Weekly Updates

Week 1 Term Three

Welcome back everyone - we are already at the halfway mark in the year!

We have an exciting inquiry this term encompassing movement, more specifically, movement of people. This can take many different slants depending on the students' interests, however we will be starting it off by looking at our own area and how it has changed over time with people moving to the area. In Week 3 we will be taking a "Team Road Trip" around our community to look at how it has changed and is still changing. We will be discovering the past, seeing the present first hand, and making predictions about the future growth of our place in the world.

We will be looking for 3-4 parents to join us on the trip, so if you are keen the date is set for Monday 7th August and the letter with the details will be emailed out very soon.

Our maths focus will be proportions, ratios and fractions, however for the first 2 weeks we will be continuing our focus on decimals as it is a large area to cover at Level 3, and I feel that the students need a little more time to really develop their understanding. Furthermore it leads perfectly into fractions and will also set them up, and add to their ability to grasp fractional concepts which many children struggle with.

In reading we will be starting to look at a variety of books that encompass the theme of movement and people who have immigrated or moved to new areas in New Zealand.

For the first week or two we will be continuing our e-books which are at the publishing stage. It is quite exciting finally seeing them coming together and it is amazing to see all the different ideas each student has come up with and used in their layouts.

Term 3 is cross country time and our new P.E focus is fitness. This includes aspects such as, the importance of warming up and cooling down, increasing stamina, running techniques, pacing yourself, increasing fitness overtime and keeping healthy while getting fit.

We will also be continuing with our large and small ball unit, looking at some different sports as well as perfecting the skills we learnt next term.

Looking Ahead Week 10

The last week of Term 2!
This week will be doing a couple of mini inquiries to wrap up our focus on Change to test our knowledge and understanding. We will be carrying on with our fluid blocks in the first two blocks of the day, and our reading and maths programmes, so that we are able to finish up our last sessions on decimals and continue our reading books and activities from last week.

Weather permitting, we have a netball and bikes session booked for Thursday so remember bikes, helmets and sand shoes for this please.

Our flax paper was revealed last Friday from under the bookcase. We found that the beaten flax didn't work very well as it didn't hold together, but the blended flax worked really well and we have 9 sheets of lovely flax paper from this batch. It was a very interesting investigation and made us really think about what was needed to create the change that happened, and what was lacking in the change that didn't happen!

I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday and I am looking forward to Term 3, which is already shaping up to be very exciting and full of great learning opportunities.

Looking Ahead Week 9

Where has the term gone?
I cannot believe it is Week 9 already!

A lot of our work this week is finishing our inquiries up and evaluating our findings.
We are also making sure we have our draft e-books nearly ready to start making the digital version next week.

Flax paper making last week was a lot of fun. See a PDF version of the Elements google slide presentation which started the whole thing below:

We made catapults last week which involved a lot of problem-solving and working out good designs. We also measured the distances they were able to fling a cotton ball. We did this using a long tape measure and recording the information in metres and centimetres - as this is our maths numeracy focus for this week - decimals.

I will be running a variety of workshops to help the students understand what "decimals" are. What a tenths and a hundredth actually represent, and how they are found in everyday life.
We will be using decimats, money, tape measures and numberlines for this. If you want to talk to your child about these concepts that would be great. See how many ways you can find decimals being used around your home. Maybe you could measure all the heights of your family members, foot lengths, room lengths etc. Take it one step further by putting these measurements in order from shortest to tallest, or finding the differences between, or the totals of, these measurements.
Here is a link for a few ideas from the nzmaths website:

Decimals at Home

We will also be revisiting our ORCA to find examples of how we have demonstrated these values over the last few weeks, and how we can make sure that we think about them all the time when we are making decisions and choices in and out of the classroom. Please discuss these with your child and see if they can think of ways that they can use them at home as well.

If you haven't already, check out the Student Page as it has all the news from the previous week's learning from the perspective of the students - and some amazing photos of us at work in the classroom.

Have a great week

Kind regards
Susannah Franks

 Looking Ahead - Week 8  

This week is set to be quite exciting as we are making Harakeke Flax paper tomorrow. One of our reading groups  “Elements” created a google slide on the steps that you take to make the paper. They then presented it to the class on Friday of last week and will be leaders tomorrow to help their group members. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan as I have never made it before but that is all part of the learning journey! The photos and the google slide presentation will be loaded next week by the students on their page.

We also have another bike and netball session on Thursday this week so trainers or sandshoes will be needed. If your child has a  bike and/or helmet they are welcome to bring them along too.

I have been testing the children in their reading over the last few weeks and they have all made progress. They are proud of their achievements and some of the groups have shuffled again - but only a few children here and there. A lot of the testing has been around non-fiction texts, which is often a bit trickier to understand. The extra work that we have done around these types of texts has obviously paid off as the progress in comprehension is evident across the board. Non-fiction books are great to share with your child as they have a wealth of interesting facts and can greatly improve their general knowledge. They can also inspire and generate wonderings about the world which spark their curiosity to delve deeper to find out more. So if you go to the library, encourage them to get a couple out to read together.

The student’s page for last week’s wrap up is also available - Connor and Reuben were in charge of it this week.

Have a great week

Kind Regards

Susannah Franks


Week 7 Update

This week we are continuing our e-books. We are up to sorting out our information using the inquiry model below:
This helps children organise their information and ask themselves what they need to do to find out more.
It prompts them to think about things such as:
Have I got enough information about this?
Will the reader understand what I want them to understand through the information I have gathered?
Is this new information useful?
Does it add to the message I want to get across?
Are there other areas within my topic of inquiry worth investigating?
Do I now have more questions I need to answer?

This last question moves them into the "Going Further" stage of the process and could make them think about things such as:
Does my chosen product have any effects on the environment?
What is being done to make sure that my product is sustainable?
Is my product a Fair Trade product? Why? Why Not?
Should it be?
Whatever avenue they choose to explore, the most important part is that it is encouraging them to think more deeply and to look outside the process of production to the effect that it might have elsewhere.

This develops thoughtful learners who develop social consciousness, and the skills to thinking critically and form an opinion based on their research.

The students need to understand why these aspects matter and need to be explored. It is important to becoming a good learner, but also a good human being.  

Our Double Fluid Blocks are up and running and getting more and more productive as everyone gets more familiar with how it all works. I am really proud of the way the children have picked it up and run with it, I can see that they like having ownership of their timetable. This fits well with their new learning goals recently made, as they can fill their 2 "extra" time slots with activities that  accelerate their learning in areas of greatest need.

Hope you all have a great week 

Kind Regards
Susannah Franks

Week 6 Update

Welcome back everyone. I hope you all had a lovely long weekend.


We will be continuing to draft our non-fiction e-books this week. The students have all selected their inquiries and are now researching the changes that a raw product undergoes when it is processed into a finished product. For example: from the tree to the book, or from the cacao bean to the chocolate bar.  We are at the finding out and sorting out stage of the inquiry when the children need to find their information, and then sort it out, so that they can create a timeline. This, in turn, will develop their chapters. We have looked at the features of non-fiction texts and created "must have" and "can have" lists of aspect that need to be included. It has been an exciting start to the unit and the children seem to be enjoying it. 


To support the writing unit we will be continuing our non-fiction focus with the children reading a variety of books and articles. They also have Kids News bookmarked on their chrome books. This is an excellent site for current events and interesting news from around the world. It is also very good for increasing their vocabulary and general knowledge, which is  important for developing reading skills.

 Learning in maths is all about making connections. If students learn maths concepts in isolation or out of context it is much harder for them to understand how they can apply them, and how to use them. 

So many children say 
"I'm not good at division" or "I can't do fractions"
but once they realise that they are just related to knowing their time tables, lightbulbs start to go on. 

For example: 3 times 4 is 12 which is the same as 4 times 3 is 12, and if they know that then they also know that 12 divided by 4 is 3 and 12 divided by 3 is 4. And if they understand that then they can also realise that a quarter of 12 is 3 and a third of 12 is 4. As adults we have to be careful not to take this kind of knowledge for granted, as it is not as obvious to children who are still learning about all of these connections. So when you're are helping your child with their maths, try to make it as connected and as meaningful as you can. It really makes a difference!

Other Areas of Learning
Later in the week we will be using Plaster of Paris to create moulds, as we explore the changes that it undergoes when a liquid is added. I would say there should be some good "wonderings" coming out of this!

We will be doing netball and indoor hockey on Tuesday this week, and will also begin researching Samoan Tapa Cloth Designs to begin our Art Unit.

Busy, busy, busy!

Kind Regards
Susannah Franks

What's Happening In Week 5

Thank you to all the parents who shared in their children's learning last Wednesday. I was very proud of the way the students were able to tell you about their goals and give you an insight into what they do each day. It was so nice to see you all enjoying reading and talking with your children. The maths table was definitely a highlight! 

As you also saw the new furniture has arrived and we have now set everything up properly. The classroom looks amazing, we all can't believe how much space we now have!  It was fabulous to see the children enjoying using it on Friday and how they seemed to naturally gravitate to the type of furniture which suited their learning style.  It allows for such versatile and varied ways of teaching and learning. We are looking forward to really using it to its fullest potential as we launch into our more fluid programme, which has been gradually unfolding over the year.

A Few Reminders: 

Quite a few children are needing stationery top ups, such as: blue and red pens, rubbers, pencils, and whiteboard markers. If you are able to talk to your child to see if they need any of these it would be appreciated. It makes it hard to maximise learning time when they are searching for, or having to borrow items, to get started.  

Please help your child to get into the habit of remembering to bring their chrome books every day and ensuring that they are fully charged, ready for the day. We don't use them for everything, but we do use them everyday.

Don't forget to check out the "Student Page" which Emily and Mia did a great job of launching last week.  Xander and Jade are in charge of this week's post, which will be uploaded by Monday night.  

Epic is an excellent e-book website and is linked on the e-learning page.  I have created a non-fiction collection for the children to explore. If you have a moment, have a look with your child. You might want to help them set up their own collections which would be an excellent resource for reading time at home. Each child has an individual avatar under my login so they can customise their own collections of books based on their interests and their reading ability.

Writing: This week the students will begin their transactional writing focus as they begin the planning stages of creating their own non-fiction e-books. They will be selecting their area of interest under our inquiry umbrella "Material Change" and developing their ideas through research and investigation. 

Maths: We will be continuing our work on multiplication / division and fractions and developing a deeper understanding about their connections. 

Reading: Our focus will be on non-fiction books as the students look to these books as a reference and an inspiration as they write their own. They will be looking more closely at the specific features of non-fiction texts, and why these features are important to the genre. 

P.E: We will not be using the bike track in our P.E sessions this week, however the children are still able to bring their bikes and enjoy it in morning tea and lunch. We will be learning more about netball and will also be starting our unit of indoor hockey. Again we will be joining up with B7 to do this so that the children are able to get a session in each sporting code. This will be on Wednesday. Please ensure that the students remember to bring sand shoes/trainers so they are able to fully participate. 

Well another exciting jammed packed week ahead. 

Many of the children, and the teachers, have been sick over the last couple of weeks so I hope that everyone has finally beaten the bugs and we can get back to having everyone at school

Kind Regards
Susannah Franks

What's Happening In Week 4

This week the children will be starting to research their wonderings about chemical and molecular change around matter. They have many questions around this inquiry and are finding out all sorts of really interesting information about temporary and permanent change. We will be looking at this in more detail over the coming weeks.

Bikes and netball will be on Tuesday afternoon this week so children will need sand shoes/trainers and their bike and helmet if they have them.

The introduction of students timetabling themselves in Block 1 last week was a great success. They were able to organise their time, complete their activities and attend teacher workshops without too many hiccups. It also meant that they had choice over their learning which seemed to promote more commitment to completion, and enjoyment, of their work. Several times over the week it was morning tea time before we knew it. Time flies when your having fun! This means that we are on track to move to two fluid blocks per day in Week 5. The new furniture's arrival will add even more to this, as it will offer the students comfortable and purpose designed opportunities to work independently, in groups, in discussion circles and workshops. This will take our MLE to a whole new level! Due to the fact that the students had a 'hands on' input into the research and selection of the type of furniture that we ordered, they are very excited about its arrival.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Kevin who has encouraged the children to take ownership of their learning environment and allowed us to go on this exciting inquiry about selecting furniture and designing a classroom that suits our learning styles and preferences.  

Learning Celebrations:

How it will work

The children each have a pictorial prompt to take you around the room. There will be several stations set up where they can talk about each area of the curriculum, their goals in these areas, and share with you something of which they are proud. At each station there will also be some 'Parent Question' prompts. These are for you to use to help them along and to encourage them to really share on a personal level - and to keep them on track! 


I am looking forward to seeing you all on Wednesday. I am very proud of the students and of the effort and ownership that the children have taken, in preparing to share their work with you. 

Have a great week
Susannah Franks

Week 3 Term 2

This week the students in B8 are taking on their next step in establishing a modern learning environment (MLE). All children have been shared in on their weekly timetable, their reading and maths tumbles and their group's activities, to ensure that they are organised and able to make their own personal timetables. This is crucial in creating a classroom that encourages student empowerment, by developing their ability to prioritise their learning, and organise their time. This is turn, ensures that they are able to make the most of extra workshops and all that is on offer to assist them in reaching their learning goals.

This concept has been scaffolded and practised through a series of steps in Term One, and they are now ready to do this more independently. We are only introducing this in the first block of the day for Reading and Maths, but will gradually integrate our writing programme in as well so that the first and second blocks become fluid. This is also beneficial for children who attend withdrawal groups e.g Maths or Quest, as they don't miss out on teacher time and lessons, and find that they don't get behind in their work. 

The last block of the day is specially reserved for other curriculum area focuses such as, P.E, The Arts and Inquiry. These areas are integrated in the morning programme, however, this block is for more direct teaching of the skills needed in these areas.  It is when children can explore and research their wonderings, enjoy learning new skills in sports and games, and express themselves creatively in art, music, drama and dance. 

Furniture Update

It is coming!! 
The date for delivery is set for 24th May. Unfortunately this is the day of our Learning Celebrations so you will not be able to see it all set up by then. 
However, please feel free to pop in after school in Week 5 sometime if you would like to have a look at how our classroom is evolving! 

If you are interested in knowing more about an MLE classroom the following Education NZ page has some excellent information

The student are busy getting ready to welcome you in sharing and celebrating their learning next week, so please try to make a time to come in and see what they have been learning, and what their goals are in the core areas.

The first instalment on the "Student Page" will be ready for next week so keep an eye out for when this tab is available for viewing!

Week 2 Term 2

Well everyone has settled back to school life quickly and there is definitely excitement in the air as we launch into our new Inquiry around Change.
This will continue this week as we find out more and do some exploring and research about our wonderings.
The students have now got their heads around their next learning goals in reading, writing and maths and we will be putting these into Google Slides ready to practise in Week 3, so we will be ready to present them to parents in our Learning Celebrations in Week 4. 

If you still want to book...
  • Go to the website www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter our school code: k23pp
  • You will need your child’s 2017 year, classroom, and name of teacher, to complete your booking.
  • Enter these details and choose a time that suits you. You will receive an emailed confirmation of your booking.
  • If you are unable to complete your booking online, please either:
     - Email pa@wgp.school.nz with child/rens names and preferred times or
     - Call into the school office and fill out a booking sheet.
  • A brochure outlining what to expect, frequently asked questions and how you can make this a successful and positive experience can be viewed here.

This week we will also be setting up our student page on the blog so check it out next Monday for the first instalment. 

Have a fabulous week and please try to make time at night to read with your child, play a maths game, look up their wonderings about change on google with them, or help them with their times tables, as everything we can do to help them reach their learning goals the better.

Together we inspire learning

Ka kite ano
See you soon

Susannah Franks

Week 1
Welcome Back To Term 2

We have a busy week ahead as we gear up for another term packed full of interesting learning and activities.

This week we will be re-establishing routines and expectations, and getting straight back into our full programme. We will also be recapping what we learnt about our Motto, Vision and Values last term. This is important as we come back together again so that we can ensure that we can “be the best we can be” by displaying our school values of Ownership, Respect, Collaboration and Achievement.

This is particularly important for Year 5 and 6 students as they are the role models for the younger children so need to model the values that are so important to us as a class, a school, and a community.

Our new furniture shouldn’t be too far away which is very exciting. It has been a fabulous journey for us as a class and the children will soon have a beautiful new learning environment which will lead to exciting new learning opportunities.

I am looking forward to working with you and your child over the upcoming term.

See our home page for more information about our curriculum focuses for the term.

Kind regards

Susannah Franks

Week 11

The week ahead

A short update for a short week!

We are working on tying everything up this week. Finishing our topics of inquiry and going through the evaluative process around our learning. The children will be looking at their reading, writing and maths to celebrate achievements and progress made over the term. They will also be looking ahead at what they still need to work on and setting new goals for Term 2. If the children want to continue practising their reading and maths skills they can go through any of the websites that are listed on the e-learning page.

Please if you can help at the Waterwise Session on Wednesday it would be appreciated.
Our session is 12:30 - 1:45pm - weather permitting!

We are also getting out on the bike track on Thursday, so children please bring bikes and helmets if you have them.

Hope you all have a fabulous Easter and I look forward to meeting up with you all next term at our Learning Celebrations.

Safe and Happy Holidays
Susannah Franks

Week 10

The week ahead

This week we will be creating our own school version of Monopoly as part of the evaluative section of our inquiry. The children have already come up with very creative ways to incorporate our values and school community into the game with all sorts of little twists and "Things Whangaparaoa". It will be quite interesting how it all turns out and hopefully we will be ready to play it by Week 11.

Maths, reading and writing programmes continue with great enthusiasm as we fine tune our fluid blocks. The children are becoming very organised and generally able to timetable their personal commitments in so that it all runs smoothly.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Sarah our wonderful Learning Assistant who helps enormously at this time and is really able to add educational value to the sessions.

Children should be bringing home school journals or other reading material to do personal reading at home.

If you would like to help your child with some maths we are still making sure that everyone is becoming quicker with their basic fact recall so practising times tables would be very beneficial.

We will be having another bike session on Tuesday afternoon so again if your child can bring their own bike and helmet it would be great.

We will also be having our VLC Picnic at Manly Park when all the classes in our Vertical Community will be going to the park for some games and lunch.
Please make sure that your child has the necessary things for this - see the email which was sent to all parents and caregivers on Thursday last week for the details.
Unfortunately this looks as if it will not be able to go ahead due to the weather. We will still try to get out with our team for some time on the field if the rain keeps at bay. We are looking at rescheduling the picnic for early next term and will email you closer to the time with details.

Thanks Susannah Franks

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Kind regards
Susannah Franks

Week 9 already where has the term gone!

The week ahead

We have a busy week ahead as we steam into the end of term. I will be away on Monday as I am on a course with the team leaders so Mrs Bassett will be teaching in B8 on this day.

We have been in the process of preparing for our new furniture which will hopefully be coming next term. The children have been involved in an inquiry looking at the different furniture options to help select the furniture that offers us the best options for maximum learning.

This means we want furniture that:

  • has multiple uses 
  • is flexible and moveable
  • caters for different learning styles
  • caters for different groupings
  • ensures we have plenty of space in our class
  • utilises our two break out areas so that they can be used effectively. 
To go with our modern furniture we will also be introducing a more modern approach to learning. This involves children having more of a decision about how they use their time and having choices within the curriculum.
Please realise this does not mean that they will not be learning what needs to be learnt, and I will always be guiding them in their directions and decisions.They will have set tasks and then choices within the other tasks for skill practice and areas of inquiry.


In preparation for this next step will are experimenting with fluid blocks which means that we do our Reading and Maths rotations in the same block and the children have choice around when they do their set activities and what they can do when they are finished. They must ensure that priority is given to Teacher Workshops and Group Activities but after that they can do the other work in any order.

We have done a feedback session after trialling it last week. As a class we looked at any problems that we had, what successes we had, and what we need to work on to improve this week. 

One of the best things we found about the whole process was that I was able to see an extra group, and run an extra workshop in the same time as the more tradition programme. 

This means I can utilise my time more effectively and work with more children to target learning needs.

Please ask your children what they think about this new approach and get some feedback on our "Modern Learning" journey.

If you have any question you would like to ask me, you are welcome to can and see me after school most Wednesdays-Fridays. 

Please check out the Event/Notices Page for all the other things happening this week, including Waterwise and Biking with B7.

Kind regards

Susannah Franks    

Hi and Welcome to Week 8.

I have finally been given my new school computer which is great because my old one was getting very annoying and slow. Unfortunately however, it does not have Comic Life loaded onto it so I can't make this week's post as colourful as the last two but it is the information that is important anyway, so please read on...

Firstly a huge thank you to everyone who contributed and/or helped with your annual GALA - awesome effort!!

The Week Ahead

Our Reading and Maths programmes are full steam ahead and the children will be continuing to bring books home this week to share with you.

Thank you too for ensuring that the children have their library books ready to return each Monday. It means that they are able to make full use of it and get new books each week.

I have loaded some really good maths websites on the e-learning page for your children to practise, so please have a look at these too.

Our Writing focus for the week is

Often children find it hard to polish their writing to make to better, and struggle to critique their own work. They will be practising with re-crafting boring sentences, and then move onto using the same techniques on their own work.

Now that our swimming is over for the term we are hitting the bike track. Our first session will be with B7 on Tuesday so please make sure that your child had closed in shoes for this.

We are using the school bikes and helmets but if your child has their own it would be great if they could bring it as we don't quite have enough for every child.

Tuesday is also our Vertical Team's day in the school pool at lunch time so togs and a towel will be needed for this if they are keen for a dip.

Our inquiry into Community and Connectedness is also taking a turn this week as we explore more communities from around the world. It is also International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21st which is a good opportunity to look at how this has, and still does, effect people in many countries.

Although in New Zealand we are not as affected by racial discrimination as many other places in the world, we still have some pockets of prejudice and it is a topic well worth discussing.

It is also very timely around our other community focus of
"Accepting Difference"

I have put any important things to remember under

Have a great week
Kind regards

Susannah Franks


Hello Everyone,

The Week Ahead

It is PAT week this week which means that every day, except Tuesday due to swimming, the children will be doing a PAT test. They are an excellent source of information about each child’s learning needs in Maths, Reading, Listening, Punctuation and Grammar. Using the data from PAT testing, along with the formative testing I have been doing in class, provides me with an excellent picture of how best to teach to maximise learning potential.

I will be administering the tests in the first block each day so can you please make sure that your child is on time for school and ready to go by the bell. It often takes a while to get into the test as we have roll, notices and explanations to go through so starting the day promptly at 9am is necessary.

Along with PAT’s we will also be continuing our Inquiry about “Connectedness” by starting to branch out and look at our wider community. The children will be finding out more about what our community has to offer, and what we can offer our community.

We are also looking at getting our new furniture in the not to distant future, and the children have had a big input into what we want to make our learning environment fun, comfortable and easy to learn in. We have been looking at different types of furniture and layout plans to figure out how we can maximise the space, and have a variety of seating and tables to suit different learning styles and needs.

We have made quite a lot of progress on our devices in a week and nearly all children are up and running. They have learnt how to bookmark sites, create a google doc, move docs into their folders and make comments on their classmates docs.

In maths the concepts we are focussing on are: place value, basic facts, and using strategies to solve addition and subtraction word problems.

If your child wants to go on their device at home they are set up with logins and passwords on “Studyladder” https://www.studyladder.co.nz/  and “Sumdog” https://www.sumdog.com/  so they can practise their mathematical skills on these sites.

They also have kids news http://kiwikidsnews.co.nz/ bookmarked on their devices. This is an excellent site for them to stay up to date with what is going on in New Zealand and around the world. The site has topical news and interesting stories in easy to understand articles which are especially designed for children. Feel free to check it out with your child and help them keep up to date and aware of what is happening. It is important that children have a global understanding and that there is a big world out there full of interesting and amazing things. By learning about other places in the world it helps them find their own place in their national and international communities.

The children have also been writing their “Personal Profiles” and publishing them on their devices so ask your child to share theirs with you as they are very interesting and insightful.

Over the coming week I will be introducing them to a few more very good educational websites that they will be bookmarking. These can also be looked at together at home. Make sure that your child logs in under their school account though, as this is where all their work and bookmarks will be found - they have all made their own passwords too.

And lastly don’t forget to look at the “Events and Notices” tab for reminders about what is happening this week. I am hoping to get a new tab up and running in the next week or two as well. This will be updated by the children and is where they will write about the week that has been and upload photos etc… The children will work in 2’s or 3’s and rotate around being responsible for adding a blog at the end of each week.

Pā atawhai
(Kind Regards)

Susannah Franks


Hello Everyone

Well this is it - finally the children are allowed to bring their devices to school! We have spent a lot of time over the last week in preparation so that hopefully all will go smoothly on Monday. Please don’t panic if you have not been able to purchase a Chromebook yet or will not be able to - we will find ways around this. I have 3-4 computers that will be moved from the computer suite into the classroom for children to be able to access any lessons that we will be doing. It is still early days and we will only be gradually introducing them as a tool for learning - they will not be taking away from our use of exercise books and other resources that are used throughout the school day. If children are bringing different devices this can also be managed in the classroom to ensure that they can access what is being used.

I am reasonably good on a computer, and should be able to sort most problems, but if we have any difficult issues luckily we have plenty of support on staff to sort out anything that may arise.

Our practice run with “mock computers” went very well and helped to answer lots of questions around how we can manage and look after our Chromebooks safely. We looked at a variety of scenarios and most children were very good at transporting their devices to and from school. Thank you for your support at home and hopefully you were able to work with your children by finding a suitable charging station and helping them to remember to bring them back to school each day fully charged and ready to go. If you have purchased a case for them please ensure that they you it for transporting to and from school.

We have also had an indepth look at cyber safety and how we can keep ourselves safe in our learning. As a class we have run through the Student Cyber Safety Agreement and unpacked each point to ensure that we know what it means and the steps we can take to ensure that we all have positive experiences on the web.

We have been given a lockable storage cabinet to have in our classroom so that during breaks and when we are not in the classroom all devices can be safely locked away.

Looking forward to the week ahead

Our focuses for the week will be:

The introduction of “Bring Your Own Devices” into our classroom programme

  • Why do we want to use more technology in our learning?
  • How can it enhance our learning?
  • Revisiting the reasons why we need to be careful when using the internet?
  • Setting up our emails and login ins.
  • Looking at, and bookmarking, a few sites that can be useful.
  • Setting up Studyladder to be used at school and at home.
  • Creating and using a Google Doc for publishing our writing.

Continuing our exploration of our Inquiry focus
“Whanaugatanga” and “Connectedness”

  • Digging deeper into not only the meaning behind these concepts but also what else we want to find out about being a community and how we can contribute to it in a positive way.

  • Designing our Classroom Treaty around what we have found out about creating and maintaining a healthy community of learners.

  • The values and attributes needed to ensure that everyone feels safe and happy to learn to their potential.

  • Exploring our own wonderings about connectedness and finding examples of these to share with the class e.g You Tube clips, sayings, proverbs, posters, what other schools have done etc…

Continuing with assessments in reading, maths (as needed) and spelling assessments to ensure children are catered for at their own level and to look at particular learning needs individually and as a class.

Please try and get time to talk to your children about their day and what they have been learning as it is valuable for them to learn to be able to summarise key ideas and understandings.

Thank you in advance for helping your children to get into a “Device Routine” so that they come to school charged and ready to go.

If you want to work on anything together at home basic facts and times tables are always a good place to start and remember READ, READ, READ!!

Have a great week everyone

Susannah Franks

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A canoe which we are all in with no exception

Week 3 Update

Hello everyone

What a great start to the new year we have had in B8. We have spent the last 6 days getting to know each other and thinking about how we can make our learning community the best that it can be.

Here are some key areas that we will be looking at in more detail over the week to ensure that B8 is a safe, learning environment where everyone is able to learn and feel happy and valued.


How do we connect to others? What skills and attributes do we need to be able to make good connections with people. Learning to connect, collaborate and work to together as a class community.


This is a very important skill - not only to gain information and understanding, but also to ensure that we listen to others and allow everyone to have their say. What does it mean to be a good listener? When we are part of a group or an audience how do we show that we are listening? If we don't agree with what is being said how do we voice our own opinions while still valuing the views of others.

Accepting differences:

We are all unique individuals from different backgrounds, cultures and upbringings - that is what makes our class so wonderful. In order to make the most of all our qualities and everything we have to offer we must accept that we have differences as well as similarities.


This is a big concept and not easy to define, however through some unpacking we will be able to understand that we need to respect ourselves, others and our environment and be able to demonstrate ways that we can do this.


What makes someone trustworthy. What attributes to people have who are trustworthy? How do we earn people's trust?

Mock Computer Trial

The children will also be making a "pretend chrome book" tomorrow as a practice for when they bring the real one on the 20th. They will be learning how to look after it and where to use and store it in the classroom. They will also be bringing it home each night to have a dry run as to how to carry it in their bags safely and bringing it to and from school.

Can you please set up a "pretend charging station" at home so that when they are bringing home the real chrome book they have a regular place to set up it up and put it on charge so it will be ready in the mornings to bring back to school.

We will also be problem-solving any of the issues they come across with using, storing and moving around with their "pretend computers" so they can be fully prepared.

I would appreciate your support in helping with this mock scenario as it will put them in good stead for the real thing.

Looking forward to a great week of learning

Kind Regards

Susannah Franks

Important Dates:

Tuesday Lunchtime :Team Franks School Pool Day / Waterslide

Thursday 16th - 1st Gala Mufti Day and our first Waterwise session - please remember togs, towel, sunblock and hat.

Friday am :New Staff/ Students Powhiri - B7 and B8 to provide a small plate please for our Vertical Learning Team's shared "kai" (food) afterwards.

Assembly Friday 2.20pm - a special performance for performing arts.

We also have quite a few outstanding permission slips for swimming and these are needed for everyone to be able to participate in Waterwise on Thursday so please send them in ASAP 😀


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TERM 2 2017