# 07 Weekly Update 2020

Rāmere, te 27 o Poutū-te-rangi, 2020

Autumn Projects 🍁 🍂

Just because we are in isolation does not mean that we should feel isolated

As we face lockdown and early school holidays, this will be our last newsletter for the term. We thought we’d make it a bumper edition by sharing a number of activities for you and your family to do.

1. Bake bread

This recipe reminds me of my nan. If you can read her handwritten recipe below, you’ll see she wasn’t very particular about quantities. “A carton of this and a pinch of that” would do. I’ve worked it out as the following:

  • 3 cups self raising flour (or 3 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder)
  • One packet dry soup, like onion soup or similar
  • One cup grated cheese
  • One carton plain yoghurt (I belief a bottle of beer will work just as well, but it might be seen as a waste of good beer)

Mix all ingredients together. No need for a fancy mixer, a spoon will do. Tip it all into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 160 degrees for an hour.

2. Knit a beanie

Now this one does require that you have some yarn and needles readily available 🧶 But it is surprising what we have stashed away, saved for a ‘rainy day.’ This YouTube video is surprisingly easy to follow, even if you haven’t picked up your needles in a while. And it’s a great skill to pass on to other members of your household.

3. Go for a pre-dawn walk/ run

As Jacinda has pointed out, we do still need to get out and exercise, now more than ever. As long as we remain within our bubble of contact. Why not head out before sunrise? If you plan to do that, a headlamp is a great way to light your path. They sell them at your local New World and Countdown stores.

4. Learn a new language

You might have heard of Duolingo? If not, it is an app that helps you develop a language by giving you daily lessons. These can be customised to suit your routine. Unfortunately te reo Māori is yet to be included in the extensive list of languages on offer.

Learning with Duolingo is fun and addictive. Earn points for correct answers, race against the clock, and level up. Our bite-sized lessons are effective, and we have proof that it works.

5. Do Yoga online

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 11.29.23 AM

Always wanted to do those yoga and meditation classes? Follow this link here to free classes in yoga. There are many apps you can use, follow the link here to a review list from 2019.

6. What to watch next on Netflix

Looking for some recommendations for movies to watch? Kate Rodger is Newshub Entertainment Editor and Film Reviewer across TV, digital and radio. Follow the link here to her reviews for movies and check them out on Netflix.

Other links to watch online TVNZ on demand

7. Children’s emotional well-being

Debbie Rowberry is a Child Therapist specialising in trauma and anxiety. This video should help your child feel safer in these uncertain times. Visit Willow Therapy Farm for more information and enquire about online Emotion Regulation Therapy to help reduce your child’s anxiety as a result.

And Finally

If you are still looking for inspiration, All Events have compiled a comprehensive list of activities for children and for adults.

The turmoil of COVID-19 Coronavirus has affected everyone’s lives and being out there is the last thing we can promote at this point in time. But saying that, we don’t want you to get bored and have dull-drab time while you can’t move out from your cozy little home. If you are having these constant questions of how you can have some fun even in this time of shutdown then we are here to help you out. We have curated a list of some amazing activities that you can do even when you are at your home: Here is the comprehensive list of ideas compiled by All Events.

Kia Kotahitanga tātau

We are all in this together

# 06 Weekly Update 2020

Rāmere, te 20 o Poutū-te-rangi, 2020

  1. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group: Digital Curriculum Resource

  2. Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori: Mau Rakau

  3. Tuhituhi/ Writing: Moderation form link, student interactive links

  4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: Introducing Learning Tools

  5. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading or Viewing: Covid-19 Graphics

  6. Ngaio pukapuka kōrero/ Professional Development: Cancellation

Needless to say, this has been a stressful week. Business as usual has been anything but usual. We’ve been listening to our students’ fear and anxiety about what’s going on in the world and their disappointment about co-curricular cancellations. Meanwhile, so many people are dealing with even bigger stresses. Caregivers are facing job uncertainty or potential pay cuts. People who are immunocompromised are facing immense fears as we face a pandemic. And in the midst of all of this, teachers have been a refuge and sense of stability for families. But we are also faced with the stress of schools potentially closing. Are we able to offer online instruction? If so, what would that look like? These are the big ideas which face us today. Two steps we might take are:

  1. Get students to be creative. Get them building and constructing. This might mean they need to use old school duct tape, and combine that with some online research.
  2. Give them an outlet to channel their thoughts. Construct a story book, write a song, devise a video, write and act a play. Or how about designing posters to put up around the home and school based on hand hygiene and how to be a virus warrior…not a virus worrier.

This is summed up in the graphic by John Spencer.

1. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths

The maths group is hoping to get together for a couple of hours to work on the promised Digital Curriculum document. The aim is firstly to work through all the pîkau and write short descriptors for each, including the time taken to complete. This comes from the Kia Tākatu website. And then to move onto developing a single doc (with links) that reflects the DC outcomes, in both adult and kids’ speak, with links to relevant resources. We will include lesson ideas and lesson plans. In these uncertain times, we might opt for a virtual meet up rather than a face-to-face one. More details to follow.

2. Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

Mau Rakau/Taiaha

This year we have been growing a mau rakau group that all of our Kāhui Ako kura have been welcome to send their boys. It has been held on Friday mornings at Silverdale School and runs under the instruction of whaea Lee-Anne Wade. Slowly, week by week, different kura began turning up to learn.

Our boys have been immersed in the traditional Māori marshal art and all of the stories and treasures that come with it. The moves we have been taught focus on defence and self-control. It has been beautiful to see young boys from different kura, holding their heads high, moving as one, showing discipline and a developing thirst for the mātauranga Māori/Māori knowledge. Karakia, mihimihi, pepeha and knowledge of the taiaha itself are all part of the process. When whaea Lee-Anne re-tells stories of warriors training on Makoia Island in Rotorua, our boys’ eyes are fixated on her and you could hear a pin drop.

Sadly, this week we have had to put these sessions on hold as a result of COVID-19 but as soon as it is safe to do so, we hope to reinstate this wonderful program.

3. Tuhituhi/ Writing

This week a link to the form for our writing moderation was shared to our in-school writing focus group leaders. The link can be shared to teachers within your school, completed individually or in teams if you would like to take part in completing the pre-moderation meeting assessment. Assessments need to be completed and shared back to sblackburn@wainui.school.nz by midday Wednesday 25th March. Schools are welcome to use this as part of their own writing professional development in moderation within their kura. You can find the link to the moderation form here.

Online resources for students in writing

The Letter Generator tool is designed to help students learn to identify all the essential parts of a business or friendly letter, and then generate letters by typing information into letter templates.

The cube creator is a fun tool where students can summarise information that helps students synthesise what they have learned. The interactive Cube Creator offers four options: Bio cube – biography /autobiography, Mystery cube – develop outlines for their mystery, Story cube – summarise the key elements of the narrative, Create your own cube – students can customise their own cube for their choice of topic.

Stapleless book creator, an easy to use link. Students and teachers alike can use the Stapleless Book for taking notes while reading, making picture books, collecting facts, or creating vocabulary booklets. Students can choose from seven different layouts for the pages of their books.

Theme poetry – for levels 1 and 2 students. In this online tool, junior students can write poems based on shapes from five different categories: Nature, School, Sports, Celebrations, and Shapes. Within these categories, 32 different shapes are included.

4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

Introducing Learning Tools

Having a common set of learning tools across our Kahui Ako can enhance the language we use in learning and outcomes for our students. Below is the poster that many of the staff use at Orewa College. Over the next few weeks, a different tool will be introduced, accompanied with an explanation and an activity to learn how to use it.


In order to succeed in our learning, we need to carefully plan our time, resources and who you work with. This tool can help you plan your sessions wisely, making good use of TIME, PEOPLE and TOOLS.

Scenario: In one of your units of work, you have to create a way to display your ideas. There are two reading resources provided for you. You also are given five questions to answer about the reading resources. You will also have to conduct your own research to help you make your poster.

If I was to plan this task I could use the SUCCEED TOOL.

Blank template below – great to laminate and reuse

5. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading or Viewing

Here is a link to an open letter written by a microbiologist which makes for a simple yet fascinating read:

I’m writing this letter because I want to reach out to you all about Covid-19. If you don’t know me, I’m a microbiologist. I have spent the last 20 years studying infectious microbes. I work at the University of Auckland where my lab is trying to find new antibiotics – not very useful when it comes to stopping viruses, unfortunately, but something we are in growing need of for other reasons. Full article here.

6. Ngaio pukapuka kōrero/ Professional Development

We have postponed the Digital Technologies PD day at Orewa College on March 26th. If you had registered, you should have received an email regarding the cancellation. We will keep you posted regarding a new date.

To keep up to date, follow us on our Kāhui Ako website: https://orewakahuiako.com/


We will continue to run our meetings until further notice. However, we will be offering alternatives to the face-to-face meetings in the form of video conferencing during meeting times. More details will be sent out via email.

Our website is currently undergoing maintenance. The newsletters are still live, but we are working on the resources. We will let you know as soon as this work is complete.

Learner Support Strategy


  • We started our journey looking at the Ministry of Education’s Six Point Learner Support Plan and investigate the Learner Support Register for student needs
  • Our next step in 2019 was to form a Learner Support Team and Panel.
  • Our team gathered numerical data across our Kahui Ako to identify our top four needs: ASD Autism, Add/ADHD, Anxiety and Dys (Dyslexia, Dysgraphia etc)
  • Next we developed our own Learner Support Register and continue to refine where required.
  • We developed our method of informed consent and privacy protocol, with the roll out of our first consent letter to all students.
  • This year we used the learner support registers to transition student information from our Primary Schools to the College.
  • It has been a focus for us to provide Professional Development resources for our Kahui Ako staff.  There are a variety of resources which will be available on our website. More extensive resources are being developed for our four main areas of need. 
  • Our next steps are to create links within our local community to enhance our ability to provide for the needs of our students in the most efficient way.LS
  • Any queries, please contact Leanne Evans directly: l.evans@orewacollege.nz

Writing Group Strategy


  • We started by looking closely at the writing learning progressions (LPF) This has involved hours of robust discussions and we now have a summarised rubric for anyone to use
  • Next we evaluated the individual writing programmes run by each school and we shared lesson ideas
  • In 2019 we introduced a moderation process. After discussion and reflection, we have got to a point where we have a regular termly moderation meeting. Teachers from each school are represented at this meeting and we invite any interested teachers to join in
  • Our current focus is working on posters to align the jargon used in teaching writing across our kāhui ako schoolsWriting
  • Any queries, please contact Sandy Blackburn directly: sblackburn@wainui.school.nz

Maths Group Strategy

Timeline summary

  • We started by looking at the maths learning progressions (LPF)
  • Next we evaluated the individual maths programmes run by each school
  • We introduced the 2020 Digital Curriculum and looked at ways of implementing this curriculum. This is tricky given the variable nature of tech use in the six schools.
  • This is our current focus. We are working hard at refining and producing an easy to access document which has both the progress outcomes, as well as resource linksMaths

Any queries, please contact Linda Rubens directly: l.rubens@orewacollege.nz


# 05 Weekly Update 2020


Rāmere, te 13 o Poutū-te-rangi, 2020

  1. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group: LPF update

  2. Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori: At the marae

  3. Tuhituhi/ Writing: Writing workshop progress

  4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: Learning Ladders

  5. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading or Viewing: Be kind to Yourself

  6. Ngaio pukapuka kōrero/ Professional Development: DT session at Orewa College

1. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths

Linda was fortunate to attend a hui run by the ministry in their Wellington offices on Friday, 6 March. Besides loving any excuse to visit our capital city, she found the day to be both informative and incredibly useful for planning the Kāhui leaders’ way forward with the curriculum progress tools. As a Kāhui Ako we have spent many hours on both the writing and maths learning progressions frameworks. It was therefore encouraging to hear the following quote from one of the attendees:

The LPF gives teachers the big picture, with eloquent descriptors of NZC levels 1 through to 5. PaCT is ‘just’ the tool for generating data. But the data is powerful and has been compared to the well-known Plunket Graph.

The beauty lies in the simplicity of the graph: If the student is underachieving according to the projected graph, intervention is required.

The other beauty of PaCT is the information that can be tailored to suit the audience. Whether it is a report for the Board of Trustees, Kāhui Ako kura, senior leaders, teachers or parents and whānau, the information can be generated quickly and efficiently. If you are interested in reading more, find the link to the full post here.

2. Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

Kia ora e te whānau,

Unfortunately, in light of the latest announcement from the World Health Organisation regarding the classification of Covid19 as a pandemic, we were not able to hold the pōhiri. Apologies to all for the last-minute cancellation but we will be re-booking the event in the future.

This week we have had a busy time at our marae, Te Herenga Waka o Orewa. On Wednesday, tumuaki/ principals and kaiarahi Māori/ Māori leaders met at the marae with Kereama Nathan, our kaumatua.

Kereama took us through the history of the marae over the past 40 years. We then broke into groups to discuss what history, both nationally and locally, we want our tamariki to be taught in our kura; how we will access this information; barriers for teacher delivery and how we can ensure our precious local history can be protected in the future.

Moving forward, we will use the kōrero from our discussions to plan our pathway forward. Leaders are planning a day in the future where all leaders from all local kura including those on the Whanagaparāoa peninsula can come to learn the historical perspectives of the many iwi that can claim the right of mana whenua in our area pre-colonisation.

3. Tuhituhi/ Writing

We held our writing workshop on Wednesday 11th March at Orewa College in the newly refurbished ‘Cafe.’ We welcomed two newly appointed in- school leaders from Silverdale Primary, Rhian Storey and Rebecca Smith as well as Shelley Ross from Wainui School. Our session together was highly productive and we have made huge progress in the tasks we set ourselves in 2019.


  • Draft of all four writing posters completed.



– Persuasive


  • Icons designed for posters
  • ‘Kids Speak’ matrix now being developed, aligned to curriculum levels
  • Self -assessment matrix being developed in surface features from Years 7-10

Next steps


  • Final selection of icons for posters
  • Develop a generic ‘writing process’ poster
  • ‘Testing’ of posters with students / writing focus group teachers
  • Graphics team to work on design
  • Printing of posters and shared to our kura.

Our intention with designing these posters for our Kāhui Ako is to ensure our students and teachers have a common language and understanding of the criteria needed for each of these text types from Years 1-10. Teachers could use them to assist in their teaching and planning, unpacking each step in the posters with their students. Students might use them as a reference of what is required for each text type.

‘Kids Speak’ matrix / Self Assessment matrix

  • Continue to develop these using our reviewed Orewa Kahui matrix, L.P.F. and the New Zealand Curriculum literacy progressions and writing levels.
  • ‘Testing’ with students / writing focus group teachers
  • Sharing to our kura

Thank you to all who attended our workshop, it was a fantastic morning with lots of mahi accomplished.

4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

Learning Ladders

Learning Ladders can help all students to set aims and goals for gaining skills or achievements. There are a number of ways ladders can be used:

  • The goal or aim is on the top rung of the ladder. The steps to achievement are broken up into steps, written above each rung, starting from the bottom, all the way up to the ultimate goal.
  • Each rung can represent a different skill or skill step
  • Each rung could be a learning session with a goal in each rung set for each session. A student progresses once achieved.
  • A check / recognition ladder
  • Students self checking their level of learning and/or achievement
  • Students can record their successes on each rung of the ladder. It becomes a log of success, building upwards.

Twinkle have some good examples:

To create your own simple versions, use paint colour sample cards as the ladders. Start with the lightest colour at the bottom and strongest colour at the top. Each square can be written on (See example below)

5. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading or Viewing:

Whether you’re just starting out or well into your teaching journey, this short video is a great reminder of what we love (and loathe) about our teaching job.

Covid-19: This article takes a closer look at the epidemic curve graph: The three phases of Covid-19 – and how we can make it manageable. How is the coronavirus likely to play out, how does it end, and does our behaviour make a difference? Here infectious diseases expert Dr Siouxsie Wiles walks us through the epidemic curve, with illustrations by Toby Morris: Link to full article here.

6. Ngaio pukapuka kōrero/ Professional Development

We have booked a Digital Technologies PD day at Orewa College on March 26th at 10-3pm. This is Ministry funded and run by Core Education. It will be an introduction to Digital Technologies curriculum, including how to integrate in a variety of curriculum areas and levels. Staff from various schools attended similar sessions last year and feedback has been positive. There is no cost to schools for the training and lunch is provided.

Anyone interested will need to register using this link. It would be fantastic if we could get a few people from each school.

To keep up to date, follow us on our Orewa Kāhui Ako Website. Screen Shot 2020-03-05 at 12.09.57 PM


# 04 Weekly Update 2020


  1. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group: Digital Curriculum update

  2. Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori: Hit the papa running

  3. Tuhituhi/ Writing: What is the purpose of writing?

  4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: Anxiety Perspectives

  5. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading or Viewing: Be kind to Yourself

  6. Ngaio pukapuka kōrero/ Professional Development: DT session at Orewa College

1. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths

As mentioned in the previous newsletter, the maths group has been focused on developing a document that draws all the progressions together, with resources. This will be shared as soon as we feel it is complete. But in the meantime, Jackie Boyd of Silverdale School has shared the following document which has links to an array of fantastic resources. She has included a column with helpful hints to guide you along the way. Link to resources here.

Maths Made Easy workshops with Marie Hirst and Jo Knox for 2020 have been announced. Registration is now open and places are limited. Teachers can book individual workshops or take advantage of their bulk registration offers to save money. Find a link to their website here. Please contact Linda Rubens if you would like to take advantage of the bulk registration.

Maths in Life Poster

2. Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

This year the Māori rōpū/team has hit the papa/ground running. Next Wednesday, we are starting our year off at our local marae, Te Herenga Waka o Orewa. Leaders from across the kāhui, including principals and Māori HOD, are meeting with kaumatua Kereama Nathan to kōrero about where we are at and where we are going.

The following day, new kaiako to the area are being welcomed on the the marae with a pōhiri. The aim is to establish and strengthen links to our marae as a central

place to develop te ao Māori in our community. Once welcomed onto the marae, it becomes your marae, no matter who you are or where you come from. Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Marae is a resource for our kura and a place we are all welcome to be a part of.

Last Saturday, kaiako and principals, were invited to participate in paddling a waka up and down the Weiti river with Kahu from the Ngati Paoa Iwi Trust, the Sir Peter Blake MERC centre and Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Marae. The purpose of the event was to look to the future to find a way we can provide waka experiences for our local tamariki on the Weiti River. Those in attendance had a wonderful time, being immersed in the matauranga/knowledge of Māori tūpuna/ancestors.

3. Tuhituhi/ Writing

Do our students understand the purpose of writing?

When students know what writing that achieves its purpose looks like, they can develop personal learning goals for improving their writing in a specific way.

Good writers:

  • identify the purpose and audience for their writing
  • think carefully about the possible content of their writing
  • gather, select, and organise ideas and information, either in their minds (to be drawn upon when required) or by recording them using graphic organisers such as word lists, flow charts, and mind maps
  • make connections between the ideas and information, ask questions about them, visualise them, analyse them, synthesise them, and evaluate them, in order to decide which ideas and information to include
  • visualise a structure or sequence that conveys their intended meaning
  • decide on the text form that best meets their purpose
  • discuss their planning with other writers and get feedback about it.

What do effective teachers of writing do?

Teachers’ instructional actions are most likely to be effective if they

(M.Gadd 2017 – full set article here )

  • are regarded as purposeful by students
  • include meaningful opportunities for student involvement
  • are explicit and direct
  • are differentiated in terms of student needs
  • lead to opportunities for independence and self-regulation by students



4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

What Having Anxiety Feels Like is  a video by Meghan Reinks (3 min, 23 sec long).

And this is a short video by (4 mins 35 Sec).

At school we can:

  • Understand the anxiety stage and recognising avoidance behaviours
  • Provide or support short-term relief strategies:
    • Breathing techniques
    • Calm space
    • Introductions before an event (e.g. meet teacher)
    • Facing new challenges with a buddy
    • Opportunities to share ideas (non public)
    • Distraction activity (e.g. drawing, smelling flowers- senses)
    • Reassurance
    • Diagrams / flow charts for next steps

5. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading or Viewing

This post is part of TED’s How to Be a Better Human series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from people in the TED community: browse through all the posts here.

6. Ngaio pukapuka kōrero/ Professional Development

We have booked a Digital Technologies PD day at Orewa College on March 26th at 10-3pm. This is Ministry funded and run by Core Education. It will be an introduction to Digital Technologies curriculum, including how to integrate in a variety of curriculum areas and levels. Staff from various schools attended similar sessions last year and feedback has been positive. There is no cost to schools for the training and lunch is provided.

Anyone interested will need to register using the link below. It would be fantastic if we could get a few people from each school.


To keep up to date, follow us on our Orewa Kāhui Ako Website

Screen Shot 2020-03-05 at 12.09.57 PM


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