All posts by MatipoAdmin


Dear Whanau, Parents and Caregivers,

Thank you to everyone who has come into school to meet me. If it’s tricky to find a time, then please remember I will be here every Tuesday till 7pm – or you can email me on

We are working hard to reorganise our school for 2018, starting with the leadership structure. Most schools of our size have a robust Senior Leadership Team with two, three or even four APs and DPs. Congratulations to Sian Foley who has won the position of Deputy Principal responsible for Early Years, Deborah Shaw, Deputy Principal responsible for Years 5 & 6, and Natalie Kennerley, Assistant Principal responsible for Years 3 & 4. We are now working to identify the rest of the staffing teams and will then start on class placements.

What a wonderful show! It was great achievement for all involved. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Nga mihi nui

Aotearoa New Zealand still leads the world in the assessment of reading….

Depending on reading levels, we administer two different types of reading assessments to students on a regular basis. The first, usually for junior students, is the PM ‘Benchmark’. Students progress through the levels (colours) starting with Magenta (level 1) and finishing at Sapphire (level 30). A student attaining level 30 will have an approximate reading age of 11.5 -12 years. PM Benchmark is good at measuring how well children ‘decode’ – that is translating print into speech by matching a letter or combination of letters (graphemes) to their sounds (phonemes) and recognizing the patterns that make syllables and words (phonics).

So PM allows us to ‘benchmark’ the mechanical reading ability of students. We use this assessment more than once through the learning year, to gauge the progress an individual makes over time. This is usually based on the difference between the most recent assessment and the one before. A gap between the tests of at least 3 months is really helpful.

At the Silver level (23-24), we change to the ‘Probe’ test. Probe is also a running record, but it measures ‘comprehension’ rather than the ‘decoding’. For the first year or two, the results are almost always lower than they would be if we kept using the PM Benchmark. Reading ages appear to drop once we move to Probe.

This doesn’t just happen at Matipo – it happens everywhere. This is because students need to be very competent at the mechanics of reading first. It’s a bit like teaching someone to drive. Learners need to be really competent at controlling the car before you let them loose on the road. PM is the equivalent of car control. Probe is how you actually drive on the road once you can control the car.

This reading age will appear on your child’s report, and some information about progress since the previous reading assessment. It is good to discuss this with your child and with the teacher. We use other reading assessments as well, such as CAP (Concepts About Print), PAT reading (Progressive Attainment Tests), AsTTle (Assessment for Teaching and Learning) and schonell spelling. But we’ll leave them for another day!

Phill Simpson /Paul Wright

Mia Horv’ath, Jane Louie, Taylox McComb, Oliver Smith, River-lee Panui, Khalil Williams-Stehlin, Max Jones, Rumer Kightley, Chequan McPherson.

Tomorrow’s assembly is at 2:30pm in the hall for the Tamariki and Aroha syndicates and will be hosted by Room 24.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is on Monday 20 November, 7.30pm. All welcome.

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)

Te Atatu Spring Festival 2017 is happening from 18-26th November. Free community festival with loads of events for all ages – dance, bikes, robotics, yoga, stress management and so much more! It starts with a Family Gala Day on Sat 18th November with bouncy castles, games, stalls and a Bakeoff competition. All entries to Bakeoff welcome, get in quick!

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.

As always we are looking for any spare clothes that we can keep in our sick bay for children who may need a change throughout the day. We would appreciate any contributions, but we particularly need clothes sized 5-7.

NEWSLETTER #36 November 9th 2017

Dear Parents, Friends and Families,
Only 26 more school days in 2017…. and so much to do!

All parents will get a progress report this term as usual, either the ‘anniversary’ reports at fixed points after starting school, or the end of year ‘annual’ report. These will look much the same as usual, but you will also get the specific assessment information that teachers gather, analyse and then use to write reports. This is about your own child and helps us to understand progress since the last report and especially what needs to happen next.

Like most schools we use standardised ‘running record’ assessments at regular intervals to monitor progress in Reading. For our Juniors, we mainly use ‘PM Benchmarks’ which gives really helpful information about how a child is learning the ‘mechanics’ of reading as well as analysing their understanding of the text.

Once they reach a certain level then we use ‘Probe’ which is more useful for helpful us gauge student understanding. Inference is a big factor at this stage. For students who are reading at adult level, beyond the Probe range, then we may use AsTTLe reading assessments. These assessments give good diagnostic information to the teacher and the student, and they also generate a specific reading age within a six-month band. We can then compare with previous Running Records to get a good picture of the rate of progress. This helps us know if a child is not making good progress so we can do something about it. This is much more specific and helpful than the ‘National Standard’ comparison.

It is very important that we ‘calibrate’ our assessments. There are only two ‘instruments’ which can do this. National standards cannot. Both PAT assessments and AsTTLe assessments are ‘standardized’ and ‘normed’, they tell us how a student is performing compared with all students of the same age in New Zealand, and we also know the assessments take place in similar conditions for everyone.

We use a mix of PAT and ASTLE tests, but now we will develop a consistent whole-school approach to make it easier for everyone to monitor progress over time. If your child is year 4 up then we will use PAT assessments for Maths and for Reading at the end of each year, so we can understand how much progress each child has made.

We use a whole range of other assessments but that’s probably enough about reporting and assessment this time. Next week I will talk about some of the other tests and assessments we use.

We have completed our Needs Analysis and are now organising for 2018. Some things I can tell you already…

Years 0 – 2 will become one single syndicate. We will keep new entrant students with the same teacher for about two years, in the same class. So all the students who start in term 1 will stay together for about two years. All the students who start in term 2 will also stay with their teacher for about two years, and so on. We are working on the best way to make this happen.
Years 3 & 4 will move to rooms 20 – 27.
Years 5 & 6 will relocate to rooms 12 – 19.
We will try to keep students with the same teacher for two years wherever it is working well. This probably means that these syndicates will be mainly organized in composite classes, but with some flexibility.

Next week I will be able to tell you about who is leading these teams and some more information about how they will be organised.

Next year we will introduce school wide ‘house structure’, to help students build relationships across the age range, to allow our seniors to take on school leadership roles, and to introduce an element of competition for sports and other events without spoiling the joy of participation for everyone. This will start up in Term 2.

The Library and the Computer Suite will change a bit too. It will become an ‘Information Commons’ but actually it will look more like the Public Library, with computers, books and other resources integrated across the learning environment.

I am sorry this is such a long message, but there is so much to share!  Please come and talk to me if you have any worries.

Nga mihi nui

p.s. Hope you get a chance to catch our wonderful show – Aladdin Trouble.

Hailee Panui, Harper McLeod, Shannon Ne’emia-Tawhai, Georgia Preston, Josiah Tavita, Ryder Morton, Jing Xuan Ooi, Kiana Siaki, Jessie Skinner, Kanye Te Tai, Shavaughn Addis-Williams, Teinakore Addis-Williams and Ava McKay. Happy Belated Birthday to Emma Wilson, Ruby Gillard, Obee McComb, Xavier Brunel-Morvan, Peyton Kay, Nathan Rizzi, Stella Mitchell, Sarah Suifua, Chelsea Doughty, AhiAhurei Paki, Georgia Thomson, Alvin Yu, Nina Horva’th and Emily Shepherd.

Tomorrow’s assembly is at 2:30pm in the hall for the Taonga and Mana syndicates and will be hosted by Room 27.

Te Atatu Spring Festival 2017 is happening from 18-26th November. Free community festival with loads of events for all ages – dance, bikes, robotics, yoga, stress management and so much more! Starting with a Family Gala Day on Sat 18th November with bouncy castles, games, stalls and a Bakeoff competition. All entries to Bakeoff welcome, get in quick!

A pair of Alex Perry sunglasses – pick up from the school office.

On the evening of Thursday 14th December we will be holding an outdoor Christmas concert and hangi for all the family. Bring a blanket, salads and drinks and enjoy a summer celebration of Matipo talent. Gold coin koha entry. More details to come soon…

A reminder that class and netball photos will be taken on Monday 13th November. Please return your order forms to the office by TOMORROW Friday 10th November.

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. More details to come in next week’s newsletter.


NEWSLETTER #35 November 2nd

Dear Parents, Families and Friends,

This is my third week at Matipo. People are still being patient with me. That’s great because I have so much to learn. It is wonderful to see so much going on at our school, with zoo trips, Aladdin Trouble, cake stalls, cross country, hikoi – you name it!

National standards were based on mistrust, the assumption that schools would get better through high-stakes external accountability. They are gone. Instead we will build high-trust internal accountability, to ourselves, to our community, and especially to our children.

What will change – We can work to help each child get better than they are already, rather than getting better than other children. We can work on helping our school get better than it was before, rather than better than other schools.

What will not change – We will still report student progress to you regularly and whenever you ask us. We will still focus on reading and writing and maths, though now it will be easier to focus on science, music, drama, art, I.T…

And I think it just got a little bit easier to persuade good people to ‘go teaching’.

You might have noticed that we are now looking for a new school administrator and a caretaker. In the meantime we have some temporary helpers. Carl Roberts and Chris Cooper will share responsibility for looking after the school, locking and unlocking and maintaining the grounds and services. Claire Dimmock will help out in the office and ‘front of house’. Josh Angel is trouble shooting our IT problems and helping fix a few technological issues. They will help us keep all the plates spinning in the meantime.

We have been playing catch up with our police checks. Anyone who might have access to children at school must go through this every three years, which means every one of us. Thank you to everyone who has been so patient.

Nga mihi nui,

Tomorrow’s assembly is at 2.30 pm in the hall for the Tamariki & Aroha Syndicates, and will be hosted by Room 25.

Less than a week now until the school spectacular Aladdin Trouble.
Tuesday 7th, Wednesday 8th, Thursday 9th November – 7pm start.
Tickets $5 each, on sale now from the office. Selling fast – don’t miss out!

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Cross Country.
Year 0 Indiana Clews | Braxton Gillard
Year 1 Amelie Pilot-Rowsell | Nathan Yovich
Year 2 Ashlee Hari | Reuben Lee Sang
Year 3 Hazel Masters-King | Jude Brem
Year 4 Ava Marsters | Nathan Bundock
Year 5 Brooke Hari | Dylan Chapman
Year 6 Grace Jarvie-Otufangavalu | Lucas Adams



Matipo School is a happy, inclusive and busy school at the heart of a vibrant community. There’s a lot going on every day, and we have fun while we learn. We recently appointed our new principal. Now we are looking for a new school caretaker to join our team.

We are looking for someone who…
Is willing to do whatever needs to be done.
Is reliable, proactive and unflappable.
Likes people and especially children!

The Job:
Caretaker Grade 1 (Grade 2 for suitable qualified applicant).
Salary scale and conditions are described in the Collective Agreement.

School Administrator / Office Manager

Matipo School is a happy, inclusive and busy school at the heart of a vibrant community. There’s a lot going on every day, and we have fun while we learn. We recently appointed our new principal. Now we are looking for a new school administrator to join our team.

We are looking for someone who…
Is professional, discreet and willing to do whatever needs to be done.
Is reliable, proactive and unflappable.
Is highly organised with excellent communication skills.
Has great interpersonal and intercultural skills and a sense of humour.
Likes people and especially children!
8:00am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday
42 weeks per annum including school term dates
Job share considered
Salary and conditions:
Support Staff in Schools Collective Agreement
Placement on scale B by negotiation and depending on experience and qualifications, range $18 – $26 per hour.


Applications by CV and covering letter to:
The Principal, Matipo School, 63b Matipo Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland or by email to by Friday 18th November. Start date negotiable.

References essential. These are core worker positions as defined by the Vulnerable Childrens’ Act 2014, so a satisfactory police check will be required.

NEWSLETTER #34 October 26th

Dear Parents, Families and Friends,

The winds of change have been blowing across Aotearoa New Zealand, just as they have been at Matipo. We have a new government with a very different approach to education. This may be the end of National Standards. The latest research from the Ministry of Education about National Standards show they have not improved student achievement despite huge cost. All good!

Like most principals and teachers, I think that the incoming team of Ministers, and especially the partnership between Chris Hipkins and Tracey Martin, will be good for children.

Congratulations to our local MP, Phil Twyford – the new Minister for Housing and for Transport. Quite a responsibility, a very serious national leadership role and the right person for the job.

Apologies if I confused anyone with dates in the last newsletter. We return to school on Wednesday 31st January, school will be closed for students on Monday 5th February for a teacher-only day, and Tuesday 6th February for Waitangi Day.

Thank you to everyone who has made time to come and meet me and for making me so welcome. It’s day seven at Matipo for me, and I am even more pleased to be here!

Nga mihi nui


Ava Foster, Ashley Norris, Jake Pickford, Kiyona Frampton, Abigail Ramos, Isabella Stunzner, Finn Murphy, Mary-Ann Lachmaiya, Yul Scott and Eru Garratt. We wish you a long and enjoyable time here at Matipo Primary School.

Rylla Rarere, Yul Scott, Sophie Wallace, Evie Redgwell, Thomas Lowe, Theo Meek, Caitlin Smith, Jonathan Louie, Benjamin McArthur and Matai Parker.

REMINDER – contagious illnesses
A friendly reminder to please let the office or Miss Wills in Room 8 know asap if your child/children’s siblings are exposed to contagious diseases – particularly measles, mumps and chicken pox. We have a student undergoing cancer treatment, and the parents need to be informed. Thank you!

Tomorrow’s assembly is at 2.30 pm in the hall for the Taonga & Mana Syndicates, and will be hosted by Room 20.

Term 1 Wednesday 31st January – Friday 13th April
Term 2 Monday 30th April – Friday 6th July
Term 3 Monday 23rd July – Friday 28th September
Term 4 Monday 15th October – Friday 14th December

Other Important 2018 Dates:
Teacher Only Day – Monday 5th February (Term 1)
Waitangi Day – Tuesday 6th February (Term 1)
Easter Break – Friday 30th March – Tuesday 3rd April (Term 1)
Queen’s Birthday – Monday 4th June (Term 2)
Labour Day – Monday 22nd October (Term 4)

Great Kiwi Morning Tea – Tomorrow – Friday 27th October 11am
Tomorrow there will be baking on sale on the green courts at 11am. Everything $1 each. All proceeds go to Kiwis for Kiwi.
Amazing Race – Saturday 25th November
Enter your family/team (2-5 people) to compete in a range of fun challenges and race back to Matipo to win the million*! (* 1 million Indonesian Rupiah).
$15 per person or $40 for a team. Mix & mingle from 12pm. Race starts at 1pm.
$2 Sausage sizzle & $1 drinks available for lunch.

Oct 27 FoM Kiwi Morning Tea
31 School Cross Country – 9:05am start
Nov 7-9 School Show Week ‘Aladdin Trouble’
07 Netball Prize Giving
13 Class & Netball Photos
25 FoM Amazing Race
28 Softball Field Day
Dec 02 Te Atatu Christmas Parade
15 Term 4 Ends


PANUI #33 October 24th

Dear Parents, Families and Friends,

The usual Board meeting was scheduled for the first day of term, which was also my first day at Matipo. They were kind enough to put it back a week, and dedicated enough to meet on Labour Day. We considered a number of issues which might be important to you. We will do our best to keep you informed.

The Ministry has required the school to adopt a Zoning Scheme. The Act states that first priority must be given to students who meet the criteria for enrolment in an approved special programme run by the school. Our school has no such programme. Second priority must be given to siblings of current students. Third priority must be given to siblings of former students. Fourth priority must be given to children of former students. Fifth priority must be given to children of board employees or board members. Sixth priority must be given to all other students.

In situations where the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available for out-of-zone students, selection will be by ballot. However there are 15 applications for out of zone places from students who qualify as ‘siblings of current students’ and must therefore be given priority. Given that a maximum of only 16 places, the Board has decided not to proceed with a ballot at this time. We will retain all other applications on a waiting list. If places become available during the year, then we will fill those places by balloting at that time.

I have been asked for permission for students to be released to attend ‘one day’ schools. I asked the Board to consider the matter so that I might understand how to respond. The Board will take more time to review the matter carefully and may consult the community. In the meantime:

  • prior permissions will be respected until the end of the 2017 school year.
  • new requests for ‘one-day schools’ or alternative ‘off-site’ sessions run by private providers which take place on more than one occasion, i.e. repeating or regular sessions will not be approved at this time.
  • requests for ‘one off’ sessions may be approved on a one-off basis at the discretion of the Principal

As of today, Marc O’Grady has resigned from the school.

The Board has confirmed the dates for the beginning of the 2018 School year.

Wednesday 31st January – School Starts
Monday 5th February – Teacher Only Day (School Closed)
Tuesday 6th February – Waitangi Day

I hope this is helpful to know.

Nga mihi nui,

NEWSLETTER #32 October 20th

Greetings to our parents, our whanau and our community. It is so nice to be here!

Namaste and Happy Divali everyone.
Thank-you to everyone who has made me so welcome. The Powhiri on Monday was a very special day indeed. I will never forget the children from both schools connecting so beautifully and sharing their astonishing talents. Matipo is a lovely school and I will continue to nurture it to the best of my ability.

The Board decided to re-organise the normal business meeting to give people the chance to come in and meet the new Principal (me) and ask questions. It will now take place next Monday, 7:00pm, 23rd October, on Labour Day.

Like all schools and communities at this time, we face challenges keeping our children safe online. It’s what they might do when we are NOT there that matters most. We will review the way we do this as soon as possible. Parents face the same challenge and we need your trust and help. In the meantime, we will add some monitoring tools and peer review into the way we manage our internet use and social media. I will write to everyone again about this in the next few weeks.

Kris and Cara Bainbridge have decided to move on and will not be returning to Matipo School.

Lots of people are keen to know how the school will be organised for next year, and especially their class and who their teacher will be. We will start to look at the various options in the next few days. We will consult with parents at the end of October and confirm placements by the end of November. I hope it helps you to know the timeline.

I will get around to meeting everyone sooner or later. In the meantime, you can get hold of me by phone on 027 270 2473, email on or just drop in any Tuesday between 4pm and 7pm.

Nga mihi nui,

Linda Zhong, Cole O’Grady, Finn Boyack, Kaia Evans, Abbie Fagan, Riley Fagan, Leah Kim, Ethan Lucas, Mila Luke, Kadence McCully, Mya Morrison, Pierre Pua, Marley Wright, Ariah Thorp and Ashton Roberton.

Congratulations to Matipo Student Sarah-Jane Berben who has just earnt her Gold Koru, which is the highest award a Brownie can earn. Sarah-Jane has demonstrated passion, commitment and leadership to earn her Gold Koru. Well done Sarah-Jane!

Board of Trustees meeting at 7pm on Monday 23rd October.

Friends of Matipo have organised a Great Kiwi Morning Tea where all proceeds will be donated to the Kiwis for Kiwi charity. There are two ways to take part in this event, either donate delicious baking to sell for morning tea or purchase delicious baking – everything $1 each. Email if you are interested in contributing baking for this event.

Tickets for the School Show will go on sale Tuesday 24th October. They will be available from the School Office. $5 per person. Show Date: Tuesday 7th, Weds 8th, Thurs 9th November.

Oct 23 Labour Day
24 School Show tickets on sale
27 Friends of Matipo Kiwi Morning Tea
31 School Cross Country, 9:30 start
Nov 6-9 School Show Week ‘Aladdin Trouble’
7 Netball Prize Giving 11:25 – 12:30
13 Class & Netball Photos
Dec 5 Wardens & Librarians Parakai Trip
7 End of Year Reports come home
11 Prize Giving
15 Term 4 ends

University of NSW Maths Test

Congratulations to the following children who did outstandingly well in the University of NSW Maths Test. The children achieved two distinctions, 14 credits, and 5 merits. They achieved scores above the average median across the three year levels entered.

Moana Butterworth-Flores; Year 4
Kees Wierstra; Year 6

Sasha Hickman; Year 4
Ryan Lee; Year 4
Jakub McEntee; Year 4
Aubin Midol; Year 4
Charlie Preston; Year 4
Chardonne Villanueva; Year 4
Finn Boyack; Year 5
Isaac Igusa; Year 5
Ruby Masters-King; Year 5
Grace Oloi; Year 5
Imogen Wroe; Year 5
Ashlee Nemaia; Year 6
Alyssa Patten; Year 6
Lorenzo Pearce; Year 6

Kaia Evans; Year 5
Joshua Richardson; Year 5
Anna Schrott; Year 5
Chad van Dolleweerd; Year 5
Niamh Dines; Year 6

Story Writing Competition 2017

Congratulations to this year’s Story Writing Competition Winners:

Year 0: Eliza Hurst, Room 7

Year 1: Billie Circuitt, Room 6

Year 2: Sofia McKay, Room 20

Year 3: Hazel Masters-King, Room 17

Year 4: Molly Robertson, Room 24

Year 5: Rylla Rarere, Room 19

Year 6: Franklin Davis-Barr, Room 27