Welcome to our 2016 school year.

By Urs Cunningham | Posted: Saturday January 23, 2016

And so it begins - the excitement of the new school year!This article gives parents and caregivers some housekeeping information about the term ahead.

We hope you have all had a lovely break with your family. As we head towards to the start of Term 1 for 2016 here is some information about the term ahead.  

School organisation

This year the school is organised into three hubs: 

Te Rito Hub is where our youngest students will be based as they start school.  Amaria Picard and Gemma Williamson will be teaching in this hub, with Angela Johnston leading the team. Halie Edmonds will begin teaching in this hub at the start of Term 1, and will move through to Koru Hub with the first cohort of students who move through to Koru later in Term 1 when they show readiness to do so. This hub will be based in Kowhai, the first suite in Koru Hub with the yellow carpet. 

Koru Hub is where our Year 2 and 3 students will be based. As we move through the year some Year 1 students will join this hub, along with Halie Edmonds, as they show appropriate levels of readiness and confidence. Anna Seward and Mike Young will also be teaching in this hub, with Andrea Smith leading the team. This hub will be based in the second and third suites in Koru Hub, where the orange and green carpeted areas are.  We ask that students and parents enter and exit Koru Hub through the big door on the blue matted area, this is where our shoe racks will be located.  

Harakeke Hub houses our Year 4, 5 and 6 students. Lisa Bengtsson, Daniel Miller and Demelza Murrihy-Topp will be teaching in this hub, with Urs Cunningham leading the team. 

You can find out more about our staff this year by following this link to our staff page on our school website. 

Whanau groups: Each hub is organised into a range of different groups to meet learning and social needs. All hubs will have whanau groups, which will be our pastoral care groups. Your child's whanau teacher may not necessarily teach your child for literacy or numeracy, but they will be based in the same hub as your child and they will have overall responsibility for the well being of your child. The whanau teacher will be your first port of call if you need to contact someone at school about your child's learning or well being. 

Meet the Teacher meetings

We will be holding Meet the Teacher meetings for each hub on Wednesday of Week 2 (10th Feb). This is a chance for parents and caregivers to come along and meet the teachers in your child/ren's hub. Teachers will also go through basic housekeeping information for the hub.

Children are very welcome to come along to the meeting. The meetings have been staggered to allow parents with children in multiple hubs to attend each meeting. Teachers not involved in a particular hub meeting will be on duty on the school field and in both playgrounds, meaning students can come along and play safely outside during the meetings. 

Te Rito meeting = 3:15 - 3:45 pm with Gemma, Amaria, Halie and                                            Angela

Koru meeting = 4 - 4:30pm with Andrea, Mike, Anna and Halie

Harakeke meeting - 4:45 - 5:15pm with Lisa, Daniel, Demelza                                                       and  Urs

Student Teachers

We are excited to host three M-Teach student teachers for the year at Amesbury School. These student teachers all have graduate degrees and are studying for their Masters degree this year, along with qualifying to be a teacher. Unlike other teaching courses, the M-Teach course bases students at one school for the whole year. 

We have one student teacher based in each hub: Erin Upjohn Beatson is based in Te Rito Hub, Hazel Urquhart is based in Koru Hub and Shannon Keast is based in Harakeke Hub. They will be at Amesbury all day every Monday, and for Tuesday and Friday mornings throughout the year. 

You can find out a little more about our student teachers on our staff page on our website. 

School events and activities for Term 1

All dates and events known to us at this point have been entered into the school events calendar. This calendar can be found on the front page of our school website: Link to school website.              Link to school calendar.

All students will have school swimming in Term 1, starting in Week 2 and ending in Week 10. Swimming will be every Tuesday.

Year 1 and 2 students = swimming at Johnsonville School Pool between 12:30 - 2pm

Year 5 and 6 students = swimming at Keith Spry Pool between 10:30 - 11:30 am

Year 3 and 4 students = swimming at Keith Spry Pool between 11:30 - 12:30 pm

All students will need to bring togs, a towel and a swimming cap in a secure, named swim bag. Goggles are also recommended but not compulsory. The cost of swimming will be $50 per student. This cost includes the cost of swimming lessons, bus transport each week and the cost of our school swim sports event at the end of Term 1 (date TBC).  Parents of Year 1 and 2 students need to complete an assessment form by Thursday 4th February in order to give Easyswim time to organise the groups. 

Inquiry learning for Term 1

Our inquiry for Term 1 is Living Together. Within this inquiry all hubs will be looking at what relationships are and why we need them; how we contribute to, and maintain,  healthy social relationships; and what we can do when relationships become unhealthy. As part of this inquiry all hubs will be exploring fair play, being a good friend and how we help and support ourselves and others around us. 

What do we need to know and bring for the first day of school?

School starts on Monday 1st Feb at 9am. We strongly recommend that all students arrive at school 8:45am. This allows time for your chil/ren to meet and greet friends and teachers and find where to put their bag and belongings. Teachers will show students where they can put their bags as they arrive in the hub. 

When the bell goes at 9am students can meet in their hub meeting place:

Te Rito = mat space in Kowhai (yellow carpet)

Koru = mat space in Karaka (orange carpet)

Harakeke = mat space in Mawhero (pink carpet)

All students need to bring their lunch, morning tea, drink bottle and named school sunhat in their school bag. Students can choose to bring personal stationery to keep in their tote trays, if they wish, but this is not compulsory. Stationery will be provided by the school. 

We ask that students take their shoes off as they come into learning spaces - shoes shelves are placed outside each hub.

There will be a school powhiri on the first day of school at 2:30pm in the hall. This will be a chance for the school to formally welcome all new students and their whanau to our school community. All parents and caregivers are most welcome to come along. 

General housekeeping

School starts at 9am each day. We strongly recommend that students arrive at school by 8:45am. This allows students time to sign in, put bags and belongings away, meet and greet friends and generally settle in.  

Hubs and learning spaces are open from 8:30 am onwards. Any students arriving before 8:30am need to book into our Before School Care programme, run by Kelly Club and based in the school hall. For more information about Kelly Club Before/After School Care please follow this link

School finishes at 3pm.  Students in Te Rito Hub need to be collected from their hub - teachers will keep all students inside the hub until they are collected. Students from Koru and Hakakeke hubs can be collected from outside of hubs. 

Parking: We have a generous car park, but it can become congested at school drop off and pick up times. We ask that anyone using the car park during these times drives appropriately and only park in marked parking spaces. We have a drop off zone in the car park. This spot is for students who are able to head into school independently or who are already waiting at the drop off zone to be picked up. We ask that parents / caregivers do not park the car and stop in this space - it is only for quick pick ups or set downs. If your child is not waiting in the drop off zone, you will need to move away and park in a parking spot, or drive slowly around the car park again if they are likely to arrive shortly. This all helps to keep arriving and departing students safe.  We thank you for your support with this. 

School Costs

Stationery cost: $40 per student per year. This cost covers all books and general stationery. It also covers $15 towards your child's Mathletics account for the year.

School donations: To enable us to provide quality education and additional resources to enhance learning, we rely on voluntary donations from parents.  The recommended amount for one child at school for the whole year is $240 ($400 for two children, $480 for three children) . Early Bird offer - we offer a 10% discount for all donations made in full by 31st March 2016.  A letter from our Board of Trustees regarding 2016 School Donations will follow by separate email. 

Cooking and Electives fee: $20 per student per year. This covers costs for cooking activities throughout the year. We run electives once per week for 5 weeks every term. Any costs for electives come out of this fee. 

Swimming: $50 for 8 swimming lessons, bus transport to and from lessons and a school swimming sports event at the end of Term 1. 

All costs (with the exception of the School Donation) will be added to students' accounts and can be paid online or at the school office. The cost for other trips and events will be communicated and added to student accounts through the year as they crop up.

If you have any questions about any of this information please don't hesitate to contact your child's whanau teacher. We look forward to seeing many of you at the Meet the Teacher meetings on Wed 10th Feb. 

Warm regards, 

The Amesbury team