Monday, January 29, 2018

Welcome to Team Kāhu 2018!!

Term 1 2018  Newsletter

Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Welcome back and an especially warm welcome to those families whose
children are new to the Senior School.  I hope that your summer has been
a relaxing and enjoyable one. Firstly, I am excited to introduce Team Kāhu -
our new team in the Senior School; some familiar faces to Muritai and some
fresh ones!  Carol, Jenny, Ruth and I are very much looking forward to the year
ahead and to working alongside you.
While the students will be in one of three classes as indicated below, we very
much wish to continue to build the strong team culture that has been so successful
in the Senior School in previous years.  Students will have many opportunities to
work across the classes, both with other students and other teachers within our team.
The classes are:
· Room 21 Mrs Jenny George
· Room 22 Annette Borgonje (3 days a week), with Ruth Hooke each (Monday & Friday).
We have recruited an excellent teacher for this class from Term 2 who will be announced shortly.
· Room 23 Ms Carol Algar

The Senior School timetable is a little different to that of the main school due to
our Technicraft sessions on Wednesday (more information about this is included below).  
A weekly timetable is also posted on our Senior School blog for your information.  
We would encourage you to check this blog regularly (or, even better click ‘follow’ on the
right hand side!) to ensure you get key messages about our big events.  

We have an exciting term planned!  Here is an overview.
Integrated Studies / Inquiry
Get Set Go!

During the first couple of weeks of the term the classes will be building their class
cultures, setting up routines and thinking about their leadership roles for the year.
Students will be asked to apply in writing for these positions in the first couple of
weeks of school. This unit is also set up to create a positive environment where
children understand, appreciate and support one another, while taking an active
role in their learning.
Term 1 Inquiry (begins 19th February)
Hands of Time

This year we have an exciting opportunity to be part of a fabulous local event - Wahine 50.  
Follow this link for more information about Wahine 50.
This event commemorates the sinking of the Wahine off the shore of Eastbourne
50 years ago on 10th April.  Our school’s involvement will include a ‘Muritai Museum’.
Each student in the school will have the opportunity to produce a personal response
to their learning around the Wahine Disaster which will become an ‘artefact’ in this museum,
to be exhibited to the public.  Some of this work will then continue to be displayed in the
Wellington Museum’s ‘Flux’ space. It is the perfect context for an exciting and meaningful
place-based inquiry within the curriculum learning area of the Social Sciences.  Under the
big idea of ‘We learn from our past to improve our future’, students will develop the following
key understandings:  

  • People come together to create a community
  • The present and future are guided by the past
  • The past affects people’s present
  • People and places are connected
  • Events of the past are passed onto future generations
  • Events of the past are recorded in many ways (oral, visual, written, etc.)
  • Cultures communicate their stories differently

The focus for Term 1 is expository writing (essays, autobiography, reports and articles) and visual
language, with letter writing alongside to support the applications for leadership roles.
As always our literacy program will be integrated with our Inquiry learning as much as possible.  
Students will be reading articles and reports and considering what makes these effective.
They will be learning to ask questions to guide their reading and locate and summarise key information.
We will also be studying a variety of novels throughout the year, both in small groups or as a whole class,
with a focus on developing students’ deeper comprehension of texts.  
To support students with their spelling classes will focus on common spelling rules and units of sound
as needed.

Te Reo Māori: Tō Tatou Kainga (Our Place)
Our Te Reo focus also links into our place-based inquiry, while developing students pronunciation skills.
We will be exploring our local place names and how to pronounce these accurately

Students will be working in their own classes for Maths. We work hard in Team Kāhu to encourage a
positive mindset towards Mathematics across the syndicate and we are keen to build on this in 2018.  
Please rest assured that we have thorough processes in place to ensure that students specific strengths
and needs are identified and that they are supported accordingly.  We aim to build our students
awareness of Mathematics as a multi-faceted subject, encouraging them to value questioning,
discussion and exploration of mathematical ideas and relationships.  They will be encouraged to show
their thinking in multiple ways (materials, pictures, words and symbols) to consolidate their
understanding.  We start the year looking at Number, specifically place value and addition and
subtraction, alongside Statistics, which allows us to make greater links to our Inquiry considering the
demographics of the local community in 1968.
All students benefit from some practise of their Mathematical Knowledge to support the work being
done at school. This year we will not be using the Mathletics platform.  Instead, we will be identifying
specific knowledge learning needs with the students and they will have access to a range of websites or
online activities to improve their understanding and recall of number knowledge through their Google
Classroom page. (For a brief introduction to this platform click here).
Our expectation is that students spend 30 - 40 minutes in Maths practise each week.
All students will complete some art this term as part of our ‘Get Set Go’ unit and developing class culture.

Health & Physical Education
Swimming will start on Tuesday 13th February. Students will have 8 sessions over the two weeks
(Weeks 3 & 4) until 23rd February, swimming daily except Mondays
Times are as follows:
Daily Tuesday  – Friday 9 - 10.30
All students are expected to swim in every session unless we hear otherwise from you so please let us
know if your child is unable to swim on any day.  As we are fostering independence in preparation for
high school, we ask that students be responsible for remembering their own togs on their swimming
Our annual Year 5-8 swimming sports are scheduled for the morning of 7th of March at Huia Pool.
We would love to see you all there to cheer on your child!
After our swimming programme concludes, we will move into Cross Country Training.
Once into the regular routine we will meet for fitness daily as a whole syndicate.  Everyone is expected
to take an active part and so we ask that, should your child not be well enough to participate, you drop
us a quick email or note.  Students who are not well enough to take part in fitness will also be
encouraged to have a quiet morning tea and lunch.
Because your child will be exercising everyday in the hot weather we encourage them to bring a spare
change of clothes to wear. Their school sports uniform would be appropriate if they have one.
Please ensure that all student clothing and personal items are clearly named.
Believing a healthy, balanced attitude to life is important, we will be encouraging healthy eating in the
Senior School and building on the ‘Nude Food’ work in previous years.  Our school is in a beautiful
place so it would be great to keep our lunch waste to a minimum.  This website:
has some good tips on how to do this. We ask that students do not bring chocolate bars or lollies as
part of their daily lunch, but rather reserve these for treats; rewards, birthdays, celebrations, etc.  

Student Leadership Roles
In the first few weeks of school we will be talking with the senior students about the leadership roles
that are available to them.  There are roles specifically for each year group - this is indicated on the
‘job descriptions’ which you can also find on our Senior School blog.  
The Year 8 students will no doubt be very familiar with these after their year ‘in training’ last year!  
The students will apply in writing for these as part of their homework in the first few weeks
(examples of applications from previous years will be made available through Google Classroom.
Things to note:
Technicraft: This programme starts on the 14th of February (awaiting confirmation from
Wainuiomata Intermediate). This year we have 5 groups. 3 groups will travel to Wainuiomata
Intermediate by bus for either Food, Fabric or Wood Technology. The 2 groups remaining at school will
either be taking part in music with Jenny George or French with Annette Borgonje/Carol Algar.  
All students will get the opportunity to do all sessions over the year.
Cell Phones: We operate with a ‘trust’ system in the Senior School.  We understand that students
may require the use of cell phones before or after school, so they are permitted at school, but they are
not to be used during school time. If your child needs to contact you throughout the school day they
must use the school phones or ask permission from one of our staff members first. If students bring
their valuables to school they are responsible for them. Our advice is to keep them at home.
Parent Interviews:
Learning Partnership Meetings -
Our first set of interviews are scheduled for Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th February.
This is an opportunity for you and your child to meet with the class teacher and share your thoughts or
goals for 2018.  Prior to this meeting, a form will come home electronically with some prompts for you
as the parent to consider your child’s strengths, areas for development and any aspirations you may have for them in 2018.  In class, the teachers will prepare the students by asking them to consider these
same prompts (as well as anything else they might wish their teacher to know).  We aim to  encourage
the students to take an active role in this meeting about their learning.

We look forward to meeting with you all. Carole or Jo in the office will be in contact with your shortly on
how to book at time to meet with your child's classroom teacher. We will have another round of longer
parent interviews on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th April . The purpose of these meetings is for
us to share your child's progress with you.
* Homework: Weekly homework will start in week 2 (although we will send it home Friday 2nd February
to account for the short week).  Our aim with homework is to build student’s independent study habits
and self-management skills in preparation for high school as well as provide opportunities to consolidate
or build on learning in class.  It will be managed using Google Classroom – each week the task and
instructions will be uploaded by the classroom teacher and they will go through the expectations with
the students. You will receive an emailed letter explaining expectations.  This will also be posted on
Google Classroom. Homework will be set EVERY week, unless you are otherwise informed. Generally,
homework will be set on a Monday and due back at school by Friday morning.

Blogs: We will continue to share our learning with you using the blogging platform. This year we are
streamlining this system.  Teachers will post any communication, learning activities or useful links or
resources on their Google Classroom page for the students.  There will be no individual class blogs -
all team celebrations and information for our community will be posted on our Senior School team blog:

In addition to this we will post regularly for parents on the school facebook page to let you know what
we are up to and share some of the fun!
Portfolios/Learning Journeys This year your child will have two platforms for collecting/sharing their
work. Firstly, an online folder that can be shared with you which will contain all completed work they
have created electronically. This folder may also contain images of your child throughout their year at
school. Secondly, each child will have a clearfile presentation folder which will contain any work that
has not been completed electronically. This may be copies of assessments, art, handwritten stories, etc.

Waka Odyssey trip Tuesday 27th February:
We are all booked in for an all day visit to Wellington for a Waka and Te Papa visit.  Click here  for more
information.  We will need about 7 parent helpers for this visit to go ahead.  If you are keen to be a
part of it, please let your classroom teacher know or email me at

· Days Bay Day Thursday  As part of our teambuilding for the beginning of the year we plan to head
to Days Bay on Thursday afternoon (8th Feb).  If you would like to join us you are most welcome!  
Please ensure that your child has their togs, towel, sunscreen, water bottle and anything else they
might need for a fun afternoon in the sun on Thursday 5th February.  To ensure we have the correct
ratio of adults to students we will need 10 parent helpers.  If you are available to join us from 12.30 -
2.30 at Days Bay, please do let us know ASAP!
· Communication:   If you need to contact your child’s classroom teacher please feel free to drop by
the classroom before or after school. The easiest way to touch base with us otherwise is by email:

Please note that we will do our utmost to respond to emails within 24 hours, but we may well not see
these during teaching times (8.45 – 3pm).  If your message is urgent, please call the office to
ensure that we receive it.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to working alongside you in 2018!
Annette Borgonje and the Team Kāhu Teachers

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