NEWSLETTER #38 November 23rd 2017

Greetings to our families and community,

Social media is great, if used honestly and fairly. But over the last few days I learned some very interesting things about me (and my family!) Things I didn’t know before – because they are not true. If you do hear a rumour or gossip about me, please come in and ask me about it. Even better, ask the person who tells you if they know where it came from. If it’s an unsolicited text or Facebook post, or a passed-on comment from an unknown source, then it just might not be true.

For instance, I learned I am going to ‘recapitate’ Matipo School, to change it from Years 1-6 to Years 1-8. News to me, and not true at all. Matipo has a great relationship with Te Atatu Intermediate. For sure we will always work on getting even better together, but that’s what Kahui Ako are for.

Please be careful when turning into the school.  We have had a couple of near-misses at the school entrance with cars turning off Matipo Road at the start of school.

Lots of change at the moment, but you knew that already! It’s been very busy but we are still on track with the plan we promised at the start of the term, about ten years ago it seems. We are losing a few teachers who are moving on to new schools. I acknowledge their service to our students and our community. Sadly, we will be saying Haere Ra to Persia Iwan, Michael Ohms, Anna Ahn, Elise van de Ven, Leanne Siaki and Ray Chen. But we also say Haere Mai to Jade Lee, Jill Bibby, Rahel Kissun, and Rowena Rooney, great teachers joining the Matipo Team. We have now built the teams for next year.

TEAM 1 – YEARS 0 -2
Sian Foley (DP), Kathryn O’Reilly-Dodd (co-leader), Tony Nemaia, Cheryl Kearns, Delwyn Day, Caroline Chapman, Lindsay Wills, Jill Bibby(new appointment)

ROLL GROWTH TEACHERS: (for classes that start later in the year) Sarah Mitchell, Ilona Brooks-Leijh

TEAM 2 – YEARS 3 & 4
Natalie Kennerley (AP), Grace Smith (co-leader), Mitchell Osborn, Phill Simpson, Lise Ioane, Sarah-Lee Oto, Karen Verney, Jade Lee (new appointment)

TEAM 3 – YEARS 5 & 6
Deborah Shaw (DP), Marion Clark (Co-Leader), Jill Jessop, Ngaire Smith, Kahu Kuchel, Maggie Forrest, Rahel Kissun (new appointment), Caitlin Doyle


SUPPORT AND CLASS RELEASE: It looks like all of our part-time teachers will be staying with us which is great news.

Teachers are just finishing their assessment testing and report writing. Reports will be with you soon. Next Tuesday I will write to tell you which class and teacher we have lined up for your child, and invite you to let me know of any problems or concerns before we confirm it. We will do all we can to get it right for every student.

In 2018 we will hold three-way meetings (student, teacher and parent) after the mid-year and end-of-year reports. For this year, please let us know if you would like to meet the teacher to discuss the report.

Nga mihi nui,

Tamariki teachers have been hard at work restructuring the Tamariki Syndicate. From 2018, the cohort of children and families who are welcomed into one class together will remain together in the same classroom, with the same teacher, for about 2 years. Visits will take place in the final weeks of the previous term. There is also an option to start on a child’s 5th birthday.

There are information sessions available on Friday 24 November and Monday 27 November in the Media Suite at 9:00am. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me on or 09 834 6909.

Sian Foley

Our primary tool for assessing our students’ achievement and progress in writing is called the AsTTle test. AsTTle stands for Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning. The test was designed in part by the University of Auckland, led by prominent academic, Professor John Hattie. This online assessment tool is designed to assess students’ progress in writing from years 1–10. Teachers choose a written ‘prompt’, which varies according to genre and purpose. Students are asked to write narratives (stories), recounts, explanations and attempt to persuade their audience. Each genre is assessed against a number of criteria broken down into surface features (e.g. spelling, punctuation) and deeper features (e.g. sentence structure, ideas).

The AsTtle test is standardised which means that test takers from all over New Zealand have to answer the same questions or respond to the same prompt. This means that the test is consistent and it also makes it possible to compare the relative performance of each student. It is also a norm-referenced test (NRT) which means an individual’s test results can be compared to that of other students.

The test is aligned to the levels of the New Zealand curriculum. Roughly speaking, it is expected that students in years 1-2 would be writing at Level 1 of the curriculum, years 3-4 at level 2 and years 5-6 at level 3. Each level is broken down into (b) basic, (p) proficient, and (a) advanced.

Through the test, teachers are able to develop a rich picture of students’ strengths and next learning steps. This information provides a valuable starting point for a rich discussion between teacher and student about the students’ writing. They can then collaboratively set relevant learning goals.

Phill Simpson

Niamh Dines, Lachlan Howley, Matilda Foley, Jet Kightley, Harry Donald, Kaige Joyce, Denzel Vesetolu, George Gough, Lola Harris-Dennerly, James Turoa, Alice Carter, Elyna Wang, Jackson Lee, Sofia McKay, Sage Tantingco.

Tomorrow’s assembly is at 2:30pm in the hall for the Taonga and Mana syndicates and will be hosted by Room 17.

All schools in New Zealand have a teacher or member of the senior leadership team who has the role of Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) within the school.

It is this person’s responsibility to manage the Special Needs Systems that are in place for identified children. These systems can include (for example); Maintain a Special Needs Register; Funding applications and re-applications; Referrals to external agencies and/or professionals…and more.

All schools in New Zealand have identified – or – non-identified (non-identified refers specifically to a child who has not had a formal diagnosis by an appropriate professional) children in the school who have or may have, a need that requires specific support. This may include (for example);  A teacher’s teaching and learning programme is differentiated, tailored or personalised to cater for a child’s specific needs; Making a referral to an appropriate agency or professional; Facilities in the school may require changes or upgrading to cater for a child’s needs, and more.

Deborah Shaw

Would you have a spare 45 minutes in the morning or 15 minutes after school to help at the busy Taikata & Matipo Road crossing? We would love you to be a part of our team. Please contact the office if you can help.

If you are a person who can form positive, caring relationships with children; are fun and energetic; have great communication skills; are observant and can record important information and work together as part of a team to support a child’s needs, then we want to hear from you please. Send a brief cover letter with your CV to Paul Wright, Principal, Matipo Primary by Friday 24th November (days and hours of employment to be confirmed).

The Te Atatu Santa Parade is coming up on Saturday 2nd December. Matipo is entering a “Santa’s Workshop” float and all children are welcome to join in. On the day children will be invited to wear their pjs, nightwear or a onesie and to carry either an oversized letter to Santa or a box wrapped to look like a present. We would love any “presents” that you can provide – wrapped in green, red or gold wrapping. Thanks to Friends of Matipo for organising this.

Friends of Matipo have made the decision to postpone their Amazing Race event due to a very busy time of year. This will be rescheduled for 2018.

2 Dec Te Atatu Santa Parade
4 Dec Year 6 Rainbow’s End Trip
5 Dec Librarians & Wardens Parakai Trip
7 Dec Reports emailed home
11 Dec Junior Prize Giving 9:30 – 10:30am, Senior Prize Giving 11:30am – 12:30pm, Year 6 Graduation 6:15 -8:30pm
13 Dec Fun Day
14 Dec A Merry Matipo Christmas 5-7:30pm
15 Dec Term 4 ends 3pm