Friday 1 March 2024

Kōwhai News Term 1 Week 5

Kia ora whānau,

Welcome to our Week 5 blog! Here is some information on what's been happening over the last two weeks and what is coming up. 

Native Nurturing Learning Trips to Victoria Park

We are very excited about our trips to Victoria Park on the 13th and 14th March. Children will definitely need their hats, water bottles, jumpers and lunch box. 


Weds morning: Anna M's group      Weds afternoon: Anna R's group
Thurs morning: Nick's group           Thurs afternoon: Rowe's group
Krystal's group will go in smaller groups with one of the groups above.

We will:

  • Explore the different habitats that exist in Banks Peninsula and identify why they are valuable.
  • Explain how plants and animals that live in native forest and tussock lands are interdependent.
  • Explain how pests impact our native forests and explore some solutions to these problems.
  • Identify actions that they can take to encourage sustained growth of native animal and tree species.

Learn more about New Zealand nature with this booklet from DOC, designed for caregivers and their children.


We're so impressed with how quickly students are getting to their maths class and embracing all our different types of learning. All groups are working on place value, number knowledge and basic facts. Each week, students complete exercise and application tasks, open-ended and unfamiliar problem-solving tasks, games and teacher focus groups. The akōnga especially love our introductory 'Rapid Routines'. These are fun maths thinking tasks, such as Which One Doesn't Belong.

Science: Gathering Data by Listening 

During the afternoons, we're enjoying tasks from other curriculum areas, such as social sciences, sport and P.E., science and interpersonal learning. Some classes loved an activity which involved listening to and testing sounds in science recently!


Enjoy looking at our recent Discovery pictures!

Top Team

Today Top Team came to Beckenham and the Kōwhai children had a great time trying lots of different team-building activities out on the park. They worked in teams of 6-8, competing against other teams as they rotated around a variety of tasks. They showed amazing co-operative skills and really embraced the school value 'We Get There Together'. It really was wonderful to see and we are so grateful that the weather turned out so well for us. Have a look at the photos below:

Have a great weekend!

From the Kōwhai team

Friday 16 February 2024

Kōwhai News Term 1 Week 3

Kia ora whānau,

It has a been a busy week in the Kōwhai team!

Top Team

We have organised another Top Team event for our Kōwhai children this year which is very exciting! Weather permitting, the event will take place on Friday 1st March in the afternoon and the children will be taking part in all sorts of fun activities. Just a heads up that there will be some water activities involved so please make sure your child has a change of clothes (including shoes) in their bag and a towel to dry off after the event. Thank you for your support with this. 

We also require 11 parent helpers for this event to ensure it runs successfully. You would need to arrive at school before the Top Team briefing at 1:10pm and the event will finish around 2:55pm. It will involve running an activity station, explaining the activity to the children and generally overseeing it. If you are keen to help, please let your child's homegroup teacher know and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Literacy and Maths

Next week, we will be starting our literacy and maths interchange programmes. We have organised the children into new literacy and maths classes. The children will go to their literacy teacher for literacy lessons and their maths teacher for maths lessons every day. They will still be with their homegroup teacher at the start of the day and after lunch.

As part of their literacy programme, the children will generally take one or two books home each week. Students working in Stage 1 - Stage 7.5 of the structured literacy programme will take home at least one structured literacy book (e.g., a Pip and Tim book) home each week to read to you. Students who are working beyond Stage 7.5 are expected to independently read chapter books (or similarly advanced books) of their own choice at home. Each literacy class visits the school library every week to issue new books.

For more detailed information about our home learning literacy activities, please click here.

Minecraft 3D Printing

Some of the children have recently been learning about using Minecraft for 3D printing. They have designed and constructed a model of a character, toy or scene in Minecraft and are now in the process of 3D printing their creations. As a final step, the children will paint their printed models.

Designing a character in Minecraft

Preparing the character for 3D printing

The 3D printer is printing the character

We have also been creating Minecraft self-portraits using grid paper which has been a lot of fun!


During Discovery, some of our students have discovered a passion for skipping. Here's a video that shows some really cool tricks that people can do when they are skipping. Whilst our skill level isn't quite at this stage yet - we are aiming high! 'Just keep skipping!'


Here are some photos of the children's learning during discovery:

Friday 2 February 2024

Kōwhai News Term 1 Week 1

Kia ora whānau,

Welcome to 2024! We are so excited to be back and we are very much looking forward to getting to know all your tamariki over the next few weeks. 

In the first two weeks, we are focusing on getting to know each other and establishing routines. We will mostly be based in our homegroups initially but we will also be mingling as a team during Discovery every morning.

Below are some photos of some of the activities we have been doing over the first two days: Everyone has been having lots of fun as they reunite with friends and get to know new ones.