Term 2 Week 10 Newsletter

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Term 2 Week 10 Newsletter

Principal’s Message….

What’s been happening lately?

Thanks for attending our parent – teacher interviews recently, including the chats with me about the school’s strategic priorities. It’s a great thing that we can spend a bit of time reflecting on the progress of your child and the school as a whole. It’s built on a lot of hard work from the teachers (and the children), getting mid-year testing completed and reports written. I’m so pleased to report that there is a very high level of satisfaction out there in the parent community, based on the conversations I’ve been having and the feedback the teachers received at the interviews. 

The Art Show was a huge success with lots of people coming through to view the skill and talent on show. It is certainly a very special venue for such an event, so thanks to Burnside Church for hosting us. And thanks to all the children and teachers for all their hard work in putting this together, especially Nat who masterminded and arranged the whole thing. 

As we wind down into the holidays we are in the midst of the wonderful and reflective time of Matariki. It’s a time to celebrate our successes and connections and think about the year ahead as the sun starts to stick around that teensy bit longer every day from now on. 

Pirinoa kids at General Store

Carmen and I have been chatting about this one. She’s concerned that our kids are coming to the shop before school to get treats for after school but she’s concerned they might be scoffing at them on the way to school or at school. We actually haven’t seen much of that but we know kids are pretty at hiding these things! So we’ve agreed that she won’t sell anything like lollies or fizz to our kids before 3pm. We really appreciate Carmen looking out for our tamariki. 

Tree plan

A reminder that if you have questions about which trees we are planning to remove, which we’re planning to keep, and where we are planning new planting, come on down and have a chat after the holidays. And let anyone in your network know as well, e.g. ex pupils.

Turf safety

As you will know the turf has got very slippery and I put the call out to the wider community asking for help. We got some great ideas and offers of help including the grounds-people from Trinity Schools who offered to come down and do some work on it for free which was very nice of them.

In the end we have settled on a plan which will see moss and weed killing combined with a professional grooming machine come through in the holidays. So things should look a lot better and be a lot safer in term 3. 

Cyber Safety parent evenings (save the date)

Pirinoa School is part of a collaborative network of schools in South Wairarapa (SW Kāhui Ako). There are many benefits to being part of this which I will go through another time but for now just wanted to signal some parent education evenings to put into your calendar. These are organized by the wider kāhui principals group, and in particular Belinda Bunny from Gladstone. They will be delivered by filmmaker Rob Cope. His blurb says it better than I can so I’ve copied it here…

Because of the rapidly changing times, our tamariki are growing up in and, the mounting challenges and harms they are facing online we need to start talking about and tackling this as a community.

I’m Author, Filmmaker and Speaker Rob Cope, producer of the documentary “Our Kids Online” and I’m coming to give what I promise will be a humorous and eye-opening evening talk to your parent community.

My talk will cover

  • Cyberbullying – How cyberbullies can reach our kids 24/7
  • Social media – The pressure for kids to build an online brand that is often far removed from their authentic selves. FOMO, Highlight Reels 
  • Gaming and the developing brain – An oversupply of dopamine leading to dopamine deficiency, synaptic pruning, and the underdevelopment of social skills and empathy
  • Naked Selfies – The pressure to send nudes from intermediate up through high school 
  • Online predators – The methods they use, how to spot them, and how to get out from under their control if your child has been trapped
  • Online porn vs healthy sexuality – How consuming online pornography as a child or teen can create a sexual template where violence, aggression, and dominance are seen as normal and consent can become very blurry


  • Filters – Which filters are best and how to install them
  • Smartphones – How to lock down a smartphone to make it a safe phone
  • Boundaries – How to put good boundaries in place around device use 
  • 3 golden rules – The 3 golden rules that will keep your kids safe
  • Talking to your kids – How to have difficult conversations with your kids
  • Challenging our own phone and device usage – Reconnecting as a family.

Here is a promotional video for you to watch Our Kids Online Parent Evening.

So that we can get as many parents involved as possible, Rob has agreed to repeat his presentation twice. And so that more than one parent can attend, we will be arranging some babysitting for you if you need it. There is no cost for the presentation as this is covered by Pirinoa School’s Health and PE budget. 

Wood is Good

We recently had a visit from an organization promoting forestry and safety around logging trucks. There were many great things about the presentation, (especially the free yo-yos!) but there were also some messages the kids received that seemed to come across a bit anti-farming and anti planting native trees which upset a few people. I’ve fed back to the organizers that this was the case. I’ve included their response here…

I was the one who completed the talks with the students, and there was certainly no criticism of the agricultural sector, in fact it wasn’t even mentioned except in the concept of how all primary sectors in New Zealand rely on each other for their products.  A positive example given was how Fonterra are now transitioning all their milk powder drying furnaces from coal across to wood chip and are now planting their own forests to accommodate this need.  Fonterra now belongs to the Forest Owners Association of New Zealand, and are big forest owners.

 We also talked about how essential food production is for us to eat, and how the land was all forests to start with but cleared so that we could grow animals, and now some is planted back for wood production in plantation forests. Another positive example of sectors combining land use for different outcomes.

The bit about indigenous forestry has me scratching my head.  We talked at length about how you cannot harvest indigenous forests in New Zealand, and only plantation forests are for harvest.  But you can certainly grow them!  There is a whole team in Te Uru Rakau – New Zealand Forest Service dedicated to supporting the planting and measuring of indigenous trees in the ETS.  (all trees are treated the same in the ETS for measurement and carbon capture, but the difference is – the indigenous species will not be harvested)

Erica Kinder

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