Tōtara – Yrs 5/6



  • Pet Day – Di Cameron


The creative and artistic ability of our children were once again on display in the hall on Pet Day.  The animal themed art-works, created in class, were a visual highlight. It was also pleasing to see the inspired entries in our new category of an upcycled/ recycled item. Charlotte Wright could have a  thriving upcycle furniture business if she wanted to take orders!

After many years of pet days and shows it is amazing to see so many fresh ideas, particularly  in the vege creations and floral arrangements in an unusual container.

All the entries in the pet classes were well represented, with the lamb entries being particularly large this year.

We had 3 wonderful digital entries for calves in response to the mycoplasma bovis outbreak.

The dress up, obstacle race and lamb feeding race also proved popular with children and spectators alike.

The book fair and Tōtara stall (bees wraps and produce bags) were well supported. We generated approximately $300 worth of books for the school library from sales made.

As always we need to acknowledge the unenviable job of the judges. The children from Tōtara wrote some delightful thank you letters to them.

Changes for next year – that we go back to making items the morning of pet day to ensure flowers look their best.



  • Parihaka Day – Anna Lopas


Parihaka Day was commemorated and celebrated by the Banks Peninsula cluster of schools at Okains Bay School on Thurs 8 October.  In sweltering heat, we were welcomed onto the school grounds with a Powhiri by Okains Bay School (particularly impressive considering their role of just 9 students with a wide age range).

Our Kapa haka group did us and themselves proud performing a number of waiata, a poi item and a spine tingling haka led with great mana by Tom Smith.

Following the sharing of an incredible spread of kai provided by our hosts, the children, split into vertically integrated groups, rotated around a number of activities including gardening, haka, harakeke, maori games, history of Parihaka, gardening and craft.

We gathered again for kai and wrapped up a wonderful Cluster day.


The non-violent protest by maori at Parihaka, Taranaki, back in the 1870’s/1880’s led by the rangatira, Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi, inspired Tōtara class to delve deeper into other non-violent stands which have shaped our history. We investigated Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jnr, Rosa Parks and Daisaku Ikeda and compared and contrasted the various causes they protested and the actions they took. Representatives of each of these ‘activist’ groups had visited Parihaka in 2003 and it was great for the class to see NZ recognised on the world stage in association with such a significant and humanitarian cause. It also provided an interesting take on the sustainability theme for a couple of weeks … sustainability of peace!


— Di Cameron and Anna Lopas

Link to: Totara Stationery List 2019