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

Newsletter: Term 3 Week 6 – 29 August 2019

Dear Parents,

As part of our ongoing cycle of review, we are currently looking at the VAS local curriculum with a view to designing a new curriculum. Our current overview was developed in 2013 and designed to be reviewed in 2019 ready for 2020.

As you know, our lives in New Zealand have changed, the world has changed, some of our current new entrants weren’t even born when this overview was developed, the VAS cultural makeup has changed since 2013 so we need to ensure that our local curriculum is responsive to the needs of our children.

The New Zealand Curriculum is a clear statement of what is deemed important in education. Our local curriculum is the way that we bring the NZ Curriculum to life in our school. As part of this review process we use these Ministry guidelines as to what a ‘good’ local curriculum looks like when it is well designed:

  • Principals and teachers, along with the community, can show what they want their students to learn and how their curriculum is designed to achieve this
  • Learning is personalised and inclusive; taking into account students’ aspirations, interests, identities, languages and cultures
  • The long view is taken: each student’s ultimate success is more important that the coverage of particular achievement objectives
  • It is manageable and realistic

It is interesting that some of the ways we delivered topics is also now being questioned in the light of a lack of evidence that the approach has any impact on student achievement. Even the notion of ‘coverage’ has changed with the Ministry of Education now saying that we don’t have to ‘cover’ every achievement objective in the New Zealand Curriculum when six years ago we were expected to do this.

It is always healthy to review and be open to change; to have the hard discussions around our way of doing things. Through doing this, we will be responsive to children’s needs, not reactive to what is presented to us.

When teachers are planning a topic or new ways of doing something, I always pay attention to the ‘wriggle factor’. Yes, this is a ‘thing’! When teachers get excited about something, they sit up in their chairs, wriggle with enthusiasm, wave their hands about, talk nineteen to the dozen. I am always able to gauge whether something will fly or not based on my observation of wriggle or lack of wriggle!

I can tell you that there was lots of wriggle happening when we had our meeting about re designing our local curriculum and an excitement from teachers realising that they could collectively let go of self-imposed expectations and barriers that teachers had imposed on themselves.

So what will the VAS local curriculum look like? Still a work in progress, but what I can say is that I want our children to be immersed in science and technology and music and art and reading and writing and maths and social sciences (studies) and languages and NZ / global / environmental events and issues. I want learning to be relevant and responsive, to be challenging. I want the wriggle from our children.

There is a saying “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got”.

Time to be responsive.

If you’ve got thoughts or ideas about our local curriculum development, please email them to me. The more input we get from parents, the richer our local curriculum will be.

Quiz Night

The teachers are all looking forward to pitting themselves against parents at our annual Quiz Night next Friday 6 September. We love the 90s theme and costume discussions are happening every day in the staffroom. If you haven’t been to a VAS Quiz Night, then you’re in for a treat! Get your tickets now.

Reporting to parents survey

You were emailed this week regarding the review of our reporting to parents system. Don’t forget to take the survey on this before 3pm tomorrow –

Kind Regards

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

FOR TERM 3 2019
Click here for details on these activities.
Click here
for After School and Holiday Community Based Programmes and Activities for 2019

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

Term Dates for 2019

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

Term Dates for 2020

Term 1: Tuesday 4 February to Thursday 9 April 2020
~ Waitangi Day Thursday 6 February ’20
~ Good Friday 10 April
~ Easter Monday 13 April
~ Easter Tuesday 14 April
~ ANZAC Day Monday 27 April
Term 2: Tuesday 28 April to Friday 3 July 2020
~ Queen’s Birthday Monday 1 June ’20
Term 3: Monday 20 July to Friday 25 Sept 2020
Term 4: Monday 12 October to Wednesday 16 December 2020
~ Labour Day Monday 26 October ’20

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 ezlunch  and Subway menus.
Join ezlunch today  and Place an order  Sushi is available through Daily Lunch and Catering
2. Subway: ordered through ezLUNCH: – ONLINE ORDERS ONLY
Click here for ezlunch  and Subway menus.
Join ezlunch today  and Place an order

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.

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


Quiz Night 

Friday 6 September

Collect Yummy Fruit Company stickers (you can find them on apples and fruit) so that Victoria Avenue School can win a share of $200,000 free DG Sport sports gear!

  1. Place the Yummy stickers on the sticker collection sheets and / or
  2. Place the cut-out Yummy labels (from fruit bags) on the cut-out label collection sheets
  3. Return the completed (or partially completed) sheets to the Victoria Ave School office by 20 September 2019. Make sure your name and room number are on the sheet as we will give a prize to the student(s) that collect the most stickers and iceblocks to the class room with the most stickers

Yummy apples and fruit are available from New World, Pak’n Save and other participating stores.  The more stickers VAS collects, the more sports gear we receive.  Last year, VAS qualified for $1,900 worth of free sports gear which is an amazing effort.

Start collecting today :)

Thanks to rooms 19 and 20 for their yummy contributions to the bake sale on Friday. They made an awesome $538 which goes towards the school’s forest project. Thanks also to the whole school for supporting.

Bake Sale Organisers

Most Fridays over winter, when it is cold and raining :( , two wonderful parents organise and run our bake sales. Annette Oldfield and Catherine Enright are tirelessly there, and last term they raised $3,782 towards the forest project. Thank you so much to these two mothers for the massive energy involved in making these very popular and  profitable weekly events happen.

Seminar organiser

A seminar for Chinese parents which was held earlier this month was organised by one of our parents, Nan Li. The presenter, Emily Ping covered a variety of topics including the philosophy and features of primary school education in New Zealand and how this differs from that in China as well as discussing many other educational and related subjects.

Attendees found the seminar very useful and the proceeds from the seminar ($520) were generously donated to the school.

Many thanks to Nan for arranging this.

Nan Li


Cross country / fun run

Just a reminder that our school cross country/fun run is to be held on Thursday 5th September at the Martyn Wilson Field at the following times: 

Year Depart School Race Time (approx) Presentation Return to School
0 9.00am 9.20am 9.45am 10.00am
1 9.00am 9.30am 9.45am 10.00am
2 9.45am 10.00am 10.20am 10.30am
3 10.15am 10.30am 11.20am 11.30am
4 10.15am 10.30am 11.20am 11.30am
5 11.15am 11.30am 12.45am 1.00pm
6 11.15am 12.00pm 12.45pm 1.00pm


  • Girls will race first in each year level
  • Year 0’s will all race together
  • Please note that these are approximate times. While we will endeavour to keep to these times, should it be cold we may start races earlier if necessary
  • We recommend raincoats for walking to and from the venue if it looks like showers 
  • We also recommend a change of clothes and shoes, for when students get back to school, as there is likely to be some mud on the course 

Many thanks to all the many parents who have offered to help on the day. An email will be sent home early next week confirming help.

Optional fundraising
As previously outlined this year our Cross Country/Fun Run is also an opportunity to fundraise for the school, although this is entirely optional. By collecting sponsorship students can earn themselves prizes but, to be eligible for prizes, students need to have a student profile page set up at All money needs to be collected by 13th September so that prizes can be selected from 13 – 20 September. If you would like to be involved in the fundraising, without the added incentives of prizes, students can collect and record sponsors in the back of their Fun Run booklet and bring this money directly to school after the event.

If you can spare the time we look forward to seeing you on the sidelines.

Download now so you are all prepared for Go Race, more information and specific game instructions to follow!!!

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]

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