Koru Team News: Term 1 Week 11

Kia ora e te whanau,

We hope you are all happy and healthy, and that everything is going well for you all on the home front. We have officially reached the end of our first term here at school! It has been an incredibly busy term, and we are very proud of the resilience and perseverance our tamariki have shown, along with their ability to incorporate all aspects of our school values into their daily lives. Very well done, koutou!

Here is the Learning At Home page link for those of you who might be wanting to access this throughout the school holidays. You will see that there are enormous possibilities here on our Koru team page, from a range of extra Maths activities, a wide variety of Literacy activities, through to many picture books which have been read by the teachers and uploaded so that the wee ones can enjoy a quiet moment listening to a good story.

As we said, it has been a very busy term full of exciting activities and impressive progress throughout, including:

  • having the wonderful Kate in to teach our tamariki about different aspects of Digitech, 
  • having the lovely Sue in to help with some baking on Fridays, 
  • children making wonderful progress in their Structured Literacy groups, and
  • tamariki learning lots of new concepts, knowledge and strategies in the Maths area.

Unplugged programming, using individual paper mazes, and weaving play-based learning into Digitech, by choosing a character to act as a robot programmer and using kinetic sand as barriers and obstacles.

Vocalising the code, using the simple code blocks of 'forward', 'turn' and 'backwards'.

Guiding Bingo through the maze, by giving him a 'superpower' and adding 'jump' to the code blocks. 

Unplugged coding refers to learning coding skills, without the use of technology!

Incorporating our Sustainability theme into Digitech.

The tamariki talked about the impact of pollution and rubbish on underwater life.

They then 'taught' AI (the iPad app they were using) to tell the difference between a fish and rubbish, then, using the iPad to control a bluebot, children then set about cleaning up the ocean so that the sea creatures could be safe, happy and thrive!

Structured Literacy: 

Although your children haven't brought their literacy folders home over the holidays, this doesn't mean that their Literacy learning and practice must stop for the time being. You will find, in our Koru Learning at Home Literacy area, links to the letter sound cards (you could make your own copies for home, if you have a printer), their heart words, and several other aspects of phonemic awareness. In the phonics section, there is a link through to YouTube which gives lots of opportunities for the children to practise a variety of phonemic awareness activities. 


The children have been working hard to increase their knowledge of bigger numbers and the concepts like place value which are involved in this learning. They have been:

  • using tens frames to show the make up of 'teen' numbers (10 + ? = the particular teen number)
  • learning about how the teen numbers are represented by words in te Reo Māori
  • counting forwards to 20, and then on to 100
  • counting backwards from 10, and then backwards from 20
  • learning to read numbers to 20, 100 and beyond (up to any 3-digit number), and working towards understanding the concept of place value required when, for example, zero is a place holder, as in 702
  • solving fun Maths problems using a variety of strategies 
  • learning new maths games (like Traffic Light, Move and Prove and various versions of Memory which involve matching a number, for example, 14, with its matching tens frame pattern) 
  • making patterns and pictures, using the shape equipment
The progress the children have made in this area this term has been very exciting! Please visit our Learning At Home Maths area for a variety of fun activities to engage your children, if they are heard, at any point during the holidays, to make pleas such as, "PLEASE, can we have some Maths fun today?"

We love these Maths activities which require the children to justify their thinking, and which also allow for a wide variety of 'answers'.

Again, impressive thinking here, and a growing ability in tamariki to justify their thinking.

Excellent explanations and problem-solving here!

Learning about 'teen' numbers.

Learning that 'teen' means ten.

The children's drawings are representations of what they actually did, using popsicle sticks and hair ties, to form bundles of ten with some 'ones' left over (please note, the line through the ten 'sticks' is the hair tie!)

And aren't the tamariki amazing to be learning how to write equations in this way?

The Three Billy Goats Gruff: 
Over the last two weeks, we have had a theme within our akomanga, focusing on the Three Billy Goats Gruff. This has led to some incredibly imaginative thinking, along with the use of a variety of creative skills. Our tamariki have been involved in:

  • socio-dramatic role play where they began by building a bridge, then found all sorts of animals to represent the three billy goats and another animal (often a wild cat, such a s a tiger) to play the part of the troll, before retelling the story using those characters
  • creating a small world, where they used the skills of recalling what happens in the story to retell it to their peers using characters they had made 
  • a whole class bridge building competition, using such equipment as Duplo, wooden building blocks, Lego, boxes, small bricks, and a variety of classroom furniture. 
Two trolls (one large and pink; the other a small grey elephant) up to mischief in this retelling!

Watch out, little goats...

Oh, no - what is going to happen next?

... a bad day for one of the trolls.

...and a very bad day for the other!

More creative use of a variety of animals (including dinosaurs) in this retelling.

Another troll about to get his comeuppance!

And a creative variation on the Three Billy Goats Gruff theme, incorporating the use of the train set, some Lego and some shells!

Kete Certificates: 

Congratulations to Neasa, Kit, Jos Luke, and Nellie, for showing our school kete values and recently receiving certificates in the areas of:

  • We Care
  • We Love Learning and
  • We Make a Difference
Ka pai, tamariki!

We trust that you all have a wonderfully safe and happy Easter break and school holiday to follow. 

Thank you so much for the support which you have all provided for us here at school throughout this term. It is always greatly appreciated. Your children have shown wonderful levels of participation and contribution throughout this first term and will all, no doubt, be very tired. We trust you all have the chance to relax and recharge ready for an exciting Term 2 ahead.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,

Elizabeth, Georgia, Stacey and Amy