I hope your children have settled or are settling in happily. It can take a bit of time and all the new routines and learning can be exhausting especially in this heat.
A big thank you to everyone who attended our Meet The Teacher Evening last Thursday. We had a great turnout and were able to share with parents & caregivers some important information about our school routines and organisation for this year.
For those unable to attend this evening, we have provided an overview below.
Curriculum & Teacher Only Days:
This year our curriculum will also incorporate the new – Digital Technologies Curriculum mandated by the Ministry. We will be linking our staff and student learning for this through Creativity and Inquiry Learning. It will be literacy based with the Sciences and Arts integration. We will be having a Teacher Only Day with facilitator Paula Jamieson on Monday 2nd March at the start of Week 5. We do apologise for another interruption, but Paula was unable to cater for us before the Term started. The Ministry, in the last teacher negotiations, gave teachers a further 8 Teacher Only Days over the next three years, which will obviously impact on parents and caregivers. We will be using two of the days this year and will endeavour to attach them to weekends. Mindfulness – Health & wellbeing will still be integrated into our programmes.
When should we come to School?
Between 8:15am to 8.20am is a good time to come to school. With our School day commencing from 8:30am, our teachers need to spend time before and after school preparing. We have teachers on duty from 8.00am, however before this time no students should be left unattended on our school site.
Any students that arrive before 8.00am must go to Before School Care (BSC) in the Koromiko Suite for their safety. They must be signed in by their parent or caregiver and you will be invoiced. The fee structure for BSC is set at $10.00 per day, per child, capped at $40.00 per week, with the fee for a family capped at $100.00 per week.
After School Care:
Our Teachers have many meetings to attend and are not able to supervise students after 2:45pm. Any child left on the school grounds at this time, needs to go to After School Care (ASC) to ensure their safety.
We ask that all students please have their togs, towel and swimming cap ready for each swimming lesson. Hair tied back makes life a lot easier for everyone and we encourage the use of rash shirts in this very hot weather. Class lessons are an important part of the curriculum and we want all of our students to be able to swim well before they leave us.
If you have any concerns or worries at any time please come and talk with us, rather than letting you or your child have a problem festering. If we don’t know there is a problem we can’t try to fix it. Please start with your classroom teacher and if they can’t help, then it may need to be taken up with the Syndicate Leader or later on to myself, Lee Boyd or Annette Howard, our Deputy Principal and Assistant Principal. Lee will be coordinating the Special Needs area again this year, for those needing specific support with this area.
Launching of our new Website:
You will find our most up to date information in the weekly newsletter on our website. We are hoping to make this an easily navigable one-stop shop with paying facilities on the site in the future.
Please look under the Key Information tag to find information about our Kids Clubs, Musical tuition opportunities, etc
Health & Safety:
- Road Patrol – If you are crossing from the other side of the road, please use our Road Patrol, which is available from 8.10 to 8.25am and from 2.30 to 2.50pm.
- Healthy Eating – We do have a lot of health conscious families, but this is just a general reminder, that as part of our health and wellbeing, we are a Water & Milk only School and we are trying to keep sugar to a minimum. As such, we ask that you support this initiative by not bringing along sugary birthday cakes and treats to school for classes to share. This is a very lovely thought but some families feel pressured and over a year some classes get up to 30 sweet morning teas, that their parents are not expecting.
- Peanuts & nut products can cause anaphylaxis for a number of our students, so we ask that nut products e.g. peanut butter is kept at home, to keep everyone safe.
- Disability car parks – we have a few of these close to the bus bay and near the front gate. Please be aware of our disabled parents and grandparents, leaving these spaces clear for these families.
New Property Developments:
The Ministry will be constructing two new classrooms this year, in a collaborative style with a third space to become a staff room, with the current staff room altered to accommodate an improved First Aid area, along with meeting rooms for visiting specialists who support our students and their families.
Donations / activity fees
As a Decile 10 school, we get the least funding possible, and are always trying to make ends meet and fundraise to achieve quality outcomes for our students. Thank you, we have an amazing school community who help us to achieve incredible things. The money received in school donations is essential to keep our budget afloat and to provide some of the extra things that our students would otherwise have to go without. We encourage everyone to contribute if you are able.The School Donation is a donation on which a 33% tax rebate/credit is claimable.
We do appreciate the start of the year can be very expensive. Some families like to operate a direct credit, to cover such items as activity fees and camp costs, which can really help to spread the cost over the year and Lisa Boyd in the Office can help you with this. We would like to point out that we have elected not to increase our school donations for many years.
Harakeke 18 News:
At the start of 2020 the Teacher Aides along with Lee Boyd set up a new learning space in Harakeke 18. The special name of this place is Wānanga Whakangaā (A Peaceful Place To Learn). Our Teacher Aides are utilising this space on a daily basis, to work with students who need extra support for learning. It is also a place for students to go when they are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. It is a beautiful space with quiet areas, cushions, beanbags and is also conducive for learning opportunities. We are already finding huge value and look forward to taking full advantage of this area.
PTA & Dad’s Army
Our PTA Chairperson Mike Calvert spoke about the activities of our very active PTA, who support the school, teachers, families and community. The PTA organises social occasions, family events, community projects, mum’s dinners and school fundraisers.These events are all fun and a brilliant way to meet others. The PTA’s current fundraising focus continues to be raising funds towards improving both our Junior and Senior Playgrounds. Playground equipment are big ticket items.
The PTA also operates a very efficient Class Rep system, which is a great tool for your children’s classroom teacher to liaise with parents/caregivers on PTA matters.The role of the Class Rep is to:
- facilitate social occasions with class parents and families
- organise parent helpers to assist at school events
- share PTA information with your class
- attend the monthly PTA Meetings
Being involved in Dad’s Army is a great opportunity for our school Dad’s to not only help with the school’s environment, but also socialise! Once per term a social activity will be planned for Dad’s to get together and have a bit of fun, e.g. golf, wakeboarding, meeting at a local establishment.
Towards the end of each school term the Dad’s Army comes together at school one Saturday or Sunday morning to do odd jobs. This may involve shovelling mulch, playground maintenance, general gardening and if you’re lucky using power tools.