Information for whānau
Tena koutou, kia orana, talofa lava, ni hao, mambo, konnichi wa, bula. Ngā mihi nui o te wā ki a koutou.
Greetings and welcome to Ōtaki School, Te Kura o Ōtaki. This page provides a brief overview of the organisation and procedures of Ōtaki School. Much of this information is also included in the school newsletters during the course of the year.
I hope that this information is useful for you and your family. Please feel free to contact me or the staff if you require further information.
Ko ā tātou tamariki ngā rangatira ō āpōpō
Learners today, Leaders Tomorrow
Ōtaki School, Te Kura o Ōtaki believes that the heart of our school is our tamariki/mokopuna, our learners. We believe that every learner has the right to achieve excellence in a wide range of academic, cultural and sporting activities, for they are our leaders and guardians of tomorrow.
Kia Ōtaki te tū
When coming up with our mission in 2022, we thought “what do we really want from our tamariki? If we could only get one outcome, what would that be? What makes us unique in Ōtaki? What makes us special compared to the hundreds of other schools across Aotearoa?”
Of course there are many things that we want from our tamariki, but in the end we summed it up with Kia Ōtaki Te Tū which loosely translates as Stand as Ōtaki. To us, this means that you need to have pride in yourself and your town. We want our tamariki to always take Ōtaki with them no matter where they go and to know that Ōtaki is always there for them. To be proud of Ōtaki and to have Ōtaki be proud of them. Ōtaki is a town steeped in history, whakapapa, reo and tikanga and we want our tamariki to know their own history, whakapapa, reo and tikanga no matter if they are Māori, Pākahā, Pacific Island, Chinese or from anywhere else - Ahakoa ko wai koe, ahakoa nō whea koe. Once you are a student of Ōtaki School, you will always be a student of Ōtaki School. If we can instill this sense of pride and honour with our tamariki by the time they leave us, we will have succeeded.
TERMS AND HOLIDAYS FOR 2023
Starts Thursday 2nd February Ends Thursday 6 April
Starts Monday 24 April Ends Friday 30 June
Starts Monday 17 July Ends Friday 22 September
Starts Monday 9 October Ends .....
Hui-a-kura are held fortnightly to celebrate and share your children’s successes and achievements. The assemblies may include special guests, performances, award ceremonies or special presentations.
You are most welcome to join the children to share and celebrate their amazing achievements.
Assemblies are usually every second Tuesday from 9 -10. Check with the office to see when the next one is.
It is essential that all students attend school every school day, except if they are ill or if there is a serious family situation or crisis which prevents them from attending. Evidence informs us that the majority of children who struggle at school have a history of poor attendance.
Please ring the school on 364-8704, send a note, use the Skool Loop app or text the school cell phone on 021 026 18462 to let us know that your child/ren will be absent.
We take students unexplained absences from school very seriously and want to support students in any way possible to ensure they attend as much as possible.
The Board of Trustees is required under, National Administration Guideline 5, to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students. We ask parents to be involved in reinforcing community standards at home and at school. You can find out more about our STAR values on our PB4L page.
Our school-wide expectations are:
When children are caught following our school-wide behaviour expectations, they will be rewarded with a “STAR” that gets placed in their class kete on the “Matariki Stars” board, in the foyer.
At the end of each fortnight the class “STARS” are added up and the 9 winners from across the school receive a reward at school assembly.
Minor & Major Discipline Matters – these are identified in our PB4L Documents, if unsure see Yvonne Tahere or Janeen Marino
Minor discipline matters are dealt with by the duty teachers on the spot in a restorative way.
Major discipline matters are dealt with by management staff.
All major discipline matters are entered into our School Management System.
Major discipline matters may involve a restorative meeting.
We will continue to provide social skills, bullying and conflict resolution programmes as part of the school’s health curriculum
We will continue to seek the assistance of the Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour and Social Workers In Schools to provide social skills and conflict resolution programmes.
The key to our behaviour plan is Building, Maintaining, Restoring and Sustaining RELATIONSHIPS
BICYCLES AT SCHOOL
Cyclists must wear helmets to school. Children should walk their bicycles in built up areas of the school. It is a good idea to provide a bicycle lock.
The school is required to sight and copy any new entrant’s birth certificate or if an overseas born student, their passport. Please bring your child’s birth certificate and/or passport if necessary and immunisation record when enrolling.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Your Board meets twice per term; the dates of these meetings are published in our school newsletter. You are very welcome to attend the meetings. If you wish to raise an issue please see either a representative or arrange to present it yourself at the next meeting.
We reserve 7.00 PM to 7.30 PM for parents to present their issues to the Board. Prior to the meetings, please contact a Board member to advise your intention to attend. A brief outline of the issue or your suggestion would also be helpful. All Board of Trustees minutes are available. If you would like a copy, please contact Gemma in the office.
BOOKS IN HOMES (DUFFY BOOKS)
This year we will be continuing the Books in Homes programme. This is an exciting, worthwhile and rewarding partnership between corporate and local sponsors who realise the need to have children not only reading books but also having books of their own, as a right. Our major sponsor for this enterprise is the Ōtaki Rotary Club. On behalf of the school I would like to sincerely thank them for their support and assistance.
We have a breakfast club that operates every morning. There is cereal, fruit and toast available.
We are always looking for volunteers to staff our breakfast club. See Gemma in the office if you can help out.
Bus students will line up at the bus stop at 3.00 p.m.
Teachers are rostered each week as the bus controller. Presently, eligible students have been defined as those who live at Ōtaki Beach or South/West of the intersection of Old Coach Road and Rangiuru Road. Once the beach bus has departed in the afternoon the bus controller will escort the Paraparaumu students across Mill Road.
Mr Haapi Nikora: - works 40 hours per week. You can find Haapi around the school or in the caretaker’s shed behind Room 4.
CARS IN GROUNDS
No vehicles are to enter or leave the school grounds between 8.30 and 9.00 a.m. and 3.00 – 3.15 p.m when the students are entering or departing school. Please help us to keep them safe.
While we are aware many or our students possess cell phones, they are not to be used at school without permission and can be handed in to the office or to kaiako. If you need to get a message to your child through the day please do so through the office.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR PHONE NUMBERS
Please notify us immediately if there is a change of parent/guardian, address, phone number or emergency number.
In cases of sickness or accident, we need to contact parents immediately and this information is of vital importance.
CHILDREN INSIDE DURING BREAK TIMES
All pupils are to be outside during fine lunch hours, and playtime. The only exceptions will be those students who have written permission from their teachers or specific requests from parents.
Room 12 Matua Herewini, Room 3 Whaea Jin, Room 4 Whaea Kahu and Room 1 Whaea Louise are our Chromebook/Digital classes. Feel free to discuss with the teachers or with Matua Rauru if you would like more information as to how these classes work.
The school sends out newsletters at least twice per month (usually every second Friday) via email. These newsletters contain information that we hope will be of interest to you and will help to keep you informed as to what is happening at school. We also ask for feedback on policies, new ideas, performance, organisations and programmes.
Parents are welcome to contribute to these newsletters. We also survey the school community to find out the parent communities impressions regarding the school’s strengths and areas of need.
Parents are welcome to contact the school at anytime to make inquiries, pass on information or important messages.
The Daily Noticeboard is the white board which is displayed outside the Office area each day. It is a useful avenue for sharing the events of the day.
Every three years we formally survey our community's families to gauge your impression of our success in meeting your children's needs and to enable the board to strategically plan for the future. The next survey is due in 2024.
In the event of there being a complaint against school staff, procedures, environment or anything else for which we are responsible, please in the first instance approach the person involved. If it is still unresolved see the Principal; if we cannot resolve it, then a complaint can be lodged to the Board of Trustees. A copy of our complaints policy is available from the office.
All pupils have detailed information about family, health and other general administrative matters entered in the Administration computer. This information is readily available for families to check and is confidential to the school.
The Dental Nurse is Leanne Harrison. The mobile clinic is usually on site one term per year. If your child has any dental problems she can be contacted at 364-8484 for an appointment.
Two teachers are on duty during all intervals. Children are supervised on the pedestrian crossing on Mill Road and when getting on and off buses before and after school. We cannot supervise children leaving the school by the Waerenga Road exit. We are very aware of the need to promote a safe, secure environment for our children, but please understand that it is difficult to watch every child for every second of the day, but if you are willing to assist us in this area, your help would be appreciated.
In New Zealand children can be enrolled and start school at 5 years of age and must attend a school when 6. Ōtaki School encourages parents to fill in the necessary documents and forms approximately 3 to 6 weeks before their child enters school as this enables the family and school to get to know each other.
Parents and Caregivers are most welcome to attend the New Entrant classrooms with their child during this transition. This of course enables the child to feel secure about starting school and may give parents an insight as to how this school works.
Parents enrolling 5 year olds need to bring their child’s Immunisation Certificate which has been stamped by your local Medical Centre.
If parents or intending parents have any inquiries Rauru Walker, Yvonne Tahere or Viv Pansters will be happy to meet and talk with you.
FIRE AND EARTHQUAKE DRILLS
Drills are held at least once per term.
We are proactive in promoting head-lice education and awareness in our community. We will notify parents if their child has head-lice and send a “Kids Can” treatment pack home.
For repeated infestations you should notify the Public Health Nurse who will arrange a home visit.
The Health Card supplied to new entrants is to be completed for the Public Health Nurse. Please advise any changes to medical circumstances of which we should be aware. Good health is essential for school progress and in partnership with parents we address any health issues.
1. Hearing and Vision Tests are carried out in the first year of school. Parents can request further checks when thought advisable (See Public Health Nurse note). The tester visits once a term.
2. Immunisation protects! Five year olds entering school are expected to have their immunisation programme up to date. It is a legal requirement that an immunisation certificate is brought to the school on enrolling your 5 year old. Please check with your family doctor or Public Health Nurse to ensure this is done.
3. Common Ailments - period of exclusion from school:
Chicken Pox: - For one week from appearance of blisters. Measles: - At least 4 days from onset of rash
Mumps: - Until 9 days after swelling develops
Ringworm: - Treatment is required. Restrict contact activities gym and swimming until lesions clear
Impetigo: - School sores require treatment. Advice given by Public Health Nurses, Doctor or Pharmacist.
INTERNET POLICY - DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP
With the development of Learning with Digital Technology (LwDT) across the school all students will participate in a Digital Citizenship awareness programme on an annual basis. For junior students, Year 1-3 this will be teacher directed and based around keeping oneself safe. For senior students there will be more of an emphasis on personal responsibility when using digital technology. A record of pupils involved in Digital Citizenship programmes will be kept on our school management system.
As a Kids Can school we are able to supply children with a jacket, footwear, head lice treatment and several healthy snack items. Ask your child’s teacher if you want to find out more about this fantastic programme.
Lost property is held in the cage on the whare manaaki deck. Please name all your children's clothes and property i.e. lunchboxes (and in the swimming season underclothes as well.)
At the end of every month the lost property is displayed for the children and whānau to reclaim. At the end of the term unclaimed clothing is washed, then donated to the local charities.
LUCKY BOOK CLUB
This operates monthly, parents can buy children's books at a discounted cost and aid the school, which gets a commission on sales in the form of redeemable book vouchers or free books.
We receive free, healthy school lunches. These are prepared by a private company off site and delivered to us daily. Please let us know if your child has any dietary requirements that need to be considered as these can be catered to.
Children eat their lunches outside from 12.25 p.m. -12.35 p.m. and are then released to play. There is no compulsion for children to stop eating at this time. On wet days the children eat in their classrooms. During summer months children eat in the shade.
There is a small medical room at school where we can deal with minor cuts and abrasions. If there is a serious injury or illness we will immediately contact the parent, emergency contact, or the Medical Centre. Many of our staff have First Aid qualifications, but we prefer to take no chances. If we have any doubts, we will contact you or the emergency person named by you.
It is very important that we are notified of any medical conditions your child may have and have a contact number for your workplace and emergency caregivers.
Morning tea is from 10.40 - 11. Parents are welcome to join the staff for morning tea or lunch at any time.
NEW ENTRANTS: HOW TO BE READY FOR SCHOOL
Does your child:
● Recognise their name, address and telephone number well enough to repeat when necessary?
● Know the safest way to school and be aware of road safety?
● Put away play things after using them?
● Know how to take off and put on outer clothing without assistance?
● Know how to tie their shoes?
● Know to wash hands after using the toilet?
Caregivers: What can you do to help?
● Talk to them about starting school
● Buy clothes that are easy to manage
● Label all clothing or possessions that your child will bring to school (please do not send toys to school).
We have an open school policy, which means that caregivers are welcome to attend school with their children. You may wish to help in the classroom, assist individual children, prepare resources, observe, ask questions, mix with the children and staff. You are very welcome at Ōtaki School.
If caregivers have any school related questions, ideas, problems or concerns that need our attention, we will be happy to meet with you and discuss them.
Please do not park on the yellow lines near the crossing. This puts the Road Patrollers in danger, because they have to go out further onto the road to see the traffic properly, as well as students crossing the road. There are ample safe parking options on both sides of the road if you drive an extra few meters.
The Mill Road crossing is in operation with patrols from 8.35 a.m. to 8.55 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. to 3.10 p.m. daily. A duty teacher supervises the patrols. The Waerenga Road crossing is not patrolled.It is important that children use the crossing and good modelling from parents would assist us. Regrettably we will need to notify the police of those few parents who are irresponsible and act dangerously.
As part of Ministry of Education requirements, policies and procedures are required to guide all aspects of school life. These are available, from the office, if you would like a copy. These are also linked to the bottom of the home page.
PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE
Khan Ryland is our Public Health Nurse. The school may refer children to her (with your permission) if we have health concerns. Should you have a health issue you may contact Olive directly on 027 243 1929. The Vision and Hearing Technician visits regularly to check and assess children's vision and ear function. She can also be contacted by ringing Freephone 0800 153 042 or (06) 355 0743.
All children have individual files that relate to their progress and achievement. These files are confidential to staff and parents and you may request to see them at anytime.
REPORTING TO PARENTS
Our staff will report honestly to you without the use of confusing educational jargon. All reporting to you will be specific and not deal in vague generalities.
Term 1. “Meet the Teacher” interviews in March.
Term 2. End of term two oral and written reports.
Term 4. Written report goes home.
Whanau hui in Week 2 of each term
You are most welcome to meet with your child's teacher at other times to discuss their progress.
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION OFFICER
Gemma’s hours are 8.30 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.
SCHOOL ORGANISATION: Years 0-6/7/8
We are extremely proud of the fact that Ōtaki School offers quality education in two learning pathways -Bilingual and Māori Medium. Feel free to come in and speak to the Principal or Pathway Leader to work out which pathway will be best for your child.
Ngai Kete - Bilingual Pathway
New Entrants to Year 6: Herewini Katene and Louise Conwell - Co-leaders
Our Bilingual pathway Ngai Kete caters for all students from New Entrants to Year 6.
The New Zealand Curriculum and the Marautanga o Aotearoa are the basis for classroom programmes. Please note that the programme is for families of all cultures.
Te Korowai Whakamana - Maori Medium Pathway
New Entrants to Year 8: Leader Whaea Janeen Marino
The students in Te Korowai Whakamana are kohanga reo graduates and/or have a level of proficiency in te reo Māori. Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is the basis for classroom programmes..
SKATES, ROLLER-BLADES AND SKATEBOARDS
Skates, roller blades, scooters and skateboards are allowed at school. Children can only skate in the designated area. We strongly recommend that children wear appropriate safety equipment for these activities.
All grounds and buildings are totally smoke and vape free for all staff, visitors, passers-by and students.
Ms Lisa Seath, our school social worker, has an office at the school. She also works in Waitohu and St Peter Chanel schools. Her hours are 8.30 am to 3.30 pm. She is timetabled to be at Ōtaki School every Tuesday, whenever possible. Her cell phone is 027 244 9479.
SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS
We will ring or personally contact you if there is a serious health, behaviour, social or learning problem concerning your child(ren). If you have any concerns that you may wish to discuss, you are very welcome to contact us.
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMMES
The Education Review Office highly praises our special needs programmes at Ōtaki School in both its 2012 and 2018 reports. These programmes are targeted at individual and small groups of children and address barriers to learning that are preventing them from reaching their potential.
All of these special programmes complement the classroom teaching and learning programme.
Programmes at this school include,
● SWIS (Social Worker in Schools): Enables us to work with families to address social and learning issues
● RTLBs (Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour): Provide expertise in addressing specific children’s learning or behavioural needs
● RTLit (Resource Teacher of Literacy): Janet Hunter is a resource for the Kapiti Coast based at Ōtaki School. Janet assists teachers and students with literacy learning issues.
● Computer Assisted Learning in all classrooms.
● Individual Teacher Aides work in classrooms to assist learning and/or behaviour.
This is a sampling of ways that we address barriers to learning.
Stationery packs, for each classroom, are available in February each year. From March to December we only sell replacement main line books and pencils, rulers, rubbers and pens.
Our strategic plan is available from the school office if you wish to read it.
SUNHATS AND SHADY SCHOOLS POLICIES
During the summer hats must be worn when the students are at morning tea and lunch breaks or taking part in Education Outside of the Classroom programmes such as Physical Education, Beach Studies etc. All students are supplied with a hat to wear. This policy is strictly enforced during summer months. Please help us keep your children to be sunsafe.
Sweets, large packets of chippies and fizzy drinks are not allowed at school as they impact adversely on the children’s learning and behaviour, as well as their health.
The school pool is open during Nov-Dec and February-March. Swimming programmes are a compulsory part of the school's curriculum.
Over the holiday period, many of us will be using pools. Swimming is healthy and fun, and swimming pools are generally safe and healthy environments. However there are bugs and infections in the community that can be brought into the water and spread. It’s important that we all do our bit to stop these bugs and infections from getting into pools.
The health and recreation authorities have issued guidelines to help everyone to stay healthy in and out of the water by following a few simple steps:-
Before you swim in a pool
● If you have had diarrhoea (upset tummy) in the last two weeks – don’t go into the water.
● If your child has had diarrhoea in the last two weeks – don’t let them go into the water.
● Take children to the toilet before they swim and wash hands after going to the toilet.
● Where possible shower yourself and your children before you put togs on, using soap and warm water.
● Babies/toddlers are now required to wear ‘swimming nappies’ in public swimming pools.
At the beginning of the year each child will bring home a leaflet covering the above steps, in more detail.
We have only one phone number 364-8704.
We also have a school cell phone 021 026 18462 which is able to be used to notify the office of children who are absent due to illness etc.
Children are permitted to make local calls to parents in an emergency or in urgent situations only.
We are lucky to have beautiful shade giving trees at our kura. Students are permitted to climb the trees in the native bush area.
VALUABLES AT SCHOOL
Children are discouraged from bringing money and other valuables to school. We would greatly appreciate parent co-operation in this matter. Teachers will look after money that is brought to school by the children but they will not be held responsible for its security. Nor do we take responsibility for the care of games, cell phones, toys etc.
VISITORS AND GUESTS
Parents, whānau, visitors and guests are very welcome at Ōtaki School. All visitors and guests must report to the school office upon arrival and are required to sign the visitors tablet.
WEEKENDS AND AFTER SCHOOL
We welcome the use of our facilities and grounds after school and at weekends. If you would like to use our facilities, please contact the school or a member of the B.O.T.
Thank you for bringing your whānau to Ōtaki School. We are here to facilitate your child’s/children’s learning and to inspire them to become life-long learners. Together we can make a difference for your children so please pop into school anytime. Share your visions and dream with us – Whaia te iti kahurangi ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei. In one’s search for greatness, if one is to bow, let it be to a lofty mountain.
Phone: 06 364 8704 Cell Phone: 021 026 18462 Dental Clinic: 06 364 8484
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.otaki.school.nz