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Latest Newsletter

25th June 2018

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May Newsletter

14th May 2018
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March Newsletter

20th March 2018

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February Newsletter

22nd February 2018

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January Newsletter

25th January 2018

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December Newsletter

7th December
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October Newsletter

17th October
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September Newsletter

8th September

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June Newsletter

29 June 2017

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May Newsletter

1st May 2017

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March Newsletter

16th March 2017
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February Newsletter

1st February 2017

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October Newsletter

17th October 2016

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August Newsletter

19th August 2016

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This week is book week...

6th July 2016

Check out our photos on Facebook.

Here's a great song for assembly...can you work out a dance for it?

...or maybe this one...

June Newsletter

19th June 2016
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The Arts

6th May 2016

We have had an exciting first week of Term 2 with a "Love Language and The Arts" theme.

Our teachers attended an after-school meeting on Wednesday where we were treated to a presentation by writer and poet, Jill Eggleton. Her message was simple: Love Language.... Jill Cowley, Margaret Mahy (and Jill) are NZ treasures who use words magically to fire the imagination and the spirit. Teachers and parents must help our children to love language and learn to be "Weavers of Words".

Today, we had a visit from Judi Billcliff of Rainbow Poetry. She shared her love of rhyme, humour and drama, her slightly naughty Granny books, and had our children totally enthralled... see photos below, and on our Facebook page.

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Judi told us about a new initiative called Snail Mail Day...she thinks it's a shame that people don't send real letters anymore. We think this would be great to do...it's coming up on June 13th...

What is SNAIL Mail day?

S end

N yone

A n

I nteresting

L etter

We are also looking forward to a trip to town next week to see the Royal New Zealand Ballet's performance of Wizard of Oz. Have a look at these images and You Tube clips to whet your appetite...
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11th March 2016
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10th February 2016

Welcome back.

Here we are in the new school year already. It has been wonderful seeing the children and parents again after the long break, and the first week has flown by!
Here are some photos from our end of year concert…such great memories!

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A special welcome to…

  • Mrs Maree Fraser, our new teacher in Room 2. It’s wonderful to have you as part of our team.
  • 6 new enrolments: Blake and Shristika in Room 5; Harry in Room 4; Lilly in Room 2; Clare and Caiden in Room 1. (We have three more 5 year olds starting this term, and another two starting before Term 3.

“Meet & Greet” picnic

A reminder that this Friday,12th February, we invite you to a school picnic, starting at 5.30 p.m. and finishing around 7.00 p.m. Come along and meet our new families and staff, chat informally, and swap stories about the holidays.

Bring a picnic or takeaway dinner. The pool will be open, and some sports gear available.

Room 5 parents will have a camp meeting at 6.30 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you all.

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As with last year, we are using a free app for literacy and numeracy, called Skoolbo. This can be used at home or at school…I noticed that some Room 5 children were using it over Waitangi weekend – learning anytime, any place! Have a sneak preview at http://www.skoolbo.co.nz/

Your child has been provided with an account that grants full free use of the program both at home and school. As a parent you will also be able to view your child’s results via the
Parent Dashboard. There is no advertising on Skoolbo and there are no in-app purchases. Children are not able to communicate on Skoolbo and there is no possibility of unsafe interactions.

How to get going at home:
  1. Visit www.skoolbo.co.nz/downloads and download the software.
  2. Skoolbo is available for tablets (iPads and Androids), computers (PCs and Macs) and through your Internet browser.
  3. Open the software and select PARENTS. In the box that says Username or email, please insert your child’s username (available from your class teacher, or email mark.a.s@ouruhia.school.nz ). Then click on the password tab. The password by default is the colour BLACK and the animal BEE, although your child might have changed this at school.
  4. You can link your email to your child’s account, once your child is logged on go to the Parent tab on the play screen and enter your email address. You can now log on through the website www.skoolbo.co.nz and see your child’s results, password’s etc.

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Welcome Back! 2016 here we come...

29th January 2016

Well, here we are at the end of the summer/wetter holidays, and all looking forward to starting a brand new school year on Monday 1st February. It's always great to see everyone again after such a long break. We teachers are excited about the year ahead, and have some great plans in place. Top of mind is to keep kids loving learning, being curious, and having lots of "Wow!" moments.

On that note...what a fantastic end of year concert...does anyone have any photos we could share?

Just a few notes...
  • Welcome to Mrs Maree Fraser. Maree is teaching mostly Year 2s Mondays to Thursdays 8.55 - 12.45 at this stage.
  • School starts on Monday morning with an assembly in the Library at 8.55 a.m. Please start the year aiming to be at school between 8.30 and 8.45 so your child has time to meet, greet, unpack and play before school starts at 8.55.
  • Remember to bring swimming togs every day. (Even if it is raining in the morning, pack your togs, because with Christchurch weather the way it is, it could be a different season by the afternoon!) We will be swimming in the (heated) school pool every day for the first 5 weeks. Our school swimming sports will be on Friday 26th February at Kaiapoi Aquatic Centre, 1.00 - 3.00 p.m.
  • Remember to bring (named) sunhats, and leave them at school for the first term. No hat, no play.
  • Parents, please let us know if you can help supervise the pedestrian crossing one morning a week (8.25 - 8.55, then a free coffee in the staffroom!) Tell Raewyn, or email office@ouruhia.school.nz
  • Year 7&8s will be going to Tech classes on Mondays (starting first day back...1st February), leaving school by bus at 12.30 p.m. and returning about 3.20 p.m. Please wear long hair tied back, and shoes which enclose and protect the foot (not open sandals/jandals). This is a Health & Safety requirement.

The first term dates are:
Monday 1st February - Friday 15th April. Easter is in Week 8/9 25th - 29th March

Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Mark and the team at Ouruhia

Looking forward to 2016

14th October 2015

Last evening we had a great turn-out to a parent evening where I talked about changes likely to happen at Ouruhia next year, with two staff leaving (due to retirement and moving house) and change of total school roll.

We are very excited to share our ideas with you and hear your views...we will in fact be operating much the same way as we did in 2007 when we had 4 classrooms...and still have all of those things that we love about Ouruhia:
  • a great school culture,
  • small class sizes,
  • excellent teaching and learning,
  • rich and varied experiences, and
  • that feeling of connection to a community school where the big kids feel like big brothers and sisters to the younger ones.
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The slide show that I presented can be seen here. It doesn't have a commentary with it, so I would be happy to talk you through it and explain any points that are not clear (email principal@ouruhia.school.nz or phone Raewyn 323 8855 for an appointment.)

Kind regards,


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Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day

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Today at assembly we focused on healthy eating. We looked at some video clips...

"Pre-packed lunches, nothing but sugar!", from the John Campbell show (see here)
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We watched a great musical rap written by Ed Sheeran, featuring Jamie Oliver, Paul McCartney,
Hugh Jackman, and a host of other stars... (see here)

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We watched Jamie's video which showed us how to make the "Squash it Sandwiches". It was not only entertaining, but also had lots of interesting information about veges...who knew carrots and radishes came in so many sizes, shapes and colours?
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We made our healthy lunches in groups...good fun...good food!!
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April Newsletter:

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February Newsletter:

Welcome back.

2015 already…the start of our second 100 years…and what a great year it is going to be.

Our roll is a little lower than this time last year, but the up-side is that we have small class sizes...averaging under 20 per room.

We wish our 2014 Year 8 leavers well as they begin high school this week. We had a night to remember celebrating the end of primary school with them on the last day of last term, going to the Court Theatre, and then out for supper. They are a fabulous group of young people, and will do us all proud as they begin their new journeys. We miss them, and thank them for being big brothers and sisters to the rest of the school, for their leadership, service, and hard work. And now, a new generation of big brothers and sisters takes over, looking forward to the responsibilities, challenges and fun of the year ahead.

A special welcome to…

  • Mrs Bridget Panagiotidis(pronounced PANA-KE-TEA-DEES), our new teacher in Room 3. Congratulations on your recent marriage, Bridget. It’s wonderful to have you as part of our team.

  • 10 new enrolments: Bonnie Wills, Morgan & Lauren Smith in Room 5; Zoe McConnell and Ethan Gilbert in Room 4; Fraser Smith and Hamish McConnell in Room 3; Tarn Howison, Millie Tavinor and Risha Prasad in Room 1


Swimming lessons have begun in our school pool and children will be having a swim every day this month, weather permitting. With the solar heating, the water temperature is in the mid to high twenties, which makes it easier to get children to put their faces in the water and develop relaxed breathing styles. Each class has a 45 minute lesson with the class teacher each day, and a small target group will also get a second swimming lesson to try and accelerate their progress before they get to high school. Our aim is for all children to be able to swim 200m by the time they get to high school. (Last year only about a third of our senior pupils could swim 50m or more comfortably with a good freestyle & breathing action. Another third were seriously at risk and unable to swim 25m well.

We are fortunate at Ouruhia in having our own pool and daily swims, and in addition to lessons at school, all children will again be having sponsored lessons at Kaiapoi Aquatic Centre at the end of the year. Private lessons, available for individuals or small groups, are available at most public pools (including Kaiapoi) after school. We feel that these are very good value for money, and urge parents to consider these if your child lacks confidence in the water.

Ouruhia’s swimming sports and skill demonstrations (for all classes) will be on Friday 27th February from 1.00 – 3.00pm at the Kaiapoi Aquatic Centre.

Waitangi Day Weekend

A reminder that Our School will be closed on Friday (6th) this week for Waitangi Day weekend.

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At the end of Term 1 there will be a teacher only day (school closed for children on Thursday 2nd April) to revise our reporting system and link it to our school values. Thursday 2nd April is the day before Good Friday – also the start of the first term break- so parents may wish to take an extended Easter holiday.

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Children at Ouruhia are well-advanced with their use of digital technologies as part of their learning. They use iPads, cameras and laptops to plan, research, record and present their learning in a range of curriculum areas. ICTs are increasingly a normal part of learning, not a separate subject, and we have been investing lots of PD and funding to support our vision of Ouruhia learners being confident and connected, and able to learn any place, any time.

We are delighted to announce that we are having fibre and fast broadband connected this term, which will make our learning with digital devices even more seamless.

The Ouruhia staff had a fabulous day on Friday with teachers from other schools in our cluster, learning about collaborative practice and exciting new apps and software to use at school. Some of these apps include Google Apps For Education; Dictation and speech tools; Oz Phonics; A+ Spelling; and Write About, Popplet, Tagxedo, Blogger and Tellagami for the writing process. Watch for news of some of these apps being used in the classroom. In addition to this we are trialling a new (free) app for literacy and numeracy, called Skoolbo. Have a sneak preview at http://www.skoolbo.co.nz/


Bell times

A reminder that classes at Ouruhia start at 8.55 a.m. (not 9.00 a.m.), and so we expect children to be at school between 8.30 and 8.45 iBell.pngn order to be unpacked and ready to go. Please talk with your child:

  • What time do we need to leave home to be at school by 8.45?

  • And to be ready to leave home at that time, when do you need…
    • to get up? …
    • to get breakfast? …
    • to do your jobs (make bed, tidy up, feed animals, pack your bag etc)?

Communication, School information and the Wiki

Many of you will already know that messages and information about our school can be found on our school wiki http://ouruhia.wikispaces.com/ and Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ouruhiaschool .

Any messages we post on our Facebook page can be automatically be texted to your cell phone.
To receive up-to-date information via your cell phone, text a new message to 8987 and type: follow oursch (We are not sure if this works with 2Degrees cell numbers…please let is know how you get on)

We also try to communicate with you in a number of ways…newsletters, phone calls, texts and emails, so please ensure that we have your up-to-date phone numbers and email addresses. We would prefer that you did not use teachers’ individual phone numbers to contact them (unless it is an emergency, or in cases where they have asked you to ring), so please use emails, or school phone numbers. (Teachers’ email addresses are usually firstname.lastname@ouruhia.school.nz - but check with them as there are a few exceptions – and you can use the school landline 323 8855 to leave messages, or my cell phone 027 303 9670 if urgent, or email office@ouruhia.school.nz or principal@ouruhia.school.nz )

NB School Newsletters are usually on blue paper (to distinguish them from other class notices) and notices requiring something to be sent back to school are on yellow paper.

News from the Board

  • At the end of 2014 we were sorry to farewell Leanne Wright and Craig Cusack fro the Board of Trustees. Leanne and Craig have been strong supporters of the school in many roles over many years. Congratulations to Jacqui Lyttle, who has been appointed to the Board to replace Leanne Wright.

  • The Board consists of: Lyn Bates (Chair); Catherine Cruickshank, Matt Cox & Jacqui Lyttle (parent reps); Teri Aylward (staff rep); and Mark Ashmore-Smith (Principal). Raewyn Willocks is our Secretary/Treasurer.

  • The Board has reviewed its strategic plan and has begun setting priorities for this year’s annual plan. Our priorities in 2015 are…

    • to support teachers to continue growing professionally (key focus: Maths, PB4L, and working with our local cluster of schools)
    • to strengthen school culture and the unique features of Ouruhia School
    • to continue developing Learning With Digital Technologies
    • to maintain and enhance communication at all levels of the school community

News from the PTA

The PTA warmly welcomes all families back to school for another year and we are excited to welcome some new families this year too! We know you'll love being a part of this fantastic little school!
You are all automatic members of the PTA and we invite you to be a part of our meetings as we plan for the year ahead - for meeting times and places please check with Raewyn in the office - shortly we will announce a date for our Annual General Meeting - however in the meantime if you wish to have a chat about joining our friendly wee team please send an email to our mailbox at ouruhiapta@yahoo.com
We look forward to hearing from you.

Other notices:
  • Road patrol – parent helpers.Every year we need parent volunteers to help supervise the pedestrian crossing at the school gate before 9.00. Please put your name down for one morning a week (from 8.25 – 9.00)…we need a group of 6-10 parents, with one to organise the roster. (Free chocolate fish and coffee voucher for the lucky ones who make it through our rigorous selection process!)

  • Wanted: Off-cuts of melamine panels or thin mdf board to cover damaged gib-board in one of the children’s toilets. (Alternatively, would someone like to replace the gib?)

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Competition runs: Friday February 20th until Friday March 27th 2015





Online or Kaiapoi High School Gym Foyer Tuesday 10th February 3.30-4.30pm

For Online - please email the club for the necessary forms.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION - EMAIL: kjbckaiapoi@gmail.com or contact: ALI 327 9103

LYNLEY 327 5899

WENDY 327-5072

  • Northern Bulldogs Rugby League

Registration Days - Murphy Park Kaiapoi

  • Sun, 15th Feb 10am-12 noon

  • Wed, 18th Feb 6pm-7pm

  • Sun, 22nd Feb 10am – 12 noon

  • Burwood Association Football Club

Come and join the football club that started the careers of international footballers All White, Aaron Clapham and Football Fern, Meikayla Moore

Registration Days - At the Burwood Scout Den, near Clare Park at 16 Travis Road

  • Sunday 15 February 2015 10.00 am – 12.00 pm

  • Monday 16 February 2015 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm

New Junior players, we need to sight proof of age (birth certificate, passport or Plunket book)

For more details see our website www.burwoodafc.co.nz

Junior coaches required – please contact the Secretary Mark Tolchard 383-2035

Ka kite ano,

Mark and the team at Ouruhia

Ouruhia School Centennial (31 Oct – 1 Nov)

What a great weekend we had last Friday and Saturday. Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated our 100th Birthday. It was a pleasure meeting many of my past pupils, parents and colleagues, and others from previous years who share that same connection and love of Ouruhia School that I have. Look at these photos for a taste of what the celebrations were like...

(Photos by Howard Pettigrew)


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Latest Newsletter...

Term 4 news…

Here we are in Week 5 already. What a buzz the start to the term has been, with our centennial celebrations, choir festival and athletics sports already completed in the past few week
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We are now looking forward to swimming lessons before the end of the month, and getting busy with reports, end of year concert, and planning for next year.

Top performances at Ouruhia
We have some great talent here at Ouruhia!
  • Athletics – well done to these athletes, placed first or second yesterday at the Pegasus zone finals: Aleiya (1st in 11yr High Jump); Ben (1st in 11yr Shot); Jaden, Jonty, Tahi & Jordan (1st in 13yr relay); Tahi (2nd in 13yr 100m); and Dylan (2nd in 10yr 50m)
(for full results see http://www.ncschoolsports.org.nz/?module=events&page=eventprintable&event=105&printable=true )
More top performances
  • Touch reps: - 5 current pupils and one past pupil were selected for Canterbury Touch teams recently. Congratulations to Vaysion (U17 boys); Isriah (U15 girls); Tahi (U15 mixed); Jackson (U13 boys); Brooke SC (U13 girls); and Maddox (U11 boys).

Thanks to all of these helpers and supporters…
IMG_2400-2.jpgWe want to thank again all of the people who made our centennial celebrations such a success. These include…
  • Teri Aylward and her team of helpers who tidied, gardened, planted shrubs, painted the basketball goals, water-blasted, swept, pruned and weeded;
  • Colleen Gallagher for typing the many thousands of words from the 75th Jubilee booklet so it could be revised and reprinted;
  • The working bee people who contributed to the Centennial Garden, scraping, digging, shovelling, concreting, planting, including
    • I Pave (for laying the concrete, including the exposed aggregate)
    • Terra Nova (Puna and Natasha – for preparing the site with a digger)
    • Hitching Post (for the stainless cut-out of the Ouruhia tree)
    • Murray Johnston, Pataka (for making and firing the children’s tiles, and grouting them)
    • Hynds (for donating the central concrete hub on which to mount the tiles)
    • Ouruhia Nursery and Anna Lipsham (for the garden design and donation of plants)
    • Canterbury Landscape Supplies (for donating the bark)
    • Justin Corey (for building the seats with Mark, fixing & grouting the tiles)
    • Mark Ashmore-Smith (for boxing the paved areas, designing & building the seats with Justin)
  • Raewyn Willocks, for running the office, answering questions, organising finance and doing registrations
  • Lisa Watson, for doing anything that needed doing
  • The centennial committee, including
    • Helen Burns, for making and icing the cake,
    • Mark Dawber, for organising the vehicles and lawn mowers on show at the picnic,
    • Jennifer McCartney, for distributing leaflets,
    • Jocelyn Murray, for organising children’s activities, catering and sponsorship,
    • Sonya Boyd, for being Chairperson, planning and working and organising all the fine details for months and months
  • Howard Pettigrew, for scanning & organising the photos, researching, revising the booklet, and producing the DVD with the kids
  • Deane Bird and Micayla Watson, for taking photos
  • All the teachers and children for their art work, displays and dressing up
  • All the people who donated money for the garden project
  • The Ouruhia PTA, for organising and running the food stalls at the picnic
We would also like to thank…
  • Craig Cusack, for organising shingle for concreting, and sand for the long jump
  • Mainpower, for sponsoring our Yr2-6 swimmers this month.
  • Julia Ashmore-Smith, for sponsoring our Yr 1, 7 & 8 swimmers this month.
Yrs 1, 7 & 8 are not subsidised by Mainpower and would normally need to pay about $35 for 10 lessons (which includes bus and instructors). However my wife Julia at Bayleys Real Estate, as a former competitive swimmer, has offered to sponsor the Year 1, 7 & 8 children $10 per head towards this cost. In recognition of this I have attached Julia’s contact details in case you wish to talk to her about any Real Estate matters.

News from the Board

The short version is that we are doing a great job here as teachers and parents. Well done to all the staff, Board, and supporters of our fantastic wee school. Some key points from the report are quoted below:
Ouruhia Model School continues to provide students with good quality education within an inclusive environment. The school’s curriculum provides students with an interesting range of learning opportunities. Students’ individual learning needs are identified, well catered for and closely monitored. The board, principal and staff work collaboratively. A highly reflective culture ensures on-going improvement for student learning and wellbeing.
The focus that teachers give to identifying and meeting individual learning needs within class programmes is a strength of teaching within the school’s curriculum.
Teachers are strongly collaborative in sharing good teaching practices. Their professional development opportunities have been well targeted to improve teaching in writing, and to help students to effectively use a range of technologies in their learning.
The principal works professionally and effectively in leading the staff as a team. He supports staff to grow their curriculum leadership skills. The principal’s reports to the board provide trustees with well-analysed achievement information, and progress against board goals and targets.
Board priorities give clear direction to teachers and this is well reflected in their appraisal programme.
  • Congratulations to Leanne Wright and Matt Cox being recently elected to the Board of Trustees.
  • Our staffing for 2015 has been confirmed and will be the same number of classes as this year. We are currently advertising for a permanent and a fixed term teaching position for Rooms 2 & 3. This is due to the resignation of Emma Betts, and the fact that Ruth’s position was fixed term until the end of this year. We hope to make the appointments by the end of this month.
  • The Board is beginning its review of our strategic plan and has begun setting priorities for next year’s annual plan.

Other notices:
  • Sponsored Mainpower swimming lessons start on Thursday 20th November, so please have money in by next Monday. If you are unable to pay by then, you can either elect to have your child do swimming lessons at school (with an Ouruhia teacher, while the others are in Kaiapoi), or arrange a payment plan with Raewyn. (At between $1 and $2.50 per lesson for 10 lessons, including bus transport, these sponsored lessons are a very good deal.)
Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 10.56.13 am.pngPlease encourage your child to be responsible for their belongings while swimming; all clothing should be named and put neatly in a bag when not in use.
  • Book Clubs: Yesterday the children received their Book Club brochures. These are the last hand-outs for the year. Some parents like to reward their children for a good year’s work, others like to do some Christmas shopping from these brochures. If you want your purchases to be kept at the office, please write that on your order form, or tell Mrs Willocks.
Final day for orders: Friday 28th November. Orders & money in a sealed envelope to the office, please.
  • Found: a bow saw, orange handle, in the school grounds, or sports shed. See Mark

Ka kite ano,
Mark and the team at Ouruhia

Marshland Rd signs
Your ideas please…

The old signs have been removed from the Marshlands Rd corner.

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We want to replace them with something fresh and inviting. What would your design be?

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  • Needs to include our school logo.
  • Think about a catchy by-line.
  • What would you say about our school?
  • What would your photo show?

Please send your ideas to //principal@ouruhia.school.nz// or drop in your draft to the office.

September Newsletter

Spring has sprung…

It’s great having more daylight, warmer, drier weather, and excitement building for our big 100th year birthday at the end of next month. ERO have just completed a review of our school (giving us plenty of positive feedback about what we are doing at Ouruhia, and the way we are doing it), and we are now planning for a busy Term 4.

Our roll is currently 99. We are expecting one more enrolment before the centennial, making 100 pupils in our 100th year!

Top performances at Ouruhia
We have some great talent here at Ouruhia!

  • Earlier this term our Year 7 team achieved amazingly well at the Cantamaths competition. They scored 90% (18 out of 20 questions) in 30 mins; 14th= out of 86 Canterbury schools – many of them much larger than our own. Well done Leyton, Aidan, Mira and Jackson!

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  • Tahi and Jonty have achieved representative honours in rugby: Tahi for the Canterbury Country under 65kg team and Jonty for Canterbury under 13s


  • Excellent ICAS results so far (top 30% in NZ)
    • Science: Aidan (Distinction); Leyton (Credit)
    • Computer Studies: Aidan (Distinction); Leyton (Credit)
    • Writing: Tonya (Distinction)
    • Spelling: Daryan (Distinction); Jackson (Credit)
    • English: Jackson (Credit); Leyton (Credit)

Ouruhia School Centennial
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(31 Oct – 1 Nov…ppt 2 Nov)

A separate centennial newsletter is going home today…look out for weekly updates. Registrations are now open, so please spread the word to anyone you know who has attended or worked at Ouruhia School. They can register on-line at … https://www.facebook.com/CelebratingOuruhiaSchoolCentennial

Also, if you know of anyone with historic photos from Ouruhia School, please ask them to bring them in to be scanned.

News from the Board
Kia Ora Tatou Whanau,

Last week we had ERO (Education Review Office) in our school for 3 days on their regular review cycle for our school. ERO is an independent body used by the Government to review schools and report back to the school, community and Ministry of Education on how the school is being managed and governed as well as the sustainability of the school to be able to manage student achievement in the coming years.
I am pleased to report that they found the school is being managed and governed in a sustainable way and they will not need to revisit the school for another 3-5 years.

On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Mark, the teachers and support staff for all their hard work and dedication to ensure that the standards and student achievement at Ouruhia School are equal to, and in some cases exceeds, those at other schools in Canterbury.

As a small school we can hold our heads up high knowing that although we have a small pool of teachers to collaborate and share ideas with, we are still up there with the bigger schools in regards to our curriculum and student achievement.
Next time you are at school, drop into your classroom and talk to the teacher to see what it is your children are up to during the day.

Our Board Elections are coming up in November. There will be two positions to be filled. Nominations will be called for on the 16th October (beginning of next term).
Please take the time to consider if you are able to help the school by being on the Board.
This requires attendances at meetings, approximately two a term, as well as various other small jobs, depending on your portfolio. Some of these jobs could be easily done at home as it requires research or phone calls to find out information.
The term of your office runs for 3 years, with elections taking place every 18 months (half the Board one election the other half the next election)

The principal (Mark) has the duty of management, which is the day-to-day running of the school, including curriculum and student achievement.
The role of the Board is governance. This is set by creating a strategic plan in consultation with the community. The strategic plan is usually a 5 year plan, with annual plans being set each year from this to enable the school to reach its target, while working within the guidelines set out from the various government bodies such as the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health etc. Our last community consultation was in 2012, from which we used ideas to make our strategic plan.
If you feel you have something to offer the school please put your name forward as we would like people from a cross section of the community to represent the school.

Once again, thank you to Mark, the teachers and support staff for all your hard work so that our children have a good sound education that carries them forward into their next journey in life.

Naku Noa

Lyn Bates
BoT Chair Next Board meeting…Monday 20th October, 4.45 p.m.

Other notices:
  • We are sorry to be farewelling Emma Betts at the end of this term. Emma has been a fun-loving, hard-working and highly effective teacher in Room 3 over the past 3 years, and a valued colleague. We wish her well in her new career path. Miss Jane Garland will be teaching in Room 3 in Term 4. Jane is an experienced former Deputy Principal, and has many curriculum strengths.

  • Tickets are on sale now for the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival. Come along and see our choir (as part of the massed choirs), and the wonderful orchestra, band, and special choirs made up from the city’s most talented musicians in Year 5-8. Ouruhia’s choir will be at the performance on Wednesday 29th October at the Horncastle Arena. See Raewyn for information, or go to http://musicfestival.school.nz/

  • 2015 Term Dates: Next year’s term dates are similar to this year’s. Easter is in the first Term break (3-6 April) and ANZAC Day is at the start of Week 2 of Term 2.For those of you already planning summer holidays, here are the term dates for next year:

Primary and intermediate schools

Start date
End date
Term 1
Monday 2 February
Thursday 2 April
Term 2
Monday 20 April
Friday 3 July
Term 3
Monday 20 July
Friday 25 September
Term 4
Monday 12 October
Thursday 17 December

Ka kite ano,
Mark and the team at Ouruhia

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Term 3 News

Welcome back everybody. A special welcome to our new pupils: Joshua, Jake, Tyrone, Maddison, & Mikayla (Room 1); Gypsy (Room 2); Antionette (Room 4); and Lizzy (Room 5) who started at Ouruhia in the last week or so.

Our roll is currently 96. We are expecting around 3 more enrolments between now and the end of the year.

Reports survey
During the final week of Term 2, Mid-Year Reports were given out. This week we have held Parent-Teacher meetings to discuss and clarify these reports and goals. Teachers always value the time to talk one-on-one with parents, and we hope you found the meetings useful and welcoming. Our aim is to give you an accurate picture in plain language of how your child is achieving and progressing, with our ideas for your child’s next steps. We would welcome your feedback and suggestions if you feel we can improve this process.

We want to make sure that our reports give you the information you want, are easy to follow, and are a good use of teachers’ time. (Teachers take a lot of time to prepare and write these reports, so we hope they meet your needs)
Please return the attached survey to school, or email your thoughts to principal@ouruhia.school.nz

Ouruhia School Centennial(31 Oct – 1 Nov…ppt 2 Nov)
Our Centennial celebration weekend is early in Term 4…at the end of Week 3. Registrations are now open, so please spread the word to anyone you know who has attended or worked at Ouruhia School. They can register on-line at … https://www.facebook.com/CelebratingOuruhiaSchoolCentennial

Two special projects for the centennial are underway:
  1. A group of children from Rooms 4&5 are working with Howard Pettigrew to research and produce a DVD about Ouruhia School’s history. This DVD movie will be premiered at the centennial celebrations.
  2. We are drawing up plans for a special landscaped seating area under our cherry trees beside the Admin block. This area will have a commemorative plaque to mark the centennial, and will be a beautiful addition to our grounds. When you register for the centennial, we are asking for donations for this special project, so please consider gifting $25, $50, $100, $200 (or more?) to make this happen, or talk to us about sponsoring some of the seating (email 100years@ouruhia.school.nz ).

We are still looking for ideas about what to include in the seating area, and will need some “muscle” to build it (paving/concreting, seating, planting gardens…). If you would like to help and be part of making our celebrations memorable, please see Sonya, Mark or Raewyn.

Thank you…
Sonya Boyd (Centennial Planning Committee), Mark & Raewyn

PB4L: Positive Behaviour For Learning
This year at Ouruhia, we are taking part in professional development in PB4L – Positive Behaviour For Learning. Led by Rebecca Hart, Emma Betts, and parent rep Catherine Cruickshank, we are looking at developing our framework for teaching social and behavioural skills so the focus can be on teaching and learning. A number of other local schools, including Kaiapoi High School and Kaiapoi Borough, are involved with this programme, run by the Ministry of Education.

During the next 3 years we will be continuing to develop our school culture and use research-validated practices for…
  • Improving the climate of social behaviour in schools
  • Supporting or enhancing ways in which academic instruction leads to achievement
  • Increasing pro-active management while decreasing reactive management
  • Integrating academic and behaviour initiatives
  • Improving support for all students, including students at risk and students with emotional or behavioural disabilities
  • Building a fully inclusive school
Our school values and learner qualities (being Thinkers and Independent learners who are Caring & Sharing and have a Can-do Attitude) provide an important foundation for our PB4L journey.

News from the PTA…Quiz Night
The Ouruhia PTA wish to thank everyone who supported and enjoyed our Quiz Night at the end of last term. We raised a whopping $2270. A great night was had by all.
Watch this space for our next big event.

News from the Board
We are looking forward to a visit from the Educational Review Office (ERO) at the start of September, and a chance to share our successes and strategic plans for the future. Our last visit was in 2011 just after the earthquakes, and it seems that time has flown by since then. If you would like to share your stories about Ouruhia and what you appreciate about it, please see (or email) one of the Board members:
Lyn Bates: bates91@windowslive.com Mark Ashmore-Smith:principal@ouruhia.school.nz
Catherine Cruickshank: paulandcat@xtra.co.nz Craig Cusack:craig.cusack@xtra.co.nz
Leanne Wright: leewright@vodafone.co.nz Teri Aylward: teri.aylward@ouruhia.school.nz
Raewyn Willocks:office@ouruhia.school.nz

Next Board meeting…Monday 28th July, 6.30 p.m.

Other notices:
  • Enrolments at Kaiapoi High School for 2015 close on 31 July 2014 to enable them to set their curriculum for next year. ALL students enrolling must have a completed enrolment form (Caregivers sometimes think that if there is a sibling already here then the following student will be automatically enrolled - this is not the case).
  • Tickets are on sale now for the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival. Come along and see our choir (as part of the massed choirs), and the wonderful orchestra, band, and special choirs made up from the city’s most talented musicians in Year 5-8. Ouruhia’s choir will be at the performance on Wednesday 29th October at the CBS Arena. See Raewyn for information, or go to http://musicfestival.school.nz/

Ka kite ano,
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Mark and the team at Ouruhia

Important Dates: 2014 Term Dates:
Term 3: Mon 21st July – Fri 26th September
Parent-Teacher discussions – Tues/Wed 22-23 July
Term 4: Mon 13th Oct – Thurs 18th Dec
Labour Day Monday 27 October
Ouruhia Centennial:Fri 31 Oct – Sat 1 Nov (ppt 2 Nov)
Ouruhia Athletics:
Pegasus Athletics: Tues 11 Nov (ppt 12 Nov)
Canterbury Show Day: Friday 14 November
Mainpower swimming lessons: 20 Nov-5 Dec
Ouruhia end-of-year concert: Wed 17 Dec

For more news and photos, go to our Newsletter wiki page

Edible Garden Award winners!
Ouruhia School has won the Edible Garden Award for the Shirley/Papanui area. Angela, Zoe, Jo and Blake were at the presentation ceremony last night, and the news was announced at assembly this morning.

Congratulations to Angela, Jo and their team of enthusiasts, and of course the children, who worked on the garden and harvested the fruit and vegetables. What an achievement!


We have added a new Curriculum section to our wiki.

This is designed to help you understand what your children are learning at school and to explain some of the jargon.

Our first link focuses on Maths and Numeracy, and coincides with our Parent Information evening on May 13th.

There are ideas on this page for helping your children think Mathematically at home...in the kitchen, at the shops, in the car...Maths is everywhere.

There is also a brief description of the Numeracy Stages, showing the progressions your children make as they develop their knowledge and ability to use more complex strategies.

Click here to have a look.

Minister's Announcement - Ouruhia to stay open!
19th February 2013

We were delighted and relieved to hear yesterday that Ouruhia School will remain open.

This marks the end of a difficult time for us all; there was uncertainty and emotional upset, anger at the unfairness of the decision and the process, but also a pulling together of our families and so many people putting up their hands to help. I am so grateful to our whole community for the amazing support during the past five months. Thank you.

The teachers and support staff now have certainty about their futures, the children and parents now know that they can keep coming to Ouruhia; the only down-side is that in five or more years we will move to a new site. That in itself will be exciting to plan and move to a brand new, modern school, but there will not be a school as close to home for some of you.

I was pleased to hear that the process of relocation is not set in concrete...the Ministry is prepared to wait and see how the population evolves in this area, and they will place the new school at the centre of the growth. (Waiting to see where the population settles following the quakes is something that needed to happen before the schools renewal process began. Surveys are showing that the population is starting to bounce back in the city, and I don't believe any sensible decisions about schools can be made until we know where people are living.) Good decisions are not rushed decisions!

For those of you who did not see Ouruhia School featuring on Campbell Live last night, you can view it here.

Here is the Minister's letter which we received yesterday:

The Education Report which contained the executive summary and recommendations to the Minister about our submission can be found on-line here, or download this document:

Thank you again, everybody, for your support. Now we look forward to a stronger, brighter future.

Kia Kaha,


Welcome to 2013

We are all set and ready to go for another great year.

School starts for children on Monday 4th February...please ensure they bring their swimming togs and their stationery (-lists were given out at the end of last year, or you can phone the office and leave a message for Raewyn to send you another one.) Children should be at school by 8.45 a.m. each morning to ensure they are ready to start classes when the bell goes at 8.55.

The Term dates for 2013 are...
Term 1: 4th Feb - 19th April (Waitangi Day 6th Feb; Easter 29th March - 2nd April)

Term 2: 6th May - 12th July (Teacher Only Day 31st May; Queen's Birthday 3rd June)

Term 3: 29th July - 27th September

Term 4: 14th October - 19th December (Labour Day 28th Oct; Show Day 15th Nov)

Looking forward to seeing you again soon,


Ministry Announces School Closures - see Principal's Page
Below are the key points of our submission to the Ministry of Education, opposing the proposed closure of Ouruhia School, and our counter-proposal.
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Keeping in touch with Ouruhia School news

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