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Newsletter, Week 7, Term 1 2023

Kia ora koutou BDS whānau,                                                                  Week 7, Term 1, 2023


Our year 5 camp was such a happy, fun filled place when I visited yesterday.  A huge thank you to our teachers Mrs Raj, Mrs Takaiti, Mrs Holmes and Mr Insley our Deputy Principal, for making this such a success.  Our camp parents were fully involved and we extend a huge thank you for going to camp and taking the time out of your busy schedules.  

Last week our tamariki were busy with HPPA Sports events of cricket and softball. We also had Travelwise Leaders at the Travelwise Conference. Thank you very much to Mrs Holmes, Mrs Marck and our parent helpers.   

We are looking forward to our HPPA swimming sports competition at Lloyd Elsmore on Friday. 

If you have not done so already, we do recommend that you download the free school app as this is a great place to remind you to check emails and we also send out short “alert” notices.  I have had many parents say they find this useful. Download KiwiSchools Connect (KS Connect) from your app store, install, and search for Botany Downs School.

 Have a great week everyone.

Ngā mihi nui,
Vicki Parkins, Principal – Tumuaki (

Coming up @ BDS…

*Tues 14 Mar – Yr 6 parent camp meeting, 6.00pm in Room 18
*(please note – date has changed)
Wed 15 Mar – BOT meeting
Wed 22 Mar – Jester’s Pie Day (online orders close Tues 21, 11am)
Wed 22 Mar Learning Conversations, 3.20-5.10pm
Thurs 23 Mar – Learning Conversations, 3.20-7.40pm
Fri 24 Mar – BDS Pōwhiri, 9.30am


Botany Best Awards

Botany Best: Jacob Dai, Violet Liu, Jaiden Wang, Ella Blake, VJ Mose, Luca Takaiti, Wally Wu, Konnor Oti, Bastian Koka, Lexie Aucamp, Maine Cronje, Pamela Sekona, Maxwell Yang, Landon Bishton, Lachlan McHardy, Aidan Malez Ocampos, Irome Cormack, Mariam Alwaidh, Caleb Moukarzel, Farah Almayah, Caelin Ramiah, Matthew Zhou and Guoshen Ma.

Values Award – Relationships: Jennifer Wu, Xavier Marck, Nella Ranchhod, Grant Leslie, Bianca Zhang, Sakura Erskine, Yasmine Alsharefi, Riley Wu, Harkirat Gill, Autumn Jacobs, Dongju Lee, Nixon Schwager, Martin Duff, Aydan Boparai, Sariah Hooker-Mason, Simran Mahabir, Huntr Bishton, Wynand Bloem, Taye Yon, Liam Cho, Greta Xie, Skyla-Lee Kretzmann and Reuben Apperley.

These awards will be presented at Friday’s school assembly.
Assembly start time is 9:10am; please be inside and seated by 9:05am.
This week’s assembly item will be from the Dance Group.

Botany Downs School Pōwhiri

Our school will hold a Pōwhiri in Week 8 which is a traditional Māori welcoming ceremony. A process where the host welcome visitors, usually on a marae but in this instance to our school. This ceremony is our way of welcoming new students and staff, along with their families into the Botany Downs School community.

Whānau of new students are welcome to come to our Pōwhiri. Please join us…

Date: Friday 24th March
Time: 9:30am
Location: Botany Downs Primary, assemble by the staff room

Pōwhiri will begin at 9:40am. 

Part of the pōwhiri process includes a male who will speak on behalf of our manuhiri (visitors) which will be followed by a waiata (song) to support their speech. Whānau are welcome to join in and sing the following waiata:

Te Aroha

Te aroha,
Te whakapono,
Me te rangimarie,
Tatou tatou e (x2)

To conclude our pōwhiri,  Mrs Parkins will invite our new whānau and new students to partake in a hongi/harirū (handshake) with our staff members. This is followed by kai (food) in the staffroom to complete the pōwhiri process.

Ngā Mihi,
Michelle Takaiti,  (

Parent Interviews/Learning Conversations

In Week 8 our parent teacher interviews will look and sound slightly different. In order to have authentic student voice we need our tamariki to be present. Our learners are at the centre of everything we do, therefore our tamariki’s voice is important. We encourage our whānau to bring their children to these important learning conversations between parent, child, and teacher.

Wednesday 22 Mar – 3.20-5.10pm
Thursday 23 Mar – 3.20-7.40pm

To book your appointment time, please go to, enter the event code vbvzj and then follow the instructions below. Bookings will open on Wednesday 15 March.

Upcoming Year 0/1 Curriculum Information sessions 

These sessions are to provide whānau with information around our teaching and learning programmes in our Year 0/1 classes and will assist parents with ways they can support their tamariki with their learning at home too. 

This is also a time to mix and mingle with other Year 0/1 parents over a  cup of tea/coffee and will be held alongside our current Bright Sparks sessions.

All parents of our current Year 1 students are warmly invited!

Wednesday 22 March from 9:15-10:15 am
we will be holding a Year 0/1 information session around Maths learning
and the expectations for our most junior students.


Wednesday 29 March from 9:15-10:15 am
we will be holding a Literacy information session again
for wh
ānau of our Year 0/1 tamariki.

Please reply to if you are attending either or both of these sessions.

Meet the Botany Downs School Ambassadors

Year 5: Jay Kim, Anthony Zhou
Year 6: Lachlan McHardy, Caden Van Niekerk, Mandy Belding, Madeline Wong, Rishi Biju, Milan Gahunia, Mieke Botha, Alicia Wang

The Ambassadors will work with Mrs Keenan throughout the year to welcome and support new students and their whānau to our school. These school leaders are reliable, empathetic, organised, kind, cooperative, and good at communicating.

Kate Keenan, BDS Ambassadors Coordinator (

Congratulations to our 2023 Peer Mediators

Year 5: Abigail Harrison, Gabriel Divinagracia, Ian Lopez Woo, Gemma Yee
Year 6: Ken Hoang, Keddy Wang, Liam Andrew, Matakeu Marsters, Olivia Huang, Annabella Zhang, Aimee Le Roux, Tanique Bischoff, Amarah Hoosen, Dana Kim, Blake Manson, Callum Budd, Peri Petelo-Vili, Yuri Kang, May Shawani, Cindy Zhang, Olivia Sun, Leo Xie, Stella Mchardy, Kensie Tate, Mollie Zhang

Our Peer Mediators are on duty in pairs during lunchtime. They make themselves available for all students in all areas of the school to resolve issues between two disputing parties or small groups. Their job is to calmly resolve conflict and help make our school environment, a happier, safer, and more peaceful place to be. 

Eve Kellett, Peer Mediator Coordinator (

Red Cross Total

Thank you Botany Downs community for your kindness and generosity to help others in need. The House Leaders will be donating all of the funds raised to the Red Cross to help the Cyclone Gabrielle victims.

Sojung Yoon, House Leader Coordinator (


On Wednesday 8th March our Travelwise Leaders attended a conference organised by Auckland Transport.  We learnt about activities we can do at school to promote “Active Modes of Transport” – walking, cycling, scootering and public transport to school.

We made signs to promote safe parking, learnt how to use the speed guns, met the mascots, and won some prizes.

Kylee Holmes, Road Patrol and Travelwise Co-ordinator (

HPPA Softball

On Wednesday 8th March the softball team participated in the HPPA field day at Howick Softball Club. We had a fantastic day and applied our new skills. We worked together as a team, made some amazing plays, hit some home runs, and had so much fun! We showed determination and worked hard for our four wins and a draw. Well done team! 

Anna Marck, Softball Coordinator (

HPPA Cricket

On Tuesday our school cricket team played four games against other local schools. All the games were very close: we won two and lost two. I was proud of the effort, behaviour and sportsmanship shown by our team. We are looking forward to our next match day on the 21st March when we have another 3 games.

Kylee Holmes, Cricket Coordinator (

Learning and Fun @ BDS

Year 1, Room 9 – In Room 9 we have read the story The Rainbow Fish and learnt about friendship, kindness, and sharing. We each wrote what we liked about the Rainbow Fish and we all painted our own Rainbow Fish. 

Here are our Rainbow Fish hanging in Room 9! 


Year 4, Room 20 – Kia ora from the Year 4 team in Room 20. We have been inspired to collaborate our SUPER sentences into a poem:

Night Noises 

I lie in bed  with eyes open wide,

even though I am comfortable…

I can’t sleep.

The bright moon 

glistening in the pitch black,

shines in my eyes…

I can see the Lego shadows

on the wall beside me.

I hear Mum doing the dishes

footsteps on the stairs,

crickets chirping,

dogs barking,

motorbikes zooming

and a police siren wailing.

I feel my warm,

cozy, soft blanket…

I pull the covers 

over my head.

When I look down,

I see my dog

and I feel safe…

I fall asleep.



Caught Reading…

Our Reading Tribe is growing! If you haven’t yet, please send us a photo of your child or yourself being ‘Caught Reading’ – we would love the entire wall filled with readers! This is a great way to encourage reading for enjoyment.

Photos can be emailed to Thanks to everyone who has sent a photo already!



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