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Ngaio – Room 8 – Term 4

This term we are focused on preparing for the Year 6 camp in the first week of December.

There is a high level of excitement amongst the students as they prepare for one of the highlights of their time at HVS.

We are lucky to have a very experienced tramper as a parent this year – Shaun Barnett – who has visited the class and imparted some of his knowledge. Shaun shared some wonderful photos of his experiences and answered questions.

We are spending the nights at Holdsworth Lodge on the edge of the Tararuas and will be completing a day tramp and also a full day visit to Pukaha Mt Bruce Bird Sanctuary. In preparation Ngaio are studying a range of native birds.







On Fridays Jos Abernethy is in Ngaio. The students are all enjoying doing an author study and presenting their research in a variety of ways. She is also leading the students in creating a collage, which should be completed shortly. Here are a couple of nearly completed collages…





I will blog later with some completed collages and some pics from the camp.

Ka kite ano

Peter Holmstead










Rata – Room 9 – Term 4

Well here we are halfway through Term 4. Lots of exciting things have been happening in Rata. We now have 10 children and expect to remain at 10 till the end of the year.

Rata had a very exciting Term 3. We studied the Olympics and how you could become a champion or hero. We had our own mini Olympics that all the children took part in, and performed medal ceremonies in our classroom so we could seen what it felt like to get a medal. We learnt all about other countries, their flags, and why people go to see others compete. We then learnt about different kinds of heroes, we thought heroes were people like our mums and dad, nurses, police officers and firemen to name a few. We finished of with a heroes parade where we came to school dressed as a hero, or super hero. It was a great day.




























In term 3 we also went swimming that was lots of fun, we enjoyed the lessons but also the free play. Term 3 was very cold so we didn’t get to practice our ball skills as much as we would have liked but it was good when we managed to get out. We did like playing in the frost and making paper icicles though! Which brings us to art and more art, we did lots of this with Caroline, it was so much fun experimenting and learning new ways to do things. We will bring it home soon, so if you haven’t seen it yet you can have a look then.

This term we are learning about Nga Toanga O te Moana (Treasures of the Sea). We have been to the marine Education Centre in Island bay, and that was lots of fun although very cold. We got to touch and pick up many sea creatures that we couldn’t usually hold. Some us were very adventurous and touched some really weird creatures, it was a very exciting day. We have been learning lots of things about the rocky shore and the creatures that live there, and why it is important to have a marine reserve.

We have also had a great athletics day. It reminded us a bit of the Olympics with how hard we all had to train. It was a lovely warm day, our parents came to watch and we all did our best. We are looking forward to the days getting warmer and to the long holiday to come after our busy time at school.

Harakeke – Room 5 – Term 4

I can’t believe the year has raced by and we are now enjoying the ‘fruits ‘of our hard working year. What a fantastic trip to the Island Bay Marine Reserve! The Children had a terrific time exploring rock pools and feeding and touching the sea creatures.





















In the garden we are picking some of the winter crops and transplanting the spinach seedlings.

We are all super artists in Harakeke, so come in and see our latest sea creature art. We are also making paper –mache sea creatures, which takes time, effort and lots of glue!!!

As a teacher I’m really enjoying the way the Harakeke children have embraced reading especially the ‘quick read’ section of the library. I love the way the kids can be totally engrossed in a book and literally walk out the door reading!!















Harakeke sure put all their effort into Athletics… they enjoyed the training and it really paid off on Athletics day.

Finally the Ukulele Club and supporting singers gave a super performance at the fair and were a real ‘crowd catcher.’ A special thanks goes to Miss Nemet who supports the Ukulele club each week.

Liz Chalmers

Karaka – Room 4 – Term 4

Karaka have had a busy and fun start to the term.

Right from Day 1 we began practising Athletics. The whole group picked up the different skills very quickly – I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the athletes from this class make the Olympics in years to come! Athletics Day was fantastic. The sun was out and we were well prepared for our events. It was great to see everybody give each event their best shot! Well done Karaka. I’m proud of you!

We have also been very busy learning about sea creatures and sea life. We have been reading and writing about the sea and the treasures that live there as well as designing our own creatures for our three dimensional paper mache art. We have had fun getting our hands and desks covered in glue during art time.


As well as learning about the taonga (treasures) of the moana (sea) in the classroom we have been learning about these things outside of the classroom. On a windy, cold day in Week 5 we headed down to the Island Bay Marine Reserve to learn from the experts. It was a fantastic trip! We got to hold and touch sea cucumber, starfish, sea anemone, crabs and feed the turtles and fish. Even though it was a wintery day we also spent time in the rock pools exploring the life and habitats of many of the creatures that live in the marine reserve. Thank you to Victor and Judy for preparing interesting and stimulating activities for us.
























Also in Week 5 there was the Kapahaka Festival Day held up at Karori Normal School. 14 members of Karaka volunteered to be a part of the day. It is very pleasing so see so many students from our class take up the opportunities offered to them. It sounded like it was a great day and all the students made Houghton Valley School proud with their sharp performance.

Term four is always a fun filled term with loads of events to look forward to. Keep an eye on the newsletter and other notices to check out all the upcoming events.

This year seems to have gone very fast and I can’t believe we are on the count down to the end of the term.

Ti Kouka – Room 6 – Term 4

What a fabulous last term in Ti Kouka, and what fun we are having! We have just finished a fabulous book, which had most of the class, including Mrs Noble in tears. Running Wild, by Michael Morpurgo.

Our Topic Water and Tidal Communities, has had us looking at the Water Cycle. Watch this space, as students are in the process of represented these ideas in a visual and creative form.

We would like to give recognition to the fabulous effort made in a recent project on Ocean Explorers where students presented this information in interesting and original ways.


Upcoming events include our Business day on Monday the 10th December, where students will have an opportunity to show case their entrepreneurial skills, through collecting funds, marketing their product, managing staff and selling their goods.

























It will be a brilliant day and a great opportunity for Room 6 students to develop new skills and work together with a shared focus.

Thanks to the FABULOUS Ti Kouka kids for welcoming us into your class while your wonderful Mrs Mercury is ‘acting up’!


Louise Noble and Mrs McLean


Ti Kouka Term 2

Kia ora te whanau

Wow! We had a BLAST with our SPACE Discovery topic this term and I have been very impressed with how my class participated in all the activities. It was such a fascinating unit of work and Ti Kouka were really engaged and made an effort to learn lots of new information about the various aspects of space.

We researched lots of books and internet sites about the planets and other objects in space and we also had a focus on particular types of space technology: The International Space Station, The Hubble Telescope and the Space Shuttle.
























To fit in with our space theme, we produced some stunning visual art, beautiful nebulae using pastels on black paper and 3-D models of space vehicles made from recycled materials. You are most welcome to come in and see them early next term if you like. We also had a Space Extension group who researched about some of the more obscure topics around space. For example; worm holes, dark matter, extraterrestrial life, etc…These will be shared during the last week of this term.

































The Space Camp was a huge success, despite the cloudy weather and not much sleep! Although we were not able to see the stars, we still had heaps of fun with the group model-making and we had a guest speaker from the Horowhenua Astronomical Society, John, who was extremely interesting to listen to. The space quiz was very popular and even the adults found it difficult! The food was also ‘out of this world’ and many thanks must go to all the parents who came along to support us and helped out overnight. Thanks Mr H for organising such a great event – YOU WERE STELLAR!

We finished off term two with the KIA KAHA – A BULLY FREE ZONE health unit which helps us understand what bullying was and what we could do about making sure it never happens in our school.

At the end of term two, we said farewell to Daniel Munoz-Diaz who was leaving Houghton Valley School to return to his native Chile. The class pooled together some funds and we gave Daniel a kiwi soft toy which could change from a rugby ball to a kiwi rugby player and vice-versa. He just loved it and it will be a great reminder for him about his time in Aotearoa. Daniel has been a fantastic pupil at Houghton Valley and we will miss him a great deal. We wish him well for his future endeavours.

Term three, we will be studying THE OLYMPICS and UNSUNG HEROES.

I continue to appreciate the wonderful support from all the whanau of the Ti Kouka kids. You are just fantastic!


Monica Mercury

Mahoe Term Two

Kia ora and welcome to Mahoe in 2012.

This term our class grew and all the children have settled in and are all working really well together.

We have blasted off to space and have been busy learning all sorts of things about space. What are the planets? What is the sun? What is a star? Now we are moving onto the seasons and Matariki. We had a great visit to the Carter Observatory in week 5.

We have been trying to get out and learn some big balls skills. Depending on the weather!

The children have been writing explanations on space topic. They have started to write explanations about the life cycle of a butterfly and how clouds tell us the weather.

They have also been creating some fantastic space art work with Liz McLean and Caroline. You can see some on the walls outside the classroom where the children hang up their bags.










We are finding out how much things weigh and are enjoying using all the scales that we have in the classroom. We have learnt about ‘ty’ numbers from twenty – ninety and ‘teen’ numbers from eleven – nineteen. They are also learning how to add and subtract with numbers up to five using one hand and using materials to solve bigger problems in addition and subtraction.

It’s been fun having Dave come in and teach us some things on air and he has brought us in a new …

















Another great term with a great group of children.

Lizzy Luman and the children of Mahoe.

Term Two 2012

Term 2

I don’t know who is more excited in Nikau the teachers or the students! Our learning focus for term 2 is Space. Space will flow through English with explanation writing, myths and legends and poetry being the types of writing we are learning about. How far is the Moon away from Earth? What is the mass of the Moon? Luckily we are looking at measurement this term so we can figure out what measurement units we can use to measure these; we might need a few more rulers though.

Once again Caroline returns to school to enhance our Art programme, we are going to dismantle old computers, videos and other donated bits and pieces. Then create some amazing kinetic art out of these cool things.

We will be creating other great pieces please come and have a look.

PE is moving away from the round ball and learning about the oval one. In Health we will be running the ‘Kia Kaha’ programme in conjunction with Officer Dan so we can be strong with ourselves and be nice to others.

Space Art using line, colour and space to create our own SPACETASTIC ART with pastel using different techniques such as rubbing, cross hatching, crumbling and crushing to create different effects.

























Does your shadow fall in the same place at the same time everyday? We created a sun dial that would cast a shadow. At 1.45pm twice a week (or when the sun shines) we go out to the exact same place and rule a line to show were the shadow has fallen.









Term One 2012

We have had a busy energetic start to the year. We started the year by setting our class rules. We are focusing on RESPECT, respect for ourselves, respect for each other and respect for all our wonderful things and belongings. We learnt some more about each other









We have done heaps of writing, reading and arithmetic. Being in the Senior school now means we need swap classes for Maths and Smartwords (Spelling). If you need any Statistical Data turned into some beautiful informative graphs on excel Nikau is now contracting its services to the international market at









The Terms work in Topic and Tikanga was finished off with a Marae experience, were I felt Nikau sang the best and ate the most Hangi great job guys!

















Cross country and tennis has been our PE focus for term one and we have put a huge effort into training and everyone in class has shown improvement in their fitness. Tennis has been great with wonderful new equipment and an outside coach the kids really enjoyed the opportunity to be the next Rafael Nadal.


























Nikau managed to sneak in a day surfing at the beach and a great time was had by all. Great to see the parents also giving it a GO.

















Silhouette Portraits in a sunset were our theme this year we managed to create some stunning pieces of work.

Kinetic Art – DEconSTruction to ConSTructioN

Early in Term Two Ngaio spent two Monday mornings making ‘Kinetic Art’. This was facilitated by Caroline McGlinchy, who ran our photo/collage exploration last year.

Kinetic Art was defined as sculptural art which had to move for its effect, with the movement induced either by human, motor or wind power. We also added the requirement that the pieces make some kind of noise.

We viewed a range of kinetic art, from Len Lye’s motorised and noisy pieces, Theo Jansen’s wind-powered beasts, to those along Cobham Drive which make up the capital’s wind sculpture walkway.

Len Lye

Theo Jansen

Wind Walkway

Then we set to work, in groups of four, dismantling a range of defunct video players, CD players and other electronic items picked up from the Happy Valley dump shop. The students found this incredibly satisfying…

The following Monday we had to construct the pieces, six in all.

They say pictures are more powerful than words.

























































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Big THANKS to Tanya, Tania, Faith, Jo and Caroline, and those who lent tools!

That’s all folks!!!