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 Oliver and our amazing teacher aides Kay and Luci. 

Our classroom is continually growing throughout the year as new tamariki join Midhirst School. We currently have 20 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!

Term 1 Swimming

This Term we will be swimming at the school pool.  Our swimming sessions are in the afternoon from 2p.m. and on Tuesdays  Ngā Motu has swimming lessons with two instructors. The aim of our swimming sessions is to improve the students confidence in the water and teach them basic swimming skills. Swimming sessions are a great way to enhance the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of your child.

Tabloid Sports Day

On Monday 5th February we had our annual Tabloid Sports event at school.   It was a wonderful time for all our students to come together and enjoy participating in a variety of games.  Below are a few photos of what the tamariki of  Ngā Motu got up to.

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 1 Korowai

Kotahitanga - Community

In Nga Mōtu we are learning that we all have responsibilities and rights as members of a community.  We know that belonging to groups is important and we have responsibilities when we’re members of a group.  During Term 1 we learnt about the responsibilities we share within our classroom and school environment.  Our Korowai topic linked beautifully into our school's KAHA values, especially around Hauora. In Ngā Motu we learnt that relationships can be both challenging and rewarding and their are many things we can do when we are having problems with our friends.

Kapa Haka 

On Mondays we are lucky to have Whaea Raewyn come in to take us through different waiata, karakia and tikanga. The tamariki are enjoying getting involved and learning abour different waiata that we then practice in class. We are apart of both the junior Kapa Haka and the whole school one as well. The Ngā Motu tamariki especially enjoy being able to have Kapa Haka with Panatahi and Taranaki

Term 1 Cricket:

This term we are lucky to have Ross from the Stratford Cricket Club taking our class for fortnightly cricket lessons.  During these lessons the tamariki are working on developing their hand-eye co-ordination and basic cricket skills. The class is also having a lot of fun enjoying learning a new sport. Check us out absolutely smashing it! 


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:


The tamariki of Ngā Motu were given a knitted red Poppy from Mrs D. We talked about how the red poppy is the symbol of war remembrance. Then we went out to look at our school gates and had our photo taken wearing our beautiful poppies. We also made some collage poppies to display in our classroom.