Nga Mōtu

Kia Ora and welcome to Ngā Motu class.

We are the New Entrant and Year 1 Class within our kura with our 2 wonderful kaiako Mrs Duynhoven and Mrs Murray and our 2 amazing teacher aides Nancy and Jayne. We also have Miss Simpson a fantastic student teacher with us for most of this year. 

Our classroom is continually growing throughout the year as new tamariki join Midhirst School. We currently have 14 students in our class.

Structured Literacy

In Ngā Motu we follow a Structured Literacy approach for the teaching of Reading, Writing, Handwriting and Spelling. Structured Literacy focuses on 'phonemic awareness and alphabet knowledge' which provides our tamariki with the skills they need to read, spell and write with confidence. The tamariki are taught to recognise individual words, syllables, onset sounds, rime and individual sounds in a word. They learn to read using the Sunshine and Kākano decodable texts. Each day your child will bring home a book to read which practises the letters and sounds that have been taught at school. Thank you for supporting your child on their reading journey!

PR1ME Mathematics

Here at Midhirst School we use the PR1ME mathematics programme. This is a programme built on clear, well-structured progressions mapping out a pathway through Year 1-8 based on practices used by top performing countries in international studies. In Nga Mōtu, our students need a lot of hands-on experiences using materials to support their understanding, especially around Number. We dedicate our time to modelling and explaining new concepts, and consistent repetition is used to reinforce this knowledge. Our students receive a lot of explicit teaching in small groups and we have wonderful Teacher Aids that help to reinforce this knowledge. 

Term 2 Korowai

Te Ao: Cause and Effect

We know that things have a reason or cause for why they happen. In Ngā Mōtu we are learning about the different types of emotions we may feel and how we could deal with these emotions- especially frustration and anger. 

We are learning to:

When we are able to regulate our emotions we are better equipped to handle difficult situations.



To provide our Children a safe place to experience the connection, movement, and calm of Yoga, while exercising their body and creating a sense of calm.

Teaching our students ways to cope with different thoughts and feelings that arise from every step of life. 

To create a program designed to keep Children moving and enhancing their sense of accomplishment, which spills over into other areas of their lives.

“Our children can come together in unity to grow their self-esteem, and empowerment”

A special thank you to Karley for 4 amazing yoga sessions with us. We had a blast and learnt a lot!

Kind thoughts, kind words, kind heart, kind hands 

Term 3 Korowai

Hauora: Te Whare Tapa Whā

Hauora is about nurturing our whole selves – our physical, mental and spiritual health, the strength of our whānau and our relationship with te taiao. The key is balance – all pou of Te Whare Tapa Whā need nurturing.  Te Whare Tapa Whā is a model we can use to understand health and wellbeing. Think of your life like a whare (house) – or ‘meeting house’ – which has four walls to help it stand tall and strong. Each wall represents an area of your life that contributes to you feeling good! You can use this house to check that all of your walls are being well looked after.

Cross Country - Term 3

This term we have our Cross-Country.  At Midhirst we believe in helping our students grow not only academically but also physically.  The Cross Country event is a great way to promote fitness and good sportsmanship.  It teaches our students the importance of never giving up while encouraging each other to try new things and try their best.  Each day we are training for this event and have already seen the benefits running is having on our Taha Tinana (physical health) and Taha Hinengaro (emotional health).  Our cross country practice links beautifully into the first half of our Term 3 Inquiry of Hauora.


Discovery Learning develops key competencies through activity-based, child-directed learning. It is an opportunity for tamariki to direct their own learning and practice social skills within fun, hands-on activities.  In our Junior Syndicate Discovery Time sessions we have a range of activities for our students to choose between with more activities being added each week.  Our tamariki are given opportunities to engage in a variety of activities which include; arts and crafts, dress ups, play dough, block building, Lego  puzzles and much more! At times they will be working independently to develop their self-management skills and at other times they will be working with a buddy or small group to build their social and cooperative skills. During these sessions our tamariki will have the opportunity to feed forward and feedback, decide on activities and lead the discovery time sessions. 

The role of the teacher:

Term 4 Swimming