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Pohutukawa News   

Term 1

Welcome back to 2019


We would like to welcome you all to the Pohutukawa team community as your child begins their learning journey with us for 2019. We have made a positive start to the year with getting to know the students in our classes and setting out our rules, routines and class programmes.

Some key information to start the year:


Seesaw is our new window into the classroom. It is a sharing platform where students and teachers post snapshots of the learning that happens throughout the year. This might be in the form of a video, photo, document or other various apps. Parents are able to see their child’s personal ‘portfolio’ and give likes or write comments. It is a great way to see what your child is has been working on as well as providing great opportunities for discussion as a family. Your child’s teacher will send home some more information as well as a QR code to sign up to. All you need to do is download the free Seesaw Family app onto your smartphone or device. There will be more information about Seesaw during one of our information evenings. Keep your eye out for an email with more information about this shortly. 


Please ensure your child is wearing the correct summer uniform, with everything clearly named, including their hat. We will be encouraging our students to keep their hats in their school bags so they can be easily located.


We start in term one with 'Who We Are'. This inquiry fits in with our 2019 schoolwide theme of CHANGE.  

In Pohutukawa, our central idea is 'Personal changes that we make have an impact on the world around us'. As a part of this idea, our students will also develop an understanding of different values and worldviews.


Students will be coming home with some great questions to ask of you and your wider whanau - they will want to find out what kind of change has happened over your lives. Perhaps how your whanau came to be in New Zealand, or how an event has changed in your life, or any other kind of change that you would like to talk to them about.


In maths our focus will be on building number knowledge, building skills and strategies in addition and subtraction, multiplication and division as well as exploring statistics, measurement and geometry further. Problem-solving approaches will also be a focus.


Oral language forms an integral part of the literacy program as oral language skills enables the students to process their thinking, explain their understandings, investigate by asking questions and by presenting their findings. It is therefore crucial that the oral language skills are used throughout the curriculum and it stretches far beyond sharing personal experiences known as "news” or "show and tell”. By working in groups and sharing ideas before writing and by having opportunities to present to others, students can develop a deeper understanding of the content covered. 

The classroom reading programmes are based on building a variety of skills and strategies that will enable the students to enjoy reading, comprehend what is being read and use the information in different ways, for example, creating an information report. Other skills include developing fluency, developing decoding strategies and skills that will help when coming across difficult words, discussing the books as well as developing deeper comprehension by making connections between texts, by finding hidden messages and by identifying and describing the plot, setting and characters, just to name a few. 

In writing, we will focus mainly on writing fiction and nonfiction texts including narratives, descriptions and reflective writing. These genres are also linked to our inquiry on change. Students also have opportunities to write about picture prompts or other areas they feel passionate about.

PE Programme - Swimming: 

We will start our Community Swimming lessons in week 3 which will run on Mondays and Wednesdays for four weeks. Please ensure your child has their togs, towel and goggles in a separate waterproof swimming bag and that everything is clearly named.


Home learning: 

Students will be required to complete home learning each week, this is given out on a Friday and handed in the following Friday. This will include daily reading, maths activities using Mathletics, spelling and an item of inquiry. Your child's teacher ensures that these cater to your child's individual needs. These tasks have been designed to develop the skills of time management, critical thinking, and reflection and help to reinforce the learning they have been doing in class. 

Other home learning areas to be focused on:

  • basic facts to 20

  • counting patterns (counting in twos, fives and tens at least)

  • times tables 


Digital Citizenship:

Every term we have a citizenship day across the school. On this day we focus on digital safety, digital literacy and digital capability as per team and class needs. Topics covered in the past include the use of social media, the believability of information online, referencing information sources, email etiquette, research skills and note-taking. 

We are always in our class from 8.30am and warmly welcome you to pop in, but please appreciate that once the bell rings the children need our full attention. If you could possibly have your child at school by 8.45am (at the latest), so they have a chance to prepare themselves for the day ahead and interact with their peers.

A reminder that school starts at 9 am. It is important that your child is at school in time to complete any before school tasks and be ready to start the day on time. If your child is away please phone the school office. Please remember that before school is a busy time in the classroom. If you have any queries or concerns you wish to discuss with your child’s teacher, please make an appointment for an appropriate time. Conversations before school are often interrupted as there are a lot of things happening!

Our Contact Details

We operate an open door policy in the Pohutukawa team, so please come in and see us if you have any issues or concerns. Your child’s teacher is the first port of call, then the team leader. 

Stacey Connolly - Room 10:

Lynda Frazerhurst - Room 14: 

Holly Austin - Room 14:

Chris Morgan - Room 15:

Jalena Eade - Room 16:

We have a busy term ahead of us. Please ensure you keep up to date with important dates shared with you on the calendar, through emails and by notices. Thank you for the support and encouragement given to your child/ren at home and we look forward to a successful end to the year.