End of Term 1

Term 1 is traditionally quite a hectic term. Swimming, athletics, camp, Tryathlon, more swimming. The kids and staff are all looking forward to taking a well deserved break over the Easter holidays.

Before we all zip off to eat Easter eggs and hot cross buns (truth be told the latter have already been well consumed already!) let’s celebrate the awesome stuff our kids have been up to this term.


This term we swam in our school pool AND once a week in town. All our tamariki made exceptional progress with their swimming skill. Johnan and Lennon became confident at floating on their own and are starting to master some strokes. Te Awa is really co-ordinating those arms and legs to freestyle swim. Te Rau and Rickon graduate to the length pool for their lessons. Ryder furthered his water confidence. Mikaire and Kawana really worked hard on their diving skills and fitness. The older particularly enjoyed mastering their ‘manu’ skills at the end of each lesson.


On Tuesday 21st March we got up at the crack of dawn (quite literally) to head to Palmerston North for the Weetbix Tryathlon. While the weather was pretty grim as we drove down it thankfully only rained a little bit at the event. All our kids who were old enough to enter had a go and did our school proud. They had to swim in the pool then run to their bikes for a bike ride and finish with a 1500m run to the end.

There were some very tired kids on the ride home that’s for sure!

Camp BOP

Well we can definitely say we cracked it with the weather for our week away at camp. Balmy weather for all three days of activities. The only rain we had was travelling up and then again travelling home! Couldn’t have planned it better. It was so cool to spend a week in the sunshine and warm.

This year we headed away with Papanui Junction and it was awesome to get to know a different group of kids and their families.

Some of the activities we got up to:

Redwoods Rotorua – we called in here on our way through to break up the trip. Many of us had been up the treetops before but it was fun to do it again.

Riverbugs – these really cool inflatable ‘rafts’ that each person sat on. We had to wear flippers and webbed gloves and propelled ourselves down the Rangitaikei River from Lake Aniwhenua. Easily one of the many highlights of the week.

Surfing at Mount Maunganui – this was THE highlight for many children. They just loved getting out in the waves and trying to get up on their board. The instructors were amazing and catered for all the different ages, stages and confidence levels.

Kewpie Cruises – after our morning in the water it was time for an afternoon on the water. We cruised around the Tauranga Harbour learning about the different places, hearing some stories, driving the boat (!) and generally just enjoying the scenery.

Awakeri Rail – what a real hidden gem. Our host Paul was amazing and told some incredibly believable stories…ask the kids about Jack in the bush! We had a bush walk and then stopped along the way for a sausage sizzle. Some keen eyed hunters even saw a huge stag in the bush.

Ohope Beach – this was a chill way to end the week. We swam in the waves and then had a sandcastle competition which was super fun. Following this it was to the park in Whakatane for fish and chips then the Year 4-8 children went to the observatory.

Dropzone – On our way home to stopped in Taupo and had a whirl on the trampoline park. Was a great way to wear out already tired kids!

A huge thank you to all the parents who helped our during this trip.

Aside from the above things we’ve also been busy with our learning at school. Our older crew are currently right into drawing at the moment. Their subjects started as Landcruisers and have now moved to deer and pigs. We have some absolutely talented young chaps here and I can’t wait to show off their finished pieces.

In among all the fun and games we’ve also been learning some Maths and Literacy as well…although I think our teachers need a gold medal for making that happen in among all the other cool things.

The term ends this Thursday 7th April and we resume school on Wednesday 26th April. Term 2 is much quieter in terms of sport but we have some exciting science learning on the cards with our Science in the Box kits arriving in the first half of the term.

Until next time….ka kite ano

Sue, Stacey and Kylie.

Poutū-te-rangi / March already?

Time flies when you’re having fun.

School continues to be busy busy.

Unfortunately, we had to postpone our raft trip until a later stage due to significant river levels. We hope we can make this happen later in the year.

We are very excited to be heading away next week to Bay of Plenty for our camp with Papanui Junction. Mrs Revell and I have worked together to create a fun week of activities in, on and around the water. Thankfully the weather is looking amazing.

Last week (28th February) we spent the day at the Mangaweka Campground learning about weeds and weed control. The EnviroSchool team and their Horizons friends facilitated an amazing day for our tamariki that was hands on, fun and engaging. It’s awesome to see so many of our local schools now on the EnviroSchool waka.

On Friday we have our Rural School’s Swimming Sports and we are excited for the tamariki to share what they’ve mastered this term. We have seen massive shifts in swimming skills since we started back this year, with some children now able to get their feet of the ground and float, others are starting to master freestyle and backstroke and our older ones have refined their skills while also mastering the art of diving.

Finally…earlier this term we came up with Tikanga o Pukeokahu which is a list of the right way to be at our school. Below is the tikanga our tamariki agreed upon. We are working closely with the tamariki to ensure our tikanga are upheld within our kura.

Watch this space for our camp download later in the month.

Kia pai te rā!

Ngā mihi o te tau!

Kia Ora e te whānau.

We trust that everyone had a great festive season, in spite of the poor weather. It seemed to fly by, and here we are back to kura already.

The term has kicked off well with 9 students on the roll. We welcome Ryder (Year 7) who has joined us from Taranaki. Ryder has fitted in like one of the family and we are excited to have him join our crew.

At the end of last year we farewelled Keeva and Luca who have flown the nest and are now attending Napier Girls High School. We wish them well on the next stage of their journey. We also said goodbye to Grace and her family who had been visiting Pukeokahu from Germany. They have jetted off further north for the next stage of their trip.

This term is shaping up to be busy as always. While our overnight raft trip was cancelled due to high river levels, we will be (fingers crossed) heading down the river for a day trip on 17th February. The other big feature this term is our week long camp. We are heading to Bay of Plenty and combining forces with Papanui Junction School.

Aside from these big trips we also have plenty of swimming, athletics and enviro trips to keep us busy as well as squeezing in some in class learning too.

Speaking of swimming we have been LOVING having our pool up and running this season. A big thank you to Sue Stratton for her dedication to keeping it spick and span.

Key Dates for Term 1 are:

  • Wednesday 15th February – First Board meeting for the year.
  • Friday 17th February – Raft trip
  • Tuesday 28th February – Enviro Trip
  • Friday 3rd March – Moawhango Athletics
  • 3-5th March – Horse Trek at Mangaohane (all hands on deck!)
  • Friday 10th March – Rural Schools Swimming
  • 13-17th March Camp in Bay of Plenty
  • Tuesday 21st March – Weetbix Tryathlon
  • Friday 24th March – Interschool Swimming for those who qualify
  • Weekly on Monday – Swimming Lessons Taihape.
  • Weekly on Wednesday – Primary Technology Programme for Year 7-8

Until the next post…..ka kite ano!

Pets Glorious Pets!!

What a fantastic day we had at our annual Pet and Craft day this year. The weather was phenomenal despite some rain forecast (thankfully that waited until 2:30pm!).

A huge thank you to our judges – Miranda from River Valley and Becca and Hannah from Growing Future Farmers. They were all VERY impressed with the quality of entries in both the craft and pet sections.

Also a big thank you to all of our community members who came out to support our tamariki. They had a great time sharing their skills with you all and judging the adult cupcake decorating competition of course!

The vege / fruit creations were my personal favourite where we had ‘If a Penguin got Botox’, McD’s Burger and Fries, Taihape Waka, Barny the Dolphin, Olly the Octopus, a frightening zombie, a halloween pumpkin, a snowman and sauce and chips.

Craft Day Prizes:

Year 4-8 Section

Best Decorated Cupcake: Charlie James

Best Sand Saucer: Rickon Gilbert

Best Novelty Flower Arrangement: Grace Gilbert

Best Fruit / Vege Creation: Kawana Cashell-Kavanagh

Best DIY Project: Keeva Harrison and Luca Megaw-Kopua (combined entry).

Preschool-Year 3 Section

Best Decorated Biscuit: Lennon Kopua

Best Sand Saucer: Johnan Gilbert

Best Novelty Flower Arrangement: Johnan Gilbert

Best Fruit / Vege Creation: Maddie Taylor

Best DIY Project: Maddie Taylor

Pet Day Prizes:

Dog Section:

Best Calling: Keeva Harrison and Luca Megaw-Kopua

Best Leading: Te Awa Lacy

Biggest Dog: Lennon Kopua

Smallest Dog: Luca Megaw-Kopua

Most Original Name: Maddie Taylor (Munter) and Rickon Gilbert (Buster).

Best Trick: Te Awa Lacy

Lamb Section:

Best Calling: Te Rau Lacy and Johnan Gilbert

Best Leading: Maddie Taylor and Kawana Cashell-Kavanagh

Biggest Lamb: Maddie Taylor

Smallest Lamb: Grace Gilbert

Most Original Name: Mikaire Edwards (Bob) and Kawana Cashell-Kavanagh (Chris)

Best Dressed Overall:

Charlie James and Johnan Gilbert

Adult Prize:

Best Decorated Cupcake – chosen by blind student vote…….Melissa Megaw and Ramona Gilbert

Water, water, water

This week we had Rowena from Horizons visit to teach us some more about water and its importance.

We learnt about ways we can protect our water sources from the impacts of human and animal activity.

Here are some pieces of writing we did about what we know about water.

The senior students have been learning to use precise words to share information, describe an event etc. The junior students have been learning to say their idea and write some of it on their own.

We have all been learning (or remembering!) to use full stops and capital letters.

Kawana: There are many special features created by water. One of them is slips. Slips are caused by heavy rain. Rain softens the soil and the ground starts to crack. The rain goes into the crack and under the top soil and then it slips. One way to stop erosion is to plant native trees. Trees help hold the soil together. That is why slips are more common on farm land because are no trees.

Charlie: There are many different features of water. When there is a lot of rain the ground gets soft and then the ground gets cracked. Then it rains more and the water goes under the topsoil and it slips. One way to save our land from slips is to plant trees like manuka and other natives. Slips are bad for our environment because it covers our land and goes into the creeks.

Rickon: There are many features about water. One is the farms. There would be no farms if there was no water because stock would die. You need clear water to live so fence off waterways or the river will be polluted. Also use troughs because the cows will pollute the waterways. Another thing is riparian planting which is planting native trees around waterways.

Mikaire: Swamps are a water source. A swamp is a large area of water. Swamps are usually muddy and have reeds and rushes growing in them. To protect swamps we can fence off the swamp, plant trees and get rid of pest animals.

Grace: The special feature created by water is a plant. You can plant a plant with a seed. Plants can be a flower or a tree. You can fence the plants in to protect the plants.

Kaylee: At the Lodge I had a spa. When we got there, the spa was nice.

Skyler: Lennon and I are in the spa.

Lennon: The water is in the sea.

Te Awa: A frog lives in a pond. We are swimming in it.

Te Rau: Me and Skyler were playing.

Johnan: Me and Aaron Smith are swimming in the hot pool.

Ko wai au? Who am I?

This year our roll has grown immensely, in fact doubled (not many schools can say that!) and with so many new faces, especially ones who are new to school, we have refocussed our attention on learning our mihimihi/pepeha.

Several times a term we join forces with Mangaweka and Papanui Junction School’s for Mātauranga Māori learning and part of this involves sharing our mihimihi/pepeha. It’s important we feel well prepared for this as some of us are a bit whakama about standing up in front of a group and speaking so we have been practicing several times a week.

Reciting pepeha is a way of connecting with others by sharing your whakapapa and where you come from. Anyone can have a pepeha/mihimihi, the wording is just slightly different in some cases for non-Māori and respects tangata whenua and local landmarks.

Many of us may find ourselves in a situation where sharing a mihimihi/pepeha is required. Here are some templates that can be used as a guide.

We have recorded our own mihimihi/pepeha on video. If you pop into school scan their QR code and have a listen. Super proud of how far the kids have come so far.

Kia pai te rā! Have a great day.

August Update #1

Kia Ora e te whānau

We have lots of cool things happening this month so we’ll do an update now and again at the end of the month.


We welcome Grace Gilbert and her family who have joined us at school. Normally based in Germany, Grace has come to Pukeokahu School for a few months. She is teaching us a lot about what life is like in Germany and I’m sure we are showing her what country school life is like!

School Life:

It continues to be a busy time for us at school.

Our Year 7-8 students are heading to town weekly for the Primary Technology Programme (PTP) where they are studying woodwork / art with the students at TAS.

We continue to focus on modelling the value of Manaakitanga and showing care towards ourselves and our fellow classmates. For our younger students we have been learning about self regulation. If you come across one of them ask them about Eazy Peasey, Lemon Squeezy, Kara Freezy and Mary Cherry.

Make Day Friday is still very popular. This week we were gifted some sausages and carrots from Tom – thanks Tom! We decided to have a sausage sizzle picnic as part of Make Day Friday. Earlier in the day we’d listened to the story ‘The Little Red Hen’ which, as the kids put it, is about doing the ‘mahi’ to get the ‘treats’. That meant we had plenty of helpers to get the kai sorted. Different groups took responsibility for a different part of the meal. Rickon, Johnan and Charlie set up a lovely picnic area for us outside. Charlie, Mikaire and Kawana cut up the carrot sticks. Keeva and Luca cooked sausages for us. Te Awa, Skyler, Grace, Kaylee, Lennon and Te Rau helped make the pita chips and dip.

There is so much valuable learning that occurs during times like this. We chat away about the different kai, names of things (vocab learning), quantities (measurement), follow a process (maths, literacy and digital technology), sharing and taking turns (key competencies)…the list could go on.

Once all the kai was ready we had a lovely picnic outside in the winter sun. Check out these pictures.

Happy Friday all!

May – June Update

Arohamai koutou – we have been flat out! Life seems to be heading back some kind of normal which means that the calendar is back to almost as busy as pre-pandemic!

Speaking of COVID – we had a very small brush with this early in the term but thankfully it didn’t spread far and we were able to keep school operational. A long overdue thank you must go to the parents and Board members who stepped into fill in when we had staff away. It really is lovely to be surrounded by a supportive bunch of people.

Anyway on to more interesting updates.

Learning this Term

This term has had a focus around the Hauora of People. We have explored road safety and gathered information from our community about the speed vehicles drive by school. The outcome of this is a plan to install more signage. Currently a work in progress.

We also looked at financial literacy in related to our chicken mission. We now have our chicken coop at school, many thanks to Pip Stalker for building this for us and to Horizons for supporting us with a grant to pay for it. The chickens will come in Term 3. We still need to purchase the fencing and few other things. We’ve loaned money from the BOT to do this and will be working during the year to pay this off.

Currently we learning some more about Matariki and then will look at our well-being.

Earlier in the term we also received a grant from Pub Charities Limited. This helped us purchase a Magic Play Box with loads of loose parts for outdoor play. Pity it’s pretty much rained ever since it arrived! We also purchased some maths equipment and are making good use of this in the classroom.

Jumping June

Some of you remember Jump Rope for Heart, well Jumping June is the new name for this fundraiser. We will be holding a Jumping June event on Thursday 23rd June at school, see flyer below, and have Papanui School coming to Join us. All are welcome to join us, however if you’re feeling unwell please avoid coming.


Huge acknowledgement to the following children:

Rickon Gilbert got player of the day for his rugby last week and then went onto run very competitively in the Taupo Possum Run last weekend.

Keeva Harrison got player of the day for her netball this week.

School Values

We have had a spotlight on the school value of Manaakitanga over the past couple of weeks. Manaakitanga at our school means:

  • We care for ourselves and others.
  • We accept others for who they are.
  • We are active participants in our learning and our community.

This means that we use kind words and tone of voice to speak to each other and adults. We take responsibility for our mistakes and make it right when we need to. It also means we get on with the our mahi and do a decent job of it.

The kids can be super proud of how they’re going with this particular spotlight!

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday 23 June – Jumping June
  • Friday 24 June – Matariki Holiday (school closed)
  • Monday 27 June – Mangaweka visit.
  • Wednesday 29 Jun – Board Meeting 7pm at School. All welcome. This is an election year – have you considered joining the Board? Come along to this meeting and see what it’s about.
  • Friday 1 July – Mid Year Reports go home.
  • Friday 8 July – End of Term 2
  • Monday 25 July – Start of Term 3.

National Young Leaders Day

We sent 5 students to this day in Palmerston North. Thank you to Andrea, Melissa and Hazel who took the children. There a couple pieces of writing about the day below which will tell yo more.

Ngā mihi nui koutou – until next update!

From Keeva…

The day started bright and early. It was Wednesday the 25th of May. As I woke I felt a spark of excitement. When I was all ready to go Mum drove me to Aunty Melissa’s house, Hazel had arrived just as we did. When all of us were ready to go we hopped in the car and drove to Palmerston North. On the way we stopped at BP and got a drink to warm us up. Luca and I also got two doughnuts (they were so good). When we arrived in Palmy, Luca, Hazel, and I hopped into Andrea’s car with the boys. We all got wristbands that were neon green. When we entered the theatre where the Young Leaders was being held, we decided that we would sit on the top floor. When we got to where we were sitting we noticed the music that was blasting as loud as it could go. 

The first people to come on stage were the hosts. I can’t remember what their names were, but they were definitely trying to make sure that we were having fun. The first speaker was Sam Johnson. He was there to talk to us about his business which was the Student Volunteer Army. Sam had helped a lot of people with his volunteer group. The next speaker was supposed to be William Pike but instead it was a girl that lost her arm and a car crash when she was six. She said that sometimes life puts a mountain in front of you and you have to learn how to climb it. Then we took a break for morning tea.

After the morning tea break, we played a game. The game was an emoji game, where they would put pictures on the big screen and we had to guess what the emoji was. The next speaker was Georgia Latu, she had created a Poi business at the age of twelve. Georgia had made her business with her Mum. After that we got to see the NZ singer, songwriter, her name was Georgia as well. Georgia Lines was very interesting, and inspiring. Because she is a New Zealander, and that shows that New Zealanders can really do anything. 

We stopped for lunch at about twelve thirty. We had sushi, and Luca and I had boba, but we didn’t like it so we gave it to the boys. We also had a look around well, Luca and Charlie had a look around for their old school mates. The last speaker was Riley Hathaway. She was the co-founder of Young Ocean Explorers. She started it  with her dad. 

At the end Georgia Lines sang for us, she sang one of her original songs. After that she sang Driver’s Licence, and everyone sang with her. Georgia had a gorgeous voice. Then the host came out and said goodbye. Personally I had a really good time, and wish I could go next year. 

From Luca….

On 25th of May we went to the Young Leaders. Me, Keeva, Hazel and my Mum were all in one car. I was really tired on the way so Keeva and I got donuts and a hot drink. When we went into the Theatre an old man showed us to our seats. We got to sit on the top level. The windows were tinted black so it felt like night time. There was a dance cam so if the camera was on you, you had to dance.   

There were 5 speakers. My favourite was Georgia Lines. She’s a NZ singer/songwriter. There was also a guy who started a business to help people. There was a girl who started a poi business when she was 12 she is 15 now. And another one of my favourites was a girl who lost her arm in a crash. She came instead of a man with no leg. Also there was a girl from Young Ocean Explorers. 

We got to ask the speakers questions. Charlie asked the girl from Young Ocean Explorers what her next challenge was, she said she didn’t know yet. Around 12:30 we went for lunch. We got sushi, Keeva and I got boba. The boba was disgusting so we gave it to the boys. Keeva gave hers to Mikaire but he didn’t want it so he left it on a table.

After lunch we had a game. The top and the bottom level had one pool floatie and one inflatable boat. We had to get in from side to side the fastest. The bottom row won the first round and the top row won the second round. Then in the third round we won. We also played another game called the emoji game. They showed emojis on the big screen and we had to guess the movie or the song.  

Towards the end Georgia Lines Sang a song for us. First she sang one  of her originals. Then she sang a famous song called Driver’s License by Olivia Rodrigo. I could hear the boys singing really loudly. After that the host came out and said goodbye. Before we left we went to the Plaza. While we walked there we saw Keeva’s drink on a different table. When we got to the Plaza we bumped into Mamma and she brought us a drink. After that we drove home. Overall it was a very fun day. I wish I could do it next year! 

Pest Control

We’ve got some children here keen on being kaitiaki of our school and part of that involves pest control. Late last term we had the issue with the cheeky mouse that roamed the classroom (thankfully the trap dealt to that!), which piqued the interest of many. What pests do we have in our school and what can we do to get rid of them?

Below are some short pieces of writing about what we did when our Enviro School’s facilitators came to visit in Week 1. Currently our writing is focussed around how to write good paragraphs. To write a good paragraph we had the following criteria to guide us:

  • The paragraph tells the audience who, what, when, where, why and how.
  • The first sentence introduces the topic.
  • The sentences link to the topic and are in a sensible order.
  • The last sentence shares a thought or feeling about the topic.

How did they do? Also see below for bonus photos of the tracking tunnel results! Can’t wait to see what shows up on the camera.

On Friday the 6th May, Sarah and Rowena, our Enviro school teachers, came to Puke School to do some enviroschool activities. We looked at some different traps and each had a turn setting them off. We also made some tracking tunnels to see what pests we have. We put peanut butter in the middle. We all put our tracking tunnels in different spots. Me and Keeva put ours under the old school. After that we set up a little camera. The camera takes a photo every time it senses movement. We are hoping to see little lizards. It was a very enjoyable day.   By Luca

On Friday the 6th of May, Sarah and Rowena came to Puke School. They did pest traps with us. They gave us tracking tunnels. We put peanut butter in them and ink that doesn’t dry up. Over the weekend we had footprints in all of the traps and on every chew card. For example we had possums, rats, stoats and mice. It was exciting because we got our own traps. By Charlie

On Friday 6th of May, Sarah and Rowena, from Horizons, came to Puke school to teach us about pests and traps. We put out some tracking tunnels all over the school to see what pests we have.Then we set up a tracking camera to see if we have any geckos. Once we have tracked all the pests we will get the right traps. Friday was exciting because we got to set out our own tracking tunnels. By Kawana

March 2022 – Monthly Update

4 more days and counting! That’s how long until we all get a week deserved break. It’s been a big term with lots of change for our school. Our roll has virtually doubled in size since the end of 2021 and now sits at 9 students. At the start of March we welcomed yet another student! Kaylee Stoney (6) joined us. A warm welcome to the Stoney whānau! The roll growth continues, when we have Sklyar (Kaylee’s younger sister) and Lennon (Luca’s sister) start their school journey at the beginning of Term 2. A big HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY to both girls, who believe it or not, share the SAME birthday – 15th April. We wish them both happy school days.

March has been both busy and quiet. We’ve been busy beavering away at school on lots of great learning but in terms of the usual Term One events it’s been super quiet with most being postpone or cancelled due to the COVID outbreak that finally reached our wee area. Thankfully, as a school so far, we have managed to remain pretty healthy and operate as normal in that respect.

Make Day Friday continues to be a hit. Sewing has proven popular and it has been awesome to see our older pupils, boys and girls, develop the confidence to sew on their own. This past week saw an interested in ‘bug hotels’ and miniature furniture making, complete with bedding. For our younger makers the focus is more on developing positive social skills – sharing resources and developing the language needed to express their needs in a positive way. It’s great to be able to have this specific time to coach them through the development of this.

We finish the term with an end of term fun afternoon – Fish and chips shouted by the Principal and then a fun swim at the pool.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Easter. The next update will come in Term 2.