School Newsletter Week 3 - Term 4

5 November 2021

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Nau mai, haere mai

Welcome to Erin Courtenay

Erin started work in Pounamu last week as a Teacher Aide supporting students in Room 4. Welcome to our school Erin!

Community Survey

Thanks to everyone who responded to the community survey which closed at midday today - more than 40 parents took part! The Board will be analysing the survey responses and using the information to formulate the school's strategic plan.

Transition afternoons

This week we started running our transition programme for the tamariki in Y1 and Y3 who are moving to a new team next year. Every Wednesday afternoon for the next few weeks the children visit next year's classes and teachers. Later in the month, tours for parents of Y1 and Y3 children will be available so parents can see Pounamu and Rākau Nui learning programmes in action.

Out of Zone Enrolment

Out of Zone enrolments for Term 1 2022 have now closed. If your child is due to start school in the second enrolment period of 15 April - Friday 08 July 2022, applications open Friday 4 February and close 9am on Friday 4 March 2022. Enrolment forms are online or you can request one from the office.

Drop, Cover, Hold!

Last week’s Emergency Drill ran smoothly. We took part in 'Shake Out Day' and practiced what to do in an earthquake. Well done to our tamariki who practiced staying calm, making a 'turtle' and walking together to the assembly point on the field.

Vaccination in Schools

You may have heard the announcement that all education workers need to be vaccinated by 15 November 2021. This is a positive step for all of New Zealand, and helps to keep our students and staff safe at school. I am working through the mandate with our Board and staff to ensure we meet upcoming deadlines.

I will keep you updated on vaccination changes that will affect parents and whānau in regard to attending school events, volunteering in classrooms or helping run sports. Parents do not need to be vaccinated to drop off and pick up children outdoors, but you do need to wear a mask, scan the QR code and continue social distancing.

Sport and PE

Weekly basketball lessons started last week for classes on Thursdays or Fridays. A basketball coach is taking classes to develop passing, dribbling, shooting and teamwork skills. This activity has been organised in place of swimming which couldn't go ahead due to Level 2 conditions. There is no cost to families for the basketball. The Board of Trustees is subsiding the entire cost of running the programme. Here are photos from yesterday's activity - great to see so many children having a go and using their grit muscle! Please send your child to school in suitable sports shoes on these days.

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School Organisation for 2022

We strive to provide safe and stimulating learning environments that support many types of learners. We provide flexible learning spaces that are capable of adapting as educational practices evolve and change. In 2022, students will have a homeroom class teacher, and for some of their learning day they might be learning with other teachers and students from across other classes in their learning team as well. This means that whilst one teacher has a group of students for whom they are primarily responsible, the teachers may also teach other students within their learning team too. The homeroom teacher is the main point of contact for parents, but at times it may be more appropriate for parents to make contact with another teacher about matters concerning their child.

Strong literacy and numeracy programmes are central to our curriculum along with learning through play and STEAM, citizenship, science and exploring the natural world, as part of our environmental education programmes. Teaching and learning collaboratively means that teachers can collectively use their strengths to deliver the best teaching possible to each child and group of students.

Many factors are considered when making decisions about school organisation such as

  • Number of students at each year level

  • Numbers of classrooms in each block

  • How many teachers the school is funded for

  • Growth in our school roll

The make-up of teaching teams is changing with some of the teachers moving to a different team next year. Here are the syndicates for 2022:

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Class Placements

When placing children in their next class, teachers consider carefully learning strengths and needs as well as suitable friendship combinations and social groupings across each year level. To help children settle into learning with next year’s class, students spend time getting to know their new teachers and classmates this year as part of our transition programme. Children who are staying in the same syndicate for next year, sometimes may have the same home class teacher the following year as well. Please talk to your child’s class teacher or Team Leaders (Amanda, Jenni and Rebecca) if you have any questions about your child’s placement next year. Class placements and stationery lists will be sent home with your child's end of year report in December.

Supporting a local charity

Thanks for supporting Loud Shirt Day last Friday. Loud Shirt Day is a chance for us all to fundraise to support New Zealanders who access sound with Cochlear implants. Together we raised $258, Tumeke Paparangi!

Upcoming Events

Due to remaining at Alert Level 2 for an extended period, we may have to postpone or cancel more school events. We will let you know what events we can and cannot run this term as the term unfolds.

  • Basketball Lessons, all classes, weekly on Thursdays and Fridays starting 28 October.
  • Board of Trustees meeting, Monday 8 November, 6pm in the staffroom.
  • Y1 Information Evening for new Parents and Families, Tuesday 9 November at 6pm - this meeting will be held in the hall to ensure physical distancing. Remember to wear a mask.
  • Year 6 Orientation Day at Newlands Intermediate, Friday 12 November.
  • EOTC Week (weather permitting), Monday 06 December to Friday 10 December.
  • Last day of Term 4, Wednesday 15 December at 1pm.

Newsletter proudly sponsored by

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Community Section

Marrzipan - After School classes at Paparangi

Is your child shy? Do they feel intimidated by the idea of public speaking and performance? Do they sometimes find it difficult to make eye contact? Do they just want to take part in organised craziness?! Come and join Marrzipan! We run awesome drama classes which focus on key life skills after school on Mondays! We play fun engaging games and perform at the end of term once to parents and once to the school. All scripts are original, engaging, educational and HILARIOUS. Give me a call to come along for a trial lesson, or just a chat to discuss how our classes can benefit your child's development. Contact Josh on 022 436 5608 or email

Newlands Intermediate Music Centre

The Music Centre offers tuition to primary school aged children in a wide range of musical instruments. The Music Centre provides opportunities for students in the Newlands/Johnsonville area to develop their musical education outside of normal school hours. Classes are held on weekdays during the school term. In 2022 tuition will be offered in violin piano and guitar. Violins are available to hire.

For further information please ring Kaye on 4788195

Goodtime Music Academy - Enrolments for 2022

Goodtime Music Academy is taking enrolments for 2022 in-school music lessons now. If you want your child to be a part of these award winning music lessons, and may not want to commit to taking your child anywhere after school, then in-school lessons may be the solution for you. Learn in a group setting, and choose between Drums, Guitar, Keyboard, Ukulele. Or try their 'Intro to Music' course. Please visit to enrol and enquire. You can also call them on 04 568 2237. Spaces are limited so get in quick!

Contact Us

Parents, please use the App to send a message about a student absence. It is our preferred method of contact for non-attendance and is quick and easy to do.