12 December 2013

From The Principal

Greetings, Kia ora, Namaste, Ni Hao, Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Kia orana, Ni sa bula vinaka, Salam

Dear parents and caregivers,

Firstly – thank you so much for supporting our teachers and your children by attending yesterday’s Christmas concerts. It was just great to see so many of you here. It was lovely also, to see you having a picnic with your children during the lunch break. It was also wonderful to welcome back some former PCS students. We all enjoyed a very special whanau day.

Pohutakawa TreeAs this is my last newsletter of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for a very happy Christmas and warmest wishes for 2014. We are all enjoying the sight of our beautiful pohutukawa tree in full flower on the St George St boundary – it is magnificent and suggests a long hot summer that we are already enjoying. I am sure that many of you have spotted it!

A fantastic year

Everyone has worked very hard throughout the year and we are very pleased with the progress in achieving and exceeding our student achievement targets to be included in the annual report in 2014. Most students have worked very hard and I am sure that most of you will be pleased with their end of year reports that I have just finished signing.

Congratulations to staff

We congratulate a number of our staff who have been studying towards additional professional qualifications including diplomas, post graduate diplomas and masters degrees. Lorraine Biggs, our Executive Officer has completed the NZIM Diploma in Business and in Management and Rachel Cromie has completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. Dev Singh has completed post graduate papers in maths education and the use of evidence in teaching practice. We are very proud of them all and wish them all the best in their future studies. It requires real dedication to work full time and study as well, and they have all done extremely well.

2014 Initiatives

We are very excited about what we have planned for 2014 already and after the Christmas break, we are all ready to go with our exciting initiatives. These include continued science and technology specialisation for all students, two music groups led by the Tironui Trust and the first year of a 2-year reading research project funded by the NZ Council for Educational Research. Our Kaiarahi Barry Smith, will continue to have oversight of our Tikanga Maori programme and Trisha Lelei will be our Taitai Pasifika, our Pasifika lead teacher. Our curriculum focus will be on Mathematics and we are planning an accelerated learning programme in maths for year 6 students.

Reading over summer

Recent research by a team from the University of Auckland Woolf Fisher Research Centre has stressed the critical importance of children continuing to read regularly over the summer holidays. If reading does not continue, the research indicates a drop of up to 3 months in a child’s reading comprehension progress. Please support us and your child by ensuring that they read regularly over the holidays. Our local library is a wonderful resource and the staff there can help you to choose appropriate reading material for your children.

My sincere thanks

At this time of the year I also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the numerous people in our school community who support our school.

Firstly, I wish to thank sincerely our Board of Trustees. Stan Good our chairperson, and trustees Teresa Bews, Shaundra Biggs, Christine Hutchby, Navtej Randhawa and Gerry Smutz, all do an amazing job on our Board. I would also like to acknowledge the excellent work of Lorraine Biggs, the BoT secretary. Without exception they are all superb members of our Board. They support me, our staff and your children in a truly exceptional way. The children and their needs are always at the centre of all decision making. We are all very fortunate to have such a committed Board.

I would also like to thank the PTA who have raised over $11,000.00 for our school this year. I enjoy very much working with this group also, as like the BoT, they are very committed to our school and to providing the best that they can for your children. Over the year they have run a disco, sausage sizzles and the annual Christmas raffle. They contributed $3,000.00 to the year 6 camp, they ran the summer school fair and bought multi-pro football goals for student use. They also purchased new sand toys for the sandpits. We really appreciate the contribution our PTA members make to our school. Thank you all so much.

I would like to acknowledge our room 10 granny helpers again this year. These are simply wonderful women who come each week to work with our students who do not have a special grandparent in their lives. Special thanks go to Barbara Mildon, Moira Malcolm, Elizabeth Donaldson, Joan Swift, Rosemary Mclean, Annette Galloway, Anice Holmes and Joan Mackay-Guthrie. Check out Showcase on our website and you will see a lovely photo of them when they brought in a Christmas morning tea for the class this week. We look forward to welcoming them back next year to continue with their great work. I would also like to thank Rebecca Bridge and her amazing (reading) dog, Sika, Joan Patterson and Irene Grundy who similarly have helped a number of students with their reading. The gift of your time and support is hugely appreciated by the students, their parents and our teachers.

To all other supporters and helpers, a big thank you. Without your assistance we would be unable to offer such a wide range of activities for the children. We value hugely the partnership that we have with you. You are always welcome at school – our doors are always open and we are committed to working with you to support and enhance every aspect of your children’s learning.

I also wish to thank all staff at our school- administration and support staff, learning assistants, the property team, our senior leadership team, and all our teachers for doing a great job again this year. You work for the children and commitment to our school is very much appreciated. You are all stars!

Staff leaving

Next Wednesday will be the last day for teachers Kirsty Paterson, Naomi McFarlane, Vino Pather, Heather McLeod, and Becky Samson. Kirsty is having a break from full-time teaching, but will help us out with relieving teaching. Naomi is heading north to live closer to her son. Vino is heading to New Plymouth and Heather is moving to a full-time position at Good Shepherd School in Balmoral. Becky is leaving us to have her first baby due at the beginning of February. We wish Becky and Steven all the very best as they start their family. I would like to acknowledge each of these fantastic teachers who have given wonderful service to our school over many years. I know that you will join me in thanking them as well and wishing them all the very best.

Year 6 students leaving for intermediate school

We wish our year 6 students all the very best also, as they move on to intermediate school. They have been a wonderful group of school leaders.

My personal message

On a personal level, I am looking forward to Christmas with my family, as usual. We have been truly blessed with the addition of 2 grandsons this year. We are all getting together for Christmas and I have to tell you that I am extremely excited about that! I look upon this as our family’s most special time of the year as we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas as a time of peace, hope, and goodwill. We also talk a lot about gratitude in our family as we believe that we have so much to be thankful for.

I hope that you too are able to have such enjoyment and pleasure in the company of your loved ones. It is a time to reconnect with the very special people in our lives, to give, to share, and to tell each other how much we care. I am not sure that we do that enough in our ever busier lives. So please spend some very special time with your lovely children, tell them how much you care, show them that you love them, enjoy special times with them, and have a wonderful break, if you can.


Marilyn Gwilliam


End of Year Plant Sales: The school has a few punnets of herbs and vegetable plants available for sale tomorrow morning from 8am at the front gate. The cost is a $1.00 each.

Term Events

  • Thursday, 12 Dec – Year 6 Graduation Dinner
  • Friday, 13 Dec – Have a go day
  • Wednesday, 18 Dec – Last day of Term 12.45pm
  • Monday, 3 Feb – Term 1, 2014 starts

Last day for the year – Wednesday, 18 Dec at 12.45pm

(Please make sure you have made arrangements for the early closure)



Wednesday, 29 January – 9.00 am to 3.00 pm
Thursday, 30 January – 9.00am to 6.00 pm
Friday, 31 January – 9.00 am to 3.00 pm

School Start date for 2014 – Monday, 3 February


Santa visit

Yesterday Santa came to visit!

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