October 2020 Newsletter

In today’s newsletter we have the following:

  • News from the Principal and DPs
  • Upcoming Events for October
  • Deep Clean of School
  • Teacher Only Day Reminder
  • Student Trips/Activities in Term 4
  • The Grand Gifting – ANI is Gifted a Máori Name
  • Queenstown and Wellington Trips
  • ANI Cultural Festival
  • 2021 Enrolment Applications for ANI
  • Board of Trustees Mid-Term Election
  • Year 8 Leavers Gear
  • Student Congratulations
  • ANI Students Guest Judges at NZ Ice Cream Awards
  • Psychologist and Counsellor’s Spot
  • PTA News
  • ANI Sports-Pro Programme
  • House/Whanau Points – Term 3
  • Facebook
  • Community News

NEWS from the PRINCIPAL and DPs 

As we come to the end of Term 3, it’s good to reflect on where we have been before we look to where we are going.

While unexpected, the return to Level 3 was coordinated in a proactive manner and both students and staff approached the return to online learning with an awesome ‘can do’ attitude.  Things got off to a flying start with the move to using taskboards as the approach to distance learning. This allowed students to choose activities that interested them and, once again, gave them choice. We found that this approach significantly raised levels of engagement in our young people and gave them a range of tasks and experiences to keep them motivated and enthused while working from home. 

A number of parents were worried that the move to online learning would result in a spike of screen time, could melt young persons brains, shrink attention spans and weaken social skills!  Well the good news is while worries like these have a long history (e.g. radio, TV), recent studies have downplayed the negative effects.  I read an article recently which gave me food for thought so thought I would share:

“Evidence linking screens to harm is, in reality, paper thin.  Recent studies suggest a couple of hours of screen-based leisure is associated with improved peer relationships and increased sociability.  

Gaming meets our fundamental needs for exploration, competence and social connection.  And games often improve rather than undermine our reasoning abilities.

As for concerns about children getting isolated, the Internet is the world’s best tool for distanced socialising.  

So parents and educators needn’t fret too much during the Coronavirus lockdown but they should monitor what children are watching and playing, sometimes playing and watching with them, and steer them toward brainy games, age-appropriate educational videos, documentaries available on streaming services, co-operative and team-oriented video games and timeless films that don’t just entertain, or distract, but teach ineffable lessons about life, love and family”.

Acknowledgement: “Screen Time Isn’t All That Bad” by Andrew Przybylski and Pete Etchells in The New York Times, April 7, 2020

Looking ahead – what’s in store for Term 4?  It’s the business end of the school year as we analyse final assessment information, write end of year reports, prepare students for the next step in their educational journey and plan 2021 programmes.  It’s also time for a bit of fun and frivolity as we enjoy the warmer weather, get outside for team games and sing the odd Christmas Carol.  We’ve also got a number of whole school events planned with the Cultural Festival and Pool day.  Lots to look forward to and the term will fly by before you know it.

Happy holidays and stay safe.

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 28 September – Friday 9 October – School Holidays (school closed)

Sunday 11 – Board of Trustee Parent Election – Nominations called for by today

Monday 12 – Term 4 begins at 9.00am, 10 ANI students judging at NZ Ice Cream Awards

Tuesday 13 – 2021 Prospective Student School Tour at 9.00am (newly added); Central Zone Boys Basketball

Wednesday 14 – 2021 Prospective Student School Tour at 9.00am (newly added); ICAS Science Test

Thursday 15 – 9.30am Shake-Out! (national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi); Central Zone Girls Basketball; Knowledge-athon Test Day; 2021 Prospective Student School Tour #6 1.30-2.30pm; 2021 Prospective Student Parent Information Evening #6 at 6.00pm

Friday 16 – PTA Sausage Sizzle at lunchtime

Friday 16 – Sunday 18 – Waterpolo Winter Festival in Auckland

Saturday 17 – NZ General Election Day (ANI will have a polling booth)

Monday 19 – ICAS English Test; Attitude Assembly; PTA Meeting at 7.00pm in the Library; John Parsons Cybersecurity Parent Information Evening (further details coming at the start of Term 4)

Tuesday 20 – Year 8 mock exams at University of Auckland

Wednesday 21 – ICAS Digital Technology Test; Year 8 mock exams at University of Auckland; Interzone Boys and Girls Basketball

Friday 23 – Teacher Only Day (school closed)

Monday 26 – Labour Day (school closed)

Tuesday 27 – ANI Athletics Day at Mt Smart Stadium

Wednesday 28 – David Seymour Officially Opening our MakerSpaces Official at 5.00pm (all parents and students welcome)

Thursday 29 – 2021 Prospective Student School Tour at 1.30pm (newly added); PTA Social

Friday 30 – Last day for Knowledge-athon money to be returned in order to be included in prize draws

Friday 30 – Sunday 1 November – Tim Sonderer Memorial Waterpolo Tournament in Auckland

Sunday 1 November – Board of Trustee Parent Election – Nominations close at midday (these can be dropped into the school office or, if on the weekend/after hours – into our locked letterbox on Disraeli Street)


ANI will be having another deep clean of our school undertaken during this holiday period.  This includes professional spraying of outdoor surfaces with product that neutralises the COVID-19 virus.  Inside surfaces that are high use will all be cleaned thoroughly, ready for Term 4.


There is a Teacher Only Day scheduled for Friday 23 October. This date was set at the start of the year to allow teachers time to complete end of year assessments and reporting requirements.  This date is attached to Labour Weekend. 


Please be assured that if school trips/ activities such as EOTC, etc., get cancelled because of lockdown levels, full refunds will be given to parents.  We realise these are difficult times for families and where events are cancelled and trip fees have been paid, we will refund.


On Friday the 18th of September, four very important guests came to our school, to gift us our new Māori name, Te Ipukura O Mataaho. Those four people were Matua Hare, Matua Pouroto, and two family members to support them. Matua Pouroto shared with us the narrative that comes with our new Maori name. He explained the origin of how Mangawhau was formed. We are excited for the rest of the school to learn more about the new school name during Matua Mauri’s Te Reo lessons next term and our End of Year Whanau Hui/Fono. 

Kueni Schaumkel and Mauri Hohepa


On Saturday 19th September, both the Queenstown and Wellington trips jetted off on their respective trips – here’s a wrap up of their time away.


What a great opportunity for our students and staff to attend a school trip to arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world – Queenstown. With the current border restrictions there was no better time to explore our own backyard. This trip of a lifetime included a day trip to Milford Sound, where we saw the second most rare penguin in the world, seals, Kea’s and a pod of dolphins. We also went skiing/snowboarding, on a bluebird day, up at Coronet Peak, racing down the luge and indoor skydiving.  Wer had a lesson in gold mining, odyssey maze, going to the kiwi bird park, and a visit to Queenstown Primary School. 

This trip had everything; incredible views, action, adventure, adrenaline, sunshine, cold mornings, history lessons, and most importantly plenty of fun. The feedback we have received from both the students and their parents have been outstanding.  A huge thanks to the teachers and also the students that attended the trip and made it one of the best we have taken in a long time.

This may also be an option looking into 2021 with limited options moving out of New Zealand.

Shane Devery (Deputy Principal), Kieran Gleeson, Jess Philpot, Rachael Murray, Thomas Jones and Louisa Pielichaty


What an incredible adventure we had in Wellington! This week a group of two lucky teachers and nine even luckier students adventured their way through our nation’s capital. 

We had so many highlights so here are just a few from the students: 

Cooper said visiting Zealandia where we saw falcons chase Tui, Takahe wander through the swamps and an enormous array of native manu as the sun went down. 

Pieta, Hayley and Ashvir thought walking along the Red Rocks Track following the rugged shoreline to find a fur seal colony was epic. 

Jiho was amazed by the incredible exhibits and everything there was to explore in Te Papa. 

Our Weta Workshop tour about movie making and our own special effects makeup session was a highlight so many of us – Florence, Nikhil and Joseph, especially. 

An educational tour of parliament gave us a different perspective of politics. As Kaelin pointed out, the stories of Maori carvings and the art were cool.

The final highlight was a Virtual Reality Experience at Capital-E where we got to create and visit our own virtual worlds.  Mr Edwards and Ms Speedy loved this!

Nick Edwards (Rimu Team Leader) and Gina Speedy (School Counsellor)


The ANI Cultural Festival is on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 November, 6.00-8.00pm at the Centennial Theatre, Auckland Grammar School, 55-87 Mountain Road, Epsom 1023.

 Refreshments available for sale on the night

Tickets on sale now from the office each morning before school 

Limited ticket sales at the door – $7.50 each (children aged under 5 free if held by an adult)

Irish dance | Kapa Haka | Indian Dance | K-Pop | Wearable Art | Pasifika | Mexican | and more


If you or any of your friends have a Year 6 student who is in zone and intends to come to ANI next year, please let them know to get their applications in as soon as possible.  We have added on extra Open Day tour dates in the first week back next term – please see under Enrolments on our website.


Nominations will be called for up until noon on Sunday 11th October for the election of three (3) parent representatives to the Board of Trustees.

All eligible voters will receive a nomination form and a notice calling for nominations – you can use the form to nominate yourself or someone in your community.  It is essential that you notify the school office if your address has changed as this will be a postal election.

If you need more nomination forms, contact the school office.

Nominations close at noon on Sunday 1st November. You may provide a signed candidate statement and photograph with your nomination.

The electoral roll is held at the school and can be viewed during normal school hours.

As nominations are received, there will be a list of candidates’ names kept at the school up until election day, which you can view.  

Voting closes at 4pm on Friday 4 December 2020.

Signed: Deidre Merriott – Returning Officer



Every year, the Year 8s are offered the opportunity to buy and wear Leavers Gear with their name on it for Term 4.

On Tuesday 22 September there was an ordering session in the Library where students could order the size and name preference and receive a permission/payment slip. As soon as they return this payment slip to Mr Gleeson in Room 6, their order will be confirmed.

Payment slips need to be returned by the first Friday in Term 4 (Friday 16th October) at the latest.  This is a non-negotiable deadline as the order will go in that day.  An order form has been emailed to all Year 8 students, as well as being sent out on School Apps on Tuesday 22 September.


Congratulations to Jasmine Huang (Year 7) who is very proud of her French project! She is certainly an animal lover. Nice work Jasmine! We are very proud of you. 


On Monday October 12th, 10 very lucky ANI Students  will be guest judges at the NZ Ice Cream Awards 2020. Students will judge each entry according to its appearance, texture, flavour and overall liking. This is such an exciting opportunity for our students and they are very much looking forward to the day. 


Reports, tests, mock exams, all these events can add up to feelings of stress and anxiety for students and of course their parents.  We end up experiencing these feelings because assessments can leave us feeling judged and possibly lacking in some way.  There is an expectation that we have to perform and do well in comparison either to our peers or to some measuring stick we are using on ourselves. This year, we have the added disruptions of Covid-19 which may make some students feel unprepared for upcoming assessments. 

What if we could flip the script around these forms of assessment?  First of all let’s agree that feeling a bit on edge, nervous or anxious is normal and just about everyone feels this way about being expected to perform.  While not everyone feels anxious about the same things there will definitely be something that everyone experiences anxiety about.  The key here is to realise that a degree of anxiety is very helpful and this is what allows us to focus and manage our energy so we can do well.  We need the additional stimulation that anxiety can bring to do our best work.  Of course the anxiety needs to be balanced so that we remain in control. 

We talked about mindset in the last newsletter and this is a perfect opportunity to apply some of the things we discussed.  A growth mindset in relation to assessment would mean that a student would want to know how much they had learned and what they had not yet learned fully.  The areas that are not quite there yet would be much more interesting than the areas fully mastered.  The report card would provide useful information about where to next in terms of learning.

It’s also helpful to reflect on other times when things have made us feel anxious and try to remember what we did to feel better and to manage the situation.  ANI students have had lots of opportunities in the past few years to experience challenges.  Saying goodbye to your primary school was possibly hard but here you are now, experienced ANI students.  The first day of year 7 was probably pretty difficult but now you know where everything is and who everyone is.  How did you manage all those important things?

In terms of exams one of the best ways to manage anxiety is to be prepared in advance.  Take advantage of every bit of help you can get.  Your teachers are likely to tell you clearly what will be in the exams so make sure you listen carefully, ask questions and check on Google Classroom for timetables and resources that may help. Part of Term 4 learning in Year 8 is dedicated to test and exam preparation. Students are walked through different strategies with a focus on what to expect in high school. 

There are many things students can do to feel more prepared and less anxious. Make a study schedule so that you have time to review information in short chunks.  Start out with 10-15 minutes at a time then get up and take a break and come back to your study but review a different subject.  You may want to extend this time as you get used to it.  This strategy is called distributed practice and has been shown in research to be highly effective.  Another research based way to study is to explain the information to yourself or to someone else rather than just read or re read the information.  Ask yourself questions about the material which can help you know where you are going wrong or not recalling information correctly.  Again a good chance to exercise that growth mindset!

Top 5 tips for not just surviving but thriving when it comes to reports, tests and exams.

  1. Anxious feelings are normal. Everyone feels nervous, anxious or on edge about performing something whether it’s public speaking, taking tests or talking to a new person, no one is exempt.
  2. Being anxious can be a good thing as long as it is managed well. Anxiety helps to sharpen our focus.
  3. A growth mindset has been shown to be a feature of successful people. View assessment as a chance to figure out what you need to learn next.
  4. Remember other challenges that you have overcome.  Ask yourself, how did I do that?  You can use skills you already have to overcome any worries about reports, tests and mock exams.
  5. Use effective study strategies: 
    1. Know what will be in your exam in advance
    2. Distributed practice
    3. Explain material to yourself
    4. Ask yourself questions about what you have learned.

Robyn Stead & Gina Speedy

Educational Psychologist and School Counsellor


The ANI PTA is thrilled to announce that the ANI Knowledge-athon 2020 is underway. 

This is both an educational quiz and an important ANI fundraiser. 

This year we are raising money for the NEW OUTDOOR LEARNING SPACES. These will give ANI students and teachers an innovative and fun place to learn. But we need your help to fund these!

This event involves a quiz of 100 questions covering different areas of the students’ learning and knowledge.  Students have been given the quiz questions and answers, along with the sponsorship forms. Testing will happen on Thursday 15th October.  The final date for sponsorship money to be returned to the school in order to be in the draw for some great prizes is Friday 30th October.

We would like to thank Altar Café for their generous gift of prizes for this event. And thanks in advance to our parents and caregivers – these events can only be successful because of your support.

Please encourage your child to collect sponsors and together we look forward to building some incredible new outdoor learning spaces for our students and teachers to use.

Money raised from the chocolate fundraiser earlier in the year has so far paid for:

1. Important maintenance on existing playground equipment

2. House flags

3. Cultural Festival costumes and other resources 

4. Resources for the Kapa Haka group

5. Supporting four students to attend year 8 camp 

6. Staff uniforms 

7. Netball court makeover

8. Kapa haka

9. And the beginnings of the outdoor learning spaces

Diana Winstanley – ANI PTA



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 ckucera@ani.school.nz.


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. 

Congratulations to Ahi who have been leading all term long – well done!  At the first assembly of Term 4 (Monday 12 October) we will announce the winning house and prize!


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


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

One of our ex Teacher Aides, Locky Campion, is part of the cast of the Glow Show and has been working hard the last couple of weeks in the rehearsal room and is super excited to put this show on for everybody!  Please go along and support him and the rest of the cast 

Here’s the link: https://www.glowshow.co.nz/ for dates, venues and where to buy tickets