MBAS Newsletter, Term 1, Week 5

Term 1, Week 5, 6th March 2020
A great day for Y9-13 Athletics
Check out the latest Plane build here

Diary Dates 

Kia Ora – Greetings to you all

Mid-way Term 1
Indeed, the close of this week will see us midway through term 1 – and it seems to have zipped along at a blur. We know whanau/families are really busy out there and this is reflected too inside our school. There are the usual flurry of events at the start of the year for all of our students, and we, as educators, are super keen to ensure that we have really good learning programmes that engage our young people. All this adds up to a really busy start to the year and a challenge too for us all to keep our eyes also on the key goal of effective learning and achievement.

There also have been some unsettling incidences this year that are of considerable concern to me. The first (in our Senior Years) is around the sharing of images through cell phones. Regardless if the images are created during or outside the school day the practice is unlawful, regardless of age; the Harmful Digital Communications Act is really clear about this. We do and will treat this really seriously. The major impact of this kind of behaviour is the huge disruption to effective learning. Please take time to go through the impact of this Act with your child (Y7-13 in particular). It appears students simply do not connect with the seriousness of spreading images. Students who persist in improper digital communications affecting the learning and self-esteem of others will be unable to bring their digital device to school. I am working through how this would be implemented. We are clear, and our young people know this, that phones need and should be used for constructive purposes. 

We have also had some significant disruption through poor behaviour in some of our classes. Again, we are really clear that there is nothing more important than effective learning and achievement in a safe learning environment, not only for our young people but for our staff too. We believe we have made our expectations very clear; and ongoing poor behaviour, disrespect and disruption will lead to serious consequences for our young people.

Whilst the vast majority of our students are well focussed at the start of this year, we have some students who are simply not meeting our expectations. If you have any queries about this please contact our Deputy Principals, Assistant Principals or me.

We are well aware of all the information that is circulating from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education around Covid-19.  We are being informed regularly on how things are “developing” across NZ. At this stage I am unaware of any students or families that are exposed to Covid-19.  Much of the information coming out is how to keep ourselves as safe as possible. The rules, at home and at school, are pretty simple. 
We will be installing more soap dispensers too to help lift our hygiene practices in our school. Following these “rules” is really good hygiene for us all to practice: 
  •  Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  •  Covering coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or with an elbow
  •  Putting used tissues in the bin
  •  Encouraging staff and students to stay home if they are unwell
You will be aware that advice from Health asks everyone to wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure you dry them thoroughly. Singing Happy Birthday twice, slowly should take about 20 seconds. To assist with this messaging, there are a couple of useful videos from the National Health Service (UK) that might help teach good hand washing techniques:
Covid-19 is a notifiable disease and we will follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health regarding any development which may affect our school. A key point for us all – if you feel unwell, or a student feels unwell; then stay home until you feel well again.
The final word on Covid-19 – my request is that if you have a child who is unwell, please keep them at home until they become well. Communicate with us anytime for support or information, and remember there is a substantial amount of information already published through the MoE and MoH. 

If you have any queries (and feedback) please do not hesitate to contact me at or any of our Senior Leadership Team.

Kind regards 
Ka kite ano

John Wright
M10 - Baking
This is M10 baking scones in the Wharekai - we were looking at change and how they grew as they cooked due to the baking powder.
Y9-13 Athletics
Just as we congregated to head for our year 9-13 Athletics day the heavens opened up!  This did not deter from our fantastic day filled with colour & energy and couple of records broken.

New Records:
Josh Markowski - 3000m 12.45 
Isabelle Jury -  Highjump 1.55m
Sally Mills - Javelin 27.91
Kodi Bale -  Highjump  1.76m
Sienna Hansen - Highjump 1.44m
Olivia Outterside - Discus  24.17m

Tainui 750
Matahourua 609
Buffalo  493
Mercury 470
Full Results
Specialist Music
Specialist music lessons have kicked off really well for the year, and I have to say it's the first time I've ever had a young musician turn up to their lesson with a butterfly on their shoulder! Pictured are Courtney Hall, Savarna Brightwell, Alexi Moses, Lucas McDonald and Lucy Thackray.
Yvette Audain
Learning Support Camp
Learning Support Whangapoua Camping Trip
Celeste Reed kindly hosted the learning support team on our first ever camping trip. For many of the students with complex and challenging needs this was a first to spend two days away from loved ones and in a tent! What fun was had, swimming, fishing (unfortunately not enough for dinner), hiking, watching dolphins play in the bay, dancing and singing. The strengthening relationships between staff, students and parents was fabulous, as we all know the stronger those relationships are the better outcomes there are for the students we work with.
Karen Johansen (Learning Support Coordinator)

It was a pleasure and a privilege to host MBAS Learning Support Beach Camp last week. Our aim was to provide the students with an opportunity to experience kiwiana summer camping, embracing the diverse range of neurological and physical impairments they each live with. Students were challenged with many new experiences and enjoyed a fun filled few days of swimming, fishing, walking, kayaking, dance-athon and a particularly spectacular game of statues! It was an absolute joy to observe their group dynamic, especially the care and compassion they have for each other. The acceptance and celebration of each other’s diversity and the kindness they all exhibited can be credited to the incredible staff who facilitate their learning experiences. The K.A.U.R.I matrix is rich within learning support. Kia Ora whanau, we look forward to next year’s camp with enthusiasm. On behalf of all parents we congratulate you on a successful camp and our deepest gratitude for all that you do.
Celeste Reed (Parent)
Hei 7 Snorkelling trip
As part of our Oceans integrated unit we have been learning about New Zealand's Marine Reserves and how to snorkel. After practising in the school pool we were ready for the ocean. 
We left Whitianga by 9am on Thursday 27th February and headed for Gemstone Bay in Te Whanganui a Hei Marine Reserve. The showers cleared as we neared Hahei and the rest of the day was sunny, hot and calm. 
The sea was warm, but the swell did build from 1m to 1.5m and the visibility was quite murky. 
We all managed to see seaweed, snapper and divers below us. Some of us also saw stingrays, crayfish, blue maomao, red hoki, cod and kina.
All of us were in buddies and we went in at least twice and some of us were snorkelling almost all day long. There were some tourists snorkelling as well.
We really appreciated the support of 13 adults and Mrs Fotheringham who drove us and accompanied us on the rocks and in the water.

Hei 7 
Te Hā o Hei’s Field Trip to Rings Beach Wetland
This term the students in Te Hā o Hei are exploring habitats related to the hydrosphere. Our first trip was to Rings Beach where we met with a group of wonderful volunteers who are part of the Rings Beach Wetland Restoration Trust. They are Ian McDonald, John Mahoe, Jules and Ann. The student’s read articles related to the groups work and then formulated questions around…
What motivated them to protect an area like the Rings Beach wetland.
The work they are doing to eradicate wilding pines and pests.
What actions they are taking to restore the native fauna and flora. 
What types of native plants and animals are found in wetland areas and specifically to Rings Beach?

The students made connections between the different traps and pests the Wetland trust are targeting to our own Robinson Road trap line where we are targeting mustelids, and rodents to protect the spoonbill colony and other estuary inhabitants. 

Te Hā o Hei would like to thank the wonderful parents who transported our students and supervised tramping groups, and also the volunteers who gave up their time to speak with us about their passion for recreation and conservation and for walking with us around the loop track. 
Thames Valley Triathlon
Thames Valley Primary & Secondary School Triathlon.
Cooks Beach Tuesday 31 March.
Enter as a team or individual. 
To register see Leisa at her office near the courts.
Secondary Schools Basketball
Coaches, Managers, Referee’s & Scorebench required for Seondary Schools junior girls, junior boys, senior girls, senior boys for 2020 TV Friday night league. Send your expression of interest to Leisa @
2020 Beginner Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute Lessons
There are places available in the MBAS Specialist Music Lesson programme for this year. Please email Leo Magri with any interest at
Claiming a Tax Credit for Donations
There's no need to complete a paper form this year because you can now claim donation tax credits online in a myIR account, Inland Revenue's secure online service.
  • You'll receive your refund much sooner.
  • Your receipts can be electronic receipts, or photos or scans or paper receipts.
  • Your receipts can be uploaded anytime during the year.
You can find more information on
Any donations paid to school will show on your statement each month.
Community Notices

Discover the plants and animals that live in your neighbourhood.
Auckland Museum staff along with research partners are busy counting the number of species that live in your backyard. Have they changed since being recorded by the Endeavour crew 250 years ago?
Come along to Tiaki Mauri BioBlitz and see some of the discoveries made including plant, animal and fungi specimens, talk to our experts, and find out how archaeology contributes to our understanding of the environment.
Mercury Bay Day Camp 2020
Registrations open Monday 9th March here:
Mercury Bay Gym Club

Are you an ex gymnastics coach or keen past gymnast? 
Would you love to spare one afternoon a week and help your local club out? 
We are looking for a new head coach for Term 2 and 3 - Monday’s 3.30pm to 6.30pm
We have lots of budding gymnasts and keen parent helpers ready to go!
If you can help we would love to hear from you please email
Football Registration 2020
Wonder Project - Rocket Challenge
Calling all scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians – we need your help!

Some of our students will be taking part in the Wonder Project Rocket Challenge in Term 2. It’s an amazing programme designed to get young Kiwis excited about STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths. The programme pairs STEM professionals with teachers to deliver the learning and we need more volunteers to help our kids design, build and launch water rockets!

Keen to help? It only requires 1 hour a week for 6–8 weeks during Term 2. The Wonder Project team will provide you with training and all the resources, including a rocket kit, a rocket launcher and all the teaching modules.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to guide young people on the Rocket Challenge. We are looking for passionate and committed professionals working in STEM fields who want to make a real difference – and inspire wonder in the minds of young people in their community.

Register online at
Nurturing Young Minds
Hi there friends,

We have an exciting announcement to make…Nurturing Young Minds Foundation has created a FREE ‘Mind Body & Soul Holistic Fun for Kids’ session at the Whitianga Town Hall on Mondays between 4-5pm.

NYM has been looking at their next step in supporting an opportunity for our local youth and a way for them to experience a selection of holistic practises & wellness techniques.

This is now a happening thing! And is kindly being supported voluntarily by some amazing local practitioners & facilitators. We are blessed to  have so many talented people who are kindly offering their expertise & time freely to introduce young people to their worlds & passions. A flyer & timetable of sessions is attached to this email.

These FREE sessions are being made available to encourage our young people to experience first-hand a variety of life enriching techniques that can support their daily lives.

We have been loaned 20 yoga mats by Hahei Motor Camp to help those who do not have access to their own yoga mats and to get this initiative going next week.

BYO Yoga mat if you can & water bottle. If you could also make sure your child wears suitable clothes.

We will sign each child in and expect parents to collect their child/ren promptly at 5pm after sign out.

Sessions will be held on Mondays throughout school term-time unless otherwise advised of changes. Watch out on Whiti ChitChat for updates.

Please email or call Alex 0275643636 with enquiries.
Beach Hop to visit Whitianga
Once again Repco Beach Hop will be visiting Whitianga on Thursday 26 March.  

There will be road closures in place, Esplanade, Blacksmith Lane and Albert St from the corner of Lee Street and down to Hannan Road.  The road closures will commence from 8.00am.  The cars will arrive in Whitianga at approximately 10.30, assemble at Buffalo Beach Reserve and then make their way into town, along the waterfront, into the Esplanade and doing the loop down Blacksmith Lane and into Albert Street. 

Last year we had just under 800 cars in Whitianga on the day, we are looking at having at least that this year.  A great day for our retailers and cafés/restaurants to really get behind this event and make the most out of our visitors!!
Mercury Bay Athletics Club
Seth Smith Scooter Comp Fundraiser
🛴Whitianga Mini Scooter comp🛴

Message @whiti.scootz to register
  • Dates: 14th of March 2020
  • Time: Starts at 10:00am be their by 9:00 to sign in
  • Categories:
            5 & under
            7 & under
            9 & under
            10 & under
            11 & under
            12 & under
            13 & under
            14 & under
            Opens 15 years and up

Must register by the 11 of March, Entry fee $5 - Pay on the day
You get two 50 second runs
There will be drinks and a sausage sizzle on the day
Anyone may come along to the support the riders
All the money raised will help towards Seth trip to Melbourne Asa scooter competition in May 2020.

PM: Please register before 11th March with name & age group
Thanks Karyn
Pauanui Half Marathon
The organisers of the upcoming Pauanui Half Marathon (21st March) are keen to run a Secondary Schools Challenge for both Students and Teachers as part of the 10km event.  

For the Pauanui Half Marathon 10km - Student - High School Challenge trophy students category:

Each school can enter a team of 3(minimum) – 10 (no maximum - can enter as many of they want) students in the 10km distance.  The top 3 finishers from their team will have their times added together and the Secondary School with the fastest combined time across the first 3 finishers will win the Pauanui Half Marathon 10km - Student - High School Challenge trophy + $250 for their school.

Pauanui Half Marathon 10km - Teaching Staff - High School Challenge trophy

The can also offer the exact same set up as above for teachers, staff, school coaches and perhaps even parents of the school. Dubbed the Pauanui Half Marathon 10km - Teaching Staff - High School Challenge trophy.

The cost to enter is normally $45.00 but any schools wishing to be involved – the entry fee can be brought down to $30.00 per entrant. 

Anyone wishing to enter please contact Leisa for further entry information.
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