Thursday 23rd November | Term 4 Week 7

Kia ora e te whānau,

Returning to Twizel Area School on Monday, following my term-long research sabbatical, has been an absolute pleasure. TeachNZ offers sabbatical leave for Area School Principals every five years to refresh and update their pedagogical learning. Mine was very much overdue, having been in a Principal role for close to seven years. My research topics stretched across the leadership of flexible learning outcomes, project-based learning for middle school students and best practices for learning support. Cambridge University and Harvard University provided my learning programmes. In addition to this learning, I have updated my Te Reo Māori qualification. I have returned to school with a sketch outline of a reframe for our Middle School Programme. Initially, this will involve teacher learning, followed by a programme update in 2025. Watch this space!

This week has brought many sporting successes for our learners. The North Otago Athletics for our younger students was a success, even if it was a very long day. Congratulations to all our participants. The Touch team came second in their Aoraki Touch Tournament on Tuesday. There was a well-fought battle with Roncalli in the final. Well done to our team; you have worked so hard! Several senior students have attended an Outdoor Education Camp, returning on Tuesday night. Many thanks to all the teachers involved in making these events possible for our students; we appreciate your diligence and support.

On Wednesday, staff worked with Ministry of Education representatives to upskill in Te Mātaiaho, the New Zealand Curriculum Refresh. We spent the morning learning more about the different strands we’ll need to understand as we progress towards our implementation. The afternoon was allocated to NCEA development for our senior teachers as we approach implementing the new NCEA Level 1 standards with our Year 11 students in 2024; our junior teachers worked with the social sciences-based student wellbeing resource called Ata, Oho. All experienced a very strong day of development and learning. Thank you to our supportive parents for providing us with this opportunity.

Today, our M4 learners visit Dark Skies in Tekapo - I hope they have a fantastic day. Upcoming in the next week is the Year 6 into 7 Transition Evening (Tuesday, 28th, 5.15-6 pm) and the conclusion of our NCEA examinations (30th November). We, therefore, have planned our celebration event for the leavers from both Years 12 and 13 for the evening of Thursday, the 30th of November, at the Distinction Hotel. We’ll be wishing them well for their next steps. I’m very much looking forward to revisiting their learning journies alongside them.

As we look towards the end of the school year, we are planning our Prizegiving, Middle School Outdoor Education Week, Whole School Picnic and (of course) the continuation of our collective learning progress. It is undoubtedly a busy time of year for all. There will likely be a date change for Outdoor Ed Week - this will be confirmed soon. Teachers are currently writing Year 1-10 reports, which will be ready for distribution at the end of the year. Reports will include an indication of your child’s class for next year. The term dates for 2024 are included later in this newsletter.

In 2024, you’ll notice we are adjusting the organisation of junior school classes. In the Year 0-2 spaces, we will have Brooke Smith and Sharon Reid teaching. The intention of this change is to minimise class-to-class movement for our youngest learners in their first weeks and months of school. The Year 2-4 class will have Desiree Hooper, the Year 3-4 Olivia Wise, the Year 4-5 class Amanda Sargeant, and in the Year 5-6 class, we will welcome Melissa Neill. Melissa will visit us at the end of this week to acclimatise herself to Twizel - I know our students will make her feel very welcome. She is relocating to Twizel from her current teaching position in Geraldine.

I’m looking forward to the coming weeks and am so pleased to be back in the building!

He waka eke noa,

Kate Staniford
Tumuaki | Principal


A Trip to Remember for Year 11

This week, the Year Eleven PE class went on their final trip of a busy year. This trip had all the elements you would expect on a multi-day tramp. Our objective. To locate the Canyon Creek rock bivouac.


Twizel Shows Off Athletic Talent

Eighteen Twizel students, along with students from other North Otago schools competed at Centennial Park in Oamaru this week.


Touch Team Represents TAS at Aoraki Tournament

On Tuesday, eight ākonga from Years 8-10 attended the Aoraki Touch Tournament held in Timaru. We played in the mixed team category, where we were up against teams from South and Mid Canterbury. 


Transition Day Gives Ākonga a Taste of the Middle School

Last week, our Year 6 ākonga had a taste of the Middle School during their Transition to Year 7 Day. They enjoyed Technology, Art, Sports, and Home Room.


2024 Dates for Your Diary

As we approach the end of the school year, here are some dates for your diary for the beginning of 2024.


It's Swimming Season!

The summer swimming season has started and the Junior School classes have all taken advantage of the pool opening, and this week's great Twizel weather. 🌞 🏊


Vacancies at Twizel Area School

We are seeking a Caretaker and a Cleaner to join our team at Twizel Area School. For more information, including how to apply, click the link.


NCEA Exam Timetable

This year's NCEA Exams continue until November 30th. You can download your timetable here ⬇️


Scholastic Book Club | Issue 8

The final issue of the Scholastic Book Club for 2023 is now available, orders need to be placed by Tuesday 12th December. 📚 You can order through the Scholastic website or the Book Club Loop app, available through the App Store and Google Play Store.


Managing Screen Time and Digital Rechnology Use: Strategies for Teenagers

Screen time management strategies include rules, routines, sessions and choices. These strategies help you guide teenagers towards healthy screen habits.


→ Monday, 27th November - Friday, 1st December | Outdoor Ed Week
Tuesday, 28th November | Year 6 Transition Parent Meeting
Thursday, 30th November | Leavers' Dinner
Thursday, 7th December | Board of Trustees Hui
→ Tuesday, 12th December | Year 1-10 End-of-Year Reports and provisional class placements published
→ Tuesday, 12th December | Prizegiving
→ Tuesday, 12th December | Last Day of School for 2023

*All dates above are subject to change*

Calendar | Wātaka

Year 6 Transition Parent Meeting

For all parents of Year 6 students transitioning into Year 7 in 2024, you are invited to attend our Parent Information Meeting.

When | Āhea | Tuesday 28th November
Where | Ki hea | Middle School Foyer
Time | Tāima | 5.15 - 6pm

Teachers will be available to answer any questions you have. We look forward to seeing you all there.


2024 Stationery Lists - Coming Soon

Your child's Stationery Lists for 2024 will be available soon. When they have been uploaded, you can visit the link below:


Library Book Returns

With only a handful of school days left in 2023, now is the time to return your library books. 📚 Look under your bed, down the back of your couch and in your school bag.

If you're not sure which titles you or your tamariki have borrowed, please email the library: [email protected]. Students can also get their books renewed for the holidays if they wish.

The Library will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period from 25th December (first closed day), opening again on 8th January. 🎄


Hay Fever | Allergic Rhinitis

Spring has sprung here in Twizel, and with it comes pollen from grasses, weeds and trees. Learn about symptoms, triggers, and how to protect your tamariki here:

If your child requires medication for hay fever, please contact the school office to update their medical details.


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