Mōrena Pīwakawaka whānau,

This is my final pānui for 2018! I can’t believe the end of the year is already upon us. We have had the most amazing time in Pīwakawaka, full of rekareka (fun and enjoyment) and endless learning. Your tamariki are the most beautiful rōpū of children – it’s been a privilege for me to work with them (and you!) throughout the year. Thank you so very much for sharing your kids with me & for being so supportive of all we do at Russell Street School.

Our Pīwakawaka have many strengths, but one that stands out is their passion for Te Ao Māori. They are leaders of this in Papatūānuku! Thank you for encouraging them to embrace Te Reo – I know they’re always singing waiata in the shower, in the car, at bedtime… and I’ve heard many of you now using Māori words when you speak with your kids. It’s beautiful to see and hear our children teaching & empowering others. I’m so proud of them all.

Our final wiki was super fun. On Monday we had our Athletics Assembly – Pīwakawaka did very well! A special shout out to our Levi who received multiple 1st place certificates for winning 4 different events! Click here to read more & see all of the results.

On Tuesday we had a Papatūānuku Fun Day where we enjoyed participating in lots of activities alongside our friends from other junior classes. We were spoilt with an ice cream truck which gave us soft serves with sprinkles!! Constable Kahu (Kelly’s fiancé) came down and gave some lucky kids (who had been spotted showing our school values) rides in his police car on the quad. We also had sports relays, art rotations, a ‘ninja warrior’ course, and much, much more. It was a great way to celebrate the end of the year together!

On Wednesday we went to Freyberg High School and farewelled our tuakana as they graduated from RSS, ready to start intermediate in 2019. We’ll miss our Year 6’s and wish them well on their new adventures. On Thursday we visited Willard Home and delighted the residents with our waiata. They thoroughly enjoyed our visit and so did we.

We also said goodbye (for now!) to our lovely Anna on Monday. Anna has been an absolute asset to our class and we have LOVED having her teach us. All the best for your year in Australia, Anna – and thank you for everything you have done for us in Pīwakawaka. We will miss you heaps and we look forward to seeing you again when you’re home! 😘

2018 has been a wonderful year of learning and growth, not only for the kids but for me too. I have appreciated all of the love, support, help, and kind words I’ve received throughout the year. I’ve tried to thank you all individually, but I just want to add an extra special mihi for the beautiful perehana (gifts/presents) & messages that you and your tamariki have given me this week. I’ve been spoilt, and the words written on every card have made my eyes water many times! You’re all so generous and I appreciate every one of you. Thank you so much.

I’ve chosen to end our ‘Te Kupu o te Wiki’ (The Word of the Week) segment with a whakataukī (proverb) instead of a new kupu (word).

Ahakoa he iti, he pounamuAlthough it is small, it is a treasure.

I included this whakataukī on our class poster (which lived above our bag hooks in the hallway) after the children chose our class name in February. Pīwakawaka are small manu (birds), but they’re treasured by many – just like our kids are. It has been the perfect name for our rōpū of tamariki. Our little fantails may be small, but they’re precious!

I’ve made a video with some photos of our year in Pīwakawaka for you to enjoy! Click here if you’d like to take a look (fingers crossed it works for you😀 I can’t believe how much the children have grown up!

I hope you all have a relaxing holiday break and get to spend lots of time with your whānau and friends. Safe travels to those heading out of town, and I’ll see you in 2019 ready for another awesome year at RSS!

Ngā mihi o te Kirihīmete me te Tau Hou – Season’s greetings for Christmas and the New Year,

Ka nui te aroha,

Nā Lucy

P.S. I better add a little bit of actual admin! End of Year reports went home on Thursday, including important information about ‘Meet the Learner’ conferences on January 24th and 25th. If you haven’t seen your child’s envelope, it would pay to check the depths of the trusty book bag one last time! Kia ora whānau.

Levi receiving one of his awards

Thank you so much Anna!

Ice cream trucks at school!!

Can you spot a very happy Kelly?! 😀

Constable Kahu having a kōrero to the kids

The Willard Home residents just loved our visit

Pīwakawaka whānau photo enjoying ice blocks (thanks Hayley!) on the deck on a hot Thursday afternoon. There’s a couple of kids missing from this picture but I just love the rekareka on everyone’s faces! I will miss teaching these munchkins!