Wednesday 8 February 2017

Kauri Whanau Term 1 Week 2

It was fabulous spending time with you all last week at learning conferences. Thanks for making the time, as it does make such a positive difference to the start of the school year.

Wainui Camp, 27 Feb - 3 March: 

The cost of Wainui camp works out at $175 per child. This takes into account fundraising profits from the sale of photo-books at the end of last year. As the Student Account statements are not due to go out until after camp as taken place, we would encourage anyone wanting to pay prior to camp (or in installments) to please use "Yr 7/8 Camp" and your child's name as the reference for payments direct to the school's bank account and/or letting the office know when paying via eftpos.  If you have any questions regarding payment, please contact

As camp is so early in the year, we are unable to carry out further fundraising. We are in the process of applying for funding to subsidise our Year 8 leadership camp later in the term. We are also looking at a major fundraising event to reduce costs of our annual ski trip in the third term.

Maths Home-learning:

All children should have come home today with maths home-learning. This is due in next Friday. If they get confused or stuck on any section, please encourage them to ask their maths teacher for help. We won't bite.


Yesterday we staged a crime scene in the hub to motivate the children for writing newspaper articles, about an authentic crime or incident that they create. We did lots of talking and brainstorming during writing time today to give the children an idea of the planning that needs to happen before the writing begins. We talked with the children about going home and talking with family about their ideas for their crime or incident. Please encourage them to think about this tonight and discuss ideas with you. Tomorrow, Thursday, we will get the written planning underway.

Memory item to share:

Today we started our social studies focus on identity. As a starter, we shared the story 'Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge', by Mem Fox. This story explored the concept of what a memory is. The children have been asked to bring an item to share on Monday, that reflects a memory that they have. The item should fit into one of these sections: 'precious as gold', 'warm', 'makes you cry', 'makes you laugh' or 'something from a long time ago'. Please talk with your child about what they could bring and remind them to pack this for Monday. They are welcome to bring their item in earlier.

Introducing the Kauri teaching team...

Nicky Dunlop: I’ve been teaching for around 27 years now, 80% of this in Year 7 & 8; I love this age-group. I spent 14 years teaching at St Martins, followed by 6 years at St Margaret's College, coordinating their primary classes. I came to Beckenham in 2009 and love working in this friendly and supportive community.  My husband , Grant, is CEO for Workbridge and works in Wellington 4 days a week. Our boys Tim and Jack are in Year 10 at Cashmere High this year. As a family, we love camping, skiing, biking and watching movies on Friday nights. In my down time I love to curl up with a good book, create things and keep fit with a spot of jogging or walking. While I enjoy teaching all subjects across the curriculum, I’m in my element when teaching maths and art. Another passion is using ICT as a tool for learning. The last four years have been by far my best years in teaching. I love working collaboratively and seeing how engaged the students are in their learning. I can’t wait for the school year to start, and look forward to working together with two fabulous teachers to facilitate exciting learning with your children.

Jarred Skelton: I am embarking on my fourth year teaching at Beckenham School and third year as part of the Intermediate Hub. I thoroughly love teaching in the Year 7&8 team, and have been consistenly overwhelmed by the community spirit and support shown by the collective Beckenham whānau. I have many ties to Beckenham, with my brother, father, aunty and grandfather all former pupils and now my son, Fynn, who is entering his first year as a Year Seven student in the Kauri Hub, he’ll have no excuses for not having homework now! My amazing wife Kendall is also a teacher. She teaches Year One at Thorrington School (poor Fynn, living with two teachers!). When I’m not teaching, planning, or hanging out with my family, I am normally on stage at the Court Theatre performing or MCing events. I have worked for the Court Theatre for eight years as an actor, tutor, and a regular cast member of Scared Scriptless. Being a Court Jester has given me many amazing opportunities to travel and work with extraordinary people. Along with my love of drama, I am passionate about music and sport. Having just been married in January 2017, I look forward to taking our honeymoon, to a yet to be confirmed location, this year. I am excited to be working along side Nicky and Jenny, and with all of the children who are part of the Kauri team this year.

Jenny Diggle: Originally from the UK, I lived and worked in the USA, Canada and Australia before deciding to call NZ home. Five years of working with children at a summer camp in North Carolina, where I taught horse riding, cemented my desire to pursue a career in education. Back in England, my mother is also a teacher and had warned me off the profession for years. Evidently, (and thankfully) she did not succeed, as both myself and my sister are now teachers! After training at the University of Canterbury, I moved to Hanmer Springs to begin my teaching practice at Amuri Area School and then moved on to Gilberthorpe School back in Christchurch before starting at Beckenham last year. I thoroughly enjoy the welcoming community feel at our school and working within a team of such inspirational and dedicated teachers. I’m really looking forward to joining the Kauri Team and I’m really excited about the year to come. I am an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoy mountain biking, trail running, snowboarding and hiking in my free time. In my down time, I practice yoga and enjoy reading and coffee. Last year I travelled to Nepal where I volunteered in the lower Solukhumbu region as a teacher trainer, which was both a challenging and rewarding experience. I enjoy teaching across the curriculum and have a strong interest in Inquiry learning, Science and Social Studies. I’m very excited about the upcoming school year and the learning journey we about to embark upon together.


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