Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto Newsletter 31st May 2019

Principal's Patch

Kia ora koutou 

It has been an exciting fortnight including a visit from the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and her entourage.  Jacinda's visit lasted 30 minutes and she delighted us all.  The children showed a real interest in the information on climate change that was shared and provided some funny moments when answering some questions that Jacinda posed.

Jacinda -  "Who knows what I do for a job?"
New Entrant - "You are the President of New Zealand."
Jacinda - "Great guess, I work with some other politicians in the Beehive in Wellington. What do you think we do there?"
New Entrant - "Make honey!"
Jacinda - "Well I do have 2 beehives at my home and we get honey from those.  Does anyone else know what we do in the beehive?"
Year 4 child - "You make the rules!"

Lucy Gray and her Climate Change team shared 15 minutes with the Prime Minister sharing ideas, discussing the government's intentions and asking questions.  What an incredible opportunity.

 The other excitement has been the installation of our new signage around the school.  If you haven't already, please come into the office and see our wonderful values wall that has been delighting visitors all week.  The Logos on the back of the hall and on the front of the school show very clearly "this is our place."

This week we say farewell to Cath Barrie who has won a position working with the RTLB (Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour) service. Cath has worked at Beckenham for the past 12 years. We have valued the contributions, expertise and leadership that Cath has shared through teaching across the school, in our  Learning Support programmes and with our diverse learners.   Thank you for everything.  All the very best for a wonderful opportunity for professional growth Cath.

We welcome Georgie Jones who is going to work in Cath's position in the Kauri team from next week. We know that Georgie’s great skills and teaching experience will be well utilised and she will be a wonderful addition to the team.

Have a very happy and relaxing Queens Birthday break.  We look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday.

Nga mihi nui
Sue, Nigel and Paulette

Important Dates

Upcoming Events

Mon 3 Jun - Queen's Birthday - public holiday.  School is closed.
Fri 7 Jun - Celebration Assembly 11 - 11:30am.  All Welcome.
Fri 7 June - Weekly Winter Sport
Fri 7 Jun - BOT voting closes at 4pm
Tue 11 Jun - Learning Conferences.  School closes at 2pm
Thu 13 Jun - Learning Conferences.  School closes at 2pm.
Fri 14 Jun - Weekly Winter Sport
Fri 14 Jun - PTA School disco
Wed 19 Jun - Canterbury Cross Country - Halswell Quarry
Thu 20 Jun - BOT Meeting.  5:30pm at school
Fri 21 Jun - PTA Shortest Day Breakfast

Please note that school will be CLOSED on Monday 12th August for Teacher Only Day

Term Dates

Click here to view 2019 term dates.

Citizen of the Week

Daniel Smith - Year 8

Daniel, you have stepped up to the responsibility of being a Year 8 leader and role model in our kura. You are perceptive and empathetic towards the needs of others and you demonstrate inclusivity in your actions. Daniel, we regularly see you embracing challenge, be it during academic learning, during sports or by putting yourself outside of your comfort zone and learning a new skill. It is fantastic to see your developing confidence, and the fine upstanding young man you are becoming.

Emma Vaile - Year 4

Emma, you are a superstar! You consistently demonstrate a warm, positive and caring attitude and are a great friend to others. You have excellent self-management skills and are an outstanding role model. You are extremely reliable and are always willing to lend a helping hand. We love having you in our team. Well done!

School Notices

ICAS Assessments 

The University of New South Wales is offering your child to take part in the ICAS assessment programme.

ICAS is an independent, skills-based assessment program which recognises and rewards student achievement. ICAS is unique, being the most comprehensive generally available suite of academic assessments for primary and secondary school students.

Entries are administered at school. For further information, please consult the ICAS website - Each participant will receive a certificate and a detailed report of their performance.

This year, we will be offering Digital Technologies, Science, English, and Maths assessments.

Each assessment costs $15.00 to enter (please note that this has increased from previous years, due to the transition from paper-based assessments to an online test). Payment for these competition fees will need to be paid in full by Friday 2 August 2019. You can pay with EFTPOS at the school office or online school's bank account (ASB 12-3148-0131641-000) with the reference ‘ICAS’ and child’s name as the code. If you wish to enter your child, please fill out the form here.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email -

Year 7-8 Writer’s Club

The children at Writers' Club in Year 7/8 have been working incredibly hard on writing a narrative to be  submitted into a writing competition through the School for Young Writers. The brief was to write a story of no more than 500 words that had mystery at its heart. The children's imaginations ran wild!

Last week, we found out that Max Graham and Florence Gerard were awarded a Highly Commended in the year 7/8 category. There were only 10 of these awards presented. Here are the stories the students have written. MYSTERY STORIES

Learning Conferences

We have learning conferences in week 7 on Tuesday 11th June and Thursday 13th June. Note that school will finish at the earlier time of 2pm on both days to allow for Learning Conferences to take place. These conferences are an opportunity for you to meet with your child’s home group teacher to discuss your child’s current achievement and their next steps for learning. The conferences will be 15 minutes in duration for Year 1-6.
If your child is in Year 7/8,  please book a 15-minute slot and allow 30 minutes for the actual conference. 
If your child is in the Koru (New Entrant) team and started before the 1st of April you will be able to book a conference. If your child started after April the 1st you are on a different reporting timeline and your child's teacher will contact you when it is time for an initial meeting or transition report.
Below is an example of the data sheet you will be given at the conference.

If you would like your child to stay at school between 2 pm and 3 pm on one or both of those days please fill in this google survey so we can plan ahead.

To book, please go to or click on this link and use the code yucbe  

Ferndale News

As part of our regular programme, we develop skills around accessing resources in the community.  Currently, we are focusing on leisure skills and are visiting Pioneer Pools for a weekly swim session.

Sports News

Cross Country

We had a fantastic day of participation at our whole school cross country event. The sportsmanship and leadership displayed by our children were outstanding. Thank you to everyone who came along to support the children, it certainly added to the atmosphere.

Year 1 Champions: Laura Stoney and Ben Stoney
Year 2 Champions: Eadie Jenkins and Ollie Karst
Year 3 Champions: Cameron Inglis and Spencer Ingram
Year 4 Champions: Jade Inglis and Archie Arnott
Year 5 Champions: Torun Joergenson and Billy Murfin
Year 6 Champions: Mahli Boreham and Josh Breitmeyer
Year 7 Champions: Ruby McNiven and Erik Cassels-Brown
Year 8 Champions: Roxy Murfin and Ben Evans

We recognise the achievement of every child who participated in this event; all the competitors who ran their hearts out, those who supported others and those who took on important responsibilities to assist with the running of the event.

Since then, the top six students from each race have competed at zone level. The event, which took place at Halswell Quarry this week, adds an extra layer of challenge, which our tamariki all took in their stride. All children ran a race to be proud of. The following children have qualified to represent our Kura at Canterbury level on the 19th of June, Ben Evans, Erik Cassels-Brown, Lucky Lasiyal, Josh Breitmeyer and Kever Thorley.

Winter Sport

Today was our first day of winter sport. Some children in Years 5-8 travelled to Hagley and Nunweek Park for competitive games of hockey, football and netball, while other children had an introductory session to school-based winter sport. We also have 5 Year 7 and 8 boys who are joining St Martins to play rugby in a combined team on Thursdays.

Our first games were fantastic. The atmosphere on the bus home was buzzing as the children regaled the highlights of their game.

Congratulations to our players of the day who impressed their coach with their technical skills and sportsmanship.
Roxy Murfin, Cooper Reddecliffe, Eli McGuigan, Zoe Winsor, Helena Caunter, Zara McIvor, Sophia Brown and Charlotte Grey.

Congratulations also to players of the day from week two:

Bianka Cain, Keanna Hakeagaiki, Olive Morel, Grace Howard, Jonty Mitchell, William Pooch, James Stoney, Daniel Smith, Walter McLoughlin, Kever Thorley, Fergus McMillan.

PTA News

Kids' Disco

Polish those shoes & practice those moves, the KIDS' DISCO is coming back to town.
Mark the date NOW in your calendar- FRIDAY 14th JUNE in the HALL
NE -Yr 3: 4:30-5:30pm
Yr 4 -Yr 6: 6-7pm
Yr 7-Yr 8: 7:30-8:30pm
GOLD Coin entry fee.
If you are able to help out at ONE of these DISCOs please email


We listened -YOU said NO to the ADULT DISCO..... So the PTA, in conjunction with Clubbercise Christchurch NZ with Chloé will be trialling a ONCE a TERM class on a Wednesday Night in the Hall.
What is Clubbercise??- Clubbercise classes are run in a darkened room with disco lights & branded LED glow sticks to a soundtrack of old & new club hits!
Come along, dance, get fit & let's glow!  - follow for more detailed information on this upcoming event- 1st class will be held this term, date to be confirmed!!

Beckenham Booty

Bookings are NOW Open for the Sunday 30th JUNE Car Boot Sale, located in the staff car park.
LIKE  for the latest updates
Book NOW:

BOT Update

It’s time to vote!!
By now you should have received your voting papers in the post. There is a tight turnaround, so please return them to school by the 7th of June. You can drop them off at the school office or place them in the self-addressed envelope, or send them directly to CES School Trustees Elections. Late votes cannot be counted.

Every eligible voter should vote to ensure that elected boards represent the community, have a good mix of gender, ethnicity, and skills and bring a variety of experiences to the board table. This can make a positive difference to your children’s learning.

If you have any questions please contact Nigel Easson at school.

Community Notices

(Notices placed here are contingent on space and do not reflect the views or opinions of the school.)

Forest Run Fest

The Forest Run Fest is a morning for all levels of walkers and runners to get out there, compete and breathe in the fresh winter forest air with family and friends.
We offer four events including a half marathon, 10km, 5km and 2 km courses, the latter being staged especially for children 10 years and under.
We are offering a $10 discount to any parent or family member if their child registers for the Half Marathon, 10km or 5km distances using code SCHOOLS2019. The website for the event is

Girl Guiding Community Programme

My name is Meg Walley I am the Girl Experience Manager for our Community Programme held here in Christchurch with GirlGuiding New Zealand.

The aim of the programme is to provide pop up adventures & experiences for girls, aged 5-17 in the Christchurch community who are not members of GirlGuiding New Zealand. We aim to give girls amazing experiences in a range of industries, leaving them feeling inspired, empowered and ready to take the world by storm. We love working with experts in the field so that girls get an informative and educational experience.

This initiative was started in Auckland at the beginning of 2018 and due to its success, we have bought it to Christchurch.

We would love to give your girls an opportunity to take part in these amazing weekend adventures to discover new skills, make new friends and most importantly have fun.  Last month our events included:
Stem in the Park:  An afternoon of challenging and exciting STEM activities using the world around us to experiment, design, build and test our creative ideas.
Robotics: A collaboration with Animation Station giving the girls a chance to create their own robot warrior and battle them against each other.

The calendar for June includes:
Operation Animation: A collaboration with Animation Station allowing girls to become a director for the day as they learn stop motion animation.
Shred the Slopes: The ultimate girls day at the mountain!  A behind the scenes look at how Mt Hutt is run, gear hire, lift pass and lesson with a professional to bring out your inner adventurer.  This experience is for beginners and girls aged 10 – 18.

In the pipeline we also have collaborations with:
Ethique Beauty: A workshop and talk from the CEO Brianne and her entrepreneurial journey.
Woman in Construction: A workshop from Woman in Construction and a speaker who is dominating this male dominated field.
Christchurch Adventure Park: Get ready to learn how to mountain bike like a pro with this beginner’s guide to Mountain Biking.

For more info check out

Starfish Swim School

Bookings for the July Holiday Programme are now open!
Week one: Mon 8th July - Fri 12th July
Week two: Mon 15th July - Fri 19th July
Email: or ph us at 033381705.  2 Nash Road Aidanfield.

Parenting Together- Our Kids and Anxiety  

On the 12th of June, there is a parenting workshop focusing on supporting parents who have children with anxiety.  Sessions will start at 9.30am at Linwood Union Church, 378 Linwood Ave
Morning tea will be provided
On the 26th of June “overcoming Bedtime routines”.
Link to the flyer

Kauri Whānau: Time to Celebrate!

It has been a week since our ShowQuest performance and we now have some great pictures to share.

We were so so proud of your children and the power of their performance on Tuesday evening. It was a real team effort, from conceptualizing the idea to the final performance, the whole team has been involved - under the wonderful leadership and guidance of Jenny.

The most common reaction to our performance was how emotive it was. Many people have told us how they were moved to tears. The day after our performance we got a lovely email from a Burnside High School parent who was in the audience:

'Last night I attended ShowQuest to watch my daughter perform with another school however I just had to contact you to tell you how absolutely marvelous your school's performance was. It should have won something but regardless I hope the children know that the message was received loud and clear by the audience. So beautifully and thoughtfully and cleverly done. Thank you so very much. Please pass this on. Regards Catherine Woods a Mum of Burnside girl!'

I sent Catherine a thanks message and she replied with ...

'Still thinking about it tonight and I won't be the only one! I hope the performances were all recorded as it would be beautiful if more people could see your message in these times where intolerance is such an issue. What a wonderful advertisement for the values of your school too. Arohanui Catherine!'

We are still waiting for the official video and are thankful to have this one that was taken by Jane, one of our parents.

We would also like to acknowledge Liz, who helped with making the floaty skirts; Kathie, Naska and Steve, who accompanied us on our break at the playground; and Sudama, who prepared us all a delicious meal.

Photos of our performance can be found on the ShowQuest Facebook page. Here is a selection:

Outdoor Spaces Development 2019-05-28 16:26:00

Newsletter - Outdoor Spaces Update 4

28th  May 2019

Last week we met with a group of builders who are going to be installing the playground by Pūkaki. The trees had to be assessed to ensure they are healthy and safe to have a play area underneath. Beaver Tree Services completed this in the Term 1 holidays.
It is important to note that this first project is not for the sole use of the NE team. Many children prefer smaller enclosed spaces when they play, and all children in Year 1-4 will be able to play in this area.
Carmel Wade is our main coordinator for this project and we will be working on site with a group of builders on 15th-16th June. We would love the help of approximately 10 people for these working bees on each of these days. You would be required to help dig the sandpit, plant trees, assist with some of the foundation work and help install the stones for the sandpit. If you are able to help, please fill in this google form with your expression of interest. 

The children across the school have all had the opportunity to create their concept plans for the Junior Playground. Unlike other institutions, it is important for us to have as much student involvement as possible as they are the kaitaiti of the school grounds.  As a school, we view this as a wonderful authentic learning opportunity for our students and want them to be a part of the process as much as possible. 

Their ideas have been collated and sent to Rachel Annan and Nik Kneale (landscape architects) to be incorporated into plans. They both have huge experience designing school outdoor spaces and will use their expertise with the designs. Nik designed the Treemendous area in 2018. We are hoping that these plans will be completed over the next 3 weeks. Once complete, we will be asking students, the school community and staff for feedback on the preferred plan. After this consultation, the decided plan will be priced up and we will be in the situation of starting the development, hopefully at the beginning of  Term 3.

We also met with Sam from Smile Dial (a charity specialising in supporting students with special needs). He gave us some guidance on creating spaces that cater for sensory, behavioural and physical needs. This will be of benefit to both Beckenham and Ferndale students. Sam’s recommendations will be included in the Design Plans. 

Last week the Ministry of Education was on site to review drainage issues around the admin building. This now sees them completing further work outside the admin block over the Term 2 school holidays addressing drainage and resealing the area. Luckily for us, this means that the money raised by our incredible PTA will not need to be spent resurfacing some of the outside areas and can be best used on improving spaces across the school.

We are currently in the process of applying for grants to resurface the Junior Playground. The replacement cost of this is between $60,000-$80,000 which is huge. We very much hope that our grants will be accepted. We are putting in grants for other areas across the school, including painting games on the asphalt and constructing small games areas such as gaga ball.

We have been given trees to be used for landscaping across the school from Trees for Canterbury and these are currently being cared for by the children until they need to be used in Term 3/4. We have also applied for a selection of fruit trees through the Resilience Network Canterbury.

Outdoor Spaces Committee

Week 5 Kahikatea

We are so happy to have finally started swimming lessons. Thanks to all our lovely whanau who are supporting us during this time and to the many, many hours of work Charlotte has put into planning and organising such a valuable learning experience for our tamariki. Arohanui Charlotte!
Lessons continue this week (except for Wednesday 29th May) and then on into next week too.

Here are some photos of today's fun:

And, from our Celebration Assembly on Friday 24th May...

Our Cross Country Winners

Newsletter – Outdoor Spaces Update 3

 Newsletter - Outdoor Spaces Update 3

26th March 2019

We held a community meeting to discuss the Pūkaki play area on 4th March. It was great to have so many people interested interested with this first project. This meeting highlighted the need for us to create a space for our school community, to be able to easily access the information about the outdoor spaces development around the school and to keep the school community informed of up and coming events.

A tab has been created on the school website for you to be able to access from one place all the newsletter updates that we send out, along with information about the processes we are following and the projects that are currently being worked on.

We are aware that the development of the outdoor spaces is taking time. As a committee, we are committed to ensuring that we achieve the best possible outcomes for all. Having student voice and involvement is an important element of this process as the children are the ones who will be using the spaces and are our guardians of this land. We also want to ensure that the areas created across the school have a consistent ‘flow’. The school cultural narrative is our guiding theme. The cultural narrative is our story and what makes our space in the world unique. Here is our school cultural narrative if you are unfamiliar with it. It also explains the development and significance of our school logo and building names.

We have developed a set of protocols to be governed by to ensure the developments across the school are equitable. These are the Beckenham Outdoor Spaces Committee Process Protocols
as approved by the BOT:

1. Gather Ideas (Students) based on set criteria.  They must:

  • Support our cultural narrative
  • Be accessible for all children
  • Support neurodiverse as well as neurotypical students (different spaces for different purposes; busy/quiet spaces)
  • Be achievable 
  • Be within the set budget (organised by the Outdoor Spaces team)

2. Refine ideas and put in 2-3 plans for consideration
3. Involve experts (landscape architect and playground expert) to review the plans
4. Confirm the plan- costings, timeline etc.
5. Ensure plans meet safety guidelines
6. Install the project

Here are our latest developments 
Pūkaki Play Space The plans for the Pukaki play space are all ready to go. We are awaiting a tree report to understand the viability of working on and around the tree roots.

Junior Playground
 The children are currently being asked for their input into the refurbishment of this play area. We plan to repaint and repair damaged and worn areas on the current playground and will add new items to enhance what is already there. The children across the school will be asked for their ideas for what they would like to see updated and added. It is important that we have student involvement as they are the ones who will be using the area. We would like to begin this over the Term 2 holidays and complete this in the first few weeks of Term 2 so the children receive the greatest benefit.

Court Markings
 We are aware that we need to add some court games across the school. The senior school are investigating what types of court markings that they would like to install across the school. This may include hopscotches, four square, twister, chess etc. We will send out the plans when they are developed. This will give the children more games to be able to play at break times and maximise the use of our court space.

Examples of court markings
Trees for Canterbury 
We are currently putting in an order from trees for Canterbury for us to use across the school.

Outdoor Spaces Committee