Term 1 Whānau Information 2022

By Jemima Colquhoun | Posted: Friday January 28, 2022

This article contains some basic admin information for Term 1, along with details about our Module 1 inquiry, 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 informing you of who their whānau teacher is for 2022. However, you only need to read the following information once.

Welcome to the 2022 school year. 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 summer break with family and friends and are well rested and ready for an exciting year ahead! This email contains some basic admin information for Term 1, along with details about our Module 1 inquiry and main events for this term.

Whānau Groups

This term Koru has six whānau groups, Harakeke has five whānau groups and Pōhutukawa has four whānau groups. The role of your child’s whānau teacher is to act as a learning advocate 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.

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, letting them know who their whānau teacher is. However, you only need to read the following information once!

Staff Farewell
As many of you may be aware, Andy and his whānau recently welcomed another son and moved to Kāpiti where they have purchased a house. Andy has decided to seek employment closer to home so that he is able to spend more time with his whānau. We wish Andy all the best in this move and look forward to hearing from him in the near future.

New Staff
We are happy to introduce four new teachers to our Amesbury team. Hannah, who was a student teacher with us last year, is joining the Koru team. The teachers and students in Koru absolutely adore her outgoing personality and are looking forward to working with her. We welcome Davina. Davina is originally from Australia, and has lived and worked in a number of different countries. She is a beginning teacher in NZ, but has taught and been involved with education in a few different countries such as Chile, Iran, the Netherlands and Italy. Harakeke Hub is thrilled to have Rupert joining their team. Rupert has a long history in accounting and is very excited to begin his teaching journey at Amesbury. He will be teaching full time in Harakeke. Finally, Pōhutukawa hub is very excited to welcome Brent to their team. Brent is a second year teacher who taught at Konini Primary School in Wainuiomata throughout 2021. We are looking forward to working with him.

Finally, we will have two student teachers, Violet and Kezia, joining us two days a week for the whole year. Violet will be based in Harakeke and Kezia will be based in Koru.

We are very happy to have all of our new staff joining us and we are sure they will be very positive additions to our fabulous team.

Our teaching teams for 2022 are:

Koru: Amaria Picard (team leader), Angela Herman-Childs, Camella Botha, Davina de Witts, Esther Koh, Gina Quintero, Hannah Sadler and Kirat Singh (formerly known as Regina)

Harakeke: Jemima Colquhoun (co-team leader), Sonali Singh Nandra (co-team leader), Eilís Ni Chaiside, Natalie Douglas, Rupert Webb

Pōhutukawa: Kalesha Segatta (team leader), Gar Kee Wu, Onaitta Setefano, Brent de Saxe, and Lisa Bengtsson (learning partner)

*Lisa will be a learning partner in Pōhutukawa providing extra support to staff and students.

*Navy Ny will continue as our amazing teacher aide. She does such a fantastic job and we are pleased to have her join us again in 2022.

*Caro will continue to provide library support for 2022.


Last 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. Any notices that can be public will also be published 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.

Module 1 Inquiry

This year we will be running three 12 week inquiries. As such, the timing of our learning celebrations will change this year, to link in with the end of each inquiry and celebrate the learning completed within that module. Our first learning celebration will be Thursday 12th May (Week 2 Term 2).

The first inquiry will run from Week 1 Term 1 to Week 2 Term 2. In this inquiry, students will explore significant historical events in Aotearoa New Zealand history from pre-colonisation to the New Zealand Wars. Each hub will create their own timeline based on the events they explore. Students will then explore significant places in Aotearoa New Zealand; learning their English and Māori names; and exploring the stories behind these names. There is a trip planned in Week 4 Term 1 to Te Papa and Wellington Museum to support this learning. More information will be provided closer to the time.

Mihi Whakatau

Our Term 1 Mihi Whakatau to welcome new students and staff will be held on Friday 4th Februrary. We have had to make some slight changes to this as we are in the ‘red’ level. Each hub will welcome any new children or staff who started last year and this year too. Sadly we cannot have families join us, as we usually would. However, we will ensure that we heartily welcome our new tamariki, and we will send through some photos of the hub Mihi Whakatau. 

Teacher only days in 2022

As part of the Primary Teachers Collective Agreement, schools can take 8 days across three years (2020-2022) as teacher-only days for professional development, without extending the school year. We took two of these days in 2020, two in 2021, and have decided to take three of these days in 2022. Those days are:

*Friday 18th March This will be a day where schools in our local cluster are all spending the day doing professional development.

*Thursday 14th April (The day before Easter Friday) This will be a teacher professional development day.

*Monday 27th June This will be a day where schools in our local cluster are all spending the day doing professional development.

Meet the Amesbury Team

On Friday 11th February we will hold our teacher Meet’N’Greet. Details surrounding this event will be confirmed in the coming week.


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. 

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 Years 5-6 will be issued with a Chromebook and all Years 3-4 will have access to their Chromebook when necessary at school. 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 Gar Kee Wu ([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. Here are a couple of label companies to consider: Stuck on You Name it

Toys/Belongings at school

While we do not recommend that students bring toys to school, we do not have a ban on this. If your child chooses to bring a toy or another item of interest to school, it will need to be put away in their bag during learning time and we cannot take responsibility for lost, traded or broken toys/items. Therefore, we do recommend that your child leaves any treasured possessions at home.

First Day of School
On Tuesday 1st February school begins for the year 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, school sun hat (named), lunch and water bottle. In Term 1 (and Term 4) 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, Harakeke, and Pōhutukawa to put shoes on.

Parents and whānau are encouraged to drop students off at the red level boundary. Where necessary, it is fine for whānau to bring students on site if they are new to the school or they are feeling anxious. If any adults come past the red level boundary, they will be required to wear a mask.

Here are instructions for settling into the hub on the first day:


All students in the nurture group will leave their bags inside the shared space in Kōwhai (yellow carpet). Then find and greet your whānau teacher who will sign you in. When the bell rings at 9am, we will all meet in Kōwhai. All students in the main group will leave their bags on the blue matting area (outside Karaka/Orange). Then come inside to find and greet your whānau teacher who will sign you in. When the bell rings at 9am, we will all meet in Karaka. We will organise students putting their bags and shoes in the right places as part of our day. At the end of the day we ask that parents wait for their children outside the red level school boundaries.

Students are not required to wear masks in Koru given their young age, however, they are most welcome to wear one and teachers will support this.


When the bell rings at 9am, students will meet in the space their bag will be kept. This will be projected on the screens, along with the What’s on. Jemima, Natalie, and Rupert’s whānau will have their bags in Kikorangi, and Eilís and Sonali’s whānau will have their bags in Māwhero. This will also be the place where students will sign in.

We encourage students to check the screen when they get to school. Teachers will sign students in on Tuesday, following this students will sign themselves in every morning. At the end of the day, students are released from the hub. If students are not walking home by themselves or going to Kelly Club, please either wait outside in the courtyard area or organise a meeting point with them.

Students in Harakeke Hub are strongly encouraged to wear masks throughout the day. All staff in Harakeke Hub will be wearing masks throughout the day.


Upon arrival on Tuesday morning, students can choose to put their bag on one of the bag racks under the overhang by the hall kitchen or on the shelving/up against the wall in our ‘bag shed’ on the far side of the hall. Once students have done so, they can then check out the ‘What’s On’ that will be projected on the big screen in the hall. This will let students know what we will be doing throughout the day and give them a chance to ask any questions they may have. Then, students can find and greet their whānau teacher who will make sure they are signed in. We will show the students how to sign in on Tuesday so that they are able to do so independently from Wednesday onwards.

All year 5 and 6 students and teachers are required to wear masks whilst on site. Please ensure that you send your child to school with a suitable mask that they can wear throughout the day. We will ensure to incorporate mask education into our daily programme. We want to avoid mask use becoming a chore and make our tamariki feel more comfortable with wearing them all of the time.

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.

Term 1 Dates 2022 

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:

  • Tue 1 Feb First day of school

  • Wed 2 Feb BoT Meeting

  • Fri 4 Feb Mihi Whakatau (within hubs)

  • Mon 7 Feb School Closed - Waitangi Day observed

  • Tue 8 Feb Volunteer Parent Meeting (Online)

  • Wed 9 Feb Wednesday co-curricular lessons begin

  • Fri 11 Feb Friday co-curricular lesson begin

  • Fri 11 Feb Meet the Amesbury Team (Online)

  • Mon 21 Feb Pōhutukawa Wellington Museum and Te Papa Trip

  • Tue 22 Feb Harakeke Wellington Museum and Te Papa Trip

  • Thu 24 Feb Koru Wellington Museum and Te Papa Trip

  • Mon 28 Feb Electives begin

  • Wed 9 Mar BoT Meeting

  • Tue 15 Mar School Open Morning

  • Wed 6 Apr BoT Meeting

  • Wed 6 Apr Student Conferences (Online)

  • Thu 7 Apr Student Conferences (Online)

  • Thu 14 Apr School Closed (Teacher Only Day)

  • Fri 15th April School Closed (Easter Friday)

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

Warm regards,

The Amesbury Team