#17 Newsletter 2023

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Rāmere, te 1 o te Tīhema 2023


Orewarewa whenua, puāwai māhuri

On the fertile ground of Orewa, the sapling blooms

Competition – Each week we will have a competition. One lucky winner will receive a $20 Millie’s Coffee voucher! It’s simple, just email your answer to [email protected]

This Week’s Question/Pātai o te Wiki: 

“Meri Kirihimete” translate to? 

Have something to share? Get in contact with one of our Across School Leaders – we would love to hear from you!

[email protected] Te ao Māori

[email protected] Hauora

[email protected] Future Ready

[email protected] 21st Century Learning


Christmas Waiata in Te Reo Māori


With the festive season approaching, how about learning some classic Christmas songs in te reo Māori. We have scoured the depths of the internet to give you our top 3. Have a go with your tamariki and don’t worry, the video can do the mahi.

Nga mihi nui o te kirihimete

Tangi Pere



The next one is sung very high if you’re brave enough.

Marie Te Po Maori Silent Night – Christmas songs – Love to Sing



Christmas Activities Galore!


Looking for activities to engage students in the final few weeks of Term 4…… Look no further we have collected some of our favourite websites, resources and activities for your students. Check them out below!



FUEL-ED Meri Kirihimete – computational thinking and digital fluency activities

Digital Circus Advent Calendar

Control Alt Achieve – Cool Tools 2023 Advent Calendar

Digital Kete – Christmas Pick-a-Path Story

Oh! Christmas Tree – STEM Challenge

Christmas Card Lesson – Co Spaces EDU

UTB – Minecraft – 12 Days of Christmas



Santa’s Tracker

Grinch Coding Game

Why Christmas – All your questions answered

Google Spotlight Stories

Google Arts and Culture – Colouring Book


How to Draw Activities

The Grinch

Folding Surprise Present



Gingerbread House


2023 Reflections

 Below are some comments/shared learning reflections from our team/their students about 2023 and engaging with the digital curriculum in their kura.

Sharon Mangino 

“Mathigon helps us learn in Maths while having fun.  With the polypads you can use fractions to make music – being able to relate the half notes to fractions worked and helped me to understand fractions in a different way.”

Lisa Everett

“Our favourite programmes that we have learnt this year are Canva and Tinkercad. It’s so cool being able to create our own designs and build our models.”


Josh Pinho 

“During this semester we used MicroBit, MakeCode Arcade and Tinker Cad. I personally enjoyed the entire semester because it was so fun trying out all the different software to code and make things. I learnt how to 3D print which led me to get a 3D printer of my own. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in coding and 3D printing.” – Year 9 Student. 


Lesley Carruthers 

Personally, I’ve learned a great deal in 2024 from working with students across the kura, and exploring computational thinking. 


Leanne Stevenson

CANVA has been a very useful digital tool. We have used it this year for a number of different projects. But the most recent, was when completing our Enterprise Projects. We made posters and designed our product logos and business cards using CANVA. It made it so easy to create top-quality items.



The final slide to help schools implement the Mental Health Education document.  

Link to Slides


Look after your Hauora this Summer





Please check out the new resource on our website about  Te Tiriti/ The Treaty of Waitangi. There are plans there for each of the Phases through to Phase 3 (Phase 4 coming soon!) I will explain these a bit more in our first newsletter for next year.

Structured Literacy with Liz Kane

A couple of weeks ago i was lucky enough to attend a two day Structured Literacy course run by Liz Kane. Many people are familiar with Liz Kane due to her work on ‘The Code’.  Liz is an absolute guru in structured literacy and while I didn’t quite fangirl Liz like one of my colleagues, it was very worthwhile.

We learnt the science behind the pedagogy, the foundational skills required for all learners to become readers and writers, and how a scope and sequence ensures the teaching and learning builds incrementally. Liz helped us develop the explicit teaching skills required for this approach as well as when, how and why to use decodable books for beginning readers. She modelled lessons for us and we looked at assessments. We also spent time looking at the explicit teaching of spelling through using ‘The Code’.

I’m so excited to implement this approach with my class next year. Finally having a scope and sequence to teach makes so much sense. Having students progress from letters to words to sentences. Yes! 

When it comes to spelling, English is a tricky language but to actually learn we have 26 letters, 44 phonemes and 250 representations was mind blowing. No wonder many of our ākonga struggle to spell. ‘The Code’ breaks this all down into sequential lessons with explicit teaching.

Check out Liz Kane on Facebook.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays. 



Kāhui Ako Hui Dates – Term 4 2023


7th December – WSL – Orewa College @ 3.30pm

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Stronger together

Supporting and Empowering all tamariki and Kaiako to learn and achieve personal excellence/hiranga.