Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thanks and Appreciation From Lesley

It is with some trepidation that I publish this list of people I would like to thank publicly because it is inevitable that I will miss some people who have contributed in wonderful ways. The question you not acknowledge what people have done in case you miss one or two or do you plunge in and take the risk?

I am a "plunge in" kind of person and if I have missed you off the list....please be assured that I have appreciated every contribution made. It's just my memory that will let me down - not that your contribution was not noticed or appreciated at the time.

If you notice that we have missed someone off the list who has made significant contributions to the school, please let me know, because we can always add to the list!

*Our school community - you have walked this journey with us with all its ups and downs. You have entrusted your children to us, even though you didn't know us. Thank you for your faith and grace.

*Our students - Everyday you bring us joy....very occasionally consternation..... but always delight and joy!

*Our staff: You are legends! You took the plunge and joined me on this journey. It's been a bit of a lonely journey at times because nobody but you know how much energy it takes to begin every single thing from scratch. But here we are and next year we begin building on the foundations we have developed. I am so looking forward to continuing this journey with you. Thanks for your passion and your commitment to always growing and developing and providing the best education for children.

*Board of Trustees: Over the last 20 months or so, I have been privileged to work with two wonderful Boards of Trustees. I am very grateful for your commitment to the vision of 21st century learning, but even more, for your commitment to building great relationships. I am increasingly convinced that positive relationships are the foundation for everything good and great.

*To my family/Murrihy whanau - you are always willing to help out and assist in making my plans a reality. This job would be so much more difficult without you. Arohanui ki a koutou.

*Colin Prentice: I am so fortunate to have had you as a mentor and coach for all these years but most particularly this year. You have provided both support and challenge in just the right proportions. You are deeply trustworthy and care very much about the success of Amesbury School. Thank you so much and I look forward to continuing this work together next year

*Novotel and Ibis - Thanks for adopting us. We have appreciated your generosity, support and we have been the richer for this relationship.

*Churton Park New World - Thanks for your generosity, kindness and support. We wish you a blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year.

*International Festival Committee - Crisanna Nel, Fiona White, Sandrine Pelligrin, Mary Jane Robiony-Rogers, Echo Schwinn. It was wonderful to celebrate the diversity of cultures in our community. I know it was hard work, but I also know this event will go from strength to strength as a result of the foundations you have built. This festival was characterised by calmness, positivity and openness. This is a reflection of your approach. Thank you.

*PPT - It took a while to get up and running but eventually we did. Thanks to Debbie Dunbar, Rachel Watson, Jo Lockery, Rebecca Laracy and Lorraine Walmsley who put themselves forward for co-ordinating a range of activities parents can be involved in. You are a group of extremely capable, committed women and I really enjoy working with you. Next year we will begin to see the fruits of this labour and no doubt further expand the work of PPT.

*Towards Community: Thanks Simon Laws, Debbie Dunbar and Melinda Jones for working with me to develop the first draft of our School Community Partnering Agreement. We will continue this work next year - end of year busyness got a bit in the way! I have really enjoyed your perspectives, your commitment to positive relationships and I have felt affirmed by your support.

*Mike Forrest (of Cashmere Avenue School): Thanks so much your willingness to provide an outside perspective this year. It has been both affirming and very helpful for our ongoing growth and development. I am looking forward to continuing this reciprocal relationship into the future.

*Elizabeth Barr: You have worked willingly and in a volunteer capacity throughout the year to get our library up and running and to keep it ticking over. Thank you so much for your commitment to this work and to the success of our school. We looking forward to seeing you back next year.

*To our parent helpers: Life for everyone in the  Amesbury School community is full and busy. Yet many of you made a huge commitment to support the school this year with your time. Thank you so much. Your commitment has been noticed and very much appreciated. You are awesome!

*Building Consortium: Thanks so much for being gracious about my continual emails and being very prompt in fixing up any building related issues. It has been a pleasure and a privilege working with you this year.

*Jenny Wilson: We have so appreciated your determination that Amesbury School would be a success. You have given us everything at your disposal to ensure success. Thanks for doing your job so well and going above and beyond.

*Wellington City Council: You gave us a bigger and better Community Hall. Thank you so much for seeing the possibilities in this opportunity and for working positively to ensure the possibility was realised.

Stonefields School: We love you! Thanks for being such a bright shiny star in the education sector. We know you are always there, leading the way in terms of 21st Century learning, but also in terms of hospitality, positivity and integrity. We have learned so much from you and we know you are only a phone call away.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Paparazzi Pics From the Red Carpet

Here we all are, looking elegant and strutting our stuff on the red carpet. It was a wonderful way to end an incredible year. Thanks to Brooke for being our paparazza for the event. The photos are being sold to Vanity Fair and Entertainment Weekly as we speak. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Harakeke Camp Slideshows

Here are a whole bunch of shots from our two awesome camps! You can download individual (high-res) photos from our Flickr page, which is linked at the start and end of the slideshows. 


The inaugural Amesbury International Festival was a great success!  A big thank you to all the people who supported it, either by attending evening events, helping at the Gala, baking a cake, or coming along on 1st December to enjoy Gala Day. 

A HUGE THANK YOU goes to the parents on the International Festival Committee who put in so much time and energy.  Sandrine Pellegrin, Echo Schwinn and Mary Jane Robiony-Rogers, you were FANTASTIC.

We are still tallying up the money that was raised throughout festival week (both from the Gala and the evening events), but think we will have made a couple of thousand dollars to go towards cultural resources in 2013.  We are thrilled with this, as the festival was never intended as a big fundraiser.  The main objective was to celebrate the diversity of the Amesbury community.  We believe we have achieved this.
Once again, thank you to everyone that contributed to the success of the inaugural Amesbury International Festival.  It was wonderful to see the community coming together, and we hope you enjoyed it.
Fiona White & Crisanna Nel (Festival co-ordinators)

Here are some pictures captured during the week:
Bellevue School's Kapa Haka group perform for us.
Indian Cooking Class and sari demonstration.
Jamie Talbot (Y3) picked the winning ticket number in the Gala Day raffle (pictured with his sister, Alex).
Echo Scwhinn gives a talk on Taiwanese culture, assisted by her daughter, Hannah (Y1).

Harakeke students have a go at performing a Taiwanese dragon dance.
Beautiful kakahu made by clever Koru kids for Gala Day.
The girls practice for their Mandarin Dance performance on Gala Day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Koru Hub Holiday Learning Resources

Over the last two terms many children in koru hub have made accelerated progress in their reading and maths.  In order to retain and strengthen their progress it can be helpful to read and problem solve as much as possible.  Here are some ideas for home learning over the Christmas holidays.

Bug Club          
All children have a user name and password, and everyone has had lots of books added to their library at the appropriate levels.  If they haven't been on for a while the first lot of books will be easy, but the more appropriate leveled ones will appear after the easy ones have been read. Contact your child's whanau teacher if you need the log in details resent or if you need new books.

Most children have a user name and password.  Contact your child's whanau teacher if you need the log in details resent or if you need new books.

Other Maths Sites

E-ako maths - place value and fractions, basic facts and problem solving.
Papatoetoe Central School - basic facts timed and not timed at Stages appropriate for students (Stage 2-3, Stage 4, Stage 5, etc.).

Remember, lots of other experiences and real life learning situations are also very important for a balanced education.

Have fun over the Christmas break and we look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Koru Camp

Wednesday 12th - Thursday 14th December

With less than a week to go now until we take our koru kids on camp, it's time to start thinking about packing our bags.

What all children need to bring:

  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Pyjamas
  • Toiletries
  • Soft toy and book (optional)
  • Fresh clothes for Thursday - layers (mufti)
  • Walking shoes
  • Sun hat
  • Drink Bottle
  • Jacket
  • Anything required for a dry nights sleep (+ addition supplies if needed)
  • Zoo will provide sleeping rolls but bring your own if you wish
Other Important Points
  • Children wear uniform to school on Wednesday and go home at 3pm
  • Eat dinner at home before coming to the zoo
  • Wear mufti to the zoo
  • Children will need to be dropped off at the zoo by parents at 6:55pm on Wednesday
  • We will be back at school by 3pm on Thursday - or earlier if the weather is too bad.
See you there!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Community Notices - December 2012

Do you want to have a go at playing Hockey?
Come along to Hockey ‘Have a Go’ coaching sessions.
3x Weekly Sessions of 1 hour consisting of coaching followed by a game 
We supply Sticks, Balls, Shin pads and every child gets a FREE mouth guard to keep.
Starts   Term 1. on  Tues 19th Feb 2013, includes 26 Feb and 5 Mar
All Sessions are at Raroa Intermediate New Turf , Haumia St Johnsonville
Cost $10 per child. (covers all 3 weeks)
Time : Years 3 to 6,  3.30pm til 4.30pm,  Years 7 & 8  4.30pm til 5.30pm
Email  or Ph Gavin on 0274 496-210 now to book your place. Places are limited  

Citywrigglers - website for Wellington parents
See all of Wellington's holiday programmes and classes in one place, plus Wellington playgrounds, activities, events and more:

Knowledge Shop is a specialist English tuition centre for students of all ability levels, from year 4 through to 13. We teach strategies to help students develop comprehension skills, reading habits, spelling, punctuation, grammar, writing style and essay structure. Our programme is developed to help students succeed within the New Zealand schooling system and beyond.
Please contact us for a free diagnostic test and consultation for your child, or to find out more about our programme.
Phone: John Horrell 478 8000  Email: 
2013 SCHOOL HOLIDAY FUN for ages 5-12yrs at Bigair Gym; Jan 14th –Feb 1st. Drop off your kids and their friends for some energy sapping fun! Kids learn gym, play games and play on our blow up Air Tumble Trampoline. Half day 8.30am-1pm or 1-5.30pm $20. Full day 8.30am-5.30pm $36 for working parents. Ph 232 3508.  Book a FREE trial at BIGAIR GYM in our Trampoline, Gravity Busters or Team Extreme Classes now. Ph 232 3508 
Calling keen young singers, 8-14 years old, to join Wellington’s exciting new children’s choir!  Led by experienced vocal tutors, Wellington Young Voices will be launched in February 2013, with rehearsals on Mondays, 4-6pm in Central Wellington. Visit  for more information and a registration form or contact Judy McKoy at  or phone (04) 233 9365
Raroa Music Centre offers Saturday morning group music lessons for primary school children at low cost.  Classes include choir, keyboard, recorder, drums, guitar, violin,
cello, clarinet, flute and trumpet.
To enrol for 2013 visit our website at and enrol online.  Enrolments open in mid-January. 
Kids Have Fun At Craft House - School Holiday Classes in Creativity. If you are looking for something different to do these holidays ... come to Craft House. We are offering two days of Christmas themed classes on 19, 20 December and also have a fun two weeks planned for the end of January.Tie dyeing, card making, scrapbooking, felting, calendars, canvas art  ... and much, much more. Our Dec/January Schedule can be found at or call into Craft House at 47 - 53 Hutt Rd, Thorndon (above Lighting Direct.)
For more information or to book ...  call 499 4499 or e-mail:

Parenting Programme for Parents of Children aged 3 – 7
Are you looking for a Parenting Programme that is proven to change behaviour? The Incredible Families Charitable Trust is accepting enrolments for the following Incredible Years Parenting Programmes beginning February 2013. Enrol now to avoid disappointment!  Details are:
Johnsonville: Fridays, begins 22 February, 9.30-12.00 noon
Mt Victoria: Wednesdays, begins 20 February, 9.30 -12.00 noon
Petone: Thursdays, begins 21 February, 9.30-12.00 noon
Course Duration: 14 weekly sessions, excluding school holidays.
Cost: Free. These courses are funded by the Ministry of Education.
Content:  Play, Praise and Rewards, Effective Limit Setting, Handling Misbehaviour. 
Facilitators: Our facilitators are health and/or education professionals experienced with working with families including those with special needs.
For more information or an enrolment form please contact Vicki, Incredible Families Charitable Trust, text or phone 027 474 5075, email or visit

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weetbix TRYathlon - are you game to TRY?

Weetbix TRYathlons is the largest triathlon series for kids in the world. The series encourages Kiwi kids of all sporting abilities, aged between 7yrs and 15 yrs, to get out and give it a TRY.

Some families from our school are interested in being involved and we would like to encourage others to give it a go. To assist this, we will organise some practice here at school (especially transition practices as a great deal of time is saved with a good transition).

Details of Wellington Weetbix TRYathlon:

When: Sunday, 10 February,
Where: Hutt Recreation Grounds
Who: Kiwi kids aged 7 - 15 years.
What: Swimming, cycling, running.

Enter as an individual and do the whole TRYathlon yourself or put a team together and do one discipline each.


You may register individually or as a school group entry. The registration cost is slightly cheaper if you register through the school link and the school will go into a draw for some sporting goods.


Entry fees are: $39.95 or $33.95 for an individual if you register by 21 December.
                      $35.00 or $33.95 (per team member) for a team if registered by 21 December
                      $26.95 per event if registered for two or more events in the series. 

All children receive a participation medal, a TRYathlon t-shirt and Event Kit Bag, a certificate a complimentary Breakfast plus the chance to win awesome spot prizes and meet their sporting heroes.

We you are interested in being involved in this, please contact Lesley ASAP.

The Wellington TRYathlon is very early in the school year. We are thinking of registering for another TRYathlon later in the first term e.g. Palmerston North (27th March) having experienced one and having had more time to practice more for the second one.

Please let Lesley know if you might be interested in this option.

Lesley or Liza will contact you with further information as it comes to hand.

Please go online to: to register and to receive further information.

In the meantime, get training using the online training programme which can be found at:

Look forward to hearing from you.



What happen this week in koru I hear you ask? Well here are week 7's highlights