#37 Weekly Update

Rāmere, te 4 o Hakihea

The time has come to farewell our tumuaki, Kate Shevland. Kate was the major driving force behind the development of the Kāhui ako, back in 2016. Her big picture planning and analytical approach meant that we were able to get going with our focus groups in 2017. We started with an analysis of our literacy and numeracy progressions, and later added te reo me tikanga Māori and Learner Support focus groups. Under Kate’s guidance, we have spent much of the past two years looking at the pathways in these areas.

She prompted us to keep a record of our journey, so we decided to start publishing a weekly newsletter documenting our daily, weekly and monthly developments. From small beginnings, the newsletters developed into publications including professional development opportunities; current professional videos and readings; lesson ideas and resources, and some fun activities. nullDuring Lockdown we even published recipes, knitting patterns and activities that were keeping our families meaningfully occupied. Ironically, and quite fittingly, this marks our 100th published newsletter in its current format. This idea of journaling our activity has proved to be one of Kate’s most inspired ideas as the newsletter has linked us, not only to our local Kāhui ako, but across Aotearoa, as the viewing stats for 2020 attest.

Under Kate’s guidance we have learnt what it means to be calm under pressure, sometimes extreme pressure. We have learnt to be gracious with people even when we disagree with them. We have learnt to distance personal feelings from professional decisions. And we have learnt to admit when we get it wrong, and that there is strength in going back to the drawing board.

He tumuaki nui koe! Ngā mihi ki a Kate.

Ngā Mahi Kirihimete/ Christmas Activities

Looking for ideas to keep the family entertained over the Christmas break? Why not look at this website of Christmas Events 2020, including loads of free events, holiday programmes and fun for the whole family. “Discover fun kid-friendly carol-singing events, FREE Christmas Parades, Christmas markets and festivals and more 2002 family Christmas Events.”

What you need:

  • Small meringues or donuts
  • Whipped cream
  • Strawberries

What to do:

  • Cut the tops off the strawberries
  • Place small amount of whipped cream on the meringue/donut
  • Place upside down strawberry on top of whipped cream
  • Place a small bit of whipped cream on the top of the hat
  • Voila!

Recycled Bottle tops

The teachers at Orewa College have been collecting bottle tops to recycle into artwork. Not only does this raise awareness about environmental issues, it is also such a good collaborative, creative outlet for the students. Well done to Julie Gibson, Sarah O’Donnell and their year 8 students.


“This art project of Rangitoto made from recycled bottle tops took two terms to complete. We finally got it finished on the last day of school.”  8GBS and 8ODL

The importance of literacy and numeracy

With the introduction of the new NCEA literacy and numeracy standards, which can be made available to students as early as year 9, literacy and numeracy is back in the spotlight. As it should be. The new proposed standards are set at level four and five of the curriculum, but there are concerns that the tests could prove to be too tough for some students.

“The NCEA literacy requirement that we have at present did a very poor job of certifying the level of literacy that is required to be a fully functional citizen in the 21st century and the new requirement is far better in that regard. But  the new requirements would not of themselves fix the problem of poor literacy and numeracy when they became mandatory in 2023.

There will be some young people coming through for whom there won’t be time to get them up to scratch. There needs to be some fairly urgent moves to address literacy teaching in the younger years. The draft literacy standards worth five credits each were: being able to read to make sense of written texts, read for different purposes, and read with critical awareness; and writing texts to communicate ideas and information.The 10-credit draft numeracy standard would require students to use maths and statistics to meet the numeracy demands of a range of situations.The new standards were likely to be assessed through a test administered by NZQA.”

If you want to read more, the full article can be found by following this link.

and at the library, it's free!

Kupu hou/ New word

For those of us who struggle to say new kupu/ without breaking it down, here’s how we say Merry Christmas in te reo Māori.

Merry – Meri – Meh-rde

Christmas – Kirihimete – Key-rde-he-me-teh

Try it out with your whānau! They will be impressed!

Meri Kirihimete



Linda, Leanne, Kate, Sandy and Mark

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