St Albans Panui

Term 1: Week 1 - Thursday 9th February, 2023


Kia ora toku St Albans whānau,

What an amazing way to start the year with 'Getting Connected Meetings' which are designed for teachers to connect with whānau and students start to build those essential relationships that support learning and success at school. Giving time and space to these ensures they remain a priority for St Albans School as we see RELATIONSHIPS as a key component of what makes us great, collectively.

One of our goals as a kura is to improve in the area of Whānau Engagement and we have many initiatives and ideas this year for you to be involved in - watch this space.

One idea is 'Coffee with the Principal' twice per term where we will discuss how the school operates, responds and navigates to complex areas such as Friendships and the Playground, Anxiety (in children), Behaviour, and we will look to our community for other areas that we could unpack, explain and enhance for them. A Google form will be coming out so you can have your say, so we can plan and for those who cannot make a face-to-face meeting, we will have a digital version for you to watch.

We will use our NEW website (coming soon) to place these videos so it becomes a hub of information for new and established whānau and community members.

The students are rearing to go and get into another year of learning. This year our conceptual curriculum is centred around; "Let's Celebrate". This will focus on past and present, linking to the mahi we are doing with our Cultural Narrative, Localised Curriculum, 150th Jubilee and all our wonderful purākau/stories which will link to the New Zealand Histories curriculum.

Our staff spent the day at Tuahiwi Marae on Friday being immersed in the local stories, tikanga practices for both Marae and Pōwhiri, and lifting our confidence and knowledge with Mihi, waiata, and Te Reo. It was a very special day where everyone was engaged as a collective from St Albans School with the goal of lifting our capabilities, giving us direction for our own practices at school and for the Cultural Narrative work we will be embarking on this year.

As we begin to unpack and make connections we will invite our community along on the journey so that everyone is able to see themselves within this important grounding document. We don't just accept our diversity at St Albans, we celebrate it!

Our core subjects are an essential foundation for opening the rest of the curriculum so the focus for us is on Structured Literacy which will see changes in the way students are taught, what comes home for reading and/or practicing and will begin with St Albans building a "Gold Star Spelling Programme" at every level. We are being guided by external experts and consultants from iDeaL, which will create a consistent research informed literacy approach across our school.

Those whānau who have had their children in Year 1-2 last year will be up to speed especially if you attended one of the Pīwakawaka or Pūkeko interactive Structured Literacy Hui last year where the kaiako explained the evidence and research and ran interactive lessons.

For all others we will be holding a Structured Literacy Hui in Term Two or Three so that we can show you the benefits first hand. In the meantime it is important to remember that your child’s teacher and our school are on a learning journey. This transition will take dedicated time and specific resourcing.

Structured Literacy is an evidence-based approach that is grounded in the Science of Reading. As a school, we have partnered with Learning Matters and will be accessing the iDeaL platform to ensure our teachers are well supported with this transition and the approach becomes embedded and sustainable across our school.

We have attached a letter with LINKS for more information about this approach and look forward to making a difference for ALL our learners in the Literacy space. We have used a Google Form below so that our ESOL Whānau can translate.

We look forward to the many ways we will connect during Term One, the sunshine that the summer term brings (don't forget togs/towels and hats) and the new initiatives to ensure we are engaging our whānau and families.

Ngā mihi nui,

Andrea Harnett

Tumuaki - St Albans School

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Upcoming Events

  • 20 February - Year 1-2 AquaGym lessons in school pool - all week
  • 27 February - Year 3-6 AquaGym Lessons - all week
  • 2 March - School closes early at 1.30pm for Teachers' Union Meeting
  • 6 March - Cultural Week starts
  • 20 March - Book Week starts
  • 6 April - End of Term 1

Teachers Union Meeting - School Closing 1.30pm on 2nd March

On Thursday 2 March, school will close early at 1.30pm to allow teachers to attend their paid union meeting in the Town Hall at 2pm. We would appreciate parents/caregivers making arrangements to pick up tamariki promptly at 1.30pm on this date. MASH will be offering an earlier programme for children enrolled with them. Our apologies for the inconvenience but it is important our teaching staff attend this meeting about their collective agreement.

Congratulations Young Designer - Oliver!

Before Christmas Oliver W (now in Kererū 15) entered a competition to have his design as the Official Bat Design of the T20BlackClash.

In early January Oliver was informed he had won this prize which included his design on the bats, tickets to the BlackClash, and a bat signed by both team Cricket and Rugby.

Bree Tomasel TV presenter stated during the match:

“Take a look at the Kookaburra bats – with the sticker designed by 6yr old Oliver. Oliver attends St Albans School and plays cricket for the Sydenham Cricket Club. He is backing Team Cricket as he is a big fan of 2m Peter as he went to the same pre-school as his daughter Hazel-Jane.”

St Albans School is very proud of Oliver and his creativity - way to GO!

School Costs

School costs for 2023:

  • Yr 0-2 AquaGym $30
  • Yr 3-6 AquaGym $42
  • Activity Donation $100 or $25 each term
  • School Donation $100 for one child at school or $180 families

The majority of accounts have now been billed if you want to jump on HERO to check what is owing. Statements will be emailed next week. Online payments are preferred to our bank account 12-3151-0178176-00. There is also the option to pay by credit card through the HERO app via STRIPE (fees apply) or by eftpos or cash at the office. Please reference online payments with your eldest child's name.

You are most welcome to set up a weekly or fortnightly automatic payment to take care of school costs. We have many families who choose to do this.

Our school is not eligible for the Donations Scheme so we rely on the goodwill of our whānau to pay the requested donations. Fortunately you can claim back 33.33% of any donations as a tax refund, which makes things even more affordable - a win/win for school and whānau!

If your whānau is experiencing financial difficulty please don't hesitate to contact us, as we have the Acorn Fund which can provide funding of up to $70 per child for school costs. Please contact if you would like to apply for assistance from this fund.

The Acorn Fund was set up by the Board several years ago and has helped many of our past and present families. Funding is provided by the Board and PTA each year, along with generous support from community members and parents/caregivers of our school. If you would like to donate to the Acorn Fund, you are most welcome to do so. Our bank account 12-3151-0178176-00. Please reference your payment "Acorn Donation" . We will issue a donation receipt at the end of the tax year.

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2023 Stationery Lists

If you haven't yet ordered 2023 class stationery please jump online to order from OfficeMax My School Select the 2023 year level for your child, choose what you need and select your delivery week. Easy! The lists are also on our school website if you need to check anything: 2023 Stationery Lists
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Help Needed!

We need new volunteers to help keep our cafe and sausage sizzle running in 2023.

Friday Sausage Sizzle times for helpers:

  • Food collection pick up and delivered to school before 11.15am (car required)
  • Cook BBQ - 12noon - 1pm-ish - first sausages cooked and to be ready for 12.30pm
  • Server #1 - from 12noon
  • Server #2 - from 12.15pm
  • Server #3 - from 12.15 pm

Oak Leaf Cafe Volunteers: Serve and make the drinks. No experience necessary, we are happy to show you the ropes have you onboard to help when you can

Contact us via Email -

St Albans school PTA Facebook page

St Albans School Volunteers page

Lunch Orders

Sushi Monday, Subway Wednesday and Sausage Sizzle Friday will resume next week! Order online with ezLunch/mykindo. Set up your mykindo account and place orders. You can cancel up to 9am on the day if your child is going to be away sick or for any reason.

Here is the link to ezlunch:


Wanted: Caring Hosts for Japanese students

Southern Cross Language Institute is an English language school located in Merivale. We are excited to be welcoming back our students from Japan and are currently looking for families who would be keen to host a 16 -17 year -old female Japanese high school student from April 12 (after Easter) this year until March 12, 2024. If you have a spare room, would like to share our kiwi culture, learn more about Japan and earn some extra money, then hosting could be a good opportunity for you. We offer our families great support to get the best out of their hosting experience. For more information, please contact Lisa at 022 010 5288 or

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