MBAS Newsletter, Term 3, Week 4

Term 3, Week 4, 14th August 2020
In a world where you can be anything... Be kind.
Room 22 have been focusing on KINDNESS and they have had a kindness draw - students nominate each other for being kind - the winner of each week gets a doughnut (they read the jelly doughnut story) Sunny and Libby are the winners from the last two weeks - here they are enjoying their donuts at morning tea.
Please remember to text your child/children's absences to us on
021 025 56802


Kia Ora – Greetings to you all

We are back on our “marathon” training folks!
Covid-19 – Alert Level 2
Update #1 
20 August 2020

We are all reeling from the recent news of further Covid-19 positive tests in our country, and the move to AL2 (at the time of writing). We were able to communicate with all of our young people, whanau, staff following the Prime Minister’s announcement so that we all knew where we were going. We have the background now of knowing how we can and will act when and if the situation shifts. 

My encouragement to you all is to be in contact with me ( if you have any queries or concerns at all. Our Senior Leadership Team have worked on how we would shift to AL3 and/or AL4 or back down to AL1 – this is from our learning earlier this year. Some details of AL3 and AL4 are noted in this newsletter.

The most important thing from our perspective is to follow the guidelines published by the Ministry of Health in all we do – practicing high levels of hygiene are critical in keeping us, each and all, as safe as possible.

If your child/children are unwell, they will need to stay home until they are well – do not encourage your children to come to school until they are 100% well. If you are concerned at any time, please have your child tested. I believe that we should all be tested when the opportunity arises – this is a strong platform of assurance, at a particular point in time, from which we will be able to move on with confidence.

The protocol for whanau and our kura for AL2 includes the following:
  • If children or staff are sick, they are to remain at home
  • If they become unwell while at school, they will need to go home at that time.
  • Students will need to bring their own water bottle
  • They will need to follow high quality hygiene practices during the day
  • Wherever possible we should all practice physical distance at school even though it is not a requirement
  • Contact sports and other activities are not permitted – although this is under review
  • We will be cleaning all our hand basins/door handles etc regularly throughout the day as well as the “end of day” clean
  • Playgrounds are able to be used
  • The canteen will be open
  • All staff will be on site
  • Visitors to our school can come only to our main office – there will be community distance protocol at our office
  • Distance learning/remote programmes will not commence under AL2
  • Some field trips and camps may go ahead
  • Use Covid Tracker QR Code when you enter/leave school

If we do move into AL3 – our school will be closed to all students, except those of essential workers. A survey form has been circulated – if you have not completed yours, and you are an essential worker and will need your children at school, please complete this form urgently.
Under AL3 we will be recommencing our remote/distance learning programmes and delivery. 

I have included some information about operating at AL3 from our previous experiences – this will be further reviewed and developed as we go along, however it is here now for you to look through. It will continue to be “draft” whilst we await any potential refinements that may come from the Prime Minister, MoH, and/or MoE. I have no information, at the time of writing, that we will move to AL3 nor any time indications.

Some elements of moving to AL3 will include:

  • Schooling/learning - “Business as usual”: through Remote/Distance learning platforms
  • For the 1000 plus students of our school who are at home, or in their extended bubbles, learning will continue “as usual” – ie through our remote/distance learning platforms
  • Students are expected to be engaging in the learning, coming on-line at the right time when needed, completing the learning needed of them with support naturally from our staff and carers – our DPs will circulate information about what this will look like when/if we move into AL3
  • Students are expected to engage in our pastoral connections too – eg Learning Group time,
  • Students are welcome to continue to get support from our guidance team and can contact us through
  • We welcome feedback from students and families about how it is all going at anytime, during AL3

On-site programmes:

  • There is a provision for some children to attend programmes on site – these are the children of essential workers 
  • Staff on site, will supervise any distance/remote learning that these students would be engaging in normally

Under AL4 – (full lockdown) – our school is closed entirely; however we will be endeavoring to deliver remote/distance learning programmes. Again we are able to draw on some of the learnings from earlier this year; some students thrived in this space; some were okay about it; some students were unhappy in this space. So it is a big challenge for us all – our staff, and our parents – to make the learning experiences authentic, manageable, engaging. We welcome feedback directly from parents about how things are for you in your whanau – each family is unique and it certainly is not our intention to overload the family at all, nor to under-deliver – hence feedback to our staff is so helpful. 

Like AL3, the focus of our school under AL4 will be on quality remote/distance learning programmes, care and support:

  • Schooling/learning - “Business as usual”: Remote/Distance learning
  • For the 1000 plus students of our school who are at home, or in their extended bubbles, learning will continue “as usual” – ie through our remote/distance learning platforms
  • Students are expected to be engaging in the learning, coming on-line at the right time when needed, completing the learning needed of them with support naturally from our staff and carers – our DPs will circulate information about what this will look like when/if we move into AL3
  • Students are expected to engage in our pastoral connections too – eg Learning Group time,
  • Students are welcome to continue to get support from our guidance team and can contact us through
  • We welcome feedback from students and families about how it is all going at any time, during AL4
In all this mahi we will be following the directions of the MoE and MoH – please keep in touch with us. 

We will continue to be in touch with whanau and students through our usual systems. If you are not getting any information from us, then our details to connect with you will need to be checked. Often cell phones and email addresses change – if yours has changed, let us know please.

So – in summary folks:
  • stay as safe as you possibly can
  • being with your whanau is really important so we are all able to draw on each other’s calmness, tolerance, support, aroha, …
  • take this virus really “seriously”
  • we can “stamp it out”
  • be kind and caring to those in and beyond our community who are experiencing the virus 
  • take the test whenever you can
  • use the Covid tracker/tracer app
  • keep in touch with our kura
  • ensure you take every precaution possible – mainly around hand/face hygiene and cough practice
  • practice KAURI at home too
  • prepare – get ahead of the game

As always if you have any concerns or queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kia kaha
Kia manawanui

John Wright
Ministry of Education Covid Response
All of New Zealand excluding Auckland region
Alert Level 2 applies from midday Wednesday 12th August 2020.
  • At Alert Level 2 it is safe for all students, children and staff to attend school and early learning. There will be appropriate precautions in place.
  • Children and staff who are at higher-risk of severe illness are encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home.
  • Please be alert to illness and ask anyone who is presenting as unwell to go home, or ask parents and caregivers to come and pick the child up. 
  • Messaging about good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette to be reinforced. 
  • Soap and water is very appropriate for washing hands, particularly if hand sanitiser stocks are low.
  • For schools, children, young people and staff should be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. There does not need to be a specific measurement but where practicable and reasonable 1 metre can be used as a guide, particularly between adults.
  • In early learning there does not need to be a measurable physical distance between children/ tamariki or children/tamariki and staff.  However adults should where practicable use 1 metre as a guide between themselves and other adults.
  • Physical distancing of 2 metres is recommended for parents and caregivers, from people they don’t know (to align with public health measures outside the school grounds).
  • School hostels will continue to operate for those boarders who are unable to safely return home. See the Alert Level 2 guidance for hostels as a reminder of what is required.
  • Support your community by displaying the QR code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App.
Please go to our guidance on our website for further details.
Masks are not required at schools and early learning services at Alert levels 2 and 3.  
TCDC Covid Response
As a result of the latest COVID-19 community outbreak, TCDC has set up the EOC and we are on standby should the situation escalate. We do anticipate that the situation could change rapidly therefore our advice is to prepare yourself and your communities to go to Level 3 and possibly level 4 once again.

Please see poster here that explains each level and its restrictions along with advice. 

Once again this will be a nationally lead response and I will endeavor to keep you as up to date as often as possible, on our local response.

CBACS and COVID Testing
Location of CBACs and mobile swabbing clinics is available
Waikato Secondary Schools Sports Assn. Covid Update
The Waikato Secondary Schools Sports Assn. Executive have conferred today to assess our secondary school sporting competitions over the upcoming weekend.

WSSSA wish to inform all members schools that we suspend all Secondary Schools Sports competitions until Monday 17th August and a review of this decision will be updated earlier next week or pending any government announcements on alert level status. This decision has taken into account the welfare of your students and minimizing the risk to your schools of further disruption of your academic year.

Some schools have already determined their students are unavailable this weekend due to the fluid and evolving COVID 19 situation, while others, schools and RSO’s have expressed concerns around the immediate impact for management of venues to enable Public Health requirements to be met especially those with multi courts and fields.

We know students will be disappointed and we will work with all parties to resume as soon as feasible.

For now we ask all schools and their community to follow updates at or on the Sports App “WSSS”
Middle Years Update
Many of our middle years students face issues with self-confidence and how to feel good about themselves. We spent a lot of time building their confidence to articulate their learning journeys at our recent student-led conferences. Today I overheard students talking about the possibility of going back into lockdown. One or two said they’d really like that but most said they’d hate to go back into lockdown and were really worried about it. 
In another conversation I heard our Yr 7 & 8’s discussing the possibility of not having x-country due to level 2 restrictions. One or two were unhappy about it and a number said they’d be happy as they were feeling really anxious about it.

It got me thinking about the number of stresses and anxieties our young people have to deal with every day. As adults we have our own stresses and forget the detrimental effects stress has on our children. Here’s what you can do to help your child in stressful situations:

1. Listen - really listen when they talk.
2. Try to understand the reasons for their stress and don’t trivialise it. 
3. Stop catastrophic thinking - when this occurs, validate their emotions by listening to them and come up with a solution.
4. Practice problem solving.
5. Work together to develop some stress managing techniques for example:
Playing, exercising, listening to music, laughter, meditation, mindfulness.

You can’t control stressful situations but you can control how your child will respond to them. 

Take care during these uncertain times. 

Jenny Bloom
Deputy Principal
Middle  Years
Primary News
Interest in Rōpu classes for 2021

As you are aware, a great deal of planning goes into organising our classes and classrooms to provide the best learning opportunities for our children and as such we need some information from you to help us plan effectively for 2021.

Our Rōpu  classes follow the same National Curriculum that the other classes follow, alongside Te Aho Arataki Marau (Curriculum Guidelines for Te Reo Māori in English-medium schools).  Links are made to kaupapa Māori and Tikanga Maori with an emphasis on building the level of Te Reo Māori being used through teacher instruction and student learning.

Please note that expressing an interest does not guarantee a place.

Interest in Years 5 and 6 Boys Class 2021

If you would like your son to be considered for a place in a Year 5 and 6 Boys class for 2021, please fill out the form below. (If your son is a Year 5 in the boys class in 2020, you will still need to complete this form)
Please note that expressing an interest does not guarantee a place.   

Ngā mihi,

Anne-Maree McDougall

Mercury Bay Area School
Deputy Principal (Primary Years)
Well-Being Whispers
A weekly parenting tip or quote provided by the Rangimarie well-being team.
This week our focus is on helping our younger children to deal with big emotions. 

This is always an important topic, but now with the recent developments of COVID spread and talks of another lock-down it is a timely reminder of how we as parents can support our young people who may be feeling worried, anxious or angry and scared. 
Parents and caregivers, you are the model for your children. You become the blueprint on how your child learns to manage his/her emotions.  If you respond calmly and thoughtfully when under stress chances are your child will too, but if you are anxious or impulsive that too may become the model your child adopts when feeling stressed. 

  • Express yourself in ways that do not harm yourself or others.
  • Help your child label his/her feelings.  Their behaviour is always in relation to their feelings, if they are angry, help them find the words for the feeling.  
  • Give attention and praise for appropriate behaviour.  If they are upset and angry acknowledge what they are feeling but assist them to express it in an appropriate manner.
  • Try to manage what information they are exposed to.  Feeling powerless is uncomfortable for adults, it can be completely overwhelming for children. 
  •  Always validate the feeling.  It’s okay to fee angry, sad, worried, scared, but what do we do when we feel like this? 
  • Have strategies ready for when your child is feeling these big feelings 
  1. Have quiet time
  2. Talk to someone you trust
  3. Play music
  4. Go for a walk
  • Above all, remain calm.
Stay tuned for more tips for parenting teens and children from our Well-Being team!
Foundation Class
Eye spy with my little eye: Reading today what sounds can we find! Ka Pai tamariki tumeke!!
Tower building continued during math through out the week. Their goal was to make the tower taller than Whaea Rahira. They succeeded and then continued to the roof! Whanaungatanga: working together through common interests. Turn taking and problem solving.
Room 17 
Room 17 have planted some micro greens and our hyacinth bulb is suddenly coming alive! 
Spring must be on its way....... our bulbs and seeds are growing!
Y3 & 4 Tournament
Year 3 & 4 classes have begun their Tapu Ae tournament (Traditional Māori game), where each week for 5 weeks they play against the different classes.  Tapu Ae allows us to better our throwing and catching skills as well as relating to the other year 3 & 4 classes.  These photos are from our first round and we had so much fun playing we can't wait till next week.
Vocal Lessons
Sasha Lim and Olympia Soanes bravely got up and sang Lady Gaga's Always Remember us This Way to two riveted classes of year 2 students this week. Very brave girls!
Y7/8 Wearable Arts
Year 7 and 8 students have begun their Technology and Visual arts unit called Wearable Arts.
Thank you to all the parents/caregivers who assisted the students with gathering their materials.
The students are using the Technological process to design and produce a garment over the next three weeks.
These will be revealed to the school community 
on Wednesday 2nd September in the school hall at 6pm.
  We understand this event may be postponed or cancelled 
due to changes to Alert Levels, however the creating 
and planning for the event is underway
By Robyn Fotheringham 
on behalf of all staff and students involved in this mahi
Hei 3/4 - Metal Technology
Half of THH at Metal Technology this week learning about the Technological process by designing and making animals made out of old utensils.
Hei 5 - Fabric Technology
Half of Hei 5 at Fabric Technology this week learning about the Technological process and mastering the use of sewing machines.
Hei 7 - Wood Technology
Hei 7 are learning in Wood Technology this term
They all made a box and now the year 7's are making a spice rack and the year 8's are making a cell phone speaker.
Transition to University in a Big City
A letter from an Ex-student, Nikita Russell
No matter what kind of personality you have, the thought of university is daunting. As a year 13 student, you are the “big” kids, you survived years 9 and 10, and then three years of NCEA. Being a fresher starting university, you’re back to being the youngest trying to learn the ropes which is intimidating. For me, the decision to uproot everything I knew and move almost 1,500km down the country to the University of Otago was not easy. I was terrified, there were so many unknowns. Would I like my course? Would the people in my hall be friendly? Would I get homesick? The question I found I kept asking myself was: should I have gone to Waikato university? It was much smaller, closer to home and where many of my friends were going. However now, almost halfway through semester two, I am confident that I made the right decision, no matter how terrified I was, I followed my gut instinct and I don’t think anything could convince me that the University of Otago isn’t the best New Zealand has to offer. 

There was no smooth transition for me, from living rurally in a small town to being one of almost 5,000 first-year students, at a university of 21,000 students. Mum and Dad dropped me off at the airport, then a shuttle picked me up in Dunedin and dropped me off at my hall in the middle of dinner, leaving me standing awkwardly in front of 173 of my new hall mates. Orientation week was a blur, mostly spent trying to remember names and match them to faces, although I will say that the Dunedin student culture lives up to its reputation. All my fears were erased, everyone was so friendly, I’d never met so many like minded people, the Dunedin campus is beautiful and I enjoyed attending lectures. However, this all came to an abrupt halt just 3 weeks later when covid-19 spread rapidly through New Zealand. The changes that came next were difficult, as I’m sure they were for everybody all over the country. In a span of just a few days, all our lectures went online. We were to maintain social distancing within the hall, no longer 100 people queuing for dinner at 5:30pm, there was floor by floor dining times with tape marking the floor allowing us to queue 1m apart. One person per table was so different from the jam-packed social dining room we had grown accustomed to. The university atmosphere became anxious and uncertain. When lockdown was announced the majority of us returned home. It was an interesting change, it felt as though my four weeks at university was just a camp. The online learning element of university meant we watched our lectures and practical demonstrations online, submitted reports online and then sat semester one exams online. The experience definitely wasn’t easy, but no-one in New Zealand had lockdown easy.

The teachers at MBAS had a significant role in shaping the way I looked at education, the wider world and where I wanted to fit into that. They reminded me that there’s a bigger picture to look at, Whitianga is only a small town, in a small country near the bottom of the world. University assignments and exams are far less cryptic than NCEA ones, if the lecturer says something is important then write it down - it will be on the exam because they write the questions. The marks you get reflect the time and effort you put into each assignment. While still in high school I would recommend having a go and doing the learning for those level 2 and 3 standards that you don’t particularly need, there’s nothing to lose but so much to gain. I had a tendency to opt-out of assessments or classes that I didn’t need the credits for, but if I had opted to do these it would have formed a solid base for a lot of the concepts that I found difficult throughout my first-year papers. For example, I didn’t particularly enjoy the chemistry standard in level 1 and therefore I didn’t take it at level 2 or 3. However now, a lot of my papers have some element of chemistry which means I have to put in a lot of extra time to understand the concepts. Just don’t be lazy like I was and listen to your teachers when they offer you extra standards or recommend particular exams. Besides this, NCEA level 3 is a solid foundation for your first year of university and MBAS uses this curriculum really well to prepare you. I personally wouldn’t say that the first year of university is a massive step up, it is just a completely different way of learning. Use the remainder of your year to make sure you know how to study. Developing a good work ethic and study habits now will make the transition much easier. This is something I didn’t learn at MBAS, but perhaps this is something that teachers can help more with. Self-directed study is crucial at university, not only for exams but on a daily basis. 

To prepare for university, the best advice I can give is to research what you want to study and where you want to go. If something feels right, go with it. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and step outside what is comfortable because that is when you will find yourself achieving best. Everyone at university is there because they want to be there, take advantage of that, educate yourself, not only about your studies but about the world. When I can’t find the motivation to get out of bed for an 8am lecture, I stop and take a moment to be grateful. Not only am I in one of a few places in the world where I can physically attend lectures in a currently covid free country but also for many people, the opportunity to attend university is something they can only dream of. To the current year 13’s, the application processes for courses, halls and scholarships is nerve-wracking but don’t let it stop you from appreciating your last year of high school with your friends. No matter where you go, what hall you get into or what you study you will have an incredible time. 

I want to take a moment to encourage the current year 12’s and 13’s to consider Otago university. Many students rule it out because it is too far away, I almost did too. The entire campus is located in one area, wherever you go, there are students, which makes for a fully immersive student culture that no other university has. If anyone has any questions about Otago, or university in general, feel free to email me:

To those applying to attend university in 2021 good luck and have fun!

Nikita Russell (2019 Y13 MBAS Student)
MBAS Weekly Sport Report
Senior A Netball defeated Rhi's team 56 v 29

Round 3 basketball games V Paeroa results:
Junior girls 17 v Paeroa 61
Junior boys 17 v Paeroa 57
Senior girls 60 v Paeroa 44
Senior boys 70 v Paeroa 45  
(Aplogies Senior boys results from Round 2 v HPC 80 v MBAS 68)

Senior Girls Football  defeated Te Awamutu College 14 v 1
Senior Boys Football drew 3 all with  Fraser High 

Rugby Girls First XV defeated Whangamata 77 v Nil
U15 Boys defeated HPC Black 40 v 15
First XV had a loss to Whangamata 24 v Nil
Mercury Bay Netball
Mercury Bay Netball Centre & MBAS hosted their first tournament in Whitianga last Sunday.  Teams travelled from Matamata, Paeroa, Coromandel & Manaia to enjoy a festival style day.  Mercury Bay Area School year 9/10 won their final & Senior A won their final.  Both teams will travel away together in September to play at the Netball Waibop Zone Tournament in Rotorua. 
Surfing Results
Congratulations to the surfers who have made the Coromandel Scholastic Surfing Team. The team will compete at the National Final against 11 other teams in October to be held in Kaikoura.  

U18 Ben Wharton
U14 Will Lockhart
U14 Alby Forsyth

Non travelling reserves - Sean Smith & Jac Forsyth
Brave The Shave!

Our school would like to raise money and make a difference by participating in Brave the Shave. We are running a school event on the 29th August 2020 where students and community members can brave the shave. Please help us by giving whatever you can using the 'Give Now' button. The more people that know about Brave the Shave, the greater the impact, so please also spread the word by sharing our page with your friends and family. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot to our students!

Y12 Business Competition
Hi guys, we are a  Y12 business class and we are running a competition for the Y4-13s.
To win the top prizes you will need to sell as many honey jars to your friends, family and neighbours to win. You will be given forms from your learning group teachers which you can fill out with the customers info and then email to us to place your order. The Y12's will then be giving the jars of honey as well as collecting the money. We will be coming around to each of your classes and sending out videos to give more information. Good luck!

You can order here.
Piano Lessons - Term 3 & 4
There are spaces for 7 students to start group piano/keyboard lessons for the remainder of the year. Lessons are in groups of 3, held in the music department.

Please email if you are keen to take up this opportunity.
Specialist Music Lessons - Term 3
Places available for beginner saxophone, clarinet and flute starting now.
Please contact to sign up.
Public Health Nurse
Kia Ora,
My name is Devyn Donoghue and I am the Public Health Nurse (PHN) for Mercury Bay Area School. The main aspect of my role as a PHN is to support, advise and provide health education for schools. I will be visiting MBAS fortnightly and look forward to working with the education/health team within the school, as well as the extended MBAS whanau.

Nga Mihi,

Devyn Donoghue
Public Health Nurse – Thames/Coromandel
Ph: 021 759 832
Community Notices
Swim Club AGM
20 August 7pm 
Swim Club AGM
Community Board Rooms, 10 Monk Street
Mercury Bay Athletics Club
Mercury Bay Athletics Club is looking for  Junior and Senior Coaches (training provided on the 19th September). 

Muster date 15th September 5.00pm at Whitianga Multi Sports Park. 

Contact Alana Baker for further information or to express interests to become a trainer we need more trainers to make our club nights possible. 
Free Holistic Fun!
Copyright © 2020 Mercury Bay Area School, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp