Pirongia (Pool Steps) Playground – Can you help us?

The only thing we have left from our old pool are the very expensive access steps that the Ministry gave us to comply with the access for all policy. These stainless steel steps cost a significant amount but unfortunately can not be used with our new pool.

We have tried to sell them to other schools and on TradeMe with no luck. Our students love playing on them and we like to encourage imaginative play, but as they are lopsided we have to have them tucked away. We asked the Pirongia Syndicate to come up with some ideas and designs to see what we could create using these as the base of a new play area, to be built around the old bars under our precious rhododendrons. 

We are very pleased to announce the winner – Tayla G with her design of a boat. We had a few boat-like structures designed for us but Tayla’s design had the greatest details and depth of potential. We plan to create a ship in a cruise/pirate style, that has a viewing deck/walk the plank on one side and an evacuation slide on the other, with a mast/flagpole at the top. Mrs Bennetts is going to work with a team of Pirongia artists to create the scenes on the sides of the steps. We hope that the Dad’s Army will build the area that it will end up in. 

What we need is some clever parent/grandparent(s) who can help us with some stainless steel welding and connections, to attach the viewing/walk the plank and evacuation slide. Do you know of anyone or do you have the skills to help us out? 

Congratulations also go to Leah A, who has gained a highly commended place with her design of a space rocket.

Tayla G’s winning design

Leah A’s Highly Commended design

Taupiri Zoo Trip

Tuesday was a day filled with excitement for the children in the Taupiri Syndicate. We set off early on three busses with our packed lunches, feet ready for walking and big smiles. Our aim for the day at the Hamilton Zoo was to find out more about how animals communicate.  What a perfect place to do this! There are animals galore, from a darling baby Rhino called Aria to five VERY tall giraffes just waiting for us to marvel at them. The zoo keeper Ken delivered a fascinating education session to all of the groups about the different methods of communication different animals use and the children then explored the extensive range of exhibits in the education centre.

The TMCS children did a wonderful job of walking many thousands of steps around the zoo, learning about the incredible creatures they saw and keeping those huge smiles on their faces all day. We would like to extend our thanks to all of our parent helpers who gave up their time to join us on our Zoo adventure, your help was much appreciated!

Junior Poetry Presentations

Taupiri students are busy learning, memorising and for some, dramatising their poems ready for our Week Four poetry presentations. Poems will be shared in classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons during Week 4. Please refer to the presentation timetable that has been sent home by your child’s teacher.

We look forward to this opportunity, and hope you are able to join us in celebrating the students ‘can do’ attitudes.

Learning Conferences & Meet the Teacher Next Week

Just a reminder that bookings for our Learning Celebrations being held next Wednesday and Thursday are open for bookings. If you haven’t already made a booking, please follow the link below:

Three Way Learning Conferences – Event Code 82k7n

We suggest you allow gaps between your different children’s interviews to allow time to get from room to room.

On Wednesday 5th August we will be having a shortened lunch hour and the school day will finish at the earlier time of 2:00pm. The bus will be running half an hour earlier and After School Care will also start half an hour earlier.

For our Harakeke 18 students, there is a Meet The Teacher evening from 5.30 to 6.00pm on Thursday 6th August, for all parents to attend.

Miss Parker is also available for meetings if you would like to pop in or make an appointment through the office. We look forward to meeting with you and your child to discuss their progress and achievements.

If you do not have access to the internet or if you require any assistance with your booking, please contact the office.

Mid Term Break for Tamahere Model Country School!

Please remember our long weekend in the middle of our term in just two weeks time. This is a reminder that our school will be closed on Friday 14th August and Monday 17th August, this is due to our staff being involved in Teacher Only Days.

As part of our professional learning and development (PLD), on Friday 14th August our teaching staff will be continuing with Mindfulness and Resilience PLD facilitated by 3 eLeader and on Monday 17th, we will be attending PLD around Linking Literacy and STEAM learning (Science/Technology/English/Arts and Mathematics) with facilitator Paula Jamieson in her Play Make and Create way of teaching.

We thank you for your support in catering for your children’s care on these days to allow us this learning opportunity. We have chosen these days, so that maybe you can enjoy a long weekend together in our beautiful Aotearoa New Zealand. These days are part of the extra Teacher Only Days allocated to all schools for the next three years as part of the Teachers Collective Agreement.

Just a reminder that we will also be having a Teacher Only Day on Monday 16th November, which will also create a long weekend in the middle of Term 4.

Cross Country

It is great to see so many of our students enrolled in the Energize Cross Country Training sessions, hosted by Cara from Sport Waikato, in preparation for our annual School Cross Country which will be held on Thursday the 13th of August.

Maungatautari and Pirongia will be holding their cross country during the morning block, with the Taupiri cross country starting after lunch at 1:15pm.

The postponement day for this cross country is Wednesday 19th of August.

Here is an outline of the days races: Races will start at approximately 10.00am, in this order:

Year 6 Boys

Year 6 Girls

Year 5 Boys

Year 5 Girls

Year 4 Boys

Year 4 Girls

Year 3 Boys

Year 3 Girls

Lunch approx 12pm-1pm

Taupiri Races will start at approximately 1.15pm, in this order:

Year 1 Boys

Year 1 Girls

Year 0 Boys

Year 0 Girls

Year 2 Boys

Year 2 Girls

Children are to wear their Whanau shirts, suitable running shorts (Skorts are okay along with uniform shorts or any Tamahere sports shorts) and running shoes. Please ensure your child brings a change of warmer uniform to put on after their race, as they may get wet, muddy and cold. Please also make sure your child has plenty of food and water.

Disclosure of Risk:- Below are the possible risks your child could be exposed to on this day and the safety measures that are in place.

  1. Medical Safety – All students / parents are asked to ensure each child has their asthma inhalers with them and epi pens and other medication, where required. Please ensure your classroom teacher is aware of your child’s medical conditions. Our teachers are 1st Aid trained and we will have first aid kits available.
  1. Exhaustion / dehydration / exposure – All children need to have plenty of food and drink for the day and sunscreen along with enough warm clothes in case the weather changes. If the forecast is for rain – bring a waterproof raincoat, to wear outside of our uniform.
  1. Loss – Every year whanau shirts and other items seem to go missing – please ensure all clothing items are clearly named and there are bags to carry them home.

The Country Schools Cross Country will be held at Newstead Model Country School on Thursday the 28th August. This team will be selected from our top runners in Year 4-6.

Thank you,

Ann Marie Copponi & Jo Metcalfe

PJ Day – Friday 7th August

How cool is it to wear your PJs to school? Well, you can do just that on Friday 7th August!

How lucky are we to have warm PJs to wear and warm beds to sleep in? However, there are a lot of kids out there who don’t have any warm PJs or warm bedding.

The charity Sleep Well MoePai collects sheets, duvet covers, duvet inners (to really keep warm) and PJs and hands them out to people in need.

This is where you come in. We want you to talk to your parents and caregivers and see if you can help out by donating bedding (singles are in big need!), PJs and sleepwear (slippers & dressing gowns, etc).

Starting from Monday 3rd August, you can drop off donations to the School Office or take them to our Wharemairi learning space, which is a classroom attached to the multi purpose shed, on the cricket pitch side of the shed. Please make sure everything is in good condition and washed prior to dropping it off.

On behalf of Sleep Well MoePai and all the people in need a BIG Thank you!

ICAS Dates – reminder coming up

As shared in last week’s newsletter, ICAS exams are $14.50 per paper and include Science, Digital Technologies, English, Spelling and Mathematics. 

The dates for the online exams are:

  • Science – Wednesday 19th August
  • English – Tuesday 25th August
  • Digital Technologies – Wednesday 26th August
  • Spelling – Wednesday 2nd September
  • Mathematics – Thursday 3rd September

Forms are available in the school office or from your child’s classroom teacher and need to be returned to the office along with payment, by tomorrow, Friday 31st July.

Hamilton Book Month – August 2020 Events for Children

Mrs Kewish has shared the following information about free events happening in August to celebrate Hamilton Book Month:

Rocket Storytime

Amy Harrop reads from her book

There’s a Hedgehog in my Pants!

Sat 1st August, 11.00am-12.00pm

Chartwell Library, Lynden Court

Free event

Lisala Halapua Illustration Workshop

Lisala reads from his picture books and leads an illustration

workshop for children aged 5-10 years

Sun 16 August, 1.00-2.00pm

Waikato Museum, 1 Grantham St

Free event

Young Adult Writers’ Panel

David Hill, Eileen Merriman, Gareth Ward and Tina Shaw

Wed 19 August, 6.30- 8.00pm

Concert Chamber, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts,

Waikato University

Free event

Storytelling in the Gallery

Traditional and contemporary stories for preschoolers

Thurs 20 August, 10.30-11am

Waikato Museum, 1 Grantham St

Free Event

Road Patrol

Just a reminder please, that when driving in a school zone the speed limit is 40km per hour. With the high number of people and cars at drop off and pick up time, we need everyone to ensure they are being as safe and careful as possible please.

Entertainment Apps

Thank you to everyone that has already purchased an Entertainment Membership this year. We have already raised $630.00 in fundraiser commission payments. If you would like to support us with this fundraiser please visit www.entbook.co.nz/1541m73

James Russell News

Following James Russell’s visit last Term, Mrs Kewish has shared an exciting announcement about the upcoming release of the 5th and final book in the Dragon Defenders Book series. For more information please check out www.dragonbrothersbooks.com.

July 24th Press Release:

Kiwi self-published children’s book phenomenon eyes grand finale with over 45k sales in NZ

The Dragon Defenders – Book Five: The Grand Opening (launching August 7, 2020) is the fifth and final instalment in the best-selling Dragon Defenders junior novel series.

It bookends one of New Zealand’s most successful self-publishing stories, with sales of over 45,000 copies of The Dragon Defenders series in New Zealand – all run out of a garage in Mangere Bridge, Auckland.

Created by author and publisher James Russell, the junior novels have gained a loyal following with their combination of fast-paced plots and the integration of digital technology in the form of augmented reality content accessible via an app downloaded onto a tablet or phone.

Readers download the free AR Reads app on their device, point it at certain pages throughout the book and watch them come alive. Digital content is a mixture of 3D or 2D animations, videos, audio files and code-cracking animations.

“The augmented reality content in the books has proven to be a big draw for children – and particularly for those who might be a bit reluctant – but not at the expense of good old-fashioned reading,” says Russell. “It’s not a game, but rather another element, or a complement to the story.”

Examples might include a code being revealed before the reader’s eyes via the app, or a video rant from the book’s bad guy – The Pitbull – featuring Russell himself. “I needed someone scary looking, reliable and inexpensive,” he says.

The Dragon Defenders series is one of just a handful of books worldwide using this technology.

The books are the highest-ranked junior novel series by a Kiwi author on the current Whitcoulls Kids Top 50 list, voted for by over 15,000 New Zealanders each year.

“The books’ success has blown me away,” says Russell, “especially as, being an indie publisher, I have very little budget to work with. Essentially their success is down to word-of-mouth.”

The first book in The Dragon Defenders series has been published in the Czech Republic, and the entire series is set to be published in Turkey this year.

Russell’s earlier series, The Dragon Brothers trilogy of picture books for readers aged three to seven years old, has been published in eight countries.

Berkley Normal Middle School – Information Evening

The Berkley Normal Middle School Information Evening is being held on Wednesday 5th August – 6.00pm – 7.30pm

An evening structured for prospective parents and students to be informed about the extensive range of programmes on offer at Berkley.

Please note: Out of Zone Enrolments are welcomed and must be with the school office by Wednesday 26 August 2020. Contact school office: 856 6537 or www.berkley.school.nz