Friday 25 November 2016

Kauri Whanau: Term 4 Week 7/8 Update

A Very Kauri Christmas:

The dancers are looking dazzling, the wearable arts are looking fabulous and the drama is side-splitingly funny. We are just over a week away from performing our show 'A Very Kauri Christmas'. This should be in your diaries for Tuesday December 6th, starting at 7pm. All Year 7 & 8 students are involved in this evening performance. Please chat with your child this weekend about what they need to get organised for their costume.

Next week we are doing some extra rehearsals at Beckenham. These will affect bus times. For those families who drop off or pick up children at Champion Street, please take special note.
Monday Nov 28: We will all head back to Beckenham at 12:45pm for an afternoon rehearsal.
Tuesday Nov 29: The drama group will go to Beckenham, straight from South at 11:30am and will rehearse there for the rest of the day. The dance and wearable arts group will be at Champion Street as usual.
Friday Dec 2: We will meet in the hall at 8:30am and practise at Beckenham until 10:30. Then we'll head over to Champion Street.

Top Team:

On Friday afternoon, December 2nd, we will be having a Top Team event at Champion Street. Tracy has sent out information about this event, including a request for parent helpers. Please make sure children have a change of clothes and a small towel. If they don't have a change of clothes, they will not take part ... and it's going to be too much fun to miss! We need parent helpers. Please email Tracy if you can help out.

Parent helpers required:

If you can help on the following events / trips, please email us:
Friday Dec 2nd: Top Team, 12:30 - 2:30pm at Champion Street. So far we have no helpers.
Friday Dec 9th: Walk from Beckenham (uphill) to Victoria Park and back. 9am - 3pm.  So far we have no helpers.
Tuesday Dec 13th: Corsair Bay trip, from 10:30am - 3pm, departing from Beckenham. So far we have Kate, Desiree and Tanya.

Year 8:

In less that three weeks the Year 8s will have graduated from Beckenham. An invitation to the leavers' assembly and lunch will be coming out next week. We are looking forward to you joining us from 11am on Thursday December 15th. The leavers' assembly is followed by a luncheon for leavers and their parents / caregivers. This all wraps up soon after 1pm. At that stage the Year 8s are finished for the year. On that day the Year 8 children can come to Beckenham at 10:45, dressed up in their best clothes. If that is not possible, they will need to catch the bus as usual at 8:30am (dressed in their best clothes).

Just before the assembly, we show a presentation of our big Year 8s as little five year olds. Can you please either email or send to school a photo of your child when they were 5, if possible on their first day of school. Emails to

The other special event for Year 8s in the last week is the pool and pizza party at Tracy's on Monday December 12th, from 4 - 6pm. More details about that later.

Canterbury Triathlon:

Best of luck to Alex, Kaia, Henry, Rosie and Daisy, who will be competting in the Canterbury triathlon at Pegasus on Thursday.

2016 Kauri Photo-book:

If you would like to order a photo-book packed with memories from this year, please click on this link.  Books will cost $25. So far I have orders from Vita and Isla, William, Amelia Cu, Max, Lachlan, Dom and Felix. There were also two other orders from people who did not record their names. Could those two please fill in the form again; I have made it clearer.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Kauri Whanau Update; Term 4 Week 6

Rapaki Marae:

We had an awesome day at Rapaki Marae last Thursday. The children responded very positively to the powhiri and it was great to see a number volunteering to hongi with the tangatawhenua. Many thanks to Manaia Cunningham to joined us and was our speaker.  Rakapi marae has recently been rebuilt and is stunning inside and out. We do not have photos of the interior; you will need to see this with your own eyes. We learnt a lot about the history of the marae and the meaning behind the tukutuku and kowhaiwhai on the walls and roof. After visiting the Marae we had fun exploring the bay.

Summer Tournament tomorrow, Wednesday:

Best of luck to our slow-pitch and kiwi-tag teams, who will be competing at Hagley Park tomorrow. Tracy has already sent out notices to the families with children involved. Please add a raincoat to your child's supplies for the day, as rain is in the forecast. Children and transporters meet by the hall steps before 8:30.

Children not involved in the tournament will be doing sport, art and inquiry activities at Champion Street. Their bus departs at the normal time.

Passion Friday Food:

This Friday is 'appliance day'. The children involved in the food passion are to bring an appliance (if possible) and appropriate ingredients. They are also to bring pizza toppings. Tracy will supply the pizza bases.

First aid training:

On Thursday this week the Year 7s will be having a day of first aid training with the Red Cross. Year 8s will continue with the normal programme. Year 8 have their first aid day in a fortnight.


After our Dunedin camp in term 1, we produced a photo-book which was sold to a large number of families. We have a lot of great photos from throughout the year,  recording the many different learning experiences the children have had. The plan is to make another photo book about 2016 in the Intermediate Hub. This will be sold for between $25 and $30, with profits going towards our camp to Wainui next year. If you would be interested in purchasing one of these books, please click this link. If you didn't order a Dunedin camp book and would still like to, please email Nicky.

School for young writers:

We have a number of talented young writers in our team who may be interested in attending the Summer Writing School from Jan 16-20 2017. Click here for information and registration.

More photos from the Rapaki Marae trip:

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Kauri Whanau: Term 4 Week 5 Update

Our week deviates from the normal programme this week. On Wednesday, over a third of our hub will be at Hansens Park for zone athletic sports. Sport buses depart from Eastern Tce at 8:45. Children not taking part in the zones will head to Champion Street at the usual time. We are off to Rapaki Marae on Thursday, see below. Friday is Show Day. 

Trip to Rapaki Marae this Thursday:

This year one of our strategic goals was that every child from Year 5 to 8 should visit a marae. We are looking forward to our visit to Rapaki Marae on Thursday this week. Sherrilee and Manaia Cunningham will be joining us for the day. The cost of the trip is $7.50. This amount will be added to your school account.

Children are to arrive at Beckenham by 8:50 and meet in the school hall. We will travel to Rapaki by bus and be dropped off at the top of the road. We will walk down and be formally welcomed onto the marae. After the powhiri we will have morning tea and then be taken on a tour of the wharenui where we will learn the history of the marae. After lunch, buses will head back to Beckenham at 1:30pm, in time for assembly.

Children are to wear school uniform. Girls need to wear track pants or culottes, not short shorts. All children need a backpack with sunhat, lunch, water bottle, sunscreen and their school jacket.

Big Day Out:

We had a great day in town last Thursday. At Quake City we looked at Civil Defence activity immediately after Feb 22nd, the physical impacts of the earthquake and quake-proof building techniques.

In the gardens we searched for clues to complete a scavenger hunt and enjoyed the park environment.

'Art in the palm of your hand' was a very engaging exhibition. We started by looking at examples of medals in the museum, before visiting the exhibition where our preconceptions of what a medal was were thrown wide open. Finally we had the opportunity to create our own artistic medals. These are drying at school, before we paint, ink and polish them.  

A huge thanks to Mike, Amanda, Robbie, Katherine, Tanya and Huriana who helped out on the day. 

Sports day: 

It was great to see so many parents at Beckenham Park last week for our athletics day. The children ran, jumped and threw with determination and enthusiasm. On Thursday champions in each age group will receive their medals at assembly (2:15 start). Best of luck to all who are competing at zones tomorrow.

Passion Friday continues to be a weekly highlight. Below are our fibre-craft group, proudly displaying their felted pictures.

Tale with a twist:

Since the start of term we have been writing tales with twists in our hub. We were focusing on using a variety of sentence types, including complex and short sentences for effect,  and varying our sentence starters. Here is Isla's tale ...

As the car swings profusely around the corner, I can’t believe what's before me. My eyes blink rapidly, trying to adjust to this crazy misconception. Why is this here? Who in the world did this? This can’t be right. It simply can’t. Very confused, I pull over to take a closer look.

It was the summer holidays. I had decided to take my new car for a spin. Fresh from University I was excited to get away from everything and just relax alone for a bit. It had been a stressful few years and I’m very glad they are over. I had chucked a bag of chips in the back (for emergencies of course) and packed a small bag of clothes and other junk Mum insisted I put in there, then I was ready to go.

My car sliding along the smooth concrete road, I gaze out my window at the shining sun ahead of me. The luscious lime green grass blankets the bare, chalky dirt in a unconditional green casing. As the last of the afternoon rays of sun disappear, a bright mustard sun sets ahead of me. Birds sit in the unlimited chain of tall, oak trees, chirping away. The rattle of my tyres driving over small, crunchy stones calms me and makes me want to fall asleep, but I am close to my hotel, so I keep driving, despite my droopy, tired eyelids blanketing my emerald eyes. Turning the corner quickly, I spot something that shocks me.

Pulling over to inspect this mystery further, I yank my cellphone out of my back pocket. In my entire 18 years of life I've never seen anything like this before. It is heart stopping and blood curdling. Sitting on the dark maroon mailbox is ‘ISLA’ written in bold, cream lettering. Just behind the mailbox sits a small, light yellow house. A large, dull oak tree sits right out the front, working like a giant sun umbrella, giving shade to the house. Attached to the large tree sits two, wooden swings. They go back and forth, back and forth, almost like someone is sitting on them. I squint my eyes super tiny. No one. Not a single person on either swing yet they still move back and forth, back and forth. Peculiar. Very peculiar.

After a lot of hesitation I decide to go investigate this mystery further. After all, my name is on the mailbox, and that’s not something you see everyday. I put my car in park and undo my sharp, itchy seatbelt practically strangling me. My hands shaking like crazy, I tentatively pull my door handle and step outside. A cold gust of air hits me like a monster truck, sending shivers throughout my whole body.  My cold, bare feet crunch on hundreds of little stones as I walk up the path to the house. As I get further and further up the path, the swings begin to swing more precisely. Quicker, faster they swing as I get further up the path. Then suddenly…. POOF!

With a large gust of wind two dark shadows appear on the wooden structure. Sprinting now, with nerves and a sick feeling in my stomach, I quickly approach the swings. Sitting there are two strange people.‘’I’ve been expecting you for some time Isla’’ says a tall, dark figure. The girl reminds me of myself, only older I guess. She has this weird sheen to her, almost like a ghost. ‘’Who, who are you?’’ I quickly say without hesitation. ‘’I’m you silly!’’ she replies. Very, very confused I take a look at the small child sitting on the other swing. Again, she reminds me of myself. It's almost like looking back at old photos. She doesn't talk, I guess. But there is something about her that shocks me. Her blood red eyes. They stare into my soul. My future and my past. My everything, in her eyes.

‘’Who’s in the house?’’ I ask, without thinking. ‘’Someone very important’’ the older one replied slowly ‘’Our master.’’ ‘WHAT?’ I think to myself. But without any hesitation I walk over to the old, small house. The long, long grass itches my legs as I walk past, but if I didn't go in I know I would regret it so I continue. My entire body shakes in the crispness of the night. I walk up the stone path, on my way to the wooden door. The wooden door. It gets closer and closer but I feel like getting further and further away. I approach slowly, yet I still feel like i’m going to jump out of my skin. I quickly knock on the door and it slowly creaks open. And then suddenly.. BANG..