12 May 2017

Year 5 Team Newsletter

Term 2 - 2017

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Kia ora, malo e lelei, kia orana, fakalofa lahi atu, ni hao, bula vinaka.

Welcome to Elm Park School if you are new parents, and welcome back to those who are not. We are all looking forward to the coming term and launching our school-wide inquiry.  


The Teaching Team is as follows:

Room 22: Miss Irene Jack / Miss Nikita D’Souza

Room 23: Mrs Rochelle Bezuidenhout

Room 24: Miss Irma Hughes (Team Leader, Kiwilele Teacher)

Room 25: Miss Jacqui Fisher (Digikid / ICT Lead Teacher)


Theme Focus:

The major theme for the entire year is Celebrations. This term we have launched our school-wide Inquiry about Celebrations, with some games from the past. Some of these games we still play today.  We will be taking the opportunity to involve ourselves in several activities this term that celebrate culture and differences and which reflect our history and growth over time.

We have organised a visit to the Botany Buddhist Temple with the Year 6’s. We will also start the week with some Asian cultural activities like paper cutting and origami.  Later in the last week of school, we will complete some of our inquiry, by visiting the Auckland Museum. As some of these trips have a cost for transport, I would also like to remind you to please ensure that you have paid your child’s Activity Fee for this term.

At school, beginning Week 3, we will be rotating classes and investigating different activities we celebrate in New Zealand. We will then look at international Celebrations to make comparisons. Throughout the year we will be completing activities that celebrate the 50 years of Education at Elm Park School from 1967 to 2017. Our classes will also focus on other celebrations important to Elm Park School, New Zealand and around the world.

We will also be maintaining our Enviro-school initiatives to take care of our environment and work consistently towards a sustainable school and community. As in the past, a focus will be having litter-free lunch boxes.  As always we will be developing the children’s understandings and insights over the entire year within a number of different contexts. As we go along, we will strive to meet children’s interests and develop their strengths with the aim of growing potential leaders for Year 6 leadership positions in 2018.

At the start of the year we began by building positive behaviours for learning.   Research has shown that this is the basis for quality learning and well-being. It has also allowed children to have goals they can strive to achieve by collecting ticks, tokens and values certificates.


The Year 5 expectations:

Your child will put their words onto the google homework doc to learn independently.     

Home learning tasks will be differentiated to take into account different learning needs. Spelling and Maths facts will be tailored to fit your child’s needs. Much of what they will learn in their homework is maintenance work and designed with visual learners’ needs in mind.


Elm Park students have homework that is manageable, enjoyable and not fraught with tension for either you or your child! We acknowledge that parents and caregivers have very busy lives and should not be expected to be “doing” their child’s homework. We have moved away from weekly homework sheets to save our forests and to avoid “busy work”. As the school is using google docs and blogs, it is expected that the homework becomes an extension of what the children are already doing at school. If your child does not have access to a computer at home, please let the classroom teacher know so that your child can use the school laptops in the morning, before school.

If your child wants more activities we encourage playing Maths games as this is an enjoyable way to develop mathematical knowledge. Research overseas shows that playing games has a very positive effect on learning in Mathematics. The permanent homework sheet also has ideas for doing more homework if children have the time, energy and self-motivation. We also encourage the use of the e-Ako Maths Learning Pathways on the NZMaths website.

Hats, Shoes, Hair Accessories, Jewellery & Property:

Hats do not need to be worn in Terms 2 and 3, but it would be a good idea to encourage your child to do so, as this rule is for your child’s safety. We would be really grateful if ALL property is named clearly. The school uniform requires solid black sandals or shoes without other colours. High tops are not acceptable. In Winter, black shoes with black laces are to be worn. Hair accessories must be a solid colour – white, blue or black. The uniform shop now stocks appropriate hair ties. Only small, plain studs are permitted – no hoops or dangly jewellery which can be dangerous at school. We thank you for your co-operation.


P.E and Gymnastics:

The Year 5 classes have their P.E sessions in Term 2 with Mrs Howard, who will be taking weekly sessions with each class. Each class will decide if they would like to do additional P.E and gymnastic lessons. It would be a good idea for your child to have their P.E gear in their bag so they can change into it if required.


Week 2                Thur 11 May                Visit of Yr 5/6 students to Buddhist Temple

                        Fri 12 May                Cultural Diversity Sessions begin

Week 3                Fri 19 May                Cultural Diversity Sessions

Week 4                Fri 26 May                Cultural Diversity Sessions

Week 5                Tue 30 May                ICAS Science

Week 7                Tues 13 June                Photolife

                        Fri 16 June                School Disco

Week 9                Fri 30 July                Y4-6 Principal’s Awards Assembly                        

Week 10                 Fri 7 July                Museum Trip

                        Fri 7 July                Last day of Term  (3.00pm)



Lines of Communication:

If you have any concerns or queries about any issue, please make an appointment to speak to your child’s classroom teacher in the first instance as soon as possible. If you feel the issue still needs discussion please make an appointment to discuss your concerns with the Team Leader (Irma Hughes). Further discussion, if required, proceeds to the Head of the Yr 5-6 Team, Dave Borcher and, if necessary, the Principal, Mrs Plowright. Confidentiality, and correct lines of communication are of the utmost importance to us and we value your co-operation in using this communication channel.


We look forward to a partnership with you all that will enrich the learning of your child and to developing, nurturing and sustaining his or her natural curiosity. Our goal is to empower all learners to achieve their full potential.

Me ka moemoeaa ahau, ko au anake

Me ka moemoeaa a taatou ka taea e taatou

If I am to dream, I dream alone,

If we all dream together then we shall achieve.

Nga mihi nui,

Irma Hughes (Team Leader), Jacqui Fisher, Irene Jack, Nikita D’Souza and Rochelle Bezuidenhout