Category Archives: Newsletter

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 **

Matipo BOT TERM 4 NEWSLETTER 13 Dec 2017

Dear Matipo community,

A fresh start
This term has seen a lot of change at Matipo Primary School.  Many of the changes needed to happen quickly, to ensure a positive and stable start to the year for 2018.  We thank our new Principal Paul Wright for the huge amount of work he has put in this term, collaborating with the Board and staff and and putting plans into action.  We are confident the school is in great shape to hit the ground running next year.

…and some farewells
With any major organisational change, there will be some who decide to move on.  We bid a fond farewell to several teachers at the end of this term, and wish them all the best for their futures.  We also say thank you and Tofa Soifua to long serving trustee and parent representative  Faga Siaki, who resigned from the Matipo Board of Trustees this term.  As three new parent representatives were elected at the by-election earlier this year instead of the minimum of two, we will not be seeking to replace this position in the immediate future.

Board Communications
We are pleased to share that from the start of Term 4, monthly Board of Trustees meeting minutes and the Principal’s Report to the Board are available for viewing on the BoT page on the school website.  These will be uploaded to the website each month once ratified.  Older minutes are held in paper copies at the office and are available on request.

The final Board of Trustees meeting for this year will be held on Monday 18 December at 6pm in the staffroom. All welcome.

Student Achievement
We have had a wonderful and busy term with many children succeeding at high levels.  The school musical production, cross country and swimming zones and winning a piano in the 100 Piano Project, are all shining examples.  Our prize givings and Year 6 graduation this week were a fantastic celebration of student achievement.  School management is working hard to develop our assessment tools amid a changing political education landscape, and this will continue into 2018.  We are committed to using the very best assessment tools and systems.  This will give us robust and accurate data to measure student achievement and help us to best serve our children in their individual learning journeys going forward.

Meri Kirihimete
Finally, we hope to see many of you at A Merry Matipo Christmas concert and hangi tomorrow (Thursday) night on the field starting at 5pm.  Join our school whanau to celebrate the Christmas season and the end of a huge year.
The future for Matipo is shining bright!

Wishing you all safe holidays, a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones and a happy New Year.

Ngā mihi nui,
Vanna Blucher (Chair) and the Matipo Board of Trustees

From top left clockwise; Nathan Rarere Parent Rep, Vanna Blucher Chairperson, Natalie Kennerley Staff Rep, Rebecca Lamb Parent Rep, Vanessa Preston Parent Rep, Paul Wright Principal, David Windler Treasurer

NEWSLETTER #39 December 7th 2017

Dear Parents and Friends,
I’ve been at Matipo for seven weeks, but it feels like a lot longer even though it’s gone so fast. I think the only place you don’t get change is the parking machine at the airport.
We have sorted our classes for 2018, with a very small number of loose ends left to sort out (four, to be exact). We took great care to try to get it right, making sure that the classes were as evenly balanced as possible, that everyone had a couple of good friends in their new classes, and we kept students with the same teacher for a second year where possible. Any changes resulted in quite a few ‘knock on’ problems and impacts on other students and classes. But everyone was very sensible and fair-minded.
We have now completed building the staff team, hopefully the last changes for a while. We are sad to say Haere Ra to Jill Jessop, who has decided to move on after 19 years of loyal service. Deborah Shaw will take over her class teaching role for 2018.
Haere Mai to:
Deidre Neil is currently teaching at Coatesville Primary and joins us to teach a year 2 class.
Catherine Vetelino is currently Team Leader for Early Years at Richmond Road School. Catherine will also teach a year 2 class.
Janna Hilliard, who joins us as kaiawhina to strengthen our PMP programme, and teach Te Reo Maori and Kapa Haka. Ka pai!
Oscar Hemingway is our brilliant music tutor who works with a number of students on an individual basis. Oscar will work one day each week to help form and coach bands to perform regularly.
Kelly Rarere joins us on a more permanent footing as enrolments and attendance officer, four mornings a week alongside Teresa Marshall in the front office.
Tori Cotton-Everitt has also won a permanent teaching position, three days each week in the Junior Syndicate.

The Ministry has imposed a zone on Matipo, so we now have a waiting list. Anyone who lives in our home zone is entitled to attend the school. If the Board identifies any spare spaces then applicants will be accepted in the following order:
1. First priority – siblings of current students
2. Second priority – siblings of former student
3. Third priority – children of former students
4. Fourth priority – either children of employees or trustees
5. Fifth priority – all other applicants
The Board will consider where there are any spare spaces at the meeting in February or in March 2018

Education should not be the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire….
We are working hard to create exciting enrichment programmes for all our students. At the moment we are planning a noho marae for our whanau, a week-long ski trip to Tongariro and an alternative camp at Motu Moana for our Year 5 & 6 students, and a mid-week camp at Camp Adair for years 3 & 4, and maybe even a night at Kelly Tarlton’s for year 2’s if the teachers are brave enough… no pressure though. We will send out as much information as we can before the end of this year.
Paul’s tip for teachers going on School Camps – always take spare anti-snoring earplugs for parents.

Nga mihi nui

Students will move to their new classrooms and teachers at morning playtime, to spend a little time building whanaungatanga between all students in the class and to receive a newsletter for 2018. Syndicate leaders may hold a team assembly at the end of the middle session
Students return to their existing (2017) classrooms after lunchtime play, to farewell their current teacher and then to come along to the hall together for the final assembly.
Final assembly will take place in the hall at 2:00. Students will be dismissed into the care of their teachers at 2:25, to return to their classrooms under supervision to collect bags and stuff, then to be dismissed from there. Children dismissed from school at 2:30.
However we will safely supervise any students who cannot be collected until 3:00, just let the teacher know if you would like us to do this.

We have not forgotten our graduating Year 6’s who will be attending the final assembly but will have a different programme for most of the day.

Our final assembly will include all the students in the school, so we will have no space left for parents. I am determined to solve this problem as soon as possible!

Tomorrow’s assembly is at 2:30pm in the hall for the Taonga and Mana syndicates and will be hosted by Room 26.

Matipo attended the cluster swimming zones day on Thursday 23rd November. It was a fantastic day with all children giving their absolute best. Matipo placed 5th overall, with an amazing 3rd place position in the final Grand Medley Race. Well done to all children who attended and big thanks to the parents who helped out.


Matipo took three teams to last week’s softball field day. Our teams placed 7th and 8th overall. Most valuable players were Lucas Adams, Aron Chung & Posie Davis-Barr. Sportsmanship recognition to Jacob Wilson, Te Arepa Taiaroa & Ashlee Nemaia. Much thanks and appreciation to Dave Cameron, Maryanne McCallum, Trudi Bragg & Gillian Wills for your support on the day!

Sadly, because of ‘Sheet lightning’ the Cluster Cross Country was stopped after only two races. However, there was a ray of sunshine before the storm with Brooke Hari running a great race for second place in the year 5 girls race. Thank you to Holly for organising our wonderful parents who helped marshal the event.


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.

In preparation for our Hangi next Thursday we would love any/all newspaper you have spare! Please deliver to Room 19. We are also looking for some help on Thursday to prepare / cook the hangi. Please contact the office if you can help.
Final Hangi orders due tomorrow.

We are creating a hamper of Christmas goodies to raffle off at A Merry Matipo Christmas on 14 December. We are seeking donations of delicious pantry items from the Matipo community to be dropped in to the office please. Raffle tickets will be sold on the night and money raised will go towards purchasing a new sound system for our school hall.


Dear parents and families,

We have sorted our teams and classes for 2018. Thank you to everyone for being so patient and for the feedback which is helping us to ‘tune’ our settings a bit. Most people have been patient, understanding, and considerate of the impact of any possible changes on others. We probably all understand that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. But we can no longer take the village for granted, we have to work at it. Sadly, it is no longer usual to live (or work!) in a community where families and parents know about and take responsibility for other children as well as their own.

Matipo is still a village. Lots of people have told me this is because Te Atatu is a peninsula and a bit ‘cut off’, but this might not be enough. It’s still a village because most people care about other people’s children as well as their own, and are prepared to ‘step forward’. But we have to ensure that we truly include all our children. The learning or behaviour needs of other students in a class are not an acceptable reason to seek a change of teacher. On the other hand, the school takes responsibility for supporting and managing the needs of all students, and will also seek to balance the classes over the school as a whole.

Aotearoa New Zealand played the significant leadership role in the UN statement about ‘The Rights of the Child’ in Salamanca, 1994. This Statement underpins the New Zealand Schooling system, which was re-designed in the 1990s to be the most inclusive and just in the world. As a school leader, this was a big part of my decision to come to New Zealand more than 20 years ago. Here it is:

The Salamanca Statement on the Rights of the Child

We believe and proclaim that:

  • every child has a fundamental right to education, and must be given the opportunity to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of learning
  • every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities and learning needs
  • education systems should be designed and educational programmes implemented to take into account the wide diversity of these characteristics and needs
  • those with special educational needs must have access to regular schools which should accommodate them within a child-centred pedagogy capable of meeting these needs
  • regular schools with this inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all

We have almost completed our staffing changes for 2018. We were honoured by the quality and quantity of the applicants, with nearly eighty applications for the administrative officer’s position. Many were from our community and of very high quality. Thank you to everyone who applied. We are so sorry we could not appoint more of you!

The school is now completely full. Next week I will write to you to remind everyone of our legal obligations about out-of-zone applicants.

Haere Mai to…
Catherine Veletino, currently Team Leader for Early Years at Richmond Road School. Catherine will join our Early Years team for 2018. Teresa Marshall has won the position of Administrative Officer. She will take up her responsibilities in January 2018. Kelly Rarere takes up her part-time role as Enrolments Officer/Administrator at the start of next term, from 8 – 10 am each day. Kelly is helping us keep all the plates spinning in the meantime.

Thanks to all those who have sent in their CVs for Teacher Aide positions. We are still reviewing our support team for 2018 and will be in touch. If you are not successful this term then we will ask permission to keep your CV ‘on file’.

You will soon receive an annual progress report for your child. We have had to make some changes to our system at short notice – mainly because the new principal wanted to include more information about learning assessments for each child. Aroha mai! But you will get very specific assessment test outcomes for your child, for reading and maths in particular, which are normed, standardised and reliable.

Nga mihi nui

Aiko Holster, Ela Kiyici, Lucy Forrest, Theo Bourne, Mereana McCallum, Summer Powell, Luca Franicevich, Aiden Franicevich and Zaria Adams.

Tomorrow’s assembly is at 2:30pm in the hall for the Tamariki and Aroha syndicates and will be hosted by Room 23.

Some of our parents worked with Room 17 to create an original creative song for the 100 Piano Project run by Play It Strange competition on Seven Sharp. Andrew, Georgia and Cleo from room 17 along with their siblings, Julia, Oscar and Charlie decided that they wanted to write a song and enter the competition. They brainstormed ideas about what music meant to them and how music makes them feel, then they turned these ideas into lyrics and with the help of their parents wrote and recorded a song called “Play Together”. The judges from Play It Strange and Huawei loved our song too and emailed us a couple of weeks ago to tell us… WE WON A BRAND NEW PIANO FOR MATIPO!!!!

Lost property is on display outside the staffroom this week. Any named clothing will be returned to its owner, and at the end of the week any leftovers will be donated to charity.

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.

The Te Atatu Santa Parade is coming up this Saturday.
Things to know for the parade

  1. Meet at Te Atatu Intermediate by 1015am on the field
  2. Children are to wear Pyjamas
  3. If an adult is accompanying, the adult must wear red top/ black bottoms or pyjamas
  4. Each child must be carrying a present or a stocking. Bring on the day.
  5. You can collect your children from the intermediate after the parade if you are not walking with them.

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


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.