Karori Normal School

 Term One 2018


Kia ora, Talofa, Mālō ‘etau lava, Nǐmén Hǎo, Choum reap sor, Annyeong-hashimnika, Xin chào, Kumusta kayó, Ayubowan, Bonjour, Hola, Guten tag, Ciao, Ola, Merhaba, Namaste, Hello

It is our pleasure to welcome all new and returning families to school and to Team Tōtara. We hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year and enjoyed the amazing sunshine.

This year the Tōtara Team has 6 classes made up of a mix of Year 7 and 8 students. Rooms 22, 23 and 23A will be working closely together this year as will the three classes in the Kererū block. A number of parents have expressed an interest in how our programmes work so we will be holding an open morning later on in Term 1 where you will be able to come and see us in action.

Teachers in our team this year are

Katy FlintoffRoom 22kflintoff@kns.school.nz

Danielle McQuinnRoom 23dmcquinn@kns.school.nz

Fiona CampbellRoom 23Afcampbell@kns.school.nz

Trish BlacktopRoom 33pblacktop@kns.school.nz

Cherie Le QuesneRoom 34clequesne@kns.school.nz

Laura BrennanRoom 35lbrennan@kns.school.nz

Andrea Peetz         Deputy Principalapeetz@kns.school.nz

It was great to be able to meet with so many parents and students at the start of the year; this gives us a great foundation from which to understand our students and a great base for our learning over the coming year.

If you missed out on these interviews we would still love to meet you. Please feel free to come up to our rooms to visit and say hello.  


Our school values are an important aspect of life at KNS. These are respect, responsibility, excellence, empathy and integrity. We discuss these values constantly and refer to them regularly, particularly in regards to students taking responsibility for managing their own behaviour and for admitting when they have made a mistake and accepting the consequences of their actions. Now that your child is in Year 7 and 8 it may be time to take a wee step back and let your child take control of their learning. We often learn best when we fail at something or when things don’t go according to plan. The ability to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and learn from our mistakes are really important skills to develop both for college, but more importantly, for life beyond school.

Focus for Term One - Sustainability

We are starting this term off with a mini Inquiry based around the difficulty in getting our students to wear appropriate sun hats. We are hoping to use our students’ skills, enthusiasm and standing as role models in our school to start a guerilla campaign to encourage more sun safe behaviour.

Leading on from this students will be able to design their own inquiries around issues of sustainability. Through this we will be explicitly teaching Inquiry skills of questioning, critical thinking, researching and problem solving as well as developing an understanding of the importance of sustainability.

Team Sport                                           

Team Tōtara will have sport on a Thursday with some classes participating before lunch and some after lunch. Please ensure that children have clothing appropriate for sport and for spending time in the sun; this is important every day but especially on a Thursday where they may be outside in the sun from either 11 - 1:30 or 12:30 – 3pm. Due to all the extra activities that Year 7 and 8 students participate in through the year sport may sometimes end up on a different day from Thursday; it would be great if the students came dressed each day in clothes that made physical exercise easy to participate in. Deodorant is encouraged to be used, we ask that Roll on Deodorant is used at school rather than Spray Deodorant.


We are holding the Year 7/8 Athletics day this term as otherwise we would have a clash with our Camp in Term 4. Our Athletics will be on Thursday March 15th with a postponement date of the following Thursday. This will be held at Ben Burn Park; more information will follow in the weeks before the big event.


This year we have Camp in Term 4. Dates, and the classes going on these dates, are still being finalised but there will be 3 separate camps in Weeks 1, 2 and 3 of Term 4 with 2 classes attending at a time. Please note that the 2nd camp takes place after Labour weekend so will be Tuesday morning to Saturday night. The other 2 camps will be Monday morning to Friday night.

Our Camp is in the South Island at Saint Arnaud by Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Towards the end of Term 1 we will be asking for volunteers to come with us on camp so if you are keen look out for this information later on this term. Once we have finalised the cost for camp, we will be setting up a payment instalment option too, so we will communicate this to you in the next month.

Sun hats

Year 7 and 8 students are required to bring a sunsafe, named, sunhat from home. This year there will be no school sun hats available for the senior students as last year we were often short of hats at sports time for all our students to be safe in the sun. This is another way that our students can show responsibility; by bringing and wearing (and not losing!) their own sun hats. Caps do not provide adequate protection for the longer periods of time we may be outside; if your child brings a cap to school they may not be able to participate in sports or outdoor activities.


Throughout the year, students will be involved in language classes. In Term One our focus will be on Te Reo with Adrienne Troughton our Maori Language speciality teacher, who helps us with our learning.  In Terms 2 and 3 students will have a choice from a small pool of languages. The Term 4 focus will be on Sign Language.

First Aid Training

This year all the Year 7 and 8 students will be trained in First Aid by completing the People Saver Programme. This is a day long programme with an outside provider; it’s fun and very hands on as they bandage each other up and generally save each others’ lives. This will take place within the first few weeks of this term.


Year 7/8 students will be expected to complete homework throughout the year. The expectation is that homework, wherever possible, is to be completed independently. Students are required to keep a Reading Log which is signed by parents to indicate that students have actually read, and a Mathsmate sheet.

Both of these activities are due at school on a Thursday, where they will be marked/checked and a new Mathsmate sheet given out. We will be starting homework this Thursday.

In Term 1 we have a focus across the Tōtara team on students taking responsibility both for their actions and for their learning; for some students returning homework on time will be  easy, for others more of a challenge. Taking responsibility is a great way to foster independence and resilience when students have to explain why they have not completed a set task.


As the senior students of our school, Year 7/8s have the opportunity to offer service to the school in many different ways - road patrol, medical room monitors, wet lunchtime buddies, junior sports coaches etc. Road Patrol roster is published in the weekly school newsletter and the full roster will be sent out on school links at the start of each term.  Please contact Andrea Peetz if there are any issues or encourage your child to swap with someone else if needed. Please make sure your child knows when they are on patrols.

BYOD/e-Learning/Digital Citizenship Agreement

This year Year 7 and 8 students are able to bring their own device (BYOD) to school to help their learning. There is information regarding this on our school website but please feel free to come and talk to us if you have any questions or concerns about this. There is NO REQUIREMENT OR EXPECTATION for students to bring a device.

There is a BYOD Consent form that can be downloaded at home for each individual student recording the make/model of their device; this needs to be signed and returned to school before any students will be able to use their device at school. We will also have paper copies available for students to take home if you have difficulty accessing the form.

If your child brings a device without this signed consent form their device will be locked safely away and returned to them to take home at the end of the day.

In the first few weeks of school your child will bring home an e-Learning agreement that they have designed themselves. It will cover key points about online safety. Discussions around how to behave towards others and how to keep yourself safe online will be constant discussions throughout the year and will be weaved through all curriculum areas.


Technology lessons will begin in Week 2 at Karori West Normal School. Students have the opportunity to take part in cooking, sewing, electronics, and woodwork. Students who have the morning session on Monday mornings need to be at school by 8.30am otherwise they may miss the bus. Further information will be given to your child in their first session at Karori West Normal technology centre.

Our timetable for Term 1 and continuing into Term 2 is

Week 2 to Week 8 - 13th Feb to Tuesday 21st March

Rooms 23A and 34

Rooms 22 and 35

Monday 9 - 12:30pm

Mon and Tues 1 - 3pm

Starting in Week 10 (After Easter)

Rooms 23 and 33

Roms 34 and 23A

Monday 9 - 12:30pm

Mon and Tues 1 - 3pm

There will be no cooking or food technology that involves nuts or eggs. The teachers at Karori West have been given all necessary medical information and any medication needed will be taken down with us.

We are happy for students who live nearer to Karori West to meet at the Technology centre on the Monday morning if we have written permission stating this. In the afternoon if you would prefer your child to leave for home from Karori West on either the Monday or Tuesday, we need written permission as well.


In Year 7/8 we attend Aquatics at Kilbirnie Pool. Each class will attend a block of 6 sessions of swimming; these blocks of time are spread out across the first 3  terms. In Term 1, starting on the Friday of week 3, Rooms 23 and 33 will be attending aquatics.

Our sessions at Kilbirnie are based around extension activities such as diving and snorkelling but we aware that there are a number of students who are not confident in the water. There is a possibility that we may be able to organise some specific Learn to Swim sessions next door at Karori Pool as an extra boost; if your child is unconfident, would benefit from basic swimming lessons and you would like them to participate, please email either Fiona Campbell or Trish Blacktop. There may be an additional cost for this.

Pastoral Guidance and Learning

If you have any concerns or queries regarding your child, please contact your child's classroom teacher first. We are keen to establish a strong connection between home and school as we believe this supports the development and well being of the whole child.  

Our Deputy Principal, Andrea Peetz will provide further support for teachers, parents and students when the need may arise.

We are all looking forward to a busy, fun and rewarding year. Please feel free to contact us at any stage; sometimes addressing a small issue early on works really well in keeping the best learning happening for your child. The best way to contact us is by the email addresses included above.

Ka Kite Anō

Tōtara Teachers