Frequently Asked Questions
ACCIDENTS & ILLNESS
Please do not send your child to school if they are sick as they can infect other children. If a child has an accident or becomes sick at school, staff members will treat minor ailments, but if it is considered more serious, we will telephone you to collect your child and, if necessary, take them to the doctor or hospital. It is, therefore, important when you enrol your child, to let us know your private telephone number, work number (if applicable) and an emergency contact. Please keep us informed of your child’s condition and treatment if this is applicable. Note: we endeavour to ensure that all teachers and frontline staff members have up to date first aid training.
AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMME
Elite Care operate an after school care programme Monday to Friday, from 3:15 until 5:45 pm, every day during the school term. The programme is based at the school and provides a variety of activities to suit all ages, interests and abilities. Holiday programmes are also available. A brochure with more information and an enrolment form is available at the school office.
School assemblies are an opportunity for us to celebrate the events of the week and for general notices, student awards, class items, school singing and visiting speakers. Full school assemblies in our multi-purpose room, Aniwaniwa, or the Motueka Memorial Hall are held fortnightly on Fridays, at 12.00 noon and are organised by classes. Parents are welcome to join us on these occasions. Junior assemblies are held at 2.30pm every Friday in Aniwaniwa or, in the summer, in the outside shade area.
Attendance is compulsory and schools are required by law to maintain a daily attendance register and to follow up on any unexplained absences. If your child is to be absent from school or late, we would appreciate a phone call to the office by 9 am. If we have not already heard, we will try to make contact with the home number and then the emergency number. If we do not hear from parents, then a note explaining the reason for the absence is required on the child's return to school. A child should only be absent from school for the following reasons – sickness, family bereavement, and family emergency. If a parent wants their child to be away from school for other reasons, then this should be discussed with the school.
In an effort to encourage children to develop a savings habit, the School offers a weekly Westpac school banking deposit service. Banking day is Wednesday.
We have a school-wide approach to behaviour management known as PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning). PB4L is a strategy designed to create a culture where positive behaviour and learning thrive. This involves preventing problem behaviours by:
- clearly defining and explicitly teaching our rules and expectations
- developing students’ social skills
- positively recognising students who behave appropriately and adhere to the rules and expectations
- consistently addressing and reducing inappropriate behaviours
- collecting and analysing school-wide data on behaviour so that we can problem solve and address concerns
We call our rules ‘Our 3 Bs’ – Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe. These rules apply to all members of our school community – students, staff members, parents and visitors to our school. Throughout the year, these rules and expectations are taught in all classrooms. We look at how the 3 Bs apply in different settings. For example, what does being respectful, responsible and safe look like when we are playing on the adventure playground or when talking to an adult? Help us reinforce these rules by discussing them with your child at home.
‘Caught Being Good’ awards, House points, Student of the Week posters and Principal’s Certificates are some of the ways we recognise positive behaviour.
Our school-wide Behaviour Management Plan and classroom discipline plans provide guidelines and procedures for addressing inappropriate behaviour both in the classroom and playground. Parents are involved whenever a child’s inappropriate behaviour causes concern at school. Ensuring that children behave appropriately at school is regarded as a shared responsibility between home and school
BIKES, SCOOTERS, SKATEBOARDS & ROLLERBLADES
Children are not permitted to ride bikes or use scooters, skateboards or rollerblades around the front part of the school grounds. This is to ensure the safety of other children, parents, staff and visitors. Every day, however, is “Wheels Day” on the main court at the back of the school. Before and after school and during the morning interval and lunch time, children may use scooters, skateboards and rollerblades on the court. We recommend the wearing of safety helmets and wrist and knee pads for this activity.
Children must walk their bikes into the school grounds and leave them in the bike stands. Although the stands and bikes are out of bounds to all children during the school day, we recommend that the bikes are locked. As there is limited space in classrooms, scooters, skateboards or rollerblades are generally stored in the shed next to the adventure playground. Please appreciate that we cannot assume responsibility for these if children choose to bring them to school.
‘BOOKS IN HOMES’ PROGRAMME
Parklands is a ‘ Duffy School’. This means that we have been selected to participate in the “Books in Homes Programme”. The aim of this programme, developed by author Alan Duff, is to get lots of free books into homes, in order to promote a love of reading. It’s also about encouraging adults to role model reading and support their children’s learning.
Our senior classes (Rooms 1 & 2) are trialling Bring Your Own Device this year. Computers with insurance can be purchased through the Computers In Homes scheme, whereby a device is purchased including insurance, and is paid off over an 18-24 month period. Usually this involves a payment of $9 - $12 a week. We provide parents with information as to how the devices will be managed in school time, however parents must be prepared to help maintain the devices out of school hours.
The Charter is an undertaking by the Board of Trustees to the Minister of Education to ensure that the School is well managed and organised. It sets out the Board’s mission and its vision for the School and includes its long-term goals and objectives as well as the annual targets and plans. The Charter and the Board’s Annual Report are available for viewing at the School Office.
COMPUTERS & INTERNET
We have networked computers, with access to internet and email facilities, in every classroom and the Library, as well as a suite of computers in the Technology Centre. Safety procedures include the use of filtering software, a cybersafety education programme and student Computer and Internet Use Agreements. Parents’ consent is required before students are given supervised access to the internet and for the publication of students’ images and work on the school’s website (www.parklands.school.nz .) Note – full names, or any details of a child’s family, will not be used on the school website
DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
Students who are responsible for damage to school property, or the property of other students, will be expected to contribute towards the cost of repair or replacement.
Dental treatment is free to all New Zealand resident students and children attending Parklands receive treatment at the school. The new Community Oral Health Clinic is sited at the rear of the school and can be accessed from the Talbot Street back car park.
Our Dental Therapist can be contacted by telephoning 528 1160
Our Dress Code helps to ensure that children wear appropriate clothes and footwear to school to enable them to participate fully in class and school programmes. Copies are available at the School Office. In addition to clothing requirements, the Code stipulates that, apart from a watch and one small sleeper or small flush earring in each ear, no other visible jewellery is allowed and no make up or nail polish is permitted.
EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
It is extremely important that we are notified immediately of any changes of address or contact numbers.
New pupils are enrolled at the School Office, usually with the Principal. We welcome enquiries and opportunities to show families around our school and we also encourage early enrolment of new entrant children, so that we can arrange orientation visits by the children and their parents during the two or three weeks leading up to the actual starting date.
If you are enrolling a 5 year old new entrant, a copy of the child’s birth certificate (or Passport or other legal document) is required for confirmation of age. We also need to sight your child’s Immunisation Certificate available from your family doctor.
Starting school is a big step for any child. At Parklands, we recognise the importance of a happy start to school and an easy transition from pre-school to school. Our Headstart Programme assists children and their families with this new experience and ensures the best possible start.
The Headstart Programme includes …
- A specialised new entrant transition class. The teacher is a very experienced Junior School teacher and we endeavour to have no more than fifteen children in this class. A modified curriculum programme, focussing on early literacy and numeracy development and the essential skills, attitudes and values, is tailored to the needs of the children.
- An opportunity for children to visit their new classroom on several occasions before their 5th birthday. This will allow them to meet the teacher and other children and experience some structured learning activities and routines of school life. Children are also invited to join in any special occasion or activity (eg swimming time) in the weeks leading up to their birthday to foster friendships with their future classmates.
- An opportunity for parents to find out more about the school, about how children learn, about the keys to success at school and about how they can best support their child’s learning and become involved in our school learning community.
We look forward to meeting you and your child.
Entry to our bilingual classes is limited. If you would like your child to be considered for entry to one of the Whanau classes or would like to know more about the bilingual programme, details are available from the Principal. For students not born in New Zealand, the student’s Passport (showing their residency status) and a Student Permit will be required. Other documentation may also be acceptable to confirm a student’s immigration status. Children with a Student Permit may be subject to Foreign Student Fees. Details are available from the Principal.
FEES & FUNDRAISING
Schools are funded by the Government through the Ministry of Education for the salaries of teachers, general operations and property maintenance. These payments are calculated on the number of students we have in the school. We find that, in order to provide for “the extras”, we still have to raise additional funds through school fees, fundraising activities and sponsorship. Each year, our Board of Trustees requests a voluntary donation on a per child basis. This is currently set at $40 per child ($10 a term) and may be claimed as a donation off your tax return. The payment will be used by the School to reduce the cost of some of the extra activities that occur during the year (such as class trips and visiting entertainers). Your support with this and with fundraising projects is greatly appreciated.
‘FRUIT IN SCHOOLS’ PROGRAMME
As a 'health promoting' school, we support physical activity, healthy eating, being sun smart and being smoke free Each of our students receive a piece of fresh fruit each day. If you already send fresh fruit and vegetables to school with your children, please keep doing this. The more fruit and vegetables they eat the better! Eating fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of diseases, such as heart disease and some cancers. In general, the amount of fruit and vegetables that New Zealand children eat is low. If there is any reason why you do not want your child to receive a piece of fresh fruit each day, please let us know.
We believe in stress-free homework for parents and students and any homework activity should be a positive experience for you and your child. Children should also have opportunities to be involved in a range of after school programmes such as sport, art and craft, music, dance and, of course, play! All students will have a daily routine of reading and practising spelling and tables. They can be expected to bring this home each day. Please contact class teachers for further information.
LEAVING THE SCHOOL GROUNDS No student may leave the school grounds during the school day without prior permission from a staff member. If a child is required to leave the grounds for any appropriate reason, they must first collect a Gate Pass from the School Office. A request from home is required, wherever possible. Please note: Gate Passes are not issued for children to leave the grounds to buy lunch. Please do not take your child from school early without making sure that a staff member - preferably the class teacher is told. This can save a great deal of anxiety.
The school has an attractive and well-stocked library and a full-time Librarian. All classes have rostered library times for changing library books and information skills lessons. The library is also available for individuals and groups of students undertaking study and is open at lunch times for children who prefer quiet activities. We have a computer based system for issues and returns and also for users to search the catalogue using the names of authors, titles of books, keywords etc. Under the supervision of the Librarian, students can also access information on the Internet. To enable us to continue to develop our resources, we need to care for what we have already. Please encourage your child to take care of their library books and return them promptly. If they do not have a library bag, a supermarket plastic bag works well. Most books can be kept for two weeks, but classes usually change books weekly.
Please name your children’s clothing. A surprising amount of property is never claimed! When clothing is named, it is very easily returned. Lost property is kept in a box in the corridor by the Library. You are free to check at any time. From time to time, lost property will be put out on display but, at the end of each term, unclaimed items are donated to the Salvation Army.
Most children bring their lunch from home, but lunches can also be bought through the school. As a ‘health-promoting’ School, our curriculum includes important issues about basic good nutrition and we endeavour to raise children’s awareness of the importance of healthy foods. We have endeavoured to make a variety healthy (low fat) food available and do not sell chips or carbonated drinks. We ask that children not bring these to school with them. The list of available food is sent out at the beginning of the year or can be collected from the office. Orders are best written on the outside of an envelope along with the child’s name and room and the correct change sealed inside. We ask parents to use this system, as we do not allow children to leave the school ground to buy lunch. Children are supervised while eating their lunches. Sweets, chewing gum etc are not permitted at school or on school trips.
MAKING CONTACT WITH TEACHERS
Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s teacher or the Principal to discuss some point of interest or any concern about their child’s progress at school. We are happy to discuss any topic with you, though it is very difficult during class teaching or preparation time. It is usually best to contact the office staff to arrange a time that suits us all.
MEDICATION AT SCHOOL
Sometimes, children bring medication to school and ask their teachers to look after it. To avoid any mistakes being made, the following procedures are to be followed:
- Medication is to be taken to the School Office and a consent form completed by the child’s parent authorising the administration of the medication and giving clear instructions as to the dose and time to be taken.
- Medicines, tablets etc will be stored either in the Office or the Staffroom fridge. Other than asthma inhalers, no medicines should be kept in classrooms or children’s bags.
- Where possible, medication at school should be avoided. It is suggested that you discuss possible alternatives to medication at school with your doctor.
Children should not bring money to school unless requested for a specific purpose or to purchase lunch. When money is requested for school activities, please send it in an envelope with your child's name and room number. Unless for lunches, or requests for a special reason, we prefer that children do not bring money to school. Receipts will be issued for school donations as a matter of course and any other amounts as requested.
A school newsletter (sometimes with attached notices or other information) will be sent home fortnightly on a Wednesday the school is open, usually with the youngest in each family. Please expect your children to be responsible for bringing it home safely and make a point of looking out for it each Wednesday. Extra copies are available at the school office. The newsletter is a key means of communicating with parents about school events and programmes. Teachers will also send home class and team newsletters and information concerning trips and visits throughout the year. You can view newsletters online (go to News link on the home page) or subscribe to newsletters and they will be emailed directly to you.
NO BULLY PROGRAMME
Parklands School has a stance of “zero tolerance” to all forms of bullying. The Kia Kaha Programme is taught every two years with support from the Police Education Officer. “Kia Kaha” means to be “brave and strong” and the programme teaches children some strategies about how to deal with bullying. It also encourages bullies to learn new social behaviours. Please involve the school and your child’s teacher if you suspect that your child is being bullied or is bullying others.
The School Office is staffed from 8.30am to 4.15pm each school day.
The school is always open to parents, and we welcome parents’ opinions and ideas and really appreciate assistance from parents in a variety of ways including help in the classroom, library and playground or with road patrol, sport, camps, trips and fundraising projects. If you are interested in helping out in any of these ways, please let us know. We look forward to an enjoyable and rewarding partnership with you in the education of your child. You will appreciate, however, that extra adults in the classroom can be a distraction for children. If you would like to visit your child’s classroom to observe or participate in part of the programme, please discuss this with the teacher first.
We have a collection of books and videos, covering a range of parenting issues, which can be found in our School Library. Parents are encouraged to browse through these and borrow any items of interest. We try to keep the collection up to date. If you have found a useful book or video, please let us know about it, so we can look at purchasing a copy ... or we would welcome donations of any such books/videos you may have at home, that could be of interest to other parents.
During school hours, our playground is supervised by staff members from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm. A board displays which staff members are on duty each day and staff wear fluoro jackets so that they are easily visible in the playground.
Children should not arrive at school before 8.30am in the morning. Early arrivals must wait at the school gate until the 8.30am bell which indicates that they may come into school. This allows teachers time to prepare adequately for the school day. After school, children are expected to leave the ground by 3.30pm and to go home, returning to use the grounds only after having been home to seek parent permission.
Policies have been developed about many aspects of the school. You are welcome to familiarise yourself with these statements, which are available for viewing at the School Office.
Student progress is formally assessed and reported to parents at regular times throughout the year.
- Written reports are issued for New Entrant children after 4-6 weeks at school, at six months and at age 6. Following each of these, parents are invited to a conference to discuss their child’s progress and achievement.
- From Year 2 onwards, written reports are sent home at in Term 1 and at the middle and the end of the year. The Term 1 “Settling-In Report” and mid-year “Progess Report” are followed by three-way conferences involving students, parents and teachers. The final report summarises progress and achievement for the year.
Each student’s portfolio of work is sent home with the written report. Conferences provide an opportunity for children to share the work set out in their portfolio and for a discussion about their progress to date and next learning steps, by reviewing and setting new goals.
In addition to this formal reporting process, parents are also encouraged also come and discuss any concern about their child’s progress whenever these arise.
Children walking to and from school should use the available pedestrian crossings where appropriate. The Pah Street crossing is supervised before and after school and the High Street crossing at the Pah-Greenwood Street intersection is supervised after school.
Only children 10 years and over should ride a bike to school (Police recommendation), unless accompanied by a parent. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their child is a competent cyclist, is aware of relevant road rules and safe routes to school and wears a cycle helmet correctly fitted and fastened and that the bicycle meets legal safety standards.
Parents have a responsibility to model safe road practices to children. If you transport your children by car, please use Talbot Street and our designated drop off zone behind the School Library. The main gates on Pah Street are not suitable for this, because of traffic congestion. Please do not stop on the broken yellow lines next to the crossing or double park. Apart from the Talbot Street entrance, cars are not to be driven in the school grounds between 8.30am and 3.30pm, except to pick up unwell children. Vehicles used by parents to transport children on school outings must be currently registered and warranted. The driver must hold a current driver’s licence.
This group of nominated representatives from the Year 5 to 8 classes meets regularly and is involved in a range of school-wide leadership activities.
Children, parents and other members of our community are free to make use of our school grounds, playing fields, court area and adventure playground during daylight hours outside school hours. During these times, however, children are the responsibility of parents. Skateboarding and dogs are not permitted in the school grounds. We rely on parents and children to report any misuse of our school facilities outside school hours and at weekends and during school holidays. Please phone any Board member if you notice a problem you are unable to deal with yourself or, alternatively, phone the Police.
8.30 am Entry to School
8:55 - 10:30 am First Session
10:30 - 10:50 am Morning Interval
10:50 - 12:30 pm Second Session
12:30 - 1:25 pm Lunch
1:25 - 3:00 pm Third Session
Ensuring that your child arrives at school in good time makes for a relaxed entry into the class. Arriving at approximately 8.45 am is a good general rule and avoids disruption of a class and stress for your child. Please also note that classes start at 8.55 am. Children are expected to be in their classrooms ready to start work at this time.
SCHOOL TERMS AND HOLIDAYS
School term dates and holidays are set by the Ministry of Education and will vary from year to year. The school year is divided into four terms with holidays (for the children) of two weeks each in April, July, and September/October, with the main Christmas holidays in late December/January. Parents will be informed of term dates and statutory holidays through our school newsletter.
SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER
Our Social Worker is able to assist children and families on a personal level. Children and parents are welcome to seek her support and advice. She will usually be at School every Wednesday and Friday, but will be available at other times as well, and outside school hours . Our Social Worker has an office behind the Technology Centre and messages may also be left for her at the School Office.
SMOKE FREE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
Parents are reminded that, under the Smoke Free Environments Act, all areas of the grounds and buildings are required to be smoke free at all times.
All children participate in weekly physical education, fitness and sports activities appropriate to their year level. Our sports programme provides an opportunity for children to participate in a variety of sporting codes and, from Year 4, to be involved in sports exchanges and tournaments with other schools.
A list of stationery requirements for each pupil is issued for each new school year. When purchasing stationery, please make sure that the correct items are obtained. Some items are not available from retail stores and can be obtained at the School Office. When new stationery is required during the year, a note will be sent home.
Many of our teachers are qualified as associate teachers to assist in the training of student teachers from the Colleges of Education. Student teachers are usually assigned to our school for four to five weeks at a time and, depending on how far through their training they are, will do a few days of full classroom management under the supervision of the class teacher. Trainees bring enthusiasm and different skills to our school which we believe is beneficial to both our staff and children.
Parklands School has a sun safety policy and the “SunSmart” message is included in class health programmes. Students are encouraged to wear protective clothing and a sun hat, and to use sunscreen, whenever they are outside during the summer months in Terms 1 and 4. Children who do not have a hat at school during these terms will be asked to play within shaded areas. Outdoor activities are organised with sun sense in mind - considering time of day, length of activity and location. The trees and shaded seating area provide excellent shaded places for children to eat lunch and play.
A telephone will be available to students at the School Office for legitimate purposes (for example to contact parents about pick up arrangements after school) and parents are able to leave messages at the Office for their children. We do not believe that primary aged students need to bring mobile phones to school and we have a responsibility to ensure that use of mobile phones by students does not compromise student learning or safety and that it does not impinge on the smooth running of the School.
The School does not accept any responsibility for mobile phones brought to school by students. Any mobile phone brought to school must be turned off and handed into the School Office for safe keeping during the school day. Students are not permitted to use mobile phones during the school day, in the classroom, in the playground or during school related activities away from school.
The School recognises the value of educational opportunities beyond the classroom and, as part of our teaching programmes, students are often taken out of the classroom to view, first hand, practical aspects of the curriculum. Parklands has a very central location which lends itself to short trips to places such as the Motueka Museum, local businesses, Motueka High School, Memorial Park, Thorp Bush and so on. At enrolment, parents are asked to sign a consent form giving permission for their children to take part in short outings to places near the School. Where a class trip involves transport, or is for a longer period of time, we will seek your permission again giving specific details about the purpose and duration of the trip, costs etc.
Our smart looking school uniform is compulsory for all students. All garments are available from Whitwells Menswear and second hand items may be available through the School Office. Students are not required to have all uniform items – a range of options is available. All students will, however, require a sufficient number of items to allow for changes, washing, etc. A list of uniform options and prices is available form the School Office.
In addition to the school uniform, we have stocks of sports uniforms for loan to students representing the school in sports competitions and tournaments.
Toys and other valuables or large sums of money should not be brought to school. The school cannot take responsibility for any such items.
Parklands School | 9-19 Pah Street | Motueka | Tasman District | New Zealand | 03 528 8978