Address: 282 Victoria Avenue, Remuera, Auckland | Telephone: (09) 520 0602
E-mail: [email protected] | web:

Newsletter: Term 2 Week 7 – 14 June 2018

Dear Parents,

‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted’.  – Aesop

Google ‘quotes for kindness’ and thousands of quotes pop up. The gist of pretty much all of them is that not only will you make another person’s day brighter it will brighten your day as well.

The act of being kind has been on my mind all week. It was in the context of the kind words that were emailed to me to give lovely feedback about a person, being sent too late. Why too late? The person would have benefitted hearing those words of kindness much earlier. Those words could have calmed the stress the person was under. Those words would have helped cancel out the negative words sent by others to the person. Those words could have helped the person feel better about their situation. But when they did come, the person was not able to appreciate the words fully.

Being kind to someone is such an easy thing to do, but why is it we have to have an internet full of sayings, reminding us that being kind benefits us as well as the recipient of the kindness? Are we so caught up in the daily grind, that it is just easier to be negative or even rude? Are we offhand or even neutral because the very act of being kind forces us to engage on a personal level with another?

If someone is kind to us, are we even open enough to accept it? Does someone being kind to us make us feel mildly uncomfortable? Do we even believe their kind words? If we are the recipients of a random act of kindness, do we view it suspiciously, wondering what the angle is?

Go to the NZ Herald website and search ‘mental health’. There are many, many articles about the levels of mental health in New Zealand. If you google ‘mental health in children NZ’, again, many articles pop up. Social media, emails, texts can be vehicles of unkindness and the impact on the recipient is huge. So why am I talking about kindness in the context children’s mental health?

Our children know how to be kind to others, I see it every day. Children helping a friend with a grazed knee to sickbay. Children comforting each other if they are upset. Children telling me nice things (I like your lipstick!). Watch them at cross country and see how much they encourage each other. I don’t worry for those children’s mental health. They obviously know the effects of being kind to others. Sadly, I know there are children who have perhaps not been on the receiving end of kindness themselves and who struggle to know how to be kind to others. It is not that they are naughty, they just haven’t the resilience to be kind. They are so busy surviving that being kind to others is just too hard. They don’t think kindly of themselves. These are the ones I worry about. These are the ones that become statistics.

Genuine kindness given before it is needed is a powerful thing. The effect of a single random act of kindness or kind words – to a stranger, to your partner, to your children, to your child’s teacher should never be underestimated. Do it now.

Union Meeting Wednesday, 27 June – Children to be Collected at 12.30pm

Under the collective agreement, teachers are entitled to two union meetings a year. The issue being discussed at the meeting is the rate of pay for teachers and the amount government is offering as a pay rise.

We are very sorry that parents are being inconvenienced two weeks in a row, the timing of the union meeting is unfortunate as it has been scheduled so close to our interviews.

Triadic Parent – Child – Teacher Interviews 4, 5 July – School will finish at 2pm on Wednesday 4 July

 Last week I outlined the new reporting system. The first of the new way of doing things is coming up in the last week of term when we will be holding triadic interviews. This means that your child will actually be leading the interview so they have to come along.

Your role is to ask your child questions about their learning (more about that next week) and the teacher is there as a guide. At that interview, you will be given a printout of your child’s achievement against expectation for reading, writing and maths.

 As this is the first time we have undertaken student led conference / interview, the children have all been practising how to share their learning and they are all looking forward to talking about their learning.

If you have more than one child, they can either wait outside or come into the classroom and sit quietly in the reading corner.

It is essential that your child accompany you to their interview.

Grandparents Day

What a fantastic turnout of grandparents! The children loved having their grandparents or special people in their lives come to visit them at school. Even the children whose grandparents weren’t able to make it enjoyed being in the company of all the grandparents. Very special.

Huge thanks to all our volunteers for making the day run so smoothly, we really appreciate you helping.

Book Fair

The book fair was a huge success, with $13,414 worth of books being sold throughout the week. The commission the school receives from Scholastic Books will be used to upgrade library shelving and to buy new books. Jane Clark, our librarian was thrilled at the result and was especially grateful to the 7 volunteers who coped with the crowds very well.

Staff News

Tessa Fastnedge in year 5, room 4 is taking maternity leave at the end of term. Sara Weatherall who has done a lot of relieving at VAS will take over at the beginning of term.

Rachael Wilcock has decided not to return to VAS at the end of her maternity leave. We were very lucky in employing Aniel Smith, who had been teaching St Cuthberts, to cover Rachael’s leave. Sadly, St Cuthberts have lured Aniel back. The good news is that we have employed a specialist PE teacher Robert King. Robert is a New Zealander who has been working as a PE / sport specialist in Australia and he comes highly recommended. He starts at the beginning of term 3.

Victoria Taylor is leaving at the end of the term to start her OE by travelling to the northern hemisphere for their summer. Her plans have left us all feeling very jealous! The teacher shortage in Auckland is critical and at this stage we have not yet found a suitable teacher despite advertising twice and approaching two teaching employment agencies. I refuse to employ someone who is not up to the VAS standard as this can have a detrimental effect on children. At this stage, it looks likely that there may be an interim period where one of our part time teachers or one of our relievers may have to teach for a few weeks until a permanent placement is found. I am very unhappy about the teacher shortage, but all of the schools in the Remuera Principals’ Association are in the same situation as us; scrambling to find quality teachers. The Ministry of Education are aware of the critical situation in Auckland, but sadly just being aware of it isn’t helping schools.
I will keep you posted.

Our Uniform Shop Manager, Kate Wood is returning to Australia at the end of this term and we have employed Lisa Toon, another VAS parent for the role.


Just a reminder that girls can wear the VAS long trousers if the wish. Please ensure that socks and tights are plain black, navy or white. Beanies are appropriate to wear to and from school and VAS beanies are available from the uniform shop. I am seeing all manner of novelty beanies being worn inside during schooltime. These styles of beanies are OK for to and from school but are really more suitable for weekend wear!

Please, please, clearly name every item of uniform.

Kind Regards
Janice Adamson

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DRAMA/SPEECH LESSONS: Click here for information
MUSIC LESSONS: Click here for information on Musiqhub music lessons

FOR TERM 2 2018
Click here for details on these activities.
Click here
for After School and Holiday Community Based Programmes and Activities for 2018

What’s Ahead?
Please click here to view our online calendar


School Times
School starts:      8.50am
Interval:             10.30-10.50am
Lunch:               12.30-1.25pm
School finishes:   3.00pm

School Times
School starts:      8.50am
Interval:             10.30-10.50am
Lunch:               12.30-1.25pm
School finishes:   3.00pm

Term Dates for 2018

Term 1: Wednesday 7 February to Friday 13 April 2018
~ Waitangi Day Tuesday 6 February ’18
~ Good Friday 30 March
~ Easter Monday 2 April
~ Easter Tuesday 3 April
Term 2: Monday 30 April to Friday 6 July 2018
~ Queen’s Birthday Monday 4 June ’18
Term 3: Monday 23 July to Friday 28 Sept 2018
Term 4: Monday 15 October to Thursday 20 December 2018
~ Labour Day Mon 22 October ’18

Term Dates for 2019

Term 1: Monday 4 February to Friday 12 April 2019
~ Waitangi Day Wednesday 6 February ’19
~ Good Friday 19 April
~ Easter Monday 22 April
~ Easter Tuesday 23 April
Term 2: Monday 29 April to Friday 5 July 2019
~ Queen’s Birthday Monday 3 June ’19
Term 3: Monday 22 July to Friday 27 Sept 2019
Term 4: Monday 14 October to Wednesday 18 December 2019
~ Labour Day Mon 28 October ’19

Stationery Sales
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 8.30-8.45am

Uniform Shop
– half way up dragon drive in the old dental clinic

OPEN FRIDAYS only: 8.15-8.45am
Orders and payments for uniform can be made online on our website ~ Click here

Lunch Orders
1. ‘Daily Lunch and Catering’ ordered through ezLUNCH: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays – ONLINE ORDERS ONLY
Click here  for term 2 menu and for Pita Pit click here.
Join ezlunch today  and Place an order  Sushi is available through Daily Lunch and Catering
2. Pita Pit: ordered through ezLUNCH: Thursdays – ONLINE ORDERS ONLY
Join ezlunch today  and Place an order
3. Subway: Wed and Fri – ONLINE ORDERS ONLY
Register to order online at

School Dental Service
8b Ngaio St Orakei Ph 520 0603.

The dental team will be posting letters to all new entrants to our school as required.

 Remember to ‘like’ Victoria Avenue School on Facebook.facebook_like_small

PLEASE, PLEASE CHECK FOR NITS – a number of classes have reported nits and if your infected child is not treated then many others will be!
Here is a link from NZ Health for info and treatment.

VAS School App

To download the app for free on iPhone or Android click this link.


Friday after school

A big thank you to rooms 5 and 6 who raised $501 last week. Thank you to everyone who baked and helped out at the stall – the kids love their end of week treat so it’s lovely to have such a great display of baking for them to choose from.

From this Friday at the Bake Sale, we will also have the VAS Eco Bags available. These are $12 each or two for $20.

Volunteers needed please – Food for New Entrant Morning Tea

On Thursday 5 July we will be holding the New Entrant Parent Information Session and Morning Tea. This is an important occasion for new families – if you are able to bring a plate please email [email protected] . We need a mix of sweet, savoury, child and adult friendly food. Thanks!

Grandparents’ Day – Thank You
What a wonderful morning we had on Grandparent’s Day. Thank you so much to all of the VAS parents that contributed to help make the morning so successful. Thank you to the bakers and suppliers of sweet and savoury treats – the food was top notch and the Grandparents noticed! Thank you to all the helpers on the day – those in the kitchen, serving in the hall, giving directions, helping in the library, setting up and packing down – amazing effort by all.  And a special thanks to Sarah Reid who organised the food, set up, service and hire as well as providing the beautiful flowers; to Bridget Snelling who seamlessly coordinated communications and organised our volunteers; and to Kristin Williams for organising our meet and greeters and Karina Richards for her support on the day. We are so lucky to have such a supportive parent community and it was fantastic to see such a great turn out of grandparents for the occasion!

Parent Helpers:

Susan Arndt, Kate McIvor, Rozy Williamson, Josie S Xu, Annick Larkin, Diana Thomson, Ana Junqueira, Alvaro Junqueira, Judith Bassett, Lisa Toon, Kylie Hotham, Bridget Snelling, Sarah Reid, Nicky Pennington, Amanda Blenkinsop, Inga Frengley, Tiffany Smith, Kristin Williams, Kate Boyden, Melanie Lethborg, Sue Underdown, Kath Fippard, Jo Herrod, Sarah MacKenzie, Annette Oldfield, Shannan Webber, Karina Nicholson, Anne Handley, Susannah Barratt-Boyes

Lost Glasses

One of our year 3 students lost his glasses last Thursday. They have a black plastic frame and could potentially be in an H&M bag. If you find these please deliver to Room 21.

Epipen School Offer from one of our Parents:  $135 including delivery to school – $5 donated to school for each delivery!

As a mum and a pharmacist I understand that epipens can be expensive. I can personally deliver your epipen (which is temperature sensitive) to the school office. This ensures the medication is not exposed to temperature fluctuations within the courier van and saves you time and hassle. We provide the latest expiry dating and we can tell you the current one when contacting us. Deliveries will be done on a weekly basis during school term. Discount available for 2 or more pens. For more information, please contact [email protected]