Newsletter Week 5 Term 2

Sawyers Bay School 2nd June 2022


Kia ora Whanau,

It has been a surprisingly 'normal' week this week!

We are very grateful to have a dramatic drop in absences due to illness, we have had all staff well and back on board, and the kids have been busy in the classrooms and playground engaged in learning and enjoying being with their peers. It has been a pleasant change I can assure you.

On Tuesday, myself, Miss Laing and Mrs Swete were lucky enough to spend the day at George Street Normal School as part of a mathematics PLD (Professional Learning and Development) contract that the school are investing in. It is always very nice to have a chance to look at other schools in action, share ideas with colleagues from across Dunedin, and put some of our own new learning into practice. It is of course always very nice to get back to our own little slice of paradise in our own school though too.

Ka mihi nui,

Gareth Swete

Upcoming Events

  • Monday 6th June - Queen's Birthday
  • Tuesday 14th June - PTA AGM
  • Tuesday 21st June - Board Meeting No. 4
  • Friday 24th June - Matariki

PTA Cheese Roll Fundraiser

The PTA Cheese Roll Fundraiser is a popular fundraiser and relies on family and friends of the school volunteering their time to help make them.
This year we are making them on Sunday 19th June, at the Harbour Rugby Club in Port Chalmers, beginning at 9am.

Please contact the school office (4728981 or or Kelly Laing if you are willing to spare some time on the day. We will gratefully accept any time, short or long, that you might be able to help with.
Please note, due to the current environment, any volunteers will require a negative rapid antigen test onsite before beginning, we will provide the RATs and really appreciate your understanding here. Thank you in advance for your co-operation and support. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Certificates Week 4 Term 2

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Te Akonga o te Wiki

Congratulations to Ollie, Elma, Martha, Christian, Madeline and Donnie who were their classes Akonga o te Wiki.

This week the trophy went home with Elma!

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This week, we welcome Miss Richardson back to Papatūānuku, as she starts her 3 week teaching practicum with us. After listening to lots of fairy tales over the last few weeks, this week we decided to write our own. We made a story map outline of a familiar fairy tale, then we changed all of the details to our own ideas. We collaborated to create a story map of our own class fairy tale. Then we had the opportunity to write our own individual fairy tale. First we discussed the ‘good’ characters, what they could look like, how they act and drew a picture of our own ‘good’ character. Then we discussed the ‘bad/evil’ characters, and what they could look like and be like, and drew one of those. Then we put pencil to paper and did our best effort to write our own fairytale using our own created characters. We used watercolour paints to paint a picture of something that happened in our own fairytale.

Miss Richardson read us the Maori legend of Maui and the Giant Ika. We then got into groups and acted out the story using stick puppets. This was really fun. During our maths learning this week, we have been doing lots of activities with dominoes and dice, learning to recognise the dot pattern of numbers quickly. We had a challenge to make the longest domino train. The longest one in our class was 53 dominoes long! We’re thrilled to be able to bring library books home again now from our school library. Our library day is Wednesday, so you can enjoy the books at home for a week and then please bring them back next week to return and borrow some more!

Report by Mrs Campbell

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It’s been a great fun-filled learning week in Hine-Rau-Wharangi. The children have been looking at repeated patterns this week, we looked at patterns with one attribute and used a variety of equipment to make these patterns. We used the class Teddy Bears then decided to have a look around the class to see if we could find anything else to make a pattern with. The class was able to put themselves into order of people with a ponytail and people without.

This week was the beginning of our Fairy Tales Topic and the children are making a FairyTale village. On Tuesday we drew a plan of our house with a focus of size and shapes in mind then put designs on paper. Yesterday we began our models and once they are finished the children will discuss if they are suitable for purpose and make any improvements and discuss how they can be made.

Report by Mrs Brewer

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This week is my last week at Sawyers Bay School in Tāwhirimātea and what a great end of my time here it’s been. I was so impressed with last week’s Jack and the Beanstalk STEAM challenge that this week I gave the groups a new fairy-tale inspired challenge - To get Little Red Riding Hood’s basket of cookies to Granny’s house by catapult. The planning, teamwork, and growth mindset have been amazing. Not one design looks the same, some look closer to slingshots, some have platforms, and some have two-part designs. I’m looking forward to the final challenge on Thursday afternoon! For math, we’ve been working on a different problem-solving task each day. To begin with the problems seemed tricky, but by breaking it down, taking a minute and using that growth mindset again, Tāwhiri has been doing a fantastic job. Continuing on from our wolf point of view writing (that you may have noticed in the windows outside our classroom), we have been using “would you rather” prompts to convince the reader of our point of view. There have been some very unique perspectives of why it would be better to see through walls…

Thank you so much to Leslee, Tāwhirimātea, and Sawyers Bay for having me for the last seven weeks, it’s been a blast and I’ve learnt so much from you all!

Report by Miss Carston

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This week's photos are of the children's Billy Goat Gruff STEM bridges. The students worked in small groups to design and create a bridge 40cm long and needed to hold three goats and of course the troll! Great collaborative working team! The finished products were presented to the class with good explanations of how they were designed and what went well and what they would improve on next time.

The students have shown an increased understanding of number equations through our maths activity Numble. (Easily done at home too) Roll a dice to get three numbers and then make as many equations using them. Outlining area is part of our maths focus and today the children used 10cm squared to create as many differing patterns. (Scenario: The farmer needed to use the paddock for stock breaks as effectively as they could be) We were able to discuss perimeters as well.

We have read many NZ Māori myths and begin to create our own using the format of narrative writing. Each student has chosen a Maori God, and a native NZ bird to tell a story that explains an event. Please ask your child questions about what they have imagined as this will help them with their own creations.

Thank you for all home reading support and regularly signing their reading logs. Please fill in the title or pages read. The aim is to read a little bit each night (either the book they bring home or one from home) - Ranginui are FANTASTIC readers and have the love of reading!

Report by Miss Ruzsa


We are well and truly getting stuck into our Clay Sculptures this week. Our armatures, made from tinfoil and pipe cleaners have created a sturdy base for our clay. The children have done a wonderful job creating their sculptures, using hands and tools for hair and different textures. Check out the photos below for some of our work in progress.

We are also busy completing parts of our Online Learning Portfolios on Seesaw which will be shared with whānau towards the end of term. These portfolios have been co-created with the children and will show a snapshot of their learning. I know that the children are quite excited about these being completed and shared with everyone at home.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Report by Miss Laing

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Tāne Mahuta

We have been continuing to develop our learning around Myths and Legends in Tane Mahuta this week. We’ve begun a fun task of story mapping a myth, legend or fairytale of our choice! We started by reading over the stories and deciding on key points for each story in small groups, we noted these down. Then we began our story map plans and thought about how we could best represent each key point in a picture format. When we had decided on some ideas for our images we plotted a path on a draft plan of how we were going to depict our stories from beginning to end, in the correct order. When we had our plans checked off and could tell Miss Tenci about all of our different images we were able to start our good copies! These good copies are looking great, many of us are still working on them but when they are finished we are looking forward to sharing them with you all in assembly.

Report by Miss Tenci

Jack Story Map

Community Notices

Sushi Johnny - Price Increase

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Have a Go at Marching!

Marching Otago would like to let students and parents know about our upcoming 'Have a Go!' days for some of our marching teams.

Unite Open Free Choice marching team

Ages 5-8

Sunday 12th June, 1:30pm - 3pm

Edgar Centre

Onyx Militaires Under 12s marching team

Ages - 7-12
Sunday 12th June, 11:30am - 1pm
Edgar Centre

For more information see

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