Friday 5 July 2024

Kōwhai News Term 2 Week 10

Kia ora whānau

Here are some key moments from the final weeks of Term 2 in the Kōwhai Team.

Fractured Fairy Tales

As part of our writing focus this term, our literacy groups have been exploring fairy tales and how to 'fracture' or rewrite them to take on a different character's perspective.

The learners in Krystal's literacy group had a surprise this week when Karen brought in a record player from 1960 and played some old-fashioned fairy tales.  They were fascinated by this different form of media that could be used to share stories. 


This term, the Kōwhai students have been developing a digital pepeha. In Māori culture, a pepeha is an introduction that establishes identity and heritage. The children have been learning about the key components that should be included in a pepeha and how to develop, manipulate, store, retrieve, and share this content digitally.


Last week, we held a Matariki evening at school. It was wonderful to see so many parents coming to see the kapa haka group perform and share in our Matariki activities.

Canterbury Cricket

Next term, coaches from Canterbury Cricket will be coming to school to teach the Kōwhai children about cricket. The children will have the opportunity to learn and practise the key skills needed for cricket as part of Canterbury Cricket's Smash Play programme.

School Holidays

We hope you have a wonderful time with your children over the school holidays and we look forward to seeing you all next term.

Kind regards

The Kōwhai Team

Friday 21 June 2024

Kōwhai News Term 2 Week 8

Kia ora Whānau, we have had another busy and fun fortnight in Kōwhai! 

Welcome to Tracey

A warm welcome to Tracey who has joined our team. Tracey will be providing CRT for our Teachers as well as using her expertise in Structured Literacy to support our team.

Kia ora koutou,
My name is Tracey Maloney and I'm very excited to be joining the Kowhai team.  I'll be filling in for Charlotte as she heads off on her new adventures in her new school. I know she will be missed but I'm grateful to be taking on her role and working with everyone in the Kowhai hub. Some of my favourite things to do are to go exploring and walking around our beautiful Christchurch spaces, like the Botanical Gardens and the Banks Peninsula. I love to cook and my favourite recipe is Spaghetti Bolognese. My husband is named Kevin and we have a fat black and white cat named DC. These days DC loves to eat biscuits and laze in the sun. I've been working as a Reliever Teacher at several different schools in the Christchurch area and am looking forward to being a part of the Beckenham team once again.
Ngā mihi
Tracey Maloney


We are looking forward to seeing you at our Matariki evening on Tuesday June 25th. All Kōwhai workshops will be in Tahaki. 

The students who are in the Kapa Haka performance group will be performing at 6:40 pm. They will need to be here by 6:15 pm (sharp) and meet in Pūkaki (Nick and Krystal's homegroup space).

NZ Opera in Schools Tour - The Elixir of Love

Last Thursday, the NZ Opera "Opera in Schools" tour visited us to perform Donizetti's The Elixir of Love

This 45-minute adaptation of Donizetti’s famous opera follows Adina, the daughter of the local fish and chip shop owner. Nemorino, who works there, is madly in love with her but is too shy to express his feelings. When a famous film star, Belcore, arrives and flirts with Adina, Nemorino must find the courage to fight for his love, possibly with the help of a magical Elixir of Love.


Awareness of Online Harm

Many parents didn’t grow up with the internet, so it can be hard to imagine how tamariki may use it.

But these days, digital technology is a key part of our young people’s lives. They use it for learning,

communicating and entertainment.

Netsafe has released research that looked into parental awareness of children’s experiences of online risks and harm. The research found a mismatch between parents’ awareness and their children’s experiences of upsetting online content.

To check out the research, and other Netsafe resources, visit this link

Friendship Is...

Have a great weekend!

Friday 7 June 2024

Kōwhai News Term 2 Week 6

Kia ora e te whānau! Welcome to the Kōwhai team's Week 6 blog! 

Learning Conferences 

A reminder that learning conferences are taking place next week. Conferences will start at 1.45pm on both days. To support the availability of staff for these conferences, we ask for children to please be collected from school on both days at 1.30pm. Supervision will be available until 3pm for a small group of children. More information about this will come out to you via Hero next week. These conferences will be an important opportunity to connect with your child's teacher and learn more about your child's learning progress and achievement. Your child attends the learning conference with you.

Please book a learning conference for each of your children by clicking on this link and enter the code usvg6 and follow the instructions. 

We recommend not booking time slots back-to-back, in case meetings run over the allocated time.

If you need any assistance to book a conference, please contact Jacky in the office on 03 337 1404 or


For Inquiry this term, we are exploring our Tūrangawaewae (standing place) through pepeha. 

A pepeha is a way to introduce yourself and it is an important aspect of Māori culture. It tells a story of the places and people we are connected to. In a pepeha, you explain where you come from and often make connections with a mountain, river, canoe and family. It also includes things that make us who we are such as our history, culture, and whakapapa. Creating a pepeha as part of a class activity, is also a fantastic way to allow Kōwhai students to understand this aspect of Māori culture, while introducing themselves to their classmates.

The template students will be using for their pepeha will vary depending on whether they are Māori or non-Māori. Please contact your child's homeroom teacher if you have any questions about this. 

Ball Games

Our students have recently started learning exciting new ball games, including Over and Under, Tunnel Ball, Captain Ball, and Leader Ball. These activities are not only fun but also help build teamwork and coordination skills. Towards the end of the term, they will have the opportunity to showcase their skills in a friendly tournament with all the Kōwhai classes. We can't wait to see their sportsmanship in action!


This term, the Kōwhai team have started recorder lessons on a Tuesday afternoon. So far 4 out of 5 classes have had 2 lessons. The students have been making fantastic progress! They've been learning to read music and have successfully mastered playing the notes A and B. It's wonderful to see their enthusiasm and dedication as they develop their musical skills. 

Farewell to Charlotte 

Next week, we will be farewelling the wonderful Charlotte Verity who is moving on to another kura (school). During her time at Beckenham Te Kura, Charlotte has made a positive difference to not only the children she has taught but to all the staff who have been fortunate to work alongside her. We will be sad to see her go and wish Charlotte all the very best with this new adventure.

Online Safety: Gaming 

Eighty percent of tamariki in New Zealand aged 8-17 have played games online. Games can have many benefits: entertainment, social opportunities, coordination development, problem-solving and multitasking skills. But, most of all, gaming is popular because it’s fun. 

Games, however, can be tough for parents and whānau to navigate. How much gaming is too much? How do I make sure my tamariki aren’t seeing inappropriate content or chatting in-game with strangers?

Today we’re sharing Netsafe’s Online Gaming Whānau Toolkit so you have all the resources you need to keep your kids safe. 

YouTube Video:

Have a great weekend!

Friday 24 May 2024

Kōwhai News Term 2 Week 4

Kia ora Whānau, we have had another busy and fun fortnight in Kōwhai! 

Cross Country

We were so proud of all our tamariki with Cross Country! Not only did they give 100% to the event on the day, they also practised diligently each day for the fortnight before the event. Well done everyone!! Thank you to parents and whānau and friends who came out to support us, or who talked to their students and encouraged them prior to the event.


We have noticed a number of students wearing non-uniform clothing to school, such as hoodies, jackets, crocs etc. Please make sure your children are wearing correct uniform items and colours, as detailed here. Please also send children with shoes each day, and if they have gumboots for outside wear, then please still send shoes or slippers which they can wear in the hub. A number of children are also coming to school without a polar fleece or jacket. Please ensure they have both, so that they are well prepared if the weather changes.

Cybersafety - The HDCA for Parents and Whānau

The Harmful Digital Communications Act (or HDCA for short) is an act passed by the Government back in 2015

to help people dealing with serious or repeated harmful digital communications. It covers anything digital like text,

emails or social media content. The most useful thing for parents to understand about the HDCA is the way the 10

communication principles define what is good or bad behaviour online. If you’re ever concerned about your young

person (or you just want to brush up on your knowledge!) visit Netsafe’s Guide to the HDCA.

Learning about Recycling and Waste

Last week, each home group enjoyed a visit from the CCC Education Team, who taught us about recycling, compost and waste in Christchurch. We learnt about what goes in each coloured bin, how different materials are recycled and the benefits of recycling. The CCC Educators also told us about some of the amazing technology used in Christchurch's recycling plant and our city garbage and compost trucks, and that much of the gas emitted from our landfill is turned into electricity for the Council building and Art Gallery. How cool is that! Check out photos below, and you might like to play the Bin Good Game at home. Find out about what can go in the yellow recycling bin here.

Book Character Day

What an array of costumes we had today for Book Character Day! We had a lot of fun guessing the different characters as they arrived at school. Even the teachers and the teaching assistants got into the swing of things.

Have a great weekend!

From the Kōwhai team

Friday 10 May 2024

Kōwhai News Term 2 Week 2

Kia ora whānau,

Welcome back to Term 2! We have an exciting term ahead of us with lots of exciting things planned, starting with our whole school cross country event next Tuesday. We have been practising every day since the start of term and the children are raring to go!

Cross Country

The weather is looking good for next Tuesday afternoon (14th May) so fingers crossed our Cross Country goes ahead! The Year 4 children are due to start at 2:15 followed by the Year 3 children approximately 10 minutes later. Please make sure that your child has a fleece to wear on the day while they are waiting to take part and after their turn. They will also need a drink bottle. We look forward to seeing you there if you are able to make it.


For the first half of this term, we are focusing on health and healthy living for our Inquiry. We are looking at the importance of drinking water, physical exercise, sleep and eating the right foods. For one activity, we are planning our own healthy lunchboxes! Check out these balanced lunchbox ideas here. 

There is lots more great information about health and children on the Health Info website, including breakfast ideas, keeping active and snack foods.

Staying Safe Online

As our tamariki spend more time online, it’s important parents and whānau help them stay safe. Now is a great time to talk to them about how we use the internet and digital technology.

Netsafe has created an Online Safety Parent Toolkit so parents, families and whānau have all the information they need to talk about online safety.

If you or anyone in your whānau needs support, you can contact Netsafe.


Discovery continues to be the highlight of our the week for our tamariki. They have been really excited about creating robots out of cardboard boxes, learning how to finger knit and making mosaic patterns with chalk and masking tape in the playground outside. See the photos below: