Newsletter LogoWednesday 6th April 2022          No. 5

Term 1 : ‘AKO’ -Learning to Learn – We are all learners
‘We grow skills and behaviours that prepare us to participate in an ever changing world’

Te Kura o Tōtara Grove

Tōtara Grove School


Rāapa 6 ō Paengawhāwhā 2022

Kia Ora e te Whānau,

Kamusta, Bula Vinaka, Suostei, Goeie dag, Hallo, Kia orana, Fakalofa lahi atu, Sawubona, Talofa lava, Namaste, Xin chāo and hello to everyone.

Warm greetings to you all as we near the end of this very turbulent term 1 of 2022.
In my greeting above, I am wanting to make sure I greet all the cultures and ethnic groups within our kura. If I have not mentioned your ethnic greeting, could you please make contact with myself or the office and I will make sure your cultural greeting is represented in my future newsletters.

As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, thank you once again for your tautoko and cooperation during this time. Thank you for keeping in touch and keeping us informed about your child’s absences, along with the many isolating scenarios and having your tamariki ready to return back to school.
We have appreciated your communication and keeping us informed around these issues. He mihi nui ki a koutou katoa!

Considering this turbulent term, we are very proud of each and every one of our ākonga for displaying resilience and a growth mindset during this challenging time. They have been true examples of our school values, Ngā Mātāpono, Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga, Ako and Tū Rangatira.
Because of this, we decided that next Wednesday 13th April, we are going to host some FUN activities on the school grounds to celebrate our tamariki.
Without letting too much out of the bag, staff are organising games and in particular some ‘water games’. Your child will need to bring either swimming togs, a change of clothes, a towel and a water gun/pistol, if they have one at home? A notice will be sent home soon explaining more information and details. The staff are looking forward to this day, the kids are going to love it!

These are my last few messages and reminders to share with you:

  • Term 2 starts back on Monday 2nd May
  • No swimming in term 2 & 3.
  • School focus – Ngā Mātāpono – MANAAKITANGA – ENVIRONMENT – Our school is a special place where people care
  • School photos 23rd June, Wiki #8
  • Whaea Vanessa and Whaea Deanne celebrate their 100th birthday in the holidays 🙂

Lastly, enjoy the school holidays, keep safe, drive safe and be well.
We look forward to seeing you all at the start of term 2.

Ngā Manaakitanga,

Whaea Vanessa


Caught Being Good

Winners of books for the previous two weeks were:

Rm 3: Airoe, Kane

Rm 7: Kauri

Rm 8:  Peter, Kajahrn

Rm 10: Lincoln, Tynneal

Rm 13: Archer, Pearl

Rm 14: Lissette, Teejay, Connor, Sam


Ngā Mātāpono Awards

Rm 3: Roman, Jordan, Naima, Harper

Rm 7: Sebastian, Vinny-Lee, Hannah

Rm 8: Alyssa, Haddassah, Kajahrn, Shardi

Rm 10: Nivaeya, Liam, Ayden, Mason

Rm 13: Kaedynce, Shannon, Char’lee, Axl

Rm 14: Antonio, Olando, Eru, Cael


Staff Pepeha

Ko wai mātou ? Who are we as a staff at Tōtara Grove School.

Introducing four more staff members this week and their pepeha.

Ko Whaea Kerryn, Ko Whaea Sharon, Ko Whaea Aimee me Whāea Laura.


Guess the teacher – Bringing some joy and fun to our staff

Our staff have also had their fair share of challenges this term, with staff absences, blended classes and sudden changes. I would like to commend the staff  for their positive and growth mindset and being great examples of the following whakatauki,  “He waka eke noa – We are all in this together”, ka rawe koutou ma!

Whaea Laura decided to organise a fun competition amongst staff called “GUESS THE BABY ?”  Staff were asked to bring in a baby photo of themselves for the competition. You should  hear  the laughter amongst our staff and especially in the staffroom. The competition closes this Friday for our staff, I wonder who has the eye for detail and can guess the most amongst our staff?

I have shared a few of the photos below. Can you guess who the staff are in the baby photos ? 🙂


Breakfast club

Every  morning we host the breakfast club which is run by staff under the big sun shade by the office and staffroom. This operates between the hours of  7:45am – 8:15am. 

It’s been nice  to see our tamariki enjoy breakfast, whilst sitting with their mates, staff and for many, meeting some new friends. It’s quite a vibrant and busy part of the school in the morning and a great way to start the day. Please encourage your child to attend if need be, especially if you’re running late and breakfast is needed, nau mai, haere mai. 7:45-8:15am, nau mai, haere mai.


Science kits

Our latest Science kit was ‘Who Diddit’. This kit explored all things Forensics. It involved students looking at different types of forensic evidence and how this is collected. As a part of this kaupapa we invited Detective Joseph Reuben from the Whangarei Police to come and talk to us about his role as a detective and some of the tools he uses to help solve crime. The children had a lot of really interesting questions for Detective Reuben and enjoyed listening to his korero.

Feedback from tamariki:

Shannon: “I enjoy science because I learn about things that I don’t know about. I like wondering and being curious”

Sinarra: “I learned that science is about recording, noticing and discovery”

Skyla: “I enjoy doing science because it always makes me wonder”

Oliver: “I learned about forensic science and that if you rob a bank and there is an electric fence and some of your blood comes out, scientists or police can discover who the criminal is. Your DNA makes you who you are and what colour your eyes and hair are and how your voice sounds”


Bike Safety  Programme – Y5&Y6

Last week the senior school began the cycle safety programme. This kaupapa is always a success with the students. From seeing students who find riding a bike very difficult to riding a bike by the end of the training programme, it’s a great opportunity to witness and feel success for our tamariki. 

Below are a couple of photos of the students enjoying the time on the bikes. 


Ko MURPHY āhau ! I am MURPHY!

We all met cute little Murphy this week. A cute little puppy who came to spend some time before heading away to the deep south to live. Murphy brought much joy and writing motivation for our tamariki in Te Kakano, along with lots of kōrero and art work. 

It was great to meet you Murphy, safe flight and hope you enjoy your new home in the South Island, we look forward to your  photo updates.


Free school lunch programme

A message from Libelle, our school lunch provider: We are continuing to experience high occurrences of disruption throughout our food supply chain (due to a certain pandemic).

Please be assured that our teams are working hard to pivot at the drop of a hat, and we will ensure that your lunchboxes remain full and nutritionally balanced despite supply disruptions.

While we aim to keep the integrity of our advertised menu as much as possible, we do apologise if not all meals are exactly as advertised on the published menu. Our teams will try to keep you in the loop as much as possible, please rest assured that we are doing our best.

This Fortnights lunch menu:


Enrolment Day

The school office will be open for new enrolments during the school holidays on Thursday 28th April from 10am – 1pm. Drop in only, no appointments needed on this day.

Please note that we are only able to accept in zone enrolments at this time. You can check to see if you live within our home zone here:

You will need to bring the following documents for each child you wish to enrol:

*Birth certificate/passport
*Proof of address
*Immunisation certificate/records


Te Manawa Tahi Timetable

If you have a concern about your child’s language development, learning progress, social and emotional wellbeing, or behaviour, TeManawa Tahi have specialists available so you can discuss your concerns directly with them.
This is a free service and each site will be identified by a Te Manawa Tahi flag. Drop into a hub or make an appointment by phoning 0800 5248 4256 or emailing


Te Reo Māori – Karakia & Waiata.

Every couple of weeks, Matua Wiremu shares either a new whakatauki, karakia, waiata or himene for us to learn and use as a kura.
Here is one you could learn as a whānau at home.

School Term Dates for 2022

Term 1          3rd February – 14th April

Term 2         2nd May – 8th July, TOD Fri 3rd June

Term 3          25th July – 30th September

Term 4          17th October – 13th December

Community Notices

Whanau Awhina Plunket online Babysitting Course

Plunket Education in Schools’ Babysitting Course is available for teenagers all over Aotearoa.

This course is designed to give high school students the knowledge and skills to babysit children of all ages. It’s written for first time babysitters; students don’t need to have previous experience to enrol.

The course ideal for students aged 14 and above and takes around 2-3 hours to complete.

Students work through nine sequential modules and on completion of the course and the final quiz will receive a certificate certified by Whanau Awhina Plunket to show employers that they have completed this course and are ready to babysit. As well as the certificate the students are sent a Babysitter’s Manual that supports all the information they have learned in the course.

During the course the following topics are covered:
• the role of the babysitter, including the expectations of the families you are working for
• ages and stages of children from birth to school age, their basic needs and their care
• professional behaviour including your presentation
• how to engage with children of different ages, including activities for each age group and behavioural information
• safety, including emergency situations, keeping yourself and the children safe, and basic first aid
• how to get a babysitting job.

This course is presented using videos, quizzes and activities which are fun as well as informative. Click here for more information or to sign up or use the QR code below to go to our registration page.