Week 3, Term 4

Tauranga Primary School Pānui (Newsletter)

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Tēnā koutou katoa

Ngā mihi nui, kia koutou katoa - Warm greetings to you all.

Nau mai, haere mai, a very warm TPS welcome to Matthew Braddock who started recently at our school. We are glad to have you and your family as part of our TPS TEAM.

Congratulations to Liz Stenner who won the $100 Pak'n'Save Tauranga voucher for completing the 2021 parent survey. Whilst the number of responses are down on previous years, there is certainly some good feedback for the staff and board to consider this week at our meeting.

Last week I sent home the events calendar for Term 4, unfortunately we have had to cancel a large number of events due to Covid restrictions. We are investigating how to change some important school fixtures into virtual events e.g. prize givings and the Nga Toi afternoon (art gallery tour of the classes, kapa haka performance and choir). If any of our school families have any expertise in filming events, please contact me as your advice and/or assistance would be appreciated.

This year we have intensified our school wide focus on learning basic facts, as it is an essential foundation skill needed in Mathematics. We know that basic fact fluency (automaticity) frees up our working memory so that we can then devote all our thinking power to problem solving or learning new concepts. Our goal is for all students to commit basic maths facts to memory so that they free up their 'brain power' to focus on learning more complex operations and concepts.

How is this achieved? The answer ... in a systematic and cumulative way using variety of (multimodal) methods and lots of repetition and practice. Practice makes learning permanent. It is very important to start off with manipulating "hands on" materials to help understand the concept of the size of numbers, then what it looks like to add them together and take them away. We use counters and equipment before we introduce the written representations.

  • Firstly, we start with number recognition, knowing and understanding the value of numbers to 5, 10, then 20 etc. At this time we also work on knowing the correct formation of numbers.
  • We then work on number bonds to 5, 10, then 20 and so on.
  • Understanding the patterns of adding and subtracting 0 and 1, help reduce the load of learning these facts separately, so lots of practise on the numbers which come before and after other numbers is helpful.
  • It is important that children understand the reciprocal nature of addition and subtraction (family of facts) e.g. 2+3=5, 3+2=5, 5-2=3, 5-3=2.
  • Skip counting in 2s, 5s and 10s is very beneficial as a stepping stone for learning multiplication. Tip: we often practice skip counting (in fact all counting) forwards, it is equally important to also practice (skip) counting backwards.
  • Learning doubles to 10, then 20 e.g. 2+2=4, 3+3=6.
  • When we move onto multiplication, we teach this alongside division, again to help develop an understanding of the "family of facts". Tip: instead of saying 'times' you can say "lots of" to aid understanding e.g. 3x2=6, 3 lots of 2 = 6 and 2 lots of 3=6.

How can you help at home? You can help by doing small chunks of practice often. For example, basic facts songs in the car, counting (forwards and backwards), working on times tables during the car ride to school each day, playing card and board games, Bingo, adding up two numbers on the licence plate in front of you (other ideas can be found here). Email your child's teacher and ask what basic facts your child is working on currently. Whatever you do, make it a small chunk at a time, so that it is achievable and fun. Adding pressure and high stakes to practice is more likely to hinder and limit your child's progress and achievement. If it is stressful and no one is enjoying the practise then stop and come back to it later. If there is a particular fact that is proving hard to master, make some bright and bold signs with it written on and put them up around the house where they will be seen regularly (e.g. the back of the toilet door, the fridge, the bathroom mirror). Repeatedly seeing this basic fact will help commit it to memory.

We have started the process of creating classes for 2022, if your children are leaving the school in 2022 please notify the school office as soon as possible so that we can accommodate that change in our planning.

We have decided to postpone our Whānau Information Evening in November which was scheduled to share our Structured Literacy approach. This is a major initiative that we have been working on school wide in 2021 and we are very excited by the learning results already achieved. We would like to share the theory, practice and results with our school community, so we will reschedule this evening to Term 1 2022. To give you some idea about the approach, I have included a video below which will give you a good overview in the meantime.

Lastly, I am sure you have been following with interest the Public Health Order requiring school staff and those who will be working alongside or with children at school (including parent voluntary roles) to have their first COVID-19 vaccination by the 15th November and to be fully vaccinated by the 1st of January. This means that from the 16th of November, any parents who are helping at school or working in the capacity of a parent volunteer (eg. class trips, camps, breakfast club) will be required to comply with the health order. We are in the process of collating relevant information and developing systems and processes to support the enactment of the order. Affected parents will be asked to provide evidence of their vaccination status. We are all trying hard to navigate this complex time.

To our TPS families celebrating Diwali this week, we wish you a Diwali that brings happiness prosperity and joy to you and all your family.

Ngā mihi maioha

Fiona Hawes


Home Learning


Diwali is one of the most popular Hindu festivals. Diwali in 2021 begins Thursday 4th November and continues for five days. Diwali ends Monday 8th November.

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and renewal of life. Millions of Hindus around the world, including those in New Zealand, celebrate Diwali with gifts, lights, fireworks, and special meals. Major public festivals, along with private and family celebrations, mark Diwali in New Zealand.

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We are pleased to share that our grant application to Pub Charity was successful and we are able to offer the 2021 Year 6 cohort a reduced cost to attend their camp at Totara Springs in December.

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Drink bottles

Under Covid Level 2 restrictions we are unable to open the school drinking fountains. Please remember to send a drink bottle of water to school with your child(ren) as they get very thirsty, especially as the weather is warming up and they are running and active at break times.

Term 4:

  • 5th November - FOTS Frosty Friday
  • 8th November - Senior Team Athletics at Domain. Sorry no parent spectators
  • 11th November - Year 4 camp - overnight tenting aspect is now CANCELLED - Year 3/4 activity day will still proceed.
  • 17th November - Structured Literacy Parents' Meeting, 6:00pm cancelled - but instead we will be sharing a video and having a Zoom meeting at 6:00pm on Tuesday 17th November
  • 18th November - Tauranga Primary Schools concert, TPS choir - CANCELLED
  • 24th November - Tauranga Intermediate School- Orientation Day for Year 6 students (Note change of date)
  • 24th November - Y2 Parent transition meeting, 9:00am, hall
  • 25th November - Orange Day Parade for Road Patrollers -CANCELLED
  • 25th November - Junior Team Athletics, 11:00am - 12:30pm - Sorry no parent spectators on site
  • 30th November - Middle Team Athletics - Sorry no parent spectators on site
  • 1st December- School disco - CANCELLED
  • 1st & 2nd December - Year 5 Discovery Day going ahead, overnight Camp -CANCELLED
  • 1st - 3rd December - Year 6 Camp - Totara Springs- STILL GOING AHEAD
  • 2nd December - Junior school activity day - Sorry no parents on site
  • 7th December - BOT meeting, 7:00pm-8:30pm, in school staffroom
  • 10th December - FOTS Frosty Friday
  • 10th December - TPS Nga Toi - the Arts sharing-Open for parents in Level 1- Virtual event in Level 2
  • 13th December - TPS School Awards Assembly (Years 0-5), 10:00am - Virtual event at school.Sorry no parents on site
  • 13th December - Year 6 Social Dance- CANCELLED
  • 14th December - Year 6 Leavers' Assembly, 10:00am- Virtual event at school. Sorry no parents on site
  • 15th December - final day of school, finish at 12.00pm
  • 16th December - Teacher Only Day

Pānui for whānau Māori

Kia Manawaroa is the Ministry of Education's pānui for whānau Māori with tamariki and rangatahi in the education system. It normally goes out fortnightly, but during Alert Level changes, it is sent out whenever there’s an important update.

You can subscribe here:



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Fiona Hawes


Deputy Principal

Cathy Ediker


Assistant Principal

Robyn Caley


Junior Team Leader

Pam Wilkins


Middle Team Leader

Jason Morgan


Senior Team Leader

Jo Howard


International Student enquiries

Cathy Ediker


Business Manager

Susan O'Neill


Enrolment Officer

Barbara Turley