Newsletter LogoWednesday 1st June 2022          No. 8

Term 2 : WHANAUNGATANGA’ – ‘Culture & Identity’

‘We are proud of who we are’

Te Kura o Tōtara Grove

Tōtara Grove School

Rāapa 1 ō Pipiri, 2022

Kia Ora e te Whānau,

Kamusta, Bula Vinaka, Suostei, Goeie dag, Hallo, Kia orana, Fakalofa lahi atu, Sawubona, Talofa lava, Namaste, Xin chāo, G’day & hello.

He mihi nui ki a koutou i te ‘Tau Hou Māori’ me te ‘Mānawatia a Matariki’

Greetings to you all at this wonderful time of the year. It is the first day of winter, the first day of and the beginning of the Māori New Year and the start of Matariki me Puanga celebrations.

Matariki is on the rise, many kura and community are preparing for Matariki me Puanga celebrations and as a nation we celebrate our first official Matariki Public Holiday on Friday 24th June.

Matariki me Puanga is all about:
PAST – Remember those who have passed in the last year
PRESENT – To gather as one, celebrating with the sharing of kai
FUTURE – Setting goals and intentions

Matariki me Puanga is a buzz in and around our kura.
All ākonga are learning and inquiring about Matariki, Puanga and Maramataka Maōri, the Māori Calendar based on the phases of the marama (moon).

As a kura we are hosting our own ‘Matariki me Puanga Celebration’ on Thursday 23rd June. We invite you to join us as a kura and as a whanau to celebrate this special time and to celebrate your child’s learning for this part of the year- nau mai, haere mai.

We are opening our Matariki / Puanga celebrations with a dawn service at 6am accompanied by a fire, a hautapu. The fire signifies new beginnings and assists the clearing of the old and welcoming the new and with the acknowledgement of ‘hautapu’ which is a ceremonial offering and the feeding of the stars.
Tikanga and kaupapa Māori will lead the way, along with shared kōrero and then the blessing and unveiling of our new art pieces created by one of our very own local artists, Shane Hansen.
Breakfast will be served and we ask that you join us as a whanau after the dawn ceremony.
Then at 9am you’re welcome to stay on or join us as we gather as a kura to share our learning.
From 9am – 11am this is the time each class will share their Matariki me Puanga kaupapa in their classrooms and join in with their weekly kapa haka session with Whaea Yvonne.
After all the learning and celebrating with your child we then ask you to join us for lunch. Nau mai, haere mai.

Below are a few web links related to Matariki / Puanga and may answer any questions you may have about Matariki.

A flyer will be sent home this week to get an indication of numbers who will be joining us for breakfast, lunch or both ?
Can you please complete these forms and return to school asap for catering purposes.

Nau mai , haere mai e te whānau,
Mānawatia a Matariki.

Whaea Vanessa
Acting Principal


Caught Being Good

Winners of books for the previous two weeks were:

Rm 3: Jaybe, Ryleigh

Rm 5: Syhlas, Millie

Rm 6: Reign

Rm 10: Dylan, Jimmy

Rm 11: Ocean

Rm 12: Leo

Rm 13: Bosba

Rm 14: Axl


Ngā Mātāpono Awards

Rm 3: Rawiri, Hemi, Jackson, Harper

Rm 5: Nathan, James, Rewi, Arli

Rm 6: Nevaeh, Kees

Rm 7: Leigh-Ray

Rm 10: Anthony, Nishta

Rm 11: Cherish, Hookio, Paris

Rm 13: Zhanica, Braxton

Rm 14: PaiOra, Adele


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.



Te Kura o Tōtara Grove – Matariki Celebration of Learning


Winter Sports

Last week some of senior students participated in the Whangarei Primary School Winter Sports at Kensington Park.

I would like to thank Mr Campbell and kaiako for supporting, supervising and providing this experience for the tamairki.

Everyone participated and had an awesome day of sport and fun. I am very proud of how our tamariki represented our kura with pride and  the school values, nga matapono.


Nga Maramara O Totara

Kia ora School Whanau,  this week our group of boys went back to the Waitaua awa to feed the tuna. Some of the boys hadn’t been before and they were very excited. Again we saw their social skills developing.

The storm last night had made the water brown so we were unable to see any tuna. This was okay as the boys always enjoy their adventure and time together. It was great to see them taking a little risk today. They let the current take them downstream from the usual swimming hole down to a small waterfall. Sometimes kids can get scrapes and bruises but this is part of learning, building resilience and experiencing adventure.


Teacher only day

School is CLOSED on Tuesday 7th June due to a Teachers Only Day.


House of Science

These kits never fail to amaze, excite, expand our thinking and introduce us to a treasure trove of new learning that has everyone hooked! We look forward to the arrival of each new kit.

Over the next two weeks we will be delving into the kit called ‘Dem Bones’.  In this box of treasures children will:

  • Be able to view 10 small skeletons, a half size skeleton on a stand, lots of X-Rays and a rabbit skeleton as a comparison to a human skeleton.
  • Discover all the bones in their own body as they examine skeletons, and images of Zac with his ‘see-through body’. With a focus on form and function they will explore individual bones and compare/contrast them with other species.

Here is some student feedback around our science learning:

“Science is great because everything is science” – Lorelai Rm 10

“Science is fun and I have learnt a lot of new things. Tuning forks are cool. We get to test out all the cool experiments and use the neat equipment” – Mason Rm 10

“I have enjoyed learning about how things work – Yalaena Rm 10

“I enjoyed doing sink or float because I got to decorate it and learnt about the foam balls shrinking and getting bigger and the reaction that water had on them” – Oceana Rm 12

“How we learned about the topics of things that did float and things that didn’t float. I also liked the investigation of how to solve crimes and we solved the shoe investigation” – Heeniriria Rm 12

What’s the buzz

This term we started off with a big buzz around the kura as we delve into the wonderful world of the BumbleBee. This science kit is taking us on a journey to:

  • Examine preserved bumblebees focusing on the structure and function of their body parts.
  • Learn about the interesting life cycle of the bumblebee, their preferred habitat and compare and contrast the differences between bumblebees and honeybees.
  • Explore how we see colour compared to the Bumble Bee and they will investigate how flowers have evolved to attract bumblebees and other pollinators.
  • Observe and discuss the relationship between sound and vibration looking specifically at buzz pollination.

Here are some photos and feedback from students about the things they have learnt so far.

I’ve learnt that Bumble Bees nest in the ground. – Ayden Rm 10
Bumble Bees can fly at speeds of 54 Km/ph – Anthony Rm 10
I’ve learnt that when Bumble Bees are collecting pollen they make a high pitched buzz. – Farrah Rm 10
There is only 1 queen bee per hive. – Grace Room 7
I liked learning about the bumblebee breeds – Didi Rm 8
We learnt what a bumble bee looks like. – Carter Rm 9
The gummy bear one about bee vision was cool but it made me want to eat them. – Sam Rm 11
I enjoy science because I can learn about the different parts of bees. I like science because I can investigate my wonderings. – Hemi Rm 13


Free books to homes

We have been busy in the library culling our library collection to keep it up to date and relevant. A Lot of these books are in really good condition and make good reading. You may have noticed that your child/ren have been bringing some home to share with whanau. There are still plenty of books left in the hall that we would like to offer to whanau. Please come in and have a look and help yourself.


Free school lunch programme

Please see attached the menu for the next fortnight. A detailed ingredients list is published on the lunch by libelle website: (click here).

This Fortnights lunch menu:



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


School Term Dates for 2022

Term 1          3rd February – 14th April

Term 2         2nd May – 8th July. Queens Birthday, 6th June. TOD, Tues 7th June.  Matariki holiday, 24th June

Term 3          25th July – 30th September

Term 4          17th October – 13th December

Community Notices