TERM 1 - WEEK 5 25 Feb 2020



 Tuesday 25th February 2020



We have started our Term 1 inquiry by looking into Turangawaewae and the Avalon Way. Students will be sharing and celebrating where they are from, and learning about their place and role in our school. During this unit we will be creating visual mihi which represents who we are, our families (Whakapapa) and where we belong (Turangawaewae). Students will be sure to be having lots of conversations to learn more about their family. 

In Literacy we will be focusing on recounts and this will be closely linked to our Inquiry study. Some students will be writing about the meaning of their name, how they got their name and what it means, and some students will be writing about a taonga that is special to them. More detail about this will come from classroom teachers as the unit progresses. 

In Numeracy, we will be developing our number knowledge and developing our addition and subtraction strategies. We are also focusing on geometry (shape and transformation). 

Our PE programme will consist of preparation for our school athletics day in Week 7 (Wednesday 11th March).

At the end of the unit students will be able to:

  • Know who they are and where they belong in their class, in their team, in our school and within the community 

  • Feel a sense of belonging at Avalon Intermediate School and connected to the school 

  • Know the history of our school and community 

  • Know what is available to them at Avalon Intermediate School 

  • Demonstrate the qualities of a positive learner at our school 



Congratulations to who won our Gold Card Draw last week! Mace McDiarmid (Rm 2) received the Principal’s award for his positive attitude and Sasha Manu (Rm 7) received the Deputy Principal’s award for designing the Deputy Principal’s certificate template for Mrs Murdoch. 



A reminder that Gardening, Literacy and Maths study centres are running this week, S.T.E.A.M begins next week. Permission slips to join these groups are available from the following teachers:

S.T.E.A.M - Tuesday afternoons 2:50pm - 4:20pm            Teacher in charge: Mrs Robinson (Multicraft) 

Gardening - Tuesday afternoons 2:50pm - 4:20pm        Teacher in charge: Mr Crafts (Rm 5) 

Literacy - Wednesday afternoons 2:50pm - 4:20pm      Teacher in charge: Mrs Harrison (Rm 1)

Maths - Thursday afternoons 2:50pm - 4:20pm              Teacher in charge: Mr Poad (Rm 9)



Thank you to everyone who completed our homework survey over the past 3 weeks. The senior team analysed the responses and at our whanau hui last week we shared our findings. I have attached a summary of this on the back of this newsletter for those who were not able to attend. We are currently collating the feedback from values exercise, where we asked you to list your 10 most important values and then organise these on a pyramid. Thank you again to those who have returned this to school, extra copies are available from classroom teachers if needed. If you have not returned this to school and would like to share your thinking, please send this back to school by the end of this week. 



A reminder that we have a Teacher Only day on Friday 6th March so our school will not be open. Our staff will be working alongside all schools in the Taita-Stokes Valley and Naenae Kahui Ako. Thank you for your support. 



Ngå mihi,


Ariana Te Whetu, Principal 






Thank you to those who responded and returned our 2020 Homework Survey. Responses were varied but there were certainly some commonalities that came through. 


For families that indicated they were NOT in favour of homework some comments included…

“My son is a very positive boy so he has a lot of activities after school which gives him no time”

“The pressure of having to complete homework weighs heavily on my child”

“I’m a fan of real-life learning and prefer my child learns about things like fractions through cooking and baking with me, rather than doing a homework sheet”.

“My child is given chores and family time after school and working full time means homework is a chore for all of us”

“Due to weekend sport, we are a very busy family and have after school trainings 4 times a week”

“Research says that homework has little impact. Does it reinforce classwork - is it valued by the teacher?”

“It is more of a frustration in our household due to it being a single parent home with 4 kids, we often have after school activities to go to and there isn’t time to force them to do it!”

“I’m not expected to work from home after spending all day at work so I expect the same for my kids”

Those in favour said…

“ Not projects - we don’t have time but spelling, maths, and reading”.

“Maths - times tables, subtraction, addition, division worksheets would be good”.

“Yes but not too much, enough to balance school life with home life”

“I feel like homework is a good time for kids to work on things they are passionate about so it’s not a chore, like projects or practice for Kapahaka.

“Is the school providing a chance to do study centre after school to help them please?”

“It is only natural for us to say YES because we’ve grown up with knowing this is something we just have to do. However with family commitments and extra curricular after school, getting homework done and handing it in on time can be hard…”. 

We heard…

AIS parents and whanau want purposeful, meaningful and manageable work for their tamariki and mokopuna. Some require the physical space to do it, others want work at home to fuel their child’s passion. And many want the essential skills of reading, writing and maths reinforced in ways that help their child reach their full potential.

Our response…

In order to meet these identified needs, we welcome your child to be part of the HUGE number of extracurricular activities and support we offer to help them flourish as learners at AIS.

  •   To assist with Reading, Writing and Maths - we encourage students to join our Literacy &/or Numeracy Study Centres that run on Wednesdays and Thursdays each week from 2.55pm-4.20pm here at school. 

  •   To strengthen skills with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Maths (STEAM) OR if they are keen to be in the outdoors learning skills in gardening, planting & growing produce, they are encouraged to join STEAM or Gardening Study Centres Tuesdays after school from 2.55pm-4.20pm

  •   To help them find their passion or to strengthen their social skills, we encourage them to participate in as many of our extracurricular activities, sports and teams as they can.

Need more support at home?

  • We strongly encourage our students to READ independently at home each night for (at least) 20 minutes which is something we would like your support on too! 

  • All students can access their Mathletics accounts at home (via their internet connection) which provides them with further practice & support with Maths

  • We encourage the development of oral language and social skills at home through regular conversations and discussion.  We are confident that these activities, alongside the extensive range of additional support with work outside the classroom, negates any need for generic homework to be given. 

  • If however, there is a specific need for your child to have additional work, please do not hesitate to contact their classroom teacher directly.