Message from the Principal
June 26 2019
Tēna Koe, Talofa Lava, Kia Orana, Malo e lelei, Bula vinaka, Fakalofa lahi atu, Taloha ni, Fakatalofa atu and warm greetings to you all.
As we come to the end of term 2 I would like to thank all the parents that have put their hands up to help this term. Sports events, Class trips taking children to events etc. If we didn't have your support we couldn't do what we do. I also thank every parent and grandparent that stands on Kura Street assisting Road Patrol.
We have our Kapa Haka performance group attending the Northern Regional Polyfest at Te Rauparaha Arena on Friday, how wonderful that our KURA kids get to see Porirua pride at it's best, celebrating their culture identity and heritage through a celebration of unity with all our colleges.
This term has been full of learning and fun and I think our staff will be pleased to see Friday 5th July. School holidays are a time to reflect and have special quiet time to think about term 3 and all that it brings.
I have written lots about sickness this term and I received a letter from the Medical Officer of Health for the Regional Public Health today. They also have seen and heard about many schools in the greater Wellington area with influenza outbreaks. They said that influenza had caused 30% absenteeism in schools. Influenza (flu) is a virus that spreads quickly from person to person. It can be spread through the air by coughing and sneezing as well as by hands, cups and other objects that have been in contact with an infected person’s mouth or nose.
The following information will help reduce the spread of influenza and assist your school:
- Make sure everyone covers their mouth and nose with tissues when coughing and sneezing.
- Make sure students (and staff) with symptoms stay at home until they are well and free of symptoms.
- Encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly. Put handwashing posters on noticeboards and in bathrooms.
- Clean surfaces that are touched often (door handles, bench tops, toilets bathroom areas).
- Notify Regional Public Health when you suspect an outbreak.
What is Matariki?
For those that may not know what Matariki is - it is the Māori New Year, it is a time that is rich with tradition. It’s a time of coming together with friends and family. What is Matariki the Māori New Year? Matariki is the Māori name for a group of seven stars known as the Pleiades star cluster.
Some people think of Matariki as a mother star with six daughters, and it is often referred to as the Seven Sisters. Others think that Matariki are the ‘eyes of the god’. When Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children the god of wind, Tāwhirimātea, became angry, tearing out his eyes and hurling them into the heavens.Matariki appears in the eastern sky sometime around the shortest day of the year, and is thought to determine how successful the harvest crop will be in the coming season. The brighter the stars, the more productive the crop will be.
When is Matariki celebrated?
Matariki begins to rise in the last few days of May, and this symbolises the coming of the Māori New Year. Some iwi, or tribes, start celebrations when Matariki is first seen, however it is the first new moon after Matariki that officially signals the Maori New Year. The Matariki new moon happens sometime in June or July each year. This year Matariki is officially celebrated on 25 June 2019.
In years gone by, Matariki was thought to determine your crop for the coming season, so it was important to recognise the part it played in nature’s cycle. Māori used Matariki as a signal for when to plant their crops after the long winter. If the stars were clear and bright, it was a sign that a favourable and productive season lay ahead, and planting would begin in September. If the stars appeared hazy and closely bunched together, a cold winter was in store and planting was put off until October.
Nowadays, Matariki is still seen as an important time to celebrate the earth, and show respect for the land on which we live.
6 simple ways to celebrate Matariki with your family
There are lots of ways you can celebrate Matariki with your family, and in doing so, start your own family traditions. Some ideas to get you started include:
1. A Family FeastMake Matariki a time when the whole family gets together to feast and give thanks.
2. A New HarvestUse Matariki as a time to clear the winter vegetables, and prepare your vegetable garden for the new planting. It could become a family tradition to do the gardening altogether – at least for one day of the year.
3. Tree Planting - Contact your local Department of Conservation to find out if there are any regeneration projects happening in your area. Organise to plant a tree on Matariki, or better still, get together with a group of friends and plant several.
4. Sleep Under the Stars - Spend a night sleeping under the stars (or under a tent!), and tell your own family stories. You may want to talk about family memories, or create goals for the coming lunar year.
5. New Years Resolutions - Most of us create New Years resolutions in January, but by the time June rolls around they are long forgotten. Why not use Matariki as a time to renew your resolutions.
6. Attend a Matariki Event - Like the breakfast we are having here at school – We’d LOVE to see you there!
For more information and ideas https://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/articles/matariki-maori-new-year/
This term to celebrate Matariki we will be having a Matariki breakfast on Monday the 1st July at 7.30am. We would like to invite you and your whānau to this great event.
We will have karakia then we will have a prepared kai for everyone. We will also have tamariki that are willing to share some waiata with us on the stage. We would love to see you if you are able to make it. (If you are able to help with the clean up after breakfast please let us know).
School will start as per normal and tamariki will be involved in our Matariki House event where they will be creating some Matariki Arts & Crafts from 9-10.40am. On this day we will also have a big digital map up in our hall. We would love to hear some key information from you to help with our development of our school's local curriculum.
1.Where do you spend time with your tamariki/whānau?
2. Where would you like your tamariki to visit/learn about in our local area?
We want to know what you already know about our place - Porirua. What would you like to learn more about? Where you would like to spend more time? What does this place mean to you ?
Worth a read
I read this article just recently and agree with so many aspects of this, Enjoy reading.
These days, play has become a lot more structured. As parents, we organize playdates, fill timetables with activities and classes and even, in the spirit of helicopter parenting, tend to interfere when our children play with other children, breaking up disagreements, meddling – no letting them figure things out for themselves and moving on.
However, more and more experts are pointing out that free, unstructured play is extremely important to children. And that, as parents, we need to get better at facilitating it.
In fact, free play, play that is devoid of parental interuption and rules, is critically important for the development of children’s bodies and brains in so many ways:
1. It changes brain structure
Sergio Pellis, Ph.D., an expert on the neuroscience of play recently noted that play actually changes the structure of the developing brain, strengthening the connections of the neurons (nerve cells) in the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain considered to be the executive control center responsible for solving problems, making plans and regulating emotions.
Because unstructured play involves trying out different strategies without particular goals or serious consequences, children get to practice different activities during play and see what happens.
2. It activates the entire neocortex
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D., a Professor at the University of Washington found that even a half hour of play affected the activity of many different areas of the brain, and, in a study on rats, activated the outer part of the brains known as the neocortex, also known as the area used in higher functions such as thinking, language and spatial reasoning.
3. It teaches children to have positive interaction with others
Previously, experts thought play, to animals, was simply practice so that they could become more effective hunters. However, Dr. Panksepp’s study of play in rats led him to the conclusion that play served an entirely different function: it teaches young animals how to interact with others in positive ways. In fact, he believed that play helps build pro-social brains.
4. Children who play often do better in school
The social skills acquired through play may help children become better students, studies have found. In fact, research has found that the best predictor of academic performance in the eighth grade was a child’s social skills in the third grade. Intrestingly, Dr. Pellis noted that “countries where they actually have more recess tend to have higher academic performance than countries where recess is less.”
5. It gets kids moving
In a world where we are all getting less and less physical activity, unstructured play often involves moving the whole body around.
Physical activity helps children maintain a healthy weight and combats the development of Type 2 diabetes by increasing the body’s sensitivity to the hormone insulin.
School finishes at 2pm on Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd July for Parent Interviews.
Parent interviews are not far away and we really do want to sit with you and discuss what is going on for your child at school you need to go online and book this. If you do not have access to the internet please come to the school office or call and we will book for you.Currently 354 of 400 interviews have been booked.
Your child's school report will be given to you at your parent-teacher interview.
These will be held on the following dates
Monday 1st July
Tuesday 2 July
Wednesday 3 July
You can book online at www.schoolinterviews .co.nz code 9e6ah
Nga mihi nui ki a koutou