13 February 2014

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,

A very warm welcome back to the 2014 school year and all the very best for the year ahead. We hope that you had a great time with your family over the summer break. We have noticed how refreshed and ready for school the children are. It is a pleasure to have them all back with us, ready for another year of hard work and high quality learning. Please keep in touch with your child’s teacher regularly and our senior team is available to meet with you, also. We have an “open door” policy and you are always welcome at our school. 

I would like to extend a special welcome to families who are new to our school. We look forward to getting to know you. Please do not hesitate to come and ask if you need any additional information – you are assured of a warm welcome. Our wonderful Jocelyn Clarke and Monita Prasad in the school office know everything about the school and they can assist you with any question that you may have, or point you in the right direction.

NZ Council for Educational Research Project: Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI): Last year we submitted a proposal for funding to set up a reading research project to enhance the reading of our year 5 students. We were delighted to be selected. There were 46 applications nationally and our proposal went to a shortlist of 20. Our school is one of only 8 in NZ to be finally selected and as you can imagine we are delighted with the outcome. We have engaged Dr Libby Limbrick, a research fellow at The University of Auckland to be our research consultant on the project. Rachel Cromie is leading the year 5 Kakapo team that includes Sarin Nand, Julie Sila and Peter Robinson. They will all be involved in the 2-year research project along with our year 5 students. The focus this year will be on preparing students for a summer reading programme in 2015. We are also working with our local Papatoetoe library on this project.

Fortnightly Newsletters: This year you will receive a newsletter each fortnight. We assure you that we will keep you informed via our website and St George St noticeboard of all school events, in between newsletters. There is always a lot happening and the website News link will be updated daily. Just click on that and all will be revealed!

Student Kapai Awards: Teachers will contact you by phone or they will send home a note to you if your child is going to receive a kapai award at the following Monday’s assembly. We look forward as always, to seeing you at our special weekly assembly.

PCS Staff, 2014: We welcome 3 new teachers to our school this year and I know that you will help to make them feel welcome also, as new members of our school whanau.

  • Room 1 – Melissa Fok
  • Room 4 – Miriam Paxie
  • Room 24 – Maggie Lee

We are delighted also to welcome back Julie Sila from maternity leave. Please see following, a full list of our staff in the school. All staff – teachers, learning assistants, administration support staff and our property team are very professional and committed to our school.

2014 Focus Areas: Maths, Manners and Making a Difference Daily

Maths: Following your feedback in last year’s parent/caregiver survey, our curriculum focus in 2014 is on Mathematics. Last year we reviewed our programmes and this year we plan to have a strong focus on the teaching of basic facts, problem solving and applying maths in creative ways.

Manners: We believe that it is very important that all our staff and students use good manners and are considerate of others, daily at our school. All staff will be encouraging students to be PCS at all times – polite, considerate and sensible.

Making a Difference Daily: We are all intent on making a difference every day for your children and for each other. We frequently ask ourselves what we have done to make a difference as our goal is to maximise every minute of learning time at our school, each day of the week.

Science and Technology 2014: This year all children will have a specialist lesson in science or technology each week with Lena Erakovich. Lena is our specialist teacher in these curriculum areas and we are all very fortunate that she is so willing to share her many scientific skills, passion and talents with your children.

Ta’ita’i Pasifika: Trisha Lelei: This year Trisha will provide support for our Pasifika students and she will lead our term 3 Polyfest. She will also be involved in the Tikanga Maori programme, she will work on an accelerated learning programme with year 6 students in maths, she will provide learning support with selected year 3 students and also support for some students with special educational needs.

Meet your child’s teacher: A very important date for your diary is our “Meet the Teacher” evening on Thursday 6 March, 6.00 – 7.15pm. We hope that all parents and caregivers will be able to come along.

Hats and drink bottles: Please make sure that your child has a school hat as it is compulsory for hats to be worn during break times this term. As it is very warm, we want the children to drink water regularly throughout the day, so a drink bottle that they can fill here at school is ideal.

Options Programme: As our options programme during break times continued to be very successful in 2013, we will continue with our options programme in 2014. It is wonderful seeing our staff share their special interests, skills and talents with the children. Our options have started already with the following optional activities taking place during our first break: school council, senior art group, environment team, Mathletics, ukulele, science invention club, chess, Reading Eggs, junior Indian dance group and a sewing club

During the second break each day, our sports programme will take place which will include playball, cricket and swimming.

There is a supervised 10 minute eating time at both breaks before any activity begins.

Junior School Support and Reading Support Programme 2014


  • Susan Fidler  – Deputy Principal with junior school responsibility
  • Manesha Patel – Year 1 Kea team leader, Reading Recovery teacher
  • Celia Talbot – Reading Support Teacher (Celia also organises our reading dog and community reading support helpers)

Reading Together Programme for Parents and Caregivers of Year 1 & 2 students: We are continuing to offer this programme that is designed to support you in helping your children at home with their reading. Manesha Patel will run workshops over the next few months. You are very welcome to attend these. Please contact Manesha for more information. The first workshop is: Wednesday 26 February, 1.45 – 3.00pm in the staffroom

Friday Student Singing Assemblies: These will continue this year as we found that they were a great way to end the week and we were delighted with the improvement in school singing. Nicole Cork will take the assemblies supported by the senior leadership team.

Tironui Trust: This year we will have another group of students learning string instruments from Tironui Trust tutors. We will have 25 students involved from the year 5 Kakapo team and 25 students from the year 6 Kereru team. We are very privileged to have the support of this wonderful Trust.

“Being a New Zealander” curriculum integration: The associated activities will take place in class programmes and in team assemblies and we look forward to observing students participating in and contributing to this important component of our school programme.

Support from the Papatoetoe Community Constable: From time to time you will see our local community police officer –Tamina Hemehema (Constable T) around and about. The goal of the police is to support our Papatoetoe community and all of us who live and work here. Later in the year she will be involved in the “Keeping Ourselves Safe” programme that we will run in term 2 following consultation with you.

Monday Assemblies: As usual, you are all welcome to attend our Monday assemblies. The first assembly for 2014 will be on Monday 17 February. We would like you to go straight to the hall by 1.20pm – you will see seating marked out for you in the box seats!

Chinese New Year: We would like to send our very best wishes to all families who have recently celebrated Chinese New Year. We appreciate the importance of this very special Chinese festival and we wish you all good luck, peace and happiness in the year of the wooden horse.

Indian and Chinese Community Advisory Groups: We are planning to arrange meetings with our Indian and Chinese parents/caregivers. You will receive an invitation later on and we hope that you will be able to come along and meet with us.

PTA Monday 17 February, 7.00pm in the oval room: Please come along and support our PTA this year. We value hugely the support of our PTA and you are all welcome to be part of this wonderful group.

I hope that you all have a really lovely weekend. No doubt a number of you will be keeping an eye on the cricket test, the nines tournament and also maybe taking in the lantern festival in town. Enjoy!

Kindest regards

Marilyn Gwilliam

General Notices

Welcome to our new students: Ayaan & Aarohi Agarwal, Aaliyah Ali, Christoper Allan, Garima, Luca Bland, Teagan Bruce, Rishal Chand, Shaan Chand, Jiahao Chen, Gavin Chen, Manea Connal, Harnaaz Dhaliwal, Hannah Faamoana Galoiola, Alia Goundar, Mathias Naimona, Elisha Heenan, Les Hoepo, Sheza & Zayan Hussein, Mubashir Hussein, Aleeza & Mohid Iqbal, Araiz Kalim, Raayan Kapila, Reeshab Karan, Arushi Kaur, Ishanvi Kumar, Maesha Kumar, Selena La, Zamien Lui, Tobia’z Masoe Timua, VJ Moala, Mehtab Mundra, Te-Awhina Ngamotu, Ishani Padayachi, Paramesh Parbhu, Elena Prakash, Josha Ram, Adesh Randhawa, Cairo Rimoni-Vavau, Divyanshi Sachdeva, Jasmeet Saini, Andrei Salvador, Ashlyn Satyawan, Amariah Savelio, Sahil Sen, Arush Singh, Harjinder & Kulwinder Singh-Randhawa, Dallas Stanners, Kelly Suarez, Moana Teulilo, Anna Tran, Lillian Vaka, John William, Olivia Young and Mark Zhao

Assembly Days: On Monday, 17 February, Room 25 and on Monday, 24 February, Room 23 will lead our assemblies. As always you are most welcome to attend but please make sure that you are seated by 1.15pm.

Class visits to St Christopher’s Residential Home: Tomorrow, Friday, 14 February (weather permitting) at 1.30pm, Room 25 will be visiting St Christopher’s Hospital and Friday, 21 February, Room 23 will visit.

Term Dates

  • Tuesday, 17 Feb – PTA AGM
  • Tuesday, 4 March – Swimming Zones
  • Thursday, 6 March – Parent/Teacher Evening
  • Tuesday, 18 March – Cricket/Playball Zones
  • Tuesday, 18 March – Yr 5/6 Swimming starts
  • Monday, 24 March – BoT Meeting
  • Tues, Wed, 8 & 9 April – Individual & class photos
  • Thursday, 17 April – Yr 6 Camp fundraising mufti day
  • Thursday, 17 April – last day of term
  • Friday, 18 April – Good Friday

Park safely and keep your children safe: This year our school is participating in Auckland Transport’s ‘Safety at the School Gate’ programme. Drivers who stop in the wrong place to drop off passengers put the safety of children at risk. Parking officers will be on patrol outside the school this year and will be issuing tickets to drivers who park illegally. The agreed approach is ‘zero tolerance’ – There will be no warnings issued, you will receive a ticket if you are double parked, parked on yellow lines, or over someone’s driveway – or for any other vehicle safety offence. Please park legally to keep our children safe and to avoid being ticketed.

PTA AGM Meeting: Monday 17th Feb, 7.00pm: You are all welcome to the first PTA meeting of the year. Please support this very generous and spirited group and enjoy an evening here with a group of parents who are doing a superb job supporting our school. The PTA enjoy raising funds for projects that benefit your children.

School Organisation T1-14

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