BIS Newsletter Week 1 Term 1

Friday 5th February 2020


Tēnā kouto Whānau,

What a fantastic first week of learning that we have had. It has been a delight meeting so many new students and seeing our year 8 students stepping up as role models. I feel very privileged to work in such an amazing community and to be able to spend my days with your gorgeous tamariki.

2020 was our first year of subject teaching. We saw huge gains in student engagement and achievement as well as teachers telling us that they loved becoming 'experts' in their subject areas. High levels of motivation from teachers and students led to high success and encouraged us to continue this method of curriculum delivery.

However, there is always room for improvement so we have made a few changes for 2021. Timetabling and subject options as well as break times have all had some minor tweaks.

Your child will spend time every day with their whānau teacher. This starts at 8.40am with roll call and wellbeing for the first 20 minutes of the day. Subject teaching commences at 9am and students move as a class to their specialist teachers. Each wāhanga is 55 minutes and we have ensured that all curriculum areas are well covered.

Whānau teachers have their home room students every day from 2-3pm. Block sport, homework, spelling, health, and passion projects will all be covered during this whānau time as well as a performing arts rotation.

Moving around the school can be exhausting but it gives students the opportunity to move and to grab a drink or a bathroom break every 55 minutes. Our break times are now 2 breaks of 40 minutes. Break one is often used for teachers to call meetings for optional activities but is a good time for students to have a large morning tea or early lunch. The second block time may be used for sports practices, performing arts rehearsals or lunchtime groups. Students who are involved in these activities can eat their lunch back in the classroom at 2pm. We have planned the break times to allow for the extra activities but without having too long as we know that students thrive best when engaged in organised activity rather than 'free time'.

Our focus for the first few weeks is always about building strong learning relationships. While students may still be doing maths, reading or writing tasks, the expectation is that these first weeks are a time for your child to settle into a new routine, get to know our school expectations and build strong connections with their teachers and peers. Subject teaching commences in week 3.

A big learning curve last year was the importance of all whānau having access to school information. Please ensure that you have bookmarked our website, our facebook page and have uploaded our school APP onto your phone. These are all methods of communication that we use almost daily. Families who used these reported that they felt well informed about school events and knew exactly what was happening when we went into lockdown last year. Getting information to you quickly and digitally is part of our pandemic planning but also good practice as clear communication between home and school benefits your child's learning.

I am looking forward to meeting all of you next THURSDAY 11 FEBRUARY at our Meet the Team Picnic between 5-7pm. Please come along to meet your child's teachers and look around our school.

Enjoy the long weekend and stay safe,

JoAnne Sutton

Tumuaki / Principal

SunSmart for Term One

Traffic and Road Safety

You'll be aware of how congested Birkdale Road is in the morning and afternoons each day. There are 4 schools on Birkdale Road, and as well as being the main route into and out of Birkdale, it makes it a hectic place to be before and after school.

We have a team of dedicated Road Patrollers who will be out in the mornings and afternoons. Please remember, if you see children waiting at the crossing, please stop and let them cross. It is often difficult to find a gap in the traffic to ensure our tamariki can cross safely.

To help ease congestion around the school, please encourage your children to walk, bike or bus to school. If you need to drop your children off, please drop them off and collect them further down the road. Please be aware that our school gates are closed in the afternoon between 2.50 pm and 3.20 pm for student safety.


Convenience without compromise.

Ezlunch is a convenient and affordable way to have healthy, hot and cold, lunches delivered directly to your school. Simply join ezlunch, order online or by text message, and a freshly prepared lunch will be on its way to Birkdale Intermediate School. See our school website for the full menu available this term.

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.


Thank you to those of you who have come into school or used Kindo to pay for your child's stationery. All books will be in classes ready for the start of next week. If you have not yet paid for this, please do so.

Students are expected to have their own pencil case that contains pens, pencils, a ruler, eraser and coloured pencils. Scissors, gluesticks, calculators are also useful. Please name all stationery items.

Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club is on each day in the tech forum during first break. All students are welcome to come and enjoy toast, weetbix and milk. We are always grateful for donations of fruit, bread and spreads to add to our breakfast options.

Upcoming Events

8th February - Waitangi Day Observed

10th February - Boys Basketball trials

11th February - Girls Basketball trials

11th February - 5 - 7 pm Meet the Teacher Evening

15th February - Swimming Sports for Ngā Whānau 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12, 17, 18

16th February - 6.30 pm BOT meeting

16th April - Last day of term 1 for students. Staff Only Day

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