Newsletter Term 1 Week 2

Patumahoe School 9th of February 2022

Principal's Desk

Kia ora parents, caregivers, and extended whanau

A very warm official welcome back to the school year. The rain we experienced over the weekend was very welcome at the Tawhiti household as it refilled the water tanks which were getting low. We are sending this week's newsletter home as a hardcopy, but from next week onwards will be sent via schoolAPP. If you want to continue receive a hardcopy simply notify the office.


Connect and shift are the whakaaro and kaupapa for our learning this year and indeed our school operations. These are two words that I want you to remember because they will be referred to regularly. The terms emerged late in 2021 as we reflected on two years of disruption and potentially a few more this year.

What does connect mean? This is the most important thing we can do as teachers. It starts with the relationship with the child. Getting to know the child and also helping the child to understand what we do here at Patumahoe. So these initial weeks are when the groundwork is laid. Establishing class treaties, expectations for learning and behaviour, school walk arounds, team building games and many other little things that connects the child to the teacher and your child to our school take place. Connecting doesn't end after the first 3 weeks at school though. Teachers will reconnect with tamariki after term breaks and nurturing the relationship is something that is a constant throughout the school year.

In a few weeks we will be moving into the shift phase. This is about making some serious and meaningful strides in your child's learning. We will be making up for lost time and will need your help and encouragement at home, of which I will explain how, later on. This shift in student progress is not about placing any additional pressure on school and home, but more laying a wero or challenge down to our tamariki, kaiako, and whanau to embrace learning and the challenges within the learning process, as well as celebrating progress and growth. But, I am not going to 'sugar coat' things, school is about learning and as such we have very high expectations for every child in their learning. This shift is a threeway process. It will require mahi and commitment from students, teachers, and you- our whanau. The importance of the home-school partnership has never been more important this year as we will potentially experience a more passive relationship with parents than previous years. So we must remain tight in whichever way possible. Our BOT have also made a clear commitment to resourcing this SHIFT by way of employing extra support personnel and funding new learning programmes.

So what do we need you to do? As a staff, we have met, discussed and identified practical and simple guidance aimed at you to help with the SHIFT. These are consistent across the school, so if you are a junior parent then you could expect senior parents to be encouraging the same things with their child. This week we have outline 3 things. But this will be ongoing conversation throughout the year.

1. Set up a healthy homework routine

Official homework will start for ALL classrooms Monday next week, and Week 5 (28th of February) will see the beginning of a 5 week whole-school Readathon. There will be no fundraising in this readathon, but there will be class and major prizes awarded for students and classrooms. It will be exciting and should hook your child back into a love of reading.

So start working out in your own household what your homework routine will look like. It may be on the drive home after school, perhaps before dinner and TV time, or it may be before breakfast when a childs minds is sharp. But it needs to be consistent. Sports, playdates, and everything else shouldn't crossover into this time. Allow a 30 minute window for your homework slot.

2. Attendance

Get your child to school each day and every day. Getting days under your belt is one of the most critical aspects behind student progress. This means keeping your child as healthy as possible, because whilst sickness is at times unavoidable, we can often monitor signs of deteriorating health and manage it before it worsens. Planned holidays and family excursions during term time is something I urge families to place some consideration on. Regular ongoing attendance not only helps your child but it helps our teachers make an impact.

3. Responsibility for belongings

Being ready for the school day helps everybody. Having named togs, lunch, hat, book bag and other important bits and pieces in your bag each day means that your child is going to be on the ball each day and everyday. Don't pack their bag for them, but perhaps assist by making a simple fridge checklist to remind them what needs to be in their bag and then they can pack it. It is good way to encourage responsibility.

In week 7 (14 - 18 March) this term we will be holding our Kotahitanga hui. These were previously named Meet the Teacher interviews, but according to parent feedback, that term seemed misplaced for the actual purpose of the interviews. So we have renamed these interviews to reflect one of our school values, which in essence is about 'uniting' our parents and kaiako (teachers) to discuss your child's learning goals. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions we aim to stagger the meetings across the entire week. This will be the first official kanohi ki kanohi (face to face) parent and teacher meeting of the year, and will be an opportunity to discuss your child and their specific learning goals for the first half of the school year as part of the SHIFT.

I am tremendously excited by this year. If we keep our eyes on the prize and avoid being sidetracked by the 'what ifs' of the year, then I think we can make some ground up. Thank you all for your support of our restart. We appreciate your efforts with dropping at the gate and being ready for end of day pick up, as well as contacting the office prior to coming onsite. I planned to do the Tongariro crossing hike this weekend but unfortunately my plans may have to change due to an impending weather bomb down the line. I hope you all have a nice rest of the week.

Noho ora mai

Mr Tawhiti and the Patumahoe School team


  • LATE TO SCHOOL - If your child is arrives at school after 8.25am they need to come to the office and sign in late.
  • UNIFORM - Please name all items of uniform belonging to your child clearly. If you need new uniform this can be purchased online from . We have a small supply of second hand uniform in the office for sale at $5 per item.
  • COMING ONTO SCHOOL GROUNDS - If you need to come onto the school grounds for any reason please phone the office first for instructions.
  • ABSENCES - Please notify the school via phone, text or email by 8.45am if your child will not be at school. If they are going to be away for more than a day please state how many days and a reason for absence.

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