November 2019 newsletter


Staying the distance        

Can you believe we only have six more weeks of school left in 2019?!

In order to get the most educational value from the short two years at Intermediate it is essential that our students stay fully engaged in their educational studies and extracurricular activities right through to the end of all four terms. Understandably Year 8’s are feeling that their primary years are almost over and are looking forward to their new experiences at high school. There is a temptation to think the last few school learning activities might not matter and they become lax about meeting deadlines. It is particularly important for Year 8’s who will need to have full commitment to the end of every term to cope with a High School workload and later have the right attitudes to succeed in life.

It is important that there is full participation in the end of year celebrations and events over the remaining weeks of this year. We are always very happy when parents and other family members can be present for these. Some of the events ahead at ANI are:

  • Athletics Day on 11 November
  • PTA School Social on 21 November 
  • Exhibition on 26-27 November
  • Year 8 Graduation on 9 December
  • Pool Picnic Day on 10 December
  • End of Year Prizegiving on 11 December

Because half the Intermediate School student population changes every year the changeover of student roles is something like passing the baton in a relay race. The baton holder who is moving out needs to stay up to speed and focused until the end of their time and the new person taking the baton must be ready and up to speed to take a firm grip and become the baton holders.  In order to keep ANI values and traditions strong year to year we need our year eights to continue to role model learning engagement and behaviour right until the last day of school December 12th. As leaders for our many end of year events they not only showcase this year’s events but also influence how things will be done next year. Year 7s need to be thinking about their turn to be the student leaders and role models in 2020. 

Enjoy the month of November and while we only have six more weeks of school left, it’s only another 7.5 weeks to Christmas! 

Nāku noa

Jill Farquharson – Principal



Motivation is a powerful tool

If students aren’t motivated, learning won’t happen. 

How can you help your young person increase their level of motivation and maintain it? This is especially important with the end of the year approaching and numerous changes on the horizon for 2020. 

Encourage curiosity and exploration. Beyond their basic needs, young people are motivated by exploration, mastery and success. Parents can reinforce these motivations rather than being overly fearful that children will get hurt — fears that can rub off. Parents are well positioned to help them figure out what to actually be afraid of and what to avoid. 

Give plenty of positive feedback as it is more likely to support healthy motivation. At ANI, we encourage our staff to foster this inner fire in our young people and this is reflected in our reward system. 

Remind children that success is possible. We’re unlikely to be motivated to do anything if we think it’s impossible. A growth mindset — the belief that we can change and improve through practice— enables children to get motivated. 

Social interaction. From youngsters to adolescents, social interaction is a key to motivation. In our digital world, apps and screens can be supplements for learning, but in-person interactions remain essential. Our message home is to please help your young people think wisely about how much device time they have each day. We want to develop habits which are balanced and ensure that students are still developing their social interaction abilities. 

Year 8 Preparation for High School – Mock Exams at Auckland University

As part of our process to prepare Year 8 students for high school, they sit a series of ‘mock exams’ at the University of Auckland. Prior to this, our students have been learning how to study, take notes and actually approach an exam. We understand the environments that our young people are moving to in 2020 and want them to have the tools they need to thrive when they start at their high school. Below are a few photos of their exam at Auckland University. 

Leavers Gear

Recently a group of motivated students came up with the great idea of organising leavers gear for our Year 8 students who will be leaving ANI in 2019.  

The group conducted a mini inquiry and went through the massive process of contacting NZ Uniforms, creating the final design, completing all the necessary costings and coordinating orders from students, the end product being three items with leavers names on the back.  It was great to see so many Year 8 students take up the opportunity to purchase these items noting the costs were lower than our normal uniform items due to the quality of fabric and screen printed logos, not embroidered logos.

Our thanks go out to the following students for their organisation for providing this great initiative: Holly Still, Areetha Unnikrishnan, Caitlin Roberts and their team.  Below are photos of the final products.

Bryce Mills and Shane Devery

Deputy Principals


In case you haven’t noticed on the back of our Friday Flyers, the end of year Graduation Dance for Year 8s will be held on Monday 9 December in the Tasman Room at Alexandra Park, corner Manukau Road and Green Lane West, starting at 6.00pm – more details will follow from the Year 8 Dean, Megan Hughes, closer to the date.

Our End of Year Prizegiving will be held at Eden Park, in the Level 5 Lounge at 10am on Wednesday 11 December.


As you would have no doubt seen on site or on the school app, we’ve had an exciting term so far with lots of activity on the property front.  It’s been great to see visible progress on site each day – but there is actually a lot of other work underway as well. We thought we’d take time in this newsletter to give an update on all of the property related initiatives we have underway.

1. Relocatable classrooms

This is where we’ve seen all the action.  By the time this newsletter goes out all of our 8 new relocatable classrooms will have been delivered to site.  This in itself is a huge milestone for ANI – we’re waited a lot time for this! As a school, we have spent considerable effort over the past years transitioning all our classrooms to Innovative Learning Environments.  Following on from January’s fire, we felt it was important that we continued with this and ensure that all teachers were enabled to teach in a similar style, regardless of whether they were housed in a permanent or relocatable classroom, so we’ve taken care in selecting which relocatable classrooms were right for ANI.

From here, the construction team will complete work to make these classrooms ready for use – connecting services and building decking, ramps, walkways etc.  This work is currently scheduled to run until early December.

In 2020, our year 7 classes will be housed in these classrooms.  

2.  Specialisation in 2020

If you think our specialisation teachers have done well this year with limited resources (we certainly do!) – then they won’t know themselves next year!  Instead of having dedicated classrooms for each specialist area, we have elected to take the Innovative Learning Environment to a whole new level by converting room 1,8,11,12,17 & 18 into ‘Makerspaces’. You might be wondering what a Makerspace is.  

Makerspaces are collaborative workshops where are students will gain practical hands-on experience across our specialist areas.  They also provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering. A makerspace is not solely a science lab, woodshop, computer lab or art room, but it may contain elements found in all of these familiar spaces.  These  flexible environments will give ANI students the opportunity to experience all our specialist areas, individually or collaboratively – and is an ideal platform for projects that work across subject area.

This project is still in the planning stage – with building consent and procurement processes both underway.  The current plan has off-site build of these spaces starting in the next few weeks. Installation is planned to run through December and be completed in late January – ready for use at the beginning of the 2020 school year.

The specialist team and the wider ANI teaching staff, are really excited to see what opportunities these spaces will bring in 2020.  Whilst makerspaces are being used in other schools in NZ, ANI will be the first Intermediate school to make this change. If you’re interested to hear more about this initiative – see website Makerspaces / Future-focused learning / Teaching / enabling e-Learning – enabling eLearning 

3. Preparation of the building site

Balls being lost under the fence the surrounds the site of the old hall has been a major bugbear for ANI students this year.  This too is about to change. We have negotiated a reduction in the area that needs to be fenced off – with this comes 2 significant changes:

1. More playground – with the additional area to be asphalted and made available for student use in November

2. The opportunity for more secure and personalised fencing for the remaining construction site.  We will ask our 2020 students to help us decorate the hoarding that will be used for fencing going forward.  We wanted this group of students to be a part of the building process next year, and feel this is a visible way for them to contribute!  Current Year 8’s won’t miss out as we have a separate project in mind for you to leave your stamp on ANI. Details coming out soon.

4. The re-build of the hall and other teaching spaces

This project is starting to take shape too, but as I’m sure you can imagine is taking considerable time and effort.  We are working closely with the Ministry on design – and will share detailed information with you in the new year.

We would welcome any questions you might have on any of these projects – and are currently collating FAQs and answers to these from both students and parents.  Please send any questions you might have to


ANI will be conducting a lockdown practice on Tuesday 5 November. During this time a ‘Lockdown Practice’ broadcast will be sent to our parent community via School Apps as well as surrounding schools via email. Our website will also display a temporary ‘Practice Lockdown’ banner. The exercise will take approx 10mins and an ‘all clear’ message will then be broadcast out via our school app. 

It is vital that schools practice their lockdown procedure to ensure that our systems and protocols are precise and accurate. We have an external agency, Harrison Tew, overseeing this exercise. 


Friday 1 November – 2020 In Zone ANI Entrance Testing at Epsom Normal Primary School; AGS testing at AGS (ANI providing transport for students) at 10.00-11.30am

Monday 4 – Friday 8 – Mufti Week (see details below in PTA section)

Monday 4 – PTA Meeting at 7.00pm in the Library

Tuesday 5 – Mt Albert Grammar testing for Year 8 girls at 9.00am at MAGS; LOCKDOWN PRACTICE at 11.20am

Wednesday 6 – Auckland Museum Trip for Rooms 23 & 24; Girls’ Touch Rugby Zone Day; Mt Albert Grammar testing for Year 8 boys at 9.00am at MAGS; Board of Trustees Meeting at 6.00pm in the Staffroom

Thursday 7 – Open Morning at 9.00am; Boys’ and Mixed Touch Rugby Zone Day; Auckland Museum Trip for Rooms 13 & 14 Parent Evening at 6.00pm

Friday 8 – Auckland Museum Trip for Rooms 19 & 20

Monday 11 – Out of Zone Entrance Testing #1 at 9.30am in the Library; Athletics Day; Leavers Jerseys arriving

Tuesday 12 – APPA Choir Rehearsal; Enrolment Interviews from 1-5pm

Wednesday 13 – APPA Choir Festival; Enrolment Interviews from 9am-1pm; Auckland Museum Trip for Rooms 21 & 22

Thursday 14 – Enrolment Interviews from 9am-1pm; ‘On a Roll’ Food Truck at school for students and staff 

Monday 18 – Out of Zone Entrance Testing #2 at 9.30am in the Library

Tuesday 19 – End of Year Distance Squad Amazing Race at Auckland Domain; Enrolment Interviews from 1-5pm

Wednesday 20 – Enrolment Interviews from 9am-1pm

Thursday 21 – PTA School Social from 6.30-8.30pm in Greyfriars Hall, Mt Eden Road

Monday 25 – PTA Meeting/2020 Planning at 7.00pm in the Library

Tuesday 26 – Wednesday 27 – Year 8 Exhibition

(Rooms 15 & 16 are visiting the Auckland Museum on Wednesday 4 December and Rooms 17 & 18 will be visiting on Thursday 5 December)



If you or your friends have an in zone Year 6 student who is wanting to attend ANI next year, please get your enrolment form processed as soon as possible.  Go here for all instructions on how to do this.



On Monday 11th November, the whole school will bus to Mt Smart Stadium for our school-wide Athletics Day – the first event, 1500 metres, will start at 9.40am.

There will be a mixture of competitive and non-competitive track and field events with students participating in at least three events, one including a track event.

We welcome and encourage parents to come along and support your child on the day.  Students are expected to bring along a raincoat, hat, sunblock, shoes, a big lunch and drinks.  The children must wear sports shoes or spiked (6mm) athletics shoes and wear their PE kit to school (please dress for the weather on the day).  Unless the weather is terrible, we will attend on the day.


FINANCE – School Payments and Donations for 2020

Yes it’s that time of year again where we make a request of our Year 7 parents for 2020 payments and donations:

  1. donation: $350
  2. class trips/activity fee: $75 
  3. take home materials: $195

Paying it now will not only be a saving for you but it will also mean one less bill at the start of the year when there are so many other school related expenses to pay. So what are we offering if you make the three payments above before 6 December 2019?

  • A discount of 5% on activity fee and take home materials (note we cannot offer a discount on school donations as you can get a tax credit). 
  • Go into a draw to win one of these great family prizes if you make all three payments (donation, activity fee and take home materials) before 6 December 2019:

1) Two prize of a uniform top up pack consisting of: One cap and one short sleeved polo or one cap and one pair of culottes or shorts

2) Four prizes of a stationery pack

3) Four prizes of an Education Perfect subscription

       Closing date for Prize Draw: 6 December 2019

Be in to win! Winners will be announced on the last day of term and advised by phone and email.

How could you make payment?

Online Parent/Caregiver Portal  

● Banking transfer

          Account Name: Auckland Normal Intermediate

        Account No.: 12-3048-0291429-00

        Reference: Student name

● Eftpos or cash payments at office

Thank you, we appreciate your financial support of the school which enables us to provide additional staff and a high quality education for your sons and daughters.



Each month we will showcase an aspect of our work within the Auckland Central Community of Learning.  Our 12 local schools (map of schools below) are working on joint projects to improve levels of student achievement and teacher practice.  Here is this months update by ANI teacher, Abby Cavanagh:

One of the foundational practises of ANI which help us to achieve our strategic goals are professional learning groups (PLG’s). The momentum of PLG’s at ANI continues to build as we move into the final phase of 2019. It has been enlightening to see these groups operate as a collaborative network. These regular meetings provide staff with opportunities to connect, share ideas and resources, reflect critically on their practice, and create new knowledge about teaching and learning. As we wrap up for the year, teachers are sharing their current successes and challenges and discussing potential modifications to ensure continued success and mitigation of these challenges. GROWTH coaching conversations will continue to happen throughout the school and wider community of schools to empower teachers to identify further goals and potential actions. 

Abby Cavanagh, In School Leader for ANI



Parenting Teens (part 2)

Some ideas about what works when you are parenting teens.

Teens and preteens are challenging, changing, fascinating and tremendously fun to parent.  Their views on the world are often very different from their parents and they often see situations differently from the adults around them. 

Last month I wrote about why that might be.  This month I’m focused on some strategies that work to support you and your offspring to enjoy this time.  The late Celia Lashlie in her book, He’ll be OK: growing gorgeous boys into good men, advocates providing very clear boundaries against which young people can push but not break through.  Within these boundaries she suggests allowing children and teens to make their own mistakes so that they can discover their own limitations. Nigel Latta another author of numerous parenting books and a highly qualified clinical psychologist also advocates a not too tight and not too loose approach. 

During early adolescence, it’s useful for parents to revisit their rules and expectations to make sure they are still fit for purpose.  While a younger child might be expected to come straight home from school, if they are independently travelling, an older child might be allowed some extra time to socialise with friends on their way home. 

Opportunities for frequent contact with your child can become more difficult to find at this stage.  Gone are the night-time stories, bath time supervision and other routines that allowed you to spend time together.  Parents of teens need to look for those opportunities and ring fence them. Dinner time as a family may not be possible every night due to sports, cultural or other activities but prioritize at least a few nights when your family eat meals together and share how your day has gone.  Take advantage of those times when you drive your child to a sporting or other event to have casual conversations. 

It is important to be very clear about your expectations in terms of social issues that will be coming into focus for your child.  What are your expectations around use of alcohol, drugs, and romantic relationships? Some of these conversations can be awkward and difficult to have but, if you don’t talk about them your child will not only be getting this information from another source, they may see you as being unapproachable about these topics.  We also deprive our children of a tool they can use if they are facing some peer pressure around a behaviour. The, “My parents said that if I do that I’ll be in big trouble” tool. Our kids need to know that in a difficult situation their parents are prepared to take the fall. The “my mum/dad is such a pain they never let me do that/go there/stay there”, excuse.  My top tip for having these conversations is to go in and say your piece and then back away and leave it all to sink in. After a period go back in again and repeat or expand your point. This gives everyone time to digest what has been said and come up with questions or clarifications.

On that note it is also very important to be conscious of our own behaviour.  A young person will be watching their parents to see how this adulting thing is done so consider modelling or showing them the behaviour, you are hoping to see your child replicate.  Of key importance is that if you do something your regret in front of your child, explain that you made a mistake and tell them what you have learned and will be doing differently based on this experience.  No one is perfect but it’s what we do once we’ve made a mistake that makes the difference. 

Enjoy this time and watch with awe as your child, preteen and then teen develop into the wonderful adults we hoped they would.

If parenting your teen is becoming a real struggle look for other resources for support.  The parenting place run sessions specifically for parents of teens, your GP or school staff may be able to provide another perspective on the situation, an educational or clinical psychologist, the school counsellor, are all sources of further support.

Ngā manaakitanga (with best wishes)

Robyn Stead – Registered Psychologist (working at ANI)



  • Next week is the FINAL MUFTI WEEK OF THE YEAR.  Students who wish to can wear Mufti any (or every) day next week, Monday 4th – Friday 8th November.  Mufti passes can be purchased from the SLT Office, day passes are $2, week passes are $5, and “extra passes” for jewellery/nail polish/hair colour etc are $5. 
  • The PTA is having a meeting on Monday, November 4th, we meet at 7pm in the Library, all welcome.
  • The last School Social for 2019 is being held on Thursday 21st November from 6:30pm-8:30pm at Greyfriars Hall, cnr Mt Eden and Windmill Roads.  A permission slip will be sent out soon.

We are still looking for someone to oversee the School Socials next year i.e. book venue & DJ, purchase refreshments, organize helpers on the night.  There are only three Socials each year and they are a lot of fun. If you think you could help please email We want to continue to run this popular event for the students but cannot do so without some help please! 


Creative Writing

Congratulations to Tema Tupou in Year 8 (Room 4) who won a Principal’s award for outstanding achievement in creative writing.  Her story is below.

What Hides In It by Tema Tupou

I peered at the light switch for what seemed like hours, contemplating whether to turn the lights off or not… “I’m not afraid of the dark…” I thought “ No, but you’re afraid of what hides in it…” My conscience had lied to me many times, but this time wasn’t one of them… The thought of how many unknown creatures hid in the dark was terrifying… 13 years old and still afraid of the dark… I felt ashamed. “Turn the light off… Turn the light off…” A child’s voice said. It was my voice…

Like a stringed puppet, I felt a troublesome force slowly lift my arm to the light switch “NO!” I screamed, I shot my other arm up to stop my hand from turning the light off… 

CLICK! “Oh no…” I said quietly… The room was dark… Silent… From the corner of my eye, I thought I could see an unfamiliar shadow… My head turned, instantaneously to get a small glimpse of what it was, but all I saw was my coat, hanging on the hook… 

I took a small breath, and turned to approach my bed… 1 step. 2 steps. CREEAAKKK!!! 

̈ ̈ What was that?! ̈ ̈ I thought. Expeditiously, I hurried to my bed, and put my head under the sheets… 

I couldn’t sleep… Hours had already passed… I just lay there. Thinking about what kind of varmints were sitting in the dark… Staring… I then glanced at my clock. 3:00 AM. The ceiling just glared at me. ̈ ̈Go to sleep… Go to sleep…̈ My eyelids started feeling heavy. I soon found myself drifting to sleep… I then woke to the sound of scratching. The excruciating sound of the cat scratching at my window hurt my ears. Daylight at last… I looked around the empty room, seeing if I could get a small peek of anything that was hiding, that night… I noticed my brother standing in my doorway. ̈ ̈ Sister, are you afraid of the dark?¨ he said. I frowned, and replied with ̈ I ́m not afraid of the dark… I’m afraid of what hides in it…”

Artistic Swimming Competition

Congratulations to Sarah Grant in Year 8 (Room 9) who has been selected to represent New Zealand at Artistic Swimming competitions being held in Argentina from 30 October to 3 November.  The photo below was taken at the National competition in Dunedin during the recent school holidays.  She also received awards from SSNZ for her represent NZ at Artistic Swimming last year at Singapore Open and Asia Pacific open (in Malaysia).  Her places for Nationals for age group (13-15) are:

              Team 2nd

              Combo 3rd

              Duet 3rd

Well done Sarah – we’re thinking of you.

Auckland Girls’ Choir

Congratulations to Hollie Knowles, Year 8, who as a member of the Auckland Girls’ Choir, will be performing at the Armistice Day Service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum – this is a great opportunity for the choir to serve the community and show respect to NZ troops.

Congratulations to Aishi Das (Year 7) for her tennis achievements over the holidays. Aishi competed at the World Tennis Tour in New Caledonia and came first in the under 12 singles championship and first in the teams event.  Great work Aishi.

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

University of Auckland Student Coaches

For the last term and a half, Room 4 and Room 5 have had the expertise of some fantastically enthusiastic and knowledgeable University of Auckland students coach our class into more experienced Ultimate Frisbee or Volleyball players. Each week, the coaches have led sessions teaching specific skills and drills which has helped develop our communication and collaboration skills. These sessions culminated in fantastic final matches against or with the coaches which showed the phenomenal progress we made through their leadership. 

Rugby 7s

It was a great day out at the 7s yesterday (Thursday 31st October). Both teams put in a solid effort and improved their skills and communication with each game they played. The open grade managed a win in their third game, with Illimo Natuituba scoring their first try of the tournament after a break-away at the ruck. This was quickly followed by a try from Tama Turei, which secured the win. Meanwhile, our U55kg team also secured a win in their third game, with Liam Marshall and Astin Richards scoring a try a piece. All the boys put in a great effort and stayed positive, despite the many losses before finally securing the win late in the day. Great effort and sportsmanship from both teams.

Ms Gemma Doran



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Message from ADHB on Measles

Please find attached a message from Auckland Regional Public Health Service for schools regarding measles.  This pulls together a number of resources for managing measles, including an updated step by step guide.