Term 4 Whanau Information

By Demelza Topp | Posted: Thursday October 14, 2021

This article contains some basic admin information for Term 4, along with details about our Module 3 inquiry, the focus for our Term 4 health sessions (growing and changing, and consent), and the main events for this term. The following information is relevant for all students throughout the school. If you have more than one child at school, you will receive an email for each child reminding you of who their whānau teacher is. However, you only need to read the following information once.

Welcome back to term 4! A warm welcome to all new students and whānau joining us, and a warm welcome back to all returning families. We hope you have all had a lovely break with family and friends and are well rested and ready for the term ahead. Teachers have been meeting together this week and we are excited to see you all again on Monday.

Whānau Groups

This term Koru has seven whānau groups, Harakeke will continue with five whānau groups and Pōhutukawa will have four whānau groups. The role of your child’s whānau teacher is to act as a learning advocate and to provide pastoral care for your child at school. They are your first port of call if you have any questions, comments or concerns about school or your child. The whānau teacher is not your child’s overall ‘class teacher’, most students will work with multiple teachers throughout the year, but the whānau teacher will have particular oversight of your child.


Our teaching teams for this term are:

Koru: Amaria Picard (team leader), Angela Herman-Childs, Camella Botha, Elena Taylor, Esther Koh, Jemima Colquhoun and Regina Singh

Harakake: Lisa Bengtsson (team leader), Eilís Ni Chaiside, Natalie Douglas, Sonali Singh and Zelda Van Zyl

Pōhutukawa: Kalesha Segatta (team leader), Andy Little, Gar Kee Wu, Onaitta Setefano and Demelza Murrihy-Topp

*We are pleased that Zoe Jiang will be back onsite with us in Term 4, after her unfortunate concussion earlier in term 3. Due to her concussion, she will need to build up to teaching full-time. This means that she will not have a whānau group in term 4, and she will be providing cover for release in both Harakeke and Pōhutukawa.

*Gina Quintero and Yeping He will continue in their role as release teachers in Koru.

*Navy Ny will continue as our amazing literacy learning assistant in Koru and all round super hero! She does such a fantastic job and we are pleased to have her at Amesbury School.


This year, we moved over to LINC-ED Hero for all our communication, learning and administration. Here is a link to more information about this platform and how you sign up. Hero will be regularly updated with information about school admin, events and general educational information, along with information about events in our local community. Most of these articles are reposted on our school website.

We have a school planning site, where planning for all teachers is stored and can be accessed by everyone. No personal student information or names will be included in this planning. Any documents or planning including specific names are kept as private documents and cannot be accessed by anyone except Amesbury staff. Here is the link to our planning site; this link can also be found on the front page of our school website - the small book icon in the top right hand corner of the homescreen.

Module 3 Inquiry

This term, we will continue with our module 3 inquiry - Living Consciously. For the first six weeks, students have been exploring the complex nature of social and environmental issues. They also began to look at how they can contribute to minimising these issues. For the final 6 weeks of this inquiry module, students will identify an issue, either inequity or an aspect of a wicked problem, and design a solution for this issue. The focus will be on using design thinking and a digital tool to create a product. At our learning celebration (Monday 22 November), students will present their designs / prototypes and will seek specific feedback from others. Students will then use the rest of Week 6 to make changes to their designs based on the feedback they have received.

Term 4 Health Module

The focus for our Health module this term will continue to be growing and changing as well as consent (my body is my own and I decide what to do with it). For these health sessions, we will split students in years 1-2, years 3-4 and years 5-6, to ensure students are getting the necessary information at an appropriate age. This will mean year 2 students in Harakeke Hub joining other year 2 students in Koru Hub and year 4 students in Pōhutukawa joining year 4 students in Harakeke Hub for these sessions. This module contains 8 sessions. We ran the first four sessions in term 3 and the last four sessions will run from weeks 1-4 in term 4

*For years 1-2 students, we will explore how our bodies change from birth to adulthood and what we can do (or not do) at each stage. An important aspect of this unit is teaching students the correct names for all body parts, including genitals, and reiterating which parts of our body are private. We will also explore how to care for our bodies, specifically looking at hygiene, exercise and nutrition. We will spend the final few sessions looking at consent (my body is mine and I decide what to do with it), safe and unsafe touching and what I do when I experience touch that hurts or that I do not like, and identifying people in our community who keep us safe.

*For years 3-4 students, we will explore the different stages of growth from birth to old age, including some changes that occur in our bodies during puberty, including menstruation. An important aspect of this unit is using the correct names for all body parts, including genitals. These sessions will involve recognising that people look different and have different physical abilities, and developing a positive image of our own bodies as well as how to positively include others in play. Another aspect of this unit is identifying how we care for our bodies, including exercise and hygiene. Finally, we will cover consent (I am the boss of my body and I decide what to do with it), safe and unsafe touch and what to do when we do not feel comfortable or safe, and who in my life can help me when I feel worried, uncomfortable or unsafe.

*For years 5-6 students, we will explore the stages of life from birth to old age and changes that occur during puberty, such as pimples, menstruation and wet dreams. Students will also learn about the reproductive system and conception. In these sessions, we will be using correct terminology and using illustrations so that students understand what is being taught. We will then move into looking at how we look after our bodies, including truths and myths about hygiene and critically analysing the influence of media on the self-care products we purchase. Our final few sessions will look at the concept of consent (my body is my own and I can decide what I do with it), where I can access support if I do not feel comfortable or safe, and how I can support people with different needs.

For a brief overview of each of the eight sessions we will be teaching in the health module this term, please click on the link for our Health Overview Term 3 & Term 4. If you are uncomfortable with your child participating in any particular session, please let your child’s whānau teacher know before Tuesday 19 October (week 1) - this is when we will have our first session.

Mihi Whakatau and New Parent Information Session

Our Mihi Whakatau was due to be held in week 2 of the term. Unfortunately, due to current alert levels we are unable to run this event. We are aware that we have now had to postpone both our term 3 and term 4 mihi whakatau events, and we are really disappointed about this. We will look to ensure all families who have not yet been formally welcomed to our school will be welcomed at some point when we are able to do so.

Speech Competition

We will be running our Amesbury School speech competition this term. We were very impressed with the level of speech making last year, and we look forward to hearing more amazing speeches this year. As part of our second inquiry module, students have already focused in term 2 and term 3 on writing and delivering an effective speech. All students have delivered their speeches within the hub. However, if your child is keen to present to a wider school audience, they can sign up for the speech competition. Please note that students can either use the speeches they have written at school or they can write a completely new speech.

An article will be sent out in the first week of term 4 with further information about signing up and what this will look like at alert level 2.

School Athletics

Our school athletics for years 3-6 students will be taking place at Newtown Park on Thursday 21 October (first week of this term). For more information about this event, please click on this link. Another article, outlining parents attending this event, will be sent out with the digest. All years 3-6 students will be attending this event. Please note that year 2 students who are based in Harakeke Hub will be joining the Year 0-2 Athletics Day in week 4. During the Year 3-6 Athletics day, the year 2 Harakeke students will be based with the other year 2 students in Koru for the day.

Our years 0-2 Athletics will be happening at school on Tuesday 2 November (week 3 of this term). For more information about this event, please click on this link.

*An article about school events running at alert level 2 will be sent out with the digest this weekend. Please read this information as we will need to make adjustments while we are in alert level 2.


Your child will be issued with everything they need for the year, including books, pencils and felts/colouring pencils. There will be a cost of $45 for the year for this. This cost is charged to school accounts at the start of the year. There has been a slight increase in the stationery fee this year. The fee has been $40 since the school opened in 2012, and it has increased slightly to $45. This includes a subsidised ‘Matific’ (online Maths programme) licence fee, and a subsidised ‘IXL’ (online English and Maths programme) licence fee.

If students have their own personal stationery that they would also like to use, they are very welcome to bring it in and keep it in their tote tray or bag. All students in Pōhutukawa and Harakeke Hubs will be issued with a Chromebook. Younger students will have access to a range of devices. If you would like to purchase a Chromebook so that your child can use it at home and at school, please contact Andy Little ([email protected]).

Clothing and lost property

Named items within hubs will be handed directly back to your child. There will be a small lost property box in the main school office for any unnamed items, but no items with clear names in them will be held here.

In order for all items to be returned to their owners quickly and easily, please ensure that all uniform items are very clearly named with your child’s name before the first day of school. Please be aware that children will often be the people reading the names on clothing, so ensuring that names on all items are clear and easy to read is important. Thanks for your help with this. We recommend purchasing iron-on name tags to make ownership of items very clear. A range of iron-on and stick-on personalised labels can be purchased from "Precious Labels" via the home page in Kindo. As a bonus, school receives a percentage commission on every sale. Permanent marker labelling pens are also available in the uniform section of Kindo.

Spare clothes

We love that many children at Amesbury School find joy in exploring the wet and muddy areas within our grounds. At times, this exploration causes students to become very wet or covered in mud, and they need a spare change of clothes. We do have a limited range of spare clothes at the office, mostly for younger students, and at times, we do run out. To help with this, we ask that all parents make sure there is a spare change of clothing in their child’s bag. We have a good range of second hand uniforms for sale, and you may want to consider using these items for spare clothing to be kept in your child’s bag. Here is the link to more information about second hand uniform sales. Thanks.

Toys/Belongings at school

While we do not generally recommend that students bring toys to school, we do not prohibit this, as there are circumstances under which it is helpful for a child to bring a personal item to school. If your child chooses to bring a toy or another item of interest to school, all teachers will ask that it is put away in their bag during learning time. We cannot take responsibility for lost, traded or broken toys/items, and therefore, we recommend that your child leaves any particularly treasured possessions at home.

First Day of School
On Monday 18 October, school begins for the term at 9:00am. Children can head straight to their hub and sign in on the touchscreens - teachers will be in each hub to help with this. Children will need to come to school in their uniform and bring their school bag, lunch and water bottle. In Term 4 (and Term 1) all children need to wear a school sunhat outside for sports and break times. We ask all students to take their shoes off before heading inside - there are shoe racks outside of Koru and Harakeke to put shoes on. For students who are in Pōhutukawa, place your shoes against the wall under the overhang by the hall kitchen or under the overhang by the piano hall door.

Hubs are open for students from 8:30am onwards. We ask that students do not arrive at school prior to 8:30am, as they are not supervised by teachers at this time. Kelly Club operates a care programme before school for students who need to be at school before 8:30am. Please see the Kelly Club information page on our website for more details.

We encourage all students to be at school by 8:45am. This allows children time to settle in, put their bags away, read the timetable for the day and then say ‘hello’ to friends and teachers before the bell goes.

Lunch time activities
Throughout the year we will have a number of lunchtime activities running. This term, we will have:

  • Monday: Choir with Angela

  • Wednesday: Dance with Regina and Hannah

  • Friday: Mural art with Onaitta

  • The library will be open every lunchtime for students to read books, play board games and create amazing arts and crafts.

Term 4 Dates 2021 

As always, our school events are all added to our school calendar as soon as we become aware of them. Please follow this link to our school calendar, housed on our school website. Some events may be added to our calendar as we go through the term, so please keep an eye on the weeks coming up on the calendar. Here are the main school events to date:

  • Monday 18 October First day of school

  • Tuesday 19 October ICAS science exam (for students who have signed up)

  • Wednesday 20 October Co-curricular lessons begin

  • Wednesday 20 October BoT Meeting

  • Thursday 21 October Years 3-6 athletics

  • Friday 22 October Co-curricular lessons begin

  • Monday 25 October Labour Day - school closed

  • Tuesday 26 October ICAS maths exam (for students who have signed up)

  • Tuesday 2 November Years 0-2 athletics carnival

  • Thursday 4 November Year 5 road patrol training

  • Thursday 4 November Speech competition heats

  • Friday 5 November Speech competition heats

  • Friday 12 November Newlands final orientation day (for enrolled students)

  • Friday 12 November Amesbury celebration gathering

  • Wednesday 17 November BoT meeting

  • Thursday 18 November Years 0-3 swimming carnival

  • Friday 19 November Speech finals

  • Monday 22 November Learning celebration

  • Tuesday 23 November Koru Beach Ed (group 1)

  • Wednesday 24 November Koru Beach Ed (group 2)

  • Wednesday 24 November Final co-curricular lessons

  • Thursday 25 November Pōhutukawa Beach Ed

  • Friday 26 November Final co-curricular lessons

  • Sunday 28 November Kapa haka festival

  • Mon 29 Nov-Fri 3 Dec Camp week

  • Wednesday 1 December Harakeke Beach Ed

  • Mon 6 Dec-Fri 10 Dec Transition week

  • Monday 6 December Reports go live

  • Monday 6 December Online safety parent workshop

  • Tuesday 7 December Online safety parent workshop

  • Wednesday 8 December BoT meeting

  • Thursday 9 December Year 6 day in town

  • Monday 13 December Year 6 graduation dinner

  • Tuesday 14 December Last day of school - school closes at 12:30pm

Enjoy the last few days of the school break and we look forward to seeing you all next week.

Warm regards,

The Amesbury Team