Friday, 23 September 2022

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 3 Week 9

 In this post:

  • Cashmere High Testing
  • Fundraising for 2023 Camp: Quiz Night
  • Sports uniforms
  • Leadership 2023 applications - Year 7
  • Year 8 photos - when I was 5
  • Koru Games
  • Code Club

Cashmere High Testing

A reminder that this testing is happening this coming Tuesday morning. The children make their own way to and from the testing. They need to be back at Beckenham by 1:20pm. Today we spent a session with the Year 8s talking about what to expect and some tips for testing. The slides below outline what was covered. We have at least eleven Year 8s going to other high schools in 2023. These children come to school as normal, by 8:30 on Tuesday to catch the tech bus.

Fundraising for 2023 Camp to Wainui:

We have our Comedy Quiz Night coming up on October 29th. We have already sold almost half of the tickets - so get in quick and book your team in using this link. 

Many thanks to the Year 7 families who have already sent in a luxury supermarket item for our hamper prizes. Please do not send in alcohol. If you have yet to send in an item, please do so next week.

Sports Uniforms

All sports uniforms should be finished with for now. Please get these washed and returned to school early next week. The children put them into a returns box just outside the library. There are lots of outstanding tops and dresses from basketball, winter sport and Koru games.

Leadership Positions for 2023

Next term we have the opportunity to send a small group of our Year 7s to a leadership event in the middle of November. We will be sending our 2023 House Captains and Student Council Executive.  The application process for these positions begins now. We talked with Year 7 about this today and they know to fill in the form on Kauri Google Classroom. They have access to this at home, or could do it at school. This form needs to be completed by the end of this term: Friday Sept 30th.

Year 8 'when I was 5' photos

For parents of our Year 8 tamariki, no doubt it is hard to believe that your child has just one more term before heading off to high school. As part of our farewell to our leavers we put together a leavers' book. We need you to send in a photo of your child when they were 5 for this book. It could be a first day of school photo, or it could be any photo of them when they were 5. You can either email the photo to Nicky or bring in a hard copy and we will scan it and return it that day. Please start sending these in now. 

Koru Games

What an awesome week of learning we have had this week. Here at school we have been engaged in literacy, maths, athletics, STEM challenges, science learning about rockets and technology.

Around 40 of our tamariki have travelled to Lincoln on three days to take part in the Koru Games. They have had a blast! All teams were very competitive and displayed great sportsmanship. Jenny was impressed to have teachers from other schools come up to her to say how impressed they were with how our children supported the opposition during games. A huge thanks to Jenny and the team of adults who gave of their time to coach and support teams. Photos coming next post.

Code Club

As part of our Friday passions, Kate Allan runs a code club for our tamariki. These children have loved their sessions and today they headed into town to experience the life of a coder at Verizon Connect. They had a fabulous day getting an insight into the projects that coders work on, doing a collaborative project and enjoying the vibe of this inspiring workplace. They quite enjoyed the hot lunch too! Next term Kate is planning a code club trip to the university, as the children were keen to find out what they needed to do to get a job like the ones they saw today!

Kate is keen to expand the code club next term. She has someone else coming to join her, so there will be two tutors, with coding being taught at a beginner and more advanced level. We would love to see all genders involved in the club. Passions will be explained and selected next week. We are hoping to see more children keen to explore coding.

Friday, 16 September 2022

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 3 Week 8

 In this post:

  • Cashmere High
  • Quiz Night
  • Speech Competition
  • Sports Results
  • Relationships and Sexuality

Year 8s to Cashmere High School

Please take note of the details above re the CHS principal, Joe Eccleton, coming to Beckenham to speak with our Year 8 whānau in the last week of term. 

If your child is enrolled at Cashmere High for 2023, you will have received information about their pre-enrolement testing on Tuesday September 27th. We will be talking with the children about the entrance testing and passing on some tips and advice this coming week. On the day of the testing, the children make their own way to Cashmere High and back to school afterwards. We ask that they are back at Beckenham by 1:20 at the latest.

Quiz Night

On Saturday October 29th we are holding a Comedy Quiz Night to raise funds for our Year 7 & 8 Wainui Camp which takes place early next year. If you have been to one of our comedy quiz nights before, you will know they are so much fun and that tickets sell out pretty fast. Tickets will go on sale in the last week of this term. 

At the quiz night we will be auctioning off grocery hampers. We ask that every Year 6 and 7 family donate a luxury non-perishable grocery item for the hamper. Please send these along to school before the end of this term. We will be collecting items in a box in the Kauri hub. Please encourage your child to bring their item ASAP and mark their name off the list when they deposit their item in the box.

Speech Competition

We were treated to an entertaining speech competition on Friday morning. This year the children wrote story-telling speeches and we listened to fractured fairy-tales with interesting twists, original stories and recounts of personal experiences. All were very entertaining. Special congratulations go to our place-getters.

Year 7:
  • First place: Christopher
  • Second place: Ashlyn
  • Third place: Luka
Year 8:
  • First place: Fergus
  • Second place: Lola
  • Third place: Richelle
We wish Christopher and Fergus all the best for the South Zone Speech Competition which will be held early next term. The date is yet to be confirmed.

Sports Update

On Thursday we had a netball team and a hockey team at the Canterbury Winter Tournament. A huge thanks to the parents who coached and managed these teams. Both groups had a fabulous day of competition with the netball team coming 5th and the hockey team 9th, both in competitions of over 30 teams.  Their sportsmanship, as well as their teamwork and skill, were top notch!

Next week we have teams competing at Koru Games in ultimate frisbee, touch, hockey and volleyball. Once again, many thanks to the parents who are giving up their time to coach and support these teams. Koru Games runs from Tuesday to Thursday and includes Year 7 & 8 teams from across the South Island.

Relationships and Sexuality Education

We will be keeping you informed as we work our way through the Relationships and Sexuality Education curriculum on the content of our lessons. 

Our first session focused on creating shared expectations for these lessons. The children identified what would make them feel safe during these conversations, which included sentiments such as respecting everyone’s contributions and questions, laughing along with someone, not at them, and being mindful of your own boundaries and the boundaries of others. 

Rights and Responsibilities
We reflected on how our rights and responsibilities changed as we matured. The children thought about what rights and responsibilities they would have in the future and how some of these would occur automatically while others would occur according to individual readiness. 

In these sessions we identified the different stereotypes that we see in society today and how these have changed over time. We also looked at how stereotypes may be reinforced in the media and how these are being broken down. We talked about the influences that stereotypes have on people's lives and how can can stand up to these and be our own person. 

Body Image
In these sessions, we sought to normalise body image worries and explored the media’s role in promoting unrealistic body ideals. We looked at before and after photos that demonstrated how a person’s appearance could be drastically altered through photoshopping, camera angles, lighting and so on. The message: these models don’t look like this in real life. We shared some examples of companies that are engaging in more honest representation in their marketing campaigns. The children were encouraged to adopt the following mindset.
  • Think and talk positively about your body and about the appearance of others
  • Don’t judge others on their appearance - call out those that do
  • Eat a variety of foods that fuel and sustain your body
  • Focus on what your body can do rather than what it looks like

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 3 Week 7/8

 In this post:

  • Speech delivery week
  • Keeping Safe Sessions with Year 8 Boys
  • Ski day wrap up
  • Duathlon wrap up

Speech Delivery Week

Over the past few weeks, the children have been creating their story-telling speeches. In one form or another, they will be sharing their speech this coming week. For most of the children this will take the form of presenting it to their literacy group. Over the weekend, please encourage practise with reading / presenting their speech. On Friday morning, between 9 and 10:30, we will be holding our speech finals in the hall. Parents are most welcome to attend.  

Keeping Safe Sessions with Year 8 Boys

Every year when the Year 8 girls and gender-diverse students are doing self-defense, the boys ask what about us. We see their point. This year, Brad Culver, Megan’s husband has offered his time to take the Year 8 boys for a parallel program on keeping ourselves safe. Keeping ourselves safe falls under the Health curriculum. 

Brad has a background of working with the US and NZ police, a masters in behaviour modification and is a teacher. He has previously volunteered his time in Kauri to teach American Football and Basketball. Brad has designed a program that will cover the following topics.

  • Assertive communication and body language
  • Standing up to peer pressure
  • How body language and tone of voice can affect the outcome of a situation
  • What can cause some situations to escalate and how to avoid this
  • Being an upstander
  • How to deescalate a situation and keep yourself safe

These sessions will be held on Friday afternoons as this works in with Brad’s availability. The first session was very well received by the boys and Brad was really impressed with their engagement.

A huge thank you to Brad for volunteering his time. 

Ski Day Wrap-up

As I mentioned in an earlier brief post, the children had a fabulous day on the slopes of Mt Hutt and we were so impressed with their 'can do' attitudes, support of each other and progress. We were also grateful for the support of the parent group who encouraged, guided and kept the children safe. Thanks to those who have already returned gear that was borrowed from school. If you still have some at home, please return this ASAP.  We have shared a large folder of photos with the children, after discussions on not sharing photos of others on social media or modifying images. Your child will be able to access and share these with you at home.

Duathlon Wrap-up:

On Tuesday, we had a small and enthusiastic group taking part in our school duathlon. They gave of their best and it was awesome to see lots of big smiles on their faces. Those who have qualified for the Canterbury Duathlon will have already received a Hero message about this event. Special congratulations to Torun, James, Alfie and Rose who won their respective events. A group of 30 seniors helped with the running of the event. They did a great job of encouraging competitors and keeping everyone safe on the course. 

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 3 Week 6

In this post:

  • Final reminders for ski day
  • Duathlon
  • Assemblies
  • Self-Defence
  • Cantamaths Results
  • From The School for Young Writers.
  • Book Character Day photos

Final reminders for tomorrow's ski day:

  • Be at school by 5:50, meeting on Sandwich Rd
  • Masks for the bus
  • Please give breakfast at home before coming to school
  • Check the previous post for the clothing list. Sunglasses or goggles are essential.
  • Bring a substantial lunch and a water bottle.
  • No money or money cards. The mountain is cashless and we are avoiding an inequality situation between who has and who hasn't got a money card.
  • Please leave cell phones at home. If they must come, these need to be handed in before getting on the buses or in cars.
  • We will send out a notification to confirm our arrival time back at school. We expect it will be around 6pm.
  • A big thanks to those who lent skis and boots for our dryland sessions. If you have yet to pick these up, please do so today if possible.
  • An early night tonight, please


Our school duathlon is next Tuesday. All competitors were given a paper notice with a course map and race details on Tuesday. A number of our students will also be helping with the running of this event. Spectators are most welcome.


We are holding assemblies every second week for Year 5-8. Parents are now welcome at assemblies. Please wear a mask. This week we will be presenting Excellence awards from Cantamath. Highly Commended awards will be handed out at our next team hui.


This week our self-defence classes started for Year 8 girls and those who are non-binary. These classes are taken by Lynda Maindonald from Self-Defence NZ. This nation-wide programme has been running for a number of years and is always very well received. The children will have three sessions between now and the end of term, with a total of five hours of tuition. 
We are going to provide a parallel opportunity around keeping ourselves safe for the Year 8 boys on Friday afternoons. Each Year 8 boy will get two sessions. Sessions will include:
- How to stand up to peer pressure
- How to move/stand with confidence
- What kinds of situations have the potential to escalate and why 
- How body language/eye contact/tone can affect the outcome of a situation
- How to de-escalate a situation

Cantamath Results:

On Wednesday, August 24th our problem-solving teams took part in the Cantamath competition. A big well done to Noah, Weaver, Rose and Frida (Year 7) and Quinn, Fergus, George and Ben S (Year 8) who took on the challenge of solving 20 very tricky problems in 30 minutes, amidst much noise and distraction that comes with the competition. Special congratulations to the Year 8s who scored 75 out of a possible 100 points. 

Another part of Cantamath is the projects competition. Here our kura excelled, with a large number of highly commended and excellence awards. We were extremely proud of Noah Palmer who received an outstanding award (only two of these were awarded) for his dynamic model of a trebuchet.

As Cantamath has not gone ahead for several years due to Cantamath, some of our Year 8s entered two projects - as their Year 7 projects were selected to go into a competition that did not go ahead. 

Excellence Awards:

Dynamic Models:
Noah Palmer (Outstanding)
Rowan Hopwood
Fergus Macdonald

Maths Photography:
Stella Gillman

Publicity Motif:
Daniel Webster
Lilian Shelku

Static Models:
William Pooch
Caitlin McIntosh
Lillie Neame

Written Work:
Ella Coleman
George Smith (Year 7 and Year 8)
Quinn Clarke (Year 7 and Year 8)
Freya Braun

Highly Commended Awards:

Dynamic Models:
Weaver McDaid
Timon Spill

Maths Posters:
Lillie Neame
Emma Elphick

Overall Theme (Maths in entertainment):
Weaver McDaid

Publicity Motif:
Lola Harris

Static Models:
Harvey Graham
Katya Atlas
Keanna Hakeagaiki
Lola Harris
Oliver McLachlan
Stella Gillman
William Pooch

Written Work:
Alfie Moore
Ashlyn Taffs
Frida Corin
Jemma Sutherland
Ben Scalan

From The School for Young writers

Creative Nonfiction = True Stories Well Told
For our latest Write On Magazine competition, we invite young writers from Year 4 to Year 10 to write a piece of creative nonfiction that draws us closer to nature. Theme: It's Only Natural. 

The Rules: 
1.You can spin out a true story, present an article, write a memoir but you can't make stuff up — that's the "Nonfiction" bit. 

2."Creative” means we want you to use the techniques writers use to tell stories, but about real creatures, places, people and events, in a way that engages and entertains.
3. Word count: up to 400 words
4. Deadline September 20th

Prompts, tips and more information here. 

We also welcome open submissions for Issue 59 of Write On by the end of term of any form of writing, whether or not it matches our theme, It's Only Natural. 
See submissions here:

Some Book Character Day Pics ...

Friday, 26 August 2022

Kauri Whānau to Mt Hutt

 Not many sleeps now until we get up super early and head off to Mt Hutt on Thursday, September 1st.

At the end of this post is a slide show packed full of information about our day. Please read this through with your child. 

Change of plan re money. Children are not to bring any money with them on the trip. Mt Hutt is cashless and this will cause a divide between those who have money cards and those who do not. The best option is to say no spending for all children. We suggest a thermos of soup or hot chocolate.

Children will need:

  • thermal layers, two top and one bottom
  • weather-proof ski pants
  • weather-proof jacket. Puffer jackets are not all waterproof and may need a parker layer on top
  • gloves or mittens
  • knee length socks
  • normal shoes, e.g. running shoes
  • suncream
  • glasses or goggles
  • a hearty lunch and water bottle
  • inhaler for those who need it
  • any medication for the day in a zip-locked bag to be handed to teacher
  • optional - neck muff or scarf (which will need to be tucked inside jacket)
  • we will take plenty of photos (any cell phones will be collected and looked after during the day)
The best option is for your child to leave their phone at home. We will put out a message to all families to confirm our arrival time back at school.

Thursday, 18 August 2022

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 3 Week 4

 In this post:

  • Cantamath
  • Ski Day
  • Year 8 testing for high school
  • What's happening in the hub?


It was fabulous to see so many awesome Cantamath projects arrive at school last Thursday.  Many thanks for the support, guidance and encouragement you gave to your tamariki so that they could succeed with this project. The slideshow at the end of this post shows projects that will be going through to the Cantamath Competition next week.

These projects need to be delivered to the Christchurch Arena on Tuesday, August 23rd, between 7:15am and 12 noon. We probably have two car loads to transport. If you are able to help with this, please email

All the best to our problem solving teams who will be competing on Wednesday afternoon. Projects can be viewed on Wednesday after school at the Christchurch Stadium. We will take care of project collection after the Year 8 competition and it would great to have help from anyone who is there at that time. 

Ski Day:

This week we have started talking about what our ski day will look like, what the children need to wear and what to do to stay safe on the slopes. 

For those who indicated that they would like help with clothing, I am mid-way through matching up what we have with children. One thing we are short on is ski goggles. Sun glasses are also just fine. Goggles and other clothing items can be hired. We have found one of the most cost effective places to hire from is Snomania, 4 Dalgety Street, in Riccarton.

If you offered to loan gear, we are short on goggles, larger child's gloves and size 12 - 14 ski pants. If you have any you could send along, please name them and send to the hub ASAP. 

This is an outline of our day in the mountains on Thursday September 1st:

  • 5:50am gather at school on Sandwich Rd.
  • 6am depart school in 2 coaches and cars
  • 8am arrive on mountain (or soon after)
  • 8:15 in ski hire
  • 9:00 beginner lessons 
  • 10:30 morning tea
  • 11:00 lessons for more experienced
  • 12:30 lunch
  • 1:00 free skiing for all 
  • 3:30 return all gear
  • 4:00 leave field
  • 6:00 back at school

Children will need:

  • thermal layers, two top and one bottom
  • weather-proof ski pants
  • weather-proof jacket. Puffer jackets are not all waterproof and may need a parker layer on top
  • gloves or mittens
  • knee length socks
  • normal shoes, e.g. running shoes
  • suncream
  • glasses or goggles
  • a hearty lunch and water bottle
  • inhaler for those who need it
  • any medication for the day in a zip-locked bag to be handed to teacher
  • optional - neck muff or scarf (which will need to be tucked inside jacket)
  • we will take plenty of photos (any cell phones will be collected and looked after during the day)
  • food up the mountain is very expensive. Children may like to bring some money for a hot chocolate or some hot chips

Year 8 testing for high school:

As some of you might be aware, Cashmere High are having their testing day for next year's intake in late September. This is to help with class placements, alongside what we inform them when we meet with Cashmere High staff later in term 4. We recognise how important is it to prepare our students with the skills to do these tests, so while we don't know and can't give away any content, we are going to hold a workshop to discuss exam tips and tricks. We will aim to do this in the week leading up to the testing so it is fresh in their minds! 

What's happening in the hub?

  • We have just finished creating calendar art 
  • Next week we start relationships and sexuality lessons for health, we also delve into the nature of science and start conceptualizing our production which will be a walk through the 1980s.
  • In literacy we are writing story-telling speeches
  • In maths some classes are learning about proportion and ratio and others are learning about statistics

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 3 Week 2

 In this post:

  • Your feedback please
  • Cantamath projects
  • Relationships and Sexuality Meeting
  • Readathon
Many thanks to the vast majority who have now filled in the ski form. If this is still on your 'to do' list, we'd appreciate you getting onto it quickly. A reminder that next Friday, August 12th, is a staff-only day.

Your Feedback

Each year at this time we send out a feedback form to gather your views on how this year is going for your child. This is an opportunity to let us know what you think we are doing well and also what changes you think would be helpful. The form should take less than five minutes; please click here.

Cantamath Projects and Teams

This week on Tuesday we held our annual Becamath competition. The hall was abuzz with mathematical discussion, excitement, noise and plenty of challenge! The top of the scoreboard is pictured below. Next week our problem-solving teams will be announced, 8 children plus 2 reserves, to compete at Cantamath on August 24th. 

Hopefully, there has been a hum of activity underway at your place, as your child works away at their Cantamath project. This needs to be brought to school on Thursday morning next week August 11).

Relationships and Sexuality

We will be starting our health unit on sexuality and relationships education in week 5. On Wednesday, next week, we will be having a parent information afternoon, starting at 3:15pm in our hub.  If you would like to attend this session, please fill in this form. Thanks to those who have already completed this form.


Our school readathon started on Monday and runs until next Friday. Thanks for supporting your child to gather sponsors and complete their daily reading at home.  The annual book character dress-up day is coming up on Friday, August 19th.