Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto Newsletter March 20th 2020

Principal's Patch

Kia ora koutou

Please note that our news updates include BOSCO and FERNDALE  - this will mean that BOSCO will NOT be sending out additional updates, unless they have very specific BOSCO information to share. We are in daily communication with BOSCO.

With so much information and misinformation swirling around about COVID-19, I wanted to share with you what will happen if we were to have a case in our school community. We have been planning for this and are in a position to respond quickly.
  • If a case is confirmed in our immediate school community (eg. a student, staff member, or member of their household), the Medical Officer of Health and Ministry of Education will inform me about this, and we will work together to get quick and clear messaging out to you
  • If there was a case confirmed of someone in our school, we will likely be asked to close temporarily by the Medical Officer of Health. This will allow time for close contacts to be traced, appropriate testing to be undertaken, and a careful clean of the school to be undertaken.
  • If our school does need to close temporarily, we are developing a plan to support student’s learning.
We know COVID-19 is on everyone's minds at the moment and, of course, people are concerned about the wellbeing of our children. Please be assured that with no case confirmed in our school, your children are safe here.

Good hygiene is a priority at school, and we are reinforcing this regularly with all students and staff. We know that practising good hygiene is still the best thing we can all do to prevent illness. Tony has taken on a new title as 'Hygiene Manager' and you will see him about the school with cleaning equipment doing additional cleaning of our high use areas such as external sinks, taps and water fountains.

We are getting the most up to date advice and guidance that is available, with two Ministry of Education updates coming into my inbox each day, so that we can confidently make informed decisions about the safety and wellbeing of our school community. 

Together we can slow the spread and a new whole of government website United against COVID-19  has been developed using information primarily from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education website. The Ministry of Health latest media updates are also on this site.

For COVID-19 health advice and information please continue to contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453. For those who have recently been overseas, they can register with Healthline online.

Healthline’s main number is still the one to call for non-coronavirus health concerns – 0800 611 116. Whichever number you call, you will get professional health advice and information.

People can also contact their GP directly. Shortly the Ministry of Education expects they will have more contact information to share.

The Ministry of Health have created a series of information sheets that provide answers to some common questions about COVID-19 that you may want to access.

When is sick, sick?

The messaging remains clear – that if you are feeling unwell please stay home, and the same goes for children and young people.  However at the tail end of a cold, there will be runny noses and probably some coughing. This might be worrying for some people who are being vigilant about their own and others’ health.

A diagram has been developed by Associate Professor Dr Siouxsie Wiles (Auckland University) to assist you when considering symptoms. What it tells us is:
  • A dry cough and a high temperature are common to both flu and COVID-19
  • Sneezing is not a symptom of COVID-19, however if someone has COVID-19, then sneezing can spread droplets containing the virus

As adults, we have an incredibly important role in filtering the information that our children get about this pandemic. We need to be very aware of not overloading them with the news of this from around the world, and use family time as time where the TV and News bulletins are turned off. They need as normal a world to live in as we can all create for them at the moment, and that is our primary role. I strongly urge you all to minimise all news discussions and content to times that children are not within hearing, and to focus your attention on the positive ways that you and your children can Make A Difference in our community, and show that We Get There Together, and We Care!

Changes in how we operate at school

Close contact in a school, especially in the learning hubs, is inevitable, and unavoidable. It is not possible to ensure that we have 100 or more children all maintaining a 1.5m distance from one another in the learning hubs. What we can mitigate, is further situations of close contact beyond the hubs. For this reason, we have cancelled whole school assemblies in the hall for the time being. We are also closing the library from Monday as this is a place where children from all different hubs come together at break times, in very close contact. If children have books that they have finished reading, they can drop them in the returns box outside the library door. We won't be issuing any books to children at the moment, however, teachers will be able to get out books to read to the children.

By mitigating the groups who have 'close contact', we will be reducing the number of close contact follow-ups that might be required should we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our community, such as happened in Logan Park last week. This would mean that we should be able to minimise the close contacts to the team, rather than assume that everyone across the school is a 'close contact'.

According to our pandemic plan, I now have an official new role and title - that of 'Pandemic Manager'! (Believe me - if I could manage it away, I would!) I have summarised my job description for this role as primarily being:

  • To promote confidence for the community, staff and students that we have got this! We can carry on as ‘new' normal and adapt confidently to a changing landscape
  • Keep you and our staff and board informed and up to date
  • Liaise with the Ministries of Education and Health as required
  • Monitor and review our planning and preparedness
  • Ensure we are following our plan

Tony, our caretaker, has also been given a new role - that of 'Hygiene Manager'. You will see Tony about the school with cleaning equipment more than he has done in the past, as he ensures that our water fountains, outside sinks and taps, and exterior doors and door handles, in particular, are clean. He is checking supplies of soap and hand towels daily, and removing rubbish more regularly with the increased use of hand towels.

Every day brings new questions and challenges, as we work our way together through these strange times. Thank you all for your support as, together, we try to protect our children from both the physical and emotional challenges this brings, by maintaining as much normality and calm as possible.

Adversity can bring out the very best in us all, and our communities, and I am grateful to our staff, our Board, our PTA and our whānau for the positive way that we, together, can support our tamariki and the work that our government is trying to do, at this time. 

Kia kaha koutou
Sandy and the team

Important Dates

Upcoming Events

Wed 25 Mar - PTA Meeting in Green Room, 7:30pm.  All Welcome
Thu 26 Mar - BOT Meeting in Staff Room 5:30pm.
Thu 9 April - Wacky Hair Day - Child Cancer Foundation fundraiser
Thu 9 April - Last day of Term 1

Mon 27 April - ANZAC Day - School Closed

Tue 28 April - STAFF ONLY DAY - School Closed

Wed 29 April - Term 3 Begins

Term Dates

Click here to view 2020 term dates.

Citizen of the Week

Robbie Mitchell - Year 6

Robbie, you are an amazing role model in our hub. You aspire to do your best in everything you do and you always rise to the challenge. We love your sense of fun and you are a very kind, caring and loyal friend. You are an extremely positive person to be around and you help to make everyone feel good about themselves. Tino pai!

Eddie Elphick - Year 8

Eddie, you have grown as a leader and learner within our kura. You are compassionate and thoughtful with a quick wit to boot. When you step up to lead, the respect and trust that your peers have for you is clearly evident. When it comes to learning, you embrace opportunities to improve by responding to feedback and giving your best effort. Thank you for all that you bring to our Kauri whānau.

School Notices

Staffing Update

We are very pleased to advise that we have appointed Rob Proffitt-White as our Acting DP from the start of Term 2 to the end of the year. Rob has been working in Australia for many years, developing and running professional development for teachers around mathematics teaching, and has been working with the DMIC (Developing Mathematical Inquiry) team here in New Zealand, who have been supporting our teachers. Rob is very excited to be able to continue working with our teachers in supporting our teaching of mathematics, as well as getting to know our students and their whānau.
Rob Proffitt-White

Donovan Bixley didn't make it today

Our Kōwhai students were naturally very disappointed that the author and illustrator, Donovan Bixley, who was going to be visiting today, had to cancel his trip to Christchurch. Scorpio Books have been in touch and will deliver any books that were ordered next week some time.

Kapa Haka is a happening thing!

This week was the second week of kapa haka for Pōhutukawa and Kauri students, and the first week for our Kōwhai team.
We are really excited to have this back up and running with Whaea Cath (pictured below).

Whaea Cath - Kapa Haka tutor

Update on the Fonterra Milk at School programme

We have been invited by Fonterra to switch from individual cartons of milk to 1L cartons, and serve the milk in glasses. We are very keen to make this switch as it will support the environment. We are in the process of investing in a new dishwasher and oven for the hall kitchen and when these are purchased and installed, we will resume the milk programme. This is likely to be at the start of Term 2.

Healthy Ōpāwaho Update from Cleo, Anna & Ben

As the Healthy Ōpāwaho student leaders for 2020, we want to make a big difference to the health of our local Ōpāwaho river. We have recently been on another trip with the rest of the young leaders. We travelled on a urea powered bus along the river. Our first stop was Napunawae, then we took a walk to a swampy area. We made many other stops along the way to the river mouth including a lot of reserves, and we spoke with a lot of people from the Department of Conservation, Rangers and other river experts. We also took a stop at South Library to look at water clarity and invertebrates in the river. We also did a short talk on the bus, about our school and the importance of our ponds.

Mana Ake “Drop-Ins” are continuing…

A number of whānau have already made great use of the Mana Ake “drop-ins” that are available on alternate Wednesday mornings (28/08) from 8:30 – 9:30am. These drop-in sessions are here to provide parents with an opportunity to have a private, informal conversation around the well being of their child with one of our Mana Ake workers (kaimahi). If you feel like you would like to attend a drop-in session, please book in a time via the link here: Mana Ake booking  The code to use is 88t39. Alternatively, you can contact Jacky in the office and she will make a booking for you.

Diverse Learners

This year we are continuing with 2 projects / inquiries from 2019 around our diverse learners.
Beckenham Ferndale Inclusion Project (Partially funded by the Ministry of Education)
Beckenham Diverse Learners Project (Partially funded by the RTLB service)
Over the next few weeks we would like to share some information about both projects

Beckenham Ferndale Inclusion Project
What is Ferndale?
Ferndale is a specialist education school based in the East of Christchurch, catering for 100+ 5-21 year olds with ORS (ongoing resourcing) funding.
The Base School is in Merivale (main hub, admin, classes, school hall etc)
There are many satellite settings which cover primary, high school, tertiary/community
Satellite provision creates opportunities for:

  • all students to be with their peers in their local community,
  • all students to learn about each other,
  • all staff to learn from each other.

Ferndale Base School, and satellite classes

Beckenham and Ferndale staff have been working together to enrich and strengthen our partnership so all children and staff benefit from the experience of being on site together.

Mainland Uniform Update

Due to the current situation with Covid-19, we would like to encourage all customers to use our online shopping system as much as possible, this would help protect families and our staff.
Our stores will continue to be open until further notice and our online service will be available to process your orders daily.  We appreciate your understanding at this time.

Please use the following link for ordering online:

Junior Neighbourhood Support

Elissa came to appoint the Junior Neighbourhood Support Leaders for 2020. These students have been chosen to take on these roles this year and they look forward to working on projects within the school to build community and help the environment.
You can still nominate children for awards for those children who go above and beyond to help others in their community, animals or do things to help the environment. Examples would be volunteering, reporting things that are dangerous, helping in emergencies and being connected citizens. Nominations can be submitted through:

Sports News

Swimming Sports

Congratulations to our School Swimming Champions
Year 5 - Archie Arnott and Ashlyn Taffs
Year 6 - Tahere Taylor and Stella Gillman
Year 7 - Zoe Clarke and Cooper Reddecliffe
Year 8 - Abby Cockfield and Thomas Lyall

Our school swimming sports is concluded by our House Relay and what an intense and exciting finale that was. In the end, Heathcote took the victory with a very convincing win. Well done to everyone involved.

Zone Swimming Competition

Congratulations to all of our swimmers who represented our kura at our zone swimming meet on Wednesday. The level of sportsmanship displayed by all was exceptional and made me incredibly proud to be standing alongside our team. I would imagine that there would have been some tired voices after all the cheering from the Beckenham bleachers. The tamariki swam incredibly well against tough competition. The awesome results detailed below reflect their training, dedication and perseverance.

Thomas Lyall - 1st Backstroke and 1st Butterfly
Abby Cockfield - 1st Freestyle
Year 7 relay team (Fergus McMillan, Olive Morel, Cooper Reddecliffe and Zoe Clarke) - 2nd
Fergus McMillan - 1st Backstroke and 2nd Freestyle
Zoe Clarke - 1st Freestyle and 1st Breaststroke
Cooper Reddecliffe - 2nd Breaststroke
Emma Reedy - 2nd Backstroke
William Pooch - 3rd Backstroke
Archie Arnott - 3rd Backstroke

PTA News

Thank you all for the support in organising the Fair!
As you are already aware the decision was made to cancel this year's Twilight Fair. This announcement was made with a very heavy heart. The Fair Team strive to make this event fun and memorable for all involved and we have had incredible support this year from our wider community.  We were so excited for this week to begin as our final countdown began.

We want to say a very big thank you to all of you whom had volunteered your time to work on a stall, donate baking, donate seedlings and preserves, offered your time to help set up or be dunked by some crazy kids armed with balls - you name it - we do have an incredible
community that gets behind us.

Post cancellation events

The week building up to the fair is an immense task for Fair Team to co-ordinate so the decision was made early enough so we could make alternative arrangements of items donated and food product that was being purchased among many other logistical arrangements. With the support of the community we continued with raffle ticket sales, showcased Class Art and Silent Auction Items, had a Big Container Twilight Fair Sale & organised Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto Pumpkin Competition. Thanks to everyone who grew or decorated pumpkins - they look amazing! At the end everyone who entered was a winner, but we also had overall winners! Congratulations to:
Harvey Hunter for Big Boy Pumpkin
Austin Reddecliffe  for Tiny Tot Pumpkin
Mia Aramowicz for Best Decorated Pumpkin
Andrew Gillespie for Best carved Pumpkin

Twilight Fair Silent Auction goes Online!

 At this time of global uncertainty, the health, safety and well-being of the community must stand at the forefront of any decisions that impact all of us and Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto PTA has decided to replace its live Silent Auction with online Auction: Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto Twilight Fair Auction. The auction is starting symbolically at the moment of the Fair opening 4.30pm on 20th March and closes at 7.30pm on 27th March.

Don't hesitate to peruse our list of Action Items. Anyone with a link to the auction can view it without having an account. And oh boy do we have some great items thanks to the generosity of our amazing sponsors! Did we mention that we have on the list a stunning Pastel & Spray painted Art Piece of Black Peak in Wanaka, courtesy of the fabulous Jane Guise Artist. An account is only needed in order to bid. Requiring an account for bidding makes it easy for auction administrators to identify and communicate with bidders during and after the auction.

Have in mind that starting bit is set up to the amount of existing bids done while the Silent Auction was on show in Kōmanawa. We would suggest to the bidders who put their offer already to create account for the Online Auction and keep an eye on their preferred items ;).

Community Notices

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

Posted in Weekly Newsletters.