynh.


This term we are exploring the topic of Sustaining Our Cultures which will involve researching a chosen culture and finding out about certain aspects of it. This may be a culture that the children associate themselves with or just one they are interested in. 

We started this week with some fun introductory activities. One of the activities involved tasting 5 different foods from different countries around the world and the children had to guess what they were and where they came from. The children were totally engaged with this activity and some of the foods were quite tricky to guess! Has anyone ever tasted sun-dried jackfruit from Vietnam before?


Over the next couple of weeks, we will be doing some science experiments in the afternoon. One of the experiments we tried this week was called Cucumber Chemistry which involved predicting what would happen to the slices of cucumber when we put sugar and salt on them. Can you predict what would happen? 

Help Needed

We have been working hard on developing our garden behind the hub and every Monday, Charlotte works with a team of children during Discovery to keep the garden tidy and free of weeds. We are, however, finding it difficult to keep up with the weeds and were wondering if there was a keen parent who could come in and help with this and even prune the apple trees. If you could spare half an hour here or there, we would be truly grateful. Please email your child's homegroup teacher and we will take it from there.

Thank you again for your ongoing support.

From the Kōwhai team

Kōwhai News Term 1 Week 11

Kia ora tātou,

It has been another busy fortnight, and our students have continued to amaze us with their passion and energy for learning. Well done to all our tamariki! Thanks again to all whānau for your ongoing support. We wish you a relaxing, healthy and fun holiday period. 

Park Detectives 

The Christchurch City Council Outdoor Education Team visited us over the past fortnight, and helped us learn more about birds, bugs and trees down at our local ponds. The children completed a 'what I already know' and 'what I'd like to learn more about' brainstorm before we completed the sessions. We had lots of fun talking about birds, bugs and trees. Here are some of the key terms we learnt. Why not ask your child about them at home and see what they recall? 

  • Decomposition 
  • Seed Dispersal
  • Pollination
  • Photosynthesis
We hope to undertake more inquiry learning about our environment over the next term. A big thanks to our parent helpers too!

Discovery Time: Gardening Group 

We have been observing and discussing how different plants grow, using their roots and petals and leaves to get nutrition from soil and sunlight. We have looked at bulbs, seeds and root systems and had fun planting beans and daffodil bulbs.

Discovery: Learning social skills through sport

We have an eager group of cricket players this term. The group love sharing their ideas about the rules, and making sure play is fair. They take turns and talk through decisions on scoring. They love to encourage each other.

More Discovery Fun...

Wellbeing: Special Spaces 

This week, we've talked about special places that help our wellbeing. We identified places at school and outside of school, and shared how we feel in these places. Our feelings included calm, happy, safe, joy-filled and loved.

Kōwhai News Term 1 Week 9

We are nearing the end of term now and we have a wonderful trip to the ponds coming up where we will be learning to be Park Detectives! We will be finding out about bugs, birds and trees in our local area which will be very exciting. Thank you to all the parents who have offered to help on these trips. We couldn't do this without you.


During Discovery over the last couple of weeks, the children have been exploring their passions and pursuing their ideas which has led to some amazing creations. Some children have been making popsicle stick puppets and then they decided to make different clothes for their puppets and even opened up a shop selling caps, pants, tops and so one. They showed great initiative!


For writing, some children have been focusing on debating and they have come up with some amazing arguments. Which is better, TV or books? What do you think? Why?


During maths, we are doing lots of basic facts practice and we have been working hard on our problem solving, working on open-ended questions which could have various different answers. Tricky! Take a look at one of the problems. How would you solve it. How many different ways could you solve it?

We also love our Move 'n' Prove problems when we have to decide which answer out of 4 different answers is the right one and we also give a reasons for our thinking. Is a, b, c or d the right answer? Why do you think that?

Sustaining Relationships

In the afternoons, we have been continuing with our co-operative activites such as drawing a scene or a world in a group and doing a Lego challenge, building something (e.g., a robot) in 10 minutes together as a group. We have also tried doing picture postcards when the children had to work in groups to create a soundless scene like a supermarket or a playground and everyone else had to guess what was happening. It has been lots of fun as well as a great opportunity for the children to work with different peers, learning how to share their ideas and negotiate their way to succeeding in any given task.


This week for wellbeing learning, we've talked about problem-solving strategies. We've shared some of the problems we've encountered, such as not being able to find a playmate or being worried about something. We also listened to a story about problem solving or getting over setbacks: What to do with a problem.

We talked about strategies we could use, and made a personal brainstorm of these strategies. Ideas included: 
* Talk to a friend or adult 
* Take some time out to relax (worries)
* Make a different choice or choose to focus on something else

Kete Certificates

This week's kete certificate recipients are Dylan, Seb, Mietta, Bryn, Billy, Max, Pippa, Amelia and Banuja. Congratulations on being role models and showing the school values!

Diversity Day

Next Friday, is Diversity Day when the children can come to school in the Diversity Flag colours or any colours they associate with their country of origin (gold coin donation). Our Student Council representatives (Matthew, Ruvi and Tom) and some dedicated helpers have been working hard this week on creating some posters for this event. Each team has created part of a whole message, advertising the day. Below are the parts that Kòwhai were given to paint. What do you think the whole message is? Find out next week!

Kōwhai News Term 1 Week 7

Wow! Where is the term disappearing? It's amazing to think that we are now in Week 7. As always, we have been a busy hub. Here is an outline of what we have been up to over the past 2 weeks.


The children continue to explore their ideas through Discovery, having a choice of activities both inside and outside the hub.

Outside, we have been playing cricket, creating ball games and obstacle courses, digging and engineering in the sandpit, and Charlotte is also running the Gardening Club once a week. 

Indoors, we are creating marble runs and bridges with wooden blocks, learning the art of origami and we are doing lots of construction, making houses out of boxes and dolls out of popsicle sticks and wool. Some of us have even been conducting experiments using magnets. Also, Nick is running a Coding Club which involves the children learning to code a maths game. 

Reading / Writing / Spelling

Next week, we are sending home spelling cards and spelling workbooks for your children to be able to practise their spelling words (both reading and writing them) according to their reading stage. Please click on this link for instructions on how to use them. You will also receive a hard copy of these instructions with your spelling pack next week. Remember, this is an optional extra if you want to practise at home. We will also practise these words at school every week.


We have finally finished our collage art and here are some of the finished results!

Sustaining Relationships

Instead of sustainable art, we have now moved on to sustaining our relationships by playing co-operative games and undertaking co-operative challenges. We have been doing back to back drawing, lego challenges, trust games, building the tallest tower challenges and many, many more. The children have been learning a lot about building and sustaining relationships with one another and co-operating in order to achieve their goals.


Some of us have had the opportunity to do some experiments with our wonderful teaching assistant, Elizabeth. Take a look at the volcano experiment they conducted. Exciting stuff!


Every Friday, we spend time on our wellbeing / hauora and for the first weeks of term, we have been learning about Te Whare Tapa Whā. It is a model of wellbeing, which comprises four key areas, and is widely used in NZ. We've looked at keeping ourselves well by making time for: 
  • Physical health: exercise, sleep, eating healthily
  • Mental and emotional health: self-talk, calming strategies, communicating through challenges
  • Social health: time with family and friends
  • Spiritual health: this includes making time for our passions, and/or things that give us a deeper sense of meaning
There are some fantastic parent guides here to help you support children in areas of need, including sleep and anxiety: https://www.allright.org.nz/tools/parenting-guides

Reminders and Requests

  • We would love some more boxes and cardboard containers for our construction station in Discovery. Please do bring some to school if you have any spares. Thank you!
  • A reminder for your child to bring a named drink bottle to school every day. It is so important that they keep themselves hydrated and ready to learn.
  • Also, a reminder to bring a named mask to school every day too. Everyone is doing so well with wearing them when they are in the hub and we want to continue with this. 
  • Can you please have a chat with your child about the importance of handwashing before and after eating and also after going to the toilet. We are talking to them about it at school but we would love your support with this too. Thank you so much!

Kete Certificates

Congratulations to this week's certificate recipients!


And finally, a shout out to Elizabeth, our wonderful teaching assistant, who is moving on to start a course in floristry. Thank you, Elizabeth, for all your hard work in our hub! The children will miss you but we wish you all the best in the future and we hope you will come back and visit.

Have a wonderful weekend!

From the Kōwhai Team,

Anna, Laura, Charlotte, Quynh, Nick and Rowe