Amesbury School

Kia ora koutou,

I hope the year has started well for you and your whānau. I also hope that many of you have been able to attend some Lunar New Year events and celebrations this weekend - Xīnnián kuàilè (happy New Year).

Demelza, Lesley and I embarked on a new learning venture last week, learning to cook some Vietnamese dishes. We started an evening cooking class at Tawa College, along with Demelza’s son, Ryan. Our first lesson involved cooking Bánh Xèo - savoury pancakes. Our somewhat imperfect efforts were absolutely delicious, even if they did not look quite like the ones Ha Nguyen, our teacher, created. We particularly enjoyed the very simple and tasty dipping sauce that I will be sure to make again. I will let you know how we go with some other recipes over the next few weeks.

It was wonderful seeing many of you at our Meet ‘n’ Greet event on Friday evening. We were a little worried through the day about how the weather would hold up, but thankfully the sun eventually played its part and gave us a lovely evening. Hopefully the information sessions helped you to meet the teachers in your child/ren's teams, and find out a little more about how the teams operate. There was a nice feeling around the grounds as children played and parents and whānau relaxed and enjoyed some kai (food) and some great music from the fabulous Red Fernz band. I particularly enjoy the community feeling around our school on summer evenings when people come and use the grounds - long may this last!

News from the hubs

We are now heading into our third week of the school year, and already lots of great things are happening around the school. Pedal Ready have been working with Pōhutukawa students, helping them to increase their awareness, knowledge and skills around bike maintenance, cycle skills, and road awareness (for level 2 cyclists). It is great to see so many more scooters and bikes around the school at the moment.  Just a reminder to encourage your children to wear cycle helmets when on bikes, scooters or skates - I have noticed that sometimes children can forget this when they are playing in the school grounds after school.

We have been learning a lot about our students and their families through inquiry learning about families and family trees. We loved the excitement from Koru students as they brought family information and treasures to school in their paper bags, and the conversations between students in Harakeke and Pōhutukawa around their families and ancestors, and what is important to them. I look forward to hearing much more about this as the teams continue their focus around ‘Living as me in the world’.

Parent information session this week

Just a reminder that there is an information session for parents this Tuesday (16th Feb). The session will be run in two parts:

4 - 4:30pm: New families information session. This session is for families who are new to our school, and it will focus on some basic information about how our school and how we operate. The session will happen in two groups: families of new five year olds, and families of new students in years 2-6.

4:30 - 5:15pm: LINC-ED Hero information session. This session will focus on introducing the Hero system to parents. We will talk through the main features of Hero and how to find your way around the learning information you can access. We will also have time in the session for questions, and for some more personalised support around signing up and understanding what you can access. This session will be offered in three groups. Each group will essentially cover the same information, but the questions asked may be different across the groups. The groups will be: parents who are new(er) to Amesbury School, and not familiar with our previous ALF system; parents who are very familiar with Amesbury School and our approach to learning / ALF system; and, parents who would prefer the information in Mandarin.

We look forward to seeing many of you on Tuesday. For the sessions, if you come through to the central courtyard (between Harakeke and Koru Hubs), we will direct you to your sessions from there. 

Also, just a reminder that there are a few ways coming up in which parents and whānau can get involved with the school, if you would like to do so. Here is an article with more information about this. In particular, we are looking to hold a working bee to re-cover our five stage blocks with some robust material. If you are keen to help with this please contact John Bunting, our BoT chairperson ( Also, we have our first round of student electives starting in a couple of weeks, and if any parents are interested in running an elective for a small group of children, please contact me ( or Amaria (

Have a good week.

Ngā mihi nui,

Urs Cunningham  

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