Enjoy the holiday

School is closed for the summer.

Have a safe and happy break.

School opens again on Monday 2 February.

We kick off the 2009 school year TOGETHER as a school community on

Monday 2nd February.

We are starting the new year with a


Mums, Dads, Grandparents and friends come on down to school from 8:15 am. Bring your own sausages, bacon, eggs or cereals or what ever you use to fuel your day. Cook yourself up a breakfast to give you energy for the new school year.

There will be BBQs provided for your use.

A great time to meet your new class teachers, classmates and fellow parents.

The children will head off to their new classes around 9:00 am.

Sounds like Christmas

What a thrill to see our Junior Choir bringing the Christmas spirit to the residents of nearby Windermere Rest Home.

1 Comment
Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 10:29 PM
I managed to see this performance and it was wonderful. The older people certainly enjoyed it and were singing and moving with the music too. Well done Mr Naysmith and the choir.

Great donation

A huge thank you to Tessa Fulton and her family for donating a fabulous, brand new, Karina guitar for our wonderful Kapa Haka group to use. It came complete with an awesome strap and bag and sounds fantastic. Kapa Haka will continue to go from strength to strength, and the kids will sound great accompanied with this guitar.

Friday, December 12, 2008 - 01:00 PM
Great work Fulton Family

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 01:41 PM
The development of the Kapa Haka group has been a huge addition to Waimairi's Music/Performing Arts focus this year. We've always been strong in the western bits, but at last we have a visible sign and activity around our commitment to a bicultural universe. And the children LOVE it! Well done Waimairi. Kia Kaha!
Thanks to those of you who attended tonight’s parent info evening about our 2009 plans.

I acknowledge that the timing of the meeting did not suit some of you so the notes and handouts are reproduced for you here. There was a great suggestion from the floor to video future information meetings and stream them on this website to involve as many parents as possible.

Download 1 - 2009 School Map

Download 2 - 2009 Teacher and team groups

Presentation slides and notes

Since October parent meetings

•Thank you for verbal and written feedback

•Ten A4 pages when all feedback collated together

•Big Plus, Minus and Interesting analysis of feedback

•Widespread support for grouping teams of classes in multi-age teams.

•Strong levels of trust in the educational expertise of our staff.

•Support for initiatives that build long lasting relationships between the teachers and the learners.

•A need for the staff to address ‘social issues’ that might be caused by same age classes not being next to each other.

•A need for flexibility in class placement EVERY year.

•A need for detail of organisation to be shared with parents as soon as it is available.

We are well planned

•A new planning format has been developed for the WHOLE learning community.

•Clear and inter-related purpose and focus for learning for WHOLE year for ALL learners (children, teachers, parents, BOT).

•Maximising open doors between rooms to meet academic rather than ‘year group’ needs.

Addressing issues

•Management Unit for student socialisation. A paid management position has been created to make sure all children’s social needs are met at morning tea and lunch breaks.

•Careful planning for student welfare is being done within teams

•Management team expertise. Mike, Carol and Nicki are very experienced school managers and are passionate about doing the best for your children. The plans for 2009 did not come just about because we saw some ideas on our North Island tour. They are the product of our combined leadership experience

You are part of this learning community


• To resolve an issue talk to us as well as each other.

•We are partners in learning - ALWAYS.

•Your attitude to your school impacts on your child’s attitude. Negative conversations about school or teachers have a big influence on your child’s attitude at school. Leave it until the kids have gone to bed.

We are

•Committed to a vibrant, quality learning community.

•Always looking for ways to improve.

•Informed by knowledge of ‘best practice’ and current research.

Waimairi Legend

We are all proud of Room 16 teacher Martin Lukes.

Picture: Martin Lukes, of Christchurch, climbing Mt Luxmore on his way to his second consecutive win in the Kepler Challenge mountain run in Southland.

Lukes retains Kepler Challenge title

By NATHAN BURDON in Te Anau - The Southland Times | Saturday, 06 December 2008

Christchurch’s Martin Lukes successfully defended his Kepler Challenge mountain running title in Te Anau today.

Lukes ran past Sam Wrefford, from Timaru, over the final kilometres of the 60km race along the Kepler Track as both runners battled cramp and fatigue. He finished in 4hr 56min, seven minutes ahead of Wrefford.

It was a deserved victory for Lukes, who had finished runner-up in four of his previous five attempts before his breakthrough win last year and who had been troubled by a serious calf muscle injury suffered in August.

Wrefford, who is mainly a 5km and 10km competitor, admitted the step up to the ultra-distance had taken its toll.

Last year’s women’s winner Chigaya Mase, of Japan, again shone to comfortably defend her title.

In the 27km Luxmore Grunt event, Phil Costley was a convincing winner.

The Christchurch runner holds the race record in the full Kepler Challenge after winning the event in 2005, but injury saw him enter the shorter Grunt this year.

He began the race with the record of 1hr 54min, held since 1994 by Andrew Town, firmly in his mind and came home 2min inside the mark to become the first person to hold both the Challenge and Grunt records at the same time.

Invercargill’s Debbie Rankin won the women’s section of the Grunt in 2hr 27min.

About 550 competitors, including 100 overseas runners, took part over the two races in an event, which is become firmly established as one of the premier mountain-running events in New Zealand.

Read more media reports of his success here



Info Central

We hope to see as many parents as possible on Wednesday 10 December at 6:00 pm so we can share with you details of class layouts, learning programmes and answer any questions you have about Waimairi ’09.

We will be sending 2009 class placements home on Thursday 11 December.

...and what about the survey?

Thanks to the many families who completed our curriculum survey. The results have been collated and are due to be presented to the Board of Trustees (BOT) at the next BOT meeting on Monday 15th December. The BOT will then be in a position to give the school management and staff a clear set of direction and expectation statements to take to the two day staff retreat in January. The retreat is the start of the formal Waimairi Curriculum development programme for 2009. Collated survey results will be sent home in the week of the 15th and will also be made available on the website at that time.

Those of you who were at the community curriculum workshop and have asked to be part of the email reference group will also be engaged on discussions on the survey results soon after the BOT meeting on December 15th. If you would like to join this reference group simply email me principal@waimairi.school.nz to join the mailing list.

What we say and what we do

Every single Waimairi School parent would say that the safety of children is paramount in their thoughts and actions. If you saw a loose nail on the adventure playground, an adult acting suspiciously near the school or a frayed electrical cord in a classroom you would be straight on the phone, email or into the office to see me directly. All parents value child safety.

But there is a real, identified and repeated risk to the precious children of our school that is created by the very people who care the most about child safety, parents.

By driving your car into Tillman Avenue to drop off and collect children you are increasing the risk of harm to children. Do your actions match your concerns for child safety?

It is my job as Principal to conduct risk assessments and address any realistic risks to our children. I do this for the adventure playground, our fire alarms, our electrical equipment, the loose mats and carpets in the classrooms but the biggest and most realistic danger our children face at the moment is moving vehicles in the area of Tillman Avenue.

As the Christmas season approaches I am asking you all a blunt (and perhaps controversial) question. “What will you say to the Coroner's Court when you are asked to account for the death of a child?”

“I didn’t want to walk for 5 minutes so that is why I was turning my car around at the end of Tillman Ave at the very moment 400 children were swarming around it as they left the school”

“I don’t have time to walk to school to get my kids”

“I had a reason to be maneuvering a car amongst 5 year olds who can’t be seen over my bonnet”

PLEASE stop the Tillman Ave traffic chaos before our school is blighted by tragedy.

The staff are going to do their part by not moving vehicles in the area between 3:00 and 3:15 pm. What will you do?

The risk assessment has been done, the risk is real, please help mitigate it. Looking forward to your comments (and actions).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 - 02:01 PM
Now to get computerphobes like me to check into you blogsite regularly. This message needs more prominence! Good on you and your staff for putting our Waimairi children FIRST.
Jackie Pithie

Thursday, December 11, 2008 - 10:32 PM
Totally agree. Is it not possible to get the City Council to have a no parking zone between the hours of 8.30 - 9.00 amd 3.00 - 3.15?

Susan Tansey

What is different and why?

This extract from the MoE website is a very clear explanation of the shifts in focus in the revised NZ Curriculum and offers an insight into why we are running parent curriculum workshops and community surveys at this time.

What’s different?

The New Zealand Curriculum aims to support today’s students to learn in a way that will prepare them for the world of tomorrow.


* includes a set of common values

* places more emphasis on themes relevant to today’s society

* contains five key competencies for students

* raises the profile and status of learning a second language

* raises the profile and status of statistics within mathematics

* makes the Treaty of Waitangi explicit in the overview, purpose, principles and values

* recognises the need for schools to work closely with communities to design relevant learning programmes.

The curriculum also provides greater clarity for teachers, students and trustees by providing clear and simple statements about priorities, expectations and outcomes for each learning area. It also details the type of teaching that brings out the best in students.

It recognises English, te reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language as official languages. These may be studied as first or additional languages, or used as the medium of instruction.

There are two partner documents in the new curriculum: The New Zealand Curriculum for English-medium teaching and learning, and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa for Māori-medium teaching and learning.


In 2002, the Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Stocktake Report identified that while many students were achieving at world-class levels, there are disparities among some groups.

The new curriculum contributes towards all students having a strong foundation for learning, high levels of achievement, and a lifelong engagement in learning. It encourages schools to put personalising learning into practice and support the aims of the government for students to stay at school longer, and attain higher levels of achievement.

What does the New Zealand Curriculum consist of?

There are two partner documents: The New Zealand Curriculum for English-medium teaching and learning, and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa for Māori-medium teaching and learning. This reflects the partnership embodied in the Treaty of Waitangi.

The New Zealand Curriculum includes and explains:

* the vision for young people who are confident, connected, actively involved lifelong learners.

* the principles that guided the curriculum’s development: high expectations, Treaty of Waitangi, cultural diversity, inclusion, learning to learn, community engagement, coherence and future focus.

* the values that will be developed and modelled through teaching and learning: excellence; innovation, enquiry, and curiosity; diversity; equity; community and participation; ecological sustainability; integrity and respect.

* the key competencies – the capabilities people need in order to live, learn, work, and contribute as active members of their communities. They are: managing self; relating to others; participating and contributing; thinking; and using language, symbols, and texts.

* the eight learning areas: social sciences; arts; technology; science; mathematics and statistics; health and physical education; English; and learning languages. The new curriculum explains the rationale and the structure of each of these learning areas.

* effective pedagogy, reinforcing the importance of effective teaching and learning and providing guidance for teachers.

* the designing and planning sections to provide guidance to schools on working with their communities to design and implement the curriculum, to plan for clear learning objectives and to assess for learning. Schools are advised on how to incorporate significant themes such as sustainability, citizenship, enterprise, globalisation, and financial literacy into their teaching programmes.

Farewells and Welcomes

The end of every school year sees staffing changes.

This year we are bidding a fond farewell to Jo Anderson who is retiring from her job as librarian and to teachers Rob Stent and Pete Johnson.

There will be opportunities for the staff and community to thank these people for their contributions to our school. Keep an eye on the newsletters and this blog.

In 2009 we welcome to the teaching staff Kate Webster and Libby Jackson.

What are these teachers doing?

This is a shot of one of the meetings we have to make sure we put together the best possible class compositions for 2009. What you can’t see in this shot is that every child in the school is represented by a strip of paper. On each strip is their name, academic details, social and emotional considerations, parental requests and comments, special needs notes, gifted & talented notes, english language needs and any other specific considerations.

The large sheets of paper represent each class, we spend hours putting together the best match between teachers and other children.

We still have at least another week of work to do on this project but you will know your child’s 2009 class before the end of term.

Surfing Sam Sands

Great news, Samuel Sands won 2nd place in the under 12 section of the 2008 South Island Grommet Series. A great achievement Sam. I am sure you can make him out if you look closely at the picture.

Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 10:11 AM
We are very proud of you Sam! Is that you surfing in the picture?

From Room 15

Lunch Music

Some of our senior students entertained the lunchtime crowd at school this week. They were busking to raise money for planting in the area of garden they have adopted near their classroom .

A great combination of their musical skills, enterprising attitude and care for our school environment. Well done team.

The Engine Room

Today the 2009 junior teaching team (picture above) welcomed a large group of new Waimairi parents. Our orientation meeting was for parents of children who are starting school in the next few months. Carol, Liz, Lynley and Adie are talented and dedicated teachers who are the engine room of our school. If this team doesn’t get it right the rest of us are at a considerable disadvantage.

The parents who attended the orientation meeting were given the essential information on the transition to school and a taste of the passion we have for teaching. We love our jobs and regard educating your children as a genuine privilege.

Also worthy of mention are the 11 Year 6 students who acted as tour guides for our new parents. You were excellent examples of the attributes we seek to build in all of our students. The parents you guided around the school thought you were amazing.

So, welcome new parents. We are looking forward to a great partnership over the next six years.