Category: Fiona Griffin

Getting Ready To Write - Part Two

The explicit teaching of handwriting is essential if students are to develop the skills of correct letter formation. Handwriting instruction supports students in producing legible, smooth and fluent writing.

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Getting Ready to Write - Part One

Getting Ready to Write – Part One looks specifically at the connection between handwriting and phonics.

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Mia the Kea

Our class friend (mascot) is named Mia, and she is a Kea. Mia is an adventurous and inquisitive bird who likes to explore and learn. Room 15 students want to be just like Mia. We call ourselves Nga Kaihōpara (The Explorers).  Mia the Kea travels home with a different student each Friday in a canvas bag for the weekend. That student creates a page in her Journal about what they did together.

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Mia the kea journal2


Puppets are engaging toys that can help support oral language skills and communication, social/emotional development, and help children learn and understand the world around them through safe, imaginative play. Puppets offer children an engaging way to interact and explore their knowledge and understanding of the world.

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team poihipi room 15 stick puppets 01 2

Christmas Trees for Taupo

We had another wonderful opportunity to take part in the Towncentre Taupo Plywood 3D Christmas Tree Project again this year. These recycled plywood boards were delivered to us ready for painting. All children at Wairakei Primary School were invited to submit their Christmas tree designs.

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team poihipi room 15 xmas tress in town 01

Phonological Awareness

It is important for children to hear, identify and understand the sounds around them. This is called phonological awareness. Children with good phonological awareness are aware that there are different sounds in speech. This is important for communicating, reading and writing.

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team poihipi room 15 oral language 06

Take-off, Target, Touch-down

STEM Challenges are terrific ways to help teach students about science, technology, engineering and maths, while building self-management, social skills and problem solving. ‘Target, Take-off, Touch-down’ was one of our STEM challenges. Students, working in pairs, had to launch a paper plane and land it on a landing platform.

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team poihipi room 15 paperplanes 08

Balancing and Braking

Cath, from Kids Bike Taupō, came to school to help our children in Nga Tui learn to ride and develop their biking skills. We learnt about helmet fit, bike safety, bike maintenance and biking skills.

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team poihipi room 15 biking 15


As part of our inquiry, ‘From Here to There’, we investigated where our food comes from. We decided to make pizza because it is delicious and everyone in the class likes pizza.

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team poihipi room 15 pizza making 01

A Tree For Me -Tree for every child 2019

At the beginning of each term students new to Wairakei Primary School plant a tree in one of our school gardens. Planting a tree creates a personal connection between that student and their learning journey at school. This can lead to children feeling important and valued. Providing an enriched environment where students feel valued promotes learning and the development of the whole child. 

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team poihipi room 15 tree for me 20