Kōwhai News Term 4 Week 7

Kia ora e te whānau

Welcome to the Kōwhai team's week 7 blog.


Recently, our students had a visit from Kerry, a representative from the Department of Conservation. Kerry taught the children lots of valuable information about kea. During the visit, the children participated in a tracking exercise where they used a device to locate a toy kea in the park. This hands-on experience allowed them to connect with nature and learn more about conservation work.


In our mathematics lessons, we've been delving into the world of measurement. Students have been mastering the use of a ruler and exploring concepts of perimeter and area. These practical lessons not only enhance their mathematical skills but also provide a real-world context for understanding the importance of accurate measurements in various situations.

Instruction Writing

Another exciting aspect of our curriculum has been instruction writing. Students have been engaged in crafting clear and concise instructions in a variety of ways such as, writing programming instructions for Bee-Bots and creating delicious recipes!

Transition Visits

As part of our ongoing efforts to support students in their educational journey, Year 4 students have been making transition visits to the Pōhutukawa Team during their Learning Through Play sessions. These visits are designed to familiarise them with the environment and routines they will encounter next year. It's a positive way to ease the transition and ensure a smooth start to the upcoming academic year.

Have a great weekend!

The Kōwhai Team

Kōwhai News Term 4 Week 5

Kia ora e te whānau, 

Welcome to the Kōwhai team's week 5 blog! 

Transition Plan for 2024

As we near the end of the year, students will no doubt be starting to think about classroom placement for 2024, particularly the Year 4’s who will be moving hubs. To support this transition for our Year 4 students, they will have a couple of opportunities to spend time with the Year 5 students and to meet some of the Year 5/6 teachers. This will involve two Kōwhai teachers taking the Year 4’s to Pōhutukawa for Discovery, while the Year 6’s will come to the Kōwhai hub to spend some tuakana/teina time with Year 3’s. The objective of this is to enable our Year 4 learners to re-establish connections with their Year 5 peers, familiarise themselves with the new hub, and ensure students have a positive transition.  

Inquiry: Ngā manu (birds)

Over the past two weeks, the Kōwhai children have begun learning about birds as part of our inquiry topic. Students have enjoyed learning more about some of New Zealand’s native birds and exploring some of their defining features. There was great conversation around the question, "What makes a bird a bird?", and lots of debate around whether penguins were birds! In the coming weeks, students will have the opportunity to observe birdlife within the Beckenham Te Kura environment and inquire into why these birds are suited to this particular habitat. 

Students have enjoyed looking at the candidates for bird of the century this week and some classes submitted their votes. If you are interested in learning more about this and having your say, follow this link


Linking into our inquiry topic: Ngā manu, our art focus for the term is sketching, with a particular focus on the natural world. Students will have opportunities to explore sketching techniques and apply this to different contexts. They will be sketching things in nature, such as plants, birds and insects. We are looking forward to seeing their artistic growth.


Over the past few weeks, we have noticed that some students have been wearing non-uniform clothes and footwear to school. While we understand that this is sometimes for a good reason, it is important that, where possible, students are following the dress code for Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto. For more information about school uniforms, please visit this link. Thank you for supporting your child to wear the correct uniform.

Being SunSmart

It has been great to see so many children remembering to wear their hats at school, especially with all these sunny days we have been experiencing. Please continue to make sure that your child has a hat at school every day and that it is clearly named. There is always the option of keeping hats at school, either in tote trays or in an allocated hat tub. We also encourage everyone to have sunscreen on. This can be applied before coming to school and we also have sunscreen at school if anyone needs to top up or they forget to put sunscreen on. Thank you so much for your support with this.


Here are some pictures of what students have been up to during Discovery:

Have a lovely weekend, 

Ngā mihi nui

Kōwhai News Term 4 Week 3

Kia ora whānau,

Here is an update on what we have been doing in the Kōwhai hub over the past two weeks.

Christchurch South Library Visits

Over the past two weeks, all the homegroups in Kōwhai have been on a trip to South Christchurch Library to learn about the history of the library and what the new build will look like after the earthquake irreparably damaged the current building. We were shown a slideshow on how the library evolved over the years and we ended up seeing an architect's drawing of the new library which is yet to be built. It was a really interesting experience and the children were fascinated!


The children then went on a scavenger hunt round the library to learn about the different areas in the library and what they are for. They also had to look for information and answer various questions. It was a fun activity while being educational at the same time.

We would just like to thank all the parent helpers who came along on the trip. We could not have done this without you. We would also like to thank Kerilea, our teacher aide, who came to support us on all of our visits.

Athletics Day

This week we held our whole school Athletics Day and it was great to see everyone out on the park participating in their various events and disciplines. In the Kōwhai team, all the homegroups had 5 rotations: high jump, long jump, discus, shot put and sprints. It was amazing to see everyone give it a go and doing their very best. Congratulations to you all!

Being SunSmart

It has been great to see so many children remembering to wear their hats at school, especially with all these sunny days we have been experiencing. Please do continue to make sure that your child has a hat at school every day and that it is clearly named. There is always the option of keeping hats at school, either in tote trays or in an allocated hat tub. We also encourage everyone to have sunscreen on. This can be applied before coming to school and we also have sunscreen at school if anyone needs to top up or they forget to put sunscreen on. Thank you so much for your support with this.

Have a great weekend!

Kōwhai News Term 4 Week 1

Welcome back to school for our final term. It is wonderful to see the tamariki well rested and with lots of energy for the weeks ahead. We hope you enjoy our update. 


We are enjoying our athletics practice sessions at the moment. The whole school athletics event is on Thursday 26th October, and our team will complete their activities from 11am - 12:40pm. Our focus is on the development of the movement skills of run, jump and throw, engagement and fun. A house relay will take place at 2.45. We warmly invite you to join us for this day. Check out the photos below!


These are essential for this term, so please make sure your child has a named hat they can leave at school in their tote tray or in their bag. We encourage sunscreen to be applied at home before school, and we have extra at school that can be applied as children need. Please also make sure your child has a named water bottle at school every day.

Library Trips

We are looking forward to visiting the Christchurch South Library over the next fortnight. Please send children with jackets, jumper, sunhat and solid walking shoes on the day of their trip. Thanks to those who offered to parent help. If you are a parent helper (your child's teacher will have confirmed this with you by email), please be in your child's homeroom class at 1:30pm on the day of their trip. Many thanks.

Anna R: Monday 16th October 1:30-3pm

Anna M: Tuesday 17th October 1:30-3pm

Rowe: Wednesday 18th October 1:30-3pm

Charlotte: Tuesday 24th October 1:30-3pm

Nick: Wednesday 25th October 1:30-3pm

Learning This Term

We have some fantastic learning in store this term. 

Wellbeing continues to be a key part of our programme, which includes both a whole school PB4L focus and daily notice discussion, as well as explicit teaching and learning activities in class each week. Anna Reid has put together an amazing selection of learning activities for us, which covers being a good sport, conflict resolution, how to apologise, keeping things in perspective and gratitude. 

Our PB4L focus this week is being an Upstander. You might like to read this social story at home and discuss it with your child.


Once we have completed Athletics, we will use our afternoon times for art and inquiry. We look forward to learning how to sketch and may make some fun nature creations (thank you Rowe and Anna for planning these for us!). 

Science: Ngā Manu (Birds)

We are also looking forward to a science inquiry into ngā manu, or birds. We will be learning key science ideas, including: 

* Different birds have different shapes, sizes, colours, beaks and feet. 

* All birds have two legs, wings, claws and a beak instead of teeth.

* The structure and features of a bird help it to get what it needs to survive. We can tell what sort of food a bird eats by looking at its beak and feet.

* Birds have adapted in line with their environments and/or to cope around people.

You can help your child by starting to notice the birds in your garden and our local community, and observing their behaviours and features.

Kōwhai News Term 3 Week 9

Kia ora whānau,

We are now nearing the end of Term 3 and we are so happy to be enjoying the lovely Spring weather!

Talent Quest

Over the past few weeks, Kathryn has been auditioning the Kōwhai talent quest hopefuls and it was great to see so many Kōwhai children take part! Kathryn was very impressed with everyone's different talents. This week, we held our own Kōwhai Talent Quest and 3 finalists were chosen to take part in the whole school Talent Quest next Friday afternoon. Congratulations to comedian, Leo Hynes; gymnasts, Chloe Sayer, Lucy Lee and Vienna Aldridge and singer, Meera Verma, also known as Cupcake. Everyone who took part was outstanding so well done to all of you!


We are currently focusing on writing information reports. The children are learning about the structure of an information report and how to present the information they gather in a clear and organised manner, making it easy for the reader to understand. This will be our focus until the end of term. Please do take the opportunity to ask your child what topic they have been writing about.


We are approaching the end of our technology inquiry and have been incredibly engaged in designing and creating balloon racers. Students have been testing out their models and making modifications to see if they can get them to travel even further. It has been really interesting to see which features on our balloon racers help or hinder their progress, and how this relates to the key science ideas we covered in our ramps and marbles learning earlier this year. 

Big ideas: 
  • Environmental factors can change how an object moves (e.g. wind, moving down a ramp or rough surface etc.), as can changing the materials or shape of an object.
  • Forces include pushes, pulls and twists.

  • Air can be used to create a push (e.g., a leaf blower) or pull (e.g., a vacuum) force.

  • Friction is another force that can slow things down. Wheels help overcome friction. 

  • Scientists complete more than one test of a design or experiment to make sure their findings are accurate and can be trusted. Scientists record their results.


Our PB4L focus this week is LEARNING and we are particularly focusing on being in the right place at the right time, actively listening and taking pride in our work, making sure we do our best every single time. Our word of the week is CO-OPERATION and the children have been watching various videos on teamwork. We have been talking about how cooperation means working together to get things done. 

Some of the Kōwhai children demonstrating co-operation:


We are experiencing difficulty in returning fleeces and jumpers to their rightful owners as the names are not always legible and sometimes the name of the previous owner is still written on the label. We would love your support with naming all of them clearly. If they are second hand fleeces or jumpers, please score the previous names out and clearly write your child's name in. We also have students who are missing their fleeces and jumpers. Please can you also check that your child hasn't inadvertently taken the wrong fleece or jumper home. We really appreciate your help with this.


We are now starting to prepare for Term 4 and we are back to wearing hats outside at all times. Please could you ensure that your child has a named hat ready for the first day of Term 4 as they will not be able to participate in outdoor activities without it. Thank you so much for your support with this.

Library Visits Next Term

We are currently organising visits to the South Library next term to learn about our local community, explore the Canterbury Stories exhibit and to hear the story of the South Library, from the days of the Māori up until the upcoming rebuild and the effect this has had on Beckenham as a community. It will be a very interesting and informative experience. 

We would love some parent help for this so we wanted to give you a heads up regarding the dates involved. Each homegroup will be going on a different day. Please see below for the different dates involved:
  • Monday 16th October 1:25-2:50pm = Anna R
  • Tuesday 17th October 1:25-2:50pm = Anna M

  • Wednesday 18th October 1:25-2:50pm = Rowe

  • Tuesday 24th October 1:25-2:50pm = Charlotte

  • Wednesday 25th October 1:25-2:50pm = Nick

If you are interested in coming, please let your child's homegroup teacher know. We only have a certain amount of spaces so we will get back to you at the beginning of next term to confirm if you will be needed or not. Thank you! N.B. This trip is not suitable for pre-schoolers.

Athletics Day

On Thursday 26th October next term (Week 3) we will be running a whole school Athletics Day to which you are welcome to come and support your child/children. There will be more information to follow next term.

Structured Literacy Books

Finally, we are needing all the structured literacy books that have been sent home to be handed back by the end of this term. Please make sure that all of them are returned as soon as you can. 

Thank You

We would like to take the opportunity to thank your children for all their hard work this term. It has been a busy time but there has been a lot of fantastic learning along the way. Thank you to you as parents and caregivers for all you do to support us and your children. We get there together!