We communicate to our parents and caregivers via……
Email - Facebook - Hero app
When a child is going to be absent from school parents are asked to either
A message can be left on the school’s answer phone 24 hours a day. The school will make contact with home if a child is unaccounted for.
Children absent for more than 3 weeks at one time are required to be removed from the school roll unless there is written verification of a return to school date and an explanation for non-attendance e.g. medical certificate or travel details. When there are patterns of unjustified absence or lateness, this will be followed up with parents/caregivers by the Deputy Principal or Principal.
Under the Education Act 1989, Principal’s approval is required for parents to take children out of school for 3 days or more. Please request this in writing by sending an e-mail to email@example.com
We believe in learning together in a respectful environment. The school has a structured, positive approach to learning, both in the classroom and in the playground.
Waitākiri School responds to inappropriate behaviour at school with "Mucked up, Own up, Put it right, Move on". This process allows our children to have a consistent response from staff when they make poor decisions or 'muck up'. We are specific about how they have mucked up and then guide them through the steps so that they can move on.
Feel free to use the same language at home if it helps your child to take responsibility for his/her behaviour.
The purpose of “Bucket Filling” is to improve social & emotional learning. It is based on a simple concept where we each have an invisible bucket with the singular purpose of holding good thoughts and feelings about ourselves. It comes from the popular children’s book ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today?’ by Carol McCloud.
A bucket filler is someone who shows positive character traits (kind, considerate, caring, respectful). Bucket Fillers fill both their own and others’ buckets when they do and say things that are kind, considerate, caring, and respectful. Conversely, if a person is unkind or hurtful, they are referred to as “Bucket Dippers”. Like Bucket Fillers, Bucket Dippers dip into both their own bucket and others’ buckets when they choose to be mean or hurtful to others. This simple yet profound concept teaches children that actions and words affect both ourselves and others.
Cellphones at school
Children that bring their cellphone to school need to hand them into their teacher at 8.55am to be kept secure until 3pm. This is to ensure that children ask a teacher before contacting parents and to reduce the risk of any inappropriate use.
Change of details
It is essential that the school is notified immediately of any change of address, parents’ place of work and/or telephone numbers. This also applies to emergency or additional contact numbers. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This is our community room where parents can borrow parenting books and talk with other parents before and after school. There are some toys for pre-schoolers to play with while parents wait.
At lunchtimes from 1pm all children are welcome in the CHOICES room to play and draw. This is a popular place for children of all ages. During the school day year 5 and 6 children can learn independently in the CHOICES room.
Adjoining the CHOICES room is the CHOICE Café. You can purchase coffee, hot chocolate, fluffies and milkshakes here before school. Line up outside the window to place your order. Concession cards are available. The café is staffed by a trained barista and supported by parent volunteers. Children are asked to stay outside the Learning Studios with their hot drinks.
We communicate via text message and the Hero app to parents/caregivers
Latest updates, reminders, cancellations and urgent safety messages are just a text or app away. These are free for us and for you. It is imperative that you sign up for these texts and app, as these are our main source of messages to parents. Please follow the instructions on the 2nd page of this information booklet prior to your child starting school.
You can also follow us on facebook and twitter via our website. You do not need to be signed up to facebook or twitter to access this.
Community Dental Care
The Community Dental Care facilities are located at Aranui High School, Shortland Street, Aranui. The Dental Care van comes to Waitākiri School twice each year. If your child requires dental care please phone 0800 846 983 to make an appointment.
Dogs at school
Dogs are not permitted to be on the school grounds before, during or after school. We have a specially made “dog park” on Burwood Road, between the pedestrian crossing and front gate. If you bring your dog to school please tie them up here.
We request donations from families each year. Donations are tax deductible. Children starting school during the year pay a reduced amount. An invoice will be sent to families regarding this payment.
Your contribution will enable us to provide activities greater than the government grants allows for. Donations will assist with additional resources to enhance learning programmes, extension and special needs programmes.
Annual donation: One child $80.00
Two or more children $100.00
We are conscious that lump sum payments can be a budget problem with some families. We operate a process where you can use a direct credit from your bank account for a set amount each week or fortnight or if you prefer in termly instalments. The parents who are using this service find it works well for them. If you are interested, please ask at the office.
If you wish to make a payment via internet banking, our bank account number is
03 1700 0622075 025. State your child’s family name and ‘donation’.
Think to Drink: Drink to Think
At the beginning of 2019 a Health Education expert from Canterbury University came and talked to all the children about the importance of drinking water.
They all learnt that we need to drink water because…..
Children are being encouraged to drink all of the water in their own bottle during the course of the day, as a minimum requirement. We ask that parents please provide a named drink bottle for children to use in their studio each day with water only.
Waitākiri is a Green/Gold Enviroschool
Projects undertaken by Enviroschools have both environmental and educational outcomes that benefit the school and the wider community. By learning together in practical ways sustainability becomes an integral part of what we do throughout our schools and communities. Caring for our place and the whole planet becomes a living curriculum where we can be catalysts for change.
Health MattersChildren who are not well in the night or before school should not be sent to school. We do not have staff or facilities to care for sick children. When children become ill or are injured during the school day, parents are contacted and are asked to take the child home or to their doctor. If your child has been vomiting or had diarrhoea, they need to be away from school for 48 hours from the time of their last symptom.
If your child suffers from any medical condition please advise the school office so we can work out a procedure to deal with any situation that may arise.
If your child needs to take medication during the day, this will be administered at the office. Parents MUST sign an authorisation form at the office before medication can be given. Inhalers also need to be kept at the office and will be administered as per instruction from parents. While all care will be taken in administering medication and first aid, the final responsibility is the parents.
Waitākiri School works alongside our local Public Health Nurse located at Burwood Hospital. Parents and caregivers can contact the health nurse and team for any health matters on 383 6877. There is a health information brochure with this enrolment pack.
Hearing & Vision Tester
A Hearing & Vision tester employed by Canterbury District Health Board regularly visits school to test the hearing and vision of children. If you would like to find out more about this, or ask for your child to be added to the list when they next visit, please contact the school office.
Home Learning will consist of reading for all children and basic sight words (called Fast Words) for juniors, and basic facts for Year 2 – 6. In addition, students from Year 4, 5 and 6 are encouraged to take up the Waitākiri REAL Challenges (see REAL Challenges).
Late arrivals to school
Children who arrive late to school (after the 8.55am music) need to sign in via Vistab at the office giving a reason for their lateness and collecting a late slip which they take to their teacher. Parents may need to assist younger children into the school grounds as the school is fenced and they may not be able to reach the latch on the gate. When there are patterns of children arriving late, this will be followed up with parents/caregivers by the Deputy Principal or Principal.
Learning Assistant Support
The school uses a considerable amount of its operational grant to provide in class support for children. This Learning Assistant support is allocated according to need. Programmes are for a finite period of time and have measurable outcomes.
Learning Outside The Classroom (LOTC)
Teachers take classes on visits to studio learning programmes.
Parents who assist with supervision on class trips are asked to not bring preschoolers. The adult:child ratio is applied to achieve safe management of the children in groups and so children can be focused on the activities to achieve the aims of the trip.
School camps are included in the Year 5 & 6 programme.
We have six learning teams – Windsor, Burwood, Ōtākaro, Travis, Ruru and Korimako. The learning teams are under the leadership of a team leader. Photos of staff in each learning team, along with their email address, can be found under "Our Team" on our school website.
Leaving the school grounds
If parents come to take children from school between 8.55am and 3pm, they must advise the home group teacher and sign out at the office via VisTab. Pupils are not permitted to leave the school grounds during the school day for any reason without permission from a teacher. Children are not allowed to enter neighbour’s properties to collect balls or to climb over any fences backing onto the school.
Our well-resourced library is open during the day, including lunchtime, for children to borrow books, read and do research. Our library is staffed by an experienced librarian who is supported by student librarians.
Windsor and Burwood children are able to borrow two books at a time. These are issued for two weeks. All other children can have three books issued for four weeks. It is compulsory for every child to use a library bag to carry books to and from school. These can be purchased at the school office or supplied from home. Lost or damaged books are charged for at replacement cost. There is no charge for overdue books, however further books may not be issued until they are returned.
There is a lost property collection point in the CHOICE Room. We cannot stress enough that uniform and belongings must be named. Unclaimed and un-named clothing will be used as needed by the school at the end of each term.
Lost property will be returned to its owner if it is named.
Lunch Service - There are two lunch options:
Subway on Mondays
Subway order are ordered online through ez.lunch.co.nz before 9am Monday for delivery of Subway that day. . Subway will be delivered to the school by 12.30pm on a Monday and children collect their lunch from the office.
Sushi on Thursdays
Sushi order forms are available from the office or on the school website and must be returned to the drop-box outside the office with full payment and correct money before 3pm Wednesday (the day before sushi). This is a cash only service. Sushi will be delivered to the school by 12.30pm on a Thursday and children collect their lunch from the office.
New entrant children
A welcome meeting (Mihi Whakatau) for parents and children will generally be held just prior to the first child in their home group starting school. This meeting will introduce parents to the home group teacher, Deputy Principals and Principal. Suggestions for preparing to start school and the class programme will be outlined.
Parents will be given a letter regarding school visit dates for their child. Parents leave their children for the visits. Most children like to wear their school uniform; however this is not compulsory for the visits.
A school newsletter is emailed to parents and caregivers fortnightly on a Wednesday and is also available to view on the school website and the Skool Loop app. Take the time to read important information about school events each week. Please ensure we have your correct e-mail address. If you do not have access to the internet, please let your child’s teacher know and we will send a paper copy home. A copy is also available to read in the CHOICE room.
OSCAR (Out of School Care)
Enrolment forms are available at OSCAR or email the administrator Amanda Murray at email@example.com. For bookings and further information please also contact Amanda by email or on 027 655 8104.
Morning OSCAR operates from 7.30am – 8.30am, and afternoon OSCAR operates from 3.00pm – 6.00pm. OSCAR is Ministry of Social Development approved which means parents can access the Work and Income OSCAR Subsidy. For queries please contact Amanda
OSCAR encourages internet banking. The OSCAR bank account number is:
03 1700 0622075 026. When making a payment online please state your child’s name and ‘OSCAR’. The holiday programme brochure is available week 5 each term. Contact Amanda to book.
Pack In, Pack Out (lunch & morning tea)
As Waitākiri is an environmentally friendly school we expect all children and adults to take home their food rubbish. We call this “Pack In, Pack out.” There are no rubbish bins in the playground.
We encourage all children to have “Nood Food”. That is, food not wrapped in plastic or packets.
If a child or adult brings food wrappers to school they will go home in their lunch box along with any food scraps and dirty yoghurt pottles. We hope this will enable parents to see just what their child is eating.
We suggest you buy the large containers of yoghurt and put a small amount into a container with a screw lid if you wish your child to have yoghurt for lunch, and likewise for items like chips, popcorn, crackers. Small resealable bags are also ideal and can be used time and time again.
We appreciate your support as we work towards a sustainable environment and also thank Fresh Choice Parklands for their donation of eco-friendly lunchboxes to our new entrant children.
Our aim is to work co-operatively to resolve any problem.
If you have a concern please follow the following steps.
Deputy Principal Mrs Jacqui Malham
Deputy Principal Miss Dianna Reynolds
The concern and steps taken will be discussed further with the teacher involved.
Parking at school
NO parking is permitted on the school grounds, on the broken yellow lines outside school, over driveways or on any bus stops. Please adhere to the parking restrictions and be considerate to our neighbours when parking at school.
Drop Off Zone
At the front of school we encourage use of the 3 minute drop off zone/pickup zone between the hours of 8.15am – 8.55am and 2.30pm – 3.30pm, Monday to Friday. This is very successful and convenient for parents who do not need to come into the school. If you need to come into the school and stay longer than 3 minutes we ask that you DO NOT PARK within the 3 minute zone.
The City Council and Police regularly monitor these areas. Tickets may be issued to offending vehicles.
Payment for activities
To enhance the learning opportunities for your child, teachers plan experiences and activities that may include performing artists (story tellers, dancers and musicians), visits to places beyond the school (see LOTC) or costs for specialist instructors (such as swimming). The costs for these activities are to be met by parents. An invoice for payment for activities is emailed home once a term. Payment can be made in one lump sum, by direct credit or automatic payment. Many families pay a weekly or fortnightly sum ($2 - $10) which covers the annual activities. Parents who use this process find it an effective way of managing payment. You can contact the school office during school hours for a balance of your account.
EFTPOS facilities are available at the office. We also encourage internet banking. The school bank account number is: 03 1700 0622075 025. When making a payment online please state your child’s name and what the payment is for. Cash or cheque payments can also be made into the drop box outside the school office.
Placement of students at the beginning of the year
1. In November, after consultation with teachers, the Senior Leadership Team draw up home groups for the following year.
2. A range of criteria including age, intellectual, emotional and social development and positive or negative peer relationships will be considered. We aim to ensure children are placed with at least one good friend, when home groups are formed from one year to the next.
3. No changes will be undertaken during the year unless there are extraordinary circumstances and parents and staff both agree on the change.
Play, Eat, Learn
We all know that food, and particularly nutrious food, enhances our ability to think and to act. With our traditional timetable, children would eat and feed their bodies with energy that was used up while playing. By the time they returned to the class for learning, children were often felt tired and lethargic as they had used up their fuel when playing.
Changing the order to playing first and then eating has shown in international studies to improve children’s ability to pay attention in classrooms. With the ‘Play’ first, children eat more, drink more and have improved readiness to learn. They are not so inclined to rush their food to get out to play and are calm when eating after playing. By having the learning immediately following eating, they are more attentive, calm and ready to learn.
Children at Waitākiril eat their morning tea at 10.50am before they return to the studios to learn at 11.00am and then eat their lunch at 1.10pm before returning to their studios at 1.30pm.
Children are also having a healthy snack during the first block (between 9.00 and 10.40) as it is a long time for some children who have had breakfast early in the morning to last until 11.00. Each studio is having a ‘healthy brain snack’ break at approximately 9.45am. Likewise in the afternoon children are encouraged to eat a piece of fruit or have a break about mid afternoon. Each studio has their own way of addressing the different needs of their children.
A high carbohydrate snack between breakfast and morning tea can help learning. A mid-morning snack of one slice of wholemeal bread with a spread of marmite, vegemite, peanut butter or butter has been shown to improve cognition and attention in children. We would like to encourage as many parents as possible to include a slice of wholemeal bread with one of these spreads in their child’s luncbox so the children can use this as their healthy snack to be eaten in their 9.45am food break.
Policies & Procedures
To view our Policies and Procedures look under "General Information" on the school website. When policies are up for review parents are notified in the and asked for feedback.
All information relating to families and pupils of Waitākiri School is confidential under the Act. No information will be given to other agencies without permission of the persons concerned.
Privacy and Information Technology
During your child’s time at Waitākiri School, they will be involved in activities where children may be included in photographs and videos, as well as being involved in activities using e-mail and the internet.
If you have any concerns regarding the above, please contact the school office.
Promotion through the school
The Ministry of Education’s policy on the classification of pupils in New Zealand is one of social promotion – children moving through the school with pupils of the same age. Most Year 1 children with birthdays from January – end Term 1 will be promoted to Year 2 at the start of the following year. Generally at the start of each subsequent year the child will move to the next year level.
PTA (Parent Teacher Association)
Waitākiri School has an active parent/caregiver group who have an interest in helping the Principal, teachers and the Board of Trustees. They support the school financially by fundraising and with tasks that support running the school. The group meets twice a term in the evening. Please look out for dates of meetings in our newsletters and on our website calendar. If you would like to know more about the committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Year 4, 5 and 6 are encouraged to take up the Waitākiri REAL Challenges. These challenges include learning opportunities in the arts, physical activities, numeracy and literacy, service to others and the community, and service in school.
We fund a specially trained teacher to provide Reading Recovery. It is an intensive reading and writing programme provided to particularly low progress children, identified through screening tests of 6 year olds. Parents will be contacted if their child is selected for Reading Recovery.
Reporting to parents
Four to six weeks after a new entrant child starts school, the home group teacher will contact parents/caregivers to organise a time to meet and discuss the child's start at school and to share learning goals and next steps. The child attends the learning conference too. A written report is discussed at the time of this first learning conference.
Each child receives two written reports each year, which shows their achievement against curriculum level expectations, what they are currently learning to do and next steps in reading, writing and maths. Also included on the report are Key Competencies (we call these REAL Hero qualities), Inquiry learning, a child’s self-reflection and a general comment written by the home group teacher.
Scholastic Bookclub NZ Ltd
During the year children take home an order form for books supplied by Scholastic N.Z. Ltd. If you wish to order, send the money and order form in a named envelope to the drop box outside the office by the due date. Cheques are made to Scholastic NZ Ltd.
Each Friday morning, in the CHOICE room, ANZ bank visits the school to collect school banking from students. Two Student Councillors are trained to help with the banking. Further information regarding banking is included in this information pack.
Each year class and individual photos are taken in term 1 by Heritage Photographic Studios. For new entrant children starting after term 1 the photo is delayed until the fourth term. Every second year family photos are taken.
Sending payments to school
When sending a payment with your children please place in the drop-box outside the school office. If you send cash to school, please have money in a sealed envelope with the following information:
Please ensure you include the correct money. All money will be applied to your account, no change can be given.
Waitākiri School has a Shady School Policy to try to ensure that while children are attending school they are protected from skin damage caused by the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, which can lead to serious skin cancer in later life. The policy is implemented during Terms 1 and 4. As part of the general skin protection strategies sunscreen is provided in learning studios for children to use (they need to be able to put this on themselves) and it is compulsory for children to wear hats which protect the face, neck and ears when they are outside (i.e. break, lunch, sport, excursions and outdoor activities). Children will need to sit in a designated shade area if they do not have a hat.
The Smokefree Environments Amendment Act 2003, directs that all buildings and grounds of Waitākiri School are smokefree 24 hours a day, seven days a week (with no exemptions). The Act applies to anyone on the school grounds including staff, children, visiting parents and caregivers, contractors and people hiring or using the school facilities outside of school hours.
Specialist services available through the school include: Public Health Nurse, Hearing & Vision Tester, Community Dental, Speech/Language Therapist, Child and Family Guidance, Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB), Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, STAND.
Usually the school initiates contact with the above services. However, you are welcome to make enquiries to the Principal or Deputy Principals, if you consider referrals to any of the above are required for your child.
Children at Waitākiri School have the option to participate in a wide variety of sports. Depending on the interest and the age of children and availability of coaches and managers, the following sports may be offered. As events start at a different time each year it is important that parents/caregivers and children read the newsletter for information of sign up notices.
Winter Terms 2 and 3
Hagley Sport – Netball, Soccer, Hockey
Future Ferns Netball
School, Zone and Canterbury Cross Country
Summer Terms 1 and 4
School, Zone and Canterbury Athletics
Rawhiti Touch Rugby
Minijammers Basketball at Cowles Stadium
School, Zone and Canterbury Swimming
School, Zone and Canterbury Athletics
Ride ‘n’ Stride (Junior Duathlon)
We also promote and encourage participation in local sporting events such as Weetbix Tryathlon, McDonalds Duathlon, Summer Starter and City to Surf.
At the start of each school year and for children who start during the year, parents purchase stationery requirements on-line through OfficeMax. This is ordered from www.myschool.co.nz
An information brochure about how to do this is included in this pack.
During the year replacement stationery requirements are available from the school office between 8.30am – 3.30pm daily. Children will be given a note from the class teacher when they require more stationery. This needs to be paid for at the time of purchase.
REAL Heroes Support room
Our REAL Heroes Support room is a place where children can go to if they are struggling to learn in their learning space; where they can go for support before school, play time and lunch time and where parents can find additional support for their children. The REAL Support room is to help children who might be struggling socially or emotionally and who are needing extra support. As children gain confidence or show that they have or are developing good friendships they will be encouraged out into the playground and into the normal play and lunch time activities.
Children have a series of swimming lessons each year during the terms 1 and 4 in our school pool with a qualified swimming instructor. Parents need to cover the cost of these lessons. An information letter will be sent home with your child prior to swimming. The cost will be added to your child’s account. The cost of these lessons are subsidised by the PTA.
Toys at school
Children are discouraged from bringing toys to school unless for a special purpose. The school is not responsible for the loss of children’s property.
Travel to and from school
We have a Road Patrol team who are trained by the Police Education Officer and are on duty from 8.30am – 8.55am and 3.00pm – 3.15pm each day. All children who need to cross the road MUST USE the pedestrian crossing where there is one.
Please discuss with your children about being particularly careful when crossing roads when coming to and from school. If your child scoots/walks by themselves, please teach them to look both ways before crossing any road and use the pedestrian crossing where available. Drivers please slow down and look out for children before and after school. We encourage children to do the right thing for their safety, please continue this when walking with your child.
The speed limit outside of school each morning and afternoon is 40km/hr.
The police recommend children younger than 9 years old do not ride their bicycles to school unless accompanied by an adult. Bicycles are stored in the bicycle stands next to Korimako Studio during the school day. We advise bicycle locks be used. Children and adults must walk their bicycles in the school grounds and outside of school on the footpath, especially when there are pedestrians. Helmets are compulsory.
Safe Cycling Training is a part of the school programme for Year 6 children, as we recognise many will be cycling to Intermediate.
School uniform is compulsory. Children who do not wear school uniform will need to have a note from their parents explaining why. Please ensure all items of clothing are labeled so lost items can be returned to their owner.
Most items are unisex and can be worn summer or winter. The sun hat is a compulsory item for Terms 1 & 4. There are also winter beanies & hair scrunchies which are available to purchase from the office.
Please find information about ordering our school uniform in the brochure with this pack, and also on our school website. Ordering of the school uniform is done online. Orders made by 12noon Tuesday will be delivered to school on Wednesday and given to your child. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the school office.
Use of school grounds outside of school hours
When Waitākiri School was established in 2014 the Board of Trustees and leadership team consulted with the community to find out what parents wanted for their children. The question was asked, “What are the qualities and attributes a Waitākiri School student should embody?”
The response led to the identification of the REAL CHOICES values. In 2015 we refined the values and motto of our school to:
Waitākiri School, a place of REAL Heroes!
This means children who:
Respect self, others and the environment
Achieve to the best of their ability, and are...
Children who display these values are REAL Heroes!
Staff planning learning experiences for children want to make sure they have REAL Heroes making REAL CHOICES. This means considering and planning for:
Community involvement where ever possible,
Hauora (well-being): learning experiences that will enhance the well-being of our children,
Opportunity: children will be given opportunity to lead their learning and become confident, connected, actively involved lifelong learners
Innovation: children will be given the opportunity to innovate through their inquiries and research into areas of interest
Collaboration and creativity: children will be encouraged to collaborate to solve problems, inquire into their world and communicate with others, they will be encouraged to think critically, creatively and use metacognitive processes to make sense of their world
Enjoyment: children learn best when they are in a challenging and supportive learning culture- where they are enjoying learning
Sustainability: the future of our world depends on sustainable practices. Waitākiri children will be encouraged to show respect for the environment. Waitākiri School is an Enviroschool.
A school of REAL Heroes making REAL CHOICES means children will have a say in their learning. At times they will have choice about what they are learning, where they learn, who they learn with and they will be involved in decision making about how their learning space and their school is run. They will make REAL CHOICES!
We encourage our families to use the REAL Hero concept at home with their children.
These drive our curriculum, culture and school development.
ALL visitors are required to report to the school office when visiting. Visitors must sign in and out using the electronic “VisTab” and wear the printed visitors label when on site. Please remember to sign out when you leave.
Wheels at school (bikes, scooters, skateboards, ripsticks, etc)
Children are encouraged to bring their wheels to school – scooters, skateboards or ripsticks and ride them in the designated areas only. Designated areas are the alps, scooter track and the back courts (see the map over the page).
ALL wheels must be walked into school from the school gates to the storage area. If a child is found to be riding their wheels anywhere other than the designated area, their wheels will be taken to the office for the day and they can collect them after school.
All children on wheels will be required to wear helmets at school when riding in the designated areas. This is for the safety of our children. We also recommend that parents require their children to wear helmets when going to and from school. Additional protective clothing such as knee, elbow and wrist pads is encouraged but optional. Please name all equipment.