Tuesday 30 November 2021

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 4 Week 7

 In this post:

  • Film study in literacy
  • Relationships and sexuality
  • Corsair Bay trip, Thursday, December 9th.
  • Leavers Assembly
  • Celebrations

Film study in literacy

Jenny, Megan and Caitlin's literacy groups will be starting a film study tomorrow where they will be taking an in-depth look at cinematography elements, themes and characterisation. The films include Home Alone, Lion, and Soul Surfer. Each student has voted on which film study they would like to be a part of and the groupings will be decided as per their interests and a need to balance group sizes. If you have any questions or concerns about this study, please email through and we are available to discuss. 

Relationships and Sexuality

We are currently in the midst of the 'growing and changing' subtopic of our relationships and sexuality learning. This topic covers changes at puberty, conception and the reproductive systems. The next topic, which we will get into later this week or next week, is around keeping safe. This includes looking at the consequences of sexual activity and contraception, cyber-bullying, pornography and seeking support.

Corsair Bay Trip

Next Thursday (Dec 9) we are off to Corsair Bay for a day of fun. Children need to come to school in uniform.  We leave school at 11am and will be back by 3pm. Children are to bring with them:

  • Sunhat
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimming togs (wetsuits are optional)
  • Towel
  • Jacket
  • Water bottle
  • Lunch (children are welcome to arrange a shared lunch with friends if they would like to)
  • Picnic rug (optional)

Year 8 Leavers' Assembly

On Tuesday, December 14th we will be celebrating our Year 8s and their time at Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto. This assembly will be live-streamed to whānau, starting at 11am. After the assembly, the PTA is putting on a lunch for our leavers.  Year 8s are to come to school in their tidiest clothes. School finishes for Year 8 after the luncheon. 


Last Friday at assembly we presented awards for art, music, ICT and Māori culture. Below are the citations for these awards. We also enjoyed listening to the ukelele group. Thanks to our media team who are capturing these presentations and performances on video so that they can be shared with whānau. 

Music: Luca Hume-McBeath

Luca, to watch you share your love of music with people around you, is to truly know you are in the presence of something special. Your ability to captivate your audience and create an atmosphere in which everyone can escape reality is second to none. It has been incredible to see your confidence in yourself grow as an artist and to watch you embrace the absolute rockstar that you are. Whether it’s a laid-back tune on the acoustic guitar, or belting out Nirvana on the electric guitar, the possibilities are endless for you and I can’t wait to see you continue to shine over the coming years. 

Art: Rosie Day and Otis Yeoman

Rosie, I speak on behalf of all of us when I say we were completely blown away by your Learn Create Share project this year. Through the design of your own comic book characters, you brought the book to life! Thank you for your contribution to our school community through your involvement in planning and designing our sports shed mural.  It is such a joy to see you evolving as an artist as you bring originality to your work through precise detail, intricacy and a sprinkling of beautiful colours. Continue to find beauty in the world around you as you inspire, explore and create. 

Otis, you are a talented artist. Whenever you have a pencil in your hand, your hand is driven to sketch and create. From realistic pencil portraits to comical characters, you apply observational skills and attention to detail to create awesome works of art. Your artwork has been published in Toi Toi and recognised in competitions. Most memorable of all is perhaps the Kobe Bryant portrait that was featured in Te Tai’s collaboration art piece for our last school fair. Your impromptu illustrations that accompany your group’s serial story each afternoon bring joy to many. 

ICT: Joshua Welch and Brooklyn Allan

Josh, it is so amazing to see you shine when it comes to using technology. You have willingly poured your time and effort into creating fantastic settings at our school which are enhanced by the use of ICT production. We loved watching you be so involved in our ShowQuest production and it was a highlight to see you in your element balancing the lights, volume and video; you were a superstar! You approach every task with a cool, calm and collected manner and your ability to problem-solve until everything is just right, is brilliant. 

Brooklyn, you are in your element when it comes to ICT. You reliably and efficiently set up the ICT systems for all manner of events. The number of times that you have come to the rescue and troubleshooted a problem that no one else could fix is far too many to quantify. Who can forget the NCEI meeting when the microphone wasn’t working. There was a hall full of adults but it was you who saved the day and got the technology working again. You were an integral part of our ShowQuest rehearsals and performances. Thank you for all your contributions to ICT at our kura. 

Te reo Māori: Jayda Taylor and Marcellus Scott


E kore te kūmara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka. The kūmara doesn't speak of its own sweetness. It doesn't need to!

You are without a doubt a leader by example. Your movements are graceful and full of meaning. Your face is expressive. Your voice is sweet and strong. Your mahi poi is phenomenal and your pukana would melt metal, yet you still retain graciousness and dignity in your role as a  rangatira in our rōpū. You lead by example, without needing to call attention to all the talent you have. This humbleness - hūmarie -  gives you such mana within our group and beyond.

Mana is something you only hold through your whakapapa and in how others see you, and you, Jayda, have it in spades. 

You are te hā ā kore mā ā kui mā - the breath of your tupuna.

Poho kererū mātou katoa i a koe e hine.



Passionate, enthusiastic, and bursting with energy, ideas and joy in your mahi kapa haka, you have enjoyed your role as leader in Te Whānau Mahitahi this year. 

As a leader you have been able to inspire others in many ways. 

Your head is full of possibilities and you show the rōpū that contributing our ideas is important. 

You completely engage yourself in haka, waiata, mau rākau, mahi poi and everything we do, and demonstrate to others the value of taking risks and learning by doing. What an asset this is - both as an inspiration for others, and for you as a person and a lifelong learner. 

Because of you, the confidence of others has grown. What an amazing gift Marcellus.

Ko Tu-mata-whāura koe.

Haere tonu e tama! Hoea te waka.

Saturday 20 November 2021

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 4 Week 5

 In this post:

  • Coming up
  • Relationships and Sexuality
  • Top Team
  • Congratulations

Coming up:

We are down to the last three and a bit weeks of 2021 at school and it feels like the time is racing by! Here is a rundown on what lies ahead in the next few weeks.
Week 6:
  • Tuesday, Nov 23 and Thursday, Nov 25: Learning conferences. School will finish at 2pm on these days. See the school newsletter for details on booking a conference and after-school care.
Week 8:
  • Tuesday, Dec 7: the last technology session.
  • Thursday, Dec 9th: Corsair Bay trip. Many thanks to the parents who have signed up to help with this. If you would like to join us and have yet to fill in the form, click here.
Week 9:
  • Monday, December 13th: Year 8 pool and pizza party. Liz May has kindly offered us the use of their pool; we will send address details out the week before. This event runs from 4pm until 6pm.
  • Tuesday, Dec 14th: Year 8 Graduation. This year we will be live-streaming graduation as, due to Level 2 restrictions, parents sadly are unable to attend. Year 8s will finish school after lunch that will follow graduation.
  • Wednesday, December 15th will be the last morning for Year 1-7.
  • We are also organising two high school transition events for our Year 8s. Firstly, a 'high school hacks' session, with a group of Year 9s returning to share their advice. Near the end of the term, the 24/7 youth workers and a couple of ex-Beckenham seniors from Cashmere High will be hosting an afternoon of information and fun. 

Relationships and Sexuality:

Over the past two weeks we have been exploring relationships. Next week we finish this topic off and move on to 'growing and changing'. This topic includes discussing changes at puberty, the reproductive system and conception.

Top Team:

With so much canceled recently, due to Covid, it was exciting to be able to gather on the field to enjoy the fun and team spirit of Top Team. Many thanks to the parents and teens who helped with the running of this event. Check out the end of this post for photos and a movie.


Well done to our zone athletics team who competed last Monday at Hansen Park. See the newsletter for details about results and the exciting Year 7 relay race.

Over the past two Fridays, we have presented the literacy and drama Year 8 awards at our celebration assemblies. Below are the citations.

The Literacy Cup was jointly awarded to Fergus McMillian and Grace Howard. 

Fergus, any teacher who has ever taught you will know that wherever you are, there will undoubtedly be a book close at hand. There is being an avid reader and then there is being an avid reader to the Fergus Mcmillan degree. As a result, you have a deep understanding of what the reader needs and what makes writing effective. As a writer, you use your extensive vocabulary and creative mind to craft texts with the reader in mind. Your writing is deliberate, controlled and complex. I’m going to miss reading your stories next year. 

Grace, through your love of literature, you have acquired an extensive understanding of what it means to captivate an audience and what makes a truly successful writer. You have the ability to transport your reader to new worlds with your bank of rich vocabulary and your precise use of language features within your crafted texts. With these talents, you have been rewarded with incredible results, most notably through your participation in ‘The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition’ where you have been awarded with both silver and gold merits. Grace, you have a wonderfully sophisticated mind and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. 

The  Radcliffe Award for Special Contribution to Drama was jointly awarded to Syesha Mee and Jalori Mathias.

JJ, I have been so impressed with your leadership and maturity in helping lead your Theatre Sports team this year. You are so calm, cool and collected and have the patience of a saint. You have embraced your love for drama and music with your whole heart. You have sought opportunities outside of school to help you gain more skills with something you obviously love doing. You have the confidence and the drive to do great things JJ, so keep nurturing your ‘theatre wings’ and fly!

Syesha, you have been a committed member of Theatre Sports for two years. As a Year 7, you watched, learned all you could and developed your drama skills. As a Year 8, you helped lead a team, stayed 100% committed to our team and made all of us laugh with your offbeat characters. You always stepped up, Syesha, and because of that you will be an important part of any drama/theatre group that you are a part of in the future.  I will miss your leadership skills next year. Congratulations Syesha!

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 4 Week 4

 In this post:

  • This coming week in relationships and sexuality classes
  • Sunhats
  • Top Team next Tuesday
  • Celebrations

Relationships and sexuality sessions this coming week:

We have completed the 'Who am I?' section on the programme, which looked at identity and stereotypes and continue to be impressed with how the children are contributing and responding in discussions. Over the coming week, we will be focusing on relationships. This includes looking at different types of relationships and the qualities we value in these relationships, intimacy, sexual attraction, consent, sexual orientation and diversity. 


In term 4 sunhats are required during break times and whenever we are outside for learning. While many of the children are organised with these, a small number are not. Please ask your child about their sunhat situation. If they don't have a school hat with a brim, any brimmed hat will do.

Top Team:

We are looking forward to our annual Top Team competition next Tuesday afternoon, Nov 16th. Many thanks to Brett, Richard, Nicola, Amanda and Jules who will be helping by running stations. This event includes water activities, so children need to bring a change of clothes. Quick-dry or thermal tops, as well as shorts, are recommended. Sunhats are essential. Bring on the fun!


A huge well done to Megan and the two theatre sports teams who competed at the Court Theatre last weekend: Syesha, JJ, Connor C, Oliver, Zoe W, Emma R, Fergus Mac, Rory, Katya, Lachy and Luisa.  They have spent hours learning and perfecting their craft and can be proud of their performances.  It was exciting to see past students involved in some of the teams we were competing against. We hope our Year 8s continue this passion for theatre sports as they move on they high school.

Last Friday we presented our sportsmanship, social studies, science and mathematics cups at assembly. As parents could not be present for the presentation of cups, we have included the citations below.


When selecting recipients for the sportsmanship awards, we consult with a range of people who have worked with our Year 8s in a sporting context. 

Our first recipient of the Sportsmanship Award is Cooper Reddecliffe. Cooper, your coaches praised you for your ability to unite your team. Through positive talk, you raised the spirits of your team and focused them on the mahi that needed to be done on the court. Whatever the result, you stay positive and determined. 

Our second recipient of the Sportsmanship Award is Zoe Clarke. Zoe, your coaches talked about your resilience and about the way you let your playing do the talking. You are humble in victory and gracious in defeat every single lesson, every single practice, every single competition. Zoe, you give so much encouragement to those around you making a competitive environment an inclusive environment too. 

Thank you, both for all the times that you have helped with the organisation and running of an event at our kura. Cooper and Zoe, no one can deny your huge passion for sport. It is awesome to see you paying it forward by coaching younger tamariki at our kura. You are both fantastic role models to them. I am speaking on behalf of all your sports coaches when I say that at every event, we are so proud to stand beside you because of the values you show while representing our kura.

Social Studies

Social Studies covers a wide range of topics including geography, history and politics. Our recipient of the Social Studies Cup for 2021 is Otis Yeomen. Otis, your knowledge of social studies makes you a fascinating person to talk to. Not only can you recall a seriously impressive array of facts that span the scope of social studies, but you are also a deep and critical thinker, who makes connections and asks probing questions. You have an insatiable thirst to learn about our world and how society works. Otis, you articulate sophisticated concepts with clarity and you enjoy a well-reasoned debate. What an amazing mind you have. 


Our recipient of the Science Cup for 2021 is Marcellus Scott. Marcellus, your ability to question things is expected, accepted and amazing. This quality has helped you to look at science with your eyes wide open. Your interest in how things work from a scientific perspective kept us as teachers on our toes. It is minds like yours that will help prove theories in the future. We will miss your debates, your inquisitive nature, but most of all your science mind. 


This year the mathematics cup is jointly awarded to Zoë Clarke and Zoe-Arianna Clarke.

We have a group of passionate mathematicians in Year 8. Students who relish opportunities to challenge themselves and learn new and tricky concepts. Zoë, you are one of these passionate mathematicians. You go above and beyond to challenge yourself in maths. Your Cantamath project on Pythagoras, which was actually several projects wrapped into one, was an example of the very high standards you set yourself. You were the first to finish all of Maths Whizz, enthusiastically tackle very challenging problems and qualified for The Final Challenge in Otago Problem Solving.

Zoe, you have been on the most incredible journey with your maths learning. Maths can be a subject that challenges the best of us. When maths got tricky, you did not step down and admit defeat. You embraced the challenge with impressive grit. You asked questions, spent time doing additional maths learning and you kept rowing. Your confidence and your ability have grown in leaps and bounds. Zoe, what a fantastic math-magician you have become! 

Tuesday 2 November 2021

Kauri Whānau Weekly Update: Term 4 Week 3

In this post:

  • Relationships and sexuality education 
  • Athletics
  • Good luck to theatre sports team

Relationships and Sexuality Education 

It was great to have such a good turn-out at our parent evening for the relationships and sexuality programme. As part of our discussion at the end of the evening, we said we would let you know what was coming up in the next week's lessons. We have had two classes so far which have been about establishing our expectations, setting up ground rules with the children and discussing prior learning.  

We have two more sessions this week. These will delve into the sub-topic: 'Who am I?" In these sessions we will talk about:

  • rights and responsibilities and how these change as we get older
  • what the difference is between your sex and your gender
  • what is sexual identity / sexual orientation
  • stereotypes, the impact of these and how we can challenge them
These topics will take us into next week as well.


We had a great day for athletic sports last week. At the end of this post are some photos of the day. Zone athletics will look a little different this year and Jenny will be in touch with details for those who have children involved in this next stage of the competition. 

Theatre Sports

Last week the theatre sports teams had a great afternoon of competition at Medbury School. We wish our teams all the best for Christchurch Theatre Sports Competition which is going ahead this weekend.