Newsletter 2021/36

Principal's Message

Tena koutou

I had a lovely time yesterday teaching Tara Vertongen’s new entrant class. It reminded me just how curious and spontaneous our newbies can be. There was a delightful moment that I captured on my camera which I have shared with you in the photo below. After I finished reading a book to the class, they spontaneously clapped and called out ‘Bravo! Bravo!’ What a gorgeous, heartwarming moment.

In this newsletter I wish to congratulate our Assistant Principal, Vicki Wilson, who has won study leave for 32 weeks of 2022. Vicki is going to study te reo Māori at Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Ōtaki. Congratulations Vicki, we all look forward to sharing in your learning journey too!

While Vicki is studying we have appointed Vanessa Brewer and Rachel McDowell to job-share her responsibilities. Rachel and Vanessa are proven leaders, and whilst they will continue to lead their syndicate teams throughout 2022, they will not teach a class of their own. Releasing both Rachel and Vanessa fully from the classrooms means less disruption for students.  It also means that as well as sharing the Assistant Principal’s responsibilities they will both  have to undertake some classroom release to make this a financially viable situation for the school. We look forward to adding Rachel and Vanessa’s leadership skills to our Senior Leadership team.

COVID-19 Update
As you’ll be aware, there are many, many aspects of the Covid pandemic which continue to impact heavily on schools and their communities. As your Principal, I am endeavoring to make sure staff and parents get the information they need. In most instances the advice from the Ministry of Education is clear, but at times we find gaps in the information, requiring to seek further clarification.  Please find below some additional information which may affect you.

In schools, who does the vaccination mandate apply to?
The Public Health Order requires staff to be vaccinated, but this also applies to volunteers (e.g. Parent Helpers). Naturally this creates a significant workload for schools. Below is the information supplied to us from the Ministry of Education:

Everyone who works for a school who may have contact with students or will be present at a time when students are also present must have had a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 15 November and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

From 1 January 2022, schools must only allow those that are fully vaccinated to provide onsite services.  This includes: principals, teachers, relief teachers and casual staff, administration staff, caretakers and cleaners, contractors and other tradespeople, service managers, caregivers and other staff.

It also includes unpaid workers, such as volunteers and any members of the community who are regularly on site during a time when students may be present. Throughout this guidance we have used the term staff member to refer to paid staff members, unpaid workers, volunteers, contractors and other workers at your school.

The vaccination requirements apply wherever ‘in person’ (face to face) learning/schooling occurs, such as on the school site, but also at school camps, swimming pools, museums, or where other education outside the classroom (EOTC) programmes take place. This means that both school staff and volunteers who are involved in EOTC should have had a first vaccination by 15 November and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

The vaccination requirements do not apply to those who are performing services remotely (digital interface), or who are onsite only when children and students are not present (such as a contractor who is performing maintenance during the weekend or over a term break). The requirements also do not apply to people who are visiting your school or kura, such as for a learning conference or a parent, whānau and community evening.

This means that parents/caregivers/whānau members who are helping in classrooms, in the school library, on trips, on camps, coaching sports teams etc will need to be vaccinated. We realise that many coaches are working with teams off site and after hours, but because you have face-to-face contact with students this rule still applies.

I am very, very appreciative that as a community you have shown kindness and support since the start of this pandemic. Elements of this mandate have the potential to divide school communities and I would hate that to happen to us. I also request that any upset or frustration you may feel is not taken out on me or my staff personally – as we are public servants following the Public Health order.

What would happen if we had a Covid case at PBS?
Yesterday I received an email from the Wellington Office of the Ministry of Education alerting me to the fact that there are now cases of Covid in the greater Wellington area (Wairarapa). The Ministry has indicated that with the community spread of Covid 19 across the country, it is likely that schools may have some students or staff who test positive. We have been asked to act on confirmed cases only and reminded not to close the school as a result of unconfirmed information or rumours of positive Covid 19 case contacts.

As always, we will remain vigilant for symptoms, ask parents to keep sick kids at home, encourage good hand hygiene, require parents and visitors to the school to wear face coverings and use our school’s QR tracing app. If we do get a confirmed case of Covid at our school, please be assured that we will work closely with Regional Public Health.

Tsunami Evacuation Practice – TOMORROW

NB: If it is raining in the morning or if the weather looks dire then this event will be postponed until Term 1.

Please note that under our blanket consent process, we will not be collecting separate parental permission for this evacuation drill. During this drill students and staff will practise an earth-quake scenario followed by a full school evacuation – walking briskly down Guilford Drive and to the back of Mazengarb Park. We will assemble there, check class roles, fulfill other checks on our evacuation procedure and then return to school. Students will know this is a drill beforehand so we can avoid undue stress or anxiety.

Kind regards
Jess Ward – Tumuaki ~ Principal

Mrs Vertongen's New Entrant Class

Welcome to Our Recent New Students

Reef – Rm 20
Kobe – Rm 20

Staff Appointments

We are pleased to let you know that Teresa Robertson has been employed permanently at Paraparaumu Beach School! Teresa has been a long standing PBS staff member, who had a permanent contract with us before having her own kids. Since then Teresa has successfully fulfilled a myriad of part time and fixed term roles.

Teresa will step back into the Year 7-8 team from the start of 2022, filling the space created by Gill Snowsill’s departure. Congratulations Teresa!

Update on Term 4 Events

  • Annual Kapa Haka Festival: Sadly due to pandemic restrictions the district Kapa Haka Festival has been cancelled this year.  We have plans to video our performance group (Years 5-8) for parents to view.  The Kapa Haka will also still do their performance for syndicate groups (outdoors) between now and the end of term
  • Cultural Performance Showcase: Our own annual performance showcase has been cancelled this year
  • Year 8 Leaver’s Dinner: All parents (or Year 8 students) received a letter yesterday about this event.  The students will still be able to attend the dinner, but please read the letter outlining how we intend to carry out the speeches and certificates section of the evening
  • Year 5-8 Prizegiving: We will be breaking this into two different events, one for Year 5 & 6 and the other for Year 7 & 8 students.  We are planning to live-stream this event as parents/whānau will be unable to attend
  • Parent-Helper Morning Tea: Unfortunately this has been cancelled this year

Thank you for your understanding.


If you have any school contributions outstanding for this year we would really appreciate your support.  Payments can still be made, via KINDO for school donations, payments for Education Perfect (Year 7-8), IXL and Tech Centre costs (Year 7-8) etc.  Every little bit helps us tremendously.  Thank you.

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 the whole nation to keep this unique language alive.

He paramanawa māu? Would you like a snack?

Were Your Ears Burning?

Staff Gratitude Section

Thank you in advance to David Parr who has offered to help us live stream our prizegiving events at the end of the year. David has been working with students as part of a PBS TV crew, through which the students are gaining incredible new skills. The PBSTV crew are also in the process of filming sessions of our Kapa Haka group’s performance so that this can be shared on our website. Thank you David and PBSTV!

Kid's Quote

When teaching a class of new entrants yesterday, a curious and concerned 5 year old noticed I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring.

5 year old looking at the Principal’s hands “Do you have a wedding ring?”

5 year old “Oh, so you haven’t found a husband yet?”
Principal“No” (Been there – done that!)
5 year old “Oh, how about you find one tomorrow.”

From the Student Council

Guest Speaker
Last week, Student Councillor Phoebe organised for Carolyn Press-McKenzie, Co-Founder of HUHA, to speak to the students of Te Moana. HUHA, which stands for Helping U Help Animals, is a charity that teaches empathy to the community and provides shelter for less fortunate animals. Carolyn brought a puppy named Olive with her to explain her life journey and how we can give animals a good life. The students had a lot of patai (questions) for Carolyn!

HUHA does amazing work all over the motu. They are currently developing an all in one site in Lower Hutt that will have a hub where school children can visit to learn more about what they do to support all kinds of animals.

Phoebe, Carolyn Press-McKenzie and Grace
Huha Co-Founder speakingto students

Sunscreen Station
Last week we had some super hot days and our sunscreen station has been a hit. Thanks to the PTA for providing the funds so we could do this. If anyone wants to donate a 1 Litre tub of sunscreen to the school for future use, we would be very grateful!!

Litterless Lunches
We are trying to reduce waste at school and protect our environment. Please help us out to create litterless lunches.  Below are some great websites with ideas for yummy litter free lunches.

Future Student Achievements

If your child has an achievement you would like us to share in our newsletter, then please send details (and a picture if you would like) to

Advertise in our Community Directory

 PBS has launched an online community directory for the Kapiti Coast.

The Paraparaumu Beach School Community Directory is an online, user-maintained list of businesses, events, and opportunities in the Kapiti area and gives local businesses the opportunity to support PBS while promoting themselves and improving their search engine visibility. It has replaced the community notices section of our school newsletter.

To view the new community directory and for instructions on how to advertise, please click here

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