Information for families

School information for families 2017

Click on the link above for information about the school (or read the full text below). Click on the image below for a larger view of the school. (Many thanks to Glen Ansley for the photograph).

Map

Ngati Toa School, which opened in 1955, is a contributing school catering for children from years 1-6. The school comprises two large blocks of classrooms, a playing field suitable for major summer and winter games, two netball courts, a swimming pool and a hall. It also incorporates a class from the Mahinawa Specialist School.

We pride ourselves on having high expectations for student learning, delivering a balanced curriculum and a broad education—In June 2014, the Education Review Office reported: “The school’s curriculum effectively promotes students’ engagement and achievement in learning. Teachers and leaders know children and their families well. Positive relationships are established and maintained.”

Our aims are to:

  • develop skills and attitudes in our children to enable them to become proficient and fluent readers, speakers, writers and mathematicians;
  • have a positive, happy environment that fosters good work habits, positive relationships and self-esteem, and excellent attitudes to learning;
  • reflect the culture of our children, celebrating the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand and supporting the development of te reo Māori;
  • provide opportunities and teaching that will enable our children to develop the skills to operate in a digital world;
  • enhance the performance skills of our children through participation in many cultural and artistic activities such as: Artsplash, Kapahaka, school concerts and other public performances.

Staffing 2017

  • Principal: Kaye Brunton
  • Associate Principal: Kathryn Pierre (Titiwai 5, Y1)
  • Associate Principal: Nicole Avatea (Kōtiri, Y4,5,6)

Teachers

  • Judy Cross                 (Tūrama, Y4,5,6)
  • Aleena Robinson      (Hahana, Y 3)
  • Erena Latu                 (Kōtiri, Y 4,5, 6)
  • Judith Nieland         (Korekoreko, Y 2)
  • Maree Dargan            (Titiwai 6, Y 1)
  • Kiri Weir                       Part-time – teacher release
  • Pearl Freemantle     Reading Recovery, teacher release

Teacher Aides:

  • Melvina Martin
  • Elizabeth Heather
  • Joan Martin
  • Ivy Reedy

Office Administrator: Kiri McKelvey

Caretaker: Mr Glen Robinson

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is elected by the parents every three years. The trustees are responsible for the governance of the school. The current Board members are:

  • Chairperson: Trina Kapene
  • Secretary:  Kiri McKelvey
  • Chief Executive Officer: Kaye Brunton
  • Staff Representative: Nicole Avatea

Parent trustees: Michelle Chappell,  Kasey Burns, Helen Hotai

School times

Children are encouraged to come to school from 8.30 am. If your children need to be at school earlier than 8.30 a.m., please make an arrangement with their classroom teacher. We would prefer the children not enter classrooms before 8.30 am unless their teacher is present to supervise them.

  • 8.55 am ……Learning Block 1
  • 10.40 am….. Morning Interval
  • 11.00 am …..Learning Block 2
  • 12.10 pm……Lunch Break
  • 12.30 pm …..Learning Block 3
  • 1.30 pm……..Afternoon Interval
  • 2.00 pm …….Learning Block 4
  • 3.00 pm……..School finishes for the day

Being at school and being punctual

Children learn by being active participants in the many opportunities school provides them to engage with each other, and with new ideas and information. To make the most of the learning opportunities provided at our school, we expect children to be punctual and regular in attendance.

The Ministry of Education requires us to record every absence and audits our school roll each year. Accordingly, whenever parents anticipate their child will be absent for any reason, we require either a phone call or note to explain the reason. Frequent, or long term, unexplained absences will be reported to truancy services as a Ministry of Education requirement. Our greatest concern is the children’s safety and for this reason, we will always follow up any unexplained absences as soon as we are aware of them.

To report an absence you can either phone the school on 04 2367785 or leave a message; text 027 2367785; send an email to office@ngatitoa.school.nz;  or use Facebook Messenger.

Unjustified absence for three consecutive days can result in referral to the Attendance Service.

 

Office hours

The office has been temporarily relocated to the first classroom in the administration block.

The office is staffed between 8:30 am and 3:00 pm daily.

Staff availability

Parents are welcome to visit their children’s classrooms at any time providing teachers are aware of the arrangements. Teachers will endeavour to make themselves available to talk to parents, however, it may be necessary to make an appointment with the teacher to discuss any significant issues. Similarly, the principal will always endeavour to be available for parents but making an appointment will guarantee her availability; phone the office manager to make appointments with the principal.

The curriculum

It is not possible to provide a comprehensive outline of the curriculum in this information booklet; however, it might be helpful for you to know a little of the scope of our programmes—all of which are in planned and delivered within the New Zealand curriculum. These include:

  • the language arts (reading, writing, speaking, listening, spelling and handwriting and visual literacy) and te reo Maori;
  • mathematics;
  • social studies;
  • physical education (including ball skills, swimming, dancing, gymnastics, athletics, sports, and fitness) and health, (which includes physical, social, mental and emotional health);
  • the arts (art, drama, dance, music, kapahaka);
  • science;
  • technology.

All aspects of our programmes are underpinned by the key competencies of:

  • managing self;
  • relating to others;
  • participating and contributing;
  • thinking;
  • using languages, symbols and texts.

The junior area of the school is heavily influenced by play-based learning to create exciting opportunities  for young children to socialise and learn to cooperate with others and build their oral language skills. Place-based learning is also prominent in our school and teachers seize opportunities to take children out and about in our local community to experience real-life contexts for learning.

Assessment is used to inform children’s learning and teachers’ planning. A variety of methods is used to gather information on children’s progress and achievement including:

  • informal teacher observation and judgement;
  • children reviewing their own and others’ work;
  • class testing;
  • standardised tests;
  • overall teacher judgements (OTJ) against the National Standards.

Our reporting processes are regularly reviewed. Currently we report to parents twice yearly in writing and hold two parent/teacher/student interviews. Parents are welcome to make an appointment to see their child’s teacher at any time they wish.

The principal is also available throughout the year to see parents about any concerns.

Reading

When children start school they are eager to learn to read. We ask parents to support their children and the teacher—building on the children’s enthusiasm by praising and encouraging their efforts. Like learning anything new, practice is needed to embed the new skills, so regular reading at home and at school make a lot of difference to children’s achievement. Reading is a complex process and children learn at different rates, even within the same family. If you are concerned about your child’s progress, please see the classroom teacher as your first port of call.

Parents will help their children best by showing interest, listening to the child read, talking about the story and reading with the child at every opportunity.

In the first year or so at school, children will be bringing home books to read and there will be instructions included with these books to help parents.

Don’t panic if your child seems to have learnt a book ‘by heart’. This is an early stage in the reading process and builds confidence.

School lunches

Lunches are available for purchase every school day. The office takes lunch orders for the senior school, while orders for the junior school are taken by the class teacher at the start of the day. To order lunches, send the money with your child.

We have Subway available for order every Tuesday and Thursday. Order envelopes can be collected from the school office or from the child’s teacher.

Canteen

A canteen operates on Fridays at 1.20 pm selling lemonade ice blocks and popcorn at a cost of 70 cents each.

Stationery

Packs for the Year 1 students are available at the school office. For all other classes you may source your own stationery or use the online services of Warehouse Stationery or OfficeMax.

Warehouse Stationery Lists

Office Max list

Accidents and illness

In cases of accidents or illness at school, we will administer first aid and, if necessary, contact parents. For this reason, it is essential that our records of home and work phone numbers are accurate; please advise us of any changes, as it is very important for us to have an emergency number. We also ask parents to inform us of any health or associated problems their child might have so we can provide for their needs. Should it be necessary (including instances where we are unable to contact parents), we would take a child to a doctor or to Kenepuru Accident and Medical Centre.

Sports

We are proud of our successful sports teams. In addition to general sport and physical education in school throughout the year, children also play in school hockey, netball and indoor soccer teams, and participate in the cross-country competition.

Swimming pool

During term 1—weather permitting—children will participate in a swimming programme in our school pool. They will need to bring named swimming togs and towels in a swimming bag. (We are grateful to Bunnings Porirua and Water Safety New Zealand for refurbishing the school pool environs to provide this valuable resource for your children).

Lost property

Parents are asked to make sure all personal property is clearly labelled. We discourage children from bringing valuable or “precious” items to school, such as special toys or electronic equipment. The school takes no responsibility for these things that go missing.

Money and valuables

If children bring money to school, they should ask their class teacher to take care of it for them until they need it.

Telephones

Only in emergencies will children be allowed to use the school telephone. If a parent needs to contact a child urgently, the office will pass the message to the child/ren concerned.

Health

Dental clinic:

We share the dental therapist with several other schools. We will advertise in the newsletter when the therapist and mobile clinic are coming to the school. To speak to a dental nurse, or to make an appointment, please ring the dental clinic at Titahi Bay School on 0800 825 583 and press option 1 to leave a message.

School health nurse:

The public health nurse calls at the school every Wednesday to examine any child on request and follow up any matter of concern. The nurse also conducts interviews with the parents of new entrants to discuss any health needs. All new entrants undergo a hearing and vision test during their first year at school. Permission for this service is sought from parents when they enrol their child, or a request is sent home with a child before a visit.

Sunsafe:

During terms one and four, we endeavour to keep our children safe from the sun by providing shade and shelters for use at playtimes, and by requiring children to wear a hat when outdoors at lunchtime. We also use sunscreen on school trips or outdoor activities. Please let us know if your child has any allergy to sunscreen products.

We have spare sunhats at school that children may borrow if they forget their hat, but it is better that they bring their own to school. Please name your child’s hat.

 Head lice:

Unfortunately, these are now a fact of life in New Zealand schools nationwide. We have anti-lice treatment products available at the office.

Road safety

Children are not allowed outside the school grounds during school hours without permission from a teacher, or with a note from home.

To reduce the possibility of children being hurt while walking to and from school, traffic patrol monitors are placed on Whanga Crescent and Piko Street before and after school. Children are expected to obey these monitors who are there for their safety.

For the safety of all the children inside the school, it is school policy that parents do not bring cars into the school grounds.

Also for the children’s safety, we ask parents not to use the widened section of road outside the school gate for turning or parking, as the footpath here is very busy with lots of small children walking in and out of the school.

After-school care service

The supervisor is Trina Kapene. This service—which adheres to school health and safety policies—is connected to the school but is an independent private business and all financial transactions are between parents and the service’s supervisor.

The service operates in the old dental clinic at the east end of the junior block (see attached map of the school); it runs from 3.00 pm–5.00 pm daily.

For any enquiries about this service, please phone Trina on: 027 694 4723.

Kids Can

The school participates in the Kids Can programme, which provides raincoats, trousers, shoes and head-lice treatments for families upon application.

Photographs

A photographer visits the school once a year. Purchase of the photographs is optional.