Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery Newsletter 27th August 2021

Upcoming Events

  • School Holidays 2nd October- 17th October
  • IEM’s 1st October- School closed for instruction
  • IEM’s 17th October- School closed for instruction.

Messages From Anita

Kia ora koutou

I am writing this from my bedroom where I have set up a makeshift office to try and hide away from my children and dog so I can do some work. I can hear my son (who is meant to be doing his NCEA assessment) playing an online game and talking with his friends, while my other son seems to spend the day walking in and out of the kitchen. My dog has rolled in something unpleasant and keeps coming up for a cuddle when what she really needs is a bath. This is the reality of my lockdown and I want to acknowledge the work that whānau, learners and kaimahi (staff) are doing during these uncertain times. It is tricky juggling childcare, work and other commitments and I appreciate the support that you are giving the school and your children as we navigate a new way of teaching and learning.
The beginning of term three had a number of highlights. Our Kapa Haka group performed brilliantly at the regional Haka competition. Our students joined forces with Hagley College and performed as Te Waipapa o te Ao Tawhiti. They made the school proud and a huge thank you to Marlene for the hours of time and effort she put into supporting these students. Alister Emerson and the senior drama students have also put a lot of time and effort into producing Lord of the Flies which unfortunately has been postponed due to our lockdown. We have had a number of day trips and camps. Matt Davis organised a great music trip to Blenheim. John Schischka has been doing a great job as our Gateway coordinator and took students to Waitomo for a leadership camp and Boyle River. Thank you to Sarah Marshall for involving students in the NZ DanceMade competition and thank you to Zack for taking interested students skiing every second Wednesday. Our Hapori groups have been having some great experiences heading off-site, especially our Years 1 – 6 students and I would also like to thank all the parents who help with the wide range of education outside the classroom, especially for our younger students who love heading off-site to explore the city.
The Government will make an announcement today about the Alert Levels and I am hoping that we drop down to Level Two as it will be nice to be back on site with students and staff. But, in the event that we stay at Level Three, or Four then please do be kind to yourselves and each other. It can be a difficult time and everyone’s situation is different. Learning is important, but so is balance and I would encourage all our students to make the most of the sunshine and take advantage of having this precious time with family.

Ngā mihi

Messages from Senior Leaders

NCEA Changes

You’re probably aware that NCEA is changing. Following wide scale public engagement, a number of changes are being introduced including simplifying NCEA’s structure, strengthening numeracy and literacy requirements, and revising all of the achievement standards so that subjects have fewer larger, standards. New achievement standards will be introduced at Level 1 in 2023, at Level 2 in 2024 and at Level 3 in 2025. There are also a few changes being introduced straight away, including the following:
NCEA qualifications are now free
Courses can be awarded endorsements at the achieved level, in addition to merit and excellence
Resubmission of an achievement standard is only available to move from ‘Not Achieved’ to ‘Achieved’
Some Special Assessment Conditions have become easier to access.

The graphic included here gives an overview of the changes and you may also like to view this Ministry of Education pamphlet which provides a little more information:

Providing the Covid alert levels allow, I’ll hold an information evening soon for anyone who’d like to discuss the changes or find out more. Stay tuned for further details.

Megan Taylor

News / Notices

Dance Showcase 2021

This is going to be held on Thursday 16 September (week 8) at 6pm in our school gym.

I would like to invite any students (years 1-13) that are keen to perform to get in contact with me so I can put them in the programme.
Solos, duos, groups and any genre is welcome.

Sarah Marshall

Junior Debating Team 2021

Congratulations to our junior debaters on a great effort this year. We managed to attend four out of our six debates at STAC and to win three of these. Cammie Chamberlain, Whatuariki Brazier, Abby Sturgeon, Lucy Gray and Rhys White showed kaha and commitment, and I’m proud of them. We would love to expand the team next year to include some new members so watch this space.

Kate Armour

Sarah’s HB, classes and Hāpori

Photo 1: Sarah’s Homebase made some pumpkin soup to put in our freezer for families who might need a break from cooking.
Photo 2: Senior dance class went to the Arts Centre to watch a performance by Footnote.
Photo 3: Mahi Hāpori group making some board games for the kids to visit the City Mission.

Sarah Marshall

Te Waipapa O Te Ao Tawhiti Kapa Haka

Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery combined once again with Te Puna Wai o Waipapa Hagley to enter the Waitaha Canterbury Regional Secondary Schools Kapa Haka competition. As Te Waipapa O Te Ao Tawhiti we practised for months during the week, at the weekends and even during school holidays to be ready for the competition that was held on Saturday 14th August. The whole group was only ever fully together on our dress rehearsal and the competition morning due to whānau commitments, exams, work commitments, illness or mental health. Anei mātou Te Waipapa o te Ao Tawhiti e!

The competition was amazing and we felt privileged to stand on the same stage as some other great kura/schools. Not only did we the tutors work on the bracket (full performance programme), so did the akonga/students.

We firstly thanked the Māori teachers of Hagley who seeded and grew the Whānau o Te Puna Wai O Waipapa. Both Rangihau Te Moana and Bev Maata-Hart at one point or time supported and visited us during some of our practices. E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea.

In the design of the bracket, the akonga wanted the LGBTQ community supported and allow them to stand in whatever line in a haka group they wanted to. Many of our transgender people are not always supported to stand in the line where they want because girls and boys must abide by rules specific to the gender. But, as our special characters demand we are expected to support all students, so we did proudly! Even the haka words were changed around by the girls so they could get in on the haka longer and of course, the boys did the poi. Kia kaha, Kia maia, Kia manawanui!

The other kaupapa/topic we performed was for the people-whānau who supported our kapa haka and specific whānau who have passed away recently. We wanted to remember and honour our whānau. Moe mai e ngā rangatatira. Hoki atu koutou ki Hawaiki-nui, Hawaiki-roa, Hawaiki-pāmamao.

Our students stood strong and proud. Hopefully, in the future, the rōpū/group will grow and perform again in support of student issues and concerns i roto i ā rātou ao tawhiti…. mō āke tonu atu.

Our performance can be seen here:

Tihei Mauriora!

Me ora ai i te mahaki.

Dance NZ Made 2021

During week 2 we had an amazing group of dancers perform at the Aurora Centre.

Photo 1: Stage Art (1st place)
Photo 2: Open team (2nd place)
Photo 3: Golden ticket nominees
Photo 4: Solo and duo dancers ( Yr 9-10 duo 1st place, Open duo 2nd place)

Sarah Marshall

Early Literacy Support at Ao Tawhiti

Ao Tawhiti is one of only five kura in Christchurch to trial the new Early Literacy Support programme initiated by Reading Recovery. The programme is designed to give a boost to 5-year-old tamariki and get them underway in literacy, working in a small group with our Reading Recovery teacher, Yolanda Soryl.
At Ao Tawhiti, we are calling the initiative ‘Reading Discovery Club’. Our tamariki love coming to the club and are so keen and enthusiastic to learn. They work very hard in the daily 30-minute lesson but love the challenge. In the lesson, the tamariki learn a nursery rhyme, sing a song, learn a high-frequency word, do phonics, read a book and write a little story.
The programme runs for 8 weeks in term 3 and then it will be evaluated to see what impact it has made on the learning of the tamariki and to consider if we want to run it again in 2022.

Yolanda Soryl

Sports Coordinator News

Kia ora team,
Here’s a rundown & update of events for term 3

Canterbury Secondary Schools Ski & Snowboard Championships – Mt Hutt
This is an annual event that gives the competitive ski & snowboarders the opportunity to showcase their skills & measure themselves against other students that like to go fast. The course is set up for slalom racing & each racer gets two runs to form a total time. We had three students representing us – Ngair North, Wiremu Hopkins & Evan Ritchie. The competition is hard & fast with some tight racing on display. Wiremu had a DNF in the first run but posted a great time of 26.08sec for his second run. Evan who was new to the event posted consistent times of 33.14 & 34.51sec. Ngaire placed 8th in the mixed category with a 29.20 & 31.69sec. Congratulations & well-done team. Also, a big thank you very much to John Hopkins & Liam Paulsen who support the students on the day!

Winter-Weekly Sports – Football, Netball, Years 7- 8

Thursday 19th August was meant to be our last game for winter sport, but unfortunately due to the lockdown, these games were obviously not played. At this stage, I believe the games have been cancelled & will not be rescheduled, however, I will confirm this when we return to school? I would like to take this opportunity to thank the students – parents for their commitment & support. It’s been so cool watching the fun & hype when the teams meet up in the dance space before heading out to play. Good times!
Ps: There are no weekly summer sports on offer in term 4 for years 7 – 8, but there are some individual tournaments, plus the South Zone Athletics Competition to watch out for…

Term 4 – Weekly Summer Sports On Offer – Years 9 – 13
Please click this link to see the weekly summer sports on offer for the years 9 – 13. I’m happy to accept permission & selection via email or alternatively, you can return the permissions form to me at the reception desk.

COVID-19 Update
Once again we find ourselves moving into uncertain times in terms of the sporting calendar & schedule events. Some events have been cancelled already & a number are on hold, as soon as I receive any information regarding upcoming events I’ll pass this on to the appropriate people.
Take care & stay safe!

Clint Williams

Chain reactions in HB Pohutukawa

Creating chain reactions with dominoes and other materials has been a play focus for many of the ākonga this term.
We have explored elements of physics to support our understanding and the creations are getting more and more complex!
Some materials and constructions work better than others and there’s been lots of consideration about why that is.

Suze Keys

Other Notices