Thursday, 10 June 2021

Kōwhai Team News Term 2 Week 6

 Kia ora Kōwhai whānau, 

We hope you all had a lovely long weekend last week. The teachers had a very productive staff only day on Tuesday, learning about many different things. This week the students have been learning more about Changes during our science lessons. They have also been exploring how to code during inquiry as well. We have some future master coders in our hub! 

Literacy Classes

With our structured literacy approach the teachers are constantly monitoring and checking students understanding of letters and sounds. Throughout the year, as we look at where the students are at in their learning, we may reshuffle of our literacy groups to best meet student needs. Your child may not necessarily bring a reader or journal home each night. On these nights, they can choose a book from home to read. 

Small containers

If you are a family that uses My Food Bag or something similar and have many of those little sauce containers around, we would love to have these in the hub. These are great for some of our science experiments and storing paint (with the lids on). If you have any spare please send them in! 

Four Square 

Some of our students have recently started playing four square during Discovery and play breaks. We are still learning the rules, and how to manage ourselves when playing. 

We are focusing on the following:

  • Being a good sport.
  • Playing according to the rules.
  • Cheering for each other - even when someone is out we can say "good try", "you had a great run!"

  • Here is a video of the rules, so you can try and practise these at home! 

    Many of the Kōwhai kids are very excited about the Disco on Friday the 11th of June in the hall and have been practising their dance moves!

    This a gold coin entry event. The students will need to bring a named drink bottle and can bring some money for snacks. The timings are as follows:
    Year 3 - 5:00-6:00 
    Year 4 - 6:30-7:30

    We hope you have a great time! 

    Have a lovely weekend! 
    The Kōwhai team - Laura, Rowe, Quynh, Nick and Meagan 

    Friday, 28 May 2021

    Kōwhai Team News - Term 2 Week 4

    Kia ora whānau,

     As part of our science inquiry we have been investigating chemical changes. Below are some photos of our " Moving Milk " experiment and the reactions of our little scientists in action.  The children were asked to predict what they thought would happen. They conducted the experiment and made ongoing observations. 

    Another investigation we conducted was mixing oil and water. We found out they did not mix! However, when dish soap was added it changed the molecules so oil and water did combine. 

    In our technology inquiry we have been learning about creating algorithms and debugging them. 

    During literacy some of our tamariki read an article about GAP (Greyhounds as Pets) which is an organisation that finds homes for ex-racing greyhounds. We then had a very special visit from Frida's greyhound Millou! 

    In Te Reo lessons we have been researching and writing our pepeha to share our cultural backgrounds. 


    Have a lovely weekend!

    Laura, Rowe, Nick, Meagan, Quynh 

    Friday, 14 May 2021

    Kōwhai Team News - Term 2 Week 2

    Kia ora whānau, 

    We have had a lovely start to our term. On Tuesday the students all took part in our school Cross Country. It was so awesome to see so many people trying their best, and cheering people on from the sidelines as well! The students definitely showed our school value Nau Mai te Wero - We Love Challenge!  

     New Team Members

    This term we have welcomed our two lovely new teaching assistants,  Sonya and Charmaine  into the Kōwhai hub. They have already become a wonderful part of the Kōwhai whanau. 

    Kapa Haka

    We have started our Kapa Haka classes for this term. We are going to be focusing on the students pepeha for the beginning of the term. Pepeha are a way of introducing ourselves by identifying with geographical features such as rivers and mountains, as well as parts of our history. It would be very helpful if you could assist your child with researching theirs where needed. Your child will bring home some information for you to help them fill in, so they can complete this. Please help us by sending this information back with your child. 

    Term 2 Inquiry topic

    Our inquiry topic this term is split into two areas in which we are exploring the idea of Change. These are Kitchen Chemistry and Coding. We are looking forward to exploring both of these areas across the term. 

    If you child has some wired headphones they could use when using technology, please name these and send them in. They will stay in their tote trays. 


    Just a quick reminder that school will be closed next Friday the 21st of May for a Staff only day. 


    Here are some pictures of the fantastic learning through play that our students have been doing during our Discovery time. This play involves learning robotics, practicing oral language with headbands, life drawing of the hub fish, creating new different species of dinosaur and many more other activities. 

    Have a lovely weekend! 

    Ngā mihi nui, 

    The Kōwhai Team - Laura, Nick, Quynh, Meagan and Rowe

    Friday, 16 April 2021

    Kōwhai News Term 1 Week 11

    Kia ora whānau, 

    What a fantastic and busy term we have had with so many awesome activities throughout the term. Thank you to all those parents and students who came along to the student-led conferences this week. It was lovely to touch base with everyone and reflect on our learning so far this year. 

    Cross Country

    Our whole school cross country is coming up at the start of next term. This will be held on Tuesday, 11th of May in the afternoon. 

    Seniors will have an earlier lunch and start first. The Junior students will start later in the afternoon. Timings will be confirmed during Week 1 of the term and sent out to you via the school newsletter. 

    We encourage all the students to embrace our school value, "We Love Challenge" and to try their very best. While for the majority this will be participating as a runner, there will be additional ways to make sure all our tamariki are involved in the event. Teams have started our practices already and will continue during the first week of Term 2. We know that some children will enjoy practising over the holidays. Our course distance is around 1km if you would like to start training. Happy running! 

    Structured Literacy 

    Here is our structured literacy scope and sequence which forms the basis of our literacy programme. We check all students on their sounds and teach spelling patterns with this.  

    A reminder that some students will be bringing home sound cards in their reading folders, and some will bring home books. If your child does not bring home a book, then they can choose a book to read from home. 

    We also do not send books home if the student does not have their reading folder, so please help your child by reminding them to bring their reading or library folder each day. 

    Learning conferences were a great opportunity to chat with you about structured literacy. Remember if you have any further questions, your child's literacy teacher is the best person to get in touch with.                                                        


    We have been creating some amazing art over the last week. Some homegroups have focused on emotion-based art and some have been exploring the artist Piet Mondrian and making Mondrian inspired art. 

    Here are some examples:

    We hope you have a lovely and relaxing holidays. 

    See you next term. 

    The Kōwhai team - Laura, Nick, Rowe, Meagan and Quynh

    Thursday, 1 April 2021

    Kōwhai News Week 9 Term 1

     Kia ora whānau, 

    It was a gorgeous day today for our first house games of 2021! This week we finished our inquiry rotations exploring historical change in Aotearoa. Over the last five weeks the students have investigated our first travellers to Aotearoa, housing, toys, technology, fashion, transport and created their own ships and pa's using Minecraft for Education. We explored the past, the current day and talked about how things could change in the future as well. We will be focusing on art for our final few weeks of this term during Inquiry time. 

    Some of our Kōwhai kids have been taking part in various sporting events over the last few weeks. Jenny has shared a few photos of miniball practise and the students who participated in a mountain bike race in Hanmer. Well done to Laura and Ben Stoney, Archie Chapman, Izzy Clark, Kaio Herangi, Kawa Taylor and Nick Reedy.  

    Structured Literacy
    Thank you to all the parents who came to the Structured Literacy presentations by Caroline on Tuesday. If you were unable to attend there will be a video available of this soon.

    Some parents asked about the sounds of our letters in New Zealand. Here is a video that helpfully shares the 44 sounds of New Zealand English. 

    Learning Conferences
    Week 11 - Monday 12th April and Wednesday 14th April

    School will close at 2pm on both days, to allow Learning Conferences to begin at 2:15pm.

    Please go onto the School Interviews website and use the code kk64k to book your learning conference. The Learning Conferences are for 15mins each, except for Year 7/8 where you need to book a 15-minute slot, but allow 30 mins (it works!)

    The focus of these Learning Conferences will be to update you on how your child has settled into the school year, and to give you a picture of the areas of focus they are working on, particularly in numeracy and literacy.

    Have a lovely long weekend!
    See you on Wednesday the 7th.

    The Kōwhai Team 
    Laura, Nick, Rowe, Quynh and Meagan 

    Friday, 19 March 2021

    Whole School Structured Literacy

     Kia ora whānau,

    This is an information letter providing an update around our school-wide approach to teaching Reading and Writing -  Structured Literacy. 

    The Structured Literacy approach is based on over 40 years of world-wide academic research. It is an approach in which children are taught systematically and explicitly to firstly recognise speech sounds, as our brains are designed primarily to process speech. Reading and writing are human inventions, so it is vital we work from speech and then move to print. Children are taught to recognise individual words, syllables, onset sounds, rime and individual sounds in a word.

    At the same time, children are gradually introduced to the letters of the alphabet and the sounds the letters represent. They are also taught to write the letters. As the children increase their letter/sound knowledge, they will be shown how to read and write words with these letters. 

    The children will be learning to read using decodable books. Stage 1 of these books contain words the children can decode (sound out) using the first group of 8 letters (m, s, f, a, p, t, c and i). Stage 2 introduces 8 more letters, and so on. As the English language is not phonetic, the teachers will gradually introduce the spelling rules and patterns we need to know in order to read and write in English. The books we will be using follow a sequence and will support the teaching. 

    Your child will not necessarily bring books home straight away. They need to know the first 8 letters and the sounds they represent, as well as the skills of segmenting and blending sounds, before being given a text. This is to ensure success and accurate reading, rather than guessing. In the first instance, we will be supplying you with flashcards for each of the sounds the children are being taught. Reinforcing the sounds they have learnt at school, when at home with you, will be extremely helpful for your child. 

    In our Senior Classes the explicit, sequential teaching will be done with small target groups and also through daily whole class phonological awareness and spelling sessions.

    Your child may bring their Literacy Folder home (NE to Year 4). Inside you will find literacy resources that you can use at home to support their learning. Please ensure the folder is returned to school the next day with all the resources inside. If your child does not bring a Literacy Folder home, they can choose a book of their choice to read, to continue to support their literacy development.

    We are excited to be helping the tamariki with our fun, engaging and evidence-based literacy programme this year.

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your child’s Home Group Teacher.

    Monday, 15 March 2021

    Kōwhai Netball Term 2

    Kia ora whānau,

    This is a notice about forming a Year 3/4 Netball team this year. This would involve playing a game once a week at the Christchurch Netball Centre in Hagley Park. The games will be on Friday afternoons, starting in Term 2 and running through to around the middle of Term 3. Parents will need to take their child to and from the courts each week for the games. Practices will happen at school once a week either during lunchtime or after school. 

    If you would like your child to play in a netball team representing Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto, please e-mail Rowe back immediately and she will forward these onto Carolyn Aitken, who is the parent in charge of Year 3/4 netball.  We currently need at least four more players to create a team. Please email Rowe by Thursday the 18th of March.

    We also need some support from parents. If you are interested in helping with coaching please let Rowe know.  Coaching is easy, as skills and drills are provided, with easy to follow weekly plans. 

    Thank you so much.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Rowena Barker