School Newsletter – 27 September 2022

Term 3, Week 10

Upcoming Events

Life Education - Cowley TeamMon, 26 SepFri, 30 Sep
BS HockeyThu, 29 Sep
Kiri - Swimming LessonsMon, 17 OctFri, 21 Oct
Hillary Science InvestigationsThu, 20 OctFri, 21 Oct
Assembly - Kiri & Cowley (11.30)Fri, 21 Oct
Labour DayMon, 24 Oct
Teacher Only DayTue, 25 Oct
Kiri - Swimming LessonsWed, 26 OctFri, 28 Oct
BoT MeetingWed, 26 Oct
Photolife Teams/Groups/New Entrants/SiblingsWed, 26 Oct

A Message from the Principal

Dear Parents

As we approach the end of this third term at school I want to express my thanks to the school staff who go over and above for the students in their care. To your, our parent community for your constant support and encouragement this term. Our school continues to grow and remain strong against the Kohimarama Way, our Vision, Values and Dispositions.

It is… advisable that the teacher should understand, and even be able to criticise, the general principles upon which the whole education system is formed and administered. He [sic] is not like a private soldier in an army, expected merely to obey, or like a cog in a wheel, expected merely to respond to and transmit external energy; he [sic] must be an intelligent medium of action.

John Dewey, 1895[1]

Over the past few days I’ve seen a lot of conversation generated as a result of the recently released paper from Dr Michael Johnson of the New Zealand Initiative titled No Evidence, No Evaluation, No Exit , subtitled “Lessons from the “Modern Learning Environments” Experiment.”

Of course, headlines like this are always bound to attract attention – which is why they are so constructed. They’re intended to be provocative, challenging and position-taking. This, it may be argued, is what is required to ensure there is sound debate about the ideas and influences shaping our education system.

The majority of New Zealand’s school buildings were built between 1950 and the 70s. Since then, teaching practice and student learning needs have changed significantly. New technologies and building materials allow for new, vibrant and well connected learning spaces. All students deserve to be taught in these new modern learning environments, and benefit from new teaching methods. The Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) was introduced in 2010.  

                                                                     Source: Ministry of Education

As per the Ministry of Education requirements, schools are being designed as an Innovative Learning Environment (ILE). This refers to the buildings and learning spaces.  Long gone are the days where students are sitting in the same place all day every day and doing the same thing at the same time with the same teacher.  

Classroom environments with purposely designed rooms, flexible furniture, digital technology are obvious changes to see, but behind all of this are years of thinking and research focused on how learning has changed, plus a determined focus on preparing these learners for a world that will be vastly different from the one we see today.

The future of Learning across the World


There are enormous changes within our world and our societies and today’s learners will live in a yet uncharted planet which is difficult to imagine.  

The emergence of new technologies and their exponential rate of development dramatically change the way we live, work and carry out our day to day living today.  Our current students will enter into jobs that haven’t even been thought of yet and they will face a range of unknown problems. Children can now learn anywhere, anytime from anyone, and are no longer just reliant on teachers, parents or the library for information.

It is no longer enough for students to just learn facts and information.

To thrive in this changing world, they need to know how to access knowledge, communicate well, be creative thinkers and collaborate. Widespread consultation led to our new vision and values.  

My child is not suited to an ILE

Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) cater for the differing needs of our students. You will see furniture that is of different heights e.g. kneeling benches, tables with stools, wobble stools etc. There are designated areas to better facilitate the learning and activities that students are engaged in.

Without a desk, won’t it be bad for their posture?

What is bad for children’s posture is probably sitting at an uncomfortable desk all day in the same position. By having a wide range of furniture at different levels, children can choose what suits them best. Instead of sitting for long periods of time, children get up and move around a lot more. They work in groups, in pairs and individually. Children love having a choice of areas to work in and to find areas that help them learn best depending on what they are doing.  

We have also invested heavily in ergonomic furniture. 

Are ILEs noisy?

Naturally it would be easy to assume that more students = more noise, but this is not the case in our areas.

ILE’s are designed with new building materials and new technologies specifically to reduce noise.  Our classes have been designed with acoustic wall linings, speaker systems, smaller “breakout spaces” etc.  There are a range of areas that students may work in now that offer quiet reflective areas, group areas, buddy areas etc

MOE studies involving decibel readings have shown that the noise levels are no different to a single cell classroom environment.

In our ILEs we have also noticed far higher levels of engagement and enjoyment within these environments.  

It is also important to point out that learning is social, and enhanced by discussion, collaboration and group work.  No longer is a class working in silence said to be “highly effective” (because for many students the work is either too hard or too easy)

What are some of the benefits of collaborative learning environments?

  • More frequent interactions with teachers
  • Greater differentiation of the class programme to support all learners
  • Increased collaboration between classmates and teachers
  • More detailed analysis of each child’s learning needs through the different perspectives of teachers
  • Greater chance of each child forming a strong relationship with at least one of their teachers
  • Teachers use their strengths, passions and expertise, bounce ideas off each other, problem solve, support and challenge each other to provide personalised learning opportunities for all children. Two or more heads are definitely better than one!
  • Greater social development with more peers to interact and work with
  • Greater opportunity for students to work in a setting that suits them, due to different spaces within the learning environment

With the number of students within the class, I’m worried that my child may get lost or overlooked..

We find the opposite of this with 2 or 3 teachers working together to support the learning.  In a traditional single cell class, teachers are required to work solely with the whole group of children in their class.  

In a collaborative teaching environment, teachers can work with varied group sizes depending on the needs of learners. There are more options to utilise teacher strengths and a greater chance for every learner to form a stronger connection with at least one of their teachers.  There is an enormous amount of structure and planning to ensure that every child is catered for.  Because there is more than one teacher, there is greater ability to cater for needs and different groupings.

Students seem to be doing different things. Is it a ‘free for all’ or ‘laissez faire”

Absolutely not.  Allowing greater student ownership/flexibility of learning involves much greater systems/structure from the teachers.  

Students will be able to meet more regularly with teachers.  

Your child will be encouraged and supported to become a self-regulated learner. Self-regulation is a skill we all want and one of the goals of the New Zealand curriculum. We will be closely monitoring all your child is doing.

What is the impact for children if they leave our school and the high school is a more traditional environment?

We believe our students will thrive because they will be more collaborative, confident, stronger thinkers and able to manage their own learning. There is a real mandate for secondary schools to be moving towards ILEs from the Ministry and this is starting to happen. All new schools and rebuilds are developing ILEs because it is recognised that this is the most effective schooling approach.

An example in the private system is that the new blocks at St Kentigern College are designed as flexible spaces as well.

Enrolments – 2023

As we start our 2023 planning, if you have a child due to start at Kohimarama School in the next 18 months, please assist us by completing a pre-enrolment form

If you have already completed this we will have a record of your child.

If you are currently living out of the school zone and have a sibling about to turn 5, please inform the office as all of this information assists the Board with their Out of Zone discussions.

Centennial Celebrations

While we were unable to hold the full centennial celebrations, we have been able to include activities within the school programme over the past 12 months to celebrate this significant milestone for our school.

Our one final activity is to celebrate installing the plaque for our Centennial tree that was donated by Lucy Lawless.  This tree is a Metrosideros excelsa ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’ Pōhutukawa from Rangitoto Island.

The school community will do this together on Friday.

To make this a special occasion New World Eastridge has donated iceblocks for all the students.  If you do not wish your child to receive an iceblock please email the office with your child’s name and classroom.

School Librarian Needed

Our fabulous librarian Barbara is off to pastures new. We thank her sincerely for all she has done to make our library the place to be at Kohimarama School.

This means we are now looking for someone to replace Barbara. If you are interested in finding out more about what the job entails please contact

Learning Assistant for Term 4

This part time position working school hours for Term 4, is providing support on a day to day basis to specific students as well as supporting our teachers and teams.

If you are interested in this position, please send your email and details to

Farewells at the end of this term

It is wil sadness that we will farewell three staff members at the end of this term.

Karen nathan, Principals PA

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Karen over the last four years. She is one organised lady with information that is always at her fingertips. Karen came to us from the Auckland Kindergarten Head Office and made an immediate, positive impact to our community. She is friendly, hard working and brings a high degree of integrity to all she does for us. Karen will be traveling the world with her husband, Geoff for the remainder of this year. Karen, we thank you for all your hard work.

Mel Prasad

Mel has been with us for only two terms and working in the Year 6 Hub, Snell Team. Thanks for being a part of the school and of the children’s learning in that area. We wish you all the very best as you work now in adult education. 

Barbara Diatchenko

Barbara has been our librarian over the last 4 years. She has certainly transformed the environment and added to the collection of books through many different means including signing us onto audio books. Barbara made the Library a fun place to be. A wonderful activity based option for students to enjoy. Barbara, thank you for your positive influence. We wish you well, as you return to work in the travel industry.

The Kohimarama Way – Honesty

“Don’t expect loyalty when you can’t provide honesty.”  “Honesty is often very hard. The truth is often painful. But the freedom it can bring is worth the trying.”  Fred Rogers


Classes for 2023 – how you can help

Please email Meegan Hill or Debbie Ellery if you have information that will support us in ensuring the best placement for your child/ren in 2023.  As you will no doubt understand  a number of complex issues go into making up classes, and an important factor is historical information you have that we need to know.

Sibling Photos

Please complete a form at the school office for Sibling photos. These will be held on Wednesday 26th October. Forms must be completed by Friday 30th September.

Enviro 2022

Our current Enviro programme has two main areas: Enviroschools and Garden to Table.

Enviroschools is an initiative supported by the Auckland Council where schools receive recognition for planet friendly activities such as landfill waste reduction, recycling and sustainability. Kohimarama School currently holds bronze status, with a view to progressing to silver status. 

To support our current level we encourage children to keep our school litter free, to place organic waste into our worm bins, to put recyclable materials into our blue bins and to bring wrapper free lunches to school as often as possible.

As part of Unplugged Thursdays in the Snell team, different students each term have been involved in Garden to Table. These are practical education sessions in which learners follow the entire process from ground preparation, to planting seeds, to thinning and repotting seedlings, to nurturing plants through to the harvesting stage and then food preparation and sharing.

Our produce in 2022 so far includes kale, beetroot, sunflowers, citrus, kumara, edible flowers and carrots. Our potatoes, cauliflower ,broccoli and tomatoes will be ready in Term 4.

EPRO8 results

This week two teams competed in the EPRO8 semi-final event at Pasadena Intermediate.

This competition involves Science, Mathematics, Technology and Engineering.

Congratulations to our year 5 team: Fletcher, Isaac, Jeffrey, Freddie and Hugo who placed 5th and to our year 7/8 team: Acacia, Scarlett, Liz and Isabel who placed 3rd and continue on to the Finals in October. 

Yearbook cover

Calling all artists. Here’s your chance to have your work displayed on the front (or back) cover of this year’s school yearbook. All cover designs are due in to your teacher first Tuesday back after school holidays. Requisites: A4 portrait layout. Correct spelling. Mrs Crow can’t wait to see all your designs. 

Welcome to the Library

Last week Kohimarama School had a very special guest.  Snell Team has invited a famous NZ author Des Hunt to extend their novel study and learn the writing skills from the author himself.  The two sessions were filled with useful writing tips, science experiments and an amazing discovery of how to  transform a boring writing into a bestseller, how to ‘hook’ the readers from the first page and keep them till the very end of the book.  Thank you Des Hunt for sharing your life knowledge and showing that anything is possible.

Certificates & Awards

Class Certificates

Congratulations to these outstanding students from Kiri Team and Cowley Team:

  • Room 1 – Harry G, Audrey K
  • Room 2 – Henry T
  • Room 3 – Nikolai A, Jack S, Owen S
  • Room 4 – Sarah Z
  • Room 5 – Olive M
  • Room 6 – Mia D
  • Room 8 – Claudia C
  • Room 16 – Rory G
  • Room 17 – Zoey M
  • Room 25 – Oliver F, Michelle K
  • Room 26 – Samantha E
  • Room 27 – Bodie A

Sports Notices

Waterpolo Results

Jacob R, Sam D and Alex C competed as part of a combined team with St Thomas’s in the North Island Waterpolo tournament, and won the silver medal in the B grade event.

Champion of Champions Artistic Event 

On Wednesday September 21, Kohimarama School was represented at the Auckland Primary School Champion of Champions Artistic Event at the Auckland Regional Gymsports Centre in Mt Roskill. This Auckland wide event was for gymnasts who had performed well at their local events.

Our sole representative in the Yr3/4 competition was Agnes C, and our team at the Yr 5/6 level was Esther C, Alexa J and Allie S.

Esther, Alexa and Allie took out 3rd place in the team event, and Alexa placed third in the individual competition.

Sports Results

Flippa Ball Results
  • Year 3/4 Sharks Term 3 Playoff for 3rd/4th
    Win 3-2 Placing 3rd POD Casey
  • Year 5 Kinas Term 3 Playoff for 1st/2nd
    Win 5-4. Placing 1st POD Whole Team

Community Notices