Tuesday, October 31, 2017


One of the great things about being at a new school is finding out about the 'big events steeped in history' your new school always values, year in, year out.

Halloween is like that at Whangaparaoa :)

Last week, we had the school disco:




And today we have a FREE mufti and students are dressed up for Trick or Treat.




We are going to learn about Halloween and the history of the date as a celebration.
Some art and face painting will complete this blog post nicely.

Stay tuned... I'll post student work later as they find and create their learning today :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

DARE - Year 6

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

This week Year 6 will be starting the D.A.R.E programme which is delivered by Bernie Watt, our local Police Education Officer. It is a valuable programme which covers areas such as making good decisions and choices, resisting peer pressure and looking at equipping the children with life skills to be able to respond to these situations.

This year we will be doing a shorter programme that has been done in previous years. Most of this is covered in class lessons, however there are some activities sent home for the children to discuss with their families. Please take the time to share these with your child. If you have any questions or concerns in regard to this programme, please see your child’s classroom teacher.

At the end of the sessions we will have an Open Afternoon where parents are invited to come into the classroom and see what the children have learnt. The date for this is Thursday 23rd November from 2pm.

Kind Regards

Yr 5/6 Teachers

Susannah Franks
Sam Unwin
Mark Shearer
Sandra Grech
Kirsten Bell
Jan Ramsey
Logan Geeves
Kate Harland

Paul Toghill

Keeping Ourselves Safe - Year 5

24 October 2017

Keeping ourselves safe programme

Kia ora koutou,

Over the next few weeks we will be teaching the units ‘Knowing what to do” and “Getting Help” in your child’s class. These units are part of the personal safety programmes of Keeping Ourselves Safe connected to our Health curriculum.

The Keeping Ourselves Safe programme enables children and young people to learn and apply a range of safety skills that they can use when interacting with others. Students recognise the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships, and those who have been or are being abused are encouraged to seek help.

There are three overall aims:
  • To develop and strengthen children’s skills to keep themselves safe with other people;
  • To support and encourage abused children to get help from caring adults;
  • To make teachers and parents/caregivers more aware of the need to keep children safe from abuse by adults or other children.

Y0-3 Knowing what to do. Five focus areas.

Focus area 1: I am unique: Tino taonga koe

For safety reasons students need to know their name, where they live, and the names of the people they live with. When they can verbalise their feelings confidently, they can report times when they feel safe and unsafe.

Focus area 2: My body is my own: Kei a koe to mana tinana

They understand the names of body parts and that no one should touch their genitals unless it is for health reasons. Students consider touch that they like, touch that hurts and touch that is confusing.

Focus area 3: Dealing with unwanted behaviour and touch: Tāu e ahu ai ki te whanonga me te pā kino

Students need to be able to say “no” confidently, move away, and report what has happened. They learn the difference between good secrets and bad secrets and know how to tell.

Focus area 4: Adults who help: Ngā kaiāwhina pakeke

Students learn who they can trust to help them. Together with the people they live with students develop safety rules and strategies to help them keep safe.

Focus area 5: Nikau and Mokomoko game

A board game similar to snakes and ladders that involves questions and answers related to child abuse.
Y4-5 Getting help. Five focus areas

Focus area 1: Confident me

Students learn to verbalise their feelings confidently and practise a decision-making process that will help them to make safe decisions concerning their own safety and the safety of others.

Focus area 2: Safe or unsafe

Students identify potentially unsafe situations in both the real world and the digital environments .

Focus area 3: No excuse for abuse

Students understand what abuse is and know that any abuse is wrong, should be reported, and is not their fault. They learn to identify the tricks, bribes, or secrets often used by abusers.

Focus area 4: Why should I tell?

Students learn to stop inappropriate touch or behaviour, say “no” confidently, move away, and report what has happened.

Focus area 5: What have I learnt?

Students show what they have learnt by producing a presentation

To be successful, the programme needs parent help and support. It is important that you participate as much as possible and talk to your child about what they have been learning. This will help reinforce the messages the school is giving, and help your child to use his or her new skills with confidence.

The class teacher can show you the units and answer any questions regarding the lessons.
If you wish to discuss any part of the units, please contact the class teacher for more information.

Nga mihi nui

Gordie Palmer
Deputy Principal

Whangaparaoa School

Friday, October 20, 2017


Well we didn't quite get the presentations completed by Thursday afternoon so it's been a very busy morning making sure they are complete and loaded onto student blogs. The learning, behaviour and conversations the students have been engaging in this week have amazing! Their ideas and creativity have given me enormous pleasure.

On Tuesday we will decide on which 'SUSTAINABILITY' direction we will move in as a group. This will determine the lens for this terms 'Project Based Learning' journey. I'm so excited it's stupid!

The Presentations:

- BY Nathaniel, Noelani, Isabella & Cade

- BY Marco, Nick & Coby

- BY Ajay, Zac, Shay-Rose & Michaella


- BY Dylan, Con, Quincy, Mikayla

And here is our video

- BY Flynn, Brooke, Kate & Cooper

Click on the image to link to our game:

RECYCLING                                                                                    - BY Olivia, Lebron, Mihaka & Ashlie-Marie

This is our presentation about recycling...




- BY Serenayde, Isla, Jayden & Jonas

Sustainable energy and why it helps

^^ Here is a drawing me and my group made^^
Do you like it?
We found a song 

Click here

Why are we learning about sustainability?
To make the world a better place for everyone 😊

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dear A6 Parents

I was so impressed with the students (your children) today!

The lens we are using for our learning this term is 'SUSTAINABILITY' and during the break I had plenty of time to put together loads of provocations that would have guided and excited their thinking around the topic. I was very proud of myself. But when I was sharing my ideas with some very experienced and future-focused colleagues at the end of last week they all asked, "who's directing your students learning Kate?" Of course I knew straight away that it was ME and all the research states if we want to provide today's students with genuine, agentic, personalised learning opportunities then it needs to come from THEM.

So the beautifully planned tasks/activities/provocations all got tossed out (till later) and instead I conceded control and gave it to them. As a teacher of 'yesteryear' that was a challenge. Was I ready for it? Were they ready for it? The answer, I can now report is a resounding YES!

So, what did that look like....
Firstly, it was obvious what the lens for learning was:

Next, in groups, students brainstormed 'ideas around sustainability'. That's all I gave them. The challenge was to come up with 30 ideas in 30 minutes. They were not very impressed. They wanted more. But if I was to get them to engage in projects around sustainability that THEY 'owned' I needed to let them discover what that could look like themselves.

Here's what they came up with as possible inquiry ideas for the term:


Once we had the students ideas on the board we quickly discovered they could be grouped together in themes and labeled appropriately. This is what our ideas became:

Tomorrow each group will take an idea and create a presentation of their choice sharing why their theme or topic would be the best to learn more about. These presentations will go onto this blog on Thursday afternoon so that students can see them all and vote on the one they think we should wrap our learning around.

As we were engaged in the task I noticed two things that really stood out for me:
1. students naturally started conversations around why sustainability was important to learn, and;
2. the lunch bell went before we knew it and all of us were surprised at how quickly time had gone.

I can't wait to share the presentations they come up with over the next couple of days on Thursday. We'd love to hear what direction you think we should go in. But careful not to influence the decisions of the learners :)

Stay tuned....

Friday, September 22, 2017

Speech Competition Week 9

It was really tough judging who would be our semi-finalists at the Whangaparaoa Speech Competition final on Wednesday this week.

I was really pleased with the authenticity and student voice in all the students efforts.

Speech competitions have always been a bit of a bone of contention. My own kids have gripped every year at this time and as a long-time senior school teacher I have been witness to countless 'parent written', student presented speeches. Not this year, not at Whanga, not A Team students.

The topics, passion, cleverness of everyones efforts was really heart-warming.

Students OWNED their speeches - It was Awesome! See below for the Quincy and Ajay speeches, our A Team representatives at the school event:



Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Just a normal start to the day in A6, except.....




The kids decided it'd be cool to build 'huts' to snuggle into and read later. They come up with the best ideas :)!

Everywhere we go there's book related fun. We are sure loving Book day. Can't wait to see who our guest reader is after Lunch, watch the plays we've been reading in groups and share Reading ROX OUR SOX later.

Thanks to everyone for an awesome Book Day!!