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A to z of Whenuakite School 


The Education Act regulations state that no child shall be absent from school without sufficient reason.  A note signed by a parent stating reasons for a child's absence should be sent to school when the pupil returns.  Alternatively, the school can be telephoned or email the school on, or the link on the home page

It helps a child settle to their daily routine to be well in time for the school day, which starts at 9.00am.  We’d appreciate if children were not at school before 8.15 am.

The school is legally required to make contact with external agencies if attendance is poor or there is continued lateness.



School assemblies are usually held every Friday afternoon at 2.15 p.m. Each class is rostered to lead the assembly and share their learning. We welcome all parents and whanau to celebrate this with our learners.



We have a school-wide behaviour guideline which aims at developing shared ownership and responsibility for behaviour. This articulates that each learner, parent and team member have Rights, as well as Responsibilities. The core focus is on being a k.i.t.e Kid. 


It is the goal of the school to work with whanau to ensure any behaviour is acted upon in a respectful and constructive manner. We believe that the behaviour is the child trying to engage with us/ it is our role to identify what that is and work restoratively with the child for positive social and learning outcomes. If inappropriate behaviour is ongoing or serious, parents are notified, with a possible meeting scheduled. Serious misconduct can lead to ongoing development with the child, whanau and outside agencies.  


The Board of this school consists of five members elected every three years by parents of the school, the principal and a staff representative.  It has the power to co-opt other members if it chooses. 


We have a committed and hard-working Board in the past who have achieved a lot.  Please give your full support to them.  


The Board meets monthly. Parents are able to attend these meetings if they so desire.  As a courtesy, however, informing the Chairperson of intending participation would assist with meeting procedures.  Parents may be asked to leave a meeting should a sensitive matter need to be discussed. Board Minutes are also available at the school office.


The Board is not responsible for the day to day management of the school and concerns in this area should be referred to the teaching staff and principal.  The Board of Trustees must uphold a strict code of conduct. To view this, please click here.



The school encourages children to purchase from the ABC, Lucky, Arrow and Star Book Clubs.  They are inexpensive by today's standards and fulfil a very useful purpose.  The school receives a small commission on sales.  All children are given an information sheet and order form. 

Cheques should be made out to Scholastic NZ.


This is a special feature of a country school and an important community event.  This is held in in the middle of September, in Term 3, during the week. Children are encouraged to rear a calf, lamb, goat or chicken. Or to bring a pet for the Pet Section. 


from Year 3 will have one major camp each year. The length of camp depends on the age of the children. These camps encourage pupil development and achievement and have related themes such as aquatics.  Fundraising is often needed as camps costs can vary, depending on the type of camp being organised.  


We are fortunate to have staff that are keen on outdoor education and a supportive crew of parents.  The camp is a great way to get involved.



The Charter id the document which defines how our school will plan for continuous and sustained improvement. The Charter describes the Board’s long term (strategic) goals for student achievement. It flows through to the Annual Plan which has specific goals and actions to achieve this year.


A copy of the Charter can be found on our HERE or requested at the office.



As part of class programmes, visits are sometimes undertaken by classes or syndicates.  When trips involve parents driving children to and from venues cars must be roadworthy, the driver licensed and children in seat belts, not lap belts.  Some trips will use a bus.  These are valuable extensions of children's understanding of themselves and of the world, they live in, often lead to stimulating follow up work and offer a "hands-on" approach to learning.  The cost of these is on a pay as you go basis.  All trip money needs to go through your child’s teacher.


We aim that no less than six weeks’ notice will be given as notification for upcoming trips.


Please be aware that for some events, Police Vetting may be required.


Adult – Student Ratio’s

To ensure that all children are safe we must adhere to strict Ratio’s. These are:

1  Adult to 4 Children on/near water, in the bush or rugged country 1                                           

1 Adult to 6 Children for all other trips.


If we are unable to meet the ratio for trips, these will have to be cancelled.



Illness:                          Period of exclusion from school:

Measles                           - four days after the appearance of the rash.

Chicken Pox                    - until blisters have formed dry scabs

Mumps                            - until nine days after swelling appears

Scabies                            - nil if under treatment

Ringworm                      - nil if under treatment

Impetigo(School sores)   - must be covered.

Lice                                  - nil if under treatment

Slapped Cheek                   - nil unless they have a fever (keep children away from pregnant women).

Hand, Foot & Mouth        - for the period of illness/until blisters dry up.

Doctor's advice should be sought in all cases.


Our grounds and facilities are open for use of the community; at their own risk, for children and families to play. No vehicles or animals are to be in the grounds at any time unless on school business.


People using the school grounds outside of school hours, do so at their own risk.


COMPUTERS / ICT / eLearning / BYOD

Computers are an integral part of our programme.  We are endeavouring to expand pupils' knowledge and experience in this field and all children will develop computer literacy as they move through the school. Devices are seen as a tool for learning and will be utilised when / if required.


A Device and BYOD Agreement will be required prior to enrolment at Whenuakite School.



The following process should be followed if a parent or caregiver wishes to share their concern in regards to their child’s education, or other aspects of the school.



1  Where possible level by communicating with the person whose actions have given rise to the complaint. (i.e. class teacher if       

 concerns over the child)

2  If after a direct approach to the person whose actions have given rise to the complaint the problem remains unresolved, then contact with the person who is directly responsible for the complainant is made. This would be a Deputy Principal (Senior School) and Deputy Principal (Junior School) for a complaint about a staff member or student.

3  If the complaint can be resolved at that point the Head of Faculty or Head of School will take appropriate action (if any) as required. The Deputy Principal (Senior School) and Associate Principal (Junior School) may report to the Principal on the resolution of the complaint and actions taken if deemed necessary.

4 If the matter remains unresolved after contact with the Deputy Principal (Senior School) and Deputy Principal (Junior School) then a written complaint may be made to the Principal when making an appointment to meet. This may be taken away for discussion with the Senior Leadership Team.

5  If the matter remains unresolved after contact with the Principal then a written complaint may be made to the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.

6  A complaint against the Principal or if the concern has not been addressed,  a complaint should be addressed to the Board Chairperson. in all instances. the above process is required to be undertaken.

7  Where an initial concern is considered serious the complainant should lodge a complaint directly in writing to the Principal.



As our school is next to a busy main road, cycling is recommended only for pupils in Year 5 and over.  It is compulsory that all cyclists wear approved safety helmets.



The school maintains contact with and utilises where necessary, a variety of outside specialised agencies.  These include:

  • Department of Health (Public Health Nurse)

  • School Library Service

  • Education Advisers

  • Speech Therapist             

  • RTLB – Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour – for children with moderate needs.

  • RTLit – Resource Teacher of Literacy.

  • Group Specialist Education

  • As specialist help is hard to come by we encourage parent support for these services.


Please contact us if you’d like to access these services.



Our e-mail address is



These are set by the Board each year. They are currently:

Annual School Donation                                 $40.00 per child


There may also be school trips throughout the year, which be notified as soon as possible.


Our fundraising Committee help minimises costs by contributing to the school. 


If your child enters  School part way through the year, adjustments are made to the fees accordingly.



Should a child suffer an accident at school he/she will be attended to and if it is felt a doctor's advice is necessary then parents will be contacted immediately.  If parents cannot be contacted the child will be taken to the Mercury Bay Medical Centre, or an ambulance will be called. Please advise the school if pupils need to take any medication during the day. This is especially important for asthmatics or children with allergies.  Be aware also that we are not entitled to give pupils any medication without prior permission of the caregiver. It is crucial that the school is aware of student health issues.


This is a great opportunity for parents to work with the staff for the benefit of the school community. The fundraising committee is of great assistance to the school. They organise social events and fundraising activities. Our main fundraiser is the Cooks Beach Gala which is held January 04 each year. The Fundraising Committee works in close liaison with the staff and Board of Trustees and is a vibrant organisation that allows parents to be active within the school.


Please provide your child with a hat in summer (Terms 1 & 4).  The school provides sunscreen.  Children who don’t have a sunhat will have to play in shady areas.



If you have a particular talent or would just like to “muck in” around the school – you are always welcome. Please contact your class teacher if you are interested to get involved. Please, no young children if you are volunteering.

We like to have parents assisting at school. Teachers may also require parent help for some extracurricular activities.


At times it is necessary for children to get practice, or consolidate skills taught or to prepare for work in the future.  It is very beneficial for pupils to read each day.  Often children need to learn spelling and basic facts in maths.  If you have any worries about your child and homework, see the teacher concerned. At the senior level, homework is set according to individual teachers.

In the junior classes, reading will be sent home Monday to Thursday and Poetry Books and or publishing folders on Friday.  Please support your child's progress by making this an enjoyable time.


At times parents may feel they need to seek clarification for things that are done or happen at school. Staff are happy to see parents to discuss pupils in their care.  Contact the school to arrange a suitable time.  If you are still concerned after seeing the teacher, please contact a Senior Leader.


Monday and Wednesday afternoons are not a suitable time for us because of staff and syndicate meetings.


The school policy is that no makeup or jewellery other than ear studs and watches are worn.



The library is an excellent resource and all children are encouraged to take books out. Children may take out two books at a time.  They are issued for two weeks.  Please ensure your children return books on time.  Book bags are purchased when children start school.  These must be used to protect books.  Our Librarian, Julia Rhodes looks after the library.


All clothing and footwear should be named. Parents are welcome to check in the lost property box by Room 6.  Unclaimed clothing will be given to charitable organisations at the end of the term.



Each week, the Year 7 & 8 pupils go by bus to Mercury Bay Area School for tuition in aspects of technology. Suitable footwear is essential.  All children must return to school by bus unless an exemption is applied for by the parent and a pass is issued. 


A school newsletter is sent home weekly. They are written to inform parents of school matters.  They can also be used by local clubs and organisations.  They are written on Mondays; and whenever else it’s necessary.  these are emailed and are also available on our website and facebook page. In the case of split families, a request needs to be made to receive a newsletter.


We have a Special Education Needs coordinator (SENCO) who will coordinate help for students assessed to have special needs. In 2019 this is our associate principal. Nicola riedinger.


The school expects all children to participate in Phys Ed lessons.  Children should bring appropriate clothing to school – e.g. shorts if children are playing on the field at lunchtimes / for sports etc.  If you wish your child excused for health reasons, a note is required (this includes swimming).


Under Part 3 of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014, all children’s workers must be police vetted as part of a safety check. A children’s worker is anyone whose work involves regular or overnight contact with children, takes place without parents or guardians being present, and is paid or undertaken as part of an educational or training course. A police vet must be obtained before the children’s worker starts work.

Police vets must be renewed every three years.


As part of the Board's responsibility, they institute policies which are binding on parents/pupils/staff of the school.  As the situation demands, these policies are implemented/amended to meet the changing needs of the school.  Parents are welcome to view any School Policy on 



The school is always on the lookout for sources of paper, card and other material such as newspapers, magazines, material and wool.  If you could help in that area please do so.  We are thankful for these resources.



The school and grounds are the responsibility of the Board of Trustees.  The community is welcome to use the outside facilities and to assume some responsibility in ensuring it is cared for.  Contact the principal if you wish to use facilities.


School commences at 9.00a.m. and finishes at 3.00 p.m.  We like the children to be at school no earlier than 8:15, although by 8.45 am, so they have time to organise themselves before school.

Office Opens:              8:00am (to report and absence)

School Starts:             9:00am

Brain Food Break:       9.45am

Morning Tea               10.50 - 11.20 a.m.

Lunch:                         1.00 -   1.50 p.m.

Pack up:                      2:55pm

School Ends:                 3:00pm

Office Closes:                3:00pm


Our school may take part in special events we have events such as productions, a concert, Jump Jam, Jump Rope for Heart, Book Week.  We have also in the past syndicate and end of year picnics, school prizegivings and a Year 8 leaving outing.  These functions and format will change yearly.


Parents are actively encouraged to have their children play some form of sport.  Parental coaching is done in soccer at our school at present.  Local clubs coach rugby, dance, sailing and other sports.  They do a very worthwhile and appreciated job in providing out of school sport for those children who are interested.  We participate in regular area interschool days and special tournaments also.



A stationery list is supplied at the end of each school year with requirements for the commencement of the following year.


The school holds stocks of the most commonly used stationery, but particularly speciality items required by new entrants.  These are sold to pupils, as they are required.  Any profit goes into school funds.



Our school operates in two syndicates – Junior and Senior.  Teachers in these syndicates meet and plan together.  Syndicate leaders are Nicola Riedinger  ( Junior ) and Paige Bailey (Senior).  As Senior Leaders they can also be approached should you have any concerns about your children; after seeing your child’s teacher.



Our phone number is 07 866 3860


As we cannot be responsible for the custody of valuable articles, pupils are advised not to bring them to school.  Children should not have money at school unless for some specific reason.  Children are responsible for their own toys if they bring them to school.

Cell phones need to be turned off during school hours.  If your child needs to contact someone urgently they do so at the office.


All visitors to  School must report to the office upon arrival. They will be asked to read the Health and Safety Notice and sign in. Before leaving they must sign out. This includes parents or whanau dropping off supplies or lunches.


Our website is  As well as administrative details, weekly school newsletters, syndicate letters, a calendar of events and photos are included.  This is a great site should you have mislaid information.  Different classes use Seesaw to keep you up to date with daily happenings in the classes.

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