Te Rapa Primary

Te Rapa Primary School

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Hello and welcome back to our existing Te Rapa families and those joining us in the 2019 school year. This term is already turning out to be action packed with loads of opportunities for learning and reflecting…and of course, CAMP.

 A major goal for the students in the Yr 5 and 6 Syndicate is to work towards becoming an  ‘Independent Learner.’

This encourages them to take charge of being ready to learn and also helps them to monitor their own learning.  This learning will help to ensure that they will be prepared for future years of learning.

Criteria for being an Independent Learner:

  1. I ask myself these questions frequently, ‘Do I know what I am supposed to be doing?’,  ‘Am I doing it?’ The independent learner would answer ‘Yes’ to both questions on a regular basis.

  2. I plan my time carefully on a task so that I can ensure I get it finished.

  3. I look after all of my own learning resources.  If I misplace something, it is my own learning that suffers.

  4. I am ready to start at the beginning of the day with a clear and organised desk as well as a clear and organised frame of mind.

  5. I know the best way to learn is to ask questions of others when I do not understand.  

  6. I work quickly and quietly on set tasks so that I can maximise my own learning but I am also conscious of others’ learning needs.

  7. I set realistic goals and work hard to achieve them as I can see that education plays a very important part in my future.

Term 1 Activities

Written Language – 

Recount, persuasive writing, developing vocabulary to suit a task and proof-reading and editing skills

Reading – 

Guided Silent Reading, Recounts, narrative focussing on literal, inferential and re-organisational responses

Maths – 

Maths knowledge (basic facts, place value, numbers to 1 million), PRIME Mathematics Programme

Inquiry/Big Idea – 

Belonging and Citizenship: What are my rights, roles,  rules and responsibilities

Maori – 

Mihi and greetings, understanding a powhiri.

Arts – 

Portraits and visual art related to camp, art linked to identity

Health & PE – 

Swimming and Triathlon

Competencies & H.E.A.R.T.– 

Learning Logs – Reflection on learning

Assessment – 

Running Records, Journal Reading Assessment, Writing Samples, PAT’s, Basic Facts, IKAN

Literacy Pro

Year 5 and 6 students will continue to use the Scholastic Literacy Pro Programme. Literacy Pro is designed to develop success for all readers by evaluating their reading abilities and motivating them to read more at appropriately challenging levels. This will be used in the classroom and we encourage our students to use this as part of their reading at home programme.

The children are initially tested on this programme. This gives them a Lexile Rating (word recognition and understanding) which helps to ensure they are reading material appropriate to their ability. Once students have read their story, they take a comprehension test to see if they have understood what they have read. All of this takes around 20 minutes.

Classroom teachers will continue to monitor the use of the programme and students will take tests throughout the year at school which moves them up a Lexile Rating when they are ready.

Your involvement in supporting your child with Literacy Pro at home is crucial to their reading development. Please talk to them about what they are reading, their success and struggles as well as setting goals for improving Lexile Rating. We will be happy to discuss your child's Literacy Pro progress with you over the course of the year.

We are subsidising this for each student and ask you to pay $10.00 towards the fee which gives them access to the programme for 12 months.

PRIME Mathematics Programme

This year our team will be using the PRIME Mathematics Programme during cross-grouping. The PRIME Mathematics Programme is sequential, revisiting concepts and building on these so your child is confident to move to the next step. The programme builds a solid foundation in Mathematics, developing a conceptual understanding with a strong focus on problem solving.

The programme is aligned with the New Zealand Curriculum and will support your child to meet the expected curriculum level.

On your child’s stationery list you will see a cost of $7 for this programme. This covers the cost of one new Practise Book that your child will use in this programme. However when your child starts in their second new book within a school year another $7 will be charged to your account. At this point your child’s Mathematics teacher will also send home a notice to remind you that this additional cost will occur. This allows us to run the programme in the most cost effective way for you and your child.


This year Room 16 will have Home Learning each week. This will consist of ‘Must Do’ activities which will have a ☺ next to them. The other activities on the list will be optional.

Within the homework will be Reading at home. It is expected that your child will read at home each night, record this in their reading log on the Home Learning grid and have it signed by a parent or caregiver at the end of each week.  Reading each night is about encouraging reading mileage and helping your child to develop vocabulary and comprehension knowledge. Part of the homework will be having your child read aloud to someone each week to practise this skill. It is important that this is being completed by each child to support their learning at school.

Learning Basic Facts will also be an important part of the homework. The number of times per week your child practises these will depend on their ability to recall basic facts in all four operations with speed and accuracy. Some suggestions of ways to learn these are:

  • Using dice or counters

  • Apps that can be downloaded onto your child’s device

  • Flashcards (can be purchased from $2 shops or printed off the internet)

  • Time tables poster

  • Writing them out or practising with an adult

Once the Pr1me Maths Programme begins, all Maths homework will be set by the Maths teacher.

Along with these two focus areas there will be other optional activities. Some of these activities will link to class work and others will not. In some weeks, there will be a little competition within the optional tasks.

Those children who complete the required tasks, with signatures and evidence if required at the end of each week will be rewarded.


Please make sure that your child has swimming gear at school every day. If they are not swimming they must bring a note explaining why it is they are not swimming.  If possible, I also ask that your child has a pair of goggles; these really help them to become much more confident in the water. We ask that girls swim in one piece togs please. This year’s Syndicate Swimming Sports will be held on Friday 15th March.


On Wednesday, 6th March our students will take part in a syndicate triathlon. All students will take part in the individual event as we are encouraging a ‘Have a Go’ attitude. They will swim 4 lengths of the school pool and then cycle and run around the council fields. It would be advised that they practise riding their bike on grass as this can be quite a challenge if they are not used to it. A notice will come out shortly with more information.

The top 3 triathletes in each category will then have a chance to compete in the Interschool Northwest Triathlon held at Te Rapa Primary on Tuesday, 26th March.


Please ensure that all stationery requirements are at school as soon as possible. The sooner we have stationery items in class the sooner we are able to have everyone working to their full potential. It is expected that students have the required stationery at school every day and if certain items run out, break or go missing, students must organise to have these replaced as soon as possible.


In the week following camp, we will be completing some very important testing. If students are away for this it can be difficult to catch up. Please ensure your child is ready to start the day at 9am.


We are in the final planning stages of our Week 3 (21-24th February) Camp to Papamoa. A gear list will come home with this newsletter so please ensure your child is beginning to prepare the necessary gear for their time away. Also ensure the $260 is paid in full to the school office by Monday, 11th February.

Sun Smart

We would like to see all students being sun smart in the summer months and encourage them to dress appropriately for the sun, bring a sun hat and also apply sun block at home before coming to school. All classes will have sunblock available for students to re-apply when they need to during the day. We also encourage all students to have water bottles in class to keep hydrated.

Events for Term 1

Orientation Evening: Thursday, 14th February

Camp: Depart Tuesday, 19th February at 7.30am and arrive back on Friday, 22nd February at 2.30pm

Year 5/6 Triathlon: Wednesday, 6th  March Postponement Date: Tuesday, 12th March

Class Photos: Wednesday, 27th March

Year 5/6 Swimming Sports: Friday, 15th March

Northwest Swimming Sports: Tuesday, 19th March

Northwest Triathlon (Interschools): Tuesday, 26th March

Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences: Wednesday, 10th April and Thursday, 11th April