Junior School Blog

A summary of the exciting events in our Year 0, Year 1 and Year 2 classes....

100 Days Smarter

We are now 100 Days Smarter

Term 3 has been full of exciting activities for the junior school with more still to come.  International Day was kicked off with a parade showcasing our many diverse cultures at Owairoa.  Thank you to our community for joining in the festivities.

Many junior classes celebrated being at school for 100 days this year.  Children have been counting the days since the beginning of the year and were thrilled to be ‘100 Days Smarter’.  Room 3 wrote stories about what they would be doing when they were 100 and saw photos of how they would look.  Room 8 made party crowns to wear for their day of celebrations.  Being 100 days smarter certainly helped the children learn some new spelling words for our recent Spellathon. 

The Year 1’s still have a trip to the Howick Historical Village to look forward to.  They will be looking at toys of yesteryear which relates to this terms iSteam topic of Toys.  Lastly, the countdown to Gala day is on – 4 weeks to go!

International Visitors Visit Year 0

Look at our Chinese Lanterns

This term Owairoa is the host to some International students and their parents.

We invited a small group of Chinese parents to come into G4 and G5 to share their culture with the children. Some of them are trained teachers working in schools in China. They showed us a short video about the Chinese New Year.

Following this we practised using chopsticks to pick up and eat a piece of apple. This was more of a challenge than expected by the children. We also learnt about Panda bears and how they have been an endangered species. They showed us the simple steps of how to draw a Panda.

The last activity was making a Chinese lantern each. We were all delighted with our lanterns.  Both the children and the parents enjoyed the morning and learning a lot about another culture. Thank you to our visitors!

Welcome Back to Term 3!

Smiling faces to welcome Miss Gauthier to Room 11

We can barely believe its Term 3 already. This term has many exciting events to look forward too but first we would like to welcome a new member of staff to our Owairoa family; Miss Alexandria Gauthier has taken over to Room 11. Welcome to Owairoa.  We hope you have a wonderful year full of lots of learning.

Looking ahead we have our popular Spellathon, International Day and Book Fair.  We hope to see many of our extended Owairoa family supporting these events and cheering us on. Keep an eye out on the notices to see when these events are going to be held.

Putting Out Fires

Proudly showing off our fire engine constructions

Get down, get low, get out FAST, FAST, FAST!!! This week we had a fire engine come to Owairoa and the learners got to see how firefighters put out fires.

We learnt that firefighters wear special equipment to keep them safe when fighting fires.

We then came back to Room 7 and made our own fire engines! NEE-eu Nee-eu Nee-eu!!!

Science Time

Room 12 doing their milk swirling experiment

Year 2 students can’t get enough of this super-simple science experiment, which creates a swirling explosion of colour, it almost looks like magic!

The first thing we did was gather our ingredients: milk, food colouring and dishwashing liquid. Next we poured some milk into a bowl and added a few drops of food colouring in the centre of the milk. Lastly we added a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid and waited to watch the colour explosion. 

Why does the colour burst? Well, we learnt that milk contains lots of fat and when the soap touches the milk it starts grabbing the fat. The attraction between the milk and the soap causes the fat to move quickly, creating the colourful explosions we saw.

Call the Police!!

Meeting one of our Police Heros!

Sirens were blaring, children were yelling with excitement and the dog was barking like crazy!  A Police car, along with the Delta dog handler unit meant for an exciting morning at Owairoa. 

Some of the Year 1 children were lucky enough to have a visit by our local Police to tie in with our Inquiry unit of ‘People who help us in the community.’  Local Officer Paul Lowe spoke to our children about the things Police can do in our community to help others and what number to call if there was an emergency.  We decided being unable to do our homework was not an emergency.

We were lucky enough to meet Police dog Mono and see how she is trained to help people.  Watching her jump through the hoop was a highlight for the children.

The children were thrilled to meet some of their local heroes and talked about the visit for days afterwards.  If your job involves helping within the community and you would like to pay us a visit this term please contact your classroom teacher.

Welcome to Team 0

Smiling faces from our newest students in G5

The beginning of Term 2 saw the return of Mrs Seekup to Owairoa Primary to start the first Year 0 class of 2019. By the end of Week 1 there were 7 pupils in G5. After an extra long summer break Mrs Seekup is excited to be providing our New Entrant children with the best start to their schooling life. Our New Entrant teachers work hard to create a caring place for our five year olds as they start their educational journey.

Many of these children have attended Super Start with Mrs Gresham, providing them with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the school environment. Super Start is also a great way for children to begin understanding classroom routines and expectations, not to mention, meet some new friends.

The students in G5 have settled into Owairoa quickly and are enjoying the challenges that school brings. In June we look forward to welcoming Mrs Pieterse, an experienced Year 0 teacher to Team 0

Floating Through Term One

Making the most of the floating lesson

As the term comes to an end so does our first swimming season. The Year 2’s have taken full advantage of the warm summer weather and the opportunity to cool off.

The students have all participated enthusiastically and have become more confident in the water.  Who would have thought that they were learning valuable swimming skills as they splashed, kicked, floated, glided and torpedoed their way through the water.

All of the students have thoroughly enjoyed their time in the pool and look forward to diving back into their swimming in Term 4!

And the Boats went Puff, Puff, Puff

Official testing on the water

Puff, puff, puff went the boats during our ISTEAM challenge. In Room 7 we made “Wild Things” Puff Boats that floated on water and in the process learnt about the different shapes we needed to make them. Each learner designed their own boat and then used different materials to construct them from their design.

Once we constructed our boats it was time to test them and see how many puffs of air it took to make our boat sail across the water. How many puffs do you think it would take to make the journey?

Year 2´s Amazing Start

We are looking forward to an exciting year and amazing learning opportunities!

A warm welcome to all our Year Two learners and their families.

This year we have six Year Two classes:

Room 10 - Mrs Kim Parker

Room 11- Miss Jazmin Anderson     

Room 12- Miss Tanith Ling     

Room 13- Mrs Gloria Cowan

Room G1 – Mrs Jo Owen     

Room G2 – Miss Rachael Barr

We have had a great start to 2019 and have already dived into our learning. We have learned a lot about our teeth in our Science lessons, we learned about the parts of a tooth and about how to keep our teeth healthy. We had fun making our own toothpaste and we have used it to brush our teeth at school.

It’s Time for iSteam!!

Room 8 designed and made their own cardboard people with clothes

This year has started with Owairoa introducing our new iSteam program into our week and the junior school are loving it!  iSteam is about children participating in hands on learning, while including areas of Science, Technology, ICT, Engineering, Art and Maths.  The only downfall so far has been many of the children thinking they are having ice-cream at school, only for them to be disappointed at the explanation.

You will be hearing stories of your child designing and building bridges, painting rocks, using iPads to make shows, making cardboard people and sewing clothes for them to wear, and all sorts of other things that our creative teachers can come up with.  Our junior classes are enjoying taking some control of their own learning and spending time coming up with answers to their own questions. 

If you have any skills or supplies in any of these areas, I am sure your child’s teacher would love to hear from you.

Welcome Back for 2019

Students excited to get back into learning again

Thursday 7th February was an exciting morning for many junior students at Owairoa Primary School as they eagerly walked into school excited to meet their new teacher and catch up with their classmates. For just over 30 students it was extra exciting as this was their very first day at school. It was so pleasing to see how everyone settled into their classroom so quickly and got on to learning new routines and expectations.

We have started the year with 7 Year 1 classes and 6 Year 2 classes. Our last Year 1 class is due to start in the next couple of weeks and is predicted to be full by the end of Term 1.

We look forward to working with all our junior students and their whanau this year on their learning journey.

The Lion King at Owairoa

Our Year Two Performance

What an excitement! The people who didn’t see the Year Two End of Year Concert have missed a truly spectacular show. The singing, the dancing, the lights and the music were incredible and the audience was carried away on the rhythm of the well-known songs from The Lion King musical.

It was fantastic to see all the Year Two children performing with confidence and singing their hearts out with giant smiles on their faces. At the end of the concert some of our learners were celebrated as they received well deserved certificates to recognise their effort and achievement.

And just to make a great afternoon even better, at the end, Santa turned up with a sack full of sweets for all the amazing performers.

Junior Athletics Day

Jumping Far

On your marks…get set…Go!  And the runners were off!  The junior school had a great day celebrating our very own mini Olympics.  The sun was shining and the children were excited.  It was a fantastic morning and it was great to get out of the classroom and see children eager to participate.  Even better was seeing them cheering on and encouraging their friends. 

Cross country for juniors means two times around our field.  A big accomplishment for some of the children and we were proud to see them finish with big smiles on their faces.  The sprint racing was an exciting time for everyone with lots of yelling and cheering going on.  The games were made up of the noodle javelin throw, soccer dribbling, hurdles and skipping to name a few.  The morning was a huge success though it made for a quiet afternoon with a lot of tired children.

We would like to say a big thank you to the parents and families who were able to attend and be part of our day, especially those who took part in our parent races!  Watching the parents run was a highlight for the students. 

Year Two trip to Kelly Tarlton’s

Hello Little Penguin

This term, in Year 2 we are learning about the yellow eyed penguin, one of the many New Zealand native endangered species. To ignite the children’s interest and to inspire their learning we all went on a trip to Kelly Tarlton’s.  It was an amazing experience and the children were fascinated with the abundance and diversity of sea life which some of them encountered for the first time.

Sea horses, sharks, turtles, jelly fish, sting rays, penguins and puffer fish, crabs, eels, octopuses and the incredible marine environment have been met by the children’s wide opened eyes and mouths. We also had a mini lesson about the factors threatening life in our seas and oceans and we learned about what we can do reduce our negative impact on the environment.

It was a successful experience and all the children are now motivated to become guardians of the treasures of the sea and we might even have some recruits for a new generation of marine biologists.

Mrs Gill´s Calf

Getting to meet Mrs Gill's Calf

“Moo, moo, moo,” said the calf, as the learners in Year 1 experienced some wild things from the farm!

Mrs Gill told us that a calf has both their top and bottom teeth and that they drink two buckets of milk a day! That’s a lot of milk cartons to fold and recycle!

A special trip to special places

Visiting the Memorial on Stockade Hill

What is a special place for you? In year 1, we have been looking at special places in our community. It was super exciting for many of us as it was our first time on a bus!

Our tour took us down to Stockade Hill where we learnt about its history. We even got to see the big Christmas tree up close! Our next stop took us to the Howick Rec Centre where we got active and participated in a variety of activities. Our third stop took us to the beach where we hunted for treasures and seashells in the sand. Our final stop took us to the library where we sang songs, listened to stories and even went on a scavenger hunt! Before heading back to school, our bus driver took us through a tiki tour of Lloyld Elsmore Park.

We were exhausted by the time we got back to school but had a blast visiting all the special places around Howick.

Let’s get inventing

What are they inventing?

Term Three continues to be an exciting and wonderful time. We have just finished with the fabulous International Day celebrations and another new, thrilling challenge lay ahead of us.

We are all busy getting creative and innovative, preparing for the famous Owairoa Inventor’s Fair. The Year Two children have embraced the opportunity and while we might not re-invent the wheel, there are some state of the art and ground breaking products being developed in the secret Year Two labs. If you see around some weird looking umbrellas, never seen before floating devices, state of the art pest tracking tunnels, strange instruments, eccentric bird feeders and unconventional cat toys, you’ll know where they came from.

We won’t give up all of our secrets now. If you want to find out more come and visit the Owairoa Inventor’s Fair.




International Students

Welcoming our International Students to Owairoa

It has become an Owairoa tradition to welcome groups of International Students at the beginning of Term 3.

Like every year, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean students are joining us for a few weeks, keen to experience the New Zealand school life. Some of these learners have joined the Year Two classes and they are having a great time making new friends, learning new things, and practicing their English language skills in a full immersion environment.

It is a great opportunity for our Kiwi learners to exercise their kindness, empathy and friendliness, being amazing buddies for the International Students. We hope they love their time in our classroom as much as we love having them here with us.

We are all looking forward to celebrate International Day with them next week.

Games of Yesteryear!!

Some Junior students practicing their knucklebones skills

Winter has arrived bringing rainy days and cold winds.  With that comes plenty of mud on our fields which of course gives our children less space to play and run off their energy.  What else could we do but teach them the games their parents used to play during their school days. 

Marbles have made a comeback at Owairoa and our junior school are loving the chance to learn a new game.  With some training from senior students there have been marbles flicked near and far, some friendly competitions and a load of fun.  With the added bonus of being able to play inside when we are stuck indoors.  We had such a great reaction to the marbles we also introduced the other popular game of knucklebones.  This craze has also been a huge success with many teachers joining in and showing off their gaming skills!

I wonder what we could bring back next? 

The Skink Garden

New mulch for our skink garden

Learning about and for the Environment never stops at our school. The Year Two classes are focusing now on learning about unique and endangered New Zealand birds and animals. One of the species that we are studying is the common skink and one of our Enviro pledges is to create and maintain a safe skink habitat on our school grounds, behind the swimming pool changing rooms.

The Skink Garden was created a few years ago and the Property Team helps us to maintain it neat and tidy. This year it was time to trim some of the flax and wild grass plants and to refresh the mulch in the garden.

We are also planning to design and create some information signs about the common skinks to be displayed in the garden.

Tread Lightly Caravan

What goes down the drain?

This week it was the Year 2 students’ turn to visit the Thread Lightly Caravan. It was such a great learning opportunity and all the children were motivated to renew their pledge to look after the environment.

The activities were designed to help children learn about the importance of protecting and treasuring our environment and taught them ways of doing their part to protect the planet.  Children learned how to plant seeds, how to grow and care about plants. They talked about recycling and composting, about the importance of keeping the streams and rivers clean and healthy.

Judging by the enthusiasm shown by the children we can assume that our environment will be in safe hands as they grow up.

The Junior Playground is Officially Opened!

Our students and the local community enjoying our “Dragon’s Lair” playground

On Thursday 10th of May, Owairoa junior school students were thrilled to be involved in the official opening of our new Junior playground.

There was great excitement as a knight in shining armour galloped in on his horse to rescue his beautiful princess. The children took great delight in seeing Mr Rossiter, Miss Corbett, Mr Cornea and three Year 2 dragons in the skit.

We welcomed visitors from the Board of Trustees, the PTA and the team from Park Supplies who designed the playground to the grand opening.

The children have been thoroughly enjoying having their own area to play in since completion.

Sharing Our Learning With Our Parents

Choosing our best work to show at the upcoming conferences

Believe it or not, Term One is finished! It was such a busy term, we did so many fantastic things and the learning was amazing. And what a better way to end it all, than having the opportunity to share our success with our parents.

On Wednesday and Thursday on the last week parents were invited for the Three Way Conferences. We talked about our Next Learning Steps, we shared our best work, we summed up our achievements and our parents took home our reports.

It is always exciting to have our parents beside us and our teachers, telling them about our learning and sharing our proud moments with them. Happy Holidays to all!


Owairuru proudly perched in the Auckland creative arts trail

Whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo… who is that sitting with his friends at Botany Library? Why it’s ‘Owairuru,’ Owairoa’s entry into the Big Hoot public art trail. He is there to greet you and let you discover Auckland’s rich cultural and creative art works, while supporting the Child Cancer Foundation!

The inspiration for Owairuru came from our student’s inquiry into New Zealand native birds and the Maori perspective that ruru were kaitiaki, and had power to protect and advise.  The design of our owl therefore incorporates these values and reflects Owairoa’s love of the environment.

There are over 100 owls in parks, public spaces, malls and libraries, turning Auckland into a virtual aviary until Sunday 6 May. Get your trail map today and enjoy exploring the Haier Big Hoot art trail. 


Hello 2018!

Ready for Swimming

Believe it or not we have already counted down six weeks of the new school year and the summer holidays are now a distant memory.

The Year Two teachers: lovely Mrs Parker, amazing Miss Hayward, fantastic Mrs Owen, wonderful Miss Anderson, incredible Miss Oliver and wise Mr Cornea have welcomed their new students. We are all settled in our new classes and the learning is exciting and engaging.

We took full advantage of the beautiful weather and the swimming programme was one of the highlights of the term.

We are looking forward to have a great year full of wonderful learning opportunities.

The Dragons are Coming!!

Our first dragon is being assembled

The 2018 school year has started with a bang for our Junior school.  We have been in a state of excitement watching the construction of our new playground outside Rooms 1-4. There have been trucks coming and going, delivering slides and dragons!  Classrooms are full of discussions and are writing about each new addition.  Watching the concrete being mixed has been a highlight.

We are thrilled we will have their own little area to play without all the big kids.  The tree in the playground provides plenty of shade with extra seating for when they need a break from all their playing.  The sandpit has been moved to make way for the playground so that is now in the garden.  We look forward to being able to climb our dragons in the next couple of weeks.

Superkids Start School

Superstart Students Join Room 6

Owairoa Primary School welcomed 30 New Entrants in the first week of school. They have settled into Room 9 with Miss Emma Corbett, Room 7 with Mrs Shari Green and Room 6 with Mrs Kirsty Rice. Many of the New Entrants attended Super Start at the end of last year and school is familiar to them.

Mrs Rice will continue to welcome more new pupils until Room 6 reaches 18 pupils. New Zealand is the only country in the world where children start school on or close to their fifth birthday.


The next class will be with Mrs Lorraine Seekup. During 2018 we expect to have another 100 New Entrants. We need several empty classrooms for these children and a team of patient, caring teachers to give our New Entrants the best possible start to school.

Motion Master

Using our thinking skills to figure out how to build the best marble run

What is push and pull? How do we make something go faster or slower? These are the questions the Year 1s have been pondering about in Science. We have been learning about motion in year 1 and what an exciting topic it has been!

We investigated many different things like pushing and pulling with model cars, making ramps for marbles and figuring out reasons as to why a marble would go quicker or slower. We recorded our observations and discussed how and why it happened.


One of the more exciting investigations we did was the Marble Run Challenge. We had to work together in groups to build a structure that could stand up on its own and be able to slow down or speed up the movement of an object. We had to use our brains and think carefully about how to put our tower together

Grandparents Afternoon

Proudly welcoming our Grandparents into our Classrooms

On October the 20th we were spoilt by having our Grandparents come into our classes for the afternoon. They came to share in and celebrate our learning and participate in activities. The Grandparents were encouraged to bring along a treasure that was special to them.

The children were excited to share their Grandparents with others as well as showing them around their learning environment.

The Grandparents enjoyed sharing their treasure and the children enjoyed listening to the fascinating stories behind them. For example we had an old fashion stapler, an old fashion camera, war medals, family tree books, Vuvuzela (South African Horn), just to mention a few.

The afternoon was a huge success and we also had numerous compliments from Grandparents about the concert that was put on especially for them.

Both the Grandparents and the children felt cherished, valued and loved. Another successful Grandparents day and we are already looking forward to next year.

Year 0 Continues to Grow

Welcoming Pepper the lamb to school

At the end of Term 3 we welcomed Mrs Richards back to Owairoa to start her Year 0 class in G1. Her class numbers grew quickly which meant we needed another Year 0 class. Mrs Jansen started in G6 at the beginning of Term 4 and works from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays we are delighted to welcome back another ex Owairoa teacher Mrs McCormack to teach Room G6.

We celebrated the arrival of spring with a visit from Pepper the lamb. The children loved being able to pat and feed the lamb. Thanks to Mrs Gill for bringing her to visit us.

Everyone looked forward to the Gala which was a first time experience for many children. Most children attended and had a wonderful time.

We have a busy term ahead. Our calendar art work is completed and will be made into calendars which can be purchased later in the term.

In November we have a Poetry Competition which gives all children the opportunity to learn a poem and present it to their class.

In mid December we will celebrate our learning and have an end of year concert in the school hall. Parents, family and friends are welcome to come and watch our concert.

Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori


In Week 7 of this term we celebrated the Maori Language Week. For the children in Year Two it was such a great opportunity to learn new words and to use the ones they already knew, to practice their language skills, to work on wonderful art projects and to be immersed in the culture through stories and songs.

These were some of the highlights of the week for each of the Year Two classes:

Room 9: rewriting myths and legends they had heard and sharing these with the class.
Room 10
: learning the names of body parts in Te Reo
Room 11:
colouring and constructing the traditional costume pictures
Room 12:
singing Maori songs
Room 13:
the Koru and the Taniwha art activities

Off on a Museum Adventure

Listening to the fascinating Maori legend being retold

Everyone on the bus! Team 1B was on our way for an exciting day at Auckland Museum! We have been learning about storytelling in our Inquiry this term so we wanted to experience for ourselves how history can be passed down generation after generation through Oral Language.

When we got to the Museum we heard the Maori legend of Ranginui and Papatūānuku. Their love was so strong that their children were trapped between them in the darkness of their embrace. After much pushing and shoving Tane managed to separate his parents, and let the other children of Ranginui and Papatūānuku escape and create the world as we know it.

After our storytelling experience we were able to explore different cultures, the arts, and all the wonders that the Auckland Museum has on offer. Now we have lots of stories to share with our families!


Adopting a Kakapo

Room 12 with their adoption certificates

It is official! We are the adoptive parents of five beautiful kakapos. The Year 2 classes have received their certificates from the Kakapo Recovery Trust confirming the symbolic adoption of Bluster-Murphy, Waikawa, Marama, Jem and Ralph.

Along with learning about the endangered New Zealand bird the children in Year 2 have decided to raise money to help saving the kakapo. They set themselves a target of a $ 100 per class – the cost of the symbolic adoption of one of the birds. The children’s enthusiasm and the way they have managed to rally the whole school in support of their cause has helped raising over $1500.

The children took immense pride in their effort and they are happy to know that they helped a worthy cause.


International Day Success

Luca and his mum reading a story in Romanian in Room 12

The children in Year 2 have celebrated International Day together with the rest of the Owairoa family. We had our famous parade around the school, we waved our flags, and we proudly wore our traditional costumes.

After morning tea we went around the classrooms, and we learned to make Maori headbands, we learned about the Chinese Year of the Rooster, we practised sign language and Romanian language, and we did some Aboriginal Art.

Like every year, one of the highlights of the day was the shared lunch. What a great opportunity to taste delicious flavours from around the world!


Welcome to the Gresham Block

The first students to learn in the Gresham Block

At the end of March Mrs Seekup started the first Year 0 class for 2017. The students were in Room 4A and were excitedly watching the building progress of the new Gresham block. Mrs Seekup and her class were delighted when they could move into their newly refurbished classroom mid-May. They were soon joined by Miss Corbett in G5.

Many of these students have attended Super Start with Mrs Gresham, providing them with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the school environment. Super Start is also a great way for students to begin to understand classroom routines and expectations, not to mention, meet new friends!

This term the students have enjoyed the activities of Winter Wonderland and the many and varied learning activities in the classroom programmes. The students in G4 and G5 have settled into Owairoa quickly and are enjoying the challenges that school brings.

We welcome Mrs Borrie back to Owairoa at the beginning of Term 3 to start her class in G2.

Winter Fun

Who said that ice skating is hard?

What an exciting week we just had! The Year Two children have joined the rest of the school in celebrating the arrival of winter during the week long Winter Wonderland Extravaganza.

Ice skating, making snow men, watching a movie dressed in warm pyjamas and comfy slippers, winter sports and winter art, snow ball fights and making snowflakes are just some of the activities we have participated in.

It was a great opportunity for the whole family to join in the fun and many came after school or in the weekend for extra ice skating sessions or for a play in the Snow Dome.

Insects are everywhere or are they?

Some Year 1 Scientists creating playdough insects

What exactly is an insect? That is the question that the learners in Team 1A and 1B are discovering during our Science observations in Term 2.

First, we went on a nature walk and tried to identify insects in our environment. We found that all insects have three body parts, six legs and antennae.

Once we knew what insects looked like we decided to create our own insects with playdough in the Science Room with Mrs Farid. Be careful, I think that playdough insect is about to fly away!