Term 1 Koru Team news update

Kia ora, ki ngā whānau,

What very busy days we're having in the Koru team. The children are really embracing our routines and expectations, and we have this week started adding our small group teaching into our days. The children are managing themselves incredibly well at these times, and are very much enjoying being 'called' to the jellybean table for their Literacy group lessons. Please see below for one or two links which we know you'll find very valuable, as far as the children's Literacy learning is concerned.

Friendship List:

Please email Georgia with your contact details by the end of next week (Friday, March 3rd), if you would like to share your contacts with the other families in the Koru team. This is helpful if you are wishing to organise playdates with your child's classmates.

Kapa haka:

Whaea Cath came to visit last Friday and took us for our first Kapa Haka session. We practised some waiata, including 'Ko au, ko au' as well as the actions which accompany each song. We'll endeavour to ensure that some videos are included in our Blog posts in the future, however in the meantime, you'll find a photo below.

Geometry and Patterning:

We began our Maths programme at the start of this year with a focus on the Maths strands of Geometry and Algebra (patterns and relationships). Our focus was on sorting shapes by their appearance, looking for similarities and differences, and continuing and creating sequential patterns. We loved the children's enthusiasm and engagement throughout these Maths sessions. You'll see evidence of both in the photos below.

Puppy visit:

The children showed wonderful care and kindness when little Paco, Elizabeth's 14 week old whippet puppy, came to visit. They were incredibly gentle and considerate, and all followed the instruction to present a fist for Paco to sniff, so that he would feel safe and secure with them.

Words of the Week (so far): 

Each week at Beckenham Te Kura, throughout our school, we have a focus Word of the Week, which we bring into every element of our programme throughout each day. Our Words of the Week so far this year have been inclusion, honesty and kindness. We have discussed with the children the meaning of each of these words and what we might see and hear when these values and qualities are being displayed. 

Inclusion means to make other people feel welcome. It is about accepting others for who they are.

Honesty means that we are truthful in what we say and do. When we are honest, the people in our lives know that they can trust us. Trust is a very important part of positive relationships with our family, friends and teachers.

Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.

These are great qualities to discuss with your children at home. You could ask them to give you examples of what each of these qualities might look like and sound like at school, and then think of examples together for what they might look like and sound like at home.

Structured Literacy:

You will by now have seen that your child's Literacy folder has started coming home in their schoolbag each day (Monday to Thursday). We keep the folder at school on Fridays, and this is often when teachers get the chance to add to the resources in the folder, or, once books start coming home, collect the books back in.

We do trust that you'll follow the links below, which we think you'll find very helpful:

  • as background information about Structured Literacy (a link to the Literacy page on our school website and a link to a short video of Caroline Moffat, our Resource Teacher of Literacy, presenting to a parent workshop on the subjects of The Science of Reading and Structured Literacy)
  • as you start working with your children on practising their letter sounds (The Speech Sounds of New Zealand English)
We'd also like to alert you to a Structured Literacy parent information workshop, to be held here at Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto in our school hall, on Thursday, March 23rd, starting at 5:30 p.m. We urge you to do your best to attend this workshop - Emma Nahna is an excellent speaker and we are absolutely certain that you'll find this workshop incredibly valuable! Please click here to find out further details.

Some reminders:
  • Please do remember that our staff carpark is an area through which vehicles will be moving throughout the day, especially at the Hangere end of the carpark, where cars and vans are frequently either dropping off at or picking up from the Ferndale unit; we ask you to please enter and exit the school grounds through the gates at either Eastern Terrace near the public toilets, at the corner of Eastern Terrace and Sandwich Road or near our school flagpole on Sandwich Road. You might also come into our courtyard area from Beckenham Park. Thank you very much for supporting us with the safety of all around our school
  • Please do ensure that your child's library folder and poetry book are packed and returned to school for Fridays each week. These items can be returned earlier in the week, however if they're not at school for use on Fridays, this can be disappointing for children, especially if  they're unable to get new library books out for the weekend and the week ahead.

We do hope you enjoy the photos which follow - a snapshot of some of the activities the children have been engaging in recently. Enjoy!

One of our first Structured Literacy lessons - mīharo, tamariki. Brilliant!

Sorting shapes according to their attributes

Beautiful name collage work

...and more!

Creating 3-D models using magnetic shapes

Puppy Paco visits

Showing a closed fist for Paco to sniff

Having a big stretch

So gentle!

Well done, children - everyone is showing 'We Care'

Home base!

What a long dog!

"On your mat. Sit! Good boy, Paco!"

Singing 'Mrs Bunny'

Our first Celebration Assembly, and just look at our sitting!

Puppet time...

... and oh, what fun!

Sequential patterning, using the penguins

Focusing beautifully at poetry time

Playing one of Sonya's board games

Another one of Sonya's board games - so much fun!!

Looking at te tinana - lying perfectly still for the body outline!

What a cosy little nest you've created there!

Another perfect pattern - and what colour would come next to continue the pattern?

Well done - a perfect pattern using two colours... and what will be next in this pattern?

A zebra-like pattern here!

What impressive focus as we learn about the sound the letter 'a' makes

And how might this pattern be continued?

...and this one?

More work on the sound, /a/

Working on our poem 'Ten Little Apples'

We loved our visit from Whaea Cath!

How would you continue this pattern?

...and this pattern?

...and this one?

...and what about this pattern?

A VERY complex pattern here, created collaboratively - what colour always comes after ... (pick a colour and check)?

Another complex pattern - can you say out loud what the pattern is?

Using three different colours to create this sequential pattern

Wow - can you work this pattern out?

...and this one?

What about this one?

As you will see, we're having lots of fun at school and the tamariki are all thoroughly engaged. Their ability to participate and contribute is second to none!
Enjoy the final part of this week, and we wish you all a wonderful and relaxing weekend.

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou,
Elizabeth, Georgia and Sonya