Tuesday, 31 March 2015


Group two got away from school nice and early and managed a quick snack and play at the park in Levin.
The next stop was at Taihape, where we got to eat lunch and have a play at the gumboot.  The children realised the artist who produced the gumboot was also the artist that produced the map of New Zealand which is proudly displayed in the main foyer at school.
Finally, we arrived at the National Army Museum in Waiouru.  We had a quick tour followed by a scavenger hunt before dressing up in army attire.
We look forward to tomorrow's adventures.


Army Antics

We are having so much fun this morning at the army museum.
We learned all about ANZACS and  Gallipoli this morning in the army classroom. Next stop, going on an army vehicle. It was really bumpy and many screams were heard (see Jacob's picture below).
All that screaming gave us an appetite so we cooked up a soldier's ration pack in small groups, using small stoves. Sweet and sour chicken with cabin bread, yum!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Pre-dinner Fun!

A great afternoon at the army museum, learning all about our New Zealand war history. Back tomorrow for some work around  remembrance,  medical fun and tripping around the mud in an army truck!
Right now we are having fun at the lodge, sausages and chips coming up, yum!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Celebrating Birthdays @ Amesbury

Kia ora koutou,

At Amesbury School we are all about creating a safe and happy community for our learners. As such it is great to see many people looking for ways to celebrate the birthdays of various students in both hubs. However, the number of lollies and sweet treats being given out regularly to celebrate birthdays has increased.

Our structure of working in two large hubs makes this a bigger issue. In a hub of 97 students it is often someone's birthday and lollies and treats are being given out very regularly. We feel that this is not encouraging a healthy, balanced diet, where treats should only be an occasional event rather than a very regular occurrence. We also feel this puts pressure on parents to provide treats for a large number of students.

As such, we are asking students not to bring lollies or treats to give out in celebration of their birthday. We will look into ways for us to celebrate the birthday of all students consistently and equitably, whilst also looking for practices that will be sustainable as we continue to grow. Both hubs will be talking to students this week to explain this expectation to them. Students may also have some suggestions about sustainable ways to celebrate birthdays at Amesbury.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Our National Library Trip.

We are having a great time at the National Library, finding out much more about Gallipoli.  We are thinking about how hard it was to dig the trenches, keep your feet dry and stay safe.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Home Learning @ Amesbury

Kia ora koutou,

This post is to let you know of our Amesbury School approach to home learning and our recommendations for activities and tasks students can be completing at home to help with their learning.

We recognise that students all have different learning needs and styles. As such, we do not send home hub or group home learning sheets; we prefer a more personalised approach, ensuring that students are completing tasks that help their particular learning needs.  We allocate amounts of time to groups of students and recommend that they spend these blocks of time on activities that help their learning. We then have suggested activities that students can choose from, depending on their needs.

We believe that all learning should be positive and purposeful. If your child is struggling with their home learning, or very reluctant to do it, please feel free to talk to your child’s whanau teacher for some ideas or suggestions. Below are the home learning recommendations for students at Amesbury School, along with some suggested activities, tasks and practise they can be doing:

Year 1 and 2 students: At this age we would expect children to be completing approximately 15 minutes of home learning on at least 4 days through the week.  This can include their reading books, word game and basic facts from their book bags. They might also have a library book to share together.  There won't be new home learning added to the book bag each day (such as on our rotation day on Wednesdays), but there are plenty of books to chose from. Once we have all our online resources set up we will share with you the children's logins for sunshine classics, e-ako and mathletics.

Year 3 and 4 students: At this age we would expect students to be completing learning activities at home for approx 30 minutes a day on at least 4 days through the week. See the list of suggested activities below.

Year 5 and 6 students: At this age we would expect students to be completing learning activities for approx 45 minutes a day on at least 4 days through the week. See the list of suggested activities below.

Suggested activities for Harakeke students:

Most students will have a set of spelling words on their spelling doc to practise each week, ready for their buddy test on Friday. The spelling tab on our Tizmos page gives suggestions of different ways to learn spelling words. It also houses all of our essential spelling lists, along with spelling tests and links to useful spelling games and sites.

Maths: Basic facts - practise, practise, practise! Students should be learning addition and subtraction facts to 10, then to 20; doubles to 10 and then 20; then 2, 5 and 10 times tables, including division facts; then all other times tables, including division facts. Our Tizmos maths tab has lots of helpful links; we recommend the Prototec site as a good one for focused learning of basic facts. It also has links to other basic facts and general maths sites and games, such as Mathletics, e-ako and many more.

Literacy: We would like all students to be completing some personal reading at least 5 times each week (we suggest a bit of home reading time every evening). Most students will not bring home a daily reader, as much of our reading is completed through inquiry learning. At times students may have novels to read as part of their learning programme. They should all have a library book ‘on the go’ at all times. We recommend that students have a library or personal reading book to keep at home and one for school.

Students may use home learning time to continue with their writing from school. Alternatively they can be keeping a journal, emailing relatives, friends and teachers, completing their own creative writing, or using our literacy tab on Tizmos to get some other ideas for writing.

Inquiry and areas of personal passion:
We strongly encourage students to use some home learning time to follow their own personal passions, such as sports, music, languages, art, coding etc. We have some additional tabs on our Tizmos site around some of these areas, such as our Mandarin tab, our Coding tab and our  Inquiry tab.

At times your child’s teachers may contact you to suggest particular activities or practise your child could complete as part of their home learning. If you have any further questions about home learning for your child/ren, please feel free to contact their whanau teacher.

This information has also been added to our school website, so that it can be referred back to. The information is under the ' Our Information' tab, on both the Harakeke Hub and Koru Hub pages.