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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

School Newsletter - Term 1, Week 2

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

Kia Ora Waitetuna whaanau,

I hope the second newsletter for this year finds you all well and slowly getting back into the busy routine with your tamariki back at school. Thank you for your patience and understanding and a seamless transition between levels over the past week.

Staff appreciate this. Please continue to scan, and keeping children home if they are sick, staff and students will be using hand sanitizer. It is been another positive week of learning for the students with a focus on developing relationships within the class and knowing routines. Our core focus of Citizenship is going to be our focus for 2021. The different

learning areas for example Science, Social Sciences, The Arts, Technology, Languages will be woven into the core focus for the whole year. This allows for more in-depth inquiry into a Core Focus.

Remember - PTA meeting Thursday 25th February - 3pm - Staffroom

The PTA play such an important role in supporting our school. There is a meeting at 3pm on Thursday 25th February in the staffroom. We look forward to seeing you there.

New furniture -

The board of trustees approved funding for one new item of furniture for each classroom. The teachers and students are delighted with their new addition.

A group work table for the junior room and middle room. The middle room received a special whiteboard top allowing them to practise everything from basic facts to spelling on their new table. The senior room have a special standing table which they are loving.

Structured Reading -

You may have seen in the news recently the Ministry of Education announcing new

readers they are sending out with a focus on the order of sounds students learn. These will support the decodable resources that the PTA purchased for us at the end of last year.

Here is an overview outlining what all the talk is about how reading is being taught in schools - Effective reading instruction is integral to success. Learning to read is a complex neurological process, and structured literacy instruction uses explicit, evidence-based methods that are appropriate for all students but essential for students with learning differences, especially those with dyslexia . This systematic approach is based on the science of reading, which is a body of scientifically validated and replicable studies of both

reading instruction and human processing. While the science of reading is not limited to the idea of phonics, it acknowledges that phonics is an important component in early, effective reading education. Phonics, is the study of relationships between sounds and written language, is an essential aspect of teaching students with learning differences to read.

The science of reading also incorporates phonemic awareness, or the awareness of sounds that make up spoken words. Improving phonemic awareness is crucial to connecting phonics and spelling instruction, making it possible for students to decode in order to read and spell unknown words. Additionally, the science of reading recognizes the importance of language and reading comprehension. This aspect focuses on building vocabulary and background knowledge for students to readily interpret and understand as they read. Any effective reading curriculum must also explicitly develop comprehension skills, with emphasis on the direct teaching of strategies such as summarizing, synthesizing, and inferencing. A well-designed reading program will teach the following foundational skills in a structured approach:

  • Phonemic awareness, Letter formation, Phonics, Spelling, Meaningful word parts

  • Comprehension All of these aspects of the science of reading are systematically, sequentially, and cumulatively placed in a scope and sequence that is then directly taught to students. Robyn will be holding an information evening about how this looks in class at Waitetuna School. All school parents are welcome to attend.

  • We would also like to get some input on the new ‘Relationships and Sexuality Education’ document.

  • PUT THIS DATE IN YOUR DIARY - Wednesday 3rd March at 7pm. This will be a chance to meet Robyn for our new families also.

  • Ali and Lara are available in person, by phone or email f you have any questions about your child's learning please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Aotearoa Histories - you may have seen on the news the new Aotearoa Histories aspects in Social Sciences which will be included in our New Zealand Curriculum document.

Aotearoa New Zealand's histories are being incorporated into the national curriculum to ensure that all ākonga in all schools and kura learn how our histories have shaped our lives. There is the opportunity for whanau to make submissions on this document and read about what this looks like.

Me mātai whakamuri, kia anga whakamua

To shape New Zealand’s future, let’s start with the past

Waitetuna Way this week goes to - Lila Cursons and Toby Marquand for the wonderful helpful start you have had to the year.

Softball action - practise for our inter school competition later in the term

Late Arrivals - If your child/children arrive late to school (after 9.00a.m.) please make sure that they check in at the office.

Full brimmed hats - it is our school policy that students wear a full brimmed hat when out in the school during term 1 and 4. Some students are wearing caps. This does not provide enough protection from the sun. Please can you help with this by making sure your child has a full brimmed hat.

Students’ cellphones - if in exceptional circumstances your child needs to bring a cellphone to school then these must be handed in to the office for safe keeping and they can be picked up from there at the end of the school day.

It is another action packed term 1.

Dates for term 1

Assemblies this term - 5th March, 19th March, 26th March, 9th April

First Board Meeting - 23rd February - 5.30pm

PTA Meeting - 25th February 3pm - Staffroom

Structured reading information evening and Health curriculum Consultation Wed 3rd March 7pm

School swimming sports Thursday 4th March

Senior room camp - 8/9 March

Get-Set-Go day - yr 1 and 2 - 12th March

Maui dolphin talk 15 March

Inter-School Swimming sports - Thursday 18th March

Waikato full Primary Swimming - Fri 26th March

School Triathlon - 29th March

Teacher only day Monday 22nd March - please note change of date - due to inter-school softball date change.

Softball tournament - Thursday 1st April

Good Friday- 2nd April

Easter Monday - 5 April

Easter Tuesday - 6 April

Last day of term and Teacher only day - 16th April

Communication - keep up to do with our School Newsletter - we will continue with weekly on a Friday

School Website - Our school website has a school event calendar. You should be able to view the school calendar on the Events page now.

The Skool Loop app - can be downloaded onto your smartphone to receive instant notifications of events, reminders and cancellations.

Facebook - The school Facebook page is a great way to see photos from events and read good news stories and the occasional urgent notice.

Seesaw - The Learning Journey app is used by students and teachers to share their learning with families. This app is available free. Teachers can provide the log in details for your student.

Digital Online Safety - Family wise are the company that support us with our online protection measures for our students. They also provide additional support while at home. See below for these some of the key things they can provide protection with. Under our current contract I have been offered these services for all families for no extra cost. They will provide a range of protection services for use at home. All you have to do is email

me and Family Zone and myself will organise the bulk of the set up for you. When you let me know I will send you an invite to accept if you would like to be able to monitor your child’s online use.. There is more information on a flyer with the newsletter.

Attendance - this is a key to learning success. Of course sickness is a reason for absence and tangi/funerals are justified absence. Research shows that reducing your child's days absent from school contributes to learning success.

There are many justified reasons why a student may not be at school and we ask that parents contact us by telephone, email, in person or via the school app; ideally before 9.00 a.m. so that the absence can be appropriately recorded. When notifying the school please let us know the reason for their absence. Any unexplained absences on the teachers’ roll after 9.15 a.m. will be followed up. If the school is not notified of the absence and a reason the child will be marked as Truant. Absences are monitored by staff, as this is a requirement of the Ministry of Education.

Murals for Waitetuna school - now that the bulk of the building work is completed, for a while at least. We do have some demolition work of the older outside storage spaces but we have been wanting to resurrect and create a wonderful new mural outside the office on the wall to the left. If you or anyone you know would like to help us with this please see Amanda.

Clothing reminder - please name clothing and remember to send named medication to school with instructions.

Tech - Our Year 7 & 8 students continue to be involved in Tech at Raglan Area School. The Technicraft fee for the year is $60 and this can be paid to the school office. They need to wear closed in shoes to attend.

Ngaa mihi nui,


“Poipoia te Kakano kia Puawai, Nurture the seed and it will blossom.”

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