Newsletter 2021/03

Principal's Message

Kia Ora.  Hopefully this move to Alert Level 2 is very short, but please make sure you have read the email sent out to all parents on Sunday evening or the Covid19 information on our website.  This information will enable all students to feel secure at school and will help staff and parents to role- model the right health practices to keep our community safe.  

Later in this newsletter I have also outlined our preparation for the possibility of moving to Level 3 or 4.  Whilst I hope this doesn’t eventuate we want to communicate our intentions should it happen.  

At this stage we intend to go ahead with our parent-interview night next Wednesday, so please book yourself an interview slot (see details later in this newsletter).  These start of year interviews are important to help teachers understand more about your child and thus ‘set the scene’ for the year ahead. Remember that school closes on 2pm on this day.

At this time of year we usually have a “Back to School Picnic”, but we have decided to defer this until Friday, 9 April to align with our PTA Fun Run.  So please put this date in your diary and we will give you more details about this later in the term.

Ngā mihi, 

Jess Ward – Tumuaki ~ Principal


Welcome to Our Recent New Students

Tahlia Rm 25
Jackz Rm 26 
Kian Rm 25

Meet the Teacher Interviews

Parent-Teacher interviews or “Meet the Teacher” as we often call it at the start of the year, will be held on Wednesday, 24 February.  Interviews, at this early stage of the year, are not reporting sessions.  However, they are an excellent opportunity for parents and teachers to meet and for parents to pass on essential knowledge about their child and what makes them tick.  To make a booking, click here (the code is qt4ne).

The library will be open during interviews for child supervision.

NB:  School closes at 2pm on this date to accommodate enough interview slots.

Preparation for the Possibility of Levels 3 or 4

With the move to Alert Level 2 and the awareness of how quickly circumstances can change around the country, I wish to outline our preparation for moving to Alert Levels 3 or 4 just in case this occurs.

If the Government announced that our region was moving to Alert Level 3* or 4 our staff would return to remote teaching and students would be required to do their ‘Learning from Home’. In this scenario, on the day of the announcement, we would ensure that all students take home their stationery, devices and reading material.  Depending on the restrictions, teachers may also be able to spend the following day organising other resources for collection at staggered times.  

We are aware that not all of our Year 5-8 students own their own chromebook, so these students may be loaned a school chromebook to bring home (one device per family).  Students in Years 1-4 who do not have access to any device at home (usually a parent’s phone will suffice to check the day’s learning) can contact their child’s teacher and we will do our best to provide your family with one.  Alternatively a pack of work may be issued from the school.

The 2020 lockdown experience taught us a lot.  The feedback we received from our community survey also enabled us to understand what worked for you and what didn’t. Whilst it is difficult to provide a highly personalised programme via remote teaching for every child, we will do our best to be responsive to need.  We will also look to offer a more consistent programme across the syndicates.  

While we are at Alert Level 2 all students are expected to regularly attend school. However, if your child is sick, please keep them at home and notify us of their absence as per normal processes.

Kia kaha, be kind and stay well

Jess Ward – Principal and Zoe Pearson – Board Chair

* NB: Depending on restrictions we may be required to offer bubble classes in Alert Level 3 for essential workers who are not able to arrange care for their children.

Road Safety - Jaywalking

We have seen an upsurge in pedestrians jaywalking outside our school. Apart from the fact it is dangerous and not setting a good example to our students, it is also illegal in New Zealand to cross the road within 20 metres of a controlled crossing. Therefore, if you cross the road between the diamonds painted on Gray Ave or Martin Rd and our school’s controlled crossings you are jaywalking. 

The crossings around our school are classed as “controlled crossings” when our road patrol team is out on duty. The times they are on duty are:  mornings (8.30 – 8.55am) and afternoons (2.55 – 3.15pm). 

Also, be aware jaywalking also carries a penalty of $35.00 if ticketed.


Junior Vegie Gardens Vandalised

Our junior kids were devastated to find their vegie gardens had been vandalised over the weekend. Carrots and potatoes had been torn out, plants had been trampled and 40-50 passionfruit had been ripped from their vines and stomped on.  It’s such a disheartening and senseless act.  If anyone knows anything about this please contact the school.  Thank you.

Vandalism at the Junior Vege Garden

Were Your Ears Burning?

Staff Gratitude Section

A BIG thank you to Te Motu Syndicate – Cath Franks, Caty Spencer, Larisa Mckenna, Alice Graham, Gill Snowsill and Colin Siversen – for all the planning and organisation behind the scenes to ensure the Senior Camps to Nelson are the best they can be. 


Kid's Quote

7 year old wisdom – “Now that Mrs McKnight has left, Ms Ward is in charge.”

Using Māori Language at Home

It’s important for all Kiwi to learn te reo.  Each week our newsletter will include phrases that you might like to try out at your place.  After all, it will take a whole nation to keep this unique language alive.

Wash your hands

Dyslexia Review

In 2020 we continued our journey reflecting on our practices in relation to dyslexia and implementing the suggested findings from the report produced by Te Whiri Kōkō Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour service (RTLB).

Our teaching staff took part in professional development sessions led by Alistair Milner (RTLB). These sessions covered topics such as identification of dyslexic tendencies, interpretation of data, systematic teaching of phonics, barriers to learning, class adaptations and digital supports.

Our school SENCO upskilled in using a new assessment tool (Lucid Dyslexia Screening Programmes) specifically designed to detect dyslexia tendencies and other learning needs. A staff workshop was then held to demonstrate how to utilise the platform effectively. As a staff we collectively established a clear definition and understanding of dyslexia and shaped a school- wide process for identifying and supporting students displaying dyslexic tendencies. The new PBS dyslexia procedural document will be made available on our school’s website within the coming weeks. 

We have compiled a healthy bank of resources and professional reading material to support classroom teachers and teacher aides to meet student learning needs. This collection will continue to be added to as new strategies and research comes to hand. 

Our next step, in this professional journey, is to ensure that our school-wide literacy programmes are robust and up to date with the most effective approaches. Our English curriculum team will lead this exploration in 2021. 

Sarah Chambers, Deputy Principal 

Thank You to Goodmans and Dave Eliason

The PTA and PBS would like to thank Goodmans and Dave Eliason for their generosity in helping to reconstruct the school sandpit.  Goodmans kindly let Dave use their machinery to remove the old so called sand and concrete blocks.  Dave gave up 4 hours of his time on Saturday to remove the bulk of the old sand.  

I was very interested to find out that Goodmans are part of a reuse/recycle programme where you can take old concrete to their yard for a cost that is less than the tip prices.  They put the concrete into a crushing machine that will crush the concrete up, it then passes a magnet that removes any metal.  This concrete will now be used with other materials to help make new roads.  What a fantastic initiative Goodmans. Well done and thank you. 

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