Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Junior Swimming Sports Wednesday

Remember to pack:
* Togs
* 2x Towels
* Goggles
* Pjyamas

Look forward to seeing you if you can make it along :)

Monday, 27 February 2017

Rosalie's Cat

Check out this gorgeous cat that Rosalie has created. First Rosalie had to sew the cat before adding googly eyes and whiskers with the hot glue gun. Finally she added a collar to finish it off. Rosalie has worked hard to make small stitches so the stuffing doesn't fall out and we think it looks fabulous.

Congratulations Johnny!

Congratulations to Johnny for graduating from Rainbow Reading. We are all so very proud of the huge effort you have put in with your reading and we know Mrs Stoddart is so proud of you as well!

Here is Johnny with his special certificate and a wee treat from Mrs Stoddart to say well done!

Week 5 (28 Feb-3 Mar)

Welcome to Week 5.

Classroom Release
Room 19 have Art with Mrs McHaffie on Tuesday from 9-10.30am.

Junior Swimming Sports
We hope you can pop along to see our Kohara kids showcasing their swimming and enjoying a variety of water confidence games on Wednesday 1 March between 11.45 and 12.30pm in the school pool. Postponement day is Friday 3 March if the weather is unsuitable.

Reading Book Returns
Thank you to our wonderful helpers who have been returning our reading books to the reading room for us - your time is greatly appreciated.

Reading Folders
It is fabulous to see almost all children remembering their reading folders each day. These go in tote trays in the morning before school each day. Poetry folders of in the green boxes down the Room 19 end of Kohara.

Staff Professional Development Day
On Thursday both Mrs Campbell and Mrs O will be attending a professional development day over at Casebook Intermediate. Ms Jill Kelk and Ms Tania Stott will be teaching in Kohara for the day. Both Jill and Tania are regular relievers in Kohara and know the routines well so we look forward to welcoming them back to Kohara.

Parent Interviews
We are enjoying catching up with you all at our meet the teacher interviews. Don't forget you are most welcome to send us an email or pop in before or after school to chat if you ever have any concerns or just want to ask a question.

Lunchtime swim (optional) for Year 1/2 children on Tuesday.
Junior swimming sports on Wednesday.
Class swimming on Friday.
Please pack the togs this week - especially on Wednesday as we would love to see ALL our Kohara children participating in our junior swimming sports. Remember to pack a pair of pyjamas for the children for our fun PJ race on Wednesday too!

Library day is Friday

Kapa Haka is on Tuesday

Craft Club/Sewing Club is on Tuesday lunchtime.

Have a great week :)

Thursday, 23 February 2017

SPCA Visit

Our Term 1 Social Studies Inquiry is centred around the idea of being a responsible citizen.

What a fabulous morning we had today learning about how to be a responsible citizen when looking after animals. Richard and Courtney from the SPCA brought along Myrtle the dog and Vinnie, Trumpet and Junior the guinea pigs.

We found out that all animals need five things, just like people... shelter, love, food and water, exercise and vet care.

We loved hearing all the stories about the different animals and finding out how the SPCA help us here in Christchurch. We even found out we can join the Critters Club for free which gives you an interesting magazine twice a year which has loads of interesting information, stories, games and photos. We can tell some of our Kohara kids will be really keen to join this! We have added the link to the SPCA Canterbury page on the right hand side of our blog under 'useful links'. You can find details on how to join Critters Club on there under the 'get involved' section.

Richard with  Myrtle the dog.

Junior Swimming Sports

Our junior swimming sports is coming up on Wednesday 1 March.
Kohara is swimming between 11.45am and 12.30pm in the school pool.
We would love you to come along and cheer the kids on as they showcase their swimming and enjoy some fun confidence building water activities including a pyjama race at the end!
Postponement date is Friday 3 March.

Please send along togs, 2 towels, goggles and a pair of pyjamas to put on over their togs at the end (or shorts and a t shirt).

Friday Reminders

Friday is library day and our class swimming day. Please pack the togs as this is our last practice before our junior swimming sports next week.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Baking Help Needed

Khori, Hannah, Luca and Anika are doing a baking project to learn how to make pancakes. Is there anyone who might be able to help this week to do some cooking with them please. Either Thursday afternoon or anytime Friday.

Update: Thanks to Mel for her offer of help :)

Monday, 20 February 2017

Tuesday Swim & Sewing Club

Pack the togs if your child would like a lunchtime swim on Tuesday (optional) or they can also attend sewing/craft club if they prefer at 12.45pm after they have finished eating lunch.

Parent Night Summary

For those of you who missed our talk at our Kohara Whanau Dinner.

Here are the hows and whys of Kohara...

* We want to honour the NZ curriculum by developing confident, connected, actively involved, life long learners.

* We want the children to live the key competencies (self management, thinking, relating to others and participating and communicating) through authentic experiences.

* Reading, writing, mathematics is still the most important part of our programme.

* We believe in knowing our learners.

* We have high expectations for all our children.

* Our key words in Kohara are quality, detail and sequence. These words were selected because detail is important in reading and writing, sequencing for literacy and numeracy, and quality is important for all areas.

* You could call Kohara an inquiry programme, where children are creating, inquiring, learning, and practising skills. Kohara means to enthuse/passions - this is central to our class programme.

* We say if you can do that at morning tea or lunch time, then it's not learning in Kohara (e.g colouring in for the sake of colouring in). This makes learning more meaningful.

* Studies show that creativity in education for the children's future can't be underestimated. If you are interested in learning more please youtube Sir Ken Robinson/TED talks.

* In Kohara our focus is on the process, not the product. We promote a growth mindset - skills like perseverance, risk taking, not giving up, we may not know it YET but we will get there.

* The block challenge allows for meaningful conversations, negotiating, discussing options, collaboration, problem solving and creating ideas. Children have a specific challenge each day, it is not free play and they are encouraged to use detail to make the picture.

* Sketching supports detail, fine motor skills, writing, letter formation and spatial awareness.

Difference to Traditional Schooling

* Kohara may look a little different to when we went to school.

* Our main difference from 'old school, traditional classrooms' is what the children are doing when they are not with the teacher. In all other ways it is no different.

*We still do reading, writing, maths everyday as well as our topic or Inquiry studies, PE and Arts.

* In Kohara we work as one class although there are occasions when we split into R18 (Mrs Campbell) or Room 19 (Mrs O'Sullivan) - usually only for reporting/interviews and for classroom release time. In Term 1 Room 18 children have Mr Lukes for PE and Room 19 have Mrs McHaffie for Art while we have our release time.

So you may wonder what are they doing when they are not with the teacher...?

* The children have choice over when they complete some learning tasks (independent writing, free writing/spelling practice, poetry activity) and these must be completed by lunchtime. Some children prefer to do this at the start of the day whilst others like to do it later in the morning. We have class systems in place to monitor that these tasks are done and the children are already quickly picking up these new routines. They also have choices around what other learning activities they wish to do ( own choice projects, literacy and numeracy games, sketching, chess, puzzles, block mat, reading etc).

* Kohara is all about both/and and not either/or so this means while literacy and numeracy remain our core learning it is complemented by our Inquiry approach as well.

* Although we look busy with lots of different things happening at any given time, it is by no means less structured, as the children have many systems and layers of expectations in place (many you may not notice unless you talk to the children about what they are doing and why).

*The children still enjoy art, PE, music, and drama as well as project learning based around their interests.

Project Learning

*Through our project learning which we are just getting underway, the focus is on the process and the growth mindset and skills that they need to do to complete their project. The children plan, organise equipment, create, record the finished product (photos/writing) and then evaluate their learning. Our projects often inspire other children, or lead to further related projects.

*Often the most valuable learning comes from the process not necessarily the finished product. We encourage the children to have a go and not rely on an adult to do it for them as we celebrate making mistakes or being challenged as a good thing - an opportunity to problem solve, persevere or try new strategies and we are there to support the children with this.

* Our projects keep the children engaged and interested in learning. By pursuing their passions, they are more likely to be focused and be actively involved in their own learning.

* Kohara has no set timetable. At any time of the day you will find children writing, doing maths, reading, creating, problem solving, working cooperatively, discussing, organising, sharing, and doing many many more activities that are on offer. However, there is still a structure to our day in that teacher-led reading, writing and maths groups are still taking place throughout the day.

* We have one teacher who is working with instructional groups for literacy and numeracy whilst the other is roaming and facilitating or supporting the learning of the other children. 
The children may have either teacher for reading or maths and we deliberately cross group them to ensure we get to know all our children and their learning needs.

* A huge benefit is the relationships that we build as we are talking and working along side your child. We get to know all our children extremely well over the year.

* We have one book for most of our learning. Our book blog is a record of their learning over the year. Please feel free to look at your child's book throughout the year. We also have a sketching book to encourage this aspect of our programme also. Sketching promotes detail, fine motor skills (linked to handwriting, letter formations and spatial awareness).

Parent help

* We would love parent help this year especially with projects, baking, sewing, woodwork etc. We will send home requests later in the term once the children are settled in to routines and from time to time we might do a shout out for specific one off help for things as well.

* Please check our class blog EVERY WEEK for notices, celebrations of learning, projects, and information. We are aiming to try and have the blog on display in the mornings so if you don’t have computer access you are able to come and have a look before school. You can also access information on our class whiteboard and via the school newsletter, tweets and school facebook page. An easy way to get updates for the class blog is to subscribe by clicking on the ‘follow by email’ link and this will automatically email you our posts instead of having to visit the blog.

* We look forward to a great year with your children and learning more about what makes them tick! We can't wait for you to share more about your wonderful children when we meet for parent interviews. If you have any queries at any stage please feel free to pop in after school or send us an email.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Week 4 (20-24 February)

Welcome to Week 4 :)

Meet the Teacher Interviews
Thank you to those who have booked times with us for our upcoming Meet the Teacher interviews over the next two weeks. We look forward to seeing you.

Classroom Release Time
Room 18 have PE with Mr Lukes and Room 19 have Art with Mrs McHaffie on Thursday 11-12.30pm.

SPCA Visit
As part of our Social Studies Inquiry we have the SPCA visiting on Thursday morning to talk how about we can be responsible citizens when looking after animals.

Please remember to send swimming togs along on Wednesday and Friday for our class swimming lessons.  Swimming is an important part of our PE curriculum. If your child is unable to participate due to a medical reason, please let us know.
Optional lunchtime swim on Tuesday for the children is they wish.

Sewing/Craft Club
Sewing/craft club has restarted for the year on a Tuesday lunchtime at 12.45 in the room off the library. All ages are welcome to attend once they have finished eating lunch and have been dismissed by the duty teacher.

Reading Returns Roster
A huge thank you to the wonderful parent who have volunteered to put reading books away this term. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Library day is Friday.

Kapa Haka is on Tuesday afternoon.

Whanau Dinner
Thank you to all those who were able to make our Kohara dinner and swim last Thursday. It was lovely to spend the evening with you and your children. We hope you enjoyed it.

W still have a lot of Kohara children without sunhats. Please check that your child has a navy wide brimmed sunhat at school every day (well named).

Have a great week :)

Saturday, 18 February 2017


If anyone is able to help out with donations of newspaper for art or wood offcuts suitable for the children to use for woodwork projects, we would be most grateful.

Thursday, 16 February 2017


Kohara have been learning about statistics in maths. We have found out that statistics is a way to find out information about all kinds of things. We are using statistics to learn more about the children in  Kohara this year.

We have been:
* posing questions
* gathering data
* grouping and graphing our data
* interpreting our findings
* making connections

We have also looked at how we can record our data using tally marks and then using our skip counting in 5s to help count the information. Lauren has been practising using tally marks to make all kinds of numbers and exploring patterns (she ended up making tally marks to practise counting in 5s all the way up to 110!!) Here are some of the first ones she tried.

You could try having a go at home - start off easy drawing tally marks for numbers up to 10 and then challenge yourself to see what the biggest number is that you can make? Can you make 20? 50? 100?
Remember to group your tally marks in groups of 5 like this  llll

Rakaia River Trip to Plynlimon Park

Here are a few photos of our recent Rakaia River trip to Plynlimon Park. It was really neat to see the interactions between our senior children in our River group and our junior children. We enjoyed fabulous weather and a variety of fun activities and sports - a big thank you to all our parents who took the time to come along and join us on the day. We hope you enjoyed it as much as the children did!

Friday Reminders

Friday is our library day and our class swimming day. Please pack the togs and library bags :)

Whanau Evening

A huge thank you for coming along tonight with your whanau. It was lovely to see such a great turnout and to spend time with you all. We bet the children will all sleep well tonight! For those who couldn't make it - we will pop up a summary of our talk on the blog over the next few days.

Thanks to Kate (Leon's Mum) for this fabulous photo of the children saying our karakia kai.

Luca's Bunny

Look at this cute rabbit that Luca made. She thought about the details a bunny would need and added these to make it look just like a real one. Luca practised her sewing skills and added stuffing inside to make it soft and cuddly. Ka pai Luca!

Lauren's Cushion

Although Lauren is brand new to Kohara, we have already learnt that she loves to create. This was her first ever project - learning to sew and we think she got the hang of it pretty quickly! Lauren decided to add some beads to make her cushion more interesting and each side has a different pattern. It was also Lauren's first time learning to use the hot glue gun.

Hannah's Dolphin

Wow Hannah - look at your detailed dolphin that you made for your barbie to ride on. You put a lot of thought into creating a saddle and reins so barbie doesn't fall off.

Archie's Pillow

Look at this lovely soft pillow that Archie made. He made it for his family - that's why there is a F for family on it. We tested it out in Kohara - Mrs O nearly fell asleep on it!! Archie learnt lots of sewing skills including how to pin the fabric and how to make the stitches. Lots of new learning for you Archie.

Addison's Pig

Addison wanted to learn how to sew. She made this gorgeous pig where she got to practise lots of hand stitching. She has even got a goal for the next time she does a sewing project - to make her stitching smaller so there are no gaps around the outside. Addison - we love the details you added at the end. It will make a fabulous cushion or soft toy!

Gemma's Rabbit

Gemma decided to make her rabbit at home a friend after her other bunny died, so she created a soft toy rabbit to keep it company. Gemma learnt to use the hot glue gun and to practise her sewing skills. She had a few hiccups along the way but we were so proud of the way she persevered even when the sewing got tricky!

Angus's Race Track

Angus has created a race track for his cars. Just like all inventors he struck a hiccup. He had to modify his design because after testing he found that the ramp didn't work as well as he wanted so he made some modifications and now it works great.

Valentines Day

Hannah created a weaving heart for her family for Valentines Day. She cut, weaved and wanted it laminated for long life!! Hannah has said she can now be the teacher for any children wanting to do a weaving project....We like that Hannah.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Week 3 (13-17 February)

Welcome to Week 3 :)

Swimming days for Kohara are Wednesday and Friday. Please pack the togs for these days.
Optional lunchtime swim on a Tuesday lunchtime as well.

Library day is Friday. Books can be returned any time during the week to the library containers in Kohara.

Kapa Haka
Junior Kapa Haka on Tuesday afternoons 2.30-3pm.

Kohara Whanau Dinner/Swim
We hope you can join us on Thursday 16th Feb (this week) for a BYO picnic dinner from 5pm.
At 6pm we will meet in Kohara for a quick introduction to how things work in Kohara, and following this the pool will be open for anyone wishing to have a quick swim before we finish up at 7pm.
If fine, we will eat out on the grass opposite Kohara (beside R22, near the hall).
The children will help lead a short karakia prior to us enjoying our kai together.

Classroom Release
The Room 18 children will have PE with Mr Lukes on Thursday 11-12.30pm.
The Room 19 children will have Art with Mrs McHaffie on Thursday 11-12.30pm.
The children should know whether they are R18 or R19 but we will help them out if they're unsure :)

Please ensure all children have a wide brimmed navy sunhat at school every day this term. We would love to see every child in Kohara with their hat at school for class fitness, PE as well as for break times.

On a Monday morning before Monday meet up, can the children please return all their reading books form last week into the grey container by the teachers chair in the R18 end. The children keep their books for the week in their reading folder so you are able to re-read and enjoy them throughout the week before returning them at the start of the next week.

Poetry Folders
Please get children to return their poetry folders into the poetry boxes on a Monday morning.
This week we will also have a poem for reading on Thursday due to classroom release.

Parent Interviews
You are now able to book online for our upcoming parent teacher interviews. Please see Tracy or Monique if you would like help booking online. The booking code was in the school newsletter last week.

Monday Meet Up
This week at Monday Meet Up we will be welcoming Lauren and Lochie and their families to Waimairi School. They have both settled into Kohara so easily and we are enjoying getting to know them both.
For Monday Meet Up our Kohara children can make their way to the hall when the bell goes and find a seat (or Tracy and Monique will bring over anyone who needs a helping hand).

Have a great week - we look forward to seeing you on Thursday night!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Whanau Hui

We would like to welcome you along to school on Thursday 16th February between 5-7pm for a BYO picnic dinner with the other Kohara families.

5pm Dinner (on the grass outside the hall if fine or in Kohara if wet).
The children will lead a karakia before eating.

6pm Brief chat in Kohara about how our class programme works.
Following this, the pool will be open for a swim for those that would like, concluding at 7pm.

A notice will be sent home tomorrow.

Parent Interviews

We look forward to meeting you and learning more about your child at the upcoming Meet the Teacher interviews. There is information in this week's school newsletter on how to book a time with us.

If you are a new family to Waimairi School this year, you do not need to book a time as we will meet you along with Mrs Coleman (our Assistant Principal) at our 'New to Waimairi' family interview.

Week 2 (7-10 February)

Welcome to Week 2

Our swimming days are Wednesday and Friday.
Optional lunchtime swim on Tuesdays for Year 1/2 children.

Library day is Friday - books can be returned to the containers in Kohara at any stage during the week.

Reading Roster
Thank you to the parents who have already signed up for this terms roster to re-shelve class reading books. This is greatly appreciated. If you are on the roster, let us know when you have some spare time during your rostered week and we are happy to show you what to do.

Reading Books
The children will bring home a reading book or a poem to read with you each night. Poetry folders need to be returned to school the following day (the children know where these go in the classroom). Reading books are kept in reading folders for the whole week and on a Monday they get returned into the grey reading container by the teachers chair in Room 18. It is great to see that most children now have their reading folders at school - these go in their tote trays each morning.

Kapa Haka
We have a new Kapa Haka teacher this year - a warm welcome to Matua Steve. Our junior Kapa Haka is on every Tuesday at 2.30pm.

If your child is learning an instrument this term, please let us know the time/day of their lesson.

There is still quite a few children without sunhats. These need to be at school every day please. Children are able to keep them on their bag hooks or in their school bags.

Pokemon Cards
Our class rule around Pokemon cards is that they are welcome to be used before school, at morning tea or at lunchtime. They are not to be seen in class during learning time.

Have a great week!

Monday, 6 February 2017

Just a quick reminder!

Hi All
We are keen to get out to you the Friendship List so you can start to organise those playdates. If you haven't done so could you please send back the completed Contact List form that was on the back of the newsletter we sent home on the first day.
Many thanks
Tracy and Monique

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Block Mat Creations

The children have been enjoying creating on our block mat. This week it has been free choice creations but from next week the children will have a block challenge to recreate each day. One of our key words in Kohara is detail and the children are encouraged to include as many details in our block challenges as they can. This helps develop observational skills and it is always fascinating listening to the rich oral language that takes place as the children collaborate and challenge each other  with their ideas.

The boys worked cooperatively on their tall tower - this picture was taken before it was finished. It is now even taller. Johnny  thought it was "about a metre and a half" and when we measured it was 153cm!! Great estimating Johnny! Kohara talked about why we thought the base had to be wider than the top and we thought it was because this made it stronger, more stable and so that it didn't fall over. We tried to imagine what would happen if the tower had a wider top and we all agreed that it would be too heavy. We even found a connection to other things we knew that had wider bases at the bottom and skinnier tops - the Eiffel Tower, hills, mountains and volcanoes were a few of our ideas.

Below is Gemma with her airport. It has planes that have landed and even a chute where the baggage comes out for the passengers. I wonder where all her passengers are arriving from? Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world for a holiday?

First Swim

The Room 19 children in Kohara enjoyed their first swim on Wednesday. Unfortunately Room 18 have to wait until tomorrow for their first swim as they were busy having sporty fun with Mr Lukes instead. It was great to see the children showing off their swimming skills and getting to know each other in the pool.

Trip Reminder

A reminder that we are off to Plynlimon Park tomorrow (Friday) with the other classes from our River group. We will be out of the school from 11.50am returning by the end of the day.

Thank you to all those who have offered to parent help - your child should have a notice for you in their bags with more information. We will assemble on the back field at 11.50am before heading down to the park via the cycleway.

Whanau are most welcome to join us at any stage - feel free to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the afternoon with us.

All children will need:
* Drink and lunch (no hot dog orders)
* Warm jersey
* Suitable shoes for walking, running and having fun in!

Swimming Day Friday

Pack the togs Kohara - Friday is our class swimming day.

A great time to check uniform items are well named to avoid confusion in the changing rooms.