Matapu School Newsletter

Term 4, Week 8, 10th December 2021

Calendar - Please note some new dates added & further information for events will be sent home closer to the date if required.

  • Tuesday 14th December - Last day of Term 4
  • Thursday & Friday 27th & 28th January - Office open, 9am - noon
  • Tuesday 1st February - Term 1 2022 starts
  • Monday 7th February - Waitangi Day observed, school closed

Principal's Weekly Update

RAISE Goal: to celebrate everything that I have achieved this year

Te reo phrase of the week: mahia kia pēnei (do it like this)

Kia ora,

What a year we have had! The year started with a stunning refurbishment of our main block, fittingly blessed by the Kaumatua of our local iwi. The relationship that we have with John Hooker continues to see our school benefit from local stories, tikanga, and te reo. With NZ Histories being added to the NZ Curriculum next year, this places our school in a strong position to quickly implement the new objectives and impart our local perspective on it.

As the year progressed we won the Kaponga Athletics Shield, Running Relays Cup, and performed highly in the traditional winter sports. The year 5/6 soccer team won the title at their local inter-school competition, while the year 7/8 netball and rugby teams managed to make the finals of their respective championships.

On Wednesday we farewelled Dee Hurley and Olivia Luscombe at a special assembly, which celebrated their time at Matapu School. On behalf of all of the staff and the Board I would like to thank both of them for their hard work, reliability, flexibility, and most of all for the wonderful support they have given our students. We wish you the very best for the future and look forward to catching up with you at upcoming school events.

Covid-19 definitely threw a few challenges at us this year. However, in another year of cancelled events and strict requirements, I was extremely pleased with how Matapu responded and managed to change and adapt to ensure events and activities could still go ahead. This was highlighted by our Year 8 students at the recent Year 8 Dinner who spoke highly of the re-jigged end of year activity week. I am always a ‘glass half full’ kind of person and I’ll continue to look for ways to best support our students in a new Covid-19 affected era.

As always our Board of Trustees has done a wonderful job of governing our school, as well as navigating us through pandemic challenges that haven’t been seen for generations. Kurt, along with the whole team put in a huge amount of work behind the scenes, ensuring our students and community continue to thrive and receive high quality learning opportunities.

2022 sees an almost unchanged staff line up, with the only exception being Erin Martinez who has come on board to work every Friday in Room 6. I genuinely can’t over emphasise the current teacher supply shortage enough and the challenges that many schools face to attract teachers. Therefore I am incredibly pleased to retain our amazing teacher aides, office administrators, cleaners, and teachers for next year. Please note that all appointments we make comply with our Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) policy.

As we approach the last days of the school year, I would like to thank all of our families for the commitment, support, and understanding that you have displayed this year. It has been incredibly tough to hold traditional school events without spectators, or to close our school pool over summer. However, what makes it easier is that our community understands that we are just trying to do our best by them and hopefully we can add traditional events and opportunities back on our calendar next year.

Guitar - 2022

We are very pleased to have secured Ben McLeod to be our guitar teacher again next year. The cost will be $120 per term (based on a 10 week term) per student. Can you please email me at if you would like to sign your child up for guitar lessons in the new year. I will pass on payment details in late January, along with dates and times.

Have a wonderful time over the summer holidays and a fantastic Christmas with your family and friends.

See you in 2022.

Ngå mihi nui

James Willson

Board of Trustees Update

2021’s all done and dusted and doesn’t time just seem to fly by so quickly. In what can only be described as a tricky year, the school has overcome many restrictions and regulations to try and operate as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We know for many staff and parents the frustration of not being able to enjoy our everyday school life as we knew it can be hard and disappointing however we need to look at the positives.

We still managed to have in some way or form a pet day, our rugby and netball finals, our year 8 leavers dinner, our end of year prize givings and various other events. It is a real credit to the dedication of James and his staff that we could think outside the box to allow these events to happen. There was a lot of extra work involved to ensure we complied with the rules and regulations thrown at us.

The big highlight of the year for the BOT was seeing our refurb of the senior classrooms come to fruition. This project has certainly enhanced our school and has given the place a real fresh feel. We look forward to our new makerspace area next year and pushing forward with our new local curriculum. We need to recognise the generous support for the makerspace area from our parents and the school community as funds from the ‘rear a bull’ scheme have directly contributed to allow this project to proceed.

It was very pleasing at our final BOT meeting of the year to be presented with the schools student data in the subjects of reading, writing and maths. This is something we as a board have always monitored closely and take a real pride in. Knowing our students are getting the best possible care in their core education is important and over the last few years being able to see a steady and consistent increase in student achievement is hugely satisfying. This year’s results were outstanding and show that as a school we are doing the basics right.

Our teaching staff this year have once again done an amazing job. Teachers and teacher aides do such a great job enhancing our children’s education. In a world where finding great staff can be a challenge we are really lucky to have such an amazing crew, you really do go above and beyond, thanks to you all.

James has once again showed his leadership and has continued to keep the school travelling in a positive trajectory. Thanks James for ensuring our school’s direction is constant and consistent. You do an amazing job and deserve a huge thanks for your efforts, we know the hours you pour into making sure things are always right and kept on track.

As a BOT this year we farewell Sarah Britten. Sarah has been a part of the BOT since August 2018 and has been a huge part of our team. Thanks Sarah for your dedication and commitment to the BOT, your input has been invaluable.

As James has already touched on we farewell Dee Hurley and Olivia Luscombe as teacher aides. Thank you for your work over the years you have been a huge part of our teaching staff.

To our year 8’s, all the best for your new exciting times ahead, thank you for your leadership in our school this year, we know you will all do well in your transition to high school. Remember your values and be proud of your years at Matapu School.

Lastly a big thanks to our parents and school community for your continued support in whichever shape or form it may be. We really appreciate it so much and it wouldn’t be possible for us to function the way we do without you. Have a great Christmas everyone and we look forward to kicking next year off with a bang.

Kurt Parry


School Notices

Values Awards

Room 1 - Sydnee for consistently demonstrating the school values.

Room 2 - Izabella-Rose for being an amazing role model and always showing school values.

Room 3 - Jade for consistently showing the school values and always trying to do the right thing.

Room 4 - Jack for making a big effort in our class activities and being helpful!

Room 5 - Harper for always trying super hard and always smiling.

Room 6 - Archie for always looking out for your friends and showing kindness.

School Uniform

We have a small number of school pants available at a reduced price. Please contact the office if you are interested in purchasing any of the below:

3x size 13/14 oxlan sports pants - $30 each

1x size 9/10 oxlan sports pants - $30

2x size 9/10 tapered trackpant - $20 each


Hapaitia te ara tika pumau ai te rangatiratanga mo nga uri whakatipu.

Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations.

Room 1

It has been a wonderful end to the year. I have loved having this last week to spend time with the kids and farewell my year 8’s as they head off on their new adventure. It has been an absolute joy teaching Room One this year and I wish all our families a safe and happy Christmas.

Room 2

To cap off our last full week of school for the year, Room 2 have been working on daily challenges that are related to Christmas and uses their Aumangea Tāima skills. It is great to see everyone work together in their groups to complete each challenge, having fun and enjoying the last few days at school. It has been an absolute pleasure teaching every single student in Room 2 this year. I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and summer break!

Room 3

Because it was the last full week of the year, Room 3 has been working alongside some of the junior classes to complete Christmas challenges.

They worked in teams and earned points for each task they completed. It was fun and a great way to finish the year.

Room 4

This week in Room 4, we have been making Christmas trees and other decorations as well as making up our own versions of the song Jingle Bells! On Wednesday we farewelled two of our fabulous teacher aides - Olivia and Dee at our special assembly, then visited our buddy class - Room 1 - to say thank you for all the support they have given us and give them some Christmas cards. Then on Friday, we celebrated our awesome year with a small class party. Have a fantastic summer and enjoy the holidays with your wonderful children!

Room 5

Well, that’s a wrap!! We have had an awesome week! We have been lucky enough to work with Miss West’s class in a competition all about Christmas! We made Christmas trees, made up dances and had such a cool fun time.

I have loved my last two terms teaching these little people! A career highlight. Next year, I am back to my normal stomping ground working with Seniors. Thank you to all the fabulous families for being so welcoming and extending grace to me as I came to grips with a new school.

Have a lovely time with your kiddies over summer.

Room 6

On Thrusday we had some special time in Room 6 to farewell our lovely Teacher Aides Olivia and Dee. We sang them the Pepeha in our fabulous cloaks and then children who wanted to, shared their special thoughts and feelings. Lots of gorgeous drawings were passed over too!

Olivia and Dee, we will really miss your energy, enthusiasm and passion for your job and the care you take to really make a difference for each child you work with.

Hope we see you again soon!

Community Notices

Rotokare Youth Ambassador Programme

This year-long conservation education programme has nurtured and empowered over 50 unique students across Taranaki to become kaitiaki for our natural environment. With workshops, field trips, and field elements, this holistic programme is the ideal ‘foot in the door’ for any senior primary student (Yr 6/7 in 2022) passionate about wildlife and conservation. Applications close on 16th January 2022.

Please find attached our flyer for the programme. For more information and application forms, you can visit our website: Please share this widely among your networks!

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Print Ready - Amanda Sherman, CMK Hawera, Shurr & Ireland Acocuntants, Mark Joblin Concept & Construction Ltd, Sanfords Rural Carriers, Taranaki By-Products, McDonald Real Estate, Eltham Vet Services, ANZCO, Power Farming, Corrigan Electrical, Matapu Bulk Transport, CRV Ambreed, FMG, Mack Transport, Blastways, Nevada, Ballance, Todd Energy, & BCCL (Burgess Crowley Civil Limited) Carrfields Livestock, Rosemount Charolais - Dairy Bull Specialists, PGG Wrightson Livestock, Jack Gray Ltd, Bruce Parry Livestock, Kelsen's Glass & Glazing, Tommo's Tyres Ltd, Chris Perrett Electrical Solutions, Holdem Contracting Ltd, STE (South Taranaki Electrical), Kaponga Four Square, MG Taranaki, JP Refrigeration.