BIS Newsletter Week 10 Term 3

Friday 1st of October 2021


What a strange way to end a term. It has been a very unusual term of learning. The lockdown has thrown many issues at us and we have managed to come up with creative solutions to engage students and provide a quality education in a caring environment.

Today I want to dedicate this message to our amazing staff who have stepped up and done an incredible job of teaching at levels 3 and 4. A few highlights for me have been the following...

Within 24 hours of finding out we were in lockdown, teachers had set up zoom meetings and were feeding back to me about students who they could not make contact with. This helped us to identify those who needed additional support or the loan of a digital device.

By the Monday morning of our first full week in lockdown, teachers had planned and shared their planning with each other to ensure that all students were given a variety of activities from all curriculum areas that had various levels and a variety of ways to complete the tasks. We were able to provide paper copies of work for those who needed this resource and many of our staff volunteered to deliver paper copies to those who needed them.

By week two, we became aware of families who needed additional support with food, blankets and stationery items. We were able to gather food parcels and essential items and deliver them across the neighbourhood. This can continued to happen throughout lockdown with deliveries being done at least twice a week. We have been so thankful to the BeachHaven/Birkdale Community House for their support and food parcels.

To encourage students to participate in more zoom lessons, we introduced our optional timetable of online teaching sessions in the third week. This was very successful and teachers loved seeing more students getting involved in learning activities.

The resilience our students have shown when faced with disappointment has been humbling. The cancellation of zone sports days, band quest, sports camp, a cheerleading competition, school disco, open evening, choir festivals and more have all been hard to handle. Our staff have supported students who needed it and encouraged all students to continue to look forward to exciting future events such as camp and term 4 events.

The school production rehearsals continued and the production has been filmed on zoom. I am looking forward to seeing the final cut! Talent quest was done at home and that range of entries were very impressive. We even had a visiting guest speaker, Wild Boy who joined a zoom to answer questions about his life.

Staff volunteered to work onsite once we moved into level 3 and quickly established good health routines to keep everyone onsite safe. Staff working from home made lunches and treats each day and delivered these to school to support those working onsite.

At the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, our Board members wanted me to pass on how impressed they have all been with the work ethic and energy that staff have put into the lockdown lessons.

As teachers, we would always prefer to be at school and working with students face to face. Your children inspire us to be our best and to strive to provide a quality education. Doing it online is a challenge at times and we ofter feel like we are not meeting all needs. However, as a principal, I could not be prouder of the work that our team have done over the last term.

I have asked all staff to please take a break. I want them to step away from their screens and have some quality time with their loved ones or engage in an activity that sparks joy. They need to recharge and get ready for a full on term 4 where we can welcome your children back to school and ensure a smooth transition back into the class and into a 'normal' routine.

I am hopeful that you can all enjoy the holiday time regardless of what happens with alert levels and covid. I am keeping fingers crossed for a level 2 decision on Monday but more importantly, I want a level 2 Auckland in time for the start of term 4. I encourage you all to stay safe, be well and stay in your bubble.

I will be sending out a newsletter prior to the return of school to confirm the alert level and how the start of term 4 will look for your child.

Kia kaha,

JoAnne Sutton

JoAnne Sutton


Term 3 Talent Quest Results

A huge thanks to all of the students who participated in this term's Talent Quest. Winners were chosen by popular vote amongst our staff and students. Participation badges and certificates, along with winners certificates and prizes will be handed out next term once we are back at school under Level 2.

You can view the talent quest here: BIS Has Talent Term 3 2021 (Voting for students has closed)

The winners are announced here: BIS Has Talent Term 3 2021 Winners

Year 8 Camp Update

We have processed all the returned forms and are well organised for the Year 8 camp. You should have received an email today from your child's whanau teacher with some links that you need to follow to shafe some more information about your child with Camp Adair.

If your child is year 8 and not attending camp, then they have the option of joining in with the year 7 week of outdoor education. Please email or to get more info about the year 7 programme.

BIS Bank account - 12 3035-0413925-01

MOE Packs

If you loved the packs of resources from the Ministry of Education then I encourage you to take the time to email our local MP to give him some positive feedback about these resources. My personal feedback to our MP, Shanan Halbert was that it would be great for all schools to have a supply of "lockdown resources" that are distributed to schools at the start of the year so that we have instant access to these resources if we were to go into another lockdown. It would also be great to have hand sanitiser and face masks included in these packs.

I hope that you have enjoyed the resources and especially the stories that are in the school journals that were supplied.

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School Face Masks

To encourage mask wearing and to try to normalise this at school, we have purchased fabric reusable and washable face masks to sell. These are adjustable and good quality face masks that will have our school logo on them. We will name each mask in fabric paint when purchased. Order forms will be sent out shortly. Masks will cost $10.00.

These are available for order now and can be paid via kindo. Click on the link to order one.

School Grounds Useage

Having the school grounds closed during levels 3 and 4 has meant that our community has not been able to use the courts and fields for sporting activities. If the alert level in Auckland moves to level 2 during the holidays, our gates will be open between 9am - 3pm so that you can access the facilities. Please use the facilities with respect and leave them as you found them.

We have had a lot of magpies on the field so be wary of these birds if you have young children running around.

Newsletter proudly sponsored by

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Cyber Safety with NETSAFE!

Netsafe is a website that holds a variety of resources for parents and their children about staying safe online, and what to do if you are being bullied or harassed online and on any social media platforms. You can report incidents of online bullying, harassment or if you or your child feels unsafe or is receiving.

Upcoming Events

Friday 1st October - Teacher Only Day - No school

Communication Home

We email home a school newsletter every fortnight. The purpose of this newsletter is to keep our community informed of what is happening at our school.

Please ensure we have an up-to-date email address, download our BIS School App, like our Facebook page and check our website regularly for more detailed information about what is happening at BIS.

Community Advertisements

Please contact to advertise your community event in this space.

What's happening in our Community?

Click here to see the events and activities the Birkdale Beach Haven Community Houses have planned for our community this Term.
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