Toroa newsletter Term 2, 2017.

Kia ora whanau,

We hope you have had a great break, what amazing weather we have had. It has made such a difference to be able to get out and enjoy the outdoors again. The team have all had a well-earned break after the hectic, but rewarding end to last term and we are raring to go again!

This term marks the start of winter, and there is now no need for hats, but please double check that your child’s jacket is clearly named. We found lots of unnamed lost property last term! Speaking of uniform, we expect our seniors to be role models and so please make sure your child wears the correct school uniform each day, including black shoes with black laces. Please be advised that uniform long pants are available at the Warehouse, Belfast.

A full list of the uniform is on the school website.

We will be back into the swing of it straight way this term with assessments being the first port of call. This gives us a clear indication of what the students have already learned and will give us a very good idea of your child’s next steps, and what we need to do to ensure progress this year.

The assessments we use, as well as anecdotal observations from group work, discussions and book and online work, are easTTles and Progressive Achievement Tests (PATs- these are standardised tests).

With the data that we collect we will be putting together an interim report which will be discussed at your child’s Student-Led Learning Conference in week 8.

We will be continuing with our school-wide focus on developing and extending student’s progress in writing. As a staff we are currently evaluating our practice and having professional development to improve and share knowledge on the teaching of writing. We have already seen some excellent results and increased confidence in our student’s writing.

Reading will continue with some groups looking at novel studies and some at more factual reports, focusing on the structure and language used in them.

Numeracy continues with a strong focus on problem solving and using word problems to understand all areas of mathematics. Many of our students struggle to understand what a question is asking them in mathematics.

Inquiry this term will be looking at systems through a science lens with a minor look at technology. We will be looking at Earth’s systems, Interacting systems and even some astronomical systems. This will tie in nicely to our look at Matariki in the latter weeks of the term. We hope to get a field trip and some experts in to chat with us, although these are still tbc. Please be advised that if we get to go on a field trip, there will be a cost for the bus, approx $7 which will be added to your account.

As an extra this term we have Te reo Maori being taught by Whaea Debby Lewis from Kapa Hikitia. This is the same company that teach our Kapa Haka. The lessons will be on a Wednesday at 2-2.30pm. Your child does not have to have any prior knowledge of maori language, nor do they have to identify as maori. We would though encourage particularly our Maori students to take up this great opportunity. Please complete the form (click on the link below) if you would like your child to do this.

We also have our Maori@Marshland blog which keeps you updated on how we are learning, using and embracing Maori at Marshland School.

We will be doing Cross Country practise in week 1, so please remind your children to bring shoes in every day to run in, as the field may be muddy. We will starting practise on MONDAY.

This term is absolutely jam-packed with activities and things going on. Keep an eye on the fortnightly newsletter from Jacqui Pascoe for school updates as well as our See-Saw blog for happenings in the hub.

Dates for your diary ($ = incurs a cost)

Fri 5 May : Rugby Fun Day (selected students)

Tues 9 May : School Cross Country

Wed 10 May : Movie Night fundraiser ($10 for a pizza and a movie. 5.30pm food and movie at 6-8pm)

Fri 12 May : Y8 Transition to High School Day (SBHS transport provided, leave at 9am return at 2.45pm)

Wed 17 May : Hot Dog fundraiser

Fri 19 May: ICE trampoline, Rangiora

(Senior session 7-8.30pm, $12, Junior session 6-7pm, $8 tickets from office before school Tues and Thurs, Week 1)

Mon 22 May : STRIKE percussion show ($ on account)

Tues 30 May : NYLD for Y8 Head Position and committee leaders

Tues 13 June : Leader’s trip to Wellington ($)

Fri 16 June : School Disco ($)

Mon 19 and Tues 20 June : Student Led Learning Conferences

Tues 27 June : Positive Puberty Night - Parents information evening @ ** (approx 90 mins)

Fri 7 July : Term 2 ends 😁

Fri 8 Sept : Skiing @ Mt Hutt ($)

Science Badges ($)

This term you will see a science badge cost of $6 on your account.

As I am sure you are aware, in Term 1 the Toroa students have been working on their chosen science badges. The work is checked and discussed, signed off and then this gets totalled up for the students to be awarded the badge. If your child chooses to do more badges (there are so many to choose from!), please be aware there will be a $6 charge for each badge which will be added to your account.

Science badge work will be optional this term, unless you child is still needing to earn their first badge.

5R badges- Marshland School values

5R badges

An initiative that we have for the intermediate students are the 5 R badges. These can be awarded if the students have shown the values of Reciprocity, Reflectiveness, Resilience, Resourcefulness and Respect.

Students will be given booklets to get signed off, at home and at school. The badges are sew or iron-on badges that look amazing on T-shirts or Senior jackets and are worn with mana.

Positive puberty education

This term we have an outside agency and advisors coming to teach our students about Positive Puberty, and have a community evening about puberty education.

The parents information evening includes all aspects of what is included in the programme for students to allow for informed consent, some anatomy and physiology 101 memory joggers, an outline of normal growth and development expected at puberty, showing of all available menstrual products (incl. recyclable, washable, organic and supermarket items) along with an overview of the NZ sexuality guidelines.

Included throughout are tween parenting tips! It lasts about 75 mins.

The Student Programme itself covers:

· Changes are normal in body & mind.

· Changes happen at different times for different people.

· Naming hormones and changes.

· Particular changes in male & female anatomy. Physical, social & emotional.

· How to manage changes.

· Personal Hygiene, Nutrition, Hydration, Exercise, Sleep.

· Body acceptance.

· Feelings. Emotions.

· Greater responsibility. Building trust.

· Safe choices for handling changing emotions/feelings.

· Techniques for good decision making. Critical thinking skills.

· Self Esteem. Individuality. Body Wonderment.

· Media influence: 'what's real' . Examples of image tweaking.

· Accurate information. Correct words for parts of the body.

· Simple diagrams of anatomy.

· Sharing the good things & fears about becoming a grown up.

· Look at pads & tampons (including environmental options). Talk about the "Old days". School policy for disposal. (Girls only).

· Where to go for answers to questions and or fears: People you trust and have the knowledge. Resources.

· An opportunity for questions (we encourage the use of a sealed question box).

In addition: for Yr 7/8 Programme:

· Cyber safety: password protection, privacy settings, reporting & more.

· OK/Not OK : Looking after self activity.

· Anti-bullying: Media manners. Safe communication online.

The programme is about puberty education and related age appropriate issues (i.e. self esteem, individuality, media awareness), not sex education.

Winter Sport starts in week 5. Students will need to have their sports uniforms on this day and even if rain looks likely, please send sports kit anyway, as our fickle weather means we cannot always trust the weather report!

Please direct any questions re. Sport to Blair Cook in Korimako as he is the sports coordinator. If you are able to offer coaching or support at any point for the teams, please let him know as it will be greatly appreciated.

As always, if you need to get in touch with any of the Toroa teachers, you are always welcome to come in a see us, or else email and we will make a time that suits all parties.

We look forward to another great term, and look forward to seeing all whanau at the Student Led Learning Conferences.

Nga mihi nui,

The Toroa Team

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