Koru Newsletter, Term 1 Wk 8, 2016

A wonderful quote from Paul Jennings
"Reading to your children is one of the most valuable things you can do for them. If you can possibly do it, try to fit some story-reading into your busy schedule. The benefits are enormous."

'Jewel Jar' celebration of learning afternoon
The jewel jars in hub 10 and 11 have been filled up! Students have been working together to earn jewels to show they care about our classroom environment, showing they are self managers and working together to share resources and focus on learning tasks. This celebration afternoon will be on Friday the 1st of April. We will have mask making, funny video clips, popcorn, fairy bread making, parachute games and other fun activities the children choose.

End of term lunch
We would like to invite whanau in on Thursday the 14th of April at 12noon for a  picnic down by the ponds/ senior adventure playground situated in the park. Please let us know if you are able to make it.

Parent Helpers
We are looking for parents who would be willing to help out by putting reading books away in our resource room, make word packs, make number packs and make games. If you are interested in helping out please talk to Rowe, Charlotte or Amanda.

Hub Rabbit
Next term Amanda is going to bring her pet rabbit 'Peach' into school for a visit. If the visit goes well for Peach and the children she could stay on as a hub pet. If you have any concerns or questions about this please talk with Amanda. 

8th April Assembly 
On the 8th of April Team Koru will be leading our schools Celebration of Learning Assembly. If you are free it would be great having whanau join us for this event. We hope to see many of you there!
We will be performing a musical item which could be highly entertaining ! Grandparents are more
than welcome to attend too. 

School Photos
Everyone had there wonderful smiles on and their eyes were sparkling when we had our hub photos taken on Monday. Information for these photo orders will be out next term. 

Lost Jumper
Can all parents please check jumpers at home? Asra's red school jumper has been misplaced. Thanks!

We will be spending lots of time revising and checking we know all our letter sounds next week. Here is what you can do at home to practise letter sounds:
* Make a letter poster e.g. create a 'g' page with cut out pictures / drawings of things that start with g
* Point to a word in your child's home reading book. Ask them, 'what is this sound? What is the letter name'?
* Have fun with our phonics song. Kiwi Kids Phonics Song
* Using junk mail or magazines, practise finding letters. Ask your child, 'what sound does this letter make?'
* Play eye spy
* See our 'home learning' page on this blog for more ideas
NOTE: we talk with the children about some letters making more than one sound.
e.g. c makes 'cat' and 'city';    g makes 'goat' and 'giant'

Welcome to new starters

Problem solving 

Wonderful Writers in Hub 10-11
Look what we can do! 

Come and see our published writing in class. You can leave us a comment on our work!

Week 8 Update

Duathlon: Due to a wet weather forecast tomorrow, the Year 5 - 8 duathlon will be postponed until next Thursday at the same time. That means more chance for training over the Easter break!

Passion Friday Food Group: Next Friday, 1 April, for Passion Friday our food group has decided to have an appliance day. We are meeting this week to organise exactly which appliances will be brought in to school, and what ingredients we will need. I would love extra support for this session, to ensure that all appliances are safely operated. If you are able to help us out between 11 - 12:30 next Friday, please send me an email Many thanks in advance.

Home-learning: Maths home-learning went home on Monday and is due on the Friday after Easter. This will be the last maths home-learning sheet for this term. 'Fear' writing is due tomorrow. It would be great if you could look over your child's writing with them tonight, giving encouragement and advice.

Naming Jackets: Please check that your child has their name on their senior jacket. This is an expensive item to get lost and we have noticed a number of un-named jackets.

Swimming Lessons: We would like to give you advance notice of the swimming programme that will take place in term 3 for Year 5 - 8 students. Each child will have eight 30 minute lessons over a two week period from August 29th. These lessons will be tailored to the ability level of each child, thus being relevant and beneficial to all children.

Dunedin Camp: 

  • We are still waiting to hear if our funding application has been successful. Apparently that is a good thing, as it means we still have a chance. The cost of camp, taking fundraising into account, is $265. This will be added to your account. You are welcome to pay a little each week, if that works better for you.  
  • Thanks to those of you who have returned the tech permission form for camp, which was on the last camp newsletter. Please get the rest of these in before the end of next week.
  • A reminder to camp parents that we are having a meeting next Wednesday at 5:30 in our hub.
  • If your child does not have a waterproof jacket to use in Dunedin, please let us know, so that we can match them up with one.

Top Team Leaders: Nine of our children took the opportunity to put their leadership into action at Top Team last Saturday. The Top Team crew were full of praise for their efforts.


We have been very fortunate the past few weeks to have Canterbury Softball at Beckenham School teaching our year five and six students some key throwing, catching and batting skills. Today was our last session and the children had a great time putting to good use all the key skills they have been practicing. Here is a video of one our students doing a massive hit and the fielders working extremely hard to get him out. Have a look to see the outcome and how in Pōhutukawa whānau we love challenge and we get there together!


Swimming at Jellie Park

What an incredible day we had yesterday at the pool! We had a slightly chilly start to the day but luckily the sun came out and everyone had a really great time. The children all did an excellent job at upholding our school values 'we get there together'. My personal favourite moment from the trip was seeing dozens of children deciding to demonstrate how they 'love challenge' by jumping off the highest diving board! I was so impressed that I too decided to join in the fun (which I later regretted once I had climbed to the top of the ladder!). It was a fantastic day! A HUGE thank you to all the parents who supported us on the day. Without your help trips like this wouldn't be possible.


Week 7 Update

Zone Swimming Sports: On Monday a team of our talented swimmers competed at the Zone Swimming Sports at Jellie Park. There were 12 competitors, swimming in relays, freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke. All students represented Beckenham School admirably. Special thanks to Katherine Ryan for her tremendous help on the day, as well as Mary-Clare Delahunty, Rod Gray and Katherine for providing transport back to school from the pool. Congratulations to all of our students for qualifying for the South zone swimming sports, and especially to Felix Strahl, Oskar Frampton, Juliette Gray and Henry McMecking for qualifying for the Canterbury swimming sports. Unfortunately the Canterbury swimming sports is on when we are in Dunedin on camp.

Welcome: Mark Shin has joined us in the hub for the rest of the term. Mark is a student teacher, working with Tracy.

Dunedin Camp: The second camp notice, which includes a gear list and programme is coming home today, both digitally and on paper.

Home Learning is due in this Friday. We love it when children hand their home learning in early.

Basketball: The children continue to respond extremely positively to the weekly basketball sessions with the Rams. On Thursday lunchtime this week, we will be holding trials for our basketball teams that will play on Monday or Friday afternoons (half an hour between 3:30 - 5:30)  in term 2 and 3.

Passion Friday Foodies: It is the Mini Master Chef competition this Friday. The students are required to bring $5 on Friday to buy ingredients at New World. They are also bringing some ingredients and utensils from home. Please ask your child about this today, as they will have a plan they can share with you.

Writing: Yesterday we kicked off our latest writing topic with a 'Fear Factor' experience. Many children got to experience the butterflies in their stomach and the rush of adrenalin through their veins as their names were drawn from the box and they anticipated what would happen next. On Wednesday the children will start to write about fear within a chosen context. (We have restricted them for any death, blood and gore content!) The emphasis will be on descriptive writing, rather than narrative (story). Today in class we unpacked an exemplar, which is included in this post, below the photos. We are encouraging the children to focus on the following success criteria:

  • I have made a plan so that I know what each paragraph will be about
  • I have used strong verbs
  • I have included clues to help the reader infer
  • My punctuation assists the reader    

You can support your child's learning at home in several ways:
  1. Discuss ideas for the context of their fear writing today, Tuesday.
  2. Ask them to show you their doc, (or better still - if you have a google account they can share their doc with you) on Thursday this week and Wednesday next week, and discuss their progress. This writing needs to be finished by the Thursday before Easter. We emphasise quality, not quantity, and have told the children we do not want to see more than two pages of writing. A big part of the writing process is re-reading and revising what has been written.
  3. Encourage your child to spend some time working on their writing at home.
  4. Check with your child that on Thursday this piece of writing has been proof read (it makes sense, spelling is checked and punctuation is correct) and edited (strong verbs, sophisticated vocabulary, figurative language have been used - it is the best writing it can be!).

Fearful anticipation of the first challenge.
Finding the crystalized eye-balls in buckets of ice.

What's Tracy going to make us do??

9 innocent eggs

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ... crack!

The unlucky one.
Not much fear on that face!

Its sooooo cold!

Searching for the 'worms'.

What is in those nappies?

Walking on the glass path.


Fingers trembling, Jasmine  fastened the strap on her helmet. Fear ran through her veins like liquid lead. Hands, upon which deathly white knuckles protruded, wrapped around the grips, strangling the handlebars of her bike. Inside her helmet all Jasmine could hear was the pounding of her heartbeat, echoing like a battle drum. She was terrified!

Looking around her she realised that she was not alone in her fear. The blood had entirely drained from Sam’s face; it glistened like damp porcelain. Jacky couldn’t stand still, jiggling from one foot to the other. Was it fear that prompted this erratic movement or was she wildly excited by the challenge that awaited them? Barry, not surprisingly, had a huge grin plastered across his face. Known as the ultimate adrenalin junky in the group, Barry was in his element. Jasmine despised him.

The warmth of the day had receded and a chilling breeze stirred the dried leaves on the forest floor. As it gathered momentum, the wind caused the upper branches of the pine trees to creak. The butterflies that were gathering in Jasmine's stomach began to move with greater intensity, dredging up a mild nausea that she fought to control. Dragging her gaze from the steep downward path, she breathed deeply to steady her trembling body.

As the last rays of light faded, a hush descended over the group. Robert cleared his throat to give the final instructions. Jasmine strained to hear; she needed every snippet of advice if she was to survive the ordeal that awaited her in the darkness.  Beside her, the vibrations of Sam’s chattering teeth competed with Robert’s muffled voice. In desperation, Jasmine ripped her helmet off in time to catch Robert’s final warning. His words hit her like a punch in the stomach, knocking the lastl shreds of confidence from her being.

Why, she asked herself for the hundredth time, was she here? Why would her parents want to her to suffer this ordeal? Why had she agreed to come? Why was she about to plunge down a steep mountain track on a flimsy bike, in darkness, with nothing but the erratic beam of an ineffective head lamp for guidance?  Why not? With a deep breath Jasmine released the brake from her vice like grip ... she was off! Wooohooo!