Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Year 5 Team Newsletter - Term 1, 2015

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

The Teachers in the Year 5 teaching team welcome you to the new school year and look forward to meeting with you over the year at either the Orientation Evening, Student Led Conferences or School-wide events your children will participate in.


The Teaching Team is as follows:

Room 24: Miss Irma Hughes (Team Leader, Kapa Haka and Pasifika Assistant Teacher)

Room 25: Mrs Sue Hodge (Maths Co-ordinator, Eco Warriors / Enviro Team)

Room 23: Matua Faenza (Kapa Haka Artistic Director and Pasifika Lead Teacher, Boys Class)

Room 29: Mrs Sara Melville (Cultural Co-ordinator, ICT Lead Teacher).


Parent Information Evening

We invite all parents to attend an evening to meet their child’s teacher.  Please meet in the Auditorium on Wednesday 18 February 2015 at 6.00 pm.  At this meeting we will discuss expectations for homework, behaviour, uniform and will outline learning for the year.

Following this meeting, there will be an information session about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).  At Elm Park School this year, five classes will be trialling this option and students in these classes will be offered the choice to bring along a specified laptop to school later in the year.  Parents of Room 28/29 are invited to meet in the Auditorium at 7.00 pm, where we will outline what the trial will involve and the requirements for participating.  Please note that BYOD is only an option and it is not an expectation that any parents purchase the specified device unless they choose to.  All students will continue to have access to school-owned ICT equipment whether or not they are in a BYOD trial class.

Theme Focus:

The major theme for the entire year is Wellbeing. We will be looking at self-responsibility and those who help us in the community to be responsible: our school, our neighbourhood and wider communities. This will include the way we look after each other, 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 positions in 2016.

At the beginning of the year we are working on building a learning-focused community in our classrooms.  Research has shown that this is the basis for quality learning.  We will be discussing what learning looks like, how we learn and what disturbs our learning.  We will build our Class Treaty and use the Cool Schools programme to help the children seek satisfactory solutions to problems they may have in the classroom or playground.  We encourage the children to be responsible for their learning and to talk about this and their next steps.  After testing in Weeks 5-7, we will be discussing the results with the students and determining the next steps in their learning.

In the first Term we will be doing an Art workshop at Te Tuhi called ‘Pacific Stories’.  We will be participating in a Te Tuhi Art project about Matariki in Term 2 and further Art workshops in Terms 3 and 4. As always we rely on your assistance to help us with our visits.


The Year 5 expectations for Rooms 23 to 25 are:

Please test your child on their weekly facts and have them record this test in their homework google doc. Please mark it and add an encouraging comment in the table at the end of the worksheet.

Words not learned yet need to be carried over to another week, for re-learning. Your child will put their words onto the google homework doc to learn independently.     Developing responsible habits by organising the required items for school the next day (bringing P.E uniform and Library books when required).

Please note that R29 will have separate homework expectations and requirements,  which Mrs Melville will advise you of in the near future.

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. There will be videos or websites the children will watch and comment on. They will be asked to read and complete short answer questions, which reflect their understanding of the content.


Elm Park students work hard all day and we hope homework 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. This will be explained at our Parent Information Evening on Wednesday 18th February.

Hats, Shoes, Hair Accessories, Jewellery & Property:

Hats must be worn in Terms 1 and 4 and this rule is enforced for your child’s safety. Please encourage your child to apply sunscreen and wearing a hat outside. 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.



The Year 5 classes have their sessions in Term 4. However some children will be selected for the swimming team and will train with the swimming squad and compete for the school in an inter-school swimming competition later in the term.



Week 1                Fri 6 Feb                Waitangi Day

Week 3                Wed 18 Feb                Parent Information Evening (6.00pm in the Auditorium)

Week 4                Mon 23 Feb                Room 25 Te Tuhi Trip (9:00 am-12.30 pm)

                                                 Room 29 Te Tuhi Trip (11:30 am-2:30 pm)

                                     Tue 27 Feb                Room 23 Te Tuhi Trip (9:00 am-12.30 pm)

                                                Room 24 Te Tuhi Trip (11:30 am-2:30 pm)

Week 7                Tue 17 Mar                Interschool Swimming Sports        

                        Sun 22 Mar                EPS Gala (10:00 am-2:00 pm)        

Week 8                Wed 25 Mar                3-Way Conferences (3:30 pm-8:00 pm)

                        Thu 26 Mar                3-Way Conferences (3:30 pm-8:00 pm)

Week 9                Wed 1 Apr                Principal’s Awards Assembly (Y4-6 : 10:00am)

                        Thu 2 Apr                Term 1 ends (3.00pm)


Lines of Communication:

If you have any concerns or queries about any issue, please make an appointment to speak to your 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), Sue Hodge, Sara Melville, & Faenza Wanoa