Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto School Newsletter, Rāmere (Friday) 15 December, 2023

Principal's Patch

Kia ora koutou

And we are done for 2023! Thank you to all our staff, and to all of you, for the support that is given to ensure that our children have the best opportunity we can give them for learning at Beckenham.

Year 7/8 Production - thanks for the memories!

Last week we were excited to see our Year 7 and 8 students on the stage in their unique and amazing production of "Oh, the Places You'll Go" based on the book of the same name by Dr Seuss. They each put in some amazing performances and there had clearly been lots of creative thinking and practice put in to get the performances to the final stage.

Celebrating our Year 8 Leavers

On Monday, we farewelled our 55 Year 8 students at a moving celebration of their time at Beckenham, where each student had their individual moment to be in the spotlight and to have their achievements celebrated. We are excited to see what the future holds for each of them and look forward to hearing about their journey to high schools in 2024.

Farewell to Dave - Welcome to Andrew

For the past four years, our school has been incredibly fortunate to have worked with 24/7Youth Work and The River church, to enable Dave Bisgrove to work in our Year 7/8 team, for 10 hours a week as a youth worker, supporting our young people.

Dave is moving on to new challenges in 2024, and so our 24/7 relationship with The River church has come to an end. We are very sad to see Dave leave, and wish him and his family all the best for their next adventures. 

This week, we signed a new 24/7YW agreement in a partnership with The Well church, who are based in Sydenham. They will be supporting us with the provision of a new youth worker, Andrew Sinclair who will again be working from the start of next year with our senior team.

We are very grateful for the support of both of these local community churches in caring for our young people.

Nate (24/7YW), Clint Ussher (The Well church), Sandy Hastings & Andrew Sinclair (new 24/7 Youth Worker for Beckenham)

2024 Home-groups and Learning Conferences

Yesterday, if your child was at school, they would have been given a letter with information in it about their home-group placement for next year, a stationery list for next year, and information on how to book a learning conference for the start of the year.
The school year begins on Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st January with two days of one-on-one Learning Conferences. I can see that over 130 learning conferences have already been booked, so get in quickly to get a time that suits you and your child.
To book, please go to and enter the password hs4t3
If your child wasn't at school yesterday, and didn't have a sibling to bring home their letter, then Jacky has emailed their letter to you today.

Looking after our school over the holidays

We love that our community use our school grounds and help to look after them during times when school is closed. With the basketball courts, and the playgrounds and sandpits, we know that the school is well-used by many, which is awesome. Please always watch for anything that doesn't look right and, if you notice anything out of order, please let us know. 
If it isn't urgent, you could email me - and I will be checking that email from time to time. 
If it is urgent - eg you notice a door unlocked, or a broken window, then please call the school number and my extension which is 201. If I don't answer that you can leave a message which I should get. If it is urgent or you are very concerned, you can always contact the police.
We very much appreciate everyone looking out for, and being guardians of, our school.

Ngā mihi nui

Sandy Hastings
Principal - Tumuaki

Important Dates

(you can also find the Community Calendar on our website here)


Tue 30 Jan - Learning Conferences
Wed 31 Jan - Learning Conferences
Thu 1 Feb - Classes begin

Term Dates: Click here to view 2024 term dates

Citizen of the Week

Max Girvan - Year 4

Max, you are a superstar example of all our school values. You have amazed us with your ability to take on new challenges in learning. Thanks to your hard work and determined efforts, you have made leaps and bounds in so many areas and we love hearing your original and creative ideas. Caring, empathetic and with a unique ability to bring humour into situations, you are a real team player who keeps us all smiling. Thank you, Max, for the light and life you bring to our kura. 

School Notices

Year 7/8 Camp - 2024

We have made the difficult decision not to have a Year 7/8 camp to Dunedin in 2024. One of the main reasons is that the cost of running a camp for 5 days has become quite prohibitive. The team and Senior Leadership Team will explore other options for Education Outside the Classroom for the Year 7/8 students during Term 1, and more information will come out about what alternative option(s) have been decided on.

Uniform Room - Opening hours 2024

The uniform room will be open from 2-3pm on Tuesday 30th and Wed 31st January (Learning Conference days)
For the rest of the term, it will be open on
Tuesdays 2:45-3:15pm
Fridays 8:45-9:15pm

Pūmanawa Gifted Learners 

Kia ora koutou,
During this time at the end of the year, we reflect on programmes and professional development we have engaged in in 2023.
The Pūmanawa Gifted Learners Focus for 2023 moved from 'scoping and professional learning in 2022, to "wondering" and "case study" projects in 2023.

An update
We have been working with Cristy, our Across School Teacher from our Kahui Ako, the Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB service) and Madeline from the New Zealand Centre of Gifted Education looking at the 'why?' and 'what?' of Pūmanawa Gifted Learners.
All staff have shared professional learning with their teams around the characteristics and domains of gifted learners.
Six staff were involved in a case study of six of our gifted learners across the school. Through whānau and ākonga interviews, discussions and a whānau hui we looked at how:
  • Whānau interviews are a powerful way to learn about our ākonga. This is especially important when ākonga are different at home and at school. We don't know unless we ask.
  • Pūmanawa giftedness can look like rapid development through early years milestones and whānau are our best source of evidence for those early years. Faster, longer, stronger.
  • Pūmanawa giftedness can feel isolating and overwhelming for whānau because it can come with challenges as well as strengths, e.g. emotional intensity. 
  • Pūmanawa gifted ākonga present differently and to varying degrees across the range of domains and characteristics. Whānau aspirations for ākonga pūmanwa will sound unique to each whānau and we can expect a diverse range of unique perspectives.

Our whole staff have been involved in a "Wonder Project" where teams shared wonderings and observations about children's strengths, gifts and giftedness. 

Some next steps for us as a school in 2024
  • Develop a definition of Pūmanawa Gifted Learners at our Kura,
  • Build on our identification processes and document these
  • Build on the practice we already action around our gifted learners and the way we can support them to further shine.
  • Build our induction practises for staff to support sustainability of understanding and practice.
A huge thank you to all those involved in the Case Study Project - your contributions were incredibly helpful and heartfelt.
Thank you to those whānau who completed the survey at the end of last year. 
We would appreciate if all whānau would complete this short survey which will support our direction for 2024.
Looking forward to sharing more great news next year.

Ngā mihi nui
Sue Leadbetter
Tumuaki Tuarua / Deputy Principal

Guitar and Ukulele at Beckenham

Those of you who have children who have been learning guitar or ukulele at Beckenham over the past years, will know that Roger Hamilton has been a much-loved itinerant teacher of music here for many years - 18 in fact! Roger has decided to finish teaching and enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

We have a new tutor who will be available to take on students from the start of 2024. His name is Aron Mead and he is an experienced guitar and ukulele tutor, teaching all levels from beginner to advanced. He will be teaching here at school on Thursdays.

He can give children the opportunity to learn understand the instrument competently and confidently whether performance or just jamming with friends. He is able to teach classical guitar, steel string acoustic guitar, ukulele and electric guitar.

You can view his facebook page for my tuition videos demonstrating styles and levels of teaching and song writing examples.  I have a range of techniques and styles from classical, blues, country, rock, folk, and pop. 

If you wish to discuss lessons, please contact Aron through his email: or by calling him on 021 127 1330

Community Notices

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

Final Post from the Koru Team

 Kia ora e te whānau,

It feels very hard to believe that here we all are, at the very end of the 2023 school year. Your children have all settled so beautifully into life at school this year, and their learning has been impressive, to say the least. 

It's been very exciting for us as teachers, and you too, we're sure, to witness the social, emotional and physical progress, as well as the progress in academic learning that the children have all made since starting at school. What a wonderful group of tamariki they are! We're going to miss them terribly over the long summer holiday, and will be looking forward to seeing them back again (mostly as members of the Kahikatea team), with their beautiful smiles at the start of next year.

Thank you all so much for the unstinting support you have given both your children and the teachers this year. Their progress would not have been such as it is, without your backup on the home front. You can be absolutely certain that we have appreciated this enormously!

Final two days:

Please do ensure that you check that you have all of your child's belongings, before leaving on Tuesday:

  • all clothing, including sunhat, polar fleece and socks 
  • their lunchbox and drink bottle (there are often drink bottles left behind on the last day!)
  • and any other personal items belonging to your child.
If, by chance, we don't see you before the end of the year, we do wish you all a very safe and happy summer holiday. It has been an absolute pleasure to have had you and your children as members of the Koru team in 2023!

All best for 2024, and we'll catch up with you in the new year, either in the playground or if you're able to pop in and say 'hi', that would be wonderful too.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,
Elizabeth, Stacey, Georgia and Sarah

Koru Team News: Term 4, Week 10

 Kia ora, e te whānau,

As our year is coming to an end, we have some exciting things coming up! We have lots of fun things planned for our last week and a bit! A reminder that on the final day of school, Tuesday, 19th December, our tamariki will meet their 2024 Home Group teacher and school will finish at 12:30p.m. 

Teddy Bears' Picnic:

On Monday, December 18th, we are planning to hold a fun Teddy Bears' picnic, followed by games, out in Beckenham Park.

At 1:20 p.m., children will wash their hands, put their hats on, collect their lunches, drink bottles and soft toys, and we'll head out to have lunch under the big trees near the Big Adventure playground. 

Once they have finished eating, children will be able to choose from a variety of games options: parachute games, Duck, Duck, Goose or playing on the Big Adventure playground. Games will be organised by some of our Year 7 students.

Please ensure that your child has the following items on Monday, December 18th:

  • their lunchbox (it would be better not to order lunch for your child that day)
  • their drink bottle
  • their hat
  • their favourite soft toy (teddy bear or other).

We're looking forward to a lovely, fun afternoon on the second to last day of the school year! 

Kapa Haka performance:

On Friday of Week 9, our children put on a performance to showcase some waiata we have been learning with Whaea Cath. Below are some photos of the wonderful afternoon showcase. Thank you to all those who attended!

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Ngā mihi mahana, 
Georgia, Stacey, Elizabeth and Sarah

Kahikatea News Term 4 Week 9

Kia ora e te whānau,

What a wonderful and action-packed couple of weeks we have had!

Transition Visits

With 2024 around the corner, we had the first of our transition visits this week. Our year 2s visited Kōwhai, and our year 1s made new connections with our Koru visitors in the Kahikatea hub. There were lots of creative activities on offer and many smiles seen.


An absolute highlight of our week was seeing the Southern Ballet performance, 'Cinderella'. What a fantastic experience. We went on the bus to the beautiful Isaac Theatre Royal, were shown to our seats by the ushers, and watched an amazing range of dances.

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos of the performance, but following are some pictures of our adventure, and words about our favourite parts.

What was your favourite part of the Cinderella performance?

"All the gowns!" - Maya
"The drama of the stepsisters!" - Sandi
"Cinderella!" - Alexa
"When Cinderella was dancing with the prince." - Mia-Grace
"The part at the end and all of the cool ballet moves." - Nellie
"They had a lot of dances. The finale!" - Casey
"The bit at the end when they gathered around and did lots of cool stuff." - Reuben
"Cinderella was pretty!" - Ivy
"When she was cleaning the floor." - Freddie
"When Cinderella danced with the prince." - Maeve
"When they went up the stairs." - Maeve
"The dancer with the white tights - they had great moves!" - Jackson
"The acting!" - Henry
"When there was the ending - the last song was nice." - James
"All of it!" - Aya
"The dance with the tassels." - Ethan
"The black costume dance." - Florence
"The start because it was funny." - June
"When the boy and girl danced together." - Ellie and Heidi

Notices/ Reminders
  • This was the last week of the year for decodable books to be sent home for the year. Please send any books (including library books) back to school
  • Please send your learner along to school with a reusable bag so that we can start sending workbooks home next week
  • You are most welcome to attend our final Celebration Assembly for the year. This is at 9:45 on the 15th December
  • Our last day of the year is Tuesday 19th December- finishing at 12:30

What a pleasure it has been to work with our amazing Kahikatea tamariki this year. We have really appreciated all of our whānau support too. Have a wonderful summer break, and we look forward to seeing all of our fabulous Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto learners back in 2024!

-Team Kahikatea
Katie, Krystal, Amber, Quynh and Lisa

Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto School Newsletter, Rāmere (Friday) 8 December, 2023

Principal's Patch

Kia ora koutou

On Monday and Tuesday at 7pm the Year 7 & 8 production of 'Oh The Places You'll Go' will hit the Beckenham stage. Everyone is welcome to come along and see the fun unfold. It is a show with something to please everyone, singing, dancing, dramatic speaking, even percussion with basketballs. The show runs for about 45 mins and is suitable for all ages. Entry is by gold coin donation, no tickets need to be purchased. Pop it in y our diary and we look forward to seeing you at the performance!

Year 5/6 are Tough Kids!

This week the Pōhutukawa team had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Tough Kids Challenge at South New Brighton. It was a wonderful way to pull-together the concepts of perseverance and 'getting there together' and have a lot of fun at the same time! Thanks to the PTA for providing funding for the buses.

A Year 7/8 Passions project...

One of the options for our Year 7 &.8 passion programme this term has been to make mosaiced fairy doors. The wonderful Heather Fear has guided us through the process. The St Martins Menz Shed generously cut, sanded, hinged and painted the wooden doors. The children have learned a lot about how to piece a mosaic together and their results are gorgeous works of art.

Ngā mihi nui

Sandy Hastings
Principal - Tumuaki

Important Dates

(you can also find the Community Calendar on our website here)

Mon 11 Dec - 7-8pm Kauri Production, in the Hall
Tue 12 Dec - 7-8pm Kauri Production, in the Hall
Fri 15 Dec - Final Celebration Assembly, 9:45am, in the Hall
Mon 18 Dec - Year 8 Graduation, 11am-12pm
Mon 18 Dec - Year 8 Leavers' Lunch 12:30-1:30pm
Tue 19 Dec - Last Day of Term 4, School finishes at 12.30pm

Tue 30 Jan - Learning Conferences
Wed 31 Jan - Learning Conferences
Thu 1 Feb - Classes begin

Term Dates: Click here to view 2023 & 2024 term dates

Citizen of the Week

Thomas McConnochie - Year 5

Thomas your love of learning is shining through. Your curiosity to make sense of the world around you stands you in good stead for the future. You put heaps of effort into increasing your knowledge and skills by asking questions and practising new concepts. Ka rawe, Thomas.

School Notices

Please return all Sports Uniforms, Library Books and reading books this week!

We would like your help in getting all sports uniforms and school books returned before the end of the school year, ready for stocktake. Library books and Sports uniforms can be returned to the boxes in the doorway between the library and office. Reading books can be returned to hubs. Many thanks!

Guidelines for Lockdown/Shelter in Place

In light of the recent email threats that some schools in the North Island have received during the past couple of weeks, we thought it timely to re-share this information...

If a situation arises that people need to remain inside for safety, Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto has two levels, Shelter in Place and Lockdown. 

A Shelter in Place directive is issued when the threat is external and not directed at the school. For example, the school may activate the Shelter in Place plan if there is a report of a swarm of wasps, toxic smoke from a nearby fire, or active armed defender in the community (but not in or near the school grounds).

A Lockdown instruction will be less commonly used and is only likely to be issued if the threat is directly to the school or in the school grounds. This will generally happen on instruction from Police.

Lockdown procedures are determined by Police advice and require the cooperation of students, staff and parents. We ask all parents to please follow the protocol outlined below to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

When the school goes into lockdown, all parents will be notified via both a text message (via Hero) and HERO App alert (which will generate an email for those who don’t use the app). Please ensure the contact details the school holds for your child’s caregivers are current.
The school will continue to communicate through these channels, plus on the school Facebook page.
Students will not have access to laptops or other devices during a lockdown situation. This is for their own protection until the school ascertains the severity of the situation in consultation with the Police.
School phones may not be manned, so please do not try and contact the school, or your child. All information will be sent to you through the channels outlined above as soon as it becomes available. We will be doing the best that we can do to keep everyone informed. 
The school will remain in lockdown until advised by the Police or other authorised personnel that it is safe to be lifted.
Please do not, under any circumstances, come to the school until you are advised it is safe for you to do so. You may be putting yourself and others in danger.
Once the lockdown is over, parents will be contacted immediately.

Thank you for your understanding and for taking the time to familiarise yourself with this protocol as we work together in an emergency situation to keep everyone safe.

Mana Ake Parent programmes for 2024... 

The 'Tuning into Teens' programme would be especially relevant and they are offering a Zoom option for early next year - so sign up now to ensure you get a place!

Staff Celebrations

Farewell to Jeanette - an opportunity to contribute...

Our wonderful teaching assistant, Jeanette Amies, is retiring after 18 years service at our kura.  During this time Jeanette has worked with hundreds of our akonga over many, many hours!
We will be celebrating Jeanette's time with us over the coming days including a whole staff breakfast where we will present Jeanette with a gift from our Board and Staff.
Kerilea is making a special book for Jeanette with photos, staff memories and whanau comments.  If you would like to contribute a photo or comment to the book please email your contributions to Kerilea by this coming Tuesday (12th) afternoon.

Congratulations to Anna McNeill and Georgia McKenna who have just completed their first two years of teaching, and have achieved their full teacher registration. We are immensely proud of their hard work and dedication to our children's learning, and to developing their practice. It was a real treat to be able to celebrate their success last week at a special ceremony. Our young teachers are the future of our education system and we feel very privileged to have the opportunity to support them as they begin their careers!

Anna M & Georgia

Congratulations also to Elizabeth Drummond who is completing 28 years of full-time teaching at Beckenham this year, and is stepping back from full-time work at the end of the year. On Monday we had a lovely celebration assembly just for Elizabeth, which was an opportunity to express to her how much her dedication has meant to our community over this time. Elizabeth will be back in the latter part of next year to take a NE class as numbers grow.

Elizabeth and Andrew, her husband,who is holding the words of a beautiful waiata that Te Whānau sung to her.

Community Notices

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