Category Archives: Newsletter

Thursday 26th July Newsletter 2018

Thursday 26th July 2018

Term 3 – Newsletter 1

Welcome back to term 3 everyone. It’s great to be here.

Spring is not yet quite with us, but it feels like it has already arrived, though maybe the weather hasn’t caught up. Over the break I spent a lot of time reflecting on the koru – what a wonderful symbol of rebirth and renewal. Maybe something to do with flying Air NZ…? We have had a lot of change at Matipo. We have refreshed and strengthened our foundations and the spirit of growth and renewal is with us. Bring it on! Much of this panui is about renewal and regrowth.

Haere Mai… Our team is getting stronger all the time. I am especially pleased to welcome Holly Moore, our new DP and SENCO, Sarah Percy the new teacher in Room 17, and Melissa Urlovic who will work alongside Kathryn O’Reilly-Dodd in Rooms 8. They are all very experienced and capable teachers and leaders and bring strength to our team and our community.

Small words from Holly Moore                                                                                                                              Kia ora!                                                                                                                                                                            I am very proud and excited to be the Deputy Principal of Matipo School. My previous kura was Stanmore Bay School where I was Associate Principal. I have taught preschool, primary, intermediate and adults. My partner Rodney and I have 4 boys in their late teens and early twenties, therefore much of my life has involved full-on parenting! Thank you so much to everyone for making me feel so welcome. I look forward to meeting you through the coming months – Holly Moore

Our Board has also been renewing itself. In case you missed it. Our next BoT meeting will take place on 8th August at 7:00pm in the Board Room where the Board will consider how to fill the vacancies left by Faga Siaki and Vanna Blucher, both long-serving trustees who have given great service to the school and the community, who have now passed the baton over to the next generation. Rebecca Lamb has already risen to the challenge to become our new Board Chair.

Our newsletters will now include a regular ‘View from the Board Table’ rather than an occasional communication at the end of the term. Ka pai!

The NZ education system is also renewing itself. Apart from the demise of National Standards, the Minister is now looking at the way Boards work in the ways communities are represented. Special Needs is also under the microscope, with a special focus on trying to understand why so much of the money dedicated to supporting Students with Special Needs doesn’t actually seem to reach schools or the students who need it. About time.

I have had a lot of feedback about the changes we have made to the way we report to parentsand especially how we are trying to increase student ownership and autonomy. Student Led Conferences do not happen in a vacuum, but depend on rich learning experiences in the classroom then informed analysis of the experiences and the work outcomes that arise – ideally a dialogue between student and teacher, or possibly between students. I hope that whanau enjoyed the opportunity to participate in these discussions at our student-led conferences. We are already getting better at this, and our students were magnificent, taking ownership of their own learning and actually leading the process.

We know it isn’t as good as it can be yet though, so we will work with our Tamariki Council, teachers and focus on groups of parents to get feedback and to make things better. Watch this space.

Soon Rooms 21, 6, 7 & 19 will receive their reports and an invitation to Student Led Conferences.

Next week our Year 6’s begin their transition to Intermediate School. Things go round so quickly, eh?

Play Based Learning – This is as important as ever. We are working to develop our understanding and practice even further, and to ensure that we are distributing the learning and sharing practice across the whole team of teachers. There is a significant body of research which shows that all schools have some good teachers, but the best schools never stop working, they share and distribute expertise across the whole team to the point where it becomes the most obvious aspect of the professional culture of the school. As for Play Based Learning, it’s been around in New Zealand Classrooms for about 50 years, but it got a bit squashed by National Standards. Now it’s wonderful to see it regrowing and renewing at Matipo and many other places. Young children will play whenever they can, it is how they learn, so, the key question is so why do we need a teacher? As a school we need to understand and to be explicit about the role of the teacher and how good teaching makes Play Based Learning powerful. I shared a link to the NZ Quality Teaching Early Foundations: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration (BES) on the Ministry’s ’Education Counts’ website a previous newsletter, and the executive summary of that document is simple and short and probably the best explanation about this. Here it is again:

We are planning a parent information evening, but have put it back more than once. To be quite honest, I think we need to do a bit more work to development understanding and to ensure we have a consistent and shared model of practice across the whole tam first, so we are no looking for a good outside facilitator to help with this, and to lead and support in our meeting sight parents and the community. I hope this helps understand why we have not yet gone ahead with this evening. Watch this space!

Digital Pedagogy – another area for growth and rebirth! We have 100 chrome books safely stored, and we are waiting to get the security cabinets installed before we put them into the classrooms. We are also working with a facilitator from Team Solutions University of Auckland, and have a submitted an application for funding for support with our development in this area. Fingers crossed! Our facilitator will work with staff, the Board and with parents and students to find the best ways to support and use digital pedagogy in our year 5 & 6 classrooms. This is slower than I hoped for but it is much safer and much more certain to get a real good outcome for everyone, but it does mean that we are going a bit slower than I had hoped. We expect to have our meeting with parents late term 3 or early term 4, but we promise that this consultation process will happen before we roll out anything into the classrooms.

One or two other changes you may have noticed –                                                                                Our alarm system has been upgraded, though this will not be completed for another couple of weeks. We have rekeyed the school with a secure and modern lock and key system. The drinking foundations have been moved off of our Tiger turf – the cause of many accidents and a lot of water on the turf. Our offices are being ‘deprivatised’ and modernised, with some new carpet, improved filing, and some reorganisation. Shelley our Finance Lady has move d to the office next to reception. This means we have a decent office/meeting room for Holly Moore, especially important in her role as SENCO.

We have cleared a whole lot of debris and rubbish off site, bit still have more to do!

The Koru is unfolding slowly and hopefully with definite purpose. We have another fantastic term ahead of us. Our, systems and our teams are getting better all the time, so you will experience fewer problems especially around communications.

I’d better stop….

Nga mihi nui


Happy Birthday this week to; Isobel Lamb, Gabriella Tavita, Tane Reid, Evelyn Cowan, Olivia Cullum, Hazel Yates, Charlotte Zhao, Zoe Hickman, Indiana Clews

Pasifika Cultural Festival                                                                                                                               This term Matipo are proudly hosting the Pasifika Cultural festival that sees our Culture groups joining other local schools participating in a range of cultural performances. The date is the last Thursday of Term 3. This is a whole school event where some of our students will be leading behind the scenes from organising, promoting, catering and sharing ideas how to beautify our school.  A schedule outlining this event will be posted up on our school Facebook page closer to the time. If you can help in any way for this event please contact Ms Oto

Wardens                                                                                                                                                                  Parent help URGENTLY needed, for WARDENS down at the shops – Taikata Road & Matipo Road. Days are Monday & Wednesday mornings from 8:10am – 8:45am. Thank you

Important Dates                                                                                                                                                    31 July – TAI visit for Y6 students                                                                                                                     13 – 17 Aug – Maths Week                                                                                                                                    14 Aug – Netball Field Day Y6 (Rain Day 16/8)                                                                                              31 Aug – Daffodil Day                                                                                                                                              12 Sept – Basketball Field Day                                                                                                                            19 Sept – Rugby Champions of Champions (Rain Day 20/9)                                                                    20 Sept – Market Day                                                                                                                                                  27 Sept – Cultural Festival                                                                                                                                    28 Sept – Loud Shirt Day                                                                                                                                        28 Sept – Term 3 Ends


Newsletter 15 February 2018

Greetings to parents and families!

There’s a lot going on at Matipo. In this newsletter I will write about foursignificant changes to the way we work with students:

Special Needs Referrals 
We have established a more systematic, school-wide approach to identifying and meeting student learning needs as early as possible. Twice a term the senior leaders will meet with teachers and with our supportive RTLB’s (Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour) to consider any students who may need a specific learning response or even just a little bit of extra help.  We have a great deal of expertise and specialist training on our staff team. We are also supported by the RTLB service and where necessary, by the Ministry of Education Psychologist, Speech Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Special Education Advisers.

Before this happens each team of teachers will collect and analyse simple reading data to monitor progress, to identify any concerns, or to respond to parent concerns and questions. Really powerful teaching depends on this collaborative approach.

We also monitor for patterns and respond by establishing ‘programmes’ (such as Rainbow reading) by arranging teacher training about a specific issue, or even recruiting specialist staff.

We always talk to the parents if there is any concern.

At the moment we are considering Teacher Professional Development with Yolanda Soryl, a very helpful phonics- based approach to specific learning difficulties. We will also try to arrange for ‘The Incredible Years’ parenting programme for any parents who might want it.

Enrichment Programmes
We are almost ready to start the first cycle of our Enrichment Programmes. Grace Smith has worked very hard with the teachers to organize this. Students may not get their first choice first time but we will try to balance this over time. Look out for the letters about this.

Student-led Conferencing
The whole school is working to give students more autonomy and more responsibility for their own learning. The most powerful part of this process is enabling students to understand what they can do well, what they need to learn next to do even better, then planning to make this happen. The sports coaching model is a good metaphor for this – think ‘personal best’ – always challenging oneself, and receiving encouragement and especially specific information from your coach. This is the root of the most powerful motivation.  There are some other tools to help this powerful learning process – portfolios, conferencing and especially non-judgmental feedback

Student Leadership
I have given our new house leaders three challenges – to organize a Tug-o-War tournament for next week, to take over the running of Monday morning assemblies, and to establish a house point system. All of our adults have also been assigned to houses and the student leaders will work with nominated teacher house leaders. We will elect more positions soon, we need lots of leadership.

Board of Trustees
Last night the Board held its business meeting. There is a great deal of information about how the school is developing in my Principal’s report to the Board. But I did not do this by myself. Deb Shaw, Natalie Kennerley, Sian Foley, Grace Smith, Marion Clark and Kathryn O’Reilly-Dodd all reported in detail about Maths, Literacy, Special Needs, Enrichment, I.T., International Students, and how the teams are going. This will be posted on the website soon for everyone to read.

Staff News
Congratulations to Lindsay Wills who is planning to take Maternity leave from the middle of the year. We are delighted for her and pleased she is so determined to return to us soon. I will let you know the arrangements for this period at the start of term 2, well before she leaves us.

Karen Verney has decided to step back from her class teaching role at the end of the term. She has given the school such wonderful service over a number of years, and we are very sad to lose her. Thank you, Karen for all you have done for so many students.

Car Boot Sale
Next week our Student-Led conferences take place on Wednesday (afternoon) and Thursday (evening). The Junior Saints will organize a car-boot furniture sale, putting out lots of old furniture on the top courts for you to look at. If there is anything you like, you can make a bid by placing a sticker with your name, contact details and bid on it. We would like as many items possible to be ‘rehomed’. Proceeds will be split between Junior Saints and financial support for EOTC so all our students are included.

We are organizing our camps for later in the year, and will write to you very soon with more information, dates, costs and so on.

Chinese Student Exchange
We will host a group of 10-13 year old Chinese children at Matipo from 2nd to 6th of July. Soon we will write to ask if  you would be interested in providing a homestay for one or two of these visitors. The payment is $200 for the week, the experience is priceless.

I will be around throughout our Student led conferences. I hope to see you there.
Nga mihi nui

Happy birthday this week to:
Alex Traub, Tukaha Devery, Amelie Donald, Harper Shallard, Maya Shatura.

Gold Coins for Tonga
Dear parents and caregivers,
This Friday, the 16 th of February, can your child, please bring in a gold coin
donation for Tonga. They will keep this in their bag until we gather on the green court to start the coin trail Can they also please wear something RED.
Matipo school would like to donate the gold coins to Tonga to help rebuild the
houses that have been demolished by the cyclone.
Sincere thanks from Matipo school student leaders.

Chinese New Year Lessons at the Library
Come and celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Te Atatu Peninsula library on Saturday 17th Feb. The Mandarin teacher Ray Chen will be teaching free lessons for kids to learn about Chinese Calligraphy, speaking Mandarin and making yummy dumplings! Please visit the website www.mandarinheroes.comor email for more info.

Te Atatu Roosters Rugby League
Upcoming Muster / Carnival Day is on Saturday 17th February from 11am to 2pm at the Te Atatu Roosters Rugby League Club.
(Jack Colvin Park – 44 Titoki Street, Te Atatu Peninsula)


Dear parents and friends,

After nine weeks at Matipo, I have learned hundreds of new names – only hundreds more to go!   So many people have made me welcome and supported me through the changes that have happened. Thank you.
We haven’t quite reached the end of the changes though!
Haere Mai to Mia Wheeler who joins our staff team for 2018. Mia is currently teaching at Prospect School.

Thank you also to everyone for supporting our prize-giving and graduation ceremonies on Monday. It was wonderful that so many of you joined with us to celebrate the success and achievements of our tamariki. Several parents asked me about the Khalil Gibran poem I read out at the Graduation Awards. Here it is:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and he bends you with his might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves also the bow that is stable.

Getting reports out to everyone has been a little bit challenging! Our School Software management package is used by hundreds of schools, but it has let us down this time. Hopefully we have sorted it, and you have now received your child’s end-of-year report. If not then please email or call your teacher directly who can download the report as a PDF and either email it to you directly, or print it and send it out to you.

We have had a lot of problems with our wider IT system. We have worked with the Ministry and Telco Technology to audit it thoroughly. Over the summer we will install a new server, and engineer the whole system so everything is working smoothly and safely for the start of the new school year.  We will install new online monitoring tools such as Linewize. We have arranged for ongoing peer review and external monitoring of our Internet safety and software systems from qualified and reputable external service providers. I will sleep a little more easily now!

On Tuesday the new Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, announced that “the Government has stopped National Standards and will instead focus on the progress and achievement of all children across the New Zealand Curriculum. Parents will still receive reports at least twice a year on their child’s progress and achievement in maths, reading and writing as well as across the curriculum areas. But this reporting will focus on childrens’ progress, rather than measuring them against arbitrary National Standards.”

The Perceptual Motor Programme is really effective in helping children in all sorts of ways, and we are lucky because many of our parents design and support this programme at our school, giving generously of their time and skills. I would really like this to grow even more, so more children benefit and for a longer time. I don’t think I expressed my appreciation very well in my last newsletter. Aroha mai!

We have a fantastic environment at Matipo. Over the holiday we will do some tree surgery, because some of our tress are growing very close to walls and buildings and undermining the foundations, or overhanging our gutters. The leaf drop blocks the gutter, the water backs up and drains into the building, so we get leaky and rotting buildings.  But we will only do the minimum necessary, so we protect the leafy nature of the school. Sadly we will also have to remove the red triumph car from the roof, because it is not structurally sound. Next year we look forward to enhancing the environment with pottery and ceramic artwork from our Enrichment Programme.

Thanks to John Vujnovich for his generous support of the school. The latest donation of $500 will go directly towards our Fun Day held on Wednesday of this week.

The final Board Meeting of 2017 will take place on Monday 18th December at 6pm at the school. The agenda will be available at the school from Friday 15thNovember.

There has been a lot of talk about the comments I made about our EOTC and Camps for 2018, mainly because not everyone can afford optional ‘high-end’ trips like ski camps. As a school leader, I have come to believe that we have a duty to:

  • offer the most enlightening and stimulating experiences to all children that we possibly can
  • that we must do all we can to include as many children as possible
  • and that no one should miss out on a memorable EOTC experience of some sort

Maybe the most important camps are the local bush camps and Noho Marae which are more affordable, and which all students can take part in, with a bit of support and determination.

We may be nearly at the end of the year, but there is still lots going on.  On Tuesday we moved classes to set up for 2018. Wednesday was our Fun Day. Thursday is our ‘Merry Matipo Christmas’ and our hangi. Please note that this is an alcohol free event. On Friday we shift to our new classes at playtime, before our final farewell assembly in the afternoon. School finishes at 2:30 on Friday. Children who can’t be picked up at this time will be supervised until 3pm either by their classroom teacher or in the library.

I wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas from everyone at Matipo.
Meri Kirihimete!

Happy Birthday Last Week to:
Julia Rosser, Emily Boyle, Gabby Aninion, Brooke Christie, Isabella Taihia, Tama Circuitt, Ian Lim, Taegen Hapeta-Byford, Nico Curran, Wyatt Scrimgeour and Sebastian Pua.

Happy Birthday This Week to:
Harry Moore, Kahu Kuchel-Barrales, Amelijha-Rose Rogers, Sarah-Jane Berben, Isla Bowen, Jude Hawkins, Edward Liew and Lylah Daros-Motta.

Happy Birthday over the holidays to:
Caylyss Anania, Jaxon Turner, Lui Joe, Cole Jackson, AJ Abdullah-Rogers, Louis Bacquet MacMillan, Tiaki Ngahere, Noah Petley, Tyler Foster, Charlotte Morpeth, Quinn Young, Olivia Hill, Rosalie Donald, Aston Johnstone, Ky-Marny Massey, Blake Findlay, Miles Debney, Ava Page-Wood, Emerson Foster, Torrance Reid, Dayton Wichman, Malalai Rehman, Kaia Diallo, Millie Furmenger, Joaquin Kightley, Lucas Adams, Kobe Antunovich, Luca Armitage, Tia Toki-Pangari, Alfie Davies, Skye McGill, Imogen Wroe, Casey Robson, Kaelee Coyle, Han Scott, Ryan Green, Auiden Maslen, Megan Richardson, Emma Nesbit, Shana Diallo, Theodore Kirk, Jacob French, Lyrical Lipsham-Symonds, Isaac Oloi, Liam Beazley, Nicolas Armitage, Grace O’Sullivan, Paige Jarvie-Otufangavalu, Kiara Fredericks, Holland Foster, Kyle Yu, Jazmine Nairn, Evie Atkinson-Burns, Ava Olley, Sophie Lamb, Lilah Faulder, Noah Kirk, Summer Bundock, Jun Yan Ooi, Charlie Kemp, Jack Hughes, Isabella Tran, Hannah Patel, Briar Field, Tegan McMurray, Dayton Te Tai, Rosie Gilbert.

A Merry Matipo Christmas
Don’t miss out on our Christmas event tonight – starting at 5pm on the field.
** Gold Coin koha entry ** Carols ** $2 sausage sizzle ** Cultural Performances **
** $2 Juicies ** Guest Band   ** Hangi ** Christmas Raffle ** DJ **