Newsletter Week 9 Term 1

Sawyers Bay School 31st March 2022


Kia ora Whanau,

This week we welcome Ollie to Papatuanuku. We are thrilled to have you and your family with us Ollie!

It has been great to have a full week of learning with less COVID disruption this week. We are very pleased to have a much higher number of children back at school, and we look forward to welcoming back even more children this week. You may have noticed that some of our staff have been away too. It has been inevitable that we would have to face this situation, but thankfully we have been able to carry on almost as normal. A big thank you goes to Mrs. Annette Smith who has been able to cover a large amount of relieving cover over the last month. This has meant that we can continue operating at full capacity. Please do keep us informed if your family does go down with COVID. To help this, we have also just received a large box of RAT tests. If you are symptomatic, and do not have access to RAT's, please let us know and we can help you out.

On a more exciting note, we are very much looking forward to our Orokonui trip before the end of the term. Mrs. Campbell has organised this for us so that we can tie it into our current Theme of Turangawaewae, our place in the world. If for some reason you did not get a notice about this trip, please let us know asap and we will get a note to you. We understand with high levels of absence that sometimes notices get missed and we are keen to fill in any gaps.

Ka mihi nui,

Gareth Swete

Upcoming Events

  • Week 11 - Orokonui trips (see notice for your classes day)
  • Good Friday - Friday 15th April

A friendly reminder orders close tomorrow...

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We warmly welcome Ollie Court to Papatūānuku and to Sawyers Bay School!

We have extended our Inquiry topic from ourselves, our class, our kura, now to our community. We have had a brainstorming session all about the meaning of community and where, what is, and who is in our community. We learned a drama technique called ‘freeze frames’ to show different places and people in our community. We have also used our construction skills to build different parts of our community.

We would like to share with you one of our fun mathematics learning experiences this week.

We are continuing to use the story of The Gingerbread Man to help us with our learning. Clearly, using the fox as a method of transport across the river, didn’t work out very well for the Gingerbread Man, so we have been designing other options for him. Today we worked with a buddy, to design then build a bridge that was the right length to span the width of the river, but also strong enough to hold the Gingerbread Man. It was fantastic to see and hear the communication between the tamariki as they worked together to solve the problem. Here are some photos of the end result!

Report by Mrs Campbell


This week we have focused our learning around the book Room on a Broom by Julia Donaldson. We have been writing recounts of what happened in the book and focusing on sounding out words we are not sure how to spell. We also have been acting out the characters and what we think they are thinking when things happen in the story. We later made puppets and told stories with them. On Tuesday we made a magic potion in Mrs Smith's cauldron. We put the following into it:
a scoop of moth eggs
a pinch of dragon tears
a tablespoon of goblin saliva

2 tablespoons of dust off the floor
3 cups of snail slime
a teaspoon of rotten cheese
330ml of snake venom

We said the magic spell Ziggity Zabbitty Zoobitty Zappitty make us something to make us full. We weren't sure what would come out but four hours later we smelled and ate warm bread! We thought it could be anything from custard to a mess to green eggs and ham.

We also made witch necklaces with ten beads on them. We are practicing our bonds to 10 by closing our eyes and pulling some beads one direction away from the others. We then count these and work out how many are on the other side to equal 10.

We also thought that witches would need good hand eye coordination when flying so we have been tossing up ping pong balls into cups and seeing how many times we can catch them.

Report by Mrs Smith


This week we have started learning about the bugs that live in our environment! This topic has really captured the interest of the children and we have had great fun taking magnifying glasses outside to see what we can find. On Tuesday we went on a bug hunt in Tangaroa and found lots of bug pictures hidden in sneaky places. These pictures were then used as a writing prompt - we recorded what we thought the bug might be, what special features we noticed and any questions we had about our bugs. We then had to use our good detective skills to match the correct names with each bug - some were trickier than others but we managed to sort them all through a process of elimination and by sharing our knowledge. Over the coming weeks we will learn about the parts of an insect, different ways to classify insects and even complete our own mini research project. The Tāwhiri children are loving taking part in Move n Prove activities in Maths at the moment. At the beginning of each Math session, we look at a multi-choice question. The problem has 4 different answer options and the children move around the room to stand next to the answer they believe to be the correct answer, however, they must be able to justify their reasoning behind their answer. As we discuss our ideas, some of us begin to see things differently and move to new spots and eventually we come to a general consensus on the correct answer. This is a fantastic way for the children to discuss and defend their knowledge using mathematical language and to solve problems as a collective. A problem we found quite tricky this week was one that involved balancing equations (see the picture below). Most of us began by thinking that 'a' was the answer as one item on the left and two on the right wouldn't balance, however through our discussions we quickly realised that there were numbers on top and if we added them together we could find the unbalanced equation. This led to a wonderful discussion around what the = sign actually means! We have also been practicing our measurement skills this week. Learning to use a ruler correctly and ordering objects in order of size.

I have finally managed to collate a collection of photos and videos from swimming for you all to see! The video is little too large for our newsletter so I have popped it on our Seesaw blog. Happy viewing!

Report by Mrs Swete

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Hi from The Ranginui Team

The children did an amazing job sharing their dinosaur and fossil knowledge and written work with the whole school at assembly last week. The presenters spoke so clearly and confidently. Ka Pai Ranginui.

We have been discussing and setting learning goals in our literacy programme. Our first goal was to be able to talk about where capital letters should be used in our writing. We have been really focussed on making sure our sentences begin with a capital letter and any names/place names we use also have a capital letter. We are having lots of success! Those sneaky ones that appear within our words have all but been left behind. Good work! We have read lots of books on ANZAC and bravery, and have written our own gratitude poppies. Our goal in maths is to read and write any 3 digit number. We have had fun creating new numbers from a set of digits.

We are missing some of our friends and hope they will be back to school soon.

Wishing you all a happy week

Report by Ms Ruzsa


This week in Hinemoana we explored a new artist - Wassily Kadinsky and used his work as inspiration for our own concentric circle art (check some pictures below of our work in progress). We used all our knowledge of colour, using just the primary colours to make the colours we wanted. We also had black paint to make shades and white paint to make tints of the colours we created. All of our individual pieces will be combined to make one collaborative piece of art.

We have begun writing Autobiographies and have learnt that auto means self, bio means life and graph means writing. The children are including where they’re from, details about their families and their passions and talents - just to name a few! Our drafts are coming along nicely where we are learning to use sub-headings and write using paragraphs.

For our topic - Tūrangawaewae we have discussed ‘Where our place is.’ Those places we feel connected, strong and empowered and why. We are looking forward to exploring more ideas of Tūrangawaewae before our trip to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

Report by Miss Laing

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Tāne Mahuta

Fractions have been a big math focus in Tane Mahuta recently! We have been challenging ourselves to find fractions that are the same value but are represented in different ways. This could look like a number fraction, worded fraction, region or set. We have been getting better and better at being ‘fraction detectives’ and developing this skill! We have even had some of our at home learners send in their awesome fractions work - Olivia even made her fraction rockets into a piece of Out in Space Art, which looks fantastic! Thanks Olivia for sending in a photo of your great fractions rocket artwork.

Report by Miss Tenci

Sports News

This Week's results:


SBS Villa 1-5 L POD Braxton

SBS Spurs 0-1 L POD Asher

SBS Gunners 1-1 POD Quinn

Community Notices

The Secret Path

Saturday 16–Saturday 30 April

For families looking for super fun (and Covid-safe) activities these holidays, the Secret Path is an interactive art scavenger hunt in the centre city. Pick up a scavenger hunt booklet from the Dunedin City Library and participating shops to start the journey. The booklet contains a map of each artwork clue word - discover all the clues to complete a passphrase sentence and unlock a prize!

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