Koru & Te Rito Team

Welcome to our Koru & Te Rito Team page

Welcome to Koru and Te Rito Team. We are a group of passionate teachers with responsibility and care of our Year 0, 1, 2 & 3 children. 

As children start in our hubs in the new year they quickly pick up the known routines and continue working with the same teachers.  New entrant children who come in throughout the year will start in the Te Rito team as a smaller nurture group.  They will have a transition programme in place for them. This includes the four year old programme, school visits, early childcare centre visits and new entrant parent sessions.  During children’s first few visits and days at school they will have a buddy to work with to help them learn the ropes. Through the year children from the Te Rito team will move through to the Koru team. 

You can see our learning on our learning blog. To see teacher's planning, follow the planning linkOur links page takes you to our Tizmos page, where we keep the links to sites our students may use for their learning. All school notices are located on our School Blog. You can enter your email address to be advised when the blog has been updated.

Students will be given a Google account as they start at Amesbury and log ins to some digital online learning sites. These are shared with families sometime after they start school.

Who to contact

Everyone is designated a whanau teacher who is responsible for settling children into school, monitoring their learning, be the first port of call with parents and, most importantly, taking responsibility for their overall wellbeing.  During learning time all children have multiple teachers they work with in different areas.

The whanau teacher is the first port of call for parents; if you would like to pass on information about your child, ask any questions or arrange a meeting with teachers, your child's whanau teacher is the best person to contact.


Te Rito Teachers for 2018:

Gemma Williamson - [email protected]

Amaria Picard - [email protected]

Vanessa Shilston - [email protected]  

Gemma Williamson is the team leader with oversight of Te Rito team, as well as a hub teacher.  If you have any issues or concerns, please feel free to contact your child's whanau teacher or Gemma. 


Koru Teachers for 2018:

Katie Horan - [email protected]

Sonali Singh - sonali@amesbury.school.nz

Derek Champion - [email protected]

Andrea Smith - [email protected]

Urs Cunningham - [email protected] (Sabbatical for Term 2)

Alexis Pace - [email protected]

Michael Young - [email protected] (release teacher 2 days per week)

During term 2, Angela Johnston will have oversight of the Koru team. If you have any issues or concerns, please feel free to contact your child's whanau teacher or Angela ([email protected]).


Home Learning in Koru & Te Rito Hubs

Year 0, 1, 2 & 3 students: At this age we would expect students to be completing learning activities at home for approx 15 minutes a day on at least 4 days through the week.


Most days, most children will come home with a reading book.  This is a book they have already worked through with a teacher in a guided reading workshop. Children can read through this book to someone in their family or on their own. These books are at a level where children can work out any tricky words on their own - with support and praise. There may also be previous reading books included for practise around fluency and expression. As children become more independent readers and have success at higher levels, reading texts for homework decreases to one or twice a week. There are times that children may have digital texts or articles for reading. Occasionally school events occur when reading doesn’t take place on a particular day therefore a new book won’t come home. Some children have word games in their reading bag to practice.  

Spelling and Basic Facts

Some children have spelling tasks or basic facts to practise at home to help consolidate learning at school.  These are put in their reading bag along with their reading books. Please ensure your child brings their book bag to school each day.

Additional Home Learning

If you wish to add more learning tasks to what teachers have provided, or if there is no home learning provided on a  particular day, any of these activities can be chosen.  These are also useful for the holidays.  Logins and passwords for your child can be collected from the whanau teacher.

  • Matific
  • IXL
  • E-ako
  • Our Tizmos maths resources have lots of helpful links: Te Rito Hub and Koru Hub.
  • Sunshine Classics
  • Our Tizmos literacy resources have lots of helpful links: Te Rito Hub and Koru Hub.
  • Writing emails, grocery lists and birthday cards are an authentic way to practise writing.
  • Personal reading, visiting the library and being read to all contributes to becoming a successful reader.

We recognise that learning and success comes in many form and places.  We consider playing sport, attending swimming lessons , dance, gymnastics, music, art and other out of school pursuits to be highly valuable and important to the growth of all students.  Playing at a friend’s house and general playing at home is also important for children. We recommend 10-15 minutes of school based curriculum home learning to support these other pursuits. While, there are plenty of options to choose from for additional home learning, it is paramount to give children time to play and not overload them with curriculum based learning.

"The experience of play changes the connections of the neurons at the front end of your brain," says Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. "And without play experience, those neurons aren't changed," he says. It is those changes in the prefrontal cortex during childhood that help wire up the brain's executive control center, which has a critical role in regulating emotions, making plans and solving problems, Pellis says. So play, he adds, is what prepares a young brain for life, love and even schoolwork.

But to produce this sort of brain development, children need to engage in plenty of so-called free play, Pellis says. No coaches, no umpires, no rule books.

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.

Library Books

In Koru & Te Rito Hubs we don’t have a set time to visit the library each week. The library is accessible at all times and students can plan on their timetable when they would like to go.  Workshops are planned to introduce children to the procedures around issuing and returning books.

We have a self-issue system in the library, using an RFID system. This means all students can issue and return books themselves at any time. Our library is open from 8:30am and remains open for a while after school. Students can also use the library during lunch time.

They can issue multiple books at a time and can keep books in their tote tray to read at school, and take some home. Students can also re-issue books, if they are prompted to return them before they have finished reading them.  When returning books they can be placed in the returns box by the external library door. 

If any books are lost or damaged, please contact Rachel Lord ([email protected]). Our student-run system can mean that at times books can go missing in the system or be incorrectly returned. If you receive messages about missing books that you think you do not have at home, please contact Rachel or your child’s whanau teacher to resolve the situation.