Wednesday 27 September 2017

Kauri Whānau Update: Term 3 Week 10

Trip to University:

What an awesome morning we had at the University Of Canterbury. A huge thank you to Jenni and Simon for putting together a great morning for us. It was interesting listening to the children talk about what they wanted to study, as we walked through the university. We were wowed by a number of dazzling experiments in the science dept. After a fascinating insight into how drones are used, we experienced a number of hands on activities in the geography dept. Thanks also to Gaby, Shane and Jo for accompanying us on this field trip. Check out the photos at the end of this post.

Elections Experience:

The children have been very engaged in forming their own parties and policies as part of a student interest initiated writing topic. On Thursday they present their policies to Year 5 & 6, who will then vote. Please click this link to check out their polices. These are arranged in four groups, based on the Year 5 & 6 classes they will present to. 

Parent help required for trip in week one of next term:

We hit the group running next term, with a trip to Orana Park on Wednesday October 18th. This will be the start of our learning about endangered species, with links to the science and social studies curriculum. We need four parents to accompany us on this trip. Please click this link to indicate if you can help. A $17.60 transportation and park entry contribution will be added to your next account.

Last day at Champion St:

On Thursday we say farewell to Champion St. The children will arrive at Beckenham slightly earlier than usual, to deliver their buckets of stationery to our new hub. On Friday morning they are off to technology and will then return to Beckenham. Woohoo, can't wait to be back!

Learning about how colours are produced in fireworks.

Elephant toothpaste!

This balloon was inflated by dry ice.

Making ice-cream in less than a minute!

Learning about drones.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Kauri Whānau Update: Term 3 Week 9

We are becoming surrounded by packing boxes as the end of term is approaching with rapid speed! Despite the approaching move back to Beckenham, interesting and exciting learning opportunities continue in our hub.

Trip to the University of Canterbury, Wednesday September 27th:

As an extension of the learning our children have been going about chemical and physical change, we will be taking our team to the University of Canterbury on Wednesday morning next week, to visit the science department. To make the most of the trip, we will also be visiting the geography dept. The morning will involve a science experiment, learning more about the periodic table, exploring career pathways, soaking in the vibe of a university and more. Many thanks to Jenni Adams and Simon Kingham for helping to put this exciting morning together for our students. We would like to have three parents join us on this trip. As we will be leaving from Beckenham and returning to Champion Street for lunch, you would need to meet us at the university. Please send an email to if you can join us. There will be no cost to families for this trip. For those who usually drop their children to Champion Street in the morning, please have them at Beckenham on Wednesday.

Sexuality Education:

Our Sexuality Road unit has begun, welcomed by cheers from Year 8 and slightly more caution from Year 7. It would be good to open discussions at home about what is being talked about in class. This topic will run for the rest of this term and into term 4. 

Sports News:

Congratulations to our Year 7 and 8 orienteering team who placed 1st at the Canterbury School's Orienteering Festival last weekend. The children navigated their way successfully through courses at Ferrymead and Spencer Park in the two-day festival. Tino pai, Rosie, Daisy, Mitchel, Kaia and Sadie. Many thanks to Jenni Adams for managing and coaching the team. 

Next week, Alex, Millie and Kaia travel to Timaru to complete in the Inter-Regional Cross Country Race. We wish them all the best for a successful run. Thank you, again, to Jenni Adams for managing this team.  

Good luck to our korfball team who will be competing in an all day tournament on Monday at Pioneer Stadium. 

Athletics day is coming up early next term on October 26th. If you are able to help with the running of events, please send an email to

Passion Friday:

Once again the children have been loving their learning during passion time this term. The board game group are off to The Fab Lab to design and make game pieces using a 3D printer, this Friday. The monster softies group have been very creative and can take pride in the very cool toys they have created. A big thanks to Sue Kingham and Annette Bone who have been supporting the children with their sewing. Great gales of laughter can be heard coming from the breakout space, as the children experience theatre sports. A team has been put together for the Year 7 & 8 theatre sports competition next term. The code club continue to develop their coding skills. We are very grateful to Ivo Gorny and Bruce Peters who work with this group on projects that are personalised to each child's skill level. 

Next week passion Friday will happen on Tuesday, as our technology day has been switched to Friday, due to events at South. Our final day at Champion Street will be next Thursday.

Monster softie creations.

Speech Competition:

Well done to our speech finalists who presented last Wednesday. We were impressed by the breadth of topics, impressive writing, and confident delivery. It was definitely an entertaining afternoon. Lisa McGonigle, who has a PHD in literature, judged the speeches. She was very impressed by the quality of the speeches and the skill displayed in delivery. Congratulations to the place-getters:
Year 7: 1st Thom (why I should be king); 2nd equal, Georgina (gender equality), Sophia (animal rights) and Tilly (smoking)
Year 8: 1st Amelia (women's rights), 2nd Daisy (car free zone by school) and 3rd equal Jordan H (dad jokes) and Sadie (LGBT rights)

We were very proud of Thom and Amelia when they presented their speeches at the South Zone Rotary Speech Competition last night.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 3 Week 8

We are on the countdown, with just two and a half weeks left at Champion Street. Everyone is feeling pretty excited about being back at Beckenham, in our beautiful new hub. Tomorrow we will travelling back to Beckenham at 12:00 to hold our speech finals in the afternoon. Parents are welcome to join us. We'll be starting at 1:30pm. 

This Thursday:

On Thursday Cashmere High School are holding their Year 8 testing morning. All those involved will have received information about this morning from Cashmere. We have been stressing to the children that these tests are just one piece of information used for class placement and that the conversation we have with staff from Cashmere early next term, plays a big part in placement decisions. Children are to wear school uniform to Cashmere. We expect to see all Year 8s back at Beckenham School by 1pm. We do not arrange transport for this morning. The Year 8 children not going to Cashmere next year are to sign in at the Beckenham office by 8:50am on Thursday. They have each been assigned a hub to work in as a leader that morning. Nicky will drive back to Beckenham at lunch time and work with the Year 8s in our new hub that afternoon. 

Meanwhile the Year 7s will have a morning at Champion Street with the Year 6s, as a taster for 2018. Year 7 will have normal Champion Street bus arrangements on Thursday. 


Those who are getting their HPV Vaccination through school will receive their second  dose next week, on Thursday 21st September.

Sexuality Road: 

This unit of learning will begin next Monday. The parent evening has been cancelled, due to only one parent signing up for this.


We have been very impressed with the standard of speeches that have been shared over the past three days. Well done to all of those who had the confidence to stand up and speak in front of their peers.  Tomorrow, Wednesday, we will be holding our Kauri Speech Competition in our new hub at Beckenham. We congratulate the following speakers who will present their speeches tomorrow.
Year 7: Tilly, Hannah W, Thom B, Sophia, Felix, Georgina, Chris, Fynn, Santi
Year 8: Jordan H, Isaac, Amelia Ca, Joe, Daisy, Juliette, Kaia, Sadie, Jamie

To our finalists, keep practising tonight. Watch your speed; not too fast. Make use of gesture and pauses for effect. Depending on your topic, some of you need to ramp up your expression. Best of luck.

This was a very difficult list to create. We would like at acknowledge the following people who really impressed us, but didn't quite make the finalists:
Joel, Marlonique, Maddi, Rosie, Alex, Isla and Ruby.

To everyone else who presented their speech, a huge well done. We were entertained and educated over the past few days. You displayed that you love challenge by facing one of the greatest fears known to man: public speaking. 


Winter sport has wrapped up for the year and last week our basketball season finished on a high, with both teams having convincing wins. Many thanks to those parents who have been there game after game to support the children. Your cheering from the sideline makes a big difference. 

Beckenham Ballers 
Beckenham Bulls

Our next sporting competition is a korfball competition on Monday September 25th at Pioneer Stadium. The team is: George, Alex, Fergus, Joe, Caleb, Nathan, Isaac, Millie, Olivia, Shakira, Kaia, Hannah S, Ruby, and Bella. Jarred is sending home a paper notice about this tournament today.

From Canterbury Young Writers:
Book for the Spring into Writing Workshops 
These Spring holidays we will be running two workshop days. You can book for one or two sessions per day.
Cost: $15 per session or $25 for two sessions on the same day.
Where: The Writers’ Block, Hagley Community College. Entry via Waller Terrace ( map)
WORKSHOP OPTION A: Pick-a-Path extravaganza! Borrowing all the best bits from our favourite stories, we’ll kick off a story together as a class, then split off into smaller groups, taking the story in different directions, and everyone will get to write their own ending – be it romantic, gruesome, spectacular, tragic, victorious or heart-breaking. Choose your own adventure!
WORKSHOP OPTION B:  Poetry with Pictures: Have you heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words? Bring your artistic skills — draw a picture and then write a poem about it! Stick drawings work just as well as great art! And then learn how to write another kind of poem — a concrete poem. Turn your words into pictures by changing the shape of them. You will make great poetry by writing in images, about images and with imagery!
Monday October 2  Year 4 to 6
10.00 – 12.00 Both workshops are on offer ( Poetry with Pictures and Pick-a-Path)
Lunch: supervised. Children need to bring their own lunch if staying for both workshops.
12.30 – 2.30 Both workshops are on offer ( Poetry with Pictures and Pick-a-Path)
Tuesday October 3 Year 7 to 8
10.00 – 12.00  Poetry with Pictures workshop only
Lunch: supervised. Children need to bring their own lunch if staying for both workshops.

12.30 – 2.30  Pick-a-Path workshop only

Sunday 3 September 2017

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 3 Week 7

What a big week we had last week, with our ski day and learning conferences.

A huge thank you to all the parents who came along and supported the children on the slopes. We couldn't have gone without you. The children had the opportunity to embrace 'we love challenge' and they did this with great gusto!

Parent feedback is being collected about learning conferences. I have just read through the feedback that has been given so far. Thanks to the five parents who have responded from our team. It would be great to get more Kauri feedback, so we can build a clearer picture of whether we are hitting the mark with these conferences and what needs to be done to improve them. Please take a couple of minutes to fill in this form. 


This weekend we are reading through the children's speech documents and providing feedback and suggestions. We are working on a short timeframe with speeches this year. They will be delivered to home-groups starting this Friday afternoon, for those who are ready, with the rest being delivered on Monday and Tuesday of week 8. We are devoting quite a bit of class time to speech writing this coming week, however most children will also need to work on their speech as part of their home learning. The aim is to be finished writing by Wednesday, so that time can be spent practising the delivery, both at school and at home. The best six Year 7 and six Year 8 speeches will go forward to our speech finals. This will take place in our new hub at Beckenham, on Wednesday September 13th, in the afternoon.

Sexuality Education:

We are about to begin our ‘Sexuality Road’ health unit. During these lessons the children will be learning about changing bodies and feelings, relationships, communication and decision making, reproduction and support systems. We teach this topic every year in the Intermediate Hub, to ensure that students cover issues relevant to them, at an appropriate age. The Year 7s and Year 8s are taught separately.

If you would like more information on what is covered, we will be running an information evening on Thursday September 14th, starting at 7pm. This will be held in our new hub at Beckenham. It is important that you fill in this form, if you are planning on attending this evening.

Production Props and Costumes:

The Trials of Alice in Wonderland is our Year 7 & 8 production this year. The children are either in the acting group or the props and costumes creation group. It would be great to have some parents to support our children with the costume and prop making. If you are happy to help out and have the time on a Thursday afternoon, please send me an email.

Finally, here are a few more pictures from our day up Mt Hutt.

Joe gets up close with the snow ... again.

Go Bella!