September 2020 Newsletter


In today’s newsletter we have the following:

  • News from the Principal and DPs
  • Upcoming Events for September
  • Teacher Only Day Reminder
  • ANI Cultural Festival (change of date due to Covid)
  • Out of Zone Applications for ANI (Wednesday 2 September at 3pm)
  • Student Congratulations
  • 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 

Who would have thought when we started Term 3 on 18 May we would yoyo back to Covid Alert Level 3 and now back to Level 2.5.

We know that on Monday there were many happy faces as our students returned after an almost three week break to their familiar surrounds and interacted with teachers and friends.

As the year has been disrupted on a number of fronts, it is important we do not try and do too much over the next few weeks just for the sake of catch up – teaching is about educating the whole child where social and emotional needs matter.  We have complex situations where students and their families are navigating a variety of temporary solutions or trauma from isolation, collective and personal loss and change.  This takes time – there is a long road ahead and at times this road can get rocky.  At school we provide a strong connection with our students to support them navigate their way through these times.

We will take the best out of this experience and use what we have learnt to support children’s wellbeing to benefit from all these Covid events.  As they say, life will not return to normal, this is the new normal and we will ensure we make the most of it and finish the term strong.  

“Education has the power to be stabilising in a time where students (and teachers) need time and resources to heal.  We can build on what we already know works – the stakes are too high to do otherwise”.   ASCD Vol 15, No. 23

And now a message to our students to finish the term strong.

  1. Keep up those good work habits at work and school. This involves keeping a diary and ensuring home learning is done and school work is kept up with.
  2. Develop further independence by doing things around the house at home before you are asked to do so. Things like clearing the dishwasher or making your bed. These habits will all contribute towards making you a well-rounded and balanced person. 
  3. Keep an eye on your assessment data and know your next steps. Login to your AsTTle and show your parents your assessment results. Develop your personalised next steps by talking with your teacher and your parents about these. These steps all enable you to take further ownership of your learning and allow you to be part of your next steps as a young person.
  4. Choose your friends wisely. It is well known that you become like the people you associate with. Be someone who makes good friendship choices and ensure that they are the sort of people that are moving you closer to your dreams and goals rather than further away from them. 
  5. Set goals! Setting goals is an important habit to develop in life. Goals give you a target to aim for and help keep you motivated and on track. Goals also allow you to filter decisions you might have to make as you can ask yourself, “is this action moving me closer to or further away from my goal?”

We only have 13 weeks together before the end of your 2020 school year! It is up to you how you wish to spend those 13 weeks. Will you push harder towards your goals? The choice is yours!

EasTTle Test Results

Don’t forget to ask your child to give you access to their recent test results in Reading, Writing and Mathematics by logging onto their easTTle profile.  Ask them how their recent test went, what they did well at and what they should focus on moving forward.  If you are having trouble please ask your classroom teacher for some support.

House Image Competition

We recently had a competition to design and create a new image for our house system.  After lots of deliberation and comments the winner was James Covacich from Room 21.  James commented “I wasn’t expecting to win and to my surprise I won.  I spent a lot of time re-developing my ideas so that they could be the best they could be. I am really happy about taking out the top prize because a lot of students are noticing me more and saying well done.  I am really happy about this outcome and I thank the school for the opportunity to make this a reality”.

Good one James – congrats!

ICAS Tests

Today, Tuesday 1ST September, will see the first of our four ICAS tests commence.  Students have been briefed today and will require the following items to log into the ICAS site:

  1. Device such as a chrome book from home or borrow one from school
  2. Ensure students can log into their ANI Google account (organise this before they sit the test)
  3. Year 7 students will begin at 9.15am and Year 8 students will begin at 11.15am 
  4. The venue will be in Room 19 & 20 for the Mathematics test

The other three tests will be taken on the following days:

Science – Wednesday 14 October – 9.15am for Year 7 and 11.15am for Year 8; Venue: Room 25/26

English – Monday 19 October – 9.15am for Year 7 and 11.15am for Year 8; Venue: Room 17/18

Digital Technologies – Wednesday 21 October – 9.15am for Year 7 and 11.15am for Year 8; Venue: Rom 25/26

Year 8 Exam Preparation

As many of you know, we spend a great deal of time preparing our Year 8 students for exams that they will sit in Year 9 and beyond. Part of this process means that we do exam preparation, e.g.: how to take notes and study and also sitting a mock exam. Our mock exam is booked for Tuesday and Wednesday, 20 and 21 October. We will be taking our Year 8 students into a lecture theatre at the University of Auckland to do these mock exams. We put a great deal of energy in preparing our Year 8’s to thrive in high school! 

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 31 August – Friday 4 September – Wellness Week for staff 

Tuesday 1 – ICAS Maths Examination

Wednesday 2 – Last day for Out of Zone 2021 Enrolment applications; Parent Information Evening for the Queenstown and Wellington trips at 6.00pm on ZOOM

Thursday 3 – Year 7 Vision Testing (continues from Monday 31 August)

Wednesday 9 – Out of Zone 2021 Enrolment Ballot

Thursday 10 – EPro8 Challenge from 5.00-8.00pm (TBC)

Tuesday 15 – Wednesday 16 – Year 8 Provocation Workshops

Wednesday 16 – Tough Guy Tough Gal

Thursday 17 – Open Day at 11.00am for Prospective 2021 Students; Parent Information Evening at 6.00pm for Prospective 2021 Student Families

Saturday 19 – Thursday 24 – Wellington and Queenstown Trips

Wednesday 23 – HPV 2 Vaccine for Year 8s and & Boostrix Catch-up for Year 7s; Board of Trustees Meeting at 6.00pm

Friday 25 – End of Term Awards Assembly on ZOOM (Year 7s at 9.15am and Year 8s at 11.15am); School finishes early at 2.00pm


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. 

ANI CULTURAL FESTIVAL (CHANGE OF DATE DUE TO COVID) – 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 from the office each morning before school in Term 4

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 wants to attend ANI next year, please let them know our out of zone applications close tomorrow (Wednesday 2nd September).

In relation to this, we remind you that most high school out of zone applications are also due by this Wednesday including Epsom Girls Grammar and Mt Roskill Grammar who would like to remind our Year 8 students to get their applications in asap.  


Congratulations to Devashri Srinivasan and Nishad Vincent (both Year 8) who took part in the Education Perfect English Champs and earned themselves an Elite badge – well done!

Congratulations to Milly Ruddenklau, Year 7, who received a Principal’s Award for her generosity and showing the IB attributes of being a caring and balanced learner!  She got very busy on the sewing machine making face masks for staff at ANI during lockdown.

Congratulations to Daksha Nitsingham, Year 8, who collected a collection of cups and medals at the Three Kings Athletic 2020 Championship that took place in Term 1. However, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the prize-giving was rescheduled to 1-2 August.  Daksha came first in most of her events and got a gold medal and a cup at her age group.   She was also delighted to be presented with the President’s cup for the best overall athlete. 


The stress mindset

It turns out that if you have a mindset that stress is bad for you, you are right and if you have a mindset that stress is good for you, you are right also. To read more of the studies that inform this concept check out the following links: What’s your stress mindset? And Beliefs About Stress Attenuate the Relation Among Adverse Life Events, Perceived Distress, and Self‐Control.  Developing a positive stress mindset helps you to manage ongoing or day to day pressures, as well as those one-off unexpected curve balls life may present. 

Expecting life to be easy leads to complacency and makes stepping out of our comfort zones feel scary, negative and overwhelming. Yet learning to manage stress rather than avoid it allows for growth and risk-taking. Recent events that students at ANI may have experienced that pushed them, their families, teachers and friends out of their comfort zone could be attending camp, learning on-line, dealing with a second Covid-19 lockdown and managing the disappointment of cancelled events.

A positive stress mindset turns a challenge into an opportunity to improve or develop skills, achieve goals, try new things and have new experiences.  A negative stress mindset views challenges as bad, unpleasant and something to avoid or minimise if possible.

ANI students may have heard this described as a Growth Mindset vs a Fixed Mindset. Having a fixed mindset means that you don’t think things can change or improve.  You believe your talents and abilities are fixed. In this mindset, you might view mistakes as failure and avoid new things. 

In contrast, someone with a Growth Mindset believes that their talents and skills can be worked on, changed and improved with effort.  They understand that stress can be useful and are able to look for opportunities.  

Now we know that we need a positive stress mindset, how on earth do we go about developing one?  

Start by thinking about how you have managed previous stressful situations.  All ANI students have made the transition from primary school to intermediate and while at the time you may have been worried about what intermediate might be like, most of you discovered that there are lots of great things and great people at ANI.  Many of you will have experienced all kinds of challenges, from moving countries, difficulties with friends to missing out on a spot on the sports team you wanted to be part of.  Think about how you managed these previous experiences.  These are the skills you already have and can use to cope with future challenges.  

A next step could be accepting reality.  Life comes as a complete package that includes challenges, difficulties and rough spots.  We know that teachers encourage ANI learners to view making mistakes as a valuable part of learning.  In class ANI students discuss this as being a risk-taker – one of our IB principles.  This same kind of thinking is applied in developing a positive stress mindset.  It is often the bumps in the road that lead to the biggest rewards and happiest outcomes even if it doesn’t look like this is the likely outcome at the start. 

The fire ANI experienced in 2019 is an example of this. Although devastating and difficult at the time, we used the opportunity to create our brilliant new Makerspaces and transform our environment. 

Similarly, a benefit of lockdown for many people was channeling time and effort into new hobbies they hadn’t previously had time for like making sourdough bread or learning to sew face masks. In these examples, an obstacle or stressful situation was met with a Growth Mindset. 

A useful strategy is to implement the ‘Power of YET’ for yourself and with children. 

‘’I can’t do this…YET’’

‘’It doesn’t make sense…YET’’

‘’I’m not good at this…YET’

This simple reframing of a statement can change an outlook quickly. 

After all, the brain is like a muscle and the more we exercise it the stronger it becomes.  Just like an athlete needs to work out, we need to practise a Growth Mindset in order to face challenges and setbacks successfully. 

As they say, stressed spelled backwards is desserts! 

Robyn Stead & Gina Speedy

Educational Psychologist and School Counsellor


The Knowledge-athon will now be in Term 4 – dates coming out soon, in addition to new dates for the social and other exciting events the PTA has organised.

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

Central Zone Netball

The Central Zone Netball competition was held on Friday 7 August at the Auckland Netball Centre in St Johns.  It was a tough day with lots of close games. There were wins, draws and losses and was very entertaining for us to watch. 

Our Year 8 girls fought hard and placed 6th overall.

The Year 7 girls missed out on 3rd place by a mere 5 points and were very pleased with their efforts. 4th overall and some fantastic netball on display.

Ms. Murray was an awesome supporter and van driver – thank you! 

Ms Louisa Pielichaty

Central Auckland Intermediate Chess Championships

Our chess players competed at Mt Roskill Intermediate on Friday 31st July with our A-team taking out first place.  The students had a lot of matches and played extremely well – congratulations!

Mr Jason Shin, Teacher in Charge


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. 

Here are the Term 3 results from our whanau competition so far – Ahi are in the lead, with the other three not too far behind:


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


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