Term 1, 2017 Toroa Newsletter #1

Welcome to Term 1 and to the Toroa Whanau.

So here we are, new year, new hub and lots of new faces. Welcome to everyone, and I hope you have all managed to have a great break, and are ready for an exciting and fun-filled year.

We are extremely excited about the new hub, and have enjoyed setting up the spaces with some extra resources and equipment to make learning as engaging as possible.

Our Maker Space is really coming along and I must thank all those people who have managed to donate equipment and companies who have kindly given us money to spend on what we need. We can’t wait to get to work in there!

You will be seeing the same faces in Toroa this year, with the added extras of Mike Jefferies and Bex Osborn. They will be team teaching, with Bex working most mornings and Mike in the afternoons.

Getting to know the team.

We continue to have Caitlin Mummery as our Teaching Assistant, she has a fantastic rapport with students at this level and will continue to be absolutely fantastic supporting our priority learners.

We have a range of skills and expertise within the hub.

Paul Tyson will continue his work promoting Learning with Digital Technologies as well as bringing his expert understanding of inquiry and integrated learning into the hub. He will be continuing to facilitate Code Club, as well as other robotics and STEM learning.

Mason Shaw has a skillset in music and the arts. He will be leading the the school rock band, as well as developing art and drama within the school. His love of literature and film also sees him extending our readers into really analysing text, and his programs have been proven to really get students geared up, ready for high school.

Carolyn Davies is the Team Leader and continues her work developing the Maker Space and promoting integrated, inquiry learning. She will also be continuing to work with the Accelerated Literacy Team.

Bex Osborn joins us from working in Korimako last year, so not only will she already have a strong rapport with many of our year 7s, she is a wonderful teacher who brings lots of experience. Bex will be heading up the team of student leaders, and will act as their mentor throughout the year.

Mike will be working with us in Toroa for the afternoons and we will be utilising his math expertise, as well as excellent sports knowledge.

Events coming up this term: ($ this is a paid activity)

Waitangi Day holiday - Monday 6 February

Toroa camp at Wainui YMCA - 7-10 February ($175)

Technology Starts - Wed 15 February ($)

Puss in Boots- New Zealand Playhouse touring show ($, whole school)

St John’s in-School First Aid training for kids ($ gold coin donation for St John)

Swimming Sports - Friday 24 February - Kaiapoi Aquatic Centre

Toroa Goal Setting Interviews - dates tbc.

SYSTEMS trip- morning out at various CCC sites -Monday 6 March ($)

End of Term - Friday 15 April


Usual teaching will commence in Week 3, due to 2 initial short weeks and a programme of getting to know you, setting expectations and camp.

This year our overarching theme to base our studies on is ‘SYSTEMS’.

This term our major focus will looking at systems through a Social Science lens, and a minor focus with a Health and PE lens.

We will be initially looking at systems in a school and also within our city of Christchurch, thinking about the big questions; What are systems? Why are systems important? What would happen is we didn’t have systems? What affects systems?

Literacy and numeracy will be taught using flexible learning groups that involve tuakana teina teaching and supporting each other. Priority students will be on an accelerated learning plan that will involve extra small group teaching.

Maori education

Marshland School is committed to integrating te reo and tikanga throughout the school. We will be continuing to offer Kapa Haka to our tamariki and we are also very excited to be able to extend an opportunity of extension te reo. This will be focusing on developing skills in reading, writing and speaking te reo. If you are interested in taking up this opportunity for your child, please email Carolyn to express your interest. davies@marshland.school.nz

Hats, and being sunsmart

Please make sure that your child has a hat and wears sunscreen to school. We have sunscreen available for children in the hubs should they forget to put some on in the morning.

Toroa is a BYOD Hub


Toroa is a BYOD environment and it will be great if your child could have a device to use. We do though have some school devices, and rest assured that your child will not be disadvantaged in any way should they not have their own. Should your child have their own device, they will need to complete a BYOD/Internet safety contract to be signed by them and you. Please make sure you and your child go through this as it clearly states the expectations we have at Marshland School.


The students will be travelling to Christchurch East School on Wednesdays with Paul Tyson or Mason Shaw and Caitlin Mummery. Students will need to be at school by 8.25am, as the roll is done early on this day. Please note that the bus will not wait for your child, if they miss the bus, you will need to drop them off at Christchurch East School.


Email is a really quick and easy way to keep in touch, send notes home and also to share work with you. Our emails are davies@marshland.school.nz, shaw@marshland.school.nz,tyson@marshland.school.nz , osborn@marshland.school.nz, jefferies@marshland.school.nz

If you change your contact details, please can you let one of the team know so we can update our correspondence contact list.


Hopefully you are all aware that we are heading to Wainui for camp in week 2. Due to Waitangi weekend, we will be going on Tuesday and coming back on Friday. This gives us 4 wonderful days of fun packed adventure, team building and getting to know each other.

The activities we will be doing are; kayaking, snorkelling, archery, raft building, search and rescue, orienteering, outdoor living, high ropes and the flying fox.

The activities are being organised and taken by the very experienced YMCA team. As you can see, the kids are in for a real treat.

To keep the costs down we will be self-catering, and will be making it as economical, but as nutritious as possible! Big thanks to the ladies who have giving their time helping with this arduous task!

We will be leaving at 9am on Tuesday by bus and returning by 3pm on Friday.

Home learning

The students have AKO sheets to fill in and work on during the week. This is a way for them to self manage their time, and keep up to date with expected workload. Your child has a google folder with AKO explanations as well as the weekly sheet. Their homework will be to gradually work through this document. It is set up so that they will need to do about an hours extra work at home each week to meet weekly requirements.

We always encourage reading, particularly before bed, as a way to wind down and relax.

Science Badges are part of the home learning activities

Science Badges

These have been a really successful way of getting students interested in all areas of science. This is supplementary to the science we will be teaching throughout the year. Children will have a choice of 29 badges http://www.sciencebadges.co.nz/html/badges.html and they will get a task sheet to work through. They need to achieve 20 stars to receive the badge. The work needs to be presented to a high standard. Once they have attained enough stars, they will receive a certificate and badge that will be presented in assembly. We will be encouraging your child to complete the activities by putting star requirements on the AKO sheet each week. The cost of the badge is $6 which will be added to your account.

Marshland vision, the learning Model and link to the New Zealand Curriculum

We pride ourselves at Marshland for having students who are great learners and who all experience success, be it academic, social, cultural, physical or emotional. Our principles and values are linked to the New Zealand Curriculum, and we expect our graduates to leave Marshland as being self-motivated, self-regulated learners throughout life

Reciprocity/Mahitahi Getting Along, Confidence - Relating to Others .

Resilience/Matati Resilience, Persistence - Participating and Contributing, Using language, symbols and texts.

Resourcefulness/Matarau Organisation- Participating and Contributing and Using Language, symbols and texts.

Reflectiveness/Mahara Organisation, Confidence, persistence - Thinking

Respect/Mataara Getting Along- Participating and Contributing, Thinking, Managing Self, Relating to Others.

Our seniors have the opportunity to earn badges that show that they are consistently exhibiting these behaviours. You will be able to see a couple of the year 8s already proudly wearing these badges.

Learner Licenses

Our Learner Licences have been developed to provide students with a clear framework of how to be successful "21st Century" learners.

These skills include, self regulation, time management, thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication, empathy and links in our 5 school values of Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness, Reciprocity and Respect.

The Licences also reflect the student's attitude, motivation and participation towards their learning.

Our Year 7-8 students complete a self assessment form indicating where they feel they are placed within our licence system. The Licences are NOT measured on a student's academic ability. Our goal is to move all of our students along the continuum. We promote 'Tuakana Teina' where students will support and encourage each other to progress through the licences. In conjunction with the teacher, students will have the opportunity to regularly reflect on their progress to determine whether they can move to the next licence.

Student’s phones

Please be aware that it is Toroa policy to collect in student’s phones at the beginning of the day and hand them back at the end. Should you need to contact your child, or them contact you, please do so via emailing teachers, or if it is urgent, the office.


Remember to keep an eye on our website ww.tinyurl.com/toroahub and to send through any photos and details of any extra-curricular successes your child may have achieved so we can showcase them.

Looking forward to a great year,

The Toroa Team

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