Category Archives: Curriculum

Middle Learning Community

Welcome to the Middle Learning Community

The Middle Learning Community (MLC) at Mission Heights Primary School caters for Years 3-4 students within 8 Learning Zones. The MLC is led by the Assistant Principal, a team of 8 teachers, 3 learning assistants, teacher aides and specialist staff.

Below is a list of the current Middle Learning Community teachers and their contact e-mail addresses.

Assistant Principal MLC: Mrs Renuka Lal

Whenua Studio

Brittany Griffiths Year 3 LZ17

Emma Passmore Year 3 LZ18

Ngahere Studio

Marcella Bartlett Year 4 LZ25

Kelly Jarvis Year 4 LZ 26

Renuka Lal Year 4 LZ 27

Forest Studio

Richard Campbell Year 4 LZ29

Xin Lit Year 3 LZ28

Renlen Bolland Year 3 LZ30

Senior Learning Community

Welcome to the Senior Learning Community

The Senior Learning Community (SLC) at Mission Heights Primary School caters for all Years 5-6 students in 9 Learning Zones. The SLC  is led by an Assistant Principal and includes a team of 9 teachers, 3 learning assistants and specialist staff. 


Below is the list of the teachers in the SLC and their email addresses should you need to make contact. 

Assistant Principal SLC: Mr Adam Tamariki 

Wai Studio

Miss Montana Taogaga LZ13 (Year 5)

Mr Bill McCutcheon LZ14 (Year 6)

Miss Nicole Dennis LZ15 (Year 6)

Hau Studio 

Mr Adam Tamariki LZ19 (Year 6)

Mr Edward Gee LZ20 (Year 6)

Mrs Shareen Goundar LZ21 (Year 6)

Ahi Studio

Mrs Liz Hicks LZ22 (Year 5)

Mr Kiran Solanki LZ23 (Year 5)

Miss Nina Fachbach LZ24 (Year 5)


Junior Learning Community

Welcome to the Junior Learning Community


The Junior Learning Community (JLC) at Mission Heights Primary School caters for all Years 1-2 students within 10 Learning Zones. The JLC is led by an  Assistant Principal and includes a team of 10 teachers, 3 Learning assistants, teacher aides and specialist staff.

Please find the contact details below for our JLC teachers:


Sharon Garimella Year 2 (LZ 7)
Helena Kim Year 1 (LZ 8)

Water Studio

Rozleen Khan Year 1 (LZ 2)

Manjula Bhattacharya Year 1 (LZ 1)

Stephanie Thompson Year 1 (LZ 3)

Earth Studio

Nadine Fiebiger Year 2 (LZ 6)

Mikayla Taiapo Year 1 (LZ 5)

Teagan Bartlett Year 2 (LZ 4)

Air Studio

Ruth Cooper Year 2 (LZ 12)

Svetlana Banerjee Year 2 (LZ 11)

For any other issues regarding the Junior School please contact Miss Fiebiger (Assistant Principal JLC) –

Learning Support

Mission Heights Primary School is a main stream Primary where all children from Year 1-6 who live in the school zone are welcome. We do not have a special needs unit or specialist teacher on site. The school utilises all available resources, both within our school and with outside agencies for students, including those with Special Needs.
The SENCO who is a senior member of the school’s leadership team has responsibility for co-ordinating programmes and support systems for all special needs students in the school.  Parents of all students who have special needs are expected to meet with the staff member in charge prior to starting at Mission Heights Primary. This is to ensure that all support systems are in place for a smooth transition of these students to their day to day school life.
If you do require further information, please contact the school reception at (09) 277 7888 and ask for the school SENCO.

PE and Sports

Physical Education and Sports play an important role at Mission Heights Primary School and all students are encouraged to take an active part. We consider that all students should be given the opportunity to experience a wide range of physical activities, and the emphasis is on attitude, sportsmanship and perseverance in both individual and team sports.

Physical Education includes:

  • Major game skills
  • Minor game skills
  • Outdoor activities
  • Fitness
  • Swimming
  • Ball Handling
  • Athletics

As much as possible we enlist the help of sporting groups to help coach our students to learn the specific skills for a particular sport. During the last two years we have received coaching from netball, rugby, soccer, cricket and biking.

Students are also able to participate in additional sports during our ACE programme. The list of sports available during ACE changes each term. Over the last year it has included: cricket, swimming, rugby, touch, soccer, netball, hockey, gymnastics, athletics, badminton, kung fu, frisbee, hula hooping, orienteering, rounders, basketball, fitness, tabloid games, skateboarding, volleyball, and four square.

Competitive sport options where students get to compete for MHP against other schools in the local cluster include:

  • Softball (Y4-6)
  • Cricket (Y4-6)
  • Swimming (Y4-6)
  • Rugby (Y4-6 and weight based)
  • Soccer (Y5-6)
  • Netball (Y5-6)
  • Hockey (Y5-6)
  • Gymnastics (Y4-6)
  • Athletics (Y3-6)
  • Cross Country (Y3-6)
  • Touch (Y5-6)
  • Basketball (Y5-6)

All students are involved in a daily fitness programme, for which students require the appropriate sports uniform.

Students are expected to bring a note from a parent if they are unwell or injured, or have some other reason for non-participation. Please ensure your child has his / her PE gear in their school bag daily. The school encourages students to use their time before school starts to get ready for their daily physical activities.


Home Learning

Accessing learning while absent from school

Below are some different ways your children can access learning while they are absent from school.


All students will have access to Reading Eggs and Maths Seeds. Please email the teacher if you are unsure of your child’s username and password. It is important that you read with your child daily.

Distance Learning During Covid-19 for JLC

Students in Year 1 and 2 will have a Google Classroom that the teacher will used to post other work such as jolly phonics, handwriting and writing. Please check on this daily. We encourage you to share your child’s learning with their teacher daily.  


All students have access to Reading Eggspress and Mathletics. Please email the teacher if you are unsure of your child’s username and password. All Year 3 – 6 classes also have Google Classrooms, where the teacher will regularly post work. Please check on this daily. 

Distance Learning During Covid-19 for MLC and SLC

Students in Year 3 to 6 will have a Google Classroom that the teacher will used to post daily and weekly learning tasks. Please make sure your child is checking this daily and sending their work to the teacher. 

All Students

We encourage all students to send their teacher videos and pictures of their learning so the teacher can give them support, encouragement, and feedback.

Many high quality educational companies have also started to offer free access to their products while students are learning from home. Below is a list of some of these.

Information about Homework

Homework should be relevant, authentic and within a student’s capability. The focus of homework activities in all areas of our school is to develop information, literacy and numeracy skills of students. Homework is aimed at complimenting classroom programmes to foster and encourage study skills, independent work habits, time management and to provide opportunities for child and parent interaction in these areas.

Homework at MHP mainly comprises of basic facts, spelling, and reading. It also includes Mathletics/Maths Seeds and Reading Eggs/Eggspress and research projects.


Junior Learning Community: The purpose of homework in the JLC is to consolidate and reinforce the learning that takes place in school. Each week the students will be expected to complete reading, spelling and basic facts (Maths Seeds) homework. A reading book will be sent home each night from Monday to Thursday and a poetry reading for Years 1 and 2 on Friday. Spelling words to learn will be given at the start of the week and will be tested at the end of the week.

Middle School Learning Community: Students in the MLC have reading, spelling, and mathematics homework each week. The students are expected to read for at least 30 minutes at home. They are encouraged to choose and read their own books from our school or public library. Students are also able to access texts on the Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress as well.

Senior Learning Community: Homework tasks in the SLC are expected to further build on the learning partnership between home and school. All students are expected to read each day for a minimum of 30 minutes. Each student will have a spelling list based on their needs from their classwork and the words will be tested at the end of each week. All SLC students are expected to earn a minimum of 1000 points on Mathletics each week. In addition all students are expected to know their multiplication facts, as well as addition and subtraction facts to 20.

ESOL – Being Bilingual

Mission Heights School is a diverse and multicultural school with children and families from all over the world and from different ethnicities. We access funding for our children who do not have English as their first language from the Ministry of Education. This money provides in class and small group literacy support for these students, including resources, one-on-one time with Learning Assistants and quality learning experiences in the ESOL ACE Programme.

At MHP we value the use of children’s first language at home and at school. This helps students to discuss and process the key concepts and learning that they have developed at school. We embrace cultural diversity within our community through celebrations and events where cultural differences are encouraged


English Language Assistants

We  have English Language Learning Assistants to support the literacy needs of our English Language Learners across all year levels in the school. The Learning Assistants work alongside the Learning Zone teacher to support small groups of students who have English language learning needs through rich learning experiences. We are extremely lucky to have a range of qualified Learning assistants who are passionate about working with our students.

ESOL ACE Programme

Each English Language Learning student attends an ESOL ACE programme once a week.  The programme is especially designed to meet each students’ English acquisition needs. The students work in smaller groups with a trained learning assistant where they develop their oral language skills through practical and hands-on experiences.

Education Outside the Classroom

All students from Years 1-6  at Mission Heights Primary are involved in a variety of independent and outdoor learning experiences outside the classroom as students transition to challenging and progressive  EOTC experiences during their time at Mission Heights Primary School.

The Junior Learning Community participates in a Junior Breakfast at school which involves all Year 1 and Year 2 students coming to school in their pyjamas, having breakfast at school and getting ready in their school uniforms to attend the whole school day independently.  

The Middle Learning Community students visit Sonshine Ranch where students take part in team building games, rock climbing, archery, bivy building and scavenger hunts.

The Senior Learning Community students are engaged in a variety of outdoor learning experiences that are progressively more challenging from their previous years experiences. The Year 5 students this year are attending  a 2 day camp at Camp Adair where they are involved in a range of challenging and confidence building activities. The Year 6 students go to Lakewood Lodge Camp for a 4 day camp where they undergo a variety of experiences to enhance their mental, social and physical development. Some of the activities include kayaking, low rope course, raft building, survival in the outdoors.

All EOTC trips are approved in advance with school policy and procedures followed so that all health and safety risks are carefully considered and managed.

ICT and Digital Technologies

Digital learning is not just about using computers and the internet but is also about creating digital solutions through robotics, coding and data analysis. We do all of these things at MHP. Our students are well prepared for the changing world of technology.

At MHP, teachers have access to professional development so that they can use various technologies effectively with students in learning programmes and so that students become independent and active users. Our learning zones are digitally-intense environments where students have access to use a range of technologies in appropriate ways at every available opportunity. 

With effect from 2020, MHP is initiating a BYOD trial where Year 6 students can bring their own Chromebooks into the school. The student can also use this same Chromebook into Years 7 and 8 in MHJC.

We do not recommend any brand of Chromebook over another; we only ask that parents purchase a Chromebook within their means. Note that we don’t allow students to bring in Windows, Mac laptops or Apple iPads. It is advantageous for students to have a Chromebook with a USB-A port; this is because they can then use their Chromebook in MHJC for programming with digital microcontrollers in Years 7 and 8.

MHP has arranged a discount for students with PBTech. You can click on this link and enter the code “BYOD2020” at the top. Alternatively, you can download this pamphlet which can be presented at any PBTech store.

The Chromebook model that the school is using is the Lenovo Chromebook 100e Gen 2.

Curriculum Structure

At Mission Heights Primary School all students will experience valuable and exciting learning opportunities that will enable them to become confident, active, reflective and high-achieving independent learners. The school emphasises a positive, safe and supportive environment where lifelong learning will be fostered.

We strongly believe that high expectations set from the early years of schooling ensure that students are active in their own learning. Students need to understand how they learn best, and to develop their own identities as learners and as member of the community. The New Zealand Curriculum and its values, principles, key competencies and learning areas underpin all learning, teaching and assessment at Mission Heights Primary School.

The following principles underpin the Mission Heights Primary School curriculum. Mission Heights Primary School provides a learning environment where:

  • all students are engaged in challenging, appropriate and meaningful work;
  • all students experience effective teaching;
  • key curriculum learning opportunities are embedded in the class programme;
  • students can explore their interests and curiosities as well as master basic skills in literacy and numeracy;
  • hands-on and authentic learning experiences are integrated;
  • te reo me ona tikanga Maori is integrated in meaningful and appropriate ways;
  • effective assessment tools and strategies are used to co-construct learning;
  • students and staff engage in positive learning communities;
  • teaching is reflective, effective and research-based;
  • appropriate services and resources are accessible to staff and students to support ongoing learning and the pursuit of excellence.

From the New Zealand Curriculum to the MHP School Curriculum

The Mission Heights Primary School curriculum gives effect to the New Zealand curriculum by addressing the particular needs, interests and circumstances of the school’s community and students.  It describes how Mission Heights Primary School will deliver the curriculum, how students’ learning needs will be met, and how students’ achievement will be monitored and assessed.  The Mission Heights Primary School curriculum builds on effective pedagogy and an integrated curriculum. The MHP integrated curriculum makes connections across disciplines, to real life and authentic contexts through connections that are both skill-based and/or knowledge-based.

Future Focused Learning

Mission Heights Primary School curriculum is aimed at meeting the needs of its new and growing community, which will continue to become increasingly diverse, where technology and its use will continue to increase and where students will need to be prepared for the ever-changing and complex world of the future.  Learning is no longer just about the teaching of facts and ‘content’. It is about acquiring learning capabilities and learning strategies.

We must provide opportunities where students can achieve to the best of their ability across all dimensions of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.  Learners at our school are self-directed, creative and enthusiastic.

The use of innovative technologies and flexible learning facilities, along with our vision of collaboration with Mission Heights Junior College, contributes to the provision of a future focused learning environment.  The physical design of Mission Heights Primary School supports the use of digital technologies, as well as fostering a culture of collaboration, visual connectedness,  flexibility, openness and interaction.

An Integrated Approach

Integration is about unification of learning and experiences that are relevant to students interests from a range of subject areas. At MHP, using integrated approaches to teaching and learning is about seeking the most effective ways to engage students through effective cross-curricular design and planning strategies with authentic assessment practices.

At MHP we use a six step planning model, with the students’ prior knowledge and skills forming the starting point for new learning.  Students are able to see how knowledge, skills and values are connected and learning is not so constrained by the boundaries of subject areas.  Students have an important role in deciding on contexts that interest them in order to make learning more relevant, authentic, interesting and personally worthwhile for them.  The integrated approach incorporates literacy and numeracy learning wherever appropriate and allows teachers to easily include such components as inquiry, information technologies and thinking skills.

Personalised learning

Mission Heights Primary School has a commitment to personalised learning across the curriculum. Personalised learning is more than ‘individualised’ learning or ‘child-centred’ learning although these aspects are still important; it is about putting students at the centre of the learning process and empowering them to make decisions about their learning and to understand the learning process.

At Mission Heights Primary School, personalised learning is achieved through:

  • effective teaching that utilises a variety of techniques and approaches, is informed by research and developed through professional development
  • assessment for learning, giving teachers an in-depth knowledge of the future learning needs of their students, and where students know what they have learnt and where they need to go next with their learning
  • high expectations, where students are constantly challenged to achieve to the best of their ability and to take control of their own learning
  • engaging and challenging curriculum, allowing teachers to deliver a programme that is relevant to their students and that integrates digital technologies and other resources
  • a strong engaged community, where the diversity found across families is valued and used as a learning resource, and where parents and whanau are involved in the learning process wherever possible