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Week 5 - 2 March 2018

Kia ora e te Whānau o Whetūkairangi

Approximately 5 years ago, we developed a 10 year vision for  Māori at WBS. Actually, we have managed to almost get there in half the time! 

Some of the key achievements to date:
  • Highlighting Whetūkairangi as a significant pa site
  • Magnified the lens on our local environment as a context for learning, i.e. kaitiaki of te ngahere - guardians of the forest
  • Focussed staff professional learning programme and practice 
  • Provision of a variety of  authentic experiences and school 'rituals', i.e. Powhiri, (Welcome) Poroporoaki (farewell), Matariki, Celebrations, etc.
  • Development of our own WBS karakia and haka
  • Integration of Te Reo me nga tikanga across learning areas and inquiry learning
  • Integration of the Tātaiako cultural competencies into teaching, planning and practice (see below).
Wänanga: participating with learners and communities in robust dialogue for the benefit of Mäori learners’ achievement. 
Whanaungatanga: actively engaging in respectful working relationships with Mäori learners, parents and whänau, hapü, iwi and the Mäori community. 
Manaakitanga: showing integrity, sincerity and respect towards Mäori beliefs, language and culture. 
Tangata Whenuatanga: affirming Mäori learners as Mäori. Providing contexts for learning where the language, identity and culture of Mäori learners and their whänau is affirmed. 
Ako: taking responsibility for their own learning and that of Mäori learners. 

One of our lofty goals is to have our Year 6 leavers graduating with conversational fluency in te reo. We are not there..... yet!

Continuing to build the language remains a focus for us. Many of you commented after the Powhiri how evident this is, year after year. Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to give such positive feedback. It gives us a 'yes, we can do this!', the motivation to keep improving.

Some of you have asked me for my words at the Powhiri. Here they are, although I may have digressed on occasion:

Tēnā koutou katoa e hui tahi nei i tēnei rā.   
E ngā rangatira,  Ximena, Carl, Cloe, Therese me James.
Nau mai haere mai 
Ki tēnei tūranga hou kua riro nei i a kōutou 
Kei konei mātou hei tautoko , hei manaaki i a koe.
Nō reira, Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Kura o Whetukairangi 

We warmly welcome you with respect, care, open minds and open hearts:

Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngahere. 
Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao. 
The bird that partakes of the miro berry reigns in the forest.
The bird that partakes of the power of knowledge has access to the world.

We hope that it’s not just our youngest people who will partake in the power of knowledge to access the world - that we will learn with you and from you and that our relationship is reciprocal.

All schools have unique features - this can be based on the physical space, the local environment, the desires of the community, the needs of the children, the networks and relationships, the skill, passion and energy of all of us. Although we work under our big NZ Curriculum Framework - Tomorrow’s Schools Policy, introduced in 1989, has meant we really have the opportunity, as a community, to create something pretty remarkable, and I know, as do many, that we most certainly have. 

However, we never finish, we never arrive. It's a bit like an unfinished symphony. Every child, family member, staff member who is welcomed into this school brings richness, brings texture. We will continue to develop and strengthen the school together. Two days ago, our Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, announced we were embarking on the biggest Educational Reform since 1989, Tomorrow's Schools. Whilst this is potentially exciting, I would certainly hope that schools don't lose the importance of community in any new policy direction. 

At the end of each year, all Year 6 graduates are farewelled from the community and an aspect of this ritual is the very much anticipated ‘Year 6 Speech’. Last year, a student arrived who had only been with us for a few months and had never been schooled in NZ. I would like to take some lines from her:
  • The children smiled and laughed and made me feel welcome
  • I was relieved there was no drama or conflict (in CAPITALS!)
  • I learned it doesn’t matter what your age is - you can play with anyone here.
This education of the whole child, actively teaching the skills of wellbeing is at the heart. To us, it’s a taonga, a treasure of this school. 

Encouraging a community to flourish is my personal mantra and I certainly hope you experience this in some way in your time here. 

He aroha whakatō, he aroha ka puta mai
If kindness is sown then kindness you shall receive.

No reira

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa

Ngā manaakitanga

Powhiri Speech from Andrew Wilson on behalf of the Board of Trustees:

Kia ora

Ko northfleet te waka
Ko maungatapu te māunga
Ko maitai te awa 
Ko whetūkairangi te marae
Ko Stephanie taku hoa wahine
Ko Hunter taku tama
Ko Ella raua, ko Greer aku tamahine
Whakatu toku turangawaewae
Te whanganui-a-tara toku kainga inaianei
Ko Andrew tōku ingoa 

No reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa
Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa
Ki te atua - tēnā koe
Ki a papatuanuku – tēnā koe 
Ki te kura – tēnā koe 
Ki te hunga mate
Ki te hunga ora
Tēnā koutou katoa
Hello everybody 

Warm greetings to you all
To god/the spirit – greetings
To mother earth – greetings
To the school – greetings 
Farewell to those who came before us
Welcome to all those who are with us
Greetings to you all

As the Chair of the school’s Board of Trustees, it is a privilege and honour to welcome you and your whanau, to the school and community of te kura o whetūkairangi

Today is one of our most special events of the year as it one of the few very special occasions where we have our students, teaching and support team, and community all together in this very special place. 

While I take great delight in welcoming you all this morning, I would like to make special mention of Ximena and Carl who have joined our terrific teaching team this year, Cloe, as support staff last year, and I would also like to warmly welcome James and Therese and who are on student teacher placement with us. We are delighted to have all you in our waka and look forward to learning and laughing with you. 

As a kura we are very clearly focused on pursuing our vision of valuing the whole child; knowledge building and inquiry; and embracing collaborative learning. 

To achieve our vision we are committed to achieving our strategic goals of:
  • Educating for the future
  • Providing rich and powerful learning opportunities; and 
  • Connecting learners
As a kura we are committed to a single overarching core value, which sets the tone for the way we behave – which is manaakitanga – or respect – for ourselves each other, and our wonderful environment. And today is all about treating you, the newest members of community, with respect and, in so doing, demonstrate the value of manaakitanga to you as you become members of our community.

Our current Board - and successive Boards - lead our community as kaitiaki – or guardians – of this site and of the kura. This is the same responsibility that those who lived and worked here for hundreds of years before us, accepted, discharged and handed on to us. 

And it is now our turn, as a community, to strengthen the environment in which our tamariki learn and thrive - and, when our time comes to move on, to hand it on in a better state than it was in when we accepted this responsibility. 

We do this best when we all work together and I would encourage you all - and those that can’t be here this morning - to make the most of the many opportunities to be involved in supporting our kura in ways that work best for you and your whanau. 

You will find that we get to know each other through our tamariki, and our kura gives our tamariki - and all of us - the opportunity to learn, play and thrive together.

My own whānau have been part of this community for over 10 years, and my advice to you is to seize the opportunities to be involved in it with both hands. You will have the chance to make a positive difference, get a lot back in return, and you and your whānau will also have a lot of fun! 

I would like to leave you with a proverb that, although well known, is – I think – very appropriate given what this morning is all about:

He aha te mea nui o te ao? - What is the most important thing in the world? 
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata! - It is people! It is people! It is people!

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa


Coming up this Week:

  • Movin' March - Starts Monday 5 March
  • Sausage Sizzle - Tuesday 6 March
  • Welcome to Our Learning Space - Wednesday 7 March - 9.15am to 9.45am or 10am to 10.30am
  • Senior Zoo Trip - Friday 9 March
  • Lost Property Clearance - Friday 9 March

Dates to Diary:

  • Meet the Board - Tuesday 13 March at 6.30-7.30pm
  • Pizza Lunch - Wednesday 14 March
  • Enviroschools Otari Trip (Student Council Environment Group Only) - Wednesday 14 March
  • Assembly - Friday 16 March
  • Meet the Board - Friday 16 March at 9.30am (straight after Assembly)
  • Year 5 & 6 Camp - Monday 26 March to Wednesday 28 March
  • Year 4 Camp Visit - Tuesday 27 March
  • School will be closed for Easter on Friday 30 March, Monday 2 April and Tuesday 3 April

Need to Action:

  • Sausage Sizzle - Tuesday 6 March - Order your child's sausages via Online Payments
  • Year 4-6 Camp Permissions/Payments - Please return Permission Form and Camp Contract to the office by Friday 9 March and arrange payment and bus permission via Online Payments
  • Senior Zoo Trip - Friday 9 March - Please pay $4.20 via Online Payments, if you haven't already
  • Enviroschools Otari Trip - Please pay $2.80 via Online Payments (under Fees and Donations) by Monday 12 March (Student Council Environment Group only)
  • Enter the ICAS Tests by Wednesday 14 March via Online Payments 
  • Pizza Lunch - Wednesday 14 March - Order your child's pizza via Online Payments by midnight on Monday 12 March

Important Information regarding Driving and Parking near Schools

We regularly receive phone calls from upset neighbours and the bus company because parents/caregivers have parked in such a way that the buses are unable to get through (esp. on Nevay Road), or cars are parked with their wheels on the footpath making it dangerous for children. Please help us keep our children safe and prevent these frustrating situations. 

Below are guidelines from the Wellington City Council regarding Driving/Parking near Schools:

Driving near schools
Look out for children when driving near a school and follow the directions of the school road patrols.

School road patrol
The roads near schools are always busy before and after school. When you are driving near a school remember to:
  • follow the directions of the school road patrols
  • keep alert as children are still learning about the road and may not behave as you expect
  • always be prepared to stop.
The way you park can impact the safety of children walking to and from school. It can create an unsafe environment for children crossing the road by limiting their ability to see traffic. 

Help keep children safe by:
  • parking legally - stopping clear of yellow lines and off footpaths
  • checking over your shoulder for pedestrians and people on bikes before opening your car door
  • parking a bit further away and walking the last bit to avoid congestion
If you see a vehicle parking on yellow lines or blocking the footpath, call us on 04 499 4444.

If you live near a school
Here are some things you can do to help:
  • Make sure the footpath is clear when reversing out of a driveway, or reverse in to the driveway so you can drive out front first.
  • Trim any trees or plants bordering the footpath so they don’t block access or visibility.
If you see a footpath that needs maintenance, call us on 04 499 4444

Movin' March - Starts 5 March!

If you or a group of parents would like to lead a group of children (for a two week period ….or longer) to walk to school during March, can you please let John or Shona know. This also supports our Enviroschools initiative, of environmental sustainability and to promote health and healthy communities. For more information, please read the message below from the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Movin’ March is organised by Greater Wellington Regional Council and supported by our local council. Our month-long celebration of walking and wheeling to school kicks off on 5 March. Everyone can take part – even if you live further away. There’s lots of stuff for you and for your children to enjoy…!

Walk, Wheel and WIN!...: 
Students who walk or wheel get their WOW Passport stamped and when their card is full, each student goes in the draw to win one of six $300 Avanti vouchers from On Yer Bike.  

Parents send us photos of your school journey via Facebook anytime during Movin’March. We’re giving away family passes to your favourite Wellington Wild Things destinations throughout the month and we’d love to see video or photos of your school journeys!  Or write a blog about how you may have changed your travel habits and why.  We also want to hear your stories as they can help inspire others.   

Students can also take part in our design a Poster Competition to reflect the benefits of walking and wheeling. The regional winners will receive a Panasonic Tough Camera!

Mahutonga/Matariki - Zoo Trip - Friday 9 March

This year we are joining up with the Zoo to be part of their Bush Builder program. The program works to get children to "discover for themselves the wonder of the world around them, in their own schools and homes, and to empower them to take positive action in their own communities."

The Senior students will be visiting the Zoo on Friday 9 March. They will engage in Workshops around the idea of kaitiakitanga. Then they will have some time to explore the Zoo. 

Children will need comfortable walking shoes, sunhats, weather appropriate clothing, a drink bottle and a lunchbox full of food! 

Payment via Online Payments is also permission, so please ensure payment of $4.20 is made by Monday 5 March.

Meet the Board - Tuesday 13 March and Friday 16 March

Come and meet the Board! They’ll be running two informal sessions at school in mid-March – one in the early evening (Tuesday 13 March, 6.30pm - 7.30pm), and a morning session straight after Assembly (Friday 16 March, 9.30am - 10.30am). This is a great opportunity to share a cuppa and learn about the school’s new strategic plan, the Board’s goals for 2018, what’s on the Fundraising Calendar and how you can get involved, and any general questions or ideas you might have. Mark it in your calendar now!

Otari Trip - Wednesday 14 March

To begin our involvement in Enviroschools for 2018, we have been invited to attend a Workshop at Otari Bush on Wednesday 14 March. The group who will attend are our Student Council Environmental group which includes 32 students across our whānau

We are looking forward to building on our knowledge about native flora and fauna and the delicately balanced ecosystems in the New Zealand bush. The day will be led by Enviroschools' facilitators.  

Students will need lunch, water bottles, hats, wet weather and warm gear.  (Please remember not to order Pizza Lunches!)

Please contact John if you are available to help.

We have been fortunate to receive a grant from the Greater Wellington Regional Council for half of our bus costs. Therefore, there is only a small fee of $2.80 to cover the remaining bus costs. Please ensure permission and payment is made via Online Payments (under Fees and Donations) by Monday 12 March.

Pizza Lunch - Wednesday 14 March

On Wednesday 14 March, small individual pizzas, made in our own pizza ovens, will be available for lunch. 

All pizzas have a tomato sauce base and you can choose from three types of topping:
  • Cheese
  • Cheese and Ham
  • Cheese and Salami

Pizzas cost $5 each. Please order via Online Payments on our website. Please note that orders need to be in by midnight on Monday 12 March

Voluntary Contributions

The Voluntary Contribution for 2018 is $355 per student. If this is paid before the end of Term 1, you may pay a reduced rate of $305 per student. We appreciate that family incomes may be stretched and payments can continue to be made by instalments during the year. If you wish to pay in 2 instalments, these will be $177.50 to be made by the end of Term 1 (Friday 13 April) and by the end of Term 3 (Friday 28 September), to reduce the administrative costs involved. Please discuss with office staff or pay online via Online Payments.   

Tip for Online Payments:  
If paying your Voluntary Contribution in Term 1, change the amount to pay to $305 to get the $50 reduction.

A Note from the Office

Easter Dates
Friday 30 March )
Monday 2 April   )  No school on these 3 days.
Tuesday 3 April  )

Sun Protection
In Term 1, students will still need adequate sun protection when playing outside. 

We would encourage you to send your children to school with sunscreen already applied - particularly to backs of necks, tops of ears (if wearing caps rather than wide brimmed hats), forearms and legs. We do stress that our Sun Protection policy states wide brimmed hats. For more information, please refer to our Sun Protection Policy on SchoolDocs.

School Driveway
Please do not use the bottom of the school driveway as a drop off zone. The yellow lines are there for a reason. We have had a couple of reports of near misses on the crossing due to cars pulling in and stopping there. Please help keep our children safe.

School Payments
The following payments are now ready for payment via Online Payments on our website:
  • Voluntary Contribution - $355 (or $305 if paid before the end of Term 1 - Friday 13 April)
  • Seesaw Annual Subscription Fee - $10
  • Senior Zoo Trip - $4.20
  • Enviroschools Otari Trip (Student Council Environment Group Only) - $2.80
  • Year 4 Camp - $65
  • Year 5 & 6 Camp - $230
  • Year 4-6 ICAS Tests - optional
Term Dates for 2018 can be found on our website together with our
 Calendar of upcoming events.

Lost Property
Please remember to check the Lost Property Box regularly. There are currently a number of unnamed drink bottles in the box. These will be donated to the Salvation Army if they are not collected by the next Lost Property Clearance on Friday 9 March. (Remember that named items will be returned to the child.)

ASB will donate $500 to WBS if....

If you are a parent, staff member or member of the school community and draw down a new ASB home loan of $250,000 or more, ASB will donate to your chosen participating school $500. Visit www.asb.co.nz/schoolbanking for more information.

How it works:
Mention this school donation offer to your ASB banker when you apply for a new ASB home loan. The supporting success in your school promotion is only available when you apply for a new home loan through an ASB branch, Mobile Lending Manager or by calling us on 0800 100 600.

Your new home loan application must be received, approved and then documented in a facility agreement, along with the completed school voucher, before 30 June 2018. This home loan offer is only available on loans secured by an owner-occupied residential property provided to ASB, with a minimum of 20% equity.

Once your home loan is fully drawn down, ASB will donate $500 to your chosen participating school.

Download and complete the school voucher to participate in the supporting success in your school promotion.

Terms and conditions apply, see voucher. Promotion ends 30 June 2018.

Our Principal’s Awards are currently focusing on the following:

I am a thinker...
  • I have lots of ideas
  • I can organise ideas
  • I can pose problems
  • I can solve problems
  • I can question
  • I can share my ideas
  • I can think about my thinking
  • I can make my thinking visible

Rayyan and Shuyang.

Cleo, Emily, Fabian and Luc.

Jasmine, Talia, Yasmin and Zach.

Board Shorts

Everyone will agree, it sure has been an action packed start to the school year and we certainly had much to cover at our first meeting of 2018.

At the beginning of each school year, the Board of Trustees appoints a Chairperson. This year we farewell Andrew Wilson after nine years of dedication to the role. His positivity and enthusiasm is infectious and his knowledge and expertise has been invaluable. Andrew will continue on the Board to support a smooth transition and is looking forward to contributing to the Board in new ways. We can’t thank you enough, Andrew.

The newly appointed Chair of the Board for 2018 is Andrew Dalziel. Congratulations to Andrew, and you will be sure to get to know him more soon, if you don’t already.  

What a wonderful Powhiri we all experienced last Friday. There was barely a spare seat in the house. Thank you to our community of current families and staff, and new families embarking on Worser Bay School life, for sharing this special morning in the heart of our school together. It was wonderful to meet the many new faces and to warmly welcome those we already know to our Kura. The uplifting waiata and unique school haka, certainly embodies our vibrant community of Whetūkairangi.

As you will be aware, we had the Education Review Office (ERO) staff on site for two and a half days during the first full week of the term. The team’s feedback was very positive and we are confident that they truly saw the application of the curriculum and the essence of our school in action. The Board would like to formally acknowledge the significant amount of time and effort dedicated to the preparation and on-site review process from Jude, Suzanne, the entire teaching and support team and students.

Come and meet the Board of Trustees!  

We are running two informal sessions at school. An evening on Tuesday 13 March at 6.30pm - 7.30pm and a morning straight after Assembly on Friday 16 March at 9.30am - 10.30am. This is a great opportunity to share a cuppa and learn more about the school’s strategic direction, the Board’s goals for 2018, the role of the Board, what’s on the Fundraising Calendar and also find out how you can get involved. Come with questions and ideas!

We look forward to seeing you there.
The Board

Heads Up - NZEI Campaign Meeting - We all want to attract and retain teachers

The NZEI have advised that there will be union meetings during the school day in March. As an employer, we need to allow our staff to attend. For our staff, this will be Thursday 15 March at the ASB Sports Centre, one at 10.00am and another at 2.00pm. To ensure staff can attend and also minimise the impact on the school and parents, we will send 1/2 our staff to the morning meeting and 1/2 to the afternoon. To do this, we will provide internal cover and increase class numbers for the hour. 

There are significant issues in recruiting and retaining teachers in ECE, Primary and Secondary education throughout New Zealand. In general, these issues relate to time, recognition and resourcing. 

Thanks for your support for a very real issue for our children and country's future.

'Welcome to Our Learning Space' - Wednesday 7 March

We will be having two 'Welcome to Our Learning Space' sessions on the morning of Wednesday 7 March. This is when you see the 'learning in action', get to join in the fun and have a chance to ask any questions. Come along to one of our sessions.

Session times are:

9.15am to 9.45am and 10.00am to 10.30am

Your child will show you around their classroom space and demonstrate some of their learning and daily routines.  Some of you were able to get to know your child’s learning space and teaching team through our Transition Morning in Term 4 2017. For some of you, this may still be a new space to explore, so please feel free to pop in and say 'hi' if you haven’t had a chance to catch up yet. 

This will also be an opportunity to celebrate the first 6 weeks of learning for the year together.

In the meantime, if you have any specific worries about your child's learning, please contact the base group teacher and make a separate appointment to chat privately. 

We hope to see you there. 

Senior Camp

Senior Camp is coming up at the end of March at Camp Kaitoke. The Years 5 & 6 will have a 3 day camp from Monday 26 March to Wednesday 28 March and the Year 4s will be joining them for the day on Tuesday 27 March.

Camp Information and Permission Forms are coming home today in printed form. Here is the digital format:

Please return the Kaitoke Permission Forms (Years 4-6) and WBS Camp Contract (Years 5-6) to the office by Friday 9 March at the latest.

Payment and bus permission can be made via Online Payments - Year 5 & 6 Camp costs $230 and the Year 4 Camp costs $65.

ICAS Tests 2018 - Years 4-6 Only

The ICAS tests (International Competitions and Assessments for Schools) for students in Years 4-6 are coming up in Terms 2 and 3. Some of our children like a challenge and these competitions are just that. So we are very willing to organise these competitions if your child wishes to enter. Have a chat with your child and see how they feel about this opportunity. The information is not used as assessment information as it doesn't reflect the New Zealand Curriculum. 

We need a minimum of three students per subject to keep the fees at a reasonable level.

There are six subjects to choose from. The sitting dates and prices are as follows:


Sitting Date


 Digital Technologies

Tuesday 8 May



Tuesday 29 May



Wednesday 13 June



Thursday 14 June



Tuesday 31 July



Tuesday 14 August


The closing date for entries is Wednesday 14 March. Please pay via Online Payments

For more information, go to: www.eaa.unsw.edu.au.



Our Inquiry has begun to shift from just thinking about Manaakitanga (enhancing others’ wellbeing) to thinking about Kaitiakitanga (being guardians of our surroundings). To start this off, we did some exploring and observing of our environment at school. Have a look to see what we discovered when we put our scientist hats on!

Tuning into our Inquiry at the Zoo 
We had a wonderful trip to the zoo this week and we got to explore lots of different areas and think about how we can be kaitiaki of our environment. We looked at how everything is connected and small changes can make a big impact on wildlife. Have a look at our Blog to see more!


Bush Builders at the Zoo
Thank you to Wellington Zoo for hosting Tautoru and Autahi on Tuesday. We took part in their bush builders programme and worked through a number of activities exploring the creatures of the forest and how we can care for and identify them. We are now ready to begin our own Inquiry into being Guardians of the Forest.

What could we do to improve our school environment?
Following on from our trip to zoo we have been exploring the school grounds and discussing what we could do to improve our school environment. We spent some of the morning walking around the school and identifying what we would like to see or what we could do to create or improve where we learn. Check out the Blog for more of our creative ideas.


We have been looking into how we can be Guardians of the Sea, as well as the Forest. We asked some big questions and inquired into them down at The Boating Club a few weeks ago. Our Inquiries and Penguin Hotel designs are being presented at the Worser Bay Boating Club.

Check out a taster of them on our Blog!

Maths: Speed is the enemy of a mistake and risk taking culture!

Research from Jo Boaler says that students in the UK, USA and beyond think that those who work best in Maths work quickly. Actually, those who are best at Maths think deeply and carefully. Speed is the enemy of mistakes and a risk taking culture. 

At Worser Bay School we LOVE mistakes. Students need time to work through challenges. Some of our students do a mistake dance when they make a mistake. Our students have designed some posters that we have put up in the classroom. 

Welcome to Our Learning Space - Wednesday 7 March
We would like to welcome all Mahutonga/Matariki parents to visit on the morning of Wednesday 7 March. You will see some of our classroom routines but will also see students running workshops. There will be a nature walk around the school grounds to show some of the learning we have been doing with our Forest Protectors Inquiry. If you can make it, there are 2 sessions: 9.15am - 9.45am and 10.00am -10.30am.  
See you there.
Carolyn Brett,
25 Feb 2018, 16:57
Carolyn Brett,
25 Feb 2018, 16:57