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Tuakana Team

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“I love the outdoors and can often be found outside either at the beach or walking trails. My goals this year are to try new challenges, I would like to be able to complete a 50km trail walk, and learn to do some tricks on skis. I believe that everything is possible if you have the right mindset, the right attitude, have learnt the necessary skills, and have great support around you. My mantra is never give up, keep trying and be Resilient”

Ruth Taylor - Head of Senior

The Tuakana team comprises all of the staff and children related to Years 5 and 6 at Gulf Harbour School. 


Ruth Taylor is the Head of the Senior school and part of the Leadership team at Gulf Harbour. She helps to coordinate the ‘bigger picture’, including camps, leadership and EOTC ( Education outside the classroom), and oversees our Teaching and Learning Programmes.


Year six is made up of four teaching staff: 

Nathan Hanwell who is our Head of Teaching and Learning for the Tuakana Whanau and who works to promote Citizenship and Leadership programmes throughout our senior school. Chelsey Trautvetter, who is our Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) expert who guides our focus on student wellbeing and Zones of Regulation, Kelly Henton, who drives our fitness and health curriculum and Helen Cammell, who oversees Digital Learning across the school. 


Our Year five team is made up of three teaching staff: 

Kirsten Kiata, who is our school Maths Lead teacher, Laura Thrush, who promotes Te Reo and the Arts and Ruth Trevathan, who is our resident Science expert and is the Whole School Curriculum Lead Teacher.



This is a very exciting time of year, as we engage in the History of Waitangi; What it means to us now, as well as what it meant at the time.


Through our reading and writing programmes, we will be really getting to know the historical events that occured and which cultures were involved and affected by the signing of the treaty. This will help us consider our own classroom treaties as we develop them this term and consider the differing viewpoints and ideas from all of our students. We’ll be heading off to Shakespear to look at some of the local historical sites as well as engaging with Maori art and Te Reo.


We will also visit Shakespear in class groups for our Waterwise programme. It promises to be a full, entertaining and engaging term that will really get our children thinking deeply about this crucial area of New Zealand history.


“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom”

Term 2’s Inquiry is science-based, with a slant towards the weather. We will be exploring:

  • How to work like a scientist: what skills do we need, what do we record and how do we present our findings and conclusions?

  • The weather: what do we notice/wonder? How can we find out more? What can we predict? 

Maths - We will be using our statistics knowledge to record information related to the weather and weather patterns. We will also be looking at how to coordinate robots.

Literacy - We will be looking at instruction and explanation texts, and developing our ability to write a ‘how to’ when conducting a scientific experiment, and drawing up our conclusions once that experiment is completed


"In Term 3, Tuakana will be all-singing and all-dancing (literally!). In the build-up to our Celebration Evening, the students will be exploring the fundamentals of what it takes to put on a musical performance. We will zone in on what makes music so impactful, from pitch to form, timbre to texture, as well as looking at drama, how to create an emotional reaction from a stage performance! We will be looking at the impact of deforestation, not just on those directly affected, but also on the world as a whole. In line with this topic, the students will also be learning how to write persuasively, and what it takes to deliver a top-notch speech!"


Will be updated later in the year.