Sunday, 30 August 2015

Note from Mrs Wards Blog

Sunday 30th August 2015

Thank you and well done to the students (and parents) from all classes who joined in, participated with various roles and responsibilities, and helped out at the School Mass this morning. It was a lovely celebration and I have had lots of positive feedback. Congratulations to the choir who did a great job of their song during the Offertory.

*Year 3 and 4 Ski Camp: Tuesday 1st – Wednesday 2nd September. Yay!!!!!!

Ski Camp to Snow Farm:
I’m sure that we are all good-to-go for Tuesday. The Year 3 & 4 children from both Rooms 3 and 4 have had some lovely opportunities to get to know each other better over a number of afternoons. They have also asked lots of questions and are getting pretty excited. A key focus for us, apart from all the practicalities of ski-ing and self-managing ourselves and our belongings, is looking out for each other and being positive about relationships. We can show the fruits of the spirit by being aware of how our words and actions affect others at all times.

A note to the parents accompanying us on Camp: I have sent you all an email this morning regarding camp arrangements including the day-groups (these have stayed the same); the bedroom configurations for Tuesday night, and various other matters. Please let me know if you have any further questions. 

Speech Eisteddfods:
Eisteddfod time is fast approaching and the children need to be thinking about what topic they would like to do their Speech Eisteddfod on. I will include criteria for this in next week’s blog and class newsletter, and we will certainly spend some time on this in class once we are back from camp.

Let the good times roll for camp – yee-ha!   

Camp Clothing and Equipment List:
I will add here a copy of the updated Clothing and Equipment List that went home with the children last Thursday, in case anyone has misplaced their sheet. Please note that a sunhat or visor would be very useful, given that we now know helmets are optional.


Large Bag
Sleeping bag, small sheet, pillowcase
Jacket – it needs to be waterproof AND windproof
Polyprop or merino ‘long johns’ underwear
2 pairs trousers/track pants (waterproof if possible). NO JEANS
Overtrousers (waterproof) or ski suit with polyprop/lycra or merino leggings
2 x polyprops, skivvies or shirts, jersey (merino/woollen)
3 pairs socks, thick woollen if possible, a pair of thin socks (for in the hut)
2 changes of underpants
Snacks, eg scroggin
1 towel 
Toilet gear: toothbrush, toothpaste, facecloth, brush/comb, lip balm
Slippers or runners for inside the hut
Gumboots or suitable older shoes for outside the hut
Tissues, pencil, pen, rubber in a small bag
(coloured pencils)
Spare pair of gloves
*Remember, several thin layers are better than one thick layer of clothing. 

Small backpack/day-bag 
Packed lunch and two drinks
Gloves (waterproof)
Sunscreen, goggles/sunglasses
Hi-visibility vest
Hat or balaclava (woollen/polar fleece)

Things we DO and DON’T need:

Extras that the children DON’T need at camp:

Extras that the children DO need at camp:

Blister plasters (ideally with some on their ankles before we leave)
Scroggan (your choice and may include nuts)
Drawing Pad and coloured pencils
Board game if you can spare one (to go in a box on arrival at the bus)
Please don't hesitate to call me or the school if you have any questions or concerns. I'm looking forward to a great camp, and I appreciate that you will have put in a lot of time, money and energy to make this as successful as possible for all the children. Thank you.

Regards, Markelle Ward J

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Skip at church carpark - Message From Marty Rendall

In the church carpark there is a skip for scrap metal.  This is the last weekend.  Please place any scrap metal you want to be rid of into it. All money from this will be used to support school resourcing.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Week 6 Term 3

Wow, on the second half of the term already, time is flying.
With  the number of people sick on Friday, please remember that washing hands well is a good way of stemming the spread of germs. In the light of this sickness it is important that drink bottles are taken home and washed thoroughly each night, then kept in bags rather than together on the shelf.
Wednesday afternoon is the school open afternoon for  parents and their children who will be starting school at St Gerards in 2016.
School Fair: Room 3's box in the office foyer is for bathroom items.  Good to see a few items here already. A great way to support our PTA.
Assembly: 2:10 in the hall. I don't have my planning book at home but I think it will be Room 5's turn, and I've seen photos of a fantastic ski trip at Coronet Peak last week.  Could be exciting sharing. Come and join this school community celebration.
School Mass is this Sunday: students will sit with their classes in the church and wear correct school uniform. Please be seated by 8:55am for a 9:00 start.  If your child is unable to attend please let the teacher know.
Inquiry: what action are we going to take to reduce the amount of chip packets etc in our rubbish?


  1. Reading - record what you have read in the log at the back of the homework book.
  2. Spelling - "ou" sound and spelling patterns
  3. R.E. - quite a few people to finish the sheet about God's gifts
  4. Maths - we are working on knowing our facts to 10 quickly, also our teen facts - 10+1, 10+4 etc, and our doubles and halves - 4+4, 6+6 ….. half of 10, half of 6 …
Have great week.

Year 3 & 4 Ski Camp Update

Ski Camp 1st – 2nd September:
1. There is a camp meeting tomorrow night (Monday) at 7 pm in Room 4 for those parents attending camp, and for anyone else who has questions or concerns. 

2. Medical forms will be sent home tomorrow by Mrs Ward  and must be returned to school as soon as possible please. Parents attending camp can get their forms at the meeting tonight. 

3. Meadow Hut Ski Trip Day 2:
We will review the ability and participation levels of the children at the end of Day 1 before we commit the children and adults to the ski outing to Meadow Hut on Day 2. It is 4.5 km (one way) to Meadow Hut so we will have other options available for less able skiers on that day which will involve staying much closer to the Lodge. 

4. Meals for camp will be as follows:
- packed lunch from home to come in the children’s day bag when we leave on Tuesday morning
- evening meal catered by the Snow Farm Lodge
- breakfast catered by the Snow Farm Lodge
- packed lunch in children’s lunch boxes on Wednesday (this will be prepared early that morning at the Lodge by our adults using food brought with us)

5. Students will be divided into groups and allocated a parent/teacher for the whole of the trip. This is for everyone’s safety and will include bunkrooms. Male parents will be accommodated with male students, and female parents will be accommodated with female students.

6. Departure and arrival times:
The bus will need to be packed and away very close to 7 am so we ask that you meet at the Church car park at 6.45 am on Tuesday morning, 1stSeptember.
We aim to return to school at approximately 3 pm on Wednesday 2ndSeptember.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Year 3 Ski Camp

Ski Camp 1st – 2nd September:
There will be a camp meeting for those attending camp and for any parents who have questions or concerns about the ski trip. At this stage Mrs Ward will pencil in next Monday 24th August at 7 pm in Room 4If this changes she will let you know directly.
There is a lot happening in the school so please contact Mrs Ward early if there are things you are needing to know about the ski trip. J

Some useful information regarding the Snow Farm:
1. Accommodation
We will be staying in Snow Farm Lodge’s standard rooms which are ideally set up for schools with a friendly atmosphere, good food and a multitude of activities. Standard rooms are located on the ground floor and have shared facilities. Catering is provided and all meals are prepared in a certified commercial Kitchen. The Lodge has certified drinking water taken from fresh alpine springs. 
2. Safety
At the Snow Farm, safety is of primary concern. They operate with a small instructor-student ratio of 1:10 and instructors select appropriate terrain for studentʼs ability levels. Most of the trip will be spent in the main basin which contains just over 7km of trail, all visible from the lodge facilities. The Snow Farm has trained first aid staff, and instructors also receive basic first aid training. There is a qualified paramedic on site 24/7.

Week 5 Term 3

A little late this week sorry.
A great Friday = everyone had their homework books at school and handed them into the homework box. This meant no playing catch up on Monday to get spelling and homework checked before it went home again. Can we do this again this week please?
Thank you so much for all the support for the cross country last Wednesday afternoon.  I was really impressed with how well Room 3 students performed after all the sickness - natural fitness for some perhaps.
Congratulations Lars on your excellent Bible reading at Monday morning prayer.  It's always huge to get up there and look at everyone from the pulpit.  Thank you to Sully and Sophie who lit the candle and the sign of the cross, and also Nicolas and Rhianna who set up the prayer table in the church early on Monday morning.  A real team effort.
Last week we started using the "Reading Box" as part of our reading programme.  Feel free to look at what your children are doing to supplement the guided and instructional daily reading.  We are also using an example of the writing in this box, "Judo" to unpack what a speech could look like in the hamburger format.
Mrs Ward is planning a camp meeting for next Monday evening. I will copy and paste the information in a separate post.  There has been a change in staffing for this camp. Miss Passmore will now be the second teacher attending. Mrs Ward informed all the children about this on Monday.  Next week will see the year 3 children work on camp preparation activities in Room 4 some afternoons.
I hope that everyone experienced a little act of kindness tonight as part of our RE learning about God and the gift of people who share God's love.
On Thursday I will be in Dunedin with Alan at a hospital appointment.  Mrs Robyn Cooney is looking forward to working with the children in my absence. (Mrs Lyon is unavailable as she is doing a retraining placement in Room 2).

  1. Reading: every night please.
  2. Spelling: the 'ou' sound - patterns "ou" or "ow".
  3. Maths: Study ladder, What's My Number? This week in class we are working on knowing our facts to 5, 10 and 20. 
  4. RE: A sheet will come home on Wednesday night for you to share at home.  We are learning about God as the gift giver, and that his greatest gift was Jesus.
Have great week.  I have completed lots of testing over the last couple of weeks. Now comes the task of writing reports which take time.  If you are in the classroom, please ask to see any testing, I am happy to share.  After school is probably the best time.  Have a great week.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Waste Audit

Oh my goodness all these wrappers and plastics after only 3 days of school.  What can we do about this to reduce, reuse and recycle?

Anna Robinson helping Nicolas weigh the waste sorted into the plastics bin.  More photos to follow of our hands on waste audit.

Speech Term 2 Eisteddfod

We have looked today at the similarities between our narrative writing - "Little Red Hen's St Gerards Adventure", where we needed a beginning (where? - setting, and who? - characters), middle (what happens) and end (how the story finishes), and how we need to plan for an exciting opening, some interesting information and an ending statement in our speeches.
We have worked on writing some exciting opening sentences for 'Tigers' and 'Ice-cream', and next week will continue to work on the "fillings" for a speech. I was amazed at how many people used really creative questions as a first statement.

Over the next few weeks, think about something that your child is really interested in and knows something about, then begin the speech writing. I am able to help anyone who needs help with this process, but please do not leave it until the week before the eisteddfods. 

For this eisteddfod I would like to see people knowing what they are going to talk about so that they can really present their information to the class. I do not check a copy of the speech to make sure it is word for word. Bring props to show if they will make the speech more exciting, but not so many that we watch you sort props rather than listen to what you are telling us.

Eisteddfods will be heard on:    Monday 21 September 2015

Below is the Year 2 assessment criteria. Year 3 & 4 will be similar and I will post these when they are available.

Year 2 Eisteddfod Speech Assessment
·      Write a speech using the hamburger structure
·      Speak clearly so that the audience can hear all that is said
·      Use expression in our voice
·      Look at our audience
The hamburger has:
1.     An exciting first sentence to grab the audience’s attention (the top of the hamburger).
2.    Some interesting information in the middle (the hamburger fillings).
3.    A sentence to end the speech – could be an interesting thought, or a statement about what has been talked about (the bottom part of the bun – means that the filling doesn’t fall out).



Achieved to a high level
First sentence is exciting

Clear structure
(opening/fillings/ending statement)

Clear voice that we can hear

Use expression in our voices

Look at our audience

Total                                                                   /15

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Years 3 & 4 Ski Camp

Ski Camp 1st – 2nd September:
In anticipation of our Ski Camp, here is a list of clothing requirements for the trip. The weather can be very changeable on the mountains so everyone should come well prepared. If there is something you don’t have, you should beg or borrow it well in advance. Also, please name everything.

Large Bag
Sleeping bag, small sheet, pillowcase
Jacket – it needs to be waterproof AND windproof
Polyprop or merino ‘long johns’ underwear
2 pairs trousers/track pants (waterproof if possible). NO JEANS
Overtrousers (waterproof) or ski suit with polyprop/lycra or merino leggings
2 x polyprops, skivvies or shirts, jersey (merino/woollen)
3 pairs socks, thick woollen if possible, a pair of thin socks (for in the hut)
2 changes of underpants
Snacks, eg scroggin
1 towel 
Toilet gear: toothbrush, toothpaste, facecloth, brush/comb, lip balm
Slippers or runners for inside the hut
Gumboots or suitable older shoes for outside the hut
Tissues, pencil, pen, rubber in a small bag
(coloured pencils optional)
Spare pair of gloves
*Remember, several thin layers are better than one thick layer of clothing.

Small backpack/day-bag
Packed lunch and two drinks
Gloves (waterproof)
Sunscreen, goggles/sunglasses
Hi-visibility vest, helmet attached.
Hat or balaclava (woollen/polar fleece)

Happy planning. Regards, Markelle Ward 

Week 4 Term 3

It's great to have most people back at school again, although I wouldn't say "fit and well". We are reminding everyone to cover their mouths when they cough, sneeze into their arms, and wash their hands carefully.  As the weather is warmer we have also made sure that the classroom gets fresh air to try to disperse the germs.
Cross Country: 

  • On Monday Rooms 3 & 4 will be walking to the course over the Railway Bridge, walking the course then running the course.  We are leaving the school at 1:30 after the afternoon roll is taken. All children need to be wearing their hi viz vests. Thank you Bernie, Gabriela and Helen for indicating that you are able to accompany us.  Be sure that you have a drink bottle and a jacket - it can be chilly after a run. The year 2 run will be one lap with the year 3 course being 2 laps.  I have spoken to Mrs Eastwood and Miss Passmore as our class seems to have been the hardest hit with bugs and consequently we have done the least training and some people only need to run 20 metres before they are coughing.  I will be watching carefully, especially the year 3's who need to run 2 laps.  Perhaps some may need to just do 1 lap this year owing to their health.
  • Wednesday: School Cross Country - lunch will be at 12:00, and we will leave school at 12:30 to walk as a school to the course. Please check the information in the newsletter sent home in week 2 for the exact details. All years 5 - 8 races will be held first followed by years 1 & 2, with years 3 & 4 the last races of the day. Miss Passmore urgently needs the names of parents who can act as marshal for this event.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle sees us doing a 'waste audit' with Anna Robinson on Thursday 13th. Room 3 will be working with her from 9:45 till 10:30, and it would be a great help if there was a parent available to assist us with this initial audit.  Please make sure that your child is wearing covered shoes, which we all will be, as we will be back in our full school uniform again - no running shoes.

PTA Uniform Shop: is open on a Monday after school.  Some people have come asking on other days.  The PTA have indicated that they will open if you have a need. A phone call needs to be made for this to happen.  I do not have keys to see what is in their cupboards.

Gala/Fair: I see the box for mystery bottles is already in place in our corridor (the PTA shop area). Looks as if our busy PTA are well and truly organised well in advance.  Please pop any contributions in here.

Science with Mr Hogue: this Tuesday morning and next Monday afternoon.  I will be testing, ready for the next round of reports.

Friday 14th: Mass led by Room 1 & 2 at 12:00, and assembly led by Room 6 at 2:10.  It would be great to see you there.

Reading: As we set up the use of a reading box which has a variety of text types on individual cards, some children will be bringing home books from their browse boxes.  The reading box will enhance the reading programme this term by giving a range of text types for students to read and think about.  This will not replace the guided reading groups, but will take a day or two to set up and have everyone confident in its use. 

Eistedfod Speeches: These will be heard on 21st September.  I have been asked for the WALTs for these.  I'll post them next week after this week's writing teaching about the "hamburger". (A beginning, a middle and an end.) I always encourage children to talk about something that they are really interested in.  We will be co-creating some speeches in class.

  1. Reading: every night and recorded in reading logs.
  2. Spelling: 'er' spelling pattern again this week.  I am really impressed with how most of us are conducting and tooling.  It is also exciting to see this skill being transferred into their writing.
  3. Maths: "What's My Number?", Study Ladder.  Counting in 2's, 5's, 10's.  Counting to 100 and back again. Estimating whether objects could be less than a metre, about a metre or greater than a metre.
  4. Cross Country Training

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Week 3 Term 3

Thank you to all of you who joined us for mass last Friday.  Your children are always excited to have you celebrate mass with them.  I was so proud of everyone for their participation and leadership.  Thanks too, must go to Celia and Reuben our school Kapahaka leaders who so ably supported Keira and Bobbie, who led our Maori waiata. Just having you sit with them gave them the confidence to do a remarkable job.  Much appreciated and another example of how our senior students support our younger learners.

Thank you Mrs Brydges for visiting us last week and taking us on a tour of the school gardens. We are very happy to be called the Guardians of the Gardens, as we are the class closest to them. In our first week of learning about "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" we thought about what these words mean and what we can do ourselves to make a difference.  For reduce our ideas were: not bringing food in wrappers to school and trying not to use gladwrap or plastic bags. For reuse we thought about bringing food in containers, using special sandwich wrappers and also bringing some of our home food scraps for the school garden.  After our visit to look at how Mrs Brydges and the Enviro Group are making good soil, our last suggestion would really speed up this process by having more scraps to add to the compost heaps.

Help: a number of people did not have their homework books at school on Friday - once again it will be 'catch up Monday'. I sort homework books at the weekend and make sure things are set up for the week. Please encourage your child to take responsibility for having their book at school on Fridays.

This week we will have a variety of visitors in our class.  Father Pat, David Hill and also people from the Education Review Office.  We welcome them to join us in our learning.

Next Monday afternoon we will be going over the Railway Bridge to the cross country track to have our run there. I need 2 or 3 parents to accompany us please. This run will give us the opportunity to try ourselves out on the course that we will run on Wednesday 12th. Last week our training at school was minimal owing to the sickness that was in our class and the cold temperatures outside. We will train again this week, so wear your runners. Sports uniform may be worn - this means green track pants please.

Maths: We continue our learning about measuring length this week and move on to estimating metres.   We will be doing hands on measuring again and also some design, where we are designing and drawing pirate ships to metre specifications. See what you can find out about what pirate ships look like before Wednesday.


Reading: record your reading in your log. This term's reading WALTs are:
  • reading like talking using the punctuation 
  • reading on to the end of a sentence when stuck on a word, then think about words that would fit that start with the initial letter - check that it makes sense, looks right and sounds right 
  • having eyes run ahead of the voice to check the visual details of the anticipated word before an error is made
  • think about the precise message the author is giving and find precise words in the text to answer comprehension questions 
Spelling: For the next 2 weeks we are looking at the 'er' spelling patterns. Most people are now conducting confidently and are able to record the sound lines after tooling. Be sure now to really listen hard to the sounds as they are recorded and check what the piece to learn is in each word.

Maths: Cut a piece of string or cardboard to a 1 metre length and measure around the house and the garden.  Estimate what will be more than a metre, about a metre or less than a metre. Activities on Study Ladder too.

Cross Country Training: Take a run each day.

Looking forward to another great week of learning.  I do hope that we are all fit and well again.  Please remember that washing hands and staying home when really sick helps us all to stay well.