Parent Information 2021
Accidents and Illness
If you need to report your child’s absence from school or late arrival to school, please notify the school by 8:55 am each day. You can ring the office, use Skool Loop (Skool Loop App is available for iphone & Android) or submit an online absenteeism form on our website. It is important that we have a reason for your child's absenteeism so that we are able to code the roll correctly. If a child is absent, and the school has not been notified, we will contact parents / whānau to confirm that the child is safe.
Access to Children
Please notify the principal if you have a special custody arrangement or if there are any changes to this. A copy of the custody agreement must be provided to the school office.
Whole school assemblies will be held on certain Friday’s at 2:15 pm (usually fortnightly). Assemblies aim to present aspects of current classroom learning and recognise the efforts of learners with class certificates. All parents and whānau are welcome, and encouraged, to attend every assembly. Assembly dates are published in the school newsletter, on the school calendar and via ClassDojo notifications.
Children are allowed to take reading and library books home. We ask that
caregivers ensure that these are looked after and are returned to school in good condition. Families will be asked to cover the cost of any lost or
damaged books. Book bags, specifically designed for the protection of books are on your child's stationery list or available through the school. We also operate a Scholastic Book Club where families can purchase books. Fliers come home a few times during the year. Orders can be made through the school or directly online - this is coordinated by our office administrator Sharon. The school receives free books proportionate to the number of sales.
This is a short 5 - 10 minute break at 10:00am during lessons in the morning block. Please ensure your child has an appropriate healthy snack e.g. fresh peeled & sliced fruit and vegetables, dried fruit (e.g. apricots, prunes, raisins and sultanas), shelled unsalted nuts (no peanuts) or seeds. plain unsalted pop corn
No bus route is available at Whakamārama School. Students may be eligible for a conveyance allowance. To be eligible for school transport assistance students must meet all 3 eligibility criteria:
1.Be attending the closest school they can enrol at
2.Be living over 3.2km (years 1-8) or 4.8km (years 9+) from the enrolling school
3.Have no access to “suitable” public transport
The school has a policy and guidelines in place to address bullying. Bullying and antisocial behaviours are not condoned. We work proactively to create a positive climate where our leaners feel safe and treat others with care and respect. We include health programmes such as ‘Kia Kaha’ to provide students with skills to manage bullying should it occur and promote “It’s okay to tell”. All members of the school community have the
responsibility to recognise bullying and to take action if they see or hear it happening. Adult role modelling of respectful behaviours at home and at school does make a difference.
Camps and Class Trips (Education Outside the Classroom)
On enrolment, parents are asked to complete a 'blanket consent' form. This forms gives your child to take part in education outside the classroom events that are classified as low risk. Parents will be informed if their child is attending an event off the school grounds. For high risk environments such as camp, separate consent for each event will be sought from parents.
Children can only learn well, both at school and at home, when there is co-operation and mutual understanding between teachers and parents. We are a school that supports open communication and the doors of Whakamarama School are always open. Whilst we have a high level of parent / student satisfaction, if you have any concerns involving your child please contact the class teacher in the first instance.
If you need further advice or support, contact the principal.
Offer constructive feedback and suggestions, but direct the comments to the right people.
Let the principal and the staff know that you support them;
Complaints and Concerns
Most complaints can be resolved informally by discussions with the people concerned. See the person involved to discuss the complaint and endeavour to resolve it through an informal meeting, Please click the link to the school procedure on complaints.
Cyber Safety / Internet Access
All staff and children are expected to sign an ‘Internet Safety Agreement’ before using this facility. On enrolment each child is issued a Student ICT Agreement form which needs to be signed and returned before children are allowed computer access.
If you are wishing for your child / children to cycle to school, a cyclist declaration form is available at the office. This form outlines the terms and conditions that you child / children need to adhere to in order to keep them safe. Parents, whānau and students are responsible for maintaining the bike and helmet in accordance with the current NZ bike code. Please make sure that your child wears a high vis vest (or equivalent) so that they can be seen out on the road. It is also important that your child wears footwear suitable for cycling.
Cycles are stored behind the pool during normal school hours. Students walk their bikes in and out of the school grounds.
Donations and Fees
Whakamārama School is signed up for the Ministry of Education Donations Scheme so no longer asks for donations. Families will be asked to pay registration fees for extra curricular sports registered into. Camp expenses are another cost that we will ask families to cover through a donation.
Drop Off and Pick Up
A bus bay is located outside the school for pick up and drop off only. If you choose to use the bus bay for pick up at the end of the day, please remain in your vehicle and the teacher on duty will direct your child / children to you for boarding. For student safety, we ask that you avoid using the kindergarten driveway / space next to the driveway as a drop off and pick up point for your child / children. Parking is available at the Whakamārama Community Centre across the road.
Students are encouraged to undertake duties and responsibilities that
contribute to the efficient running and organisation of our school. We take care to ensure that these do not interfere with learning programmes or involve them working with dangerous materials etc.
Earthquake, fire and lockdown drills are practiced regularly throughout the year and a report is provided to the Board of Trustees.
An online enrolment pack is available from the school office.
Whakamārama School has an Enrolment Scheme. Information is available at the school office and on this web site.
Basic supplies of first aid equipment are kept in the sickbay located in the school office. All teachers and staff undergo regular first aid training and have completed a course of instruction in CPR and First Aid for the school environment.
Parents are asked to support all fundraising activities. A fundraising meeting takes place at the beginning of the year where events are delegated for someone to organise. Event organisers make contact with parents / whānau requesting help. Parents, whānau, and caregivers are encouraged to participate in these events.
During Terms 1 and 4 the school models “sun safe” practices and ensures that staff and students take appropriate steps to protect themselves from the sun. Students and staff are required to wear a hat which protects the face, neck, and ears, whenever they are outside and involved in school activities. Students at school without a hat must remain in an allocated shaded area. Our Shady School SunSmart procedure can be found on the school website.
Home learning is valued and encouraged. It encourages purposeful communication and fosters positive home-school partnership. The format and content varies between classes. We also recognise that extra curricular activities are just as invaluable for our learners.
Kapahaka and The Arts
Students have access to a kapahaka tutor, choir and a board funded music teacher.
All articles of clothing, including shoes, should be named using a permanent marker or label. We do not have a lost property box as we encourage our learners to take responsibility for their belongings. At the end of the day, areas outside classrooms are tidied and items found usually make it back to their owner.
Parents are encouraged to provide a bottle of water and a balanced morning tea and lunch for their child. Students are encouraged to have their drink bottle in class to keep hydrated while learning (we are a water only school). On Fridays, our students have the opportunity to order a school lunch prepared by parents. Orders close on the Wednesday before.
Lunch eating starts at 12:30 pm and for 10 minutes all children are expected to sit quietly and eat their lunch. A bell releases students from the eating area; however students are able to continue eating.
Maths-Whizz is an online math programme that we are using across all classrooms. Maths-Whizz assesses each student and sets an individual learning pathway for them based on their strengths and weaknesses. Teachers have full access to the reporting and progress for each student. Maths-Whizz can also be utilised at home.
Parents / Caregivers must complete a form available from the office if a child requires medication to be administered at school or to be brought to school. All medication needs to be individually named, handed into the office and are administered by staff only. Parents are requested not to give children supplies of aspirin etc. to take of their own decision or allow them to keep medication in their bags.
Mobile phones are to be kept at home. If for some reason your child needs to have their phone with them on a particular day, the phone needs to be turned off and handed in to the classroom teacher.
The school does not have Eftpos. Payment for uniforms, activities or curriculum related charges should be made via internet banking or cash. The office is able to provide you with the school bank account details for any online transactions. If cash payment is sent to school with your child, please make sure that this is in a sealed envelope / bag. Money goes through the office not the classroom teacher.
We request that new entrant students are pre-enrolled with our school office up to one year in advance so that we predict roll numbers. Students generally complete three school visits prior to starting on / after their 5th birthday.
Parents will be informed of school events at regular intervals. School newsletters are printed and distributed to the eldest and only child fortnightly. A copy of the newsletter is posted on the school website, a link on ClassDojo and extra copies left in the school office.
The office is staffed between 8.30 am and 12:30 pm daily. If the office is unattended please leave a message on the answer phone.
Parking is a considerable problem at schools. There are few car parks on the school side. If there are no car parks available we kindly ask that you park over at the hall. For pedestrian and cyclist safety please refrain from reversing out of the school car park.
The school encourages parents to contribute to school programmes when appropriate. Parents may be asked to assist as tutors in Reading, Mathematics or Language, or to act as resource people in a variety of curriculum areas.
Unless a written note is received, all children are expected to participate in daily physical activity sessions and the normal physical education programme of the school. We are promoting an ‘active school’ culture and appreciate parent support and encouragement to get children involved.
Playground Use After School
Children and families are welcome to use the school grounds and outdoor facilities. Play in the school grounds after school is not supervised by Whakamarama School staff and therefore parents must accept full responsibility for their own children during this time.
The Board of Trustees is required to ensure that a safe environment is provided by meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act (2014), the Education Standards Act (2001) and police vetting.
Volunteers (including parents) who have unsupervised access to students require a police vet. Camp helpers fall into this category. Forms can be collected from the school office.
Policies and Procedures
Our policies show our commitment to the National Administration Guidelines for sound school governance and management practices involving curriculum, planning and self-review, employment, finance and property, health and safety, and legal compliance.
Policies and procedures can be found on our website.
Reporting to Parents
Term One: Goal setting interviews
Term Two: Mid Year Reporting / 3 Way Conferences
Term Three: Open Day
Term Four: End of Year Reporting
Rubbish - Zero Waste
Whakamārama School has a zero waste policy. Your child will bring home any rubbish and / or food scraps at the end of the day.
School commences at 9:00 am daily and finishes at 3:00 pm. Students may start arriving to school from 8:30 am.
9:00 - 11.00am morning learning block
11.00 – 11.20 am morning interval
11:20 - 12:30 middle learning block
12.30am - 1.30pm lunch break
1.30 - 3:00 pm final learning block
Term dates are in the school newsletter and on the calendar located at the bottom of the home page on the school website.
Smoking & Vaping
Under the Smoke-free Environments Amendments Bill, all schools, grounds and buildings must be totally smoke-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Smoking / Vaping is not permitted anywhere within the grounds or buildings. We appreciate your cooperation.
Our smokefree policy can be found on our school website.
Stationery is kept at the school office. Your child receives a stationery list at the beginning of the year or on enrolment. The school does not make money on these stationery items but wishes to bring to you quality stationery products that are discounted at the beginning of each year. It is important that your child has the correct books as items on the list are suited to the developmental needs of the individual. Students start in their books from the beginning of Week 3 after teachers have had the opportunity to establish expectations of bookwork and presentation.
During the summer season each class is timetabled for swimming. We aim to teach children to be conscious of water safety and to be able to practice basic swimming skills. All children are expected to take part in school swimming and require a note if they are unable to swim for health reasons.
We ask our learners to keep toys at home unless the class teacher requests these to come in for a special event or as part of the classroom programme.
Whakamārama School currently has no compulsory uniform. On enrolment, parents are asked to purchase one school shirt to have at hand for special occasions, school trips and sporting events. School shirts can be ordered at the office. Parents may also choose to purchase a school fleece.
Presentation of our learners:
A record of the vaccinations that a child has had is required on enrolment. This information is collected for the Ministry of Health and we maintain an immunisation register at school. Please inform us if your child’s records need updating.
Valuables at School
Teachers cannot be responsible for the safety and security of valuable articles that students bring to school. Please leave them at home.
Visitors to School
All visitors are asked to sign in at the school office.
The Whakamarama Board meets each month on Tuesdays at 6pm. Upcoming meetings are advertised in the school newsletter. Parents / caregivers are invited to attend the Board meetings. To see a list of the current meeting dates visit - Our Board