Friday 31 March 2017

Kauri Whanau Update: Term 1 Week 9

After an action packed leadership week, we are now settling back into routine in the Kauri Whanau. Hopefully your child has shared with you some of their highlights from last week. Listening to Mark Inglis speak was inspiring. The children were extremely focused and asked great questions. We have often referred back to the wisdom he shared, as it speaks so strongly to the children. The Year 8s impressed us with the way they applied the 7 habits in a wide range of practical activities, during their two day camp. We were also thrilled to hear feedback from the Year 1-4 staff at Beckenham, about how the Year 7 leaders interacted and guided the younger children so positively on Friday.

  • 'Very impressed with the organisation and maturity of all our leaders!'
  • 'The three boys took a group of children outside to play a range of games. The children came back full of enthusiasm and happiness. Gail, from Room 20 had been out there with them and commented on how well they had organised and managed the children.'
  • 'The Year 7 girls were confident and well prepared. They brought positive energy and demonstrated competence and initiative in carrying out their activities. The sensitivity, warmth and understanding that they showed towards these young juniors ignited the connection and respect needed for a productive working relationship. '

Home learning:

The children currently have their final maths home learning for the term. This is due next Friday. We are underway with a leadership inquiry that involves leader research, story retelling and quote interpretation, all with links to the 7 habits, as well as personal reflection. The children will need to spend time on this inquiry at home as well as at school. It is all on google classroom, and can be accessed wherever there is an internet connection. Please ask your child to show you this work and encourage them to spend time continuing their inquiry research and recording at home.

Kiwi Competitions:

If your child is interested in competing in the University of Canterbury Kiwi Competitions, (NZ's ICAS), and they have yet to put in an entry, please click on this link.

Winter Sport: Coaches Required:

Winter Sports starts in Term 2. We are seeking parent helpers to manage/coach teams alongside our teaching staff and are particularly looking for volunteers to support with hockey, football and netball teams.  If you are keen to support us in this we would love to hear from you. Please email expressions of interest to Jenny at We look forward to hearing from you!


We are now underway with the whole team working on our collaborative dance performance for J-Rock. J-rock is the junior section of Stage Challenge, a worldwide dance competition and celebration for schools. Each school puts together an 8 minute performance based on a theme of their choice. To fit in with our learning around identity, our performance will tell the story of our school's history. On either Thursday the 18th or Friday the 19th of May, we will be spending the entire day at Horncastle Arena. The day will involve rehearsals, watching other school's performances, whole group meetings and free time activities. We stay right through to the evening performances. It is a huge and very memorable day. We have done this twice before in 2013 and 2015 and the children have loved the experience. At the moment a number are coming to grips with stepping out of their comfort zones, but in just five days we have seen enthusiasm blossom. Please make sure that the two dates above are marked in your diary; we will have confirmation of which is our performance day very soon.

Some Leadership Week Photos:

Seek first to understand and then be understood. 


We learnt so much from Mark Inglis about being proactive.

We thought about the way geese support each other when completing challenges on the climbing frame. 

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Kauri Whanau Update: Term 1 Week 8

Leadership week started well yesterday. This afternoon we are very excited to have Mark Inglis coming to talk with our team about leadership. There are a number of changes to the usual programme this week, so please take note of the important messages below.

This Wednesday:

  • School photos at Beckenham. All children report to the Beckenham hall at 8:30. We should be off to Champion Street soon after 9am.
  • Those who signed up for HPV injections at school, will receive their first dose on Wednesday.
  • Year 8s bring food donations for leadership camp: Coast, baking; Mountains, breakfast cereal and Forest, a bag of fruit.
  • Year 7s, we need old newspapers and funnels for leadership activities with Tracy on Thursday. Please bring these in if you have them. 

This Thursday:

  • Year 8s come with gear for overnight camp. Jarred's black jeep and covered trailer will be on Sandwich Road. On arrival, please take overnight gear directly to his trailer and then all Year 8s, and their day packs, go to the school hall. Due to a damp start to the day, we will be using the school hall until 10:15am.
  • Please make sure Year 8s have plenty of warm clothing, including a waterproof coat and beanie. A lot of our activities will be based outside and the weather is not looking that warm.
  • Year 7 bring food for a shared lunch. No chips please. It would be great to see some savoury offerings. Year 7s will be working with Tracy on Thursday.

This Friday:

  • Year 7 report to the school hall at 8:50. They will be spending the day at Beckenham.
  • Year 8s will arrive back at Beckenham by 3pm.

Home learning is due this Thursday, due to leadership week disruptions.

University of Canterbury Kiwi Competitions (Years 5-8) will be replacing ICAS tests this year.

The tests, in maths, english and science, are a good challenge for our more able students. Entry forms are available in the reception foyer of Champion Street. Please get these filled out and sent back to the Beckenham office.


We are holding basketball trials this week. Our plan is to enter two teams in the Monday and Friday after school competition at Pioneer, that runs through term 2 and 3. We have a huge bunch of hopefuls; unfortunately only half of them will get into a school team. Those who miss out and are still keen to play, can contact Pioneer Basketball, a club who enter teams in this competition, with children coming from a variety of schools.


Jarred has met with the children who are keen to be part of our Kauri choir. They will be getting underway with a couple of lunchtime practices this term. Next term practices will take part during school time, while the rest of the hub will be engaged in other music learning. If your child hasn't let Jarred know they are keen to be part of the choir yet, it is not too late.

The Huxter Mountain Bike Relay:

This event is being held at Mcleans Island on Friday the 7th of April. While this event takes place during school hours, the children will remain the responsibility of their parents for the duration of the event. We know of a few children already entered for this event by their parents and a few more children seeking a racing partner. If your child is interested in this event, please email Jenny to be put in touch with another family who are looking to enter. Please also let Jenny know when you have made an entry so that we can provide a Beckenham sports top and mark the child appropriately on the school roll.  

Winter sport coaches required:

With Term 2 fast approaching, we are starting to organise coaches and managers for our Winter Sport teams. As always, Beckenham School enters teams into the Friday Winter Sports competition, and look forward to travelling to Hagley Park to play against other schools in rugby, football, netball and hockey. To enter as many teams as possible we rely on our supportive community to volunteer to coach/manage sports teams, alongside our staff. If you are keen to support us in this we would love to hear from you. Please email expressions of interest to Jenny at We look forward to hearing from you! At the beginning of Term 2 we will be holding trials. Children who do not make a team or who choose not to participate will remain at school. (Jenny and Gayle)

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Kauri Whanau Update: Term 1 Week 7

What a fabulous week of learning opportunities we are in the midst of! On Monday we were inspired by Ben Atkinson of 'Fill Your Lunch Box', a fabulous leader in our city. Today we spent the afternoon with Zara from learning about having integrity when using technology devices. Zara will be back next week running workshops to delve deeper into how we can be responsible leaders in the cyber world. The children are responding with enthusiasm and impressive questioning to our guest speakers. Next week, as well as Zara, we have another inspiring leader visiting on Tuesday afternoon.

Important messages for next week:

Monday: Year 7s are to wear mufti as this is our Year 7 leadership day. Year 8 wear uniform as usual.

Tuesday: A normal day, with our guest speaker in the afternoon.

Wednesday: Class photos at Beckenham. No children to be dropped off at Champion street this morning. Be at school by 8:30 and meet in the hall. We will be busing to Champion Street soon after 9am.
Year 8s please bring food donations for leadership camp. Mountains: breakfast cereal. Coast: baking. Forest: a bag of fruit.

Thursday: Year 7 have a normal day at school, with Tracy teaching. Year 8s arrive at school in mufti with gear for next two days. A gear list will be emailed later today and be sent home on paper tomorrow. Year 8 will be sleeping over at school, you will see them again at 3pm on Friday.

Friday: Year 7 meet Michelle in the hall at 8:50am. They will be spending the day at Beckenham, as leaders in junior classes.

Action from the past week:

The Year 5 - 8 Duathlon last Friday was a great opportunity for the children to embrace challenge. Well done to everyone to took part and a big thanks to the parents who helped out. We were also very impressed with the support and enthusiasm offered by those students who were marshals on the course. They did a fabulous job.

After Ben Atkinson visited we spent time reflecting on what he taught us about leadership. Here is Olivia's reflection:
Ben Atkinson is very inspirational, he shows that he cares so much about these kids’ situation. I’m so glad that I got to hear him speak and share what his take on this amazing inspiring project was. Someone asked yesterday “Are you proud?” and his response was “I am proud of my employees but I think we can do alot more.” What I think he is achieving is amazing for our society. 28% of children in New Zealand live in poverty! It’s so sad to think these kids are as old as me and some younger.

The questions people asked yesterday were very deep and formal. He was open about his up bringing.He said that his family were not the richest. That maybe inspired him to come up with this project and succeed.

He currently has his kitchen at the Odyssey House. Volunteering are ex-prisoners. I think what the ex-prisoners are doing is an fantastic thing. One of the values Ben successfully reached is be proactive, he saw on TV that there was in issue in our society. He did not  just sit there and do nothing about it, instead he did something, that’s inspirational.

Ben Atkinson he is amazing role model. He makes our community better, he shows he cares, that’s what really stood out to me. We need more Ben Atkinson’s in this world to make life better.

We had our final session of korfball instruction today...

Zara's presentation about being responsible cyber citizens had us thinking, sharing and laughing.

Mufti Day Tomorrow

Dear Parents/Caregivers, 

Tomorrow, Beckenham School is having a fluorescent mufti-day! The children have been asked to bring a gold coin donation, and wear their fluorescent (or bright) clothing! The donations will go towards the Selwyn District Volunteer Fire Fighters, who were among our heroes fighting the Port Hills fire in February.

Kind regards

Sadie, Juliette and Jordan
(Student council exec.)

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Kauri Whanau Update: Term 1 Week 6

Camp is now a warm and happy memory as we settle back into classroom learning. We were so pleased with the way your children rose to the challenges presented on camp. The Wainui staff also commented on their politeness, at the end of the week. A huge thanks to all the parents who helped to make the week possible, from all the pasta bake chefs, to those who spent the week with us. The children are writing poetry, descriptions or instructional writing, based on their camp experiences. The aim is to compile a book of photos and writing extracts that you can purchase as a memory of the week. More details about this later in the term.

Home learning:

Maths home learning is due in this Friday.

Leadership week:

In week 8, March 20 - 24, we will be running our leadership week. Today all Year 8s left Champion Street with a notice about their two day leadership camp on March 23- 24. Please fill in and return the reply slip, by this Friday. I will copy the text from this notice at the end of this post, just in case you didn't get the paper copy. The Year 7s have a leadership day on Monday March 20th. They may wear mufti on this day. Year 8 wear mufti for the two days of their leadership camp. The whole week will be spent delving into the 'Seven Habits of Highly Effective People', through inquiry learning and practical activities.

Guest speakers:

Next week we have two guest speakers in our hub. On Monday afternoon, Ben Diggy from 'Fill Their Lunch Box', will be interviewed by the children about how he uses the 7 habits in his self sustaining social enterprise. Then on Wednesday we have a speaker from coming to present to the children. While his talk will discuss self leadership, there will be a focus of cyber citizenship.


The Student Council fluro mufti day to support the emergency services who fought the recent Port Hills fires, will be next Thursday, March 16th.

Zone swimming sports:

Good luck to our swim team who will be competing at the South Zone swimming sports next Tuesday morning at Jellie Park.

Toastmasters opportunity:

St Peters School are repeating a very successful toastmasters programme they have participated in in the past, next term. They have room for up to six of our students to join their group. Sessions are from 6-7pm on a Tuesday, for all of term 2. If you would like your child to take part, please let Nicky know by Monday March 13th.

A few final photos from last week...

The Coasteering Crew

Fun at the camp fire. 

Year 8 leadership camp letter that was sent home in paper form:

Dear Parents,
We are looking forward to holding our annual leadership camp for Year 8 students, based on the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ on Thursday March 23 and Friday March 24.
The programme will consist of practical activities that will put the leadership habits into action. On Thursday ‘Attitude Inc’ will run a workshop with our students, followed by group initiative activities and a guest speakers. After a pizza dinner we will head to Pioneer Pool for a swim. Sleeping will be marae style in the Pohutakawa Hub at Champion Street, so children will need to bring a sleeping bag, a pillow and something comfortable to sleep on, like a bed roll, air matress or stretcher. If you need help to source something to sleep on, please let us know by the end of this week. On the Friday we will be visiting Spencer Park to practise ‘synergy’ and ‘being proactive’. The camp will finish with a self-reflection and sharing session before returning to school by 3pm.  
All three Kauri teachers will be involved in the camp; Year 7 students will be taught by Tracy Inwood on Thursday and  spend a leadership day in the junior classes on Friday.
We would appreciate donation of the following foods:
Forest: A bag of fresh fruit; apples, oranges, bananas etc.
Coast: Baking
Mountains: A packet of breakfast cereal
Please send these goods to school next week, by Wednesday, March 15 at the latest.
The costs of this camp have been covered by a generous donation from a parent.
Please complete the attached permission form and return it to school by Friday of this week, March 10th.
We anticipate this being a fun filled and memorable two days for the students and look forward to their full participation.  If you have any queries, please contact your child’s teacher.

Kind regards
Nicky Dunlop, Jenny Diggle and Jarred Skelton
I give permission for  ________________________________________ to attend the Year 8 leadership camp on March 23 – 24.            
Signature(s): ______________________________________________
Parents/Guardians Name(s):______________________________________________

Homegroup Teacher: _______________________
Contact Phone Numbers:    day: ______________ contact: __________________ 
        night: _____________ contact: __________________
We have dietry and medical information already, from Wainui camp forms.

Thursday 2 March 2017

Kauri Whanau: Wainui Camp: Thursday

It's hard to believe that camp is nearly over. We'd love to stay for longer, but a few of us are longing for our beds and our own showers. It's a beautiful evening here in Wainui and we are just about to feast on a scrumptious dinner of garlic bread, spaghetti bolognese and s'mores. Then it will be off up the hill to campfire, led by the Wainui staff, who we have very much enjoyed working with this week. Today we kayaked, coasteered, swung high on the giant swing, fired arrows, made rafts, climbed very high on ropes and wires, solved group challenges, made bush bivvis and had lots of fun playing around the camp. Camp has been such a blast. It has been a pleasure to spend the week with your children.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Kauri Whanau: Wainui Camp Wednesday

Our day at camp started an early wakeup, so we could be ready for the Egg-cellent Challenge at 9am. We worked in large teams to find hidden instructors and complete their challenges. Based on the points we earned at the challenges, we got bags with equipment to construct an egg protection device, to prevent the egg from breaking when dropped for the top of the high ropes course. If the egg survived, the successful team could crack it over the head of an instructor. Thank goodness one egg made it! After delicious wraps for lunch, we headed off on our third activity in anticipation of more fun and challenge...