Sunday, 4 March 2018

Thank you!

A big thank you to everyone who helped us get our school up and running after Cyclone Gita.
Together at Brooklyn is our motto, but I love that we live it!

Update on Room Sunflower

     Growing together2018  Room Sunflower

Dear parents / caregivers,
Time for an update on our term so far.

Well, it certainly has been eventful with Cyclone Gita putting a stop to our swimming activities for the foreseeable future and preventing us from enjoying our green spaces! Thank you to all of you for your support, in clearing our school, looking after children, baking etc, we really are so very fortunate to have such an amazing community of people all working together to get our school up and running again. Can I ask please that the children wear footwear to school to protect them from the lime and mud that is still around outside?

Our Literacy Rotations are up and running really well. The students are fully engaged in their activities. We will go to the town library in week 6 to get some new books to inspire us. Feel free to rotate books / comics from home, I will ask the children to bring home ones they have finished and we are accessing our school library weekly on a Monday morning.

The students have been assessed and given spellings to work on each week. Starting this week, they will write these down in a spelling notebook for them to practise at home, if possible.
In school we are working on them in a variety of ways:
·      writing them in sentences,
·      working on their meanings,
·      completing worksheets looking at their sounds
·      learning the rules that are associated with them
·      playing a variety of computer games designed to help them remember them on the STEPS programme
·      playing a board game using them with a teacher aide

I know the children and yourselves are very busy with many activities after school but reading regularly with your child and encouraging them to be independent learners, practising their spellings would be fantastic.

We have started a new topic this week. We are going on a Virtual Field Trip with the LEARNZ team! What this means is that the students will be following a group of scientists as they explore the marine environment on our doorstep, looking at the theme of Sustainable Seas. We will do lots of reading about the subjects covered, take part in online activities, watch videos and our class has been lucky enough to be selected to be a “speaking school” live on a web conference on Wednesday at 2pm, asking questions we have come up with, which will be broadcast around the country! We have sent an ambassador to represent us, “Aqua” the little blue penguin and he will have his own page that we can read and look at to feel fully involved. Here is the link for you to have a look at with your child at home.

An extra task the class thought would be fun to do is take on the Plastic Challenge. Follow this link:

Click on Why is plastic so bad for sea creatures? and watch the video to find out more.
Write down every time you use a piece of plastic for a whole day.

We will continue our inquiry into the marine environment up till Week 8, following the children’s passions and interests and the theme of healthy seas, healthy people. We then break for Easter and for the last 8 days of term Mr Andrews and Mr Kemp will be teaching Room Sunflower as I am on leave, the topic focus will be on the Commonwealth Games being held in Australia for those two weeks.

As always, feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss your child’s needs, my email is

Kind regards,

Kat Rayson

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Why did we choose Room Sunflower?

Why Room Sunflower?

We choose Room Sunflower because
Sunflowers could come in different
sizes, like us. Also Sunflowers are attracted
to the sun. We thought that we are like
Sunflowers because we are attracted
to our learning. We grow and learn together.

Cyclone Gita is on the way!

Today we have sent home a notice to let you know that due to where Cyclone Gita is projected to track at the moment; we have been advised to close the school tomorrow, Tuesday 20th Feb.

So, keep safe and we will see you on Wednesday.

Kind regards,

Kat Rayson

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Be at Brooklyn Information for parents

     Growing together2018  Room Sunflower

Class teacher: Kat Rayson
Class Teacher Release: Darrin Andrews
Teacher Aide: Tonya Barrier

Routine: I believe that children thrive in an environment where clear routines and expectations are delivered. A timetable for the week and a visual timetable for the day is clearly displayed in the classroom. This will change with the seasons, for example swimming may be replaced with sports once the pool is closed. We have a class treaty of expectations that the students decided on and have signed up to.

Daily 5 / Reading / Writing: This is how I organise my literacy time to maximise my teaching opportunities with each child. It takes time to set up the routines for success at the start of the year but will pay off in the children’s increased independence and engagement.

Browsing Book Boxes: Students are asked to regularly bring in books/magazines/comics from their home collection, which they love to read and add them to their personal browsing box of books. We are creating a box of books which are a ‘good fit’ for each student meaning that they are books the child enjoys browsing through, reading to themselves or sharing with others. 

Spelling: Spelling lists will be worked on every day in class through our class literacy programme. Words are sourced from the essential spelling lists, the children’s writing, topic work and the ‘Steps to Literacy’ Programme. They will do worksheets, computer games, group games with a teacher aide. Also, I like to use our spelling to practise our sentence structure skills weekly, working on our grammar and more complex punctuation use.

Library day: is Monday afternoon. I would also like to go into Motueka every three weeks to visit the town library in order to extend the student’s reading and author choices. We will utilise the big school bus in order to make this happen.

Maths: This year we are staying in our class for maths. The students will be assessed and placed into differentiated groups. We will be doing basic facts practise every day to reinforce their number knowledge and will also be doing a weekly problem solving session where they can apply the strategies they know.
Keeping up their speed and accuracy in maths is essential too. I will send home their studyladder and sumdog usernames and passwords so they can practise at home in a fun way.

Sports: Our class will also be involved in some sporting activities around the region as part of the Motueka School Cluster.
Term 1 Swimming Sports and Summer Tournament.
Term 2 Gymnastics and Cross country. 
Term 3 Winter Tournament. 
Term 4 Athletics.
Dates for these events are still to be finalised.

Homestudy: We have changed our approach to homework at Brooklyn. We are all aware of how busy our parents and students are with after school activities and sports.
If there is a research task or work that needs to be finished, I will send this home on a needs to be completed basis.
It is expected that your children will be encouraged to read at home both with you and to you to keep those literacy skills sharp!

Repsonsibilities: If your child is unwell or unable to attend school, please let the school office know as soon as possible. I want to encourage the students to become more independent learners, so I will be expecting them to organise their own property and resources. So far, they are doing an amazing job!  Hats and sunscreen need to be worn at school during these hot summer days. I have class sunscreen available for those who wish to top up after a swim. It is expected that all students take part in swimming lessons, so togs and towel need to be brought every day please or a note to explain why they are unable to complete their lesson for that day.

Assembly: Every Friday @ 2:30 pm in the school hall, all parents, family and friends are welcome to come celebrate with us.

Clothing: Please ensure that all clothing is named. If your child has misplaced an item, the first place to look is the lost property box that is situated outside the hall.  Lost property is put out on display at the end of the month and any that is not claimed is given away to charity. Any named items found will be returned to the family.

Communication: Communication is key. It is how we ensure the best outcomes for our students. I am available every morning from 8.30 – 9.00 should you need to discuss anything with me, and again after school from 3.00 to 3.30. You can also contact me via my email or leave a message with the school office that you would like me to call you.  As a school, we are looking into aligning our communication efforts. I hope to be implementing a similar system to Class Dojo that enables clear and prompt communication directly with you and the opportunity to see and comment on your child’s learning. More on this in the future when it is finalised.

UK trip: Don’t panic! I am not suggesting that we save all our pennies and send the kids to the UK for camp! I need to inform you that I have taken leave for the last 2 weeks of this term, (which is only 8 teaching days due to our Easter break.) I will be travelling to the UK to visit family and be back for the start of Term 2. Mr Kemp and Mr Andrews will be covering my class during this time so the children will be taught by familiar faces who know our routines and expectations.

I look forward to working with you and your child this year.

Thanks for your support!

Kat Rayson