February 2018 Newsletter

Tēnā koutou e ngā whānau o tenei kura. Nau mai haere mai ki te tau hou o 2018.

Hello to all our families. Welcome to the new school year and a year full of opportunity. The staff and I are looking forward to welcoming back the Year 8 students and extending a warm welcome to our new Year 7’s and their families.

Over the past week, teachers and support staff have been planning programmes of work, time tabling, preparing rooms and organising resources so we are fully prepared and ready to hit the ground running on Tuesday 30 January for Year 8’s and Wednesday 31 January for Year 7’s (note different start dates for year groups).

We also managed to fit in a bit of fun with a staff team building afternoon of mini golf. Nothing like a bit of competition to bring out the best in teachers.


What happens next week on the first day?
Tuesday 30 January – school starts for Year 8 (Year 7 students do not attend on this date)

All students need to meet in the hall at 9:00am. Class lists will be called by your teacher and you should be set up and ready for learning by 9:30am. Bring your lunch, PE gear, a school hat/cap, togs/towel and stationery.

Wednesday 31 January – school starts for Year 7 (Year 8 students do not attend on this date)

All students meeting the hall at 9:00am for an official welcome. Class lists will be called and you will find out who your teacher is and what class you are in. Remember to bring lunch, stationery PE gear, hat/cap, togs/towel.

Parents you are most welcome to join us at 9:00am on both days.

If you require additional uniform items, the uniform shop will be open on Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:00am – 9:00am for those last minute purchase (especially sun hats or caps).

We will have a whole school powhiri at 9:00am on Thursday to welcome new students and their families. Please join us if you can. Venue is the school hall.

All other information can be found in our school A to Z click HERE.

Class Placement
Once students names have been called they will move to their new classroom. They may find that there are a number of students in the class they do not know which can make them feel a little nervous or worried.

We understand that a change in class or year level has challenges and we ask that you give your son/daughter a couple of weeks to settle in. If they are still not happy after this time, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with a member of the SLT to discuss the situation.

Who is on the staff?
A list of teachers and teaching teams can be found here. If you want to know a bit more about your child’s teacher, we will be sending you their bios on Tuesday 30 January, we will also include for your reference non-teaching staff and their position should you need to make contact with them during the year.

How do I find out what’s going on?
There are a number of ways we let you know what is happening in the school:

  • Every Friday we email you a weekly update to advise what’s scheduled for the week ahead.
  • Our website is updated regularly
  • Teachers and other staff are easily contactable via email (addresses are on the website)
  • We have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ANormalSchool/
  • We post on Instagram aniyear8learning2018
  • Once a month we send home a newsletter
  • Every term each team emails you their team newsletter
  • Check out our A-Z student handbook

Remember you need to tell us if your email address changes as this is our main form of communication (email ani@ani.school.nz)

How do I know what my son/daughter is learning?
Good question and after a couple of days back in the classroom I am sure your sons and daughters will be able to tell you exactly what is going on and how exciting it is.

At intermediate the learning might seem or look a little different than it did at primary school but that’s a good thing – programmes of work jump to a new level. It’s a bit harder, there’s a bit more to remember and there is a focus on students being more agentic in their learning (being more independent and responsible). The basics of reading, writing and maths are still formally taught by class teachers in what we call ‘direct acts of teaching’. Lessons are structured and progress is measured through formal assessments (e.g. tests) as well as informal tasks (e.g. rubrics, observations or self-assessment). While there may be more than one class in a learning common each teacher is fully responsible for the students on their roll. The emerging adolescent needs a strong relationship with a significant adult and we ensure this happens through regular interaction and contact with their own class teacher.

What is this I hear about the International Baccalaureate at ANI?
Yes, we are an IB school. This does not mean we don’t teach the New Zealand curriculum – we do. The International Baccalaureate is simply a framework that we use to deliver the NZC. Why do we need the IB then I hear some parents ask? What is provides is a conceptually driven approach that promotes a transdisciplinary (across all subjects) way of learning rather than teaching subjects in isolation. The connectedness of learning is very important for students as it helps them see the relevance of this knowledge and how they can apply it to new situations. IB is inquiry based around six themes:

  • How the world works
  • How we organise ourselves
  • Where we are in place and time
  • Who we are
  • Sharing the planet
  • How we express ourselves

In addition the concepts of function, connection, change, reflection, form, perspective, responsibility and causation are explored within the themes (obviously not all at once).

Students are always scaffolded through their first inquiry as the terminology may be different to what they have experienced at Primary School.  There is a clear and aligned structure of the IB programme to the New Zealand Curriculum so students receive full coverage of this document.

Students are permitted some element of choice within their inquiry but this is always checked and monitored closely by the teacher. They don’t have free rein or simply please themselves. Not at all – the class teacher manages each inquiry topic and the work very carefully ensuring students have balanced and well structured learning opportunities.

We have an information evening for parents about the IB programme and how our learning commons work on March 14, 6:00pm – 7:00pm in Library. Further details to follow.

Evolving Learners
The holidays are a great time to catch up on reading and one article I read particularly resonated with me around how schools need to change and meet the demands today’s students.

Kids are people too
All students must be treated and respected as human beings with recognised, universal human rights and responsibilities.

This means students must have an active say in the choice regarding their learning, including how their schools are run, how and when they learn and all other areas of every day life. This is inclusion in a real sense. Students of all ages must be afforded liberties to pursue educational opportunities and approaches for learning that are appropriate for them, as long as their decisions do not infringe on the liberties of others to do the same (adapted from EUDEC, 2005).

The future belongs to ‘entreprenerds’
Our education systems should focus on the development of entreprenerds: individuals who leverage their specialised knowledge to dream, create, make, explore, learn and promote entrepreneurial, cultural or social endeavours, taking risks and enjoying the process as much as the final outcome, without fearing the potential failures or mistakes that the journey includes.

We cannot manage knowledge
Too often we fool ourselves into thinking that we give kids knowledge, when we are just testing them for what information they can repeat. To be clear: Data are bits and pieces here and there, form which we combine into information. Knowledge is about taking information and creating meaning at a personal level. We innovate when we take action with what we know to create new value. Understanding this difference exposes one of the greatest problems facing school management and teaching: While we are good at managing information, we simply cannot manage the knowledge in students heads without degrading it back to information.

Also… congratulations to our lucky prize draw winners from 2017. These families paid their 2018 donation/fees early and went into the draw to win some outstanding prizes.

Scarlett KingUniform topup
Sophia HillUniform topup
Aryan TalathiStationery pack
Hansen CaoStationery pack
Chhay KuyStationery pack
Sri PilliStationery pack
Bill WangEducation Perfect Subscription
Emma GowanEducation Perfect Subscription
Olivia SherriffEducation Perfect Subscription
Jacky LiEducation Perfect Subscription


And finally… what do all students need to bring on the first day of school?

  • Student Digital Information Communication Technologies Agreement (these were distributed to Year 7’s in their enrolment pack). They need to be returned – YEAR 7 STUDENTS ONLY
  • Digital Devices (only if the student ‘Digital ICT Agreement’ above is signed and returned)
  • Stationery
  • Wear full uniform (named) including school cap (cap to be worn in terms one and four)
  • Morning tea, lunch and drink

Kind regards

Jill Farquharson


Upcoming Events

Here are some of the events coming up in the first few weeks of term. Events are put on our school website and can be found by clicking here. 

Monday 29 JanuaryAuckland Anniversary – SCHOOL CLOSED
Tuesday 30 JanuarySchool starts, 9:00am – Year 8 students ONLY (Year 7 students DO NOT come on this day)
Wednesday 31 JanuarySchool starts, 9:00am – Year 7 students ONLY (Year 8 students DO NOT come on this day)
Thursday 1 FebruaryAll students (Year 7 and Year 8) attend school, 8:45am
Friday 2 FebruarySuper Bowl – whole school (information included below in newsletter)
Tuesday 6 FebruaryWaitangi Day – SCHOOL CLOSED
Thursday 8 FebruaryCamp Information Evening for parents, 5:00pm (Information Centre)
 Meet the Teacher Evening, 6:00pm
Friday 9 FebruarySchool Swimming Sports
Monday 12 FebruaryDental Van onsite (Mon – Fri)
 Year 8 Camp – Rimu Team (Mon – Fri)
 PTA Meeting, 7:00pm (Information Centre)
Monday 19 FebruaryDental Van onsite (Mon – Fri)
 Class and Individual Photos
Wednesday 21 FebruaryBoard of Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm (Staffroom) all welcome
Monday 26 FebruaryYear 8 Camp – Matai Team (Mon – Fri)
Wednesday 7 MarchGoal Setting Evening, 6:00pm – 8:00pm (classrooms)
Wednesday 14 MarchIB Parent Evening, 6:00pm – 7:00pm (Information Evening)
Monday  19 MarchYear 7 EOTC – Group One (Mon – Thurs)
Monday 26 MarchYear 7 EOTC –  Group Two (Mon – Thurs)
Wednesday 28 MarchBoard of Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm (Staffroom) all welcome
Friday 30 MarchGood Friday – SCHOOL CLOSED
Monday 2 AprilEaster Monday – SCHOOL CLOSED
Tuesday 3 AprilEaster Tuesday – SCHOOL CLOSED
Wednesday 4 AprilYear 8 HPV #1 Girls and Boys
Monday 9 AprilYear 7 EOTC –  Group Three (Mon – Thurs)
Friday 13 AprilTerm One Ends, 2:00pm


Year 8 Camps

In February we have our two Year 8 teams Matai and Rimu attending camp in Rotorua (Rooms 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10).  Rimu will be the first team to leave on Monday 12 February returning on Friday 16 February followed by Matai Team (Rooms 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) leaving on Monday 26 February returning on Friday 2 March. The approximate cost for students to attend camp in 2018 will be between $370 – $390. I will confirm the camp cost on 2 February once all costings have been taken into account. All camp documentation will be sent home on 2 February.

The two teams will be heading down to Tui Ridge Park in Rotorua and will be set a number of tasks to complete in addition to some more challenging activities during their stay.  The activities include: high ropes course, abseiling, rock climbing, mountain biking, archery, the flying fox, high ropes swing, an overnight camp in tents and orienteering.

The aim of camp is to:

  • Develop leadership, self-management, risk taking, cooperation and independence
  • Provide an opportunity to work towards meeting personal and group goals
  • Provide all participants with challenging educational opportunities in an outdoor setting.

As with any overnight activity, parents are a necessary component and we invite you to join the teachers and students during the week. If you are able to support your child on camp please let your classroom teacher know by Wednesday 7 February.

We will be having a camp information evening on Thursday 8 Feb at 5pm in the Library. We hope to see you all then.

Tracey Hughes
Associate Principal


Super Bowl

We are all looking forward to our annual Super Bowl event. This will be held at school on Friday 2 February. This annual event is a fun festival of sports that celebrates the start of an exciting year at ANI. On the day Year 7 classes will be mixed with Year 8 classed to form a team and compete in 22 cooperative team games. The team with the most points will be crowned the 2018 Super Bowl champions! The events will kick off at 11:10am and will be finished by the end of the day.  Drop in if you are passing by.

The students are reminded to please bring the following for the day:

  • Come to school in their PE uniform and once at school can add their team colours
  • School hats
  • Sunblock
  • Suitable footwear
  • Personal drink bottle
  • If they require personal medication they must have this with them

Patrick Kennelly
Sports Coordinator


School Swimming Sports

The annual school swimming sports will be held on Friday 9 February at the Auckland University Swimming pool (Epsom Campus). Students will meet at school and then walk over to the pool for a 9:30am start.

This event is a competitive event and does not cater for social swimmers. Students must be able to confidently dive and swim 50 metres in their event stroke unassisted. For those students who would like to complete they will be given the chance to sign up in the first week. Students on the day will have to bring lunch and afternoon tea with them and progressively eat during the day. All swimmers are to be wearing their togs underneath their clothes and have with them their towel, goggles, swimming cap, hat, water and sun block.

Parents are welcome to attend as spectators and we are also looking for parent helpers on the day. If you are available to help, please contact me via email pkennelly@ani.school.nz

Patrick Kennelly
Sports Coordinator


Financial Payments

Many thanks to those families who have paid their specialist programme course contribution ($195.00) and have paid in advance for the school activities that will take place during the year ($75.00). We also appreciate the number of school donations (voluntary payment of $330.00) that have been received already.

These payments are appreciated particularly in the areas that are voluntary. The income generated by these payments provide additional resources and extra specialist teachers over and above what the government provides. They also enable us to offer lower class sizes and state of the art learning environments including ICT equipment.

In the next newsletter we will provide detailed information on the payments we will request of you this year just in case you have overlooked them and not yet actioned. At this time of the year there is always a lot of media hype on how education is ‘free’. While this may be ideal, in reality to offer the resources we do at ANI (such as lower class sizes, extra specialist teachers, higher quality resources, ICT equipment, modern learning environments) we could not provide this without your donations. We appreciate your support and encourage you to make payment as soon as convenient. Many thanks.


2018 Meet the Teacher

Come along to ANI and meet your son/daughters teacher and hear about programmes for the year then join us for a picnic on the school field.

Thursday 8 February
6:00 – 6:30pm: parents meet the teacher in your child’s classroom
6:30 – 7:30pm: games on the field, bring along a picnic or grab a sausage, drink, slice of pizza that will be on sale

Bring a picnic rug, food and drink. Sausages, pizza and drinks will be available to purchase.