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Whanau Tabloid Sports Tomorrow!

posted Feb 13, 2019, 6:40 PM by Reception @TMCS

Our annual Whanau Tabloids will be held tomorrow morning and our senior Year 6 students who have stepped up for Leadership will be managing the teams. This is a special time for all of our students to mix across all levels of our school, to work together supporting each other. We will be starting this at the start of the day 8:45am to achieve the activities in the cool of the morning before the sun becomes too intense. All supporters are very welcome

Our Learning this Term

posted Feb 13, 2019, 6:39 PM by Reception @TMCS

 Our overriding deep concept every Term One is Relationships. Relationships are the way in which two or more things are connected, and the factors that influence the nature of that connection.

This year we will be exploring relationships in many ways, starting with the usual ways e.g. friendships, families, class and whanau as we settle into our new class dynamics, and then through our Social Science and Science focus learning areas. Syndicates will be having major and minor foci this term linked with their main inquiries.

Please see the Syndicate explanations below.

As always Literacy and Numeracy will remain the key components of every classes learning each term, as students get more able their learning to read turns to reading to learn and there is more and more scope for integration with all learning areas. Devices are now an everyday part of developing literacy and numeracy as well as helping to explore interesting topics and extend ideas. They do not take away from pencil and paper but give alternative options at appropriate times. Thank you to all parents for the support shown to our senior learners with their BYOD, we appreciate the start of the year is an expensive time.

Key Competency Focus:-  The Key Competencies are a very important part of the New Zealand Curriculum and comprise five areas:-

o   Thinking

o   Participating and Contributing

o   Relating to Others

o   Managing Self

o   Language, Symbols and Texts

All of these competencies will be involved this term. Some will be focused on more than others as different opportunities for skill development arise. For example; settling into new routines for every class as well as senior camp are great opportunities to develop Managing Self.

Our Vision is how we teach and interact, we want to live by these values and behaviours of Kia Mai – Confidence, Kia Manaaki – Respect and Kia Kotahi - Together as One as well as Kia atawhai aa mua – Kia tipu ngatahi – Nurturing our future – Growing Together.

Mindfulness:- One of the strategies we will be employing this year across our school to increase focus and concentration as well as support students with anxieties is Mindfulness. Teachers have already been involved in Professional Learning around this and we have a Teacher Only Day in June to further evolve this concept. We want to support the overall wellbeing and hauora of our students and staff. Please be assured that the breathing approaches we will be using are secular and not any religious form of meditation, we are trying to focus the brain to being present and aware of the here and now, without all the self doubt and head talk impacting on concentration. We will also be looking at the positive effects and practices of Gratitude (See last week’s Blog for further information)

Tauira Taataariki (Student Leaders)

posted Feb 13, 2019, 6:37 PM by Reception @TMCS

This year we are trialling a new way of selecting our Senior students for Leadership positions. All students who took the courage -’ Kia Maia’, and stepped up to give speeches in front of their Whanau Ropu (Family groups) will be considered for our overall Tauira Taataariki positions. This year these overall leaders will be involved in rotating around key Leadership positions, e.g. Whanau Leaders, Ambassadors, Kiawhina (Junior Class helpers) and Peer Mediators in the playground. These students will finally be selected following Whanau election results, Tabloid Sports leadership and leadership shown at their Senior Waihi Camp coming up soon.

We were very impressed with our Senior Taataariki who spoke in front of their Whanau last Friday. Well done and Congratulations to you all.

Syndicate Exciting Learning:

posted Feb 13, 2019, 6:36 PM by Reception @TMCS

Taupiri Syndicate

Maa te waa!

Taupiri Syndicate has had a settled start to the year and the teachers would like to thank all our whanau for their support in getting their children to school on time and ready for their day.  We have welcomed numerous new families to Taupiri this year, over twenty new entrants and several new families to our community. We trust that everyone is settling in and having a positive start to the school year.

This term in Taupiri we are spending time setting up good routines and expectations for behaviour and learning.  We are learning about our school vision and what this looks like in action. Understanding our place in the world and what roles we have to play, even as young 5 and 6-year-olds helps to build a sense of belonging. The children are sharing information about who they are and learning to say their pepeha, introducing themselves and their whanau.  Later in the term, we will be exploring "Our Backyard" as we learn about our local community and the special places within it, such as the Tamahere (Mangaone Gully) Reserve. We are hoping to undertake a syndicate trip to the Tamahere Reserve.

Being the summer and autumn months there is a lot of syndicate and school-wide sport occurring.  The children are participating in swimming lessons up to four times a week. Events such as the Whanau Tabloids, Triathlon and Country Cluster Tabloids are also on this term and are opportunities for the children to develop confidence and try new things in a safe and positive environment.

Pirongia Term Overview

We have lots of exciting learning opportunities happening this term. Here is a break down of what we plan to cover:

Part One: All About Me and My New Whanau - Welcome to our busy bee hive!

Weeks 1-4 is all about getting to know each other and establishing healthy routines in our learning.

  1. Class treaties - Being a part of a busy hive/ Linking to bee science

  2. Pepeha’s - Reviewing how to introduce ourselves in Maori.

  3. Life education continued from 2018 - All about me - what makes me unique in this hive?

  4. Tamahere legends - Our place is important to who we are.

Part Two: All About Me and My Environment

In Week 5, the middle school syndicate will go on our biannual trip to our namesake, Pirongia. Here we will learn about the geography, biodiversity and culture of this significant maunga.

Part Three: Growing and Food Processes

In weeks 6-10 we will be looking at the science behind food. We will look at:

  1. Bees and their importance

  2. Growing food - looking at flowers, plant diaries and produce (Linking to pumpkin night)

  3. The Material World: Food Technology- How has food evolved over time and common practices?

    • Dairy foods -  cheese, yoghurt and milk

    • Bread- Looking at yeast and how it works in bread making.

    • Food chemistry, methods of preserving food. Pickling, jam, fermentation etc.

  4. Food preparation - safety and hygiene

Maungatautari Syndicate

TERM 1 LEARNING:-The first few weeks will be spent getting to know each other and setting up class routines. This will be embedded across all curriculum areas and will set us all up for a great year. Time will be spent building relationships in our Guardian Classes, Pods and also across the Syndicate. As we focus on building positive relationships with others, we will also spend time focusing on personal mindfulness and further developing a growth mindset. A major focus for us this term will be camp at Waihi Beach. We are so excited about this upcoming adventure and know the students will grow so much from the experience. We will begin the term working in Guardian Classes for Reading, Writing and Maths; after camp, we will begin cross-grouping for Maths. With the nature of a modern learning environment, the children will have many opportunities to work across the syndicate with a variety of other students and teachers. Swimming will form a major part of our PE learning this term with each class having 3 timetabled pool sessions per week. We also have the school triathlon and tabloids to look forward to. Homework will be set each term in the form of a grid of choices posted on Google Classroom. We strongly encourage every child to read each night and keep practicing their basic maths facts. Students will also have access to Maths, Spelling and Reading websites and apps if they require more options at home. Gaye Byers spelling lists will be available if you wish to continue with these at home; there will be no testing of these at school. By 2020 we are required to have implemented the new Digital Technology curriculum. With this in mind, we have dedicated an hour a week to building student and teacher capability in this area. We are going to begin by using this term as a follow-on to a taster session some children did at the end of last year. As you can see, it’s going to be a busy term! We can’t wait to begin the 2019 learning journey with you all.

Other Happenings

posted Feb 13, 2019, 6:35 PM by Reception @TMCS

Arts & Cultural

  • Kapa Haka:- Our whole school will continue to be able to enjoy Kapa Haka this year with tutors Matua Sean Hamana and Atawhai. We will be opening up our Performance Ropu (group) for all interested students to put their name forward for later this year.

  • Musical Tuition:- We have over one hundred students taking up the opportunity to learn an instrument at school. We have many tutors available for a wide range of instrumental tuition. Please check our Web Site – under Our Learning to find contact details for our tutors.

  • Choir:- This year we have already signed up for the Kids for Kids Mega Show at Claudelands Event Centre on Friday  23nd  August.



Health & Physical Education & EOTC (Education Outside the Classroom)

  • Whanau Tabloids- Working together as a team from across all ages of our school led by our aspiring Tauira Taataariki, (Student  Leaders) on  Friday 15th February.

  • Swimming:- This term all of our students will be involved in swimming tuition in their classes on a regular basis using our wonderful Vela Pool Complex. All students need to have their togs, towel and cap ready for these lessons that are an important part of the curriculum.

  • St Peters Swim School:- We have over 130 students enrolled at the St Peters Swim School, operating out of our Vela Pool Complex after school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Please ring St Peters Swim school if you have missed out, there is also a tab on our website for parents to click onto for information under Our Learning..

  • Swimming Sports:- Our wonderful Vela Pool Complex will be used for all of our school and the inter school competitions again this year.

  • Competitive Swimming Sports – for confident 25m+ swimmers – Thursday 14th March

  • Non Competitive Swimming Sports – for our developing swimmers Tuesday 13th March

  • Taupiri Syndicate swimming display Friday 15th March.

  • South East Hamilton Country Cluster Swimming Sports – 22nd March, for selected competitive swimmers.

  • South East Hamilton City Cluster Swimming Sports – 28th March. For our very top swimmers to compete in.

  • Cricket and Touch Rugby: Thanks to Ms Glenn and Mrs Hawthorn and a team of parent managers and coaches we have 5 Cricket and 5 Touch teams in the respective Inter Schools competitions this term.

  • Other PE Activities involving small ball skills, coordination and fitness will be undertaken across all areas of the school.

  • Senior School Camp:- Our Maungatautari Syndicate Year 5 & 6 students will be enjoying their Camp experience at Waihi Beach this year. Pukatea Pod heading away in Week 4, 26th Feb -1st March and Te Akatarere Pod heading over in Week 5, 5 -8th March

  • Taupiri Syndicate (Yr. 1 & 2) will be visiting the Tamahere (Mangaone Gully) Reserve on Thursday 21st March.

  • Pirongia Syndicate (Yr. 3&4 ) will be visiting their Pirongia Mountain on Wednesday 6th March.

  • School Triathlon This fun event with students competing individually but also in teams, will be held on Monday 1st  March.

Assessment:- All students will be involved in assessments this term, with National Progress and Achievement Testing (PAT’s) for Year 3 - 6. Along with each class undertaking baseline tests in reading, maths and spelling as classes and Syndicates develop grouping for best learning.

ICAS Exams:- We will be taking entries this term for the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools testing in Terms 2 & 3.  Exams are for our Year 4 – 6 students who want to take up this extra challenge. We encourage our higher achieving students to have a go at this opportunity, especially those seniors wanting to be considered for academic achievement awards at the end of the year.

Learning Conferences:- Our Learning Conferences (Parent/Teacher Interviews) will be held in Week 9, 3 & 4th April, for all students.

Target Students:- Many assessments are occurring at present, from these assessments and observations we will be identifying our Target students, those who require extra support with their learning. Once we have identified all students we will be providing a range of interventions to help accelerate learning. A number of children this year will have reading assistance with their PAT tests to help see their true abilities.

New Shade Sails

posted Feb 13, 2019, 6:35 PM by Reception @TMCS

Thanks to the support of the PTA for their generous donation following fundraising events and those who have purchased more cookbooks. We have been able to achieve the long awaited shade sails for our Vela Pool. They are looking wonderful and are greatly needed in this hot weather. Special thanks go to Angie Miller who coordinated this project for the Board. Thank you also to Raymond Markie of  Nu Wave Products who achieved such a quick and quality job for us.

Kayaks wanted to borrow!

posted Feb 13, 2019, 6:34 PM by Reception @TMCS

We are after two sit in style kayaks similar to the picture below to borrow in preparation for Camp. Can you help us?

Meet the Teachers Evening

posted Feb 13, 2019, 6:33 PM by Reception @TMCS

We were pleased with the high turn out of parents and caregivers at our Meet the Teachers Evening last night, Wednesday 13th February. This is always a good opportunity for parents to become familiar with their children’s new class teachers and to understand the new routines and get back into school systems. Thank you all for taking the time to join us.

Smart School Roof Project

posted Feb 13, 2019, 6:33 PM by Reception @TMCS

Over the holiday break, we have repainted and repaired every roof in the school. Three classrooms also had their roofs replaced as they were in poor condition. At the same time all downpipes, guttering and fascia boards have been repainted so the school is looking very shiny! This is a huge job but one that protects our classrooms from leaking and provides a safer and warmer environment for learning. Thanks to Roofing Renovations who carried out the project so efficiently for us over the holiday break. The Board went through a very thorough procurement process and Roofing Renovations were selected from a range of companies who tendered for the project.


posted Feb 6, 2019, 6:39 PM by Reception @TMCS

I hope you have had a very happy and relaxing holiday break with your children and that you have been able to enjoy the great New Zealand outdoors over a sun filled summer. What a wonderful country New Zealand is. I was able to escape for a couple of weeks of tramping and kayaking in the magnificent Nelson Lakes and Marlborough Sounds area, some staff travelled and camped in the stunning South Island while others enjoyed the wonderful local beaches or relaxed in our lovely area. Everyone enjoying relaxed family time. We hope you did too. Your children certainly look well rested and healthy.

We have also been busy over the student free time preparing for 2019 learning and teaching. It is lovely to have our school once again filled with the laughter and activity of happy students rushing about, after the eerily quiet school of the holidays.

Last week our staff came together for a few Teacher Only Days in preparation for 2019. We are always trying to improve what we do and to cater for the specific needs of our students. Over the last few years, along with other schools across the country, we have been finding that an increasing number of our students are struggling with anxieties and the ability to concentrate on and focus on what needs to be achieved. This year apart from our regular curriculum coverage we are going to have an increased focus on the overall wellbeing and hauora of our students and staff. Research has shown that students, and indeed adults, who are able to practice Mindfulness - breathing and focusing on the present through a variety of practices such as Gratitude, are better able to focus on their learning and this leads to increased achievement, happier students, ana a more respectful and calm school environment, where care and empathy is shown to increase. All of these aspects fit into what we value as a school and fit with our School Vision.  

Our teachers have started a Pause, Breathe, Smile Educator Training course which we will evolve further with our next Teacher Only Day in June. We are also being supported by Rachel MacAllister from Cambridge with her Inspire Mindfulness Programme. Some quotes below from Rachel:

"I teach children how mindfulness helps to calm the brain — particularly their amygdala, which is the part of the brain which makes us fight, flight or freeze in stressful and anxiety-provoking situations,"

"We look at how mindfulness helps the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain we use for concentration, decision making, having compassion, problem solving etc."

"I teach the children how neural pathways are created and how new pathways can be created, therefore creating healthier thought processes."

Please be assured that the breathing approaches we will be using are not any religious form of meditation, we are trying to focus the brain to being present and aware of the here and now without all the self doubt and head talk impacting on concentration.

“The secular, Westernized purpose of mindfulness thinking is to settle the  busyness of random thoughts and overactive bodies, leading to a cognitive state in which the physical systems of the brain and body operate more efficiently and effectively.”

On Thursday 31st January, and into the evening our staff practiced some Mindfulness activities, including mindfulness breathing, mindfulness eating, gratitude, Mindful observations and a half hour silent mindful walk in the bush. This was also part of a team challenge involving catering their own dinner with a $10 per head budget and limited time. Our staff are pretty amazing chefs as well.

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