Relationships – Whanaungatanga, Resilience – Manawaroa, Respect – Manaakitanga, Responsibility – Tiaki

A community of agile and collaborative learners – Proud of who we are, empowered to make a difference

Kia Ora, Nǐ hǎo, Hallo, Greetings,  

Welcome to all our new students and their families who have recently joined us: Harry De Jonge-Raddatz, Benjamin Chen, Cooper YangLin, Wisely Low, Alicia Li, Sasha Roberts, Kina Naufahu, Lily Thackwray.

For this term, we are ‘thinking like a scientist,’ as we explore planet earth and beyond, and associated phenomena.  The uptake to the Stardome evening family trip has been phenomenal and should spark some excellent family conversations.  If you want some inspiration for your scientist back at home, check out Nanogirl.  

Research tells us that while most students love science at primary school, a higher proportion of girls will lose interest in science and maths by the time they hit secondary school.  We know all children are born with innate curiosity and our job as educators is to keep growing that curiosity, as opposed to squashing it (which I’m sure some of us have experienced first hand).   Our project-based learning approach to delivering the curriculum attempts to do just that, by exposing students to new learning and then giving them opportunities to explore facets that they are interested in.   We aim to balance teaching necessary skills with investigating new learning driven by student curiosity.  We are using contextual and related problem solving to exploring maths concepts and some group problem solving, which benefits all of our students and is also often the preferred way for our less confident girls to work.   Staff are undertaking research-driven professional development to deliver maths lessons in a way that is engaging and enjoyable for all students and promote understanding.   Many of these same techniques and approaches to teaching are useful across the curriculum.

From our student survey, we can already see that boys bring much more confidence to solving maths problems and are much more likely to stick at maths when they find it challenging.   Our results from last year showed that overall we achieve very highly in maths (91% of our students were at or above the expected curriculum level at the end of 2020), but that boys outperform girls in the number of students who are working above curriculum expectation (39% of boys vs 27% of girls).  One of our strategic goals this year is to address the equity gap for students working above curriculum level in maths.  We are working hard to give girls the same confidence through our approach to maths and to move away from stereotype thinking around gender and subject achievement.  We are going to be introducing some speakers at assemblies who use maths and science in their jobs and can share positive messages.  If you would like to be a role model, and come and share your story with our students, please email me – we would love to hear from you.  

With our rapidly changing workforce and technology development, we know that maths (and science) are now just as important as reading and writing for future careers.  How you talk about maths in front of your children is really important.  We would never say, “Oh, I was terrible at reading when I was at school,” or “I don’t have a reading brain,” yet these comments are sometimes made about maths. The truth is more likely to be the way maths was taught didn’t work for some people.  It gives the impression that we have a fixed ability in maths that we were born with, which simply isn’t true.   We know so much more about the brain now and that we are all capable of learning anything, with self-belief is one of the big drivers for success.  Jo Boaler, my personal maths teaching hero, has a website full of fascinating research about how we learn maths.  If you’d like to learn a bit more about the brain and maths, here’s a clip from Jo Boaler.      

Introducing Dan Frost

Welcome to Mr Dan Frost, who has opened the next new entrant class in room 9.  Dan has relocated to New Zealand with his Kiwi wife and family and is enjoying our beautiful setting.  He brings a wealth of experience from his teaching in the UK and is already making great contributions to the team.

Year 6 Camp

We wish our year sixes good luck and good weather at camp next week.  Let’s hope we can break our record of having camp and lockdown at the same time!  Thank you to all of the parents and teachers who make camp happen.  It is one experience we all happily remember from Primary School.

Peer Mediators

A group of Year 6 students recently completed a peer mediator refresher course with Mrs Rowlands. These students are now out in the playground in fluoro vests at lunchtime available for children to go to with minor playground problems for example with friends or games. The peer mediators work through a structured process where they listen to everyone involved and help all parties find a solution they agree on. It is very encouraging to see our Year 6 students leading this process in the playground. 

Keeping Our Kids Safe

Thank you everyone for adapting so quickly to entering and exiting the school in a much safer way on Clovelly Road.  Our bollards and gates are being made and hopefully, these will be installed in the next few weeks and our runway of cones will no longer be necessary.  We have also noticed people using the pedestrian crossing to get across the road safely and exiting out of the car on the passenger side by the footpath, which is great. 

There is still a handful of cars that are stopping on yellow lines and parking over driveways, which is unsafe and upsets our neighbours.   Please work with us and make sure you are parking in the right place.  Our community constable follows up with repeat offenders.   

 Supporting Kids Mental Health

During the next few weeks BBPS will be taking part in three very important events that raise awareness of bullying and mental health:

  • Bullying-Free NZ Week (BFNZ Week) will take place from Monday 17 May to Friday 21 May 2021.  With the theme ‘He kōtuinga mahi iti, he hua pai-ā rau: Small ripples create big waves’, this year’s BFNZ Week is all about encouraging people to spread the word, take the lead, and make a change.  Students will be taking part in a variety of Bully Free NZ and kindness activities throughout the week.

  • Pink Shirt Day – Celebrated annually around the globe, Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying, after a peer was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In Aotearoa, Pink Shirt Day works to create schools, workplaces, communities and whānau where everyone feels safe, valued and respected. 

  • Gumboot Friday – A fun way for kiwis to join in the mental health conversation while raising money to provide FREE and timely counselling for any young person in need.

At BBPS, we are combining Pink Shirt Day with Gumboot Friday.  We will be celebrating both on Friday 28 May.  In return for a gold coin donation, children are invited to come to school wearing gumboots or other unusual footwear, and pink (or other brightly coloured) clothes.  This will be a non-uniform day.  There will be pink cookies available to purchase at morning teatime for $1 each.

 Students and families will also be offered the opportunity to make a $5 donation in return for a pair of I AM HOPE socks.  These are the same ‘gumboot style’ socks that were offered in 2020 in aid of the Gumboot Friday appeal.  Whanau can pre-order on Kindo or bring cash to school on the day.

Proceeds from gold coin and $5 sock donations, and cookie purchases, will go towards providing free counselling sessions by registered mental health practitioners for our young community in need.

 Term Dates

Term 2 – Monday 3 May – Thursday 8 July (Teacher Only Day Friday 9 July)

Term 3 – Monday 26 July – Thursday 30 September (Teacher Only Day Friday 1 October)

Term 4 – Monday 18 October – Wednesday 15 December (Teacher Only Day Thursday 16 December)

 Have a lovely weekend.

Kelly Slater-Brown




Secure your financial future and help us fundraise – It’s a win-win! 

We know it’s been a tough period for most families and for our children. For this reason, when we discussed fundraiser initiatives for the year, we wanted to include something that could make a difference in the lives of the families of the Bucklands Beach community. Given the year we’ve had, financial wellbeing stood out for us as we all want to protect our families, our jobs, and our lives. We’re therefore excited to partner with Assetwise, a financial services company providing specialist advice for all your Kiwisaver, mortgage, and insurance needs. Assetwise shares our wellbeing vision and is offering our families a free, no-obligation consultation whether you want to review your existing policy, add to your portfolio or start your financial journey. For every policy confirmed, a contribution of $250 will be made towards the PTA’s fundraising. We encourage you to support this fundraising initiative by completing this form or for more information, contact Isaac Govender on 021 136 5183. Please also spread the news by sharing this offer with your friends and whānau.