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Newsletter - Friday 8 March 2019

Dates to remember:

  • Thursday 21 March - DNI closing at 2pm, for Union Meeting
  • Friday 22 March - Mufti Day - Supporting Shave for a Cure
  • Monday 25 March - School closed for Otago Anniversary Day
  • Tuesday 9 April - DNI Board of Trustees meeting, 6pm in the Staffroom
  • Friday 12 April - Last day for Term 1

Tena koutou,
I'm sitting in my office listening to students getting really stuck in all around me. There is hockey coaching out one window and I can hear the girls in self defence going through their chants from the other direction. There is a busy little hum coming from the classrooms. I'm very proud of the courage and independence that we are seeing from our young people in trying new things here at DNI.
I have been following with interest the news reports around the Climate Change Rally. As per our previous newsletter (repeated later in this newsletter) we are not engaging in the rally as a whole school event but we do see that it fits in 100% with the social science curriculum.  

What I am surprised about is the level of negativity I'm hearing about kids doing this in school time. I heard a teenage spokesperson (Sophie Handford), on National Radio on Tuesday defending the need for it to be held on a school day in order to drive home the urgency of action against climate change.

"We're sick and tired of not being listened to and it's come to the point where we actually almost have to disrupt some of the norms to actually have our voices heard. It shouldn't come to this, but we're ready to stand up and fight for that" 

Personally, I can't think of a more important issue for kids to get active about and I feel that our generation have done them no favours in terms of leaving them a planet worth inheriting. 

Social action fits fair and square into the curriculum and my husband and I have certainly been talking to our boys at home about the purpose and place of respectful protesting, and NZ's proud history of leadership that resulted in global change. 

I hear that many students are required to be existing members of their schools enviro-group, or to prove somehow that they are already committed to the cause. This seems like a missed opportunity to me in that it will be a bit like preaching to the converted if the only children to attend the rally are the representatives of the enviro-groups. We actually need the less active kids to be inspired by their more active peers, who have been bold and proactive in organising this rally. 

How do we balance being proud as a country around our efforts to protest against apartheid, Nuclear Free New Zealand or a woman's right to vote? We are proud to be the people that spoke out, we are proud to be the people that disrupted, and proud to be the people that brought about change - and then in the next breath we shut our kids down when they’re trying to protect the thing most important to all of us?
We didn't bring about change by disrupting at a sensible, more "appropriate" time?

This is the vision statement for The New Zealand Curriculum - it applies to all students from age 5-18 in NZ.    Our vision is for young people:
  • who will be creative, energetic, and enterprising
  • who will seize the opportunities offered by new knowledge and technologies to secure a sustainable social, cultural, economic, and environmental future for our country
  • who will work to create an Aotearoa New Zealand in which Māori and Pākehā recognise each other as full Treaty partners, and in which all cultures are valued for the contributions they bring
  • who, in their school years, will continue to develop the values, knowledge, and competencies that will enable them to live full and satisfying lives
  • who will be confident, connected, actively involved, and lifelong learners.

The kids organising this are living breathing examples of students successfully meeting the vision of the curriculum. Obviously we need our kids to be safe and I am not suggesting that schools don't need some management strategies around the logistics of the day, however, I also believe that we need trust our kids, be proud of their passion and support them understand how societies work and how people can participate as critical, active, informed, and responsible citizens (NZC).

Heidi Hayward - Principal

Art Gallery Trips
A number of classes have been to the Dunedin Art Gallery recently, taking part in Tuia Encounters 2019 workshops and below is just a small selection of the art works the kids did.  Very cool!

Term 1 Child/Teacher/Caregiver Meetings
As you may know we hold Child/Teacher/Caregiver Meetings in Week 8 (Monday 18 - Friday 22 March). We hope to talk to all students with their caregivers over the week and we are happy to have telephone conversations if it is just too hard to get into school.

The baseline report will be shared at this time which will outline where we think your child is currently working in literacy and maths. We can then set goals together. This is also a chance to share the google folder with you electronically which will be added to regularly with assessment.

You can make a time to meet with the teacher by going to: and using the code 
Bookings close at midnight on Sunday March 17. If you do not have access to a computer you can phone the office to book you a time Ph: 473 9027.

Further to our previous communication please find the dates for the Ōtākou Marae stay.

Monday April 1 - Rooms 1, 3 and 4 leave
Tuesday April 2 - Rooms 13, 14 and 16 leave and rooms 1, 3 and 4 return
Wednesday April 3 - Rooms 8, 10 and 11 leave and rooms 13, 14 and 16 return
Thursday April 4 - Rooms 8, 10 and 11 return

This is an opportunity for students to get to know each other and their teachers better, learn something of the local history and tikanga Māori, challenge themselves and most importantly, have a good deal of fun!

The cost of the camp is still being confirmed.

A little parent help is essential - please contact your child’s teacher asap if you can help. Teacher emails are generic first name and last name initial (for example

Student Success!
Congratulations go to Hana from Room 8 who's been selected for the Otago U13 Girls Softball Team this season as pitcher. Also from Room 8, Adison has been selected for the Otago U13 Development squad. Awesome!

We love to celebrate our students who get up to all sorts of amazing things during and outside of school hours. So if you think there's something worth sharing with us, email the office so we can acknowledge it in our newsletters.


Reminder - Early close on Thursday 21 March at 2pm
The New Zealand Educational Institute has called further paid union meetings in March 2019.  

Following on from the previous meetings in 2018, there are still significant challenges for us in terms of recruitment and retention of teachers and it is therefore vital that teachers contribute to the planning around how to better resource education in New Zealand in the coming years.   

The Board of Trustees have decided the simplest method for our teachers to attend the meeting without disrupting classes all week, is to close early on Thursday 21 March.

Therefore, we request that children be picked up from school at 2pm on Thursday 21 March.  If you are unable to pick your child up at 2pm, please email by Tuesday 19 March and supervision can be provided until 3pm.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

You are probably aware of the upcoming Strike 4 Climate Change that students from Logan Park High School are organising. 

The students feel that politicians around the world have taken the growing Climate Change crisis lightly, talking a lot but not doing anything about it and see that it falls upon them (as the youth needing to inherit the planet) to take action. They are asking that the New Zealand Government acts now to hold global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

They have organised a rally for 12-3pm on Friday, March 15th in the Octagon and we are aware that a number of our students are talking about this. There is more information available at the link above.

While we won't be engaging in this rally as a whole school event, we do see that it fits in 100% with the social science curriculum - Level 4, NZC Understanding how people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges. 

What we suggest is that, if your whanau supports your child being involved in this, then you make arrangements for them to attend as you see fit (note: the Strike is open to everyone, not just school students). We will need a note from parents/caregivers for any child who plans to be involved in order for them to leave school. Please be aware that the school will not be providing any supervision so you need to be comfortable with the arrangements you make for your child. 

We do ask that if your child is participating in the rally that you discuss the following questions with them so that they are able to respond if asked:

  • Why do my family believe it is appropriate for me to miss school to support this rally?
  • What do I hope to achieve by attending the rally?
  • Does my school support my attending the rally? Answer - yes, my school thinks that this is an important issue and that it fits in with the level 4 social sciences curriculum - Understanding how people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges. 

Students are encouraged to wear school uniform and so they need to consider that if they do so they will be representing DNI and as such they should behave in a way that we would be proud of. 

School will be open for the afternoon as per usual and if this is not something that your whanau supports then it will simply be school as usual. 

Just a reminder that DNI will be supporting Libby from Room 1 with her goal of raising $1000 for Shave for a Cure, by holding a Mufti Day on Friday 22 March.  She lost her Nana to cancer three years ago and this is a way of honouring her memory.
Netsafe Alert re Momo Challenge
Netsafe has received reports relating to young people who have been exposed to a harmful online “game” known as the Momo Challenge. Although we have not received any reports of young people in New Zealand taking part in the “challenge”, we are aware that some young people have seen content relating to Momo and have been very upset by the content and imagery. There has also been talk about whether this “challenge” is real or a hoax. Regardless of whether the actual challenge itself exists, individuals who come across Momo related content may experience emotional distress at  seeing it – particularly younger children.

Netsafe encourages anyone that comes across content relating to the Momo Challenge or other similar ‘challenge’ content to immediately report it to the social media site or website that it’s on. In New Zealand, it is against the law to incite another person to take their own life. If somebody is targeting a young person to play this “game”, or attempting to incite suicide, you should contact the Police and Netsafe for help, and a mental health service for support. Netsafe can also provide advice for any parents who are concerned about this challenge. If young people are expressing feelings about self-harm or suicide then this should be followed up with appropriate mental health support.

Netsafe’s advice for parents about exposure to upsetting content:

  • Have a conversation with young people about what to do if they do come across upsetting content online
  • Let your child know that they can come to you when they find something upsetting and they won’t get in trouble
  • Stay calm if they do come to you – don’t assign blame, reassure them that it’s not their fault and don’t punish them for seeking help
  • Normalise their feelings – let them know that it is normal to feel scared, confused or upset
  • Don’t over-react by taking away the technology – this may make them less likely to talk to you if something else happens
  • For young children in particular, consider using parental controls to block out specific keywords like “Momo”
  • If you or your child comes across this type of content report it to the platform that it’s on
  • If your child is expressing any concerning feelings, follow up with mental health support
  • If you know that a young person has been engaging in this challenge, report it to the Police and Netsafe, and contact a mental health service for support.

For more advice about children viewing upsetting content online, visit our Upsetting Content page.    Need help or advice? Contact Netsafe by:

  • Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282
  • Email
  • Call us toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
  • Online report form at

Their helpline is open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on weekends.



There's been alot going on sports-wise at DNI, with the DNI Triathlon, Cricket tournament and then Dunedin Triathlon plus Rugby League 9's tournament next week, on top of all the usual weekly sports that lots of our students are involved with.

For information on the different summer sports (such as team lists and links to weekly draws) check out the DNI sports page on our school website or follow this link

If you have any questions about summer sports, please contact Sheree Landrebe-Potter (

Lunchtime Yoga Classes       

Yoga classes will run from 12.30-1pm each Wednesday and Friday for 5 weeks. The first class is Wednesday 13th March.

Classes begin with a warm up game or activity followed by some themed physical asana/poses, and finish with a breathing exercise and relaxation.

Over the 5 week block the children learn some mindfulness theory and exercises, and have the opportunity to discuss how thoughts can affect our physical bodies and frame of mind. The classes encourage group and partner cooperation as well as individual time.

The 5 week block is $40.

To register your child and for further information please email Fiona at


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