April 2019 Newsletter


Benefits of Attending a Diverse School

The Board of Trustees and all of the staff at ANI extend our heartfelt condolences to our Muslim families as you grieve for your Muslim brothers and sisters coping with the tragic events that took place in Christchurch recently. Our thoughts and Aroha are with you as we all deal with the enormity of this atrocious act.

Last months tragic event in Christchurch has affected us all. This is a good time to reflect on the benefits our students have in attending a school with a diverse roll. Children at ANI learn and play with children from a wide range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds.

While they are young children they accept difference as normal. They know children who come from different backgrounds as friends and classmates. They study and play with children from many races and religions. Living their everyday lives in a multi-cultural school such as ANI is the best preparation our children can have for living in our modern world. This would be a good time to share conversation with your children about getting along with people who may look different and have different family rules and beliefs.

As emerging adolescents, Intermediate-aged children are beginning to develop their own world views. One way good can come from significant events such as the one in Christchurch, is for each of us and our families to come to understand that tolerance is what keeps us safe and bigotry puts us all at risk. When tragic events happen, it is important that children are given an opportunity to talk about them.

End of term whole school assembly and presentation of awards

On Friday 12 April we have our final assembly for the term which is a formal awards assembly. This special assembly would normally be held in the school hall but with the  unfortunate events at the start of the year this is no longer possible. There is a big empty space where this building used to stand so proudly. Our hall was a significant place, and like so many intermediates we see it as the heart of the school. It’s not just a building, it is where children make memories that they will carry for life, where many first sing in a choir, where they first perform in a band or an orchestra, the place where they take part in drama productions, where they attend their first school dance and of course celebrate the end of their primary school education with our special graduation.The loss of this special place has presented a much greater challenge than we anticipated as we search in our local area for a venue that can accommodate large numbers (seated) including all students in the school, our staff and parents of award recipients. You can be assured that we have gone to great lengths in this search so that the students at ANI this year will have the same range of memory making experiences as the students that went before them. However in saying that we are still on the look out! Do you know of a suitable place where we can hold the awards assembly on 12 April.  If you have any contacts or have access to a large indoor space that can hold 800-850 people we’d love to hear from you. Please email dmerriott@ani.school.nz.

School Strategy

At the end of last year, groups of students across the school were involved in strategic planning. They worked with senior leaders to frame our long term strategy and our annual plan for 2019. A number of data sources (quantitative and qualitative) were reviewed to help us set long term priorities, construct common goals and establish agreement around intended outcomes. They also worked with us to decide where we would focus our energy and resources for 2019 (our annual plan). If you would like to access a copy of our strategy and annual plan please click here.

And a final word ……

Quite often we see parents intervening with teachers or sports coaches to advocate for their child for a particular outcome or they want or they get involved in trying to neutralise a difficult situation whether it be in friendships, disciplinary issues, decisions on the sports field or even school policies. If you are at all worried about a situation, one of the best things you can do as a parent is empower your child rather than insulating or cushioning them. Being able to stand back and help them brainstorm a solution to the problem will not only build resilience but also help them learn from consequences.Providing the adolescent with something simple like your perspective or advice is a positive way of showing that you do care and will support them without fixing it for them. If you’re spending more energy trying to prevent or alter consequences than you are coaching and guiding them then that could be a sign something is out of balance. Two useful questions to ask yourself if you think you are intervening too much:“When was the last time my child experienced a negative consequence based on choices they made?”“When my child has problems, do I help coach them or do I try to fix it ?” The wonderful thing about allowing young people to experience consequences is that it allows them to be taught far in excess of our wisdom or skill. Remember the curriculum of life will present them with many experiences – be grateful for these learning opportunities.  

Jill Farquharson | Principal


With recent incidents occurring around the world and especially in Christchurch, we thought it was a good time to provide some thoughts around mindfulness and ensuring our learning community (students, teachers, parents, and community) balance their expectations and commitments and also their Hauora/ wellbeing).

Mindfulness at ANI

The school currently offers mindfulness opportunities for students several ways through small group or classroom programmes.

Small groups of students have been offered training and workshops, with the aim of focusing on those who:

  • have difficulty focusing or paying attention and regulating their emotions
  • have negative self-talk, have high reactivity
  • are lacking in self esteem and confidence
  • suspect they may have anxious tendencies

Some teachers have been looking at teaching different skills and knowledge integrated into their current IB themes such as ‘The Happiness Project’, while Tori Shaffett, our mindfulness coach, will incorporate mindfulness and positive psychology into school learning programmes throughout the rest of the year.

Tori recently suggested some welcome advice based on current research of how best students could be more mindful in their everyday life (we will discuss adult mindfulness in the May newsletter).

Mindfulness Tools to Use with Students

Mindful Breathing

When we are stressed or anxious, we often take shallow breaths into our chests. By breathing deeply into your belly, you can use your breath to calm both your body and mind. Through our physiology we can trick our brains into thinking we are calm.

Instructions: To practice mindful breathing, place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest, feeling the gentle rise and fall of your breath. Count to three as you inhale, then count to three again as you exhale. Close your eyes, too, if that feels comfortable. Try mindful breathing first by yourself, and then include your students. They can pretend to inflate a balloon in their bellies. Incorporate simple breathing technique throughout the school day to help with transitions, before test preparation, or during difficult situations. You only need to do this activity for 30 seconds minimum for it to be successful – So simple!

Mindful Movement

Humans are born to move. Our distant ancestors spent their days running from predators or hunting for food. Introducing movement into your classroom allows your students to tap into their natural way of learning. Ways to incorporate mindful movement include taking 30 seconds to take a breath and stretch – asking your students to focus on each body part as they are stretching. You can also ask misbehaving or stressed students to go for a mindful walk or run – Asking them to focus on the way their body moves as this is happening. Anyone keen on yoga – this is a great way to utilise mindful movement also!


Mindful Bell

At the beginning of each class, one student would get a bell. During that day’s lesson, the student rings the bell when he or she feels the class needs a break (they can set it to how many times they want – maybe twice in a block)

When the student rings the bell, the class stops. In silence, everyone stands up and stretches, and then sits down for 30 seconds or so of mindful breathing. Then the student who rang the bell would prompt students to silently think of something they were grateful for. And then the lesson would proceed.

This practice only takes a minute, and it gives students (and teachers) a much-needed break. Sometimes we are in such a hurry to get through a lesson  that we forget to allow a bit of a brain break to allow the information to “land.”

Also, putting the students in control allows them to take ownership of the mindfulness practices in class, and it also gives the teacher valuable information about when students’ attention is waning.

Attention Check In

A variation on the attention break above is to have the teacher announce a short “attention check.” You could do this in the middle of a lesson, or during the middle of independent or group work time. Ask students to pause and “check in with their attention.” Is their attention here, in class? Was their mind wandering? If so, where had their attention gone?

Emphasize that mind-wandering is completely normal and to be expected — it’s what minds do! The important thing is to notice what the mind is doing, and then to understand you now have a choice about where to direct your attention. We can’t force kids to pay attention, but the more we practice this “attention check-in,” the more skilled they will become at monitoring their own attention and redirecting it when necessary.

End of Day Mindful Moment

At the end of class, take 3-5 minutes to have kids close their eyes and focus on their breath. Have them think of what they have learned and what they have accomplished. Give them quiet time to settle their nervous systems and then end with a positive statement about how hard they’ve worked or something along those lines.

Where to next?

Below are some Mindfulness websites that may be of use to our community. (Thanks to our School counselor, Laura Edwards for her suggestions).


This site above explains what Mindfulness is and what it aims to do, quite accessible and nice!

In terms of website or Apps that offer Mindful practice the two below are well reviewed:

Headspace https://www.headspace.com/blog/2019/01/25/headspace-for-kids-meditations/

Headspace is a well known and well used/recommended site that offers different mindful breathing exercises to help kids (aged 5-12 years) with calm, focus, kindness and sleep.

Smiling Mind https://www.smilingmind.com.au/mindfulness

Smiling Mind is an Australian mindfulness meditation smartphone app, for both adults and kids. It was created as a non-profit initiative to improve the lives of Australians through increasing clarity, calm and contentment and reducing stress via mindfulness instruction and encouragement.

The app can be downloaded for free, and then getting started is as simple as registering and choosing your age preference. Each age group is given a set of guided meditations designed to bring users from a beginning level to a ‘mindful master’ level over time.

Kids start with a fun meditation called ‘The Bubble Journey,’ while adults start with a basic body scan. Badges, reminders and a recorded history help to encourage daily use and make practicing mindfulness a purely positive, rewarding experience.


This week the school will be having a scheduled “lockdown practice”.  It is important that parents have provided the school with the correct email and contact mobile number (for teachers/ office, to contact parents for health & safety issues, awards and meetings, etc.) but more importantly you have subscribed to the School App as this is where all information will be disseminated to ensure you are kept up to date with lockdown notifications and information.

It is essential you have the school app as it will be our ONLY form of communication.


All correspondence between home and school is done through the ANI school app.  You will no longer get newsletters, the Friday Flyer or notices via email. This is your ‘one stop shop’ for everything school-related, from reporting an absence to reading the school newsletter. This app can be installed on multiple devices with some families even having extended family added to it. In addition to this, our school app will be used in an event of emergency so it is vital that all our families have this installed. For clear instructions on how to download please visit here.

It is essential you have this app as it will be our ONLY form of communication.


Thanks for a great turn out on Wednesday 20 March from ANI Parents as well as parents from our local contributing schools.

Valuable messages were provided for parents at the workshop, with some parents commenting on how they “wish it went for longer”, “I wish my partner was here to listen to him as he was so practical”, “it was a great night”, ‘it was better than I expected’, “so easy to follow” and “easy to take home to implement with my own children”.

Several key messages came from the evening workshop including:

  • Empower your children to make calculated decisions and be target hardened, “don’t raise a people pleaser”
  • Don’t allow your children to dismiss your family values and morals
  • Respect those who treat you the same
  • Never ignore your gut feeling and anchor your ideas on values
  • Don’t become outcome orientated as you may well get distracted
  • Give your child a sense of control over their identity
  • Ensure you have strong relationships with your family
  • Have strong online and open conversations with your children
  • The most important question you can ask to your child is: “How are you feeling?”
  • Communication is an important part of wellbeing
  • Develop a strong online presence that is positive and will work for you, not the opposite

To find out more follow this link or search him on Facebook @ johnparsonss2e.


Parents are able to see individual results in EasTTle recent reading, writing and math tests online through the parent portal, on Edge.  Please log in and discuss the results with your child and ask them how you can help at home and what they need to do next to action their goals.

Parent Portal login


  1. Click on the link: https://parent.musac.school.nz
  2. Click on ‘Manually Enter Login’
  3. Enter the email address you supplied the school
  4. Click on ‘I don’t know my Edge password’ to create one

SELF DEFENCE CLASSES                       

The self defence classes have now been completed and the Year 8 girls have learnt some good skills and knowledge.  Many people have asked about boys self defence classes and why only the Year 8 girls are completing this course. The simple answer is it’s a funding issue and the school does not pay for these courses. The courses are sponsored by Women’s Self-Defence Network // Wāhine Toa. As we did last year, we have once again asked the organisers to consider funding boys into the programme.

PARENT INFORMATION EVENING: Assessment at ANI and the ANI Curriculum (IB PYP)

We will be holding an evening for parents on Wednesday 3 April at 6pm, meeting in the library to begin with to get an overview of the evening, which includes two focus areas:

  • IB PYP: How the NZ Curriculum is implemented into ANI through the framework of IB (presented by Sue Cattel and Shane Devery)
  • Assessment: How we assess student learning via different means and how we use this data to improve teaching and learning programmes;  discussion will include: Summative and formative assessment, PAcT and learning progressions.

(presented by Bryce Mills, Oliver Wooding and Andrew Lawrence)

Parents will go home better informed of how and what your children do at ANI and learn about the exciting opportunities they are provided on a daily basis.

While this is an optional information evening for parents, feedback from a similar evening last year was very positive and highlighted the need for parents to be better informed and the evening was a great success.  There is no need to book for this event, so we will see you there.

OVERSEAS TRIPS – Parent Information Evening

We will be holding a Parent Information Evening on Thursday 16 May at 6.15 – 7.15pm to talk about the two overseas trips we have planned this year:

  • Cairns (Proposed dates: 1 – 7 September)
  • Japan (5 – 13 September)

Parents will be provided with the activities and events undertaken during the trips and their purpose.  There is no need to commit to a trip at this stage, on the night, rather it is information so parents and students can make informed decisions.


In the newsletter (sent via School Apps and on our website on the first day of each month) we will have a regular property spot to provide detail around property developments post-fire.  The Friday Flyer has snippets of what is going on but the detail will be in each newsletter.

What’s happening?

  • Stabilise grounds – The MoE have approved the main contractor who will stabilise the grounds of the demolition site.  Following our final meeting with the MoE (happening either this week or next), we will be provided with a clear pathway of actions to be undertaken and completion dates.
  • Architect, Ministry of Education team and BOT sub-committee – as you already know the MoE have appointed an architect to assist the BoT to develop a master plan for a new rebuild.  The first conceptual master plan has been shared at board level and consultation will begin to determine the best options/outcomes for the school moving forward. The plan not only needs to consider what we will have to replace the spaces lost in the fire but also the roll growth which has been predicted in the next five years.
  • Relocatables and amphitheatre – The tenders have come in and the MoE are about to make a decision (ANI to be informed of the successful company this week). The next step is to meet with this company to decide on final dates for delivery and installation.  We will keep you posted on what this looks like when the school knows more.


New Playground

  • Thanks to the PTA for their hard work and the 2018 students for the suggestion that we build a new piece of equipment for the students and community to use.  The donation of funds towards the new Space Net has meant the new playground has been erected and the students love playing on it. Thanks to the PTA for their hard work and the students for the fundraising efforts as it wouldn’t have been possible without a combined effort.
  • New cushion fall – new cushion fall has been placed under the Space net and a big thanks goes out to Duncan Wilson (our Property Manager) for erecting the surrounding timber base and coordinating the playground company to get this in earlier than expected.

Water Fountain

  • Expect to see a new water fountain located on the field outside the library for student and community use during the school day and after school events, in the next two weeks.

Storage Containers

  • The school has acquired two storage containers that sit in the back car park (off Disraeli Street) which will house the furniture and sports/music equipment that was recovered from the fire and has been commercially cleaned.


  • We are delighted to now have Epsom Normal Primary School as part of our Community of Learning. This recent addition of one of our major contributing schools is very exciting and will ensure smooth transition pathways for our young people.
  • ANI are part of two initiatives within our Community of Learning; Mathematics & Wellbeing. This strategic positioning will investigate the notation of personalised maths (a future focussed ideology) as well as Wellbeing as a skill set for our young people.

Shane Devery & Bryce Mills – Deputy Principals


Wednesday 27 March – Monday 1 April – EOTC Group 2 (Rooms 13, 14, 21 & 22)

Tuesday 2 April – Friday 5 April – EOTC Group 3 (Rooms 15, 16, 17 & 18)

Wednesday 3 – HPV1 for Year 8s; 6.00-7.00pm Parent Evening on IB and Assessment in Rooms 1/2/3 and Library

Thursday 4 – Interzone Swimming

Friday 5 – 1.30pm Sports Assembly

Monday 8 – Chocolate Prizegiving

Wednesday 10 – HPV1 for Year 8s catch up date

Thursday 11 – ANI Open Morning at 9.00am; Auckland Rugby Boys Rugby Skills sign-up session

Friday 12 – Auckland Rugby Girls Rugby Skills sign-up session; 9.30-11.30am End of year Prizegiving (venue TBC); School/Term 1 finishes at 2.00pm

Monday 29 – Term 2 begins at 8.45am

Tuesday 30 – 7.00-9.30pm Aspiring Board Members Workshop presented by NZ School Trustees Association at EGGS Staffroom (see poster further down in Newsletter)


The PTA has had a very busy month!

The Chocolate Fundraiser has been immensely successful once again.  We have raised almost $24,000 so far! There are still a few outstanding boxes, could the money from these (or any unsold chocolate) please be returned to the office urgently so we can finalise this event.  You can also pay online into the PTA Account 12-3048-0259939-00, please put student name and room number as a reference on all payments.

Thank you so much for your amazing support of this fundraiser, we will keep you posted on what resources for the school these funds are used for.  We had a lot of parent help with this event, thank you to everyone who helped distribute the chocolate and count the money that was returned.

Mufti Week – many students took the opportunity to wear mufti during our recent mufti week.  We raised a fantastic $2,300 from this event, thank you.

School Social – we had a great turnout to the recent social, raising $2,000.  We hope all the students had a fun night and we are planning another social next term.  Special thanks to Mr Daldy for being such an awesome DJ!

Playground Update – the new climbing net has now been installed.  We hope students will enjoy using this new piece of playground equipment that the PTA contributed too, it certainly looks to be very popular.

Upcoming PTA Meeting – the next PTA meeting is being held on Monday 6th May at 7pm in the school Information Centre (Library), all welcome.

Jo Beer – ANI PTA


This year we have triennial elections for 4 positions on our Board of Trustees.  The common election date is 7th June 2019 and while this may seem like some time away it will be upon us before you know it.  If you are thinking about standing or would like to know what a trustee does, check out the three minute clip for prospective trustees on the School Trustees website here.

Our board do an amazing job, they are fully committed and support the school in a variety of ways.  Being a member of this team is very rewarding and they would be only too happy to share their experiences.  Nominations will be called for by Friday 10th May and you will have until Friday 24th May to get your nomination forms/statements back to the Returning Officer.  Contact the board secretary (dmerriott@ani.school.nz) if you would like to make contact with a current member.  The next Board meeting is at 6.00pm on Wednesday 15 May in the staffroom.

Board of Trustees Elections are Coming up …
Are you considering standing as a trustee in the upcoming elections?
Do you want to understand more about the role of a School trustee?
You are invited to a workshop presented by the NZ School Trustees Association covering:
– The board
– Being a trustee
– Trustee code of behaviour policy
– Building effective relationships
– Trustees missing three consecutive board meetings without prior leave
– Trustee honorarium and tax
– Key update information for boards⎹ poari
– Key implications of Education Act changes for boards⎹ poari
– Effective readiness and recruitment
– The legislative framework – Education Act 1989
– The legislative framework – National Administration Guidelines (NAGs)
– The legislative framework – Government priority groups
Where:  Epsom Girls Grammar School Staffroom
When:  7.00-9.30pm, Tuesday 30 April


Let’s talk about anxiety.  Today’s article will discuss the typical experience of anxiety, fear or worry that everyone encounters.  If you are concerned that anxiety is more than every day, I have some further information at the end of this article.

First up let’s get our minds into anxiety mode.  Think about a near miss situation when you were driving a car. How did you feel during and immediately after this situation?  Did you get back in your car the next day? Did anything change in your driving behaviour?

Anxiety is something that our thinking mind creates which is reflected in our bodies.  From an evolutionary perspective anxiety is a useful adaptation because it helped to keep us safe from sabre tooth tigers and other hazards in the environment.  The anxiety helps us to consider, plan and strategize how to keep ourselves safe. In our modern world there are certainly things which anxiety legitimately helps us to negotiate safely.   

The picture above illustrates the typical pathway for anxious feelings.  We start at a baseline of feeling confident and able to manage a situation without concern.  Something triggers a rise in anxiety which will reach a natural peak and then begin to subside until we reach baseline again.   Problems commonly occur when we interrupt the process of:

  1. becoming more alert or aroused
  2. facing the situation that is triggering the anxiety/fear/worry
  3. allowing the anxiety to subside as we manage the situation.  

When the process is interrupted individuals begin to think that they are incapable or unable to manage the situation.  They lack the experience of being able to solve the difficulty for themselves. It can also trigger the belief that because someone intervened there was a real reason for them to intervene.  In other words, the problem is so serious or difficult that it merited outside involvement. Young people who have had an interrupted experience of anxiety can then lack the confidence and understanding to tolerate the uncomfortable feelings that are associated with anxiety.  Feeling anxious is not a pleasant feeling but most of us know that if we tolerate these feelings for a period while we manage the situation eventually those feelings will subside. Someone who has had the natural process of experiencing anxiety changed does not know that the uncomfortable feelings will naturally subside.

When should parents seek professional help for anxiety?

  • If your child’s worries/anxiety significantly interfere with the child or family daily functioning and routines.
  • The worries/anxiety are not age appropriate.
  • The worries/anxiety persist across an extended period (longer than 6 months).

Questions to ask about your situation to help decide whether further support is needed.

  • Is anxiety stopping my child from doing the things they want or need to do?
  • Do most children of the same age also have the same fear or worry?
  • How severe is my child’s reaction? (sourced online from the Macquarie university centre for emotional health).

Who should parents consult further for support?

  • Your child’s teacher is a good place to start
  • Family doctor
  • Educational or clinical psychologist

Next month I’ll talk about some of the helpful things parents and teachers can do to support young people to manage anxiety.  

Robyn Stead

SPORTS NEWS BY NICK EDWARDS (teacher in charge of sports)

Girls Active Cup Cricket

The ANI Girls Cricket Team played two matches this week in the Active Shield Competition. Our first match was against Baradene College which ended in a convincing victory with ANI 113/1 after 20 overs and Baradene College were all out for 49 in the 15th over. Our second match was against really difficult opposition with some fantastic cricket on display from both teams. Remuera Int. won with 175/4 whilst ANI were all out for 102. The girls learnt a lot from both games and represented the school with brilliant sportsmanship.

Auckland Schools Mountain Biking

Hamish Bolland and Zane Wyllie had a great day at the Auckland Schools Mountain Biking race on Sunday 3 March. In the U15 race, Zane came 3rd and Hamish 10th. In the U16 Mixed School Relay race, Hamish’s team won – well done!

Girls Cricket

On Thursday 14th March, the ANI Girls Cricket Team gave an excellent account of themselves in the Central Zone Competition. We had perfect weather for a great tournament and the practises at lunchtime with Mr Edwards helped prepare us for the brilliant display.

The Year 8 social girls team won the competition and the Year 8 competitive grade came third. We are all so proud of the fantastic cricket they played.

Boys Cricket

The Boys Active Cup Cricket match was played against St Kentigern’s at St Kentigern’s Boys School on Thursday 21 March.  ANI won on the second to last ball – well done!

Nick Edwards, Sports Coordinator


Have you ever considered hosting an International Student?

Auckland Normal Intermediate has a large number of short-term international students (and sometimes parents) joining us in July/August this year. They will be coming for a period of between 2 – 6 weeks.

Hosting a student can be rewarding in so many ways! Learn about another country and culture; establish a lifelong link to a family in another country; and create a great friendship between your son/daughter and the student.

Students benefit from living in an English-speaking environment with the chance to study and experience life in New Zealand.

If your family can offer a friendly, supportive and caring home environment or you think you might be interested to host an International Student, please contact Sarah on 021 021 91 000 or sarah@happyhomestay.co.nz.


Like us on Facebook for all our recent events and photos.


Northern Mystics Home Games coming up

  • Monday 1st April

Northern Mystics vs WBOP Magic

Doors Open:   6.30pm

Centre Pass:    7.40pm

Adult tickets are just $15.00 each for this game – that’s a saving of $10

Team Ticket Pass:  10 tickets for $110  

  • Sunday 7th April

Northern Mystics vs Tactix

Doors Open:   1.30pm

Northern Marvels vs Central Manawa BEKO curtain raiser       2.10pm

Northern Mystics vs Tactix                           Main Game 4.10pm

Team Ticket Pass:  10 tickets for $110 –  

Discount Code for Sunday 7th April – Mystics vs Tactix

This special code gives a $5 discount on adult tickets across all our price categories.  To take advantage of this discount customers just need enter the CODE into the PASSWORD section once they have selected the game they wish to attend.  This code is active for ALL home games.

Click here to view what else is going on in our community.


The 3rd Sarapu Cup for the year is on Sunday week, 14 April at the Auckland Bridge Club. The Sarapu Cup is very popular and a fun, social Chess Tournament open to all players ages 4 to 18 with loads of medals, trophies, certificates and lollies to be won!

Register Now

If you can’t make this one, don’t forget we also have the Sarapu Cup North Shore which is on Sunday 28 April.

This tournament will now include Four Way Chess, where four people can all play at the same time with four chess sets!

Yours in Chess,

Paul Macdonald

NZ Major Open Champion 2014

Accredited Professional Chess Coach

FIDE Instructor

Office: 25 Riverglade Parkway, Te Atatu South, Auckland 0610

Post: P. O. Box 21535, Henderson 0650, Auckland

Phone: 0800 4 CHESS (0800 424 377)

Direct Line: 09 837 5364

Mobile: +64 21 027 15577

Email: paul@chesspower.co.nz

Messenger: paul.macdonald@hotmail.co.nz

Skype: grandmastermac1

Website: www.chesspower.co.nz