Whānau Update Wednesday 19 October

Kia ora koutou

Welcome to term four. I hope everyone had a relaxed holiday break and are looking forward to a great Summer term. 

School Calendar for the remainder of 2022 and 2023

Below are the dates for Public Holidays, Term Dates, IEMs and Staff Only Days for the remainder of 2022 and the term dates for 2023.

Date 2022Event
Monday 24 October Labour Day – Public Holiday
Friday 4 NovemberLast day for students in Years 11, 12 and 13 (NZQA exams start on Monday 7 November)
Graduation at The Piano at 156 Armagh Street for our graduating students and whānau. Doors open at 6:30 and the event starts at 7pm. 
Friday 11 NovemberShow Day – Public Holiday
Thursday 15 December Last day of school for 2022. We will have a community picnic in the morning and school will finish at lunchtime. 

Please note: Thursday 20 October 

The One Schools’ Network which is student leaders across Ōtautahi are joining to fundraise money for the Gumboot Friday and the I Am Hope charities. Follow along on our instagram page – @oneschoolsnetwork to see all the amazing things schools are doing to fundraise. 

Our kura is having a sausage sizzle at lunchtime. Sausages (meat and vegetarian) are $2 each. 

Week Three Monday 31 October – Friday 4 November is Ao Tawhiti annual Dress Up Week. Everyone is welcome to dress up and participate and there will be prizes and activities. The categories are listed below. 

Monday 31 October – Wacky hair day

Tuesday 1 November – Anything but a backpack day

Wednesday 2 November – Dress up as your friend day

Thursday 3 November – Throwback thursday

Friday 4 November – Dress up like a Tourist day

Well done to Roisin Scott and Georgina Burkin for organising both activities. 

Wednesday 2 November 5:30pm Whānau Hui where we will present the draft strategic plan that outlines how we are going to support our Māori ākonga. This has been developed using the student and whānau voice collected in term three. This hui will be an opportunity for whānau and students to feedback on this plan before it is finalised. 

Date 2023Event
Tuesday 31 January and Wednesday 1 February IEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1 – 6 if neededForm for supervision
Thursday 2 February and Friday 3 FebruaryStaff Only Days – school is closed for instruction
Monday 6 FebruaryWaitangi Day – school is closed for instruction
Tuesday 7 FebruaryTimetabled classes for term one start
Wednesday 5 AprilLast day of timetabled classes for term one
Thursday 6 AprilIEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1 – 6 if needed
Friday 7 April – Sunday 23 AprilHoliday Break
Monday 24 AprilIEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1 – 6 if needed
Tuesday 25 AprilAnzac Day – school closed for instruction
Wednesday 26 AprilTimetabled classes for term two begin
Monday 5 JuneQueen’s/King’s Birthday Public Holiday – school is closed for instruction
Thursday 29 JuneLast day of timetabled classes for term two
Friday 30 JuneIEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1- 6 if needed
Saturday 1 July – Sunday 16 JulyHoliday Break
Monday 17 JulyIEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1 – 6 if needed
Tuesday 18 July Timetabled classes for term three start
Thursday 21 SeptemberLast day of timetabled classes for term three
Friday 22 SeptemberIEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1 – 6 if needed
Saturday 23 September – Sunday 8 OctoberHoliday Break
Monday 9 OctoberIEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1 – 6 if needed
Tuesday 10 OctoberTimetabled classes for term four start
Monday 23 OctoberLabour Day – school closed for instruction
Friday 27 OctoberSenior students leave for study leaveGraduation
Friday 17 NovemberShow Day – school closed for instruction
Thursday 14 DecemberLast day of school for 2023

 University of Canterbury Linguistics Research

On Wednesday October 26, during Homebase time, researchers from the University of Canterbury will be coming to talk about their research. They are studying what New Zealanders automatically learn about te reo Māori, just by living in New Zealand and hearing the language occasionally used. By running experiments with children of different ages, they can learn a lot about how language knowledge is built up through childhood. 

Students from year 7 – 13 will be invited to take part in their experiments. The experiments are very simple, and involve reading and responding to various Māori words and non-words. Students will finish in less than 30 minutes. The researchers will be returning to the school at a later date to explain to the student what their experiments have found. Students who complete the experiment will receive a $10 giftpay voucher, which they can use at a range of locations such as Farmers, Dominos, Whitcoulls and online locations such as the App Store and Xbox Live. The full information given to the students can be found here.

This is an optional activity. If you have any questions about the research, you can email the Principal Investigator, Jen Hay at jen.hay@canterbury.ac.nz. If you do not wish your child to take part in the experiments, please contact the school at office@aotawhiti.school.nz

NCEA Support and Exam Dates

Here is a link to the examination timetable for NCEA exams this year. They will be held on Floor Four at Ao Tawhiti. Please encourage your child to arrive 30 minutes before the start of the exam. 

Examination Timetable 2022

The government has announced a support package for senior students working towards gaining an NCEA qualification in 2022. This support package has been developed to acknowledge the impact Covid isolation and illness (both staff and students) has had on students’ access to full time educational programs this year. 

Please contact Brent Silby (Principal’s Nominee for NZQA) at brent.silby@aotawhiti.school.nz or your child’s Home Base Learning Advisor if you have any questions. 

The changes are as follows:

1. In 2022, students will be entitled to 1 Learning Recognition Credit (LRC) for every 5 credits earned through assessment, up to a maximum of: 10 for Level 1, 8 for Level 2, 8 for Level 3

2. To receive a Certificate Endorsement, students will need 46 credits at Merit or Excellence level, instead of the usual 50.

3. To be awarded University Entrance, students will need 14 credits in each of two UE Approved Subjects, and 12 credits in a third UE Approved Subject (they will also need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet the regular literacy and numeracy requirements).

4. The submission dates for some externally assessed portfolios have also been moved back one week – this provides some relief but avoids overlap with end of year examinations. This will apply to the following subjects:

  • Technology (NCEA Levels 1-3 and NZ Scholarship)
  • Design and Visual Communication (NCEA Levels 1-3 and NZ Scholarship)
  • Education for Sustainability (NCEA Level 3)
  • Dance (NZ Scholarship)
  • Music (NZ Scholarship)
  • Health and Physical Education (NZ Scholarship)

The dates for Art folios are not changing.


Thank you for your support in protecting our school community.

We have very low case numbers in our school at the moment.

If your child does test positive then please email us at covid@aotawhiti.school.nz. This helps to support our health and safety decision making.

Ngā mihi nui