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Information for Families


An Introduction To Reremoana School

Reremoana School is a full primary (Years 1– 8) school, now in its eighth year in the Wattle Downs, Manurewa, South Auckland. The 2015 year started with around students and is expected to grow to over 430 by the end of the year. 

Located on the Wattle Downs peninsula in Wattle Cove, Reremoana School provides a ‘heart’ for our developing urban community.

Our third phase of building has been recently completed with another four classrooms being added last year, bringing our total number of permanent classrooms to 18. We also have 4 relocatables on site, as our original buildings will undergo re-cladding over the next year. Over the next few years we will continue to grow, eventually catering for a roll of around 500 students.

Reremoana School is a community of learners. Our programmes of learning combine the best of old and new; all staff work to see the 'whole child' develop to the best of his or her potential. 

We encourage our students to take increasing amounts of age appropriate responsibility for all aspects of school life. This includes their learning, behavioural choices and social interactions. We encourage and work with our learners to develop ‘intrinsic motivation –  internal motivation to make positive and appropriate choices for one’s own learning and behaviour rather than being motivated by external rewards or threats.


We hold high expectations for both learning and behaviour. In 2014 our behaviour guidelines were reviewed as pat of our involvement in the Ministry of Education "PB4L" (Positive Behaviour for Learning) programme. We now use our "Behaviour ABCs" to help us.




As a school we are continually reinforcing importance of a very positive school culture. We encourage a culture of positive relationships, conflict resolution and a strong anti-bullying philosophy. As part of our staff professional development programme prior to and after the school opened, we focused on ensuring we have a culture where bullying is actively discouraged. Students are made aware of and regularly reminded of our stance of ‘no fighting games’ at school. Because we know that all children will, at some stage in their life, come across a 'bullying' situation, we believe it is also important to work with children to develop strategies to deal with potential 'bullying' situations as either 'the bully', 'the bullied' or 'the bystander'. Children and families are encouraged to communicate any concerns to an appropriate staff member as soon as they occur.


Celebration of success and individual excellence occurs regularly and in a variety
of ways. We have some form of celebration afternoon every Friday from 2:30pm – 3:00pm. These celebrations are different than traditional school assemblies in that they are led by the students and focus on celebrating and sharing learning that has occurred. 

We know that forming and maintaining a strong relationship between home and school is crucial in ensuring our students achieve to the best of their ability. Celebration afternoons are just one of a number of ways we work to foster this. Friends and family members are encouraged to join us and where possible join in the celebrating of our students’ learning.  A schedule of celebration afternoons can be found in school newsletters.


The school's unique architectural design is symbolic of a kite, and is representative
of a local Maori legend about two brothers having a kite flying competition. Classrooms are designed to enable teachers to work collaboratively if they wish.
Each pair of classrooms has a sizeable shared area. All rooms are equipped with ergonomically designed furniture. We have equipped all classes with the most up
to date information and communication technologies to support and enhance
our class programmes.


Classroom ‘pods’ are deliberately organised to be multi-level to create a family atmosphere. For example there may be a Year 1/2 class in the same block as Year 7/8 class. All classes have a ‘buddy class’ and spend time together developing relationships and sharing learning. Teachers and classes of similar year level regularly get together to plan and share programmes appropriate to specific class levels.



Our Name

We are very proud of our name, Reremoana School, and what it represents – both the history and the future of the local area. While Wattle Cove continues to develop, the area is rich in history. Reremoana is a significant figure in local Maori history. She was the wife of Maori chief Wirihana Takanini – who both the Takanini and Wiri areas are named after – and she is the mother of ‘Reremoana Mahia’. Reremoana Mahia's name is reflected in the naming of Mahia Road and Mahia Creek. Translated, Reremoana means ‘waters flowing to the sea’. The symbolism of water flowing to the sea relates beautifully to our school and community preparing children (the water), for their journey out into the world (the sea).


Learning Model/Language of Learning


Following a significant amount of work by our staff in developing our understanding of the New Zealand curriculum, and in consultation with our school community, our current model for learning has evolved. 

Our model acknowledges the crucial partnership between school and home and has two overarching aspects - ‘Learning To Learn’ and ‘Learning Together’.

‘Learning To Learn’ is understanding the process of learning and gaining knowledge, knowing what to do with this learning, and doing it! ‘Learning Together’ is learning with and from each other in a supportive and positive way in a range of contexts.

The six core competencies at the centre of our learning model -  Question, Connect, Collaborate, Be Resilient, Be Creative and Reflect -  have had a ‘visual makeover’ to make them more memorable, and are now represented by the icons below:

Six core competencies are central to our Language of Learning:

Be Resilient - Persevering with challenges and ‘bouncing back’ when things get tough.

Collaborate - Participating co-operatively in any given situation.

Connect  - Finding and developing relationships.

Be Creative -.Being innovative through risk taking to reach an authentic outcome

Question - Being curious about what I think, learn and do.

Reflect - Looking at what I have done and deciding ‘where to next’.


Classroom Learning Programmes

Our school places a strong emphasis on English (Literacy) and Mathematics at all levels, especially in the Year 1–4 classes. This emphasis on English and Mathematics remains high through to Year 8 to ensure students leave reaching their potential in these areas. All other curriculum areas (Science, Technology, Social Science, The Arts, Health and Physical Education, Tikanga and Te Reo Màori) as required by the New Zealand Curriculum, are taught in a balanced way.

Where ever possible the learning experiences students participate in will be logically linked together (integrated), within an exciting and motivating 'context' or 'learning focus'. For example, in 2009 many curriculum areas were drawn together under the ‘Sustainability’ umbrella topic. In 2009 we developed our own unique model of ‘Inquiry Learning’, which we will continue to refine and integrate each year.

Children are given opportunities to learn in a variety of ways, in an environment that both supports and challenges them. Individual differences – cultural, social and learning - are valued, acknowledged and celebrated. To encourage children to make the most of their learning opportunities, they are taught to recognise and utilise their individual learning styles. Multiple intelligences are also acknowledged and explored. In line with what research tells us, children are encouraged to regularly snack on brain friendly foods, such as nuts, fruit and popcorn, and to keep themselves well hydrated with water. Regular exercise and 'brain gym' also occurs.

Teachers in all classes regularly share Learning Intentions (what they want children to learn as a result of the lesson or series of lessons); your child may be familiar with ‘WALT’ – ‘We Are Learning To...’.  Classes work to develop Success Criteria – ways a student will know they have achieved the Learning Intention. Teachers discuss results of formal and informal assessments with students, followed by the next step they will need to take in their learning. 

We know, based on research and experience, that giving students regular and useful feedback and feedforward plays an important part in the learning process, allowing the student to play an active part, and eventually lead, their own learning. The quality of the feedback is critical. Feedback and feed forward that is directly related to Learning Intentions or student goals is far more powerful than a token stamp or sticker.


Sporting Opportunities

As well as regular physical education and fitness that occurs as part of normal classroom programmes, opportunities for involvement in sporting events within the wider community are seen as essential. We work hard to provide our students with as many opportunities to participate in inter-school sporting opportunities as possible. As we grow as a school, we have sufficient numbers of students able to enter a greater number of events. The support we get from families as part of this is greatly appreciated and essential if we are to provide a wide rage of opportunities to our students. While the inter-school sports events we participate in are time-tabled as part of the Year 5 and 6 ‘Manurewa Primary Schools Sport Association’ and Year 7 and 8 ‘Central Counties Cluster’, each inter-school sporting events is organised and run by a different school. 

Participating in inter-school sporting events serves a number of purposes. The first is about participation - giving students the opportunity to be part of a sport or event that they might not have previously experienced. The second is about competing with peers from other schools. We see this as especially important for our students that have skills and talents in physical activities, as it gives them an opportunity to utilise these skills. Another important aspect is the working together as part of a team, especially when that team has trained in preparation for a specific event. Of course it is also rewarding should a team place or win as part of a competition.

 As part of our commitment to acknowledging and celebrating successes in a variety of ways we have been working hard to give recognition to sporting events in both our celebration afternoons and school newsletters. Those of you who have been able to attend celebration afternoons will have heard  reports from the students about their participation in sports events each term.


The Arts

The Arts in all their forms – music, dance, drama and visual art – are seen as important at Reremoana School. Children of all ages have had the opportunity to be part of a choir, and performed in a variety of settings. Our school has been represented at the the ‘J-Rock’ festival (Stage Challenge for primary schools) at the Aotea Centre, each year since 2007. 

A band programme is run by Joseph Allan and the Manukau Youth Orchestra where students can learn to play flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and trombone.  Lessons and instrument hire are subsidised as part of the Manukau Youth Orchestra's affordable music tuition programme for young people.  For more information and to sign up please go to - http://www.manukauyouthorchestra.org.nz/schools/reremoana/."
We have a band programme run by Joseph Allan and the Manukau Youth Orchestra where students can learn to play flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and trombone.  Lessons and instrument hire are subsidised as part of the Manukau Youth Orchestra's affordable music tuition programme for young people.  For more information and to sign up please go to - http://www.manukauyouthorchestra.org.nz/schools/reremoana/."

Musiqhub Guitar and Ukulele lessons are available during school hours on Thursdays at school. 
Please contact Lih Foo for more information:  Mobile: 021 2076 231 Email: lih.foo@musiqhub.co.nz Website: www.musiqhub.co.nz

Piano lessons are also offered on Mondays during school hours.  Please contact Jenny Collins for more information at jennys.musicschool@gmail.com


We also have tutors for guitar and piano.   For more information about these opportunities, please contact Karien Fourie, karienf@reremoana.school.nz.

Information and Communication Technology

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the utilisation of computers, digital cameras, phones, faxes, video cameras etc as important tools in classroom learning programmes. ICT is a transparent part of everyday learning across all classes. We have the up to date technology available to enhance our students' learning. This includes a data projector for each pair of rooms, and still digital camera for every room. In addition to the two desktop computers for each room, we also have mobile pods of laptops which are easily transported and set up for classroom use. 

We know that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an important part of our lives today. It will become increasingly important in our children's lives in the future. While we can not accurately predict the 'technologies' that will be available to our children in their future, we can prepare them by giving them the skills and attitudes to easily cope with changes in technologies and the possibilities in the future. 

We encourage our students to use the technologies available to them in innovative and creative ways, that challenge both the potential of the technologies and the software. As educators, we must provide an environment where this can easily and naturally occur.

We are lucky to be in the third year of a three year ICT Professional Development Cluster. This will mean some exciting professional learning opportunities for our staff that will flow on to enhanced utilisation of ICT to support learning in classes.


School Events, Terms, Dates and Hours

School Hours

Like most other primary schools in our area, school starts at 9:00am and finishes at 3:00pm. One significant difference to many other schools is that we signal the start of our learning times with a track of music. This music plays for five minutes immediately before children are due to be back at their classes ready to start learning. We have found this very successful as it allows children to get a drink, go to the toilet and make their way back to their classrooms without having to rush. Children are released at the end of learning sessions by their teacher instead of a bell. 

 

8:30am Children arrive at school and have access to their classrooms.

8:55am     9:00am                 Music plays

9:00am     11.00am             Learning Period One 

11.00am   11:25am            Interval 

11.25am   12:55pm            Learning Period Two 

1:00pm     1.40pm              Lunch

1.40pm     3.00pm              Learning Period Three


Regular Weekly Events

Monday 

Tuesday                                         

Wednesday                                 Lunches can be ordered from Deejays 

Thursday                                 Newsletters/Reminders – every Thursday!
                                                Lunches can be ordered  from Deejays

Friday                                         Celebration Afternoon - 2.30 in the School Hall
                                                Lunches can be ordered  from Deejays 


Term Event Dates

A calendar outlining the main events for the term is included in the school newsletter.


Office Hours

Our office is open between 8:30am and 3:30pm each day.
Geri Bremner and Karen Miller work in our front office. The office is not open out of these hours but phone messages can be left by calling 269 0069.

Maree Powrie is the Office Manager, and is responsible for school finances.


Celebration Fridays

We have a ‘Celebration Friday’ every week from 2.30pm – 3.00pm to share our student’s learning and to celebrate school events. The focus for these afternoons varies and can range from a sharing of learning in our hall to whole school sports, to playing maths reinforcement games in classes. The focus for the week’s celebration will be highlighted in advance in our newsletters. 


Arrival

We encourage all students to arrive at school between 8:30am and 8:50am – at least 10 minutes before classes commence. This allows time for bags and gear to be stowed away, and for your child to greet their classmates and teacher. Arriving late does not give the child time to prepare for the day in a relaxed manner. It can be unsettling for a child when arriving after the learning session has started. 

Staff are involved with meetings and preparation each morning and are not available to supervise students arriving before 8:30am. Students arriving before 8:30am must wait with their bags outside the Library until they are dismissed by a staff member at 8.30am.

School Lunches

School lunches are currently available for ordering every Wednesday's, Thursday's and Friday's from Deejays. 

All lunch orders are to be in a named and sealed envelope with the child’s room number, items ordered and amount of money enclosed clearly written on the outside. Any necessary change will be returned with the lunch order.

Students will still need to bring morning tea on days when they order their lunch.




Questions, Queries and Concerns

From time to time families will have questions or concerns about aspects of school life. We also know that no matter how well we think we have communicated, sometimes messages can be misinterpreted or misunderstood.

We ask that when questions or concerns arise, you approach your child’s teacher or the appropriate staff member as soon as possible. In most cases your child’s teacher, as the person who interacts with your child on a daily basis, has the most information about your child’s learning and development.

Hearing about concerns ‘second hand’ is not always helpful in finding a resolution.

We would far rather address any concern immediately, than let it escalate into a larger issue. Similarly, if families have concerns and let us know about them, we in a better position to work to solve the issue or to provide more information to clarify why something occurs in our school.

We also appreciate hearing when things are going well for you and your child!

From time to time we ask for feedback in surveys. While we know we have a very interested and involved community, surprisingly we get very few respondents. Surveying our community is an important forum for making your views heard.


Meetings With Teachers

From time to time families may wish to meet with teachers outside each term’s scheduled reporting or ‘conference’ times to discuss an aspect of their child’s learning and/or development. Parents are encouraged to arrange to meet with
their child’s teacher at any time during the year when they feel it is necessary to provide or receive information about their child. 

Our staff are more than happy to meet with you at a mutually convenient time. We ask that a meeting time is arranged rather than just ‘popping in for a chat’, as teachers have a number of scheduled meetings and spend a significant amount of time preparing for their class’ learning. It is also important that teachers are available for the children in their class before school. It is also important that confidentiality and privacy can be assured in any meeting where a child is being discussed. This is why a teacher may ask you to make a time to see them, as opposed to discussing your child in class before school for example. 

It may also be that your child’s teacher may initiate a meeting with families to discuss an aspect of a child’s learning, development or behaviour. Teachers would far rather be proactive in dealing with their concerns, than wait for a scheduled reporting/meeting time to come up. Often families have additional information that may assist teachers in better meeting the specific needs of the child, or information which may explain observations made by the teacher. By meeting together, any concerns can be addressed in a constructive, collaborative way.


Board Of Trustees

The Board of Trustees are your representatives. Board of Trustees meetings are held  monthly at school. Parents and members of the community are welcome to attend these meetings. Times and dates of these meetings are published in the school newsletter. 

For more information see the extract “How Schools Are Run” in the back of this booklet.


What is a BOT responsible for?

All of New Zealand's state and state-integrated schools have a Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees is the Crown entity responsible for the governance, and the control of management of the school. Boards are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the school in consultation with parents, staff and students and ensuring that their school provides a safe environment and quality education for the school's students. Boards are also responsible for overseeing the management of personnel, property, finance and administration. Trustees are elected by the parent community, staff members and, in the case of schools with students in Year 9 and above, the students. The principal is also a member of the board.”  

http://www.nzsta.org.nz/


Newsletters And Communication From School

Newsletters/Reminders are posted on the school website, and links sent via email and facebook every Thursday afternoon. Any specific class or team newsletters are also sent home on Thursday's. Please check with your children on Thursday's for any school notices.

You can elect to have the school newsletter & reminders email sent to you by giving our office staff your email address or emailing Karen Miller at karenm@reremoana.school.nz

Please note we are unable to email class newsletters due to confidentiality reasons.


Policies and Procedures

These are available at the school office for parents to peruse on request. All policies are reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees.

School policies are supported by Governance and Management procedures. Governance procedures are reviewed by the BOT, Management procedures are reviewed by the leadership team and staff.

Some procedures of particular interest to families have been included at the
end of this booklet.


Family Contact Details

Please contact our office with any change of contact details for parents/guardians and emergency contacts. From time to time we need to get hold of parents/guardians urgently when children get sick or have accidents. Without up to date details this can be very difficult, and can waste precious time. 

Please also notify us of any changes to your child/ren’s medical conditions.

Changes in details can be given to the office, phoned in or emailed to Geri Bremner at office@reremoana.school.nz

In the interests of safety, it is also important for the office to hold copies of legal documentation such as custody or protection orders pertaining to children at our school. Such documentation is treated with absolute confidentiality.



Attendance

The enrolment and attendance of pupils is governed by the Education Act. To meet legal requirements, all non-attendance/absences must be explained and recorded in our electronic attendance registers. Sending your child to school regularly is critical. Regular absences will have a negative impact on your child’s learning. 

Absentees

Children’s safety is of top priority to us. To assist us with ensuring all children have arrived safely at school, we ask families to telephone or call in to the school by 8:45am and leave a message to notify us of children who will be away, and the reason for the absence (sickness or family reasons). 

All of our attendance is recorded electronically. The school is required to code the absences according to Ministry specifications.  Absences are coded as justified or unjustified. Late arrivals are required to be coded in the same way. A child who has missed roll call in class is recorded as absent by the teacher. If they then arrive more than 10 minutes late, the late arrival is coded by office staff as unjustified (such as sleeping in) or justified (for example a medical appointment).

Once teacher rolls have been submitted, office staff then text the parents/guardians of any children who have not arrived and we have no notification of absence for. 

Notifying us in advance saves us a lot of time and allows us to more quickly ascertain the safe arrival of all children.


Late Arrival At School

From time to time children will arrive after school starts. We ask that children arriving after the music has finished at 9:00am, go to the office to ‘sign in’. The child will be given a ‘late pass’ which is taken to the class teacher. This avoids any confusion and, in the case of a child who cannot be located, saves precious time.


Leaving School Early

If you need to pick your child up early from school, or during the day to take them to an appointment, please sign them out (and back in, if appropriate) at the school office.

 

Returning forms, money, lunch orders etc.

With the exception of school lunches, our preference is for payments to school to be made via our Online Shop. We would prefer that forms, money and lunch orders are taken to classrooms rather than to the office. Money, forms etc. will then be recorded and then forwarded to the office. This assists us with keeping an accurate record of what has been returned. Any money sent to school needs to be in a clearly labelled, named and sealed envelope – child’s name, room number, purpose of money eg lunch order and any other important information. 

Staff Absences

Staff absences from time to time are unavoidable. Our aim is to always cover staff absences and release with high quality teachers and, where absences will be more than one or two days, attempting to have one consistent teacher in the classroom. With the implementation of ‘Classroom Release Time’ (see below) in all primary schools, relieving teachers available for sustained days at a time are proving very difficult to come by. If you know of anyone interested in becoming part of our relievers pool, please ask them to contact Lynn Fothergill lynnf@reremoana.school.nz

Staff Non Contact Time

All New Zealand teachers receive a mandatory component of ‘Classroom Release Time’, or non contact time, each term. The amount of time teachers receive varies according to experience and leadership responsibilities. Teachers use this valuable time for a range of tasks such as spending time with individual children doing in-depth testing and assessment (particularly in literacy and numeracy), small group work, observation of other teachers, professional reading and research, updating records etc. Where possible we try to have a consistent release teacher to provide the release for each class, each term.


Reremoana School Support Team

We are fortunate to have an extremely supportive school community. The varied support we receive from our community impacts positively on the experiences of students, and on student achievement. 

A school ‘Support Team’ was formed in the second half of 2006. This group supports our school through fund raising (large and smaller projects), processing resources (for example library book and class readers), and supporting teachers in a variety of ways. Another priority for this group is ‘fun raising’ through planning and running events specifically designed to bring our community together.

In the time this group has been in operation they have raised a significant amount of money for school projects, worked hard to support staff, and organised a number of community events.

Family members, both new and existing, are encouraged to join this group. Meeting dates and times are advertised in the ‘Support Team’ section of the school newsletter. Email supportteam@reremoana.school.nz for more information about how you can help.


School Donations

Our Board of Trustees and staff are committed to providing the best possible learning opportunities for your child. We have carefully used our establishment budgets to resource our school accordingly. However as a high decile school (9), our funding to operate the school each year is significantly less than lower decile schools. As you will be aware, schools throughout New Zealand struggle to provide the programmes they would like with the funding received from the Ministry of Education. 

Our Board of Trustees annually reviews and sets a school fee donation which it believes is reflective of our school community. A request and reminders for payment of the school donation are sent out each term.

The school donation is a voluntary payment to the school, it is tax deductible for families and will be used to enhance student learning and the opportunities we are able to offer our students.  


For further information about how the decile rating is determined refer to the following Ministry of Education web page:

http://www.minedu.govt.nz/index.cfm?layout=document&documentid=7697&data=l


After School Care

A number of options are available for out of hours child care in our local community. These are advertised from time to time in our newsletters. Ultimate Kids is an independent care provider who operates from our school grounds. Information about contacting ‘Ultimate Kids’ is available from our office.


Cyber Safety and Permission To Publish Student’s Work and Images

All families are asked to read, sign and return our Cyber Safety  documentation when they enrol. The booklet is available for download from here.

This document also contains information about our  Permission to Publish Student Work and Images agreement.

It also summarises our procedures to ensure privacy and safety when students are online and when publishing our student’s images and work in newsletters, on our Facebook page and on our website.

If your family’s circumstances change, please notify us so we can modify our records.


Learning

Composite Classes

We anticipate that every year we will have a number of composite classes; classes which are composed of two year levels. 

Composite classes are a reality for us (and most other schools). We will never have exactly the right number of students at every year level in the school to have ‘straight’ (one year only) classes throughout the school. Composite classes also provide us with a range of options for the placement of each student to best meet individual needs.

None of our classes are ‘streamed’. In a situation where we have students split over 2 or more classes, (for example Year 2/3 composite and a Year 3/4 composite) the Year 3 students in both classes will be learning at a range of levels. 

Being in a composite class does not mean working at a higher or lower level than other children in your child’s year level. All teaching, regardless of the year level of the child, is about determining where a child is achieving in each curriculum area, and then moving the child on from that point. In each class our teachers will be grouping children with similar needs and abilities together to teach them at the most appropriate level. 

Where a year level is spread across a number of classes, teachers meet regularly to both plan and moderate work to ensure similar expectations and standards are being set and reached.

As parents, we went through school doing ‘Standard 3 work in Standard 3’, and ‘Standard 4 work in Standard 4’. Today’s curriculum is completely different to that which we experienced as primary school students. It is designed to follow the learning progressions of students as individuals, as opposed to a specific curriculum for each specific year level.

We feel strongly that composite classes are not detrimental to the learning and progress of our students. We see our classes as groups of learners who all have differing strengths and needs, and all of our teachers work to meet these needs.


Class Placements

We are often asked how decisions regarding the placement of students into their new class is determined. A considerable amount of thought and time is put into this process, and a number of factors are taken into consideration.

We work to ensure there is a balance across classes, taking into account learning, social and in some cases, behavioural needs. We try to ensure there is a group of students from each year’s previous class in the new room.  


Year Levels

It can be confusing for parents, particularly of junior students, to understand how year levels are ascertained. It is a child’s birthday and when they start school which determines year level, as instructed by the Ministry of Education.

If a child turns 5 from January through to the end of the first school term, they are classified as a Year 1 student from the outset. Students who turn 5 from Term 2 through to December are classified as Year 0, and begin the following school year as a Year 1. This explains why some children who are very close in age are actually in different year levels. 


The Ministry Of Education has a section on their website which may be of interest to you. This site gives some background about how schools in New Zealand operate.   http://www.minedu.govt.nz/Parents.aspx


Library

Children visit our library at least once a week with their classes. The library is also open every lunchtime, when children are welcome to exchange books, or simply enjoy browsing in the library. All library books are required to be taken out of the library in a book bag. Each year  students interested in becoming Student Librarians are trained for the job, and help run the library at lunchtimes. 

Our library collections will continue to grow with the school. We are fortunate to have a wide range of up to date publications, and appreciate feedback from families to inform our future purchases.


Homework

We see homework as a vital link between home and school. Homework should be viewed by parents as an opportunity to share in your child’s developing skills. We believe that by working together we can ensure homework is a positive way to not only reinforce learning at school, but also to enhance relationships. 

School procedures promote the setting of homework regularly so that children develop consistent work habits. The time required for completion of homework tasks varies, and increases with the age of the child. 

Homework should not be a burden on the child or family. If homework is causing stress for you or your child, it is important to discuss the matter with the class teacher. Long term assignments and projects should be worked on regularly to allow completion by the set date. 

Reading should form a regular part of your child’s homework, even if it is not stated on the outline sent home by your child’s teacher. Particularly in the junior classes, reading books sent home should be able to be read fluently by your child. Your child may not necessarily bring home a ‘new’ book every night; sometimes children may bring home familiar books, as this provides reinforcement and encourages fluency.


Stationery

A list of stationery items for all classes can be downloaded from the bottom of this section,


Parent/Guardian Involvement

We welcome parental assistance at the school. School trips and camps, sporting, cultural and academic events and special days are all part of the school's programme. Parents are actively encouraged to support their child through attendance, participation, and assistance with transport and supervision. You will be notified about these through school or class newsletters. 

Parent helpers are greatly appreciated in helping the school with library work, making classroom equipment, assisting the teachers in the classrooms, repairing books etc. If you are able to assist we would like to hear from you. We ask that for Health and Safety reasons, parents helping at school sign in at the office.


Sharing Student Progress

Strong partnerships between school and family play a critical role in a child’s learning. An essential part of this partnership is the exchange of information between all  involved parties about the child’s learning and development. The working together of home and school towards setting and achieving of realistic goals was identified as a high priority from parent feedback and from staff and BOT discussions. 

In 2009 we gave our school families a number of opportunities to get involved with the development of a new reporting cycle for our school. We sought feedback on a variety of methods and formats of reporting. As a result of this consultation and the introduction of new guidelines from the Ministry of Education around reporting to families against National Standards, we developed our current reporting cycle. 

The cycle includes a number of different ways of reporting to families about individual student achievement and learning. The aim is to meet the needs of as many of our families as possible.

We would like to remind families that they are welcome to make appointments to meet with teachers at any stage of the year outside the scheduled reporting times.


 Reporting Cycle

Student Achievement In Relation To National Standards
We are required to make an Overall Teacher Judgement (OTJ) for every child in relation to their achievement against National Standards at set anniversaries in their time at school. For students in their first three years of school this occurs within the term of their first, second and third anniversary at school. Students in Years 4-8 receive this OTJ at the end of the school year.
Term 1 – Goal Setting Conferences
All families are given the opportunity to meet with their child and child’s teacher. From this discussion, initial goals are set.
Term 2 - Interim Report -
The Interim report is a prediction, made by teachers and based on each child’s progress and current achievement, of their likely National Standard achievement at their next anniversary (Y1-3 students) or at the end of the school year (Y4-8 students). Many factors can impact on student achievement as the year progresses; for example, illness or a high number of absences can significantly impact on National Standards’ achievement for individual students.
Term 3 Parent/Guardian - Teacher - Conferences - 20 August
This is an opportunity for the teacher and parents/caregivers to discuss learning and achievement from the first part of the year, and to review the student’s goals.
Term 4 – Student Led Conferences and End of Year Report
Student Led Conferences
Student Led conferences involve the student, parents/guardians and the teacher. The student leads this meeting, sharing her/his learning, achievements and celebrations for the year.
End Of Year Report
Our End Of Year report focuses on all curriculum areas with a more detailed focus on Reading, Writing and Mathematics. It comments on the students progress made and gives next learning steps. In this report, teachers make an overall teacher judgement for each student against the National Standards, using the rankings of Above, At, Below or Well Below National Standards in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. In this report, an evaluation is also made about the student’s use of the Reremoana School Language of Learning.

Rolling Reports

Each term - Interim or Anniversary reports

Junior students (Years 1-3) work to a ‘rolling reports’ system. Each term, eligible students receive either an interim report (if they have been at school for 6, 18 or 30 months), or an anniversary report (if their anniversary is reached that term). For these children, student-led conferences are held at a date in the last two weeks of the appropriate school term; at this conference, parents receive their child’s report and discuss this with the teacher.

Students whose interim or birthday anniversary does not fall in a term receive the appropriate report, and an opportunity for the student-led conference, the next term.

Entrant Report:
This report is the very first report a child entering school receives. This provides information on the skills and knowledge of each child in the first month or so of their schooling.
Families wishing to meet with teachers at times outside our scheduled reporting times are welcome to make an appointment with their child’s teacher to do so.

Finding Our More About The New Zealand Education System

You may have questions about our New Zealand Curriculum. Our staff are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. You may also be interested in visiting these web sites…

http://www.minedu.govt.nz/Parents.aspx

http://www.edcentre.govt.nz/



Brain Food

All schools, as part of the health curriculum, teach students about the importance of healthy eating and nutrition.  At Reremoana School this is a year round focus, and is particularly emphasised in the first term. 

We encourage children to eat healthy snacks (see below) and drink water (not juice) during class time to ensure optimum brain functioning and learning. 

We encourage children to come to school with ‘Healthy Snacks’ and a bottle that can be filled with water.

Ultimately, the decision about whether children bring ‘brain food’ to school to eat during class time and what is included in school lunches is up to each family.


Healthy Snack (Brain Food) Breaks

Many of our classes have opportunities for children to eat healthy snacks at set times during the day. We acknowledge the constant snacking may be linked to tooth decay and for this reason encourage children to have a 'healthy snack' about half way through a block of learning time. Some classes have set times for healthy snacks, others give children the responsibility of identifying appropriate times for this. 

Healthy snacks could include fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, chopped fresh vegetables or unsalted popcorn. Each Pod has a popcorn maker, and teachers provide popcorn from time to time in classes. We are discouraging dried fruit, muesli bars or ‘roll ups’ in class time as these foods tend to stick to teeth for extended periods of time which can lead to tooth decay. 

The following is an extract from “Learning To Learn – Strategies for Accelerating Learning and Boosting Performance”  by Christine Ward and Jan Daley:


“FOOD FOR THE BRAIN

Memory and learning involve electrochemical processes; thus there are definite links between effective learning and good nutrition. The tips below
use some old truths and some new research about ways to ensure our brains are well-fed for successful study...


Keep energy levels high. Brains need constant energy… It is vital to keep
blood sugar levels up during study times to maintain concentration. Helpful blood sugar comes from the digestion of complex carbohydrates and proteins which release energy over several hours. Eating sugary food provides instant but temporary energy.


Top up energy by brain food grazing. Nibbling pieces of fruit, vegetables, whole-grain snacks, nuts and seeds every hour or two, keeps blood sugar
levels high to energise brains for thinking and learning. It is also essential to
drink plenty of water…


Eat raw food often. Snacking on raw fruit and vegetables is an easy way to keep the body/brain going well… Raw foods of any sort increase the rate at which the brain cells use oxygen, so that thinking and learning is easier and better. Seeds and nuts eaten raw or sprouted have valuable nutrients in the seed embryo which are good for brain function.


Health and Safety

Early Arrival At School

We strongly discourage any students arriving at school before 8:30am. Staff are involved with meetings and preparation and cannot supervise children. Any children who arrive before 8:30am wait outside the Library until released by a staff member.

Children have access to classrooms from 8:30 – 9:00am. Teachers are in and around classes at this time.


Keeping Our Students Safe and Looking Great

Hats – We are committed to keeping our children safe in the sun and have developed Sun Safe Procedures accordingly. Children are required to wear school uniform hats when playing in the sun in Terms 1 and 4. It is essential that children have hats at school everyday. We strongly encourage the wearing of hats to and from school.


Jewellery – Our procedures, (driven by a commitment to a school identity and uniform, and to children’s safety), include children wearing no jewellery other than a watch and stud earrings. This is a preventative measure, as jewellery can easily be caught resulting in injury during regular class and sporting activities. While this excludes religious or cultural items, we stress that the wearing of these items have potential safety issues.


Medical Room

Children who are feeling unwell, or who receive an injury, are cared for and treated in our Medical Room, which is located by our office. Details of all incidents/injuries/illnesses treated at school are recorded in a First Aid book, including the date, nature of illness/injury, treatment provided and by whom. Contact is made with parents by phone if the person giving treatment has any concerns at all. We prefer to err on the side of caution, and will often call a parent or guardian to discuss even minor treatments.

In a situation where it is thought that a child is too ill to return to a classroom, or is in need of further medical treatment, parents/guardians will be contacted to come and collect their child. 

Children with suspected contagious conditions, e.g. impetigo or conjunctivitis, will also be required to be collected from school.

If parents/guardians/emergency contacts of a child too unwell to return to class, but not in a serious condition, have been unable to be reached by phone, and/or the child has been in the Medical Room for a period of time, a note will be sent home with the child detailing this. In the event of an emergency, where parents/guardians cannot be contacted, the school will act in the child's best interests.


Medication At School

Wherever possible, with the exception of asthma medication, we encourage you to administer all medication at home.  In many cases, it is possible to work out a timetable which allows for medication to be administered only at home e.g. before school/after school/before bed time. It would be an advantage to discuss this with your doctor when a prescription is issued. 

If your child has medication which must be taken within school hours, please complete the appropriate forms at our office. Please do not hand medication to your child’s teacher or send it to school with your child. 

All medication (with the exception of asthma medication) must be administered from our office. We will not administer the first dose of a prescribed medication at school.

‘Medication At School Procedures’ can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.


Children’s Safety Around Vehicles

Children within the school grounds do not always look out for vehicles. If you are driving within the school grounds (this includes the car park and drop off zone),
please be very aware of children moving around and keep your speed to an absolute minimum.


Travel Wise

Help us make children’s journeys to school active, safe, social and sustainable.

Walking
  • The Peninsula is a great neighbourhood for walking! 
  • We encourage you to walk with your children to and from school. 
  • Walking:
  • Keeps the school gates clear of cars.  So it is safer for everyone
  • Helps improve your child’s fitness and health…and yours!
  • Gets them to school awake, alert and ready to learn
  • Helps your child to learn road sense skills – parents are the first teachers
  • Children become familiar with their community
  • Reduces car emissions in the environment

Walking School Bus

A Walking School Bus is a fun, safe and healthy way for your children to get to and from school. Walking School Buses are organised and run by parent/community volunteers. We have one well established Walking School Bus in operation, and one currently awaiting rejuvenation! The Blackwood/Croftview route runs daily to and from school. The St Anne's route is running during the Summer months and is in need of more volunteers.

If you are interested in either joining your child up with a walking school bus, or helping with the co-ordination and running of this service, please contact our school office staff, who will be able to put in in contact with the right people.


Driving 
If you need to drive, always drive slowly near the school and watch for pedestrians and cyclists at all times.
Please observe the following safe practices with your child:


  •  Park a short distance from the school and walk with your children to school
  •  Ensure children get out of the car onto the footpath side and not the road side
  •  Use the pedestrian refuge if crossing Hadley Wood Drive 
  •  Parking restrictions are there to create visibility for child pedestrians and help them get to school safely. If you park illegally you risk children’s safety
  •  Do not wave and call your child/ren across the road. This puts them in a dangerous position
Thank you for your support and efforts in keeping our children safe

Head lice

While head lice can never be avoided in a school, prompt action from families can minimise this annoying problem. We encourage families to regularly check their children’s hair and treat head lice immediately if they are found. If your child has a particularly bad case of head lice, we will ask that they be collected from school. We also appreciate families notifying the school of any cases of head lice so other families of children in the same class can check their children, and hopefully stop them spreading. Hair that is shoulder length must be tied back; long, untied hair is an easy target for head lice.


Cell Phones, Electronic Games And Music Devices

All cell phones, electronic games and musical devices such as iPod and MP3 players must be handed to our office before school and can be collected at the end of the day. 


Toys And Precious Items

We strongly discourage children bringing toys or any precious items to school unless specifically requested by their teacher. The school does not accept any responsibility for the loss of, or damage to, toys or precious items brought to school.


Uniform

Uniform Purchases

School uniforms can be purchased from The Uniform Shoppe, 185 Great South Rd, Manurewa, Ph 267 6063. A range of uniform items are available.  We ask that only Reremoana School uniform items be worn; in most cases they are easily recognisable by our school monogram. We recommend that long cargo pants and bootlegs not be worn during the summer months. Uniform items can now be purchased on line 

http://www.theuniformshoppe.co.nz/ then go to the ‘shop online today’ link.


Washing Uniform Items

Advice from our suppliers is to wash and dry uniform items inside out. This will reduce wear of these items. Using detergents free from ‘brighteners’ is also recommended.


Naming Uniforms

Please ensure your child/ren’s uniform is clearly and permanently named. We encourage permanent marker names on the underside of hat rims and inside collars of polo shirts, vests and sweatshirts. It pays to check your child’s uniform items from time to time to see that the name has not worn off, and to check that they have not picked up someone else’s uniform item by accident.


Lost property

Lost property is stored at our office. All named items are returned to the owner’s class. If your child misplaces a uniform item, please let the class teacher know. Your child’s teacher will try to locate the item at school. Similarly if you find your child has taken another child’s uniform item home by mistake, please return it as soon as possible to your child’s teacher so it may be reunited with its actual owner.


Enrolment

Enrolment Zone

Reremoana School Home Zone

All students who live within the home zone boundary described below (and shown on the map) shall be entitled to enrol at the school. 


Home Zone Boundary Description


All the area of the Wattle Downs Peninsula south/south west of a line that runs from the southern boundary of the Acacia Cove retirement complex in Wattle Farm Road, across the Wattle Downs Golf Course to the point at which its north eastern boundary meets Carnoustie Drive. The zone includes all houses in Fergy Crescent, and houses in Wattle Farm Road south of and including No’s 154 and 155, all houses in Blackwood Drive, all houses in Pinehurst Place, and all houses in Carnoustie Drive, south of and including Nos 35 and 48. 


Future Enrolments

Careful planning for the growth of a new school in a rapidly developing area is crucial. The more information we have about new enrolments, the more accurately we can plan for staffing, classes and buildings in future years. 

If you have a child that will be enrolled at Reremoana School in the future please complete our short pre enrolment form and return it to our office.

The Board of Trustees is in regular communication with the Ministry of Education about future enrolments to assist with the start of building of future classrooms. We hope to avoid overcrowding in our current classroom spaces as our student numbers grow.


We are only enrolling children who live within the 'home zone' of our enrolment scheme. 

We are obliged to inform families that the Board of Trustees has the right to annul the enrolment of any children where false information regarding residency has been given. 

We would appreciate your support in encouraging anyone you are aware of living (or moving to a home) within our zone and who is planning on joining us in 2010 or future years, to complete a pre-enrolment form. These forms can be collected from our office or posted to interested families.

Enrolment forms for younger siblings who will be attending our school are available from our office, and must be completed prior to their start date. This allows us to be in contact with families to arrange pre-school visits.

We encourage families to complete these forms up to 3-4 years in advance of the time when the child is due to turn 5. This will assist us with future planning and roll growth projections.

You will be asked to provide two forms of proof of residency (originals please). For all children enrolling, not just children enrolling as five year olds, we are required to sight a birth certificate or passport. We are happy to take copies of these and return the originals to you.

When enrolment documentation is completed and your child begins school, we request records and information from your child's previous school. You may wish to inform them that your child will be leaving.


For more information, please don't hesitate to contact our office.


When can my child start at Reremoana School?

We will be thrilled to have your child (who is five years or older), start with us as soon
as all enrolment documentation has been received, and you have purchased your child's uniform.

We would appreciate any advance notice you can give us of your child starting
with us, so that we can inform the class teacher and ensure the class is ready for a new student.


New Entrants

Our New Entrants start school on the day of their fifth birthday. 

Prior to starting, our new entrants are invited to attend pre-school visits. These visits help your child (and you) feel comfortable about coming to school, and enable them to become familiar with the class and teacher. Families will be contacted based on information provided in completed enrolment forms.

Pre-school visits are scheduled on the two mornings prior to their fifth birthday from 9:00am until 10:40am. Morning tea is from 10:40am –11:00am. The children must be accompanied by their parents or another adult they are familiar with, and are most welcome to stay for morning tea as well if they choose. 

For more information please visit the Starting School section of the website.

How Schools Are Run

Taken from the Ministry of Education's ‘Team Up’ website aimed at providing information for families about schooling in New Zealand


All schools must operate under the provisions of the Education Act of 1989. Boards of trustees govern all state and integrated schools in New Zealand.  


The boards are made up of:

elected parent and community volunteers

the school principal

a student representative

a staff representative

and in state integrated schools – representatives of the property owner


Independent schools are governed by committees, trustee boards and management boards acting on behalf of the owners.


Boards of Trustees

The board governs the school, employs the staff and manages school property. Every board must establish a charter which sets out the aims and objectives of the school.

Boards of trustees are then accountable for meeting the objectives in their charter and for managing the funds they receive from the government to run the school.  They are required to present an annual report to the Ministry of Education which is available for you to see.

The Principal

The role of the principal is to manage the day-to-day activities of the school within
the policies set by the board. A principal is also usually responsible for assessing staff performance.


Parents

Parent Groups also provide support to schools. Parents are encouraged to help out however they can at their child’s school. Check with your school to see how
you might be involved.

http://www.minedu.govt.nz/Parents.aspx


Understanding deciles

Deciles group schools in a way which reflects the average family or whanau backgrounds of students at the school. It is a funding mechanism to help the
Ministry of Education allocate funding to schools in an equitable manner. It is
not a measure of the standard of education delivered by a school.  

The increased funding given to lower decile schools is to allow those schools to
cover the increased learning needs of their students and because of this funding, decile ratings have little to do with what and how well your child will learn.  

There are ten deciles and around 10% of schools are in each decile. Schools in Decile 1 have the highest proportion of students from low socio-economic backgrounds and schools in Decile 10 have the highest proportion of students from high socio-economic backgrounds. The lower a school’s decile rating, the more funding it gets.

http://www.minedu.govt.nz/Parents.aspx



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