Newsletter 2023/36

Principal's Message

Kia ora koutou, 

Only four newsletters left for 2023! It’s lovely to see some sunshine today and I hope it lasts for our Year 5-6 camp to Kaitoke over the next three days. Have a great time Te Moana syndicate!

In today’s newsletter you can read about: 

  • Sleep and Brain development
  • Staffing and syndicate structures for 2024

Upcoming dates for your awareness:

  • Te Moana Camp (Yr 5 & 6)  22 – 24 November
  • District Kapa Haka hui – Friday, 1 December
  • Last day of school is Friday, 15 December – School closes at 12.30pm on this day.


Is your child getting the quality sleep they need? During morning road patrol, I observed many tired-looking kids arriving at school. While it’s not uncommon at this time of year, sticking to consistent bedtime routines can be highly beneficial whenever possible.

As part of my commitment to staying informed on child development and health, I regularly engage with various podcasts relevant to my role as an educator. Recently, the “Emerging Minds” podcast delved into the fascinating realm of brain development, emphasizing the significant advantages of a solid sleep routine. Research now highlights the critical role of sleep in brain development, with a substantial portion of memory consolidation occurring during rest.

Brains develop constantly, it is not just a matter of “I was born with this brain – so this is my lot”. Our brains are forever changing, re-organising, building new neural pathways – the more we learn – the more the brain develops. 

When kids don’t get a good sleep they can experience adverse effects.  When children miss out on adequate sleep, they may encounter adverse effects. Poor sleep can disrupt emotional regulation, leading to challenges in relating to and interacting with others. Additionally, a child’s capacity to retain information and focus on learning may be compromised.

To gain further insights, consider listening to the podcast on understanding brain development through this link: . A good night’s sleep is not just a restful break but a crucial contributor to your child’s overall well-being and cognitive growth.

Thanks for reading.

Ka kite ano
Jess Ward
Principal ~ Tumuaki


Sharing good news spreads positivity, changes attitudes and ultimately leads to more people feeling encouraged and happy

Puzzles and perseverance! Sometimes kids overlook the simple pleasures in life because they are so caught up in the digital options for passing their time.  Recently a group of students have been working on a puzzle, during break times, that proved to be a lot trickier than anticipated.  However they persevered and used a good deal of mahi tahi (team work) to complete it.  It was lovely to see their interaction and enjoyment, as well as their sense of accomplishment at the end.  

P.S. If you have any old unwanted puzzles at home, please feel free to send them our way.

Welcome to Our Recent New Students

There were no new students this week

Have You Checked Out Our Community Notices Directory?

Do you need to advertise your business, an upcoming event, need child care,  or looking for a gift or new club to join?  Check out the PBS Community Directory on our website

Awesome Student Work

Inquiry learning has been strong this term.  Many tamariki, like Mateo and Jade (below), have completed their learning making hands-on projects.  Mateo designed and made a pair of sports shorts and Jade created a tool for her mum to pick up objects when her back is sore.  Although some adult assistance was required with these projects, the concepts and many of the steps were completed independently by these clever young minds.  Bravo!

Staffing & Syndicate Structures For 2024

As you will be aware there is a teacher shortage in NZ. However, I am delighted to let you know that we have secured a fabulous new teacher for next year. We will be welcoming Jessie Webb to our teaching team; Jessie brings a positive and enthusiastic mindset, she has a love of literacy, STEM learning and inclusive practice. Jessie will be spending a few days with us before the year ends, and I know you will make her feel welcome if your paths cross.

Below are the staff and syndicates for 2024:

Tātahi Year 0-2
Rachel McDowell – Team Leader
Cristie Gray
Sandy Saunders
Laura Powell
Bridget Nally
Cherie Parker
Nicola Jarvis

Ngaru Year 3-4
Vicki Howarth – Team Leader
Rebecca Jackson
Kathryn Siversen
Jessie Webb
Bek Sutherland

Te Moana – Year 5-6
Vanessa Brewer – Team Leader
Hillary Houston
Di Puati
Jo Mackay
Jalah Davis

Te Motu – Year 7-8
Cath Franks – Team Leader
Teresa Robertson
Colin Siversen
Alice Graham
Caty Spencer

SENCO – Carrie Reid
Release Teachers: David Parr, Sarah Smith, Tara Vertongen


These two little super stars have been modelling our school’s CREST values regularly during their break times by voluntarily picking up rubbish, keeping our playground clean and tidy. Mīharo Ivy-Rayne and Ava!

Important Reminder re Absences

Please remember to let the school know if your child is absent from school.  The office staff are spending a lot of time following up on students who are absent with no notification.  You can: 

Lunch Time Disco This Friday

This week the Student Council are holding a lunch time disco for Ngaru Syndicate (Years 3 & 4). Tickets are $5 via KINDO and includes chippies, ice block, music, face painting and FUN!

All proceeds will go towards Student Council future projects.

Using Māori Language at Home

Learning another language provides many benefits including greater academic achievement, greater cognitive development, and more positive attitudes towards other languages and cultures. So, let’s give it a go and help to revitalise this unique language to Aotearoa for our tamariki. Each week our newsletter will include words or phrases that you might like to try out at your kāinga/home.

Here are some essential kupu that you may hear ia ra (everyday)

Monday – Mane
Tuesday – Tūrei
Wednesday – Wenerei
Thursday – Tāite
Friday – Paraire
Saturday – Hātarei
Sunday – Rātapu

New Entrant Parent Information Presentation – Tātahi Syndicate

A New Entrant Information Presentation will be held for all parents of new children on Friday, 1 December 2023, from 10.00-10.30am in the staffroom.

This session will :

  • provide an overview of the ‘Transition to School
  • provide an overview of the New Entrant Programme in reading, writing and mathematics
  • highlight how you can help at home with learning

In Tātahi Syndicate, we believe that successful partnerships between home and school are established when both parties have a shared expectation and knowledge of their child’s learning. We would love to see you there.

Kapa Haka Hui

The Kapa Haka Hui will be held at Nga Purapura, Tasman Road, Otaki on Friday, 1 December.

Our group will be performing at 10.45am and we would love to see you there if you can make it!

PBS Aroha Fund

One thing our school community is rich in is KINDNESS. It’s something we work hard to promote amongst our students. When we know someone is in need we try to give some additional support because not everyone’s circumstances are the same. We do our best as a school to ensure every child has equal opportunities regardless of finance or personal circumstance. Our PBS AROHA fund was set up to enable our whole community to offer support to such families.

The PBS AROHA fund enables anyone in our school community, including businesses, to donate money to help those in our school community who find it hard to make ends meet. It also means that we can provide lunches when kids don’t have any.

If you would like to contribute to this fund you can find it in KINDO labelled PBS AROHA. You can contribute $5, $10 or $20 at any time during the year. If a local business wants to make a contribution they can contact Libby on

Please talk to the office, Sarah Chambers or Jess Ward if you would like to know more about our PBS AROHA fund. All discussions will be confidential.

Giving a little means a lot!

Aroha Fund Raffle

Christmas advent calendar box and selection of Scentsy products

Tickets just $2 each or 3 for $5 available from the office

Be in quick – tickets are limited and almost sold out! 

Raffle closes 28 November, drawn 29 November 2023 

All proceeds go towards our Aroha fund

PTA Grocery Grab Raffle

Click on the link to read the full Terms & Conditions Grocery Grab Terms & Conditions

Celebrating the Success of our Years 4-6 Athletes at the Interschool Athletic Event

We are thrilled to congratulate the outstanding athletes from Years 4 – 6 who represented our school with pride and sportsmanship at the annual interschool athletic event, last Wednesday. 

We are delighted to share the remarkable achievements of our students who secured top positions in their respective events, earning well-deserved invitations to the upcoming Regional Athletic Event on 5 December. 

Year 4 Boys:

  • Ardie Cooper: 1st Long Jump and 60m, 3rd 100m
  • Devin Direen: 1st Quoits, 3rd Long Jump
  • Ethan Leah: 2nd Quoits
  • Finn Little: 2nd Long Jump

Year 4 Girls:

  • Hayley Kirton: 1st Quoits
  • Aglika Angelova: 2nd Long Jump, 3rd 60m
  • May Newlove: 1st Long Jump and High Jump, 3rd Quoits and Vortex

Year 5 Boys:

  • Ty Gardiner: 2nd 150m, 3rd 800m

Year 5 Girls:

  • Ceejay Kraus: 1st Vortex, 80m, and High Jump (equal), 2nd Long Jump, 3rd 150m and 800m
  • Lucie Thomson: 1st Quoits, 800m and High Jump (equal),  3rd Long Jump
  • Jermayne Inoke: 2nd Vortex
  • Sophie Tee: 2nd Quoits

Year 6 Boys:

  • Phoenix Tee: 1st Vortex and Quoits

Year 6 Girls:

  • Zoe Gee: 2nd Quoits

We look forward to cheering on our talented athletes as they advance to the Regional Athletic Event.

The Best Thing About School - by Theo

School is the absolute BEST! (especially PBS!).  Everything is amazing, but there are some
things that are even better than amazing. 

First for me is the best, maths.  I love maths from multiplication, division, fractions and tessellations.  That for me is one of my favourite things to do at my amazing school.

Another activity I LOVE to do is writing. I’m actually doing it right now.  I can tell you writing is fun at home, but is so much better at school.  For writing you can use your imagination – dragons, unicorns, flying octopuses, anything – that’s why I love writing.

One thing I super duper love is STEM or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).  One time during STEAM my team and I had to make a tower of popsicle sticks, so we had to use our brain and that’s what I love – using my brain.

That’s what I LOVE at PBS.

By Theo

Future Student Achievements

If your child has an achievement you would like us to share in our newsletter, then please send details (and a picture if you would like) to

Thanks to our Skool Loop Sponsors

We would like to thank the businesses below for sponsoring our Skool Loop app.  If you would like to advertise on the app also, please email

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