Torbay School Learning Powers – RIC


Tena Koutou e te whānau

We are over halfway through term 2 and the year seems to be flying past. Our staff are heavily engaged in PLD focused on the delivery of literacy and numeracy across the school. It is vitally important that we continue to build our capacity and skill in all areas of education, and this relies on our staff being open to learning and willing to participate in ongoing professional development. I am grateful to our staff for the way they have embraced this PLD and am pleased to report that the benefits of the work we are doing is already evident in classroom practice across the school. This PLD was planned for as a result of the curriculum refresh instituted in 2021.

Overlaying this are the recent changes made by the new government, creating a dynamic and changing landscape that schools are struggling to keep pace with. Torbay School has applied for funding to train our junior teachers (Years 1 and 2) in the Better Start Literacy Approach (BSLA) to structured literacy. Structured literacy is a pedagogical approach to the teaching of reading, not a single programme and Torbay School already uses a phonetical approach to teaching reading in our junior classes which aligns in part with the philosophy behind structured literacy.

Our aim is to further upskill our staff and integrate the best practice aspects of structured literacy into our existing programme without compromising our play-based approach to learning in years 1 and 2. We are engaging in the PLD to support structured literacy so that we can make an informed decision about how we can best integrate it into our existing programme. Our aim is to understand how structured literacy can fit into our Torbay programme without detracting from the programme and values we have developed over the last six years.

Inclusive Education

As I visit classrooms on a daily basis, I see happy engaged children involved in a huge range of programmes and learning experiences. Our teachers work extremely hard to provide interesting and diverse learning experiences for our children. They also work extremely hard to ensure that all children have access to the curriculum. I am extremely proud of the way our teachers support learning for all students.

All children are different and our teachers and support staff work hard to meet the needs of our students. Through an inclusive approach to education utilising our collaborative teaching practices and embracing the philosophies of universal design for learning we strive to acknowledge children’s diversities and do our very best to give them access to the curriculum and the chance to achieve.

Engaging learners and developing learner Powers (Key Competencies) and Care Values alongside academic progress remains key to the continued development of the whole child. I want to celebrate our teachers’ skill and ability to deliver on this outcome. Their dedication to making each day a special day for children is undeniable and evident on the faces of our children as they arrive at school each morning.


We are very excited that on Thursday June the 27th Torbay school will be hosting the Oneroa Kāhui Ako Matariki Festival. The seven schools that make up the Oneroa Kāhui Ako will all perform at the festival to be held in our hall. Our team are currently preparing for the event and are looking forward to welcoming our guests.

We would also like to invite you to join us. Each school will perform at a rostered time throughout the morning and parents and supporters of those schools will come and go to watch each of the Kapa haka groups perform. The Pōwhiri welcome will start at 9.30am and Torbay School will be the first school to perform at 10.10am. Please be seated before 9.30am. Following our performance, we will need to make room for other parents from other schools. Your flexibility and accommodation of our guests would be greatly appreciated.

The timetable for the day:

10:10 am School 1 – Torbay Primary
10.25 am School 2 – Glamorgan Primary
10.40 am School 3 – LBC Long Bay College
10:55 am – 11:15 am  MORNING TEA
11:25 am School 4 – Long Bay Primary School
11.40 am School 5 – Oteha Valley School
11:55 am School 6 – Sherwood Primary
12.10 pm School 7 – Northcross Intermediate 

Car Boot Sale and Car Wash and Red Nose Day.

Our PTA have been very active lately, not only raising funds for our goal this year of heating our pool but also to support charities. I thank them for the work they do and hope you can support the next two events. Following the success of last years Car Wash, an idea initiated by two of our students, the PTA have added a car boot sale to the event. The event will be held on Sunday 16th of June and look forward to seeing you there.

Red Nose Day is the last day of term, the 5th of July, and once again we have a very personal connection with this charity as it has affected the lives of at least two of our families in recent years. We have events planned for this day and all proceeds will be going directly to Cure Kids to support research projects that impact childrens’ health. We look forward to your support for this fabulous cause.

Garden Project

I am so pleased to see the way our gardens are developing and being used as a resource for teaching and learning in years 2,4, and 6. A huge shout out to Chanel McConchie and Vicki Byard who lead the Garden to Table programme. They do wonderful work with our children ably supported by our parent helpers who come in each Wednesday to work in the gardens and the kitchens with our children. Thank you so much.

We still have some work to do to complete our gardens. A new perimeter fence will be installed in the coming month. We also want to build a new garden shed, a shade house, compost bins and a large teaching / worktable. If you are able to help us with sourcing of or building these elements of the project, please contact me as we would welcome your expertise.


I am very pleased to announce that Jamie Cope has accepted our offer of a position as year 1 Teacher starting next term. Jamie will work alongside Kylie Wilson in Room 12 with our youngest children.

Jamie came to us at the beginning of the year and took on a role as learning assistant. She is a qualified teacher and after two terms of wonderful work in our Year 1 team has decided she is ready to step back into a teaching role.

We are thrilled to have Jamie join our teaching staff.

Thank you all for your continued support of everything we do here at Torbay School. Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss any matter.

Nga mihi nui

na Gary O’Brien


[email protected]


KA PAI to the following students who have shared their fantastic learning with us this week: Mason, Sophie, Charlotte T & Emma Rm 28, Kayla Rm 27, Eddie, Everette, Jao Jao, Edward, Jacob, Ben, Sofie, Rosie & Elia Rm 8, Kayden Rm 9, Amanda & Emily Rm 7  Keep up the good work! 

CONGRATULATIONS to the following tamariki who received certificates from their class teachers: Elijah & Donovan Rm 3, Bridget-Louise & Isobel C Rm 4, Harper & Alex Rm 5, Mila & Madison Rm 6, Charlie & Harper Rm Rm 7, Connor & Elia Rm 8, Connor & Maddie Rm 9, Amelia & Xavier Rm 10, Henry & Natalia Rm 11/12, Aria & Viritika Rm 13, Reuben & Sebastian Rm 14, Sky & Rosie Rm 15, Luke & Leonard Rm 16, Ella & Ryan Rm 17, Derek & Haniya Rm 18, Madison & Senja Rm 19, Norris & Emma Rm 20, Yara & Quinn Rm 21, Isaac & Charl Rm 22, Ethan & Zoe Rm 23, Matthew & Violet Rm 24, Cuba & Yulia Rm 25, Fletcher & Joshua Rm 26, Kayla & George Rm 27, Myra & Liam L Rm 28 Well done!!

RICC REWARDS, for displaying our C.A.R.E Values – Kezia Rm 25, Flynn Rm 23, Ida Rm 19, Zoe Rm 26, Rosie Rm 6, Rory Rm 9, Grace Rm 4 & Alysa Rm 5 Ka pai!

KA RAWE AWARDS,  For using Te Reo Māori at school – Lillian Rm 15, Eddie Rm 8, Emma Rm 18 & Madison Rm 28 Tino pai!

Student News 



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