In today’s newsletter we have the following:

  • News from the Principal and DPs
  • Upcoming Events for December
  • 2021 Term 1 Important Dates
  • Invitation to Parent Helpers Morning Tea at ANI
  • Cultural Festival
  • Student Congratulations
  • Psychologist and Counsellor’s Spot
  • PTA News
  • ANI Sports-Pro Programme
  • House/Whanau Points – Term 4
  • Facebook
  • Community News 

NEWS from the PRINCIPAL and DPs 

Dear Parents and Caregivers 

As this is the last newsletter for the year, the staff and SLT would like to express our thanks and appreciation for your support in what has been  a very challenging year for us all. Looking back as the year unfolded who would have thought that in March we would be preparing to dip our toes into distance learning. However, this was soon to be overshadowed by the reality of what was happening globally and the long term impact COVID would have on the rest of our lives. By the time the second lockdown came around in August the importance of mental health and stability became our priority as we realised from previous experience that many students were anxious and worried about the future and how this would impact on their learning. We want to applaud them for their hard work and resilience. We are so proud how each of them continued to work diligently throughout the lockdowns and returned to school each time full of enthusiasm and excitement. We have proudly watched each of them grow and develop into resilient young people who we know will succeed in their future educational journey. 

This year has certainly taught us to take nothing for granted. Amongst the lockdown learning, all our Year 8 students were able to experience camp, our Year 7 students enjoyed EOTC activities, we hosted the annual cultural festival, and for many students, a 2020 ‘overseas experience’ included trips to Wellington and Queenstown. Despite some late date changes for many activities this year, all students worked incredibly hard to make them unforgettable.

By its very nature teaching can be challenging. It is even harder when you take away the face to face component for teaching staff. We are extremely proud of how our teachers have adapted almost overnight to a new way of teaching and then quickly switched back to their more familiar roles in classrooms. Thank you to the staff for their commitment this year.

Thanks must go to our outstanding parents and caregivers for the encouraging and positive energy you have provided during these unprecedented times which put a hold on a number of events for a significant amount of time. The kindness and understanding shown by you during this period was overwhelming and ultimately led to a stronger sense of community at ANI. 

To our wonderful Year 7 students, we look forward to seeing you again in 2021. To our Year 8 students, we will miss you but know that your time at ANI has prepared you to thrive at secondary school. We wish you all the very best in the future.

Looking ahead to 2021, we await the beginning of construction for our new outdoor learning spaces, a brand new multi-purpose space and a return of opportunities in sport, productions, culture, and drama, that in many instances were not possible this year. Bring it on! 


I am pleased to say we are fully staffed for 2021 with some dynamic and talented teachers joining the team. To staff that have moved on this year we wish you well and thank you for your contributions. 

Thank you’s 

A big thanks to all parents and community members who have assisted us this year. In particular thank you to the Board of Trustees and PTA who work closely with us. Your energy and continued focus on what is best for students is motivating and energising for us all.

To the Board of Trustees, a huge thanks for your support and encouragement.  In particular, our new chair Brett Bishop, thank you for your time and guidance.

To the PTA, especially our chair, Diana Winstanley – what an awesome job you’ve done raising funds for extra resources all students can benefit and enjoy the extras – your work is very much appreciated.

And finally …

A very Merry Christmas to you all, have a safe and happy holiday and see you in 2021 if you are returning as a Year 8 student. If you are moving on to high school and not returning to ANI in 2021 please remember you are always welcome back anytime. Drop by to say hello and update us on how you have been doing.

Holiday tips 

If you’re looking for tips to keep your young person occupied in the holiday break, here are six quick references to activities that will keep them engaged and also keep them in the learning zone. 

1. Exercise is important for their brains.

As well as having positive effects on mood and physical health, boosting your child’s fitness levels will keep their minds sharp. Even half an hour of activity when your heart rate is up improves concentration levels and speed of learning and decision-making, and processing in the prefrontal cortex for at least two hours. And that has a cumulative effect. Simply saying, “Go for a run!” can demotivate children. Inspire children by setting little challenges where they’re trying for personal bests. Try seeing if they can run from their home to where their friends live by working out the distance and running a little part of it every day. Or, alternatively they could compete with a family member to see who can run 5k in the best time.

2. Don’t ban the Xbox.

Gaming is not always time wasted. Many multiplayer games value teamwork, strategic thinking and other social skills, which will help our children to negotiate school and indeed life. In Minecraft, children might help their friends to gain resources and defeat a dragon; playing Fortnite during lockdown has helped many children to stay connected with their friends. In much of life now we do better when we work as a team. Get children to consciously think about the group dynamic by asking our young gamers: “What do you like about what your team players do? What do you find annoying?”

These games are designed to give children a feeling of self-competency. They get to level up every few minutes. They get the right amount of challenge. But, satisfying though that is, we don’t want them to leave the summer with the sense that they only felt good about themselves when they levelled up in video games. As parents, just make sure they have other skills they’re working on to become more capable and secure, whether it’s cooking, running, cycling or helping with chores.

3. Ask your young person to recommend audiobooks.

Books need to be what they want to read, and how they want to read. They need to choose the content and format, whether they prefer to read by e-book or paperback. Audiobooks are a great way for young people to plug their earphones in and get off the screen. Sometimes parents can feel that it’s not proper reading, but the science behind it would suggest that it prompts much of the same work inside the brain as if you were reading the book. You can support them by getting them an audiobook account and listening to their favourites. They can bring books to you, not just the other way around. It’s a lovely insight into what your teenager’s thinking and feeling as well.

4. Encourage every writing opportunity, from shopping lists to journals.

To get younger children to practise their writing skills you could ask them to write down your shopping list. Or you could suggest they make up their own board game or garden assault course — and ask them to write down the rules. Young people  enjoy experimenting with blog writing or what they post on social media but they have to feel motivated.

5. Watch films with subtitles (even the ones in English).

Children often read much faster on the screen than they would normally. Watching subtitled foreign programmes is also an effective method of surreptitiously brushing up on language skills. It’s an excellent way to be exposed to the language spoken by a native speaker in a conversational way.

6.  Do some engineering projects with your young person

Lots of children are bursting to get outside and do some practical learning. They throw themselves into design and engineering projects where they can get out in the garden and be more active.

Try the 44 ingenious science challenges from engineers at Dyson ( You can also plan and design projects around the home like a new garden or gate.

Kia ngatahi ai te tu

E pakari ai te tuara

Together we are Strong

From Jill, Shane and Bryce


Put these dates in your diary so you don’t miss a beat:

Monday 30 November – Thursday 3 December – Year 7 Kauri Team EOTC

Wednesday 2 – Tuesday 8 – Dental Van on site

Wednesday 2 – Catch up day for school tours/enrolment interviews and entrance testing from 9.00am-12.00noon; Board of Trustees Meeting at 6.00pm in the Library

Friday 4 – ANI Pool & Picnic Day at YMCA Panmure Lagoon Pool & Leisure Centre

Monday 7 – End of Year Prizegiving at 11.00am at Eden Park North Level 5 Lounge (NOTE: change of room); Year 8 Graduation at Eden Park North Level 5 Lounge at 6.00pm – 8.30pm (NOTE: change of room)

Tuesday 8 – Service to School Assembly

Wednesday 9 – Parent Helpers Morning Tea at 10.15am in the Library; End-of-year Reports come home at 3.00pm

Thursday 10 – Surf Lifesaving ‘577 Lives Saved’ at ANI; School finishes at 12.00pm


Saturday 23 January – Uniform Shop open 9.00am – 4.00pm

Tuesday 26 January ANI SCHOOL OFFICE OPENS; Uniform Shop open 12.00pm – 7.00pm

Wednesday 27 January – Uniform Shop open 9.00am – 4.00pm

Thursday 28 January – Uniform Shop open 12.00pm – 7.00pm

Friday 29 January – Uniform Shop open 9.00am – 4.00pm

Saturday 30 January – Uniform Shop open 9.00am – 4.00pm

Monday 1 February – Auckland Anniversary Day observed (school closed)

Tuesday 2 February – Uniform Shop open 8.00am – 10.00am; YEAR 7 STUDENTS START SCHOOL AT 9.00AM; YEAR 8 STUDENTS START SCHOOL AT 11.00AM; SCHOOL FINISHES AT 3.00PM FOR ALL STUDENTS

Wednesday 3 February – Immunisation Talks

Friday 5 February – Super Bowl

Monday 8 February – Waitangi Day observed (school closed)

Tuesday 9 – Friday 12 February – EOTC for Year 7 Totara Team

Thursday 11 February – Meet the Teacher Evening

Monday 15 – Thursday 18 February – EOTC for Year 7 Kauri Team

Wednesday 24 February – School Photographs



The Cultural Festival took place at the Centennial Theatre at Auckland Grammar School on the evenings of 10th and 11th November and what a show it was – ANI have many talented students who took part in this trip around the world – a thoroughly entertaining festival.

Many thanks to all the teachers who put so much effort and time into making this the success it was and accolades to all the students involved. 


ICAS Medals

Last week we congratulated and presented Jerry Dai, Year 8, for attaining the best Mathematics result in the Pacific region in the ICAS tests (see picture below).  We were also advised since then that Jerry attained a second medal in ICAS Science.  

We also learned that Victor Tai in Year 7 achieved a medal in ICAS English – we will present these medals to Jerry and Victor once they arrive – well done – we are very proud of your achievements.

Pictures show Jerry with his parents and ICAS Mathematics award, and Victor Tai


2020 has certainly been a memorable year for humanity and will go down in the history books as unusual.  We have been reflecting on the newsletter articles written during 2020 and have been amazed at the range of topics covered.   From goal setting early in the year, to managing the disruptions of Covid-19 for ANI, discussing equity and social justice in July, exam and test anxiety, and finally cyber safety in November.  

The wider ANI whanau have engaged in learning not just about academic subjects but also about the issues that concern the world.  Our Year 8 Exhibition was a fabulous display of what our students can do and where their passions lie. This is certainly a reflection of the motto of the school; Learning today, leading tomorrow.  At times, we felt tested this year; however, we’ve been in awe at how our students and ANI community have rallied together and soldiered on.

The culmination of the school year is a time to celebrate and reflect upon the many achievements of 2020 and for the year 8 students, their time at intermediate.  It can be an emotional period and coincides with an exceptionally busy and stressful time for everyone.  While it can become overwhelming, we have some thoughts about how to manage to ensure the season is more festive than frustrating: 

  • Make careful choices about which events you attend or activities you participate in.  You don’t need to attend everything.
  • Keep the concept of ‘good enough’ parenting in mind.  
  • Spend time planning your weeks so you understand who is doing what and when.
  • Recognise that stress in young people can look like over-reactions and also withdrawal.
  • Leave plenty of room. Give yourself extra time and people more empathy. 
  • Pat yourself on the back! Remember that this year has presented a range of challenges that have been managed or overcome. Give yourself some praise and look forward to what’s next in 2021. 

For those heading to high school, we are excited for you. We hope you enjoy your new schools and the wonderful opportunities in front of you for learning and development.  For those returning to ANI, we have some fun ideas in store for 2021 and can’t wait to share them with you.  

We would like to wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season. 

Robyn Stead & Gina Speedy

Educational Psychologist and School Counsellor


The ANI PTA would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to all the students, parents and caregivers, and teaching staff who helped over 2020 with our fundraising events. Despite lockdowns, we have managed to raise an impressive amount of funding for ANI – and that is due to all your hard work. We wish you all happy restful holidays and will see some of you again in 2021.

Diana Winstanley – PTA Chairperson


We are immensely proud of the ANI Sports-Pro Programme. This sports academy is multi-faceted and meets the needs of a wide range of students. Topics and lessons range from high-performance sport and nutrition, to working with learners who find learning challenging. This programme digs beneath the surface and looks at the various components of sport. Have a look at the website dedicated to this programme HERE.  For more information, contact Mr Carlos on

Miniball Finals

The girls Miniball team took their 5/6th playoff to overtime and lost by just 2 points while ANI Blue also just lost their 5/6th playoff by the smallest margin – amazingly competitive games that were fantastic to watch. 

ANI Red won their 3rd/4th playoff by absolutely dominating the team that had beaten them twice! All their teamwork and hard work has clearly paid off!

ANI Black had a really tough final in their 1st/2nd playoff but were competitive throughout. 2nd place was well deserved and some great teamwork and sportsmanship shown, in even defeat. 

Nick Edwards

Central Zone Athletics

Students had a great day out on Wednesday 18 November (between the downpours of rain, they did get a bit of sunshine) and scored some fantastic results.

The students were all outstanding but a big shout out to the Year 7 boys who absolutely smashed it. They won the Year 7 boys relay as well as some individuals making it to the Interzone Competition on Thursday 26 November. The below students made it through to the Interzones by placing in the Top 3 of their events:

Grayson Woods – 1st Year 7 Boys Relay

Luke Thomson – 1st Year 7 Boys Relay, 2nd 100m, 2nd 200m

Max Browne – 1st Year 7 Boys Relay, 2nd 400m

William Chambers-Steward – 1st Year 7 Boys Relay, 1st Discus, 1st High Jump

Emacyn Ieremia – 3rd Discus

Rachael Murray & Jaimee Lightfoot

Interzone Athletics

Seven students attended the InterZone Athletics on Thursday 26 November.  The students did incredibly well and even making it this far is an outstanding achievement as they have been competing against the top of the top in Auckland. 

Results are as follows:

  • Will Chambers-Steward, Room 27, won the Year 7 High Jump, jumping a new Personal Best too, which was very exciting!! 
  • Year 7 Boys came 4th or 6th in the Relay Finals, they’re confident with 4th so we’ll claim that for now!!
  • Emacyn Ieremia – 9th in Discus
  • Ava Gatie – 9th in 800m
  • Luke Thomson – 11th in 200m, 19th in 100m
  • Max Browne – 16th in 400m
  • Will Chambers-Steward – 12th in Discus
  • Grayson Woods – 4th in Relay
  • Maddison Rush – 11th in Long Jump

Rachael Murray


Well done to the badminton team who played on Wednesday 11 November.  A great team of players who worked hard and got better throughout the day.  Great to see so many supporters on the sideline, thanks for your encouragement. Great work everyone.

Here are the final results:

Year 7

Year 7 girls single – ANI – First

Year 7 boys doubles – ANI – First 

Year 7 girls Doubles – ANI – Second

Year 8

Year 8 boys single – ANI – Third

Year 8 boys doubles – ANI – First

Carlos Kucera

North Island Waterpolo Championships

The North Island Waterpolo Champs were held in Tauranga from Wednesday 11th to Sunday 15th November.  A huge well done to the ANI team for winning Gold in the B grade.

The team won all 7 games and took out gold beating Glen Eden Intermediate twice to win the tournament. 

A huge thank you to Mr Thomas Jones for his expert coaching, Leanne for managing the team and the many parents who supported the team from Auckland and in Tauranga.  Gate crashing a parents accommodation (pool and spa) made all the difference.

Well done team, a great accomplishment.

Shane Devery


ANI runs a house/whanau system – your son or daughter will tell you which house they belong to.  They can earn points by displaying the school values and any other positive behaviours.  Well done to Wai and Te Hau who came in tied for first place this term with Ahi and Whenua not too far behind.


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Northern Mystics Update – 2021 Draw

We are pleased to confirm we will be hosting seven (7) home games next season – six (6) to take place at The Trusts Arena and one (1) at Eventfinda Stadium.  Whilst the full and complete draw has not been released by Netball New Zealand yet, our home game draw is available for circulation so you can make a note of these dates in your calendar.  Game times will be confirmed at a later date.