Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Artsplash 2012 @ Michael Fowler Centre

Artsplash 2012           

Dear Parents/Caregivers

About Artsplash
Artsplash is an arts festival that gives our students the opportunity to sing at a concert in the Michael Fowler Centre with a range of other schools in the Wellington region.   The students in Years 3-6 are currently working hard to learn the 12 songs for the performance, and will be accompanied by the Wellington Youth Sinfonietta Orchestra, the Chilton Amadeus Orchestra and the Artsplash Festival Band. 

The concert
Amesbury School will be singing in the Artsplash concert that is on Wednesday 12 September at 7:45pm at the Michael Fowler Centre.  Details of where to meet for the concert will be provided nearer to the time.  Tickets for the concert are $5 each, with an initial limit of 3 tickets per family (please note that the students performing in Artsplash do not need a ticket.)   Please submit your request for up to 3 tickets using the link below, or via the school blog  by Friday 31st August. Should you require more than 3 tickets, please also indicate this on the request form.  Tickets will be sent home from Monday 3rd September.  We will invoice you for the number of tickets issued.  Payment for tickets can be made by cash or cheque to the school office, or by internet banking.

Dress rehearsal
On the day of the concert (Wednesday 12 September) , there is a dress rehearsal at the Michael Fowler Centre from 11:30-1:00pm.  We will be travelling by bus, leaving school at 10:50 and returning to school at approximately 1:30The students will have morning tea before they leave, and lunch when they return.   We will send out a reminder about this rehearsal closer to the time.

Three of the songs we are singing require special headwear.  We are giving you advance warning of this so that you have time to get organised!  Here are the instructions we’ve been given from the organisers:

“If I Only Had a Brain” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (both from The Wizard of Oz) - any one of these four options:
                  * Dorothy - headband with big bow or scarf
                  * Lion - lion costume headpiece
                  * Tin man - tinfoil covered box or tube that can be worn on the head
                  * Scarecrow - hat with straw/hay, checkered scarf

“Walking on Sunshine” - tinsel wig in any colour (can be bought cheaply from places like The Two Dollar Shop or The Warehouse.) 

Please note, the students need to have both types of headwear i.e. a Wizard of Oz one and a tinsel wig.   We hope this doesn’t cause any inconvenience.

If you have any queries about anything to do with Artsplash, feel free to contact Fiona (one of the Artsplash teachers) by email: fiona.white@amesbury.school.nz

Kind regards
Fiona White  

Nick Willis @ The Olympics

Kia ora koutou,

It has been a four year wait, but the 2012 London Olympics are finally here. What a spectacular start with Nick Willis carrying the flag for New Zealand in the Opening Ceremony. He is an exceptional athlete, and will no doubt be hoping to better his silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

For all of you who do not know, Nick Willis was our “celebrity” speaker on the very first day that Amesbury school was open. It seems so long ago! Nick Willis is one of New Zealand’s best ever middle distance athletes. He recently broke his New Zealand 1500m record by nearly 1.5secs. That is a huge chunk of time to take off your personal best in a 1500m when you are competing at Nick’s level.

On Friday, 3 August, at 8:05pm (Saturday 7:05am our time) Nick will be competing in the first round of the Men’s 1500m heat. This is followed by the semi-final on the Sunday (Monday our time) and the final on The Tuesday (Wednesday our time). The 1500m is always a hotly contested event with some incredibly fast African (Kenyan and Ethiopian) runners, however, Nick is a very good tactical runner with a bit of a kick at the end, which is what wins Olympic 1500m races.

This week we will be getting the students to write Nick a message wishing him all the best for the Olympics. If you would like to do the same thing you can send him a tweet @nickwillis or you can join the NZ Olympic facebook page and send a message that way. Please do support our New Zealand Olympic team. In my experience it is really motivating and encouraging to get messages from people back home, especially when you are thousands of kilometers away.

Go Nick Willis!!! Go Team Kiwi!!!   

Monday, July 30, 2012

Poi Making Take 2

Ahiahi Mārie!
Good Afternoon!

Thanks to Alfa and Sandrine for their help making the poi last Friday! We made a good dent in the total numbers needed but still need a concentrated effort to get the last 'few' made. 

We will hold one last poi making workshop on 
Friday (3rd August) at 1pm in Koru Hub
We would really love to see lots of hands weaving and making poi for our tamariki, so if you are available- nau mai haere mai!!

Upcoming Dates

Please keep the following 2012 dates free:

Wednesday, 8/8    - Community Evening - Mid Winter Christmas Party (5.30pm - 7pm)

Thursday, 23/8      - Northern Zone Swimming Sports

Tuesday, 11/9       - PSW Interzone Swimming

Wednesday 12/9   - ArtSplash, Final rehearsal (11.30am) and performance - 7.45pm Michael Fowler  Centre

Thursday, 27/9     - Amesbury School Swimming Sports and Fun Day

Friday, 28/9          - Learning celebration (1.45pm - 2.45pm)

Friday, 26/10       - Amesbury School Athletics

Wednesday, 1/11 - Community Evening with Rhythm Interactive (5.30pm - 7pm)

Monday, 5/11      - Northern Zone Athletics

26 - 30 Nov.       - International Festival

Saturday, 1/12    - International Gala Day (after the Santa Parade 2pm - 6pm approx)

Tuesday 4/12      - Regional Athletics

Friday 14/12      - Final Assembly of the year, school picnic and (perhaps) karaoke evening

Monday 17/12   - Last day of school - clean up

Mid Winter Christmas Party - Community Evening

Wednesday, 8 August, 5.30pm - keep this evening free

I let you know a couple of weeks ago that we will be having this term's community evening Wednesday, 8 August at 5.30pm. The theme is a Mid Winter Christmas Party. As per usual, the family games and activities will be followed by a session with parents. The focus for this part of the evening will be on consulting with parents to assist the development of a "partnering-type" document which describes how we will work together as a community to ensure that our children receive the best education possible.

Research is very clear - the partnership or sense of community between parents and the school is an essential ingredient in the success of children's learning. Research by Timperley and Robinson suggests that a strong community (or strong "partnership" as they call it) is built around a central purpose or task that the community has been formed to achieve. To achieve this task a number of key shared understandings are required to aid in the success of the group. These are:
  • Acknowledgement that achieving the task is a joint endeavor;
  • A shared understanding of what the central task of the community is;
  • Clear agreement about what each community member's roles and responsibilities are in achieving the purpose;
  • Members of the community are committed to supporting the other members to carry out their roles;
  • Agreement on how we are going to treat and communicate with each other as we carry out tasks; and,
  • Understand that other's members perspectives are just as valid, rather than think our perspectives are the only valid ones.
When we do this, the community will be most effective and students will learn. Also, when we do this, we will all thrive together, rather than just survive.
Parents - Melinda Jones, Debbie Dunbar and Simon Law - have agreed to help me as together we develop a "Partnering-Type Document" which will cover the above aspects of the relationship. In order to do this, we need input from as many Amesbury School families as possible.

Following on from the family actitivies at the community evening we will run focus group discussions with parents. The focus groups will be led by parents and will be the first step in the process of gathering information from which to develop a "partnering-type"document. Please put this date in your diary and plan to be there.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Simon, Melinda, Debbie or myself.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Visit by Author Sharon Holt

It was a real treat to have author Sharon Holt spend today working with our students.  She talked to Harakeke hub students about her books and how she came to be an author of books for children. She also worked with 15 Harakeke students on a writing activity and they learned how to capture a strong emotional event in words. Many of them commented that they gained more confidence in their writing as well as learning new skills. Their writing will be published on the library blog.  Sharon also shared her picture book Did My Mother Do That? and her Te Reo Singalong books with Koru hub students. It was a great way to end Maori Language Week with the junior students singing and dancing along to Kei Te Peke Ahau.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meadow Fresh - Arts & Sports Gear for Schools

We're collecting Meadow Fresh stickers too, to help us win Art & Sports Gear.

You can download a collection sheet from the Meadow Fresh website (www.meadowfresh.co.nz), or you can pick up a sheet from the office.


Yummy Fruit Company

We are collecting "Yummy" apple stickers for sports equipment for our school.  If you shop at New World or Pak 'n' Save, and buy Yummy apples, please send the labels into school (sheets available from the office).  

You can collect individual stickers on apples or a cut-out label if you buy bags (one cut out label is worth 10 apple stickers). 

We need to send in our entries by end of September, so we don't have long to get sticking!

Thanks for your support,

Netball Tournament - Year 5 team

The PSW Netball Tournament was held at the amazing ASB Sports Centre in Kilbirnie. I am overwhelmed by its size everytime I attend sporting events there. We fielded two teams - the year 6 team was mentioned in a previous blog posting. Our year 5 team was made up of Emma, Madi, Anaiya, Jasmine, Ethan, Germain, Caitlin and Mycke. Our congratulations also go to these students who put in a great day's playing and were wonderful representatives of Amesbury School. Thanks to the parents who supported the students and to Lisa who accompanied the teams. Photos of the year 5 team below. Well done everyone! Suggest you keep an eye out for further Netball Tournament reports on the Harakeke Blog.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scholastic Book Club

The Term 3 set of Scholastic Book Club brochures/order forms will be sent home this week.  They will be distributed once a term from now on.  This  order closes on Friday 3rd August.   Please make cheques payable  to Scholastic New Zealand (NOT Amesbury School) or complete the Credit Card payment form.  No cash payments either please. Completed order forms and payment should be placed in the box in the library beside the touchscreen.  See Carolyn at the library if you have any questions.

PSW Netball Tournament

A  group of senior students took part in the Primary Schools Wellington Netball Tournament. According to a parent, the team gained in confidence as the day went on and they played amazingly well in their last game. Thanks to Amber, Michael, Luke, Max, Grace, Megan, Rosa and Hannah for representing Amesbury School so well. Photos below.

Another first - swimming!

The school was all abuzz last Thursday with the excitement of swimming. I could feel it all around me as I sat in my office. Children, teachers and parents were scurrying here and there getting organised.

Thanks to Angela and Urs who organised the tooing and froing of children to swimming. It was an ever changing landscape - but you got there with a timetable that worked and all students safely transported, and on time! Thanks also to the wonderful parents who have agreed to help with transport.

By all accounts the swimming instructors were fantastic and made our children feel really safe.

There were a few issues with children taking the wrong clothes, but here's hoping that this week will see all children returning home with the right trousers etc.

I am looking forward to experiencing the buzz again this Thursday! Some photos below. Thanks Lisa.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Help With Poi Making

Tēnā Koutou!!

We are currently trying to make poi for the tamariki to practice with but it is taking longer than expected. On Friday 27th July, Crisanna will be holding a poi workshop for parents who would like to help make the required numbers of poi. The workshop will run from 1.40pm- 3.00pm. Please come to Kowhai if you are able to help, and willing to learn :)  If you have any questions email crisanna@amesbury.school.nz

Art Shirts

If anyone has old shirts that we can use for art to protect uniform, we would be very grateful for them.  Please deliver to whanau teachers if you have any.

Many thanks

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kelly Sports at Amesbury School in Term 3!

We are very excited to be offering our two great sports programmes from week 2 of this term for children at Amesbury School;

Sports Beginnings (years 1-3) – Friday 3.05-4.05pm - This program is a great way to challenge and improve your child’s motor skills and coordination within a fun environment. Learn the basics of all sports - throwing, catching, running, jumping, kicking and more through fun drills, exercises and games. We aim to improve spatial awareness, team play and game sense, but above all we aim to have FUN!

Winter Winners (years 4-6) – Friday 3.05-4.05pm - Come and try Mini Olympics, Netball, Ripper Rugby and Football. Learn skills and improve ability, try 2 weeks each of these sports. We use games, drills and exercises to teach game sense and team play. It’s a great way to try new sports, improve old skills or maintain fitness – all while having a great time!


"Towards Community"

Kia ora koutou

Community Evening: Wednesday 8th August, 5.30pm.
One of the important aspects of the development of a new school is the development of the "school as a community". "School as a community" recognises that the school does not exist in isolation but is inextricably linked with all the families in its neighbourhood, but most particularly with the families who attend the school.

However, there are more effective and less effective communities. Developing an effective community is something that needs to be focused upon - not just left to chance. Effective communities behave in certain ways and hold shared visions and values.

This term we want to focus a little on what it means to be a community, what the characteristics are of our community, what the purpose is of the communuity and how we treat each other in our community.

Developing the school as a community is important because we know emphatically that learning happens best when it takes place within the context of an effective community. We further know that learning for children happens best when parents along with teachers and students are an integral part of that community.

Over the next term we want to work together to develop shared understandings about what we all think should be the characteristics of the Amesbury School Community. I hope you will help us with this.

Parents - Melinda Jones, Debbie Dunbar and Simon Law - have agreed to help, as together we develop a "Partnering-Type Document" which will cover the above aspects of the relationship. In order to do this, we need input from as many Amesbury School families as possible.

We are planning a Community Evening for Wednesday 8 August, 5.30pm, and Melinda, Debbie and Simon will run focus group discussions with parents as part of this. This will be the first step in the process of gathering information from which to develop a "partnering-type" document. Please put this date in your diary and plan to be there.

More information later. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Simon, Melinda, Debbie or myself.

Arohanui ki a koutou.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Swimming Caps

Just received words from Easy Swim Tawa!
All children are required to wear caps as it keeps their hair out of their eyes if it is long and also out of the filtration system.   We do sell caps at the pool.  There are two sorts material or Lycra caps which do not keep the hair dry but does keep together or the latex or rubber caps.  These are
in shapes of fish, sharks, cats etc.  These do keep the hair dry but are harder to get on.  Both styles cost $13.00 and can be brought at the pool.

There are lycra caps poolside to borrow if required but a limited number so
we are not able to guarantee availability.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Community Notices - July 2012

Positives/Negatives Photography are coming to Churton Park Kindergarten on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August.  Book in for your FREE photo session by contacting Lindsey Moon at lindseymoon@xtra.co.nz.  Photo prices start from $16.50.  This is an excellent opportunity to get some gorgeous black and white photos of your family, extended family and friends.  Photos will be back well before Christmas so would be a great idea for gifts. 

Would you like to do something fun and meet new people?
Does your child have a performing streak?
If so, then why not get involved in Newlands New Players’ upcoming production, “I’ve got a dinosaur in my backyard”.
This lively New Zealand play tells the story of DJ, who finds a “bitser” dinosaur called Rex in his backyard. DJ and his friends want to help Rex find his way back home – but in order to do so, they each need to overcome a different fear.
We need the following actors to bring this touching story to life:
-         2 boys aged 8 and over
-         2 girls aged 8 and over
-         2 Mums
-         2 Dads 
-         A dinosaur! (youth or adult)
Some singing is required.
Auditions will be held on Sunday 19 August from 4pm-6.30pm in the Newlands Community Centre, 9 Batchelor Street, Newlands. There’s no need to book a time – just turn up.

“For up-to-date information on the exciting developments in the suburb of Churton Park including, the new Churton Park Village, the new Westchester Drive link, section releases and promotions.”
Sunday Market of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables at Johnsonville School, wet or fine!
What?  Freshly grown and  picked fruit, vegetables, and eggs at cheap prices
Where? Johnsonville School's upper and lower courtyards between classrooms
When? Starting on Sunday July 15th, and every Sunday thereafter, 7am till 3pm
Who? Horowhenua market gardeners with their produce
Why? Good value option for Northern suburbs Wellingtonians.  Fundraiser for Johnsonville School
     What else?  Coffee and food stalls too.
Any questions to Johnsonville School office on 478 7155. More info on our web-site http://www.johnsonville.school.nz/
Johnsonville Plunket is holding a Wine tasting Fundraiser on the 18th August. Bring some friends along and join us for a fun night out. There are nearly $3000 in spot prizes and raffles up for grabs! Tickets $25 each. Tickets available from Dani on 477-4688, by emailing events@
johnsonvilleplunket.org.nz or from any of the committee members.

DancePointe Academy has commenced Ballet classes at Amesbury School Hall on Wednesday afternoons for pre-schoolers from 3 1/2yrs to children of 11years of age.     Enrolments for Term 3 are welcome and the new Term begins on Wednesday 18th July.   Children are welcome to join a class as a free trial.   For information regarding class times, ages/levels or general information please phone Sharon Vanesse    021-211222     04-2339773

Khandallah Fairy BalletNew Class – Amesbury School Hall
Fairy Ballet for 3 and 4 year oldsTues 9-9.30am
Free Trial class for all new students
Classes held at Khandallah Town Hall, Ngaio Union Church and now Amesbury School Hall
For Enquires or 2012 Enrolments contact Monique on: 971-2228 or: 027 214-5593

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Bonjour! Just to let you know that the lunchtime French class will start on Tuesday 17 July.
If your children missed out on the demonstration lesson last term and they would like to try out a Free Trial lesson  on Tuesday 17 July please email your childs name to: annick@lcfclubs.co.nz.

If you would like to enrol your child, here is some further information:
The French club will be held in Term 3 every Tuesday at lunchtime at Amesbury School. The first class starts on Tuesday 17 July and is suitable for all Year 1 – 6 children. Children come along to the class with their lunch as soon as lunchtime starts.
The class is taught in a relaxed and informal environment using games, songs, role-play, craft and worksheets. The class will also include a French lunch and a French end of year show. The teachers are fully trained by LCF Fun Languages and native or near native speakers. Depending on the class size, the class will be taught by either one or two teachers.

SPECIAL FIRST TIME OFFER FOR TERM 3 ONLY: $13+gst per lesson(fees are payable per term at the beginning of the term).  A 10% sibling discount is also offered.
(Fees for lunchtime French classes are normally $14.50+gst).

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP (compulsory with 2 options available):
Option 1: Membership pack including French CD, songbook, LCF Clubs backpack, French stickers and a one-year home subscription to Babelzone which is LCF Clubs’ interactive, fun language website (valued at $150 per year).
Cost: $45+gst

Option 2: Membership pack includes French handbook, LCF Clubs backpack, French stickers and a one-year home subscription to Babelzone which is LCF Clubs’ interactive, fun language website (valued at $150 per year).
Cost: $25+gst

To enrol your child please email your child’s name, their age, your contact details or for more information please email: annick@lcfclubs.co.nz or call Annick Withinshaw on 476 3098. Please visit www.lcfclubs.co.nz for more details on other language classes or for further information on LCF Fun Languages. LCF Fun Languages has been running language clubs in New Zealand for over 15 years. ONLINE REGISTRATION IS ALSO AVAILABLE

Monday, July 9, 2012


Amesbury School Swimming lessons begin on Thursday 19 July with Easy Swim at Tawa School Pool.  Children will need their togs and towel in a bag, and any other optional personal items such as goggles or a hair brush.

Transport groups are currently being organised and all parents who have offered to help will be emailed the details for this very soon. A huge thank you to these people!

Amesbury Students at North Island Cross Country Champs

Three Amesbury students, one teacher and two parents competed at the North Island Cross Country Championships at Taupo on the first Saturday of the holidays. It was a beautiful, though very cold, Taupo day and the course, as always, was very firm underfoot. Jamie Talbot, Tais Holley and Ryan Murrihy-Topp ran in the 10 and under age group. Tais was representing the Olympics Club and Jamie and Ryan represented Amesbury School, running in their orange polos. Ryan and Jamie were competing against boys 3 years older and physically much bigger and stronger than themselves, but all three students put themselves on the line and ran hard. Jamie and Ryan, both year three students, were very close throughout the race, finishing one behind the other.

Tais's mum ran exceptionally well in the masters women's race. Demelza ran strongly in the senior women's race and Dean (Jamie's dad) ran hard in the extremely competitive masters men's race.

It was exciting to have Amesbury School represented at the North Island Cross Country Champs - an event that our family has attended every year for probably close to 20 years. Some photos below. Great to see Tais still managing to smile in the closing stages of her race.

Well done, everyone!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

End of Term and Still Singing and Smiling

We are now half way through our first year of operation - who would believe it! With all the Official Celebrations early in the term and then getting into "business as usual" which included the full cycle of teaching, assessment and reporting and a visit by ERO, this term has seemed quite long and teachers are tired and looking forward to a break over the holidays.

But in spite of our current state of tiredness, we remain very excited about the future. Teachers are still smiling (see photos below). Students are still smiling and singing (see below).

Thanks to our wonderful children who make teaching at Amesbury School such a joy every day. Thanks to many parents (and members of the wider community) who have supported us in so many ways - praise and encouragement, offers of help, always welcome food, friendship and fun. I want to thank our wonderful staff who are passionate about the teaching and learning of students and who are always looking for ways to do it better. Thanks also to a great Board of Trustees (both outgoing and incoming, and those who have stayed put) for all the ways you support and encourage us at Amesbury School.

I hope everyone finds a way to thoroughly enjoy the holidays. Travel safe and we will see you all back for an exciting Term 3.

Arohanui ki a koutou


Learning Celebration: Term 2

Our second learning celebration took place Friday afternoon. This was an opportunity for children to showcase some of the learning they have been doing. Children from Koru Hub shared the Super Hero trading cards they have been creating this term. These trading cards provide information about the Super Heroes who work at the school and it identifies each person's super power. There were some fun descriptions of our Super Hero staff and we all learned lots of things about them that we did not already know. Go Art Ninja (Michael)!

Harakeke Hub shared their learning about Matariki in the form of a digital presentation of a variety of Matariki stories. It was really interesting to hear the different stories but also to see the wide variety of ways the groups of students chose to present their stories.

We also all really enjoyed the cooking demonstration by the Harakeke Food Technology Group. I did not get to have a taste of the pizza, but it sure smelled great. And aren't our cooking trolleys amazing!

Thanks to all the parents and whanau who came along to honour our students' learning.

Ka pai, tamariki ma!

Please check out the photos below: