Monday, February 7, 2011

Term 1 2011

Term 1 2011

Dear Parents and Caregivers

Welcome back to school for the New Year. Hopefully everyone had a very relaxing and enjoyable holiday. The teachers have been hard at work preparing for the year and we are all looking forward to getting started.

Our Year 5 and 6 team is back to 4 classes this year due to smaller numbers.

The team consists of

· Stu Devenport –Year 6 Room 13

· Melissa Coton - Year 5 Room 15

· Peter Hull - Year 6 Room 12

· Lisa Allen – Year 5 Rm 14

Ruth Hooke is another valuable member of our team. She will be teaching on Wednesdays in Room 14 and Fridays in Room 13. On Thursday she will continue to run the schools Performing Arts programme throughout the school.

Parent Interviews

Thank you to everyone who attended these interviews last week. It was fantastic to catch up with you to discuss your children. All the teachers have come away with valuable information which will assist in meeting the needs of your children.

Camp 2011 Forest Lakes (8-11 March)

Our major focus for the beginning of the year is camp at Forest Lakes. This takes place in week 6 of this term.

There is a cost involved with coming to camp; it will cost $215 per child. This covers every eventuality that may arise. We ask that you pay before going to camp. If there are any problems with this please contact your classroom teacher. It would be appreciated if you completed and returned the form at the end of the newsletter that was sent home last week with payment in a named envelope.

It is important that gear is being organised so that we are ready for Tuesday in Week 6. Let us know if you are having any difficulties as we can help you borrow gear. A gear check takes place at school in the morning before boarding the bus and you will be contacted if there are any major items missing. It is important that students are aware of what they have in their bags. Encourage them to take responsibility for checking their gear list and packing. This will be their responsibility while at camp.

If your child requires medicine to be given while on camp please make sure that it comes to school on Tuesday 8th March in a named plastic bag and is given to the class teacher.

We are holding a meeting at 6.30pm on Thursday 24th February in the library for parents coming to camp for the full week. We will be discussing routines and also your responsibilities while at camp. It is important that you attend if you are coming to camp as a full timer. We hope it will take only about 30- 45 minutes. If your circumstances have changed please let me know as we have a waiting list for fulltime parents at camp.

Curriculum Topics

Our big idea for the year is ‘Standing Tall’. We will be forming our major units of work to fit round this throughout the year. This is a school wide theme and we are adapting it to best meet the needs of the students in our area of the school.


We have decided to wait until after camp to officially start homework so students can enjoy the sunshine and prepare for Camp. However we are starting reading homework this week. This involves a task called ‘Read around New Zealand’. Your child will have information about completing this task in their homework book. We will then ease into spelling homework. Your child should have between 8-10 spelling words to learn at home during the week. They will then be tested on these words on Friday. These words will be from the Essential Spelling Lists if your child has not already mastered them.

After camp, information will be sent home outlining expectations for homework.


Cross grouping will start week 2. We start the term looking at Number and exploring place value and basic facts. We then move into Measurement, exploring length and mass. There will be 4 groups based on ability so your children may not have their usual classroom teacher for Maths.


We are beginning the year focusing on poetry. After camp we will be looking at the genre of ‘Recounts’. We will use our experiences from Camp to assist this unit.


We start the term with a Health unit based around Peer Mediation training. This is a great unit and explores ways of dealing with conflict and resolution. At the end of the programme the Year 6 students will have the opportunity to apply for a role as a Peer Mediator in the playground at lunchtime to assist others with conflict resolution. This will be an excellent leadership opportunity for the Year 6 students.

After Camp we will start a Social Studies unit based around ‘Census 2011’.

Visual Art

Students will be learning about various concepts of drawing and will be building on their drawing skills using a variety of materials. Students will be completing a variety of exercises, exploring tone and contrast. We will all have a go at drawing a nikau palm!


Thank you to the parents who ordered packs from school. Please ensure that stationery is at school as soon as possible if purchasing it elsewhere, so written work can start promptly. If you are covering books with duraseal please ensure that you have put labels on the front for the names, as it is very time consuming finding the owners of unnamed books. Names written in vivid pens are easily rubbed off. Labels are the best option.

Daily Reminders

Please help your child remember to check they have everything they need each morning and they are at school in time for the first bell at 8.40. Students should see that being organised is part of growing up and an important life skill to be developing.

They will need a water bottle (named) to keep hydrated during the day. It helps with concentration and learning. Ensure that it comes home regularly for a wash.

All students are expected to wear a wide brimmed sunhat during all outside activities. The hat needs to be kept at school for easy access.


Swimming starts this week. Every class will be swimming everyday so please ensure that your child has their swimming gear ready. The gear should be named and in a suitable bag. We are lucky enough to have the assistance of a qualified swimming instructor for the first four weeks.


This year the year 5 and 6 students will have many opportunities to be involved in a range of sporting events. These sports range from netball and soccer to cricket and hockey. There will also be zone and inter - zone events such as swimming, cross-country and athletics. Parent support and transport at these events is much appreciated and it is also a wonderful opportunity to come along and see your child in action.


We will be continuing the success of classroom blogging from last year. These blogs can be accessed through the school website. It is worthwhile visiting regularly and checking out the updates. It really is a fantastic way to see the learning that is occurring in the classroom. We encourage you to leave the comments for your children or the class – they really get a buzz out of it!

If you need to contact your child’s classroom teacher please feel free to drop by the classroom before or after school or make an appointment for an interview at the office. The easiest way to touch base with us is email e.g. teacher’s

Thank you again for your support

Stu Devenport

Year 5 and 6 Team Leader.

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