Monday, July 18, 2016

Term 3 Newsletter

Term 3 Newsletter

Dear Parents and Caregivers, 

I hope you all had a relaxing break and some quality time with friends and family.

Thank you to everyone who came along to our Celebration of Learning evening (and those who made it to the science fair sharing!) at the end of last term. It’s always good to touch base and celebrate the successes students have made. All the teachers were thoroughly blown away with the outstanding effort put into the science projects. It certainly was a massive process and we were very proud of many of the students and very appreciative of the support received from home. It is excellent to see some sound work ethic developing and students continuing to strive to reach their potential. A big congratulations to the following students who received a placing.

1st: George Travers
2nd: Yasmin Kerr
3rd: Emma Littlefair

And also to our other 5 finalists who will all be representing our school at the NIWA Science Fair next month.

Nina Owles
Lea Pummer
Dan Walker
Tilly Potter
Chloe Bothwell

We will keep you posted on their achievements.

This term we are saying ‘Au Revoir’ to Miss Coton who has won an exciting opportunity to undertake a Royal Society of New Zealand science fellowship working with Zealandia and who (although she will still be around from time to time) will be back on board properly next year to share some of her learning with us!

In the meantime we are delighted to welcome Robyn Wellwood to our team.  She will be taking care of Room 22 in Miss Coton’s absence and has written a little introduction for us…

Hi. My name is Robyn Wellwood and I’m originally a kiwi from Whangarei but have spent most of my time living in Wellington. I’m coming home to New Zealand after 7 years of living and working in Bali. I’m married to a Balinese composer called Wayan Yudana and we run a small home gallery for emerging artists as well as teaching here in Bali. I have a 14 year old son and 5 year old daughter. I’m easy going and quietly enjoy life. I love writing about travel and art and have skipped my way through parts of South East Asia, teaching and writing as I go. I’m really excited to be returning home to New Zealand despite hitting the mid-winter chill. Feel free to pop in and say hello. See you all very soon.    

We are now ready to head full swing into Term 3 and as usual, it’s set to be a busy one! Below is a run down of what your child will be focusing on.  

Inquiry: The Internet – keeping ourselves safe & participating positively online.

Thank you to those who attended our session on the Wednesday evening before the holidays.  Your thoughts and suggestions about key issues of cybersafety we should consider in our planning for this term were most welcome and helpful.  We aim to tailor our programs to suit the specific needs of the students in front of us.

This term’s inquiry is a health / social related inquiry into the internet and digital citizenship.  We will explore the benefits and the risks associated with our increasingly digitial world, looking at how to participate positively in online communities while keeping ourselves safe.  As part of this focus, students will also work through elements of the New Zelaand Police’s ‘Kia Kaha’ program which is aimed at teaching students about the impact of bullying and the skills and strategies they may need to prevent or deal with it.  

Last term we were exceptionally fortunate to have several parent experts visit with our team to share their wealth of knowledge around respiratory systems and we all learned heaps!  If there is anyone who feels they may be able to talk to or work alongside our students in this term’s Inquiry, please contact your classroom teacher or myself .  It is SO valuable for the students to see the relevance of what they are learning in their own local community.


As always our literacy will have strong connections with our Inquiry studies. We will be reading and writing persuasive texts, working to understand bias and the benefits of being a critical reader with information in both print and digital form.  The persuasive genre is also a good springboard for creating oral presentations for debating. It is the term for our debate competition!  Our best debater will be awarded with our Year 7/8 Speech Competition Cup at the end of the year.


Maths will continue to build on students’ flexibility with knowledge and strategies from Term 2, with a particular focus on developing number (multiplication and division, fractions, decimals, proportions and ratios) alongside geometry – specifically position and transformation.  Students are continuing to focus on building positive mathematical mindsets and working in groups where they practise exploring strategies, explaining, justifying and questioning mathematical concepts .  Students will also explore elements of financial literacy.

School Production:

Of course Term 3 is always the ‘Production’ term. This year the theme is musicals and each syndicate will adapt a popular musical.  We will be looking at Les Miserables.  As usual the Year 7 and 8 students will have the opportunity to take a major involvement in the show from acting to prop design, lighting and backstage work. In fact, we have a group of students who have already been hard at work developing the script!  There will be more information coming home regarding the school production throughout the term.  This will encompass much of our learning in the arts also – music, dance, perfomance and visual art.
Once again, if there is anyone in our community who has expertise with performance, prop design or costume making and may be able to support our students with this, please do let us know!

Physical Education:

The focus for the first half of this of this term is ‘Games from around the world’.  Coinciding with the Olympic Games, we aim to give students a ‘taster’ of many different sports to encourage them find what they are passionate about.  The second half of the term will see us begin training (wether permitting) for our Term 4 athletics which always comes upon us rather quickly in Term 4! We will also be entering teams in the upcoming HRSA Netball and Hockey Tournaments (numbers dependent). Our sport rotation programme will continue on Wednesday afternoons.

We will be continuing with our fitness programmes in the mornings every day. As always we ask the students to ensure they are wearing appropriate clothing and footwear for these sessions. We also suggest that they may want to bring a change a clothes for exercising in as they can often work up quite a sweat in these sessions. Using roll-on deodorant may also be beneficial.

Heading into Term 4 – Advance Notice!

At the beginning of Term 4 we are keen to have a ‘looking into my future’ focus on Careers Education.  We are hoping to find some parents who would be willing to come in and talk with our students about their careers; what is their career, what they actually DO everyday, how they got there, and any tips or advice for students making the most of their next steps at school.  The more varied the career pathways the better! If you would be willing to be part of this, please get in contact this term as we know that with our camps coming up and the end of the year we will need to make the most of this in the first half of Term 4.

Other things to note:

Now that our Science Fair is complete we will be going back to a more structured programme for homework for the first few weeks. This will usually include, spelling, grammar (proofreading), reading, mathletics and a small inquiry task. Please remind your child they should be reading for at least 15-20 minutes a night and they will have at least 2-3 mathletics tasks to complete each week.  Around the middle of the term, students will begin to prepare for the debating competition also through their homework.

Many thanks to Sam McRobbie and family for organising a replacement microwave as our microwave cooker was recently been returned to its rightful owner.  We are conscious that, with the colder weather, students are keen to warm their lunches so that a microwave is a most useful commodity!  Please bear us in mind should you be thinking of getting rid of an old one!

Waste Free Lunches:
Just a reminder that as a school we are working towards waste free lunches – as much as possible!  When your child is making their lunch, please remind them to consider ways in which they can keep the packaging to a minimum.  This link:  has some good ideas!

Wet Weather:
While we are still stuck in the winter months, many of us start to get a bit hairy being stuck indoors all day! Wet lunchtimes can often be difficult so we welcome students bringing to school indoor games, such as board games or cards.

Finally if you have any concerns or questions regarding our classroom programme or your child's learning, please don't hesitate to make contact with us. Feel free to pop in before or after school or the easiest way to touch base with us is email:

Robyn: wellwood@

Thank you again for your support,

Annette Borgonje

Associate Principal 

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