Little River School

Years 7 and 8

Kahikatea 2024


We've had a fabulous start to the year in Kahikatea. There are 18 keen and able Year 7 and 8 learners in our class. The 6 new Year 7s are quickly getting to know our routines and ways of working. So far, we've been enjoying time in the pool each day, as well as plenty of activities to reconnect with each other after the long summer break. The children have been reading and writing summer poetry, extending their 'number knowledge', and learning about the Zones of Regulation - a framework to help us identify and manage emotions and self-regulate. Another highlight is 'bucket drumming'. The class are amazing at this, so quick to pick up rhythms and tricky sequences. Stay tuned for our debut performance!


Heading into the well-deserved Easter break, it's great to reflect on how much learning and progress the 'Kahikatitians' have accomplished already this year.

We've seen some amazing poems written, in many different forms; there are stunning artworks displayed in the class, based on the work of Canadian artist Sandra Silbersweig; and many children have achieved their personal reading goals for the term already, and have set themselves another one. 

With Anzac Day on the horizon, we've recently started a study of the ANZACs' contribution to WW1, and all the children are very engaged with this. 

About half the class have signed up to do one or more Maths Achievement Challenges. These are independent maths projects to develop extension and enrichment in maths, and the children are awarded with a cool badge and a certificate on completion!


In Kahikatea (and, indeed, the whole school), we are full swing into rehearsals for our biennial school production. This year we are putting on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a singing/dancing/chocolatey extravaganza! We've booked the Gaiety Theatre, Akaroa, for Wednesday 26th (matinee) and Thursday 27th (evening) June. Don't miss it! 

There are a number of sporting opportunities for the children this term: Lincoln Zone basketball and football tournaments, and the Lincoln Zone cross country. We are also lucky to be receiving kits from the House of Science regularly this term. This is a fabulous resource, and we will be learning about interesting topics such as Microbes, Heat Energy, and Simple Machines. A huge 'thank you' to the Little River Support Group for donating this worthy resource....Ruth Pannett

Above - Kahikatea's 'Rainforest' - based on a class study of the novel 'The Explorer' by Katherine Rundel

School Camp at Hanmer Springs

Kahikatea 2023

Feb - There are 22 Year 7 and 8 students in Kahikatea this year. We have enjoyed many activities in the first few weeks to help us bond as a new class, with dodgeball a clear favourite game. Our current topic of focus is Early New Zealand, learning about the changes to our country before and after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. We are also in the process of putting together a class newspaper, which will include news of Kahikatea students' exploits, super sporting feats, profiles of staff and student leaders, a broken arm, recipes, puzzles, a comic strip and more!

April - This term has been action-packed with sporting events (triathlon and swimming sports), a visit from Harold and Life Education, a House Challenge, scarecrow-making and the Pumpkin Festival, on top of all our regular learning. We've been learning a new painting technique, ‘Pointillism’ and the children have produced some fantastic landscapes. We've also greatly increased our knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and what NZ was like around that time. Things will be a bit different for the Senior class next term, having Mr Winterbourn taking the children to Technology on a Thursday. The children and I would like to wish Mr Couper all the very best for his new job.

June - Term 2 is well underway and the children of Kahikatea have been working incredibly hard. I'm constantly impressed by this class and their levels of motivation, independence and self-management. The children are particularly enthusiastic about our 'Country Study' research project. In small groups, they are required to research a country of their choosing and present their information to the class, along with a language lesson, a dance, a piece of art, as well as some culinary delights!

It's not all work and no play though! We love our daily fitness and  PE or a game - favourites are dodgeball, jailbreak and 3-ball football. It was excellent to see how hard the students pushed themselves at the BP Cross-Country last week, and almost half the class have also tested themselves at Lincoln Zone level just this week. We also have the LZ Football (Y8s) and LZ Basketball (Y5-8) tournaments coming up.

August - We have a Science focus in Kahikatea this term. We have been investigating the differences between physical and chemical change, and carrying out some cool experiments. 

In Maths we are tackling multiplication and division strategies; we also have two teams representing LRS at the Cantamath competition later this month: Yr8 - Brendon, Evie, Hugo and Nathan; Yr7 - Amy, Caelyn, Cooper and Isabella. 

The children are all in the process of writing persuasive speeches. Two children will be chosen to present their speeches at the Selwyn Lions Speech Competition in September. Winter sport is in full swing, and most of the class are looking forward to competing at the LZ Netball/Rugby tournament in a couple of weeks, followed by the BP Schools' Winter Tournament. All in all, another very busy term!

September -  Another busy term comes to an end, and once again we've managed to work hard and play hard! The class have collectively read an astonishing 230 books this term, and have had some rewards as we've hit milestones along the way. A particular favourite was the 'Build a Fort' day, where the children built blanket and pillow huts in the classroom, completing their schoolwork for the day inside them.

Maths topics this term have included multiplication, division and geometry (shapes, perimeter and area). We've completed novel studies, holding regular group Book Club meetings to discuss chapters read, plot developments and characters.

The kids have enjoyed having Mr Winterbourn as Acting Principal the past two terms. He has accompanied them to Technology at Akaroa each Thursday, and completed an impressive mosaic unit with them. We wish him all the best, and look forward to welcoming our new principal, Ms Warren, next term.

December - Kahikatea had a terrific time at Hanmer Springs Forest Camp earlier this term. Highlights included mountain biking, the hot pools, tree climbing and orienteering. I'd like to extend a huge thank you to our wonderful parent helpers: Lisa Strachan, Clint Smith, Shaun Mitchell and John Fitch.

At this time of year, our Year 8s are looking ahead to high school. We wish this awesome group of kids all the very best as they start at Lincoln HS in the new year…Ruth Pannett