Junior School Blog

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

Athletics Carnival Extravaganza

Practing their aiming skills

On the 12th of November, the Junior School participated in our Junior Athletics Carnival. We had fantastic weather and were able to head out to enjoy the sun for some awesome sports activities.

We had a range of sports skills to try over the day including, throwing bean bags at targets, ten pin bowling, jumping over hurdles, and basketball skills to name a few. It was a very busy day where we had the opportunity to try some new things and do some fitness while working as a team.

The Junior school demonstrated fantastic sportsmanship during our activities by cheering on their peers, helping their teammates, and providing some coaching to each other when needed. It was great to see our learners showcasing their key competences and having fun while doing it. Ka Pai Tamariki. 

We Love Learning About Light

Room 10 learners experimenting with how light travels

The weekly visits to the science room to extend our learning is a highlight for all the Year 2 children. The teachers work hard to find fun and relevant experiments to help children use their observation and thinking skills to further develop their understanding of scientific concepts.

This term the Year 2 children are learning all about light. The big idea is that light is energy that can travel from it’s source. The range of experiments chosen this term show learners how light can travel through some materials, bounce off some materials and why we have all the colours of the rainbow.

The Room 10 learners enjoyed experimenting with how light travels and whether or not it holds a certain shape. They were all very excited when they could make a heart shape on the piece of black paper.

100 Days Smarter!

100 Days Smarter!!

The Year 1’s excitedly celebrated 100 days of school in the last week of Term 3.

With two lockdowns this year, the highly anticipated day arrived later than expected. However, we still celebrated in style! The learners loved seeing their classrooms decorated with balloons and banners and enjoyed a day of fun activities linked to the number “100.”

We had fun using the Aging Booth App to create photos of what we’d look like when we turn 100 years old and wrote some interesting stories about all the things we’d get up to. Our leaners are looking forward to relaxing on the couch, washing their own clothes, cleaning their own cars and playing with their pets when they are 100.

We also enjoyed some ISTEAM tasks where we had to work together to complete a variety of challenges, such as building the highest towers with 100 blocks, 100 paper cups and 100 playing cards. The learners definitely looked 100 days smarter with the crowns they made and the certificates they received.

A memorable day was had by all!

Distance Learning 2.0

Some of the Room 10 learners during their Microsoft Teams online session

The Teachers were very proud of how Owairoa’s smallest learners slotted back into the routine of Distance Learning during Auckland’s second lockdown.

Our Owairoa Teachers were well prepared and had learning activities ready to go. Again our focus was on the well-being of not only our learners but also their whanau so with this in mind many of the activities were hands on fun experiences for the children.

The Junior School Teachers also challenged themselves to develop their own IT skills and had online meetings/lessons with their classes. The children learnt how to join a Microsoft Teams session and how to mute and unmute themselves.

Although the distance learning was a positive experience the teachers and children are very pleased to be back to face to face teaching.

Super Sounds!

Room 6 picking up good vibrations!

This term Year 1 students are learning about sound.  We started the term by identifying sounds that we could hear in the classroom and around the school. In the classroom we did experiments wearing blindfolds and had fun guessing what materials were being tapped.  We also played a game of body percussion and had to guess how the sound was made.

We have learned that movement is key for sound to happen.  Therefore when something vibrates, a sound is made.  In other experiments we could see, hear and feel the vibrations.  To feel vibrations we put our hand on our throat while we sang, watched a ruler vibrate on the desk when we twanged it, plucked a rubber band around a container and struck a drum with rice on top to see it bounce from the vibrations.  

Some classrooms made instruments and used them to retell a story.  Sounds are everywhere, can you make an instrument at home that makes an interesting sound?

Term 3 Delight

Room 13 pupils made a snake enclosure

It has been a pleasure to start Term 3 under relatively normal circumstances, after the huge effort made by all in the New Zealand Lockdown.

This term Year 2 are looking at Endangered Animals. Challenges and research skills have been built into our programme. Digital stories will be made using the research gathered later in the term. It is a very interesting programme and is producing high levels of enjoyment and motivation in our students.

Next week we look forward to meeting with Parents. It is a time to discuss individual needs, check on the health and well-being of each learner and discuss current progress. These conferences will further develop the Parent Teacher partnership, which is crucial to each child’s learning journey.

In Week 6 we have our annual Book Week which will include a huge range of exciting activities.

Term 3 promises to be a busy and eventful term!

Feather Focus

Students busily workin on making bird feeders for the school grounds

The birds around our school were overjoyed when Team 1 decided to focus on native birds for iSTEAM during Term 2.    The children went on bird watching expeditions to find where the birds lived.   They looked and listened to try find the many Tuis and Fantails that visit our school.   The children looked for ways to solve the question How can we help encourage birds to our school?  

To the delight of the birds, some of the classes decided that by making bird feeders the birds would come.  The children worked co-operatively in pairs and groups to make bird feeders.   They then carefully placed their bird feeders around the school and on returning a couple of days later – found no bird seed left!  Some children were inspired to make their own bird feeders at home.    

Other classes looked at how the birds’ nests were made.   They scavenged the school environment looking for twigs, branches, leaves... Anything that could be used to create their own nests.   This was not an easy task and made many children realise how clever birds are!

Welcome to Year 0

The smiling faces of our new students in Room G5

Covid 19 delayed the start date of many of our 5 year olds and Teachers to Owairoa Primary. Finally however, the 25th May saw the return of Mrs Seekup and Mrs Pieterse to Owairoa Primary to start the first two Year 0 classes for 2020. Both are experienced teachers. They are excited about providing the 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. Mrs Seekup’s class in G5 have been fortunate to have had Miss Teed working alongside them until she starts a Year 0 class of her own in G6 at the beginning of Term 3.

The students have settled into Owairoa quickly and are enjoying the challenges that school brings. They have been able to understand classroom routines and expectations and make some new friends. Many children are very proud of the fact that they are able to come into school by themselves in the mornings. They have been very good at maintaining good hygiene when at school.

We look forward to Term 3 and doing activities that will celebrate the many different cultures in our classrooms.

Team 2- Reducing, Recycling, Reusing

Room 11 making toys out of recyclable and reusable material

Year 2 focused on Recycling in iSteam in Term 1. We learnt about recycling, reusing and reducing and how important it is for our environment.

Several classes looked at their lunchboxes and how much waste they were producing on a typical day. They brainstormed ways they could reduce waste and put solutions into practise. Recyclable and reusable materials were used to make new products.

One class made their own lunchboxes with separate compartments so food didn’t need to be wrapped. Other classes made toys and papier mache pencil holders out of recyclable materials to avoid buying new products and creating more waste.  The recycling paper was used in one class to make new paper.

The impact of pollution on animals was also focused on. Overall the pupils learnt about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling to care for our environment now and in the future.

Play, Learn and Grow Together

Remember to Horoi o Ringaringa- wash your hands

With the Covid 19 Lockdown behind us, it is time to move forward and get into the groove of things with some positivity. We are starting off this term with a fresh perspective and mindset by having a main focus on well-being as we get back into routine. We are working on all aspects of our Hauora to settle us back into our learning with the right attitude and learning focus.

Right now, it is important that we help to support and protect one another as we settle into new routines, try new systems and find our feet. It is also important to remember the messages that we heard throughout the lockdown, be kind to one another, be positive, be supportive and to WASH YOUR HANDS!

What a Wonderful Week

One of our students from Room 10 working on her Distance Learning Science Experiment

Welcome back to all of our Junior School learners and whanau. We are very proud of how all our youngest Owairoa family members have settled back into school routines and learning after nearly 8 weeks outside of the classroom.

During distance learning the teachers have seen some fantastic and creative pieces of work from the children and have enjoyed building new relationships with families through emails, photos and even video clips.

We would like to say thank you to all the mums, dads, grandparents and even pets who chipped in and became “teachers” during this time. We saw and have heard delightful stories about all of your adventures during this time together as a family.

To our essential worker mums and dads an extra special BIG thank you for your commitment to keeping us all safe and provided for.

Team Two – Team Positive

ISTEAM Team Work in Room 11

The first five weeks of the new school year have flown by and with every day that passes, the summer holiday becomes a distant memory. But there is no time for reminiscing. We had a great, positive start to the term and everyone is motivated to become the best that they can be. The learning is exciting and engaging, the children are settled in their new classes and we are all looking forward to a fantastic year full of wonderful learning opportunities.

The Open Home Night, in the second week of the term was the perfect opportunity for Parents to meet the Classroom Teachers, to talk about their expectations for their children and to set goals for the year. Parents and students were enthusiastic to meet the Team 2 Teachers: terrific Mrs Taka, lovely Miss Ling, extraordinary Mrs Eccles, the one and only Mrs Owen, brilliant Miss Barr and clever Mr Cornea.  

Keeping Cool at School!

Eating under the shady tree is a treat

It has been a hot start to 2020 and so students and teachers are always looking for ways to keep cool at school. It’s nice to eat lunch under the trees in a cool breeze. Where possible classes have taken their learning outdoors in the shade instead of staying in the classroom. If children get too hot running around outside, they can cool down by playing quietly in one of the Cool Play areas in Room 5 or the hall at lunchtime.  Everybody, including the teachers look forward to their swimming lessons, especially Mr Bowles who is lucky enough to get into the pool with the junior school swimmers.

Welcome to the Junior School for 2020

Our new Rm 6 learners exploring the alphabet with Mrs Frederiksen

The start of the 2020 academic year saw just over 30 new entrants start school for their very first time. These students were welcomed into Rooms 6, 8 and 9. We also welcomed back our current Year 1 and 2 students who were excited to be back at school and meet their new teachers.

We have started the year with 9 Year 1 classes and 6 Year 2 classes. Our 10th Year 1 class, Room 7, will start soon and is predicated to be full by the end of Term 1. 

We have an exciting term planned for Term 1. Our Junior ISTEAM day will be on Mondays and the students will all be attending weekly sessions of swimming, science, library, sport and musical theatre.

We look forward to working with all our junior students and their whanau this year on their learning journey. We wish all our Owairoa children and their families a wonderful 2020.

Performing "You´re Welcome"

Finally getting to perform their concert item on stage

On Thursday the 6th of December we had our Year 2 concert. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event for all and it was fantastic to see all the learners performing with such confidence.

This was a great way to end the year and celebrate our years learning with our family and friends. We were able to recognise learners and award well deserved certificates to learners for their consistent effort and achievement throughout the year. We were even lucky enough to get a visit from Santa at the end of the concert. He brought a sack full of treats for all!

On behalf of the Year Two learners and Teachers we would like to wish our Owairoa friends and family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Junior Athletics Carnival

Ready, set, GO!!!

Ready, set, go! In the last term of the year, the Junior school had their Athletics Carnival. It was an exciting day for us all. We had lots of fun during our Tabloid activities where we got to dribble a ball and jump over hurdles. We even had an egg and spoon race!

The highlight of the day was competing in our Sprints and Cross Country races.  We sure do have some fast runners in the Junior school!  It was great to see the sportsmanship with all the children cheering on their friends.  We finished the day with the annual parent’s race which is always popular. 

We were really tired at the end of the day but we had an awesome time!  Thank you to all those who were able to come along and support our Junior athletes!

A Busy Term for Year 0

Year 0 Students in their first running race

We were delighted to welcome two new teachers to Year 0 at the beginning of Term 4.

Mrs Dawn Burgess started a class in G3 and Miss Suzanne Oliver started a class in 4A. Both teachers have previously been relieving at our school. They are excited to be taking a class of their own until the end of the year.

We have a busy term ahead. The annual Junior Poetry Competition is held in November. This gives all children the opportunity to learn a poem and present it to their class. Teachers have chosen a finalist from their class to compete in the final on the 22nd November. The standard has been very high this year and it has been difficult deciding who can go into the final.

After delaying our Athletics Carnival day because of bad weather the sun finally shone and we were able to enjoy a morning of races last Friday. Well done all Year 0 children! Everyone participated with enthusiasm and we had a variety of winners. Congratulations also to all the parents who were brave enough to take part in the parents’ races. The children were delighted to cheer their parents on. The men’s race was taken very seriously and the gentlemen all exhausted themselves in the effort to win.

On 11th December we have a Year 0 End of Year Concert in the school hall. This year Mrs Karen Ruske, a professional dance teacher is helping each class prepare their items. Parents, family and friends are welcome to come and watch the concert. Be sure to arrive early if you want a front seat!

Grandparents Day 2019

Welcoming Grandparents into our Classroom

On the 24th of October Owairoa hosted the annual Grandparents afternoon. Grandparents were welcome to share an afternoon with their grandchild. The grandparents were invited to bring a family treasure to share with the class and participate in a variety of activities with their grandchild. The children enjoyed listening to different stories and sharing their classroom learning.

An afternoon tea and concert were held in the hall for the grandparents to enjoy. The afternoon was a huge success with both the grandparents and the children feeling valued and loved. This was another successful Grandparents day and we are already looking forward to next year! 

Celebrating Cultures

Proudly showing the Chinese Lanterns we made

This term Year 0 have been celebrating the different cultures of the children in our classrooms. We enjoyed learning about the greetings, customs, flags, songs and stories of many different countries.


We learnt about …                                                                                                                                    

Kiwiana in New Zealand

Maori culture and weaving

The animals of South Africa

Leprechauns and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow in Ireland                  

The Royal family and Peter Rabbit from England

Aboriginal art and life in Australia

Carp kites and sushi from Japan

Chinese lanterns, panda bears and festivals from China  

St. Basil’s Cathedral and Matryoshka dolls from Russia      

Llama’s from Bolivia

Elephants from India

The American Bald Eagle 

Room 12’s Maui and the Sun Art

Look at our beautiful Maui and the Sun Artwork

Term 3 is almost over and set to end with a bang! We still have so many exciting events to look forward too.

This week we celebrated Maori Language week, which was a great opportunity for the Year 2 students to learn new words and practice their language skills, while enjoying the culture through stories and songs. 

Next week the students are looking forward to immersing themselves in the world of dinosaurs as they celebrate a love of reading through the Owairoa School annual book week. This is going to be an exciting week with some fantastic activities planned for the students.


Dino-Mite Book Week!

Some of the amazing Dinosaur Costumes during Book Week

Roar, roar, roar screamed Owairoa’s dinosaurs! Scary dinosaur roars could be heard all over Owairoa Primary School when it was Dino-Mite Book Week! Dinosaurs in all shapes and sizes descended upon the school to learn how to read!

In Room 7, we learnt that Dinosaurs have great big feet that stomp, stomp, stomp and great big teeth that chomp, chomp, chomp! Our favourite dinosaur activity of the week was the Dino-mite parade! Everyone wore their best dinosaur costume and stomped and chomped around Owairoa making also sorts of scary sounds. We love our new dinosaur friends!

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!