Friday, 15 December 2017

Term 4 School Newsletter


Dear Families & Friends of Sommerville,                            14th December 2017
On behalf of the staff and Board of Trustees I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I thank you for your continued support of our programmes.

This term we have welcomed the following new students and their families to our school community:
Aerl Agnes, James Darvell, Delano Egan-Rossi, Andre Gera, Toby  Jaques,  Joel Norrington, Toby O’Brien, Michelle Prochownik, Hannah Simpson, Jette Cyrus Telosa, Hoia Te Aro-Manu Wipani, Cruz Zuriel.

This year we farewell 8 students who’ve turned 21 years of age:- Zaina Al Mesfer, Edwin Chan,
Solomone Fonohema, Lawrence Liu, William Sili, Emma Sykes, Daniel Wong, Timothy Wong.
We extend our best wishes for their future to their families and ask that they keep in touch with us
and let us know how they are going along.

IEP MEETINGS:Thank you to the parents/caregivers for participating in our latest IEP meetings with teachers and therapists.

STAFF: We farewell the following staff and wish them well in future endeavours.
Teachers: Rose Anne Hughson, Allison Mackie. Teacher Aides: Sherwen Mohan - Tam Prim 2,
Theo Faithful - R1 base, Dorota Broda - R1 base, Nirosha Fernando - R7 base,
Stacey Howes - Tam prim 2, Monica Widjaja - R3 base.

PROPERTY:  Staff and students in Te Hapori at Highland Park have settled in well and are enjoying their
new building with so many facilities nearby.   

Our new unit at Edgewater College is up and running with students eagerly utilising their space.

TAXIS:  If there are any changes of information, eg start date or address, please email John immediately on:                                                        

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS:     Note: We break-up on Friday 15th December 2017 at 1.30 p.m. for the Term Four holidays, returning on Thursday 1st February 2018 for the start of Term One, 2018.

NOTE: School will be closed on Tuesday 6th February 2018 as it is the Waitangi Day holiday.  
School re-opens on Wednesday 7th February 2018.    

Our term dates this year are as below:-     
Term 1, 2018: Thursday 1st February – Friday 13th April 2018
Waitangi Day Holiday:  Tuesday, 6th February 2018
Easter: Good Friday 30th March – Tuesday 3rd April 2018/Return to school Wed. 4th April 2018
Term 2, 2018: Monday 30th April – Friday 6th July 2018
Term 3, 2018: Monday 23rd July – Friday 28th September 2018
Term 4, 2018: Monday 15th October – To be advised
Labour Day Holiday: Monday 22nd October 2018
*Edgewater College Satellites end of year closing date is to be confirmed

HOLIDAY PROGRAMMES:  Email:  /  Lifekidz Ph 533-6360 Deearna

Available now - all Colour pages – showcasing all our students and their activities throughout the year – a great Christmas present for friends and family.  We offer our 2017 Yearbook at this price because of generous sponsorship from Toshiba (Australia) Pty Ltd. Order now $15 each. _____________________________________________________________________________________

                                     SOMMERVILLE SPECIAL SCHOOL YEARBOOK 2017

NAME: ………………………………………………………….……….....………………………………………….

     ROOM: ……………………………….……… NUMBER OF YEARBOOKS: …………………….…………..…

Amount enclosed: $…………………………………… OR Direct credit to: ASB 12:3089:0122445:00

Direct Credit with the reference: ‘yearbook’ and your ‘name’.   Please return form with your order.

HOLIDAY DENTAL CARE: Pt England Dental Clinic Ph 570-4309 remains open until Friday 22/12/17 at 3.00pm. Then reopens from Wednesday 3/01/2018. They are open from 8.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. each day.

TUESDAY 6th February 2018

Where:  Centre Park, 141 Robertson Road, Mangere
When:   Tuesday, 6th February 2018
Time:    11.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.

Term 4 has been a great term for sport. A fantastic time was had taking part in the Adaptive Cricket Day at Parnell Cricket Club.

Sommerville had a strong showing at the Pakuranga Triathlon.
Also seen in the last picture are students from Anchorage Park practicing their Boccia Skills with the ever watchful eye of Coach Martin from the Riverside Sports Club.


Wishing you a very happy and safe six weeks summer holidays.
Diane Hankins     

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Trump 2017

For our Trump work in 2017 the brilliant Edgewater 3 has worked together to learn how to plan and organise our own learning activities. We practiced working together on team activities and sometimes we independently managed our own learning.

To achieve a pass in Trump this year the Edgewater 3 students planned trips to the swimming pools, managed their personal fitness programme and competed in a range of team building activities.

Students also planned a menu and enjoyed making healthy shared meals. We mastered the juice extractor machine and learnt how to juice fresh fruit and vegetables to make a nutritious cold drink.

We used our Chromebook computers to learn, create and share our work. Using Google Slides software we made slideshows to publish our stories with interesting fonts, photos and artwork.

We have also created personal blogs, learnt to search for information online and had fun using Gchat to chat online safely with our Sommerville friends.

Trump 2017 has helped us learn how to plan and organise ourselves. This work has helped us to become more independent learners. It’s been a fun year's work.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Edgewater summer uniforms for our Sommerville Students

Hello Friends and Families

Here is a little information about the Edgewater summer uniforms for our Sommerville Students.

We wear the Edgewater Junior uniform: 

Light blue shirt 
Dark blue Skirt or Shorts  
PE Shorts and PE Shirt

NO Blazer required - Jacket Optional - Jersey recommended

Links to the school uniform information:

Uniform shop is open until Dec 6 and then next year.

2017 hours

Mondays 1.45pm - 2.30pm
Wednesday 1.45pm - 2.30 pm
Thursday 8am - 9.15am

Second Hand Uniforms - On Trade Me or 

Uniforms can be purchased online, by a WINZ order or at the Edgewater Uniform shop this year or after school starts in 2018.



Thursday, 16 November 2017

MU69 ------ Name it competition

MU69 is the most distant object ever explored and NASA wants a better name for it

We know next to nothing about it, and the Pluto probe New Horizons is headed straight for it. You might not have heard of MU69, but it's about to be really famous — and you can give it a better name.


The spacecraft New Horizons is on its way to another close encounter, with a mysterious object we have barely glimpsed.
The target is in the heart of the Kuiper Belt — the fringe of debris beyond our solar system's familiar planets.
We know next to nothing about this rock and at the moment, it doesn't even have a good name.
Based on how it was first spotted, by the Hubble Space Telescope, the object currently goes by (486958) 2014 MU69 — or MU69 for short.
Today NASA has launched a public naming competition, offering anyone around the world the chance to christen the most distant object ever explored.
Entries close on December 1 and the winner will be announced in January.
"It's only got a license plate so far," Alan Stern said. "We'll fix that."
Dr Stern is the principal investigator of New Horizons, the little NASA probe that shot past Pluto in 2015 and completely upended our expectations of dwarf planets.
The spacecraft already has six billion kilometres on the clock and is now more than halfway to MU69, where it will arrive on New Year's Day 2019.
"You've gotta really love delayed gratification on this mission," Dr Stern said.

Two for the price of one

Even from the little we do know about it, MU69 is an intriguing destination.
For starters, as targets go, it's not a big one. Whereas Pluto is about half the size of Australia, this thing would just about fit inside Canberra.
"[It's] only about 30 kilometres across," Dr Stern said.
"No-one's ever been to a world like this. It's about 1,000 times the mass of a typical comet and about 10,000 times less massive than Pluto."
So far, our best information comes from chasing its faint shadow across the Earth with mobile telescopes, including SOFIA: an infrared telescope mounted on an aeroplane.
"It's a very powerful technique where we can watch the target, MU69, pass in front of a star and make it wink out," Dr Stern explains.
"And from the amount of time that it winks out, you can tell how big it is … and if you watch it wink out from multiple telescopes, in slightly different places with multiple lines of sight, you can trace out its shape."
A recent series of observations just like this, from SOFIA and a string of carefully positioned, portable telescopes in Argentina, delivered a big surprise: it's actually two objects.
"MU69 appears to be a binary," said Dr Stern, with obvious excitement.
"The two may be touching, or they may be orbiting each other. We'll have to wait for the flyby to really know.
"We will have spectacular imagery because we'll be going even closer than we went to Pluto."

A mid-sized, far-flung object like MU69 is completely uncharted territory — and it also serves as a trip back in time.
It is a frozen remnant, Dr Stern explains, from our solar system's chaotic younger years.
"There's a conventional notion that rocks run into each other and build boulders, boulders run into each other and build comets, and comets run into each other and make MU69s, and eventually MU69s accrete to Plutos and planets," Dr Stern explains.
"It's massive enough that it probably had active surface geology at some point in its past.
"But we've never been to something of that size, that's been in this deep freeze all along.
"We're just going to have to see."

One-way express ticket

Just like its Pluto visit, New Horizons' encounter with MU69 will be fleeting: a straight-line flyby at about 15km per second.
When you're travelling that fast there's a limit to how much you can steer.
"We're travelling on a one-way exit of the solar system," Dr Stern said.
"New Horizons is a very sophisticated machine, but it's not the Millennium Falcon."
Even the decision to visit MU69 was made because it was achievable with minor adjustments.
"We only have a little bit of fuel on board, that allows us to target new flybys if we find something interesting. Or we can use it with our control jets, just to point our telescopes," Dr Stern said.

As it soars towards the edge of the solar system, New Horizons is essentially a remote lab. Very, very remote.
And its systems, although they date from 2006 — those hazy pre-iPhone days when the probe was sent into space — are in rude health.
Its antenna can still drip-feed data back to Earth at about the speed of a dial-up modem.
"We use our telescopes all the time, to study other Kuiper Belt objects that we pass by in the distance," Dr Stern said.
"We're making observations that you can't make from the Earth, you can't make from the Hubble – because we're there."
He said there is enough fuel in the tanks, and enough juice in the small plutonium-powered generator, for the craft to keep operating way into the 2030s — provided his team can secure the funding to keep driving it.
In the meantime, they have historic successes to look back on.

Renewing our passion for exploration

Regardless of whether Pluto is a planet, it's an extraordinary place. And almost everything we know about it comes from New Horizons.
When the craft hurtled past in July 2015, snapping our first ever close-ups of the dwarf world and its multiple moons, planet Earth paid attention.
"There was just this viral societal response," Dr Stern recalls. "It had been a generation since we'd gone to someplace new.
"For a lot of people, like my kids — they weren't born last time we did this … and they went crazy for it. It was awesome."
To add to the novelty, Pluto has yielded a list of discoveries that reads like a catalogue for a science fiction set-builder: ice volcanoes, nitrogen glaciers, towering mountains and avalanches, clouds and hazy weather patterns — and of course, a heart-shaped plateau.

"It's as active as [any world] we've ever seen," Dr Stern said.
"We've seen frozen, dead worlds that died billions of years ago … and we've seen worlds that have gone haywire, like Mars and Venus, that can teach us about climate change and how we'd better take it seriously.
"But then we went to Pluto and we were just stunned, that a little place so far away and so cold — just 40 degrees above absolute zero — could be so active, so long after its birth, and on such a massive scale.
"We're still scratching our heads."

And he hopes that the scientific head-scratching, as well as the public's enthusiasm, will reach another crescendo as MU69 spins into view at the end of 2018.
"Everyone can come along," Dr Stern said.
"Spend your New Year's Eve with NASA — your Christmas in the Kuiper Belt."
In the intervening 14 months, New Horizons has another half-a-billion kilometres to travel.
It certainly puts a trip home for the festive season into perspective.

© 2017 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

Monday, 13 November 2017

Wild Bird News

This is the season to be caring and sharing.
We would like to share some tips and reminders on how to care for our wildlife.

Please stay in touch with us through facebook & our website.

Trustees Update                                                

Welcome to this newsletter which comes from Tauranga where we have settled down following the big move from Auckland in February!

The trust has changed its primary focus from the rehabilitation of native birds to more of a supporting and educational role.  Mandy has been busy with establishing a new online shop and evaluating software to support the development of educational training courses.  We are excited about the opportunity to provide information and training to assist those wanting to help rehabilitate our sick and injured birds through good quality courses delivered online.  Technology has become a significant enabler for delivering training and sharing information and is the way of the future for our younger generation.

We hope our supporters will continue to support the aims of the Wild Bird Charitable Trust to get more people involved  in assisting our unique wildlife.

We wish everyone a merry Christmas and all the best for 2018!

Brian Robertson

On-line Shop

Please note our online shop will be closed from the 4thDecember 2017 to 14th January 2018.

We are going on an overseas winter holiday…woohoo!!!

Top tips to save a birds life

Have you ever found a bird, wanted to help it but not known where to start?  

These tips should help...

Training and education programmes

We continue to work with Learn Bird Care as this gives us an opportunity to keep assisting interested individuals and organisation with a variety of training and information programmes.  It is our hope that these programmes will give people the skills and knowledge to care for birds in need.

We are currently assisting Learn Bird Care with putting together online training programmes and we should have a couple of them up and running in the first quarter of 2018.  Watch this space!!!


Our loveable Kea has been crowned 'Bird of the Year'

Kea are unashamedly reckless. Whether they are testing your car, your brand new alpine tent or your lunch, they certainly make themselves known. Their cheeky antics and curious behaviour often lands them in a whole lot of trouble, landing them the notorious title of 'clown of the mountains'.

Kea are social, raucous, colourful, bold and highly intelligent. But they are now becoming conspicuous by their absence with some reports suggesting they are declining in the wild. Aside from threats such as human foods and materials, traffic, lead poisoning, hunting and illegal wildlife trading, Kea are threatened by some of the very things that are set up to help protect them, like predator traps.  The Kea is said to be in serious trouble.  (Credit to the Bird of the Year site for this information).

If you would like to know more about our Kea here is a link 

Here are some seasonal tips and reminders:


If you’re planning to use fireworks, please remember how frightening they can be for birds.

Here ar
some tips

Have a snail problem?

Do you have a problem with slugs and snails but hate the idea of thrushes being poisoned by the bait that is laid?

Here's a simple tip to keep our birds safe.

Summer Reminder

Summer is fast approaching and our birds and other wildlife will need a helping hand.
Here ar
some tips…

Pruning Reminder

Planning on trimming a few shrubs and trees?

Please read this first...

Christmas Trees

If you’re buying a Christmas tree, please check it before taking it home – it may be occupied!
Some finches make nests in fir and pine trees, so please ensure you’re not disturbing any nests and/or bird-napping.

Leave eggs in nests

Don’t be tempted to remove eggs from nests. The nest may not have been abandoned; birds will only starting sitting on the eggs once they have laid all their eggs, this is so all the chicks will hatch at the same time. 

Did you know?

Here is a fact you may not know about our Tui 
Tūī have beautiful voices. But they can also sound like they're nursing a bad cough. Having two voice boxes is how they sing their incredibly varied song that combines clicks, barks, cackles and wheezes. Some of their sounds can be too high for humans to hear, so if you see a silent tūī with its beak open and its chest puffed out - you will know why.

Tūī are also great mimics and Māori prized them for their ability to imitate things, keeping them in cages to welcome people onto the marae. One bird even learnt the Pizza Hutt jingle!
Kimberley Collins for Forest and Bird.

That's all folks!

We will leave you with a lovely quote from Albert Einstein and wishes for a safe and happy Christmas, and all the very best for the coming New Year.

The Wild Bird Care team

“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it's beauty.”