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Week 2 Newsletter


Birkdale North
School Newsletter

Tena koutou katoa,

Term two is upon us and already we are moving fast! I will leave Brenda Vosper and Lisa Ellsworth (lead teachers in our two teams) to talk about what is happening there.There is also an update from our Board of Trustees. 

You will notice we have changed over to a different format for our newsletter. The format looks a little different as it has been set up to be easily read from a mobile as well as straight from your email (not a PDF). We would very much like to have our students more involved with the newsletter and have some links to videos as well as celebrations of their learning. We have sent out a consent form for social media, if you have not returned it please do this as soon as possible. We have changed the consent to an either a yes or no for all social media as it was getting complicated working out who was allowed on what.

Six of our teachers gave up their time on Saturday to go to a fantastic professional development. The PD was about writing and was facilitated by Murray Gadd, he is a literacy guru who has many years of experience and is very well known and respected in this field. They all came back buzzing and ready to take some of the practical skills straight into class. If you would like to know more about Murray Gadd just click here

The Healthy Kickstart breakfast

The Healthy Kickstart Breakfast has started off with a bang! We have had a good amount of children coming along and are enjoying breakfast as a group together.

The programme is about our students and whanau getting together in a social setting, having a korero and enjoying some breakfast together. Sometimes our children are too rushed or too tired to eat straight away in the mornings, are just not hungry at “breakfast time”, have out of school commitments that make it difficult to have breakfast before school or they just want to eat with their friends!

I would like to acknowledge all the work Brooke Matthews has put into setting up our breakfast club. She has some sponsorship for us from New World who have agreed to supply several loaves of bread and any fruit they have available every week, The warehouse and Kmart have both donated items to get us started  – the toaster, bowls, spoons and mugs. Thank you Brooke, it took a few hours and some good negotiating skills to organise all this! Of course the Weetbix is supplied by Sanitarium and the milk by Fonterra. Gosh we have a lot of generous parties to thank!

We are supplying the butter and jam. If you have an odd jar of jam or butter to spare that would be really helpful.

Our school garden.

Thank you to the amazing group of parents who have been working on our gardens after school (behind the swimming pool). Our aim is to be able to get enough support to sustain the gardens and have people who would be willing to come in and support our tamariki. Please let us know if you would like to help with this venture.

We see the garden as a community garden where we can give back to our whanau and friends in the community.

We would like to acknowledge Kings Plant Barn (Wairau Valley) and thank them for their donation of plants and compost.

Matariki Festival

Our school cluster Matariki festival is being held at Birkdale Intermediate this year. We are getting our Kapa Haka group organised to participate. The festival will take place on Friday 2nd July

We will be celebrating Matariki throughout that week and are looking at holding a Matariki disco for the children on the Friday evening from 6-7:30pm. More information will follow.

We are continuing with a cultural week in our final week of term 2 (5th – 9th July) where we will celebrate all our cultures in our diverse little school!

Matariki Festival

Our school cluster Matariki festival is being held at Birkdale Intermediate this year. We are getting our Kapa Haka group organised to participate. The festival will take place on Friday 2nd July

We will be celebrating Matariki throughout that week and are looking at holding a Matariki disco for the children on the Friday evening from 6-7:30pm. More information will follow.

We are continuing with a cultural week in our final week of term 2 (5th – 9th July) where we will celebrate all our cultures in our diverse little school!

Pink Shirt Day

We are supporting pink shirt day this year. 100% of donations goes towards supporting the Mental Health Foundation who organise this event to raise awareness about bullying prevention and provide resources that promote inclusive workplaces, schools and communities.

We would love it if your child turned up at school wearing something pink. We will have stickers for all the children. We will also be collecting gold coin donations but there is no pressure, wearing pink shows we care.

Table Top / Car Boot Sale

The PTA are organising a car boot / table top / hire a space sale for Saturday May 29th. More information will be out soon but put the date in your diary and if you have gear to sell that might be away to make some extra money!

Wheels day

The children are keen to start wheels day again. It is good fun! So we will be having Wheels Day every Thursday. Please ensure if your child is bringing a bike they also have a safe and fitted helmet. We do not take responsibility for any “wheels” coming to school so we ask that they are clearly identifiable and that you have bike locks for bikes. (they are stored on the bike rack behind the school) 

Teacher Only days

We have several teacher only days coming up. This is a time when the teachers will be covering professional development and preparation for reports and planning for next year.

The dates are:

Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th July

Tuesday 26th October 

Friday 3rd December 


Please ensure you add them to your calendar.

Poari Pānui / Board News

Board resignations:

While we have welcomed Lisa Ellsworth to the board as the teacher representative, following the departure of Whaea Tui, we have recently had three resignations from the board. Two elected parent representatives – Soazik Shearer and Guillaume Corgnet – and co-opted member, Yvonne Kirkwood. We sincerely thank them for their contributions over the past two years.
As a result of these vacancies, and the fact that it is roughly one year until the next scheduled board members election, the board has chosen to select (shoulder tap) a Māori and a Pasifika representative in their place. This is in line with Treaty of Waitangi objectives and to encourage diversity, reflecting that of our school community.
However, our community is entitled to ask that we select two replacements via the election process. Requests for this to be undertaken must be made in writing to the chair of the board, Greg Ratcliffe, within 28 days from the date of this newsletter. If 10% of the enrolled school community call for an election, that will be the process. You can contact Greg by email or by dropping off a letter at the school office.
We do advise, though, that even if two board replacements are decided by election, it is still the intention of the principal and the board to also co-opt a Māori and a Pasifika representative onto the board, if there is no representation of these peoples through the election process.


The 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP) was approved by the board, following a property condition assessment and our property consultant’s recommendations for works/maintenance on the school buildings. The 10YPP ‘ensures that the school is well maintained and the physical environment supports teaching and learning, within the budgets provided by the Ministry.’ This process is carried out every 5 years through the 5 Year Agreement (5YA). 

There are weather-tightness issues with the cladding of the school hall which need to be addressed. Due to Ministry of Education policy relating to weather-tightness, half of our next 5YA funding has to be used for the remediation of the hall. Any balance above this 5YA portion will be covered by the ministry through supplementary funding.

Although this halves the next 5YA (2021 – 2026/27) spending for the rest of the school, fortunately, the ministry has supplied supplementary funding to our current 5YA (2016 – 2020/21) to allow us to continue with proposed work including the much-needed upgrade of the toilets behind the main block, repair of the leaky Admin building roof and replacement of electrical wiring. These works are currently going through the tender process and will be started sometime this year.

Junior syndicate News Flash!

Welcome back to another exciting term of learning. It has been lovely to see all the children’s beautiful smiles, hear their excitement and be part of their curious, inquiring minds.

We have heard many stories of all the whanau activities you did together during the break and the lasting memories you have created.

This term, we will continue inquiring into ‘CHANGE’ with a particular focus on Science: Our Natural World. We hope to ignite the children’s curiosity as we explore a variety of changes that occur amongst living things and when materials are mixed, heated and cooled. We would like to continue developing tikanga, enabling us to sustain our world for the future. As part of our inquiry this term, we will visit the Auckland museum to make connections between animals that live today and those that lived millions of years ago. We will also explore different artefacts, further developing an understanding of changes that have occurred through time. Our museum trip is on 11th June. More information will follow shortly.


Important Reminders:

  • In order for your child to feel prepared for learning each day, it is advisable that they arrive at school at least 10 min before the start of the day. This gives them the opportunity to follow morning routines and chat to friends prior to learning.
  • Please encourage your child to leave their toys at home. These items are precious and often get lost at school, causing your child to feel upset. It can also be a distraction during learning time.
  • The weather has already started cooling. Many children seem to get hungrier when it is cold. Please ensure that your child has a fruit/veg snack and a substantial morning tea and lunch.
  • Your child will receive a reading book on Monday through to Thursday. It is important that they practise their reading book and apply the reading strategies taught during the day. They may also have flashcards or spelling words to practise. The reading book needs to be returned the next day. On a Friday, the poetry book will be sent home for your child to share. 
  • Please check with your class teacher which day is their library day. Remind your child to return their library books on that day.
  • The Junior Syndicate has sport on a Friday after lunch. We will be focusing on big ball team sports this term. Please remind your child to wear appropriate clothes and shoes on a Friday.
  • We have started using the Seesaw app. This is another way of being part of your child’s learning.


Finally, thank you for entrusting us with your precious children. We value your partnership in their education. Please feel free to pop into the classroom to celebrate their progress with us or make an appointment if you have any concerns.


The Junior Syndicate teachers

What’s Happening In The Senior School

Inquiry We will continue with our 2021 concept, Change, by looking at the science of cooking. Students will attempt to answer questions such as Why does food brown when cooked? How does lemon juice remove fish smells? Why does food stick to a pan’s surface? 

Blast Off The senior school will participate in the Rocket challenge, by Wonder Project. An ambassador assigned by Wonder Project will guide the senior classes each week to teach the theory and build a rocket ready for launch day in Week 9.

Your child needs to bring in a 1.5L plastic bottle by the start of week 3.

Sports On Thursday afternoons, we will have senior syndicate sports with each teacher focusing on different ball and game skills. I will also run lunchtime training for inter-school rippa rugby, Ki o Rahi and with the help of Debbie netball. 

Maths Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts are like learning to read basic sight words.  It takes time for the brain to learn to retain and retrieve these facts. The senior school would like the senior students to learn these facts using card and dice games. Computer games like Hit the Button, Prototec or flashcards from the $2 shop are also great practise tools.

Literacy  We will be focusing on the structure and language used for writing science reports (as this will link in with our inquiry) and minute moments to describe and capture a moment of an event. Students in the senior school still needs to read every night. Please encourage your child to read at least 20 minutes. Additional to reading it is also important for your child to practise their spelling.

Library Books  To encourage the love of books and reading, the senior school will visit the school library every week. Please remind your child to bring their library book on their class library day.

Up coming Events

Term 2    Monday 3rd May – Friday 9th July
Term 3    Monday 26th July – Friday 1st October
Term 4    Monday 18th October – Wednesday 15th December

Public holidays – school closed
Monday 7th – June Queens birthday
Monday 25th – October Labour day

12th May – PTA meeting 7pm
20th May – Inter School rippa rugby
17th – 23 May – Road Safety week
21st May – Pink shirt day
17th June – Inter school football
1st Jul1 – BOT meeting 6pm
2nd July – Matariki festival
2nd July – Matariki disco 6pm – 7.30pm
25th June – Crazy hair day
9th July – End of Term 2
26th July – Start of term 3

26th and 27th July – Teacher Only Days
30th July – Red Nose day
27th August – Photo life – Individual & class photos
13th – 17 September – Maori Language Week
16th September – Cross country

The Walking School bus: Currently suspended due to no drivers. If you have any queries or need further information, please contact Mrs Singh.
Public Health Nurses are available on 09 486 8996. Alternatively call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or visit The Public Health Nurses are able to help with providing things like nit treatment, action plans for students that have medical conditions and other general health queries. School Dental services are based at Glenfield Intermediate, Chivalry Road, Glenfield. Ph 09 444 6160

Hearing & Vision: If you have genuine concerns for your child’s Vision or Hearing or want to rule it out as a contributor to behaviour and performance in school you can make an appointment at one of the WDHB clinics. Please click on the link below for further information. The vision screening is for distance only so if you have concerns for Vision you could see an optometrist, they will do a full eye check – Specsavers do free checks for children under 16 years old.

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