A-Z Need to Know
If your child is absent, please notify the school office either by telephone message (09-579 8937) or email: email@example.com before 9:00am. We are required by the Ministry of Education to record the reason for your child’s absence so please provide these details with your message. You can also report absences via the School App (@school).
Each morning the Register of Attendance is recorded to ensure all children are accounted for. If a child is absent without notification we will let you know by text message or telephone call. If we are unable to reach you, a message will be left informing you that your child is not at school and we will then wait for you to contact us regarding their absence.
If you are taking your child to an appointment you are required to report to the office, sign your child out and the office will call the classroom for your child to come and meet you at the office.
During school hours, the children remain on school grounds unless signed out at the office by a parent.
Bell Times 2020
8.30am Classrooms open – Teachers to classrooms
8.45am School begins, Prayers and Roll
9.00 – 10.30am Learning Block
10.30 – 10.40am Supervised Morning Tea
10.40 – 11am Children outside play – supervised by duty teachers
11.00 – 12.30pm Learning Block
12.30 – 12.40pm Supervised eating
12.40 – 1.20pm Children outside play – supervised by duty teachers
1.20 – 2.30pm Learning Block
2.35pm Pack up and Prayers
2.45pm School finishes
Bring your child to school ready to start the day by 8.30am. Children, especially the younger ones, really appreciate the time between 8.30am and 8.45am to start to get themselves organised and prepared for the day with their friends and teacher. Children that are late for school must report to the office via the Student Entrance before going to class, to collect a late slip as a Health and Safety requirement. The slip is then passed to the class teacher.
Teachers are on playground duty during morning tea and lunch times. There is no formal supervision after 3:00pm or before 8:30am. Therefore, it is important that children are dropped off and picked up as close as possible to bell time. You can fill in an enrollment form for Maungakiekie After School Care (MASC), to be prepared if you find yourself in a situation where you can not get to school on time. These forms are available in the school office, or on the MASC page of our website.
The first few weeks saying “goodbye” may be a little upsetting for your child. Be assured that your child is in good hands with their class teacher.
BICYCLES and SCOOTERS
Children from age 10 may bring their bicycles to school. Children younger than 10 years old may cycle to school but must be accompanied by a parent. These must be in a safe condition. Children must wear an approved helmet. A cycle rack is located at the school. Bikes and scooters need to be locked when parked on the school grounds. Bicycles and scooters must be wheeled on the school grounds.
There are some bus routes that are compatible with our school location. Refer to the Auckland Transport website for more information.
BYOD (bring your own device)
We have BYOD classrooms from year 3-6. For more information please refer to our Digital Learning and BYOD page.
Our school calendar is available for viewing on our school website home page, the newsletter and school App. There are many regular School Events to which parents/caregivers are most welcome:
Assemblies – held in the school hall
School masses and liturgies
School sports events.
As a Catholic school our mission is to provide a Catholic education for the whole child. We aim for all students to encounter Christ and form a personal relationship with God during their time here. We have an active prayer life and students will be grown to lead prayer and liturgy.
Parents/Caregivers are most welcome to discuss their child’s progress or other important information throughout the year. We recommend you approach your child’s teacher in the first instance. Teachers are available before and after school on most days, however if you feel the discussion will need more than five minutes, please make an appointment with the teacher directly. If you require further discussion please contact the Learning Community Leader.
COMMUNITY IN ACTION
Our friendly Community in Action group meets monthly at 7:00pm in the staffroom. You are most welcome to join this group at any time. Look out for notices for dates of the meetings.
Once a year a student information sheet is sent home with each child to ensure the school holds accurate contact details for everyone. If your details change in any way during the year, please let us know by calling or emailing the office. It is essential that the school be able to contact parents in the event of an illness, accident or emergency. You are able to check your current contact information through the Parent Portal.
Staff, Leadership Team and Principal deal with minor incidents of unacceptable behaviour as they occur. Continuous or serious behaviour problems will be discussed with parents before further action is taken. The Board of Trustees will abide by the appropriate regulations in the Education Act.
DROP OFF AREAS
We have limited parking spaces in the car park beside the church. This carpark belongs to the church and we ask you respect this. If this car park is full we suggest you find a place to park on one of the surrounding roads and walk into school to drop off and pick up your child.
If you drive into the car park we ask that you are exceptionally cautious of your speed and pay attention as there is a lot of activity and children are not always aware of moving cars. If you choose to circulate through the car park, remember we ask you to drop off promptly. The main drive way through the car park is NOT for stopping for periods of time to walk children into school or to stop and wave as your children walk into school. We often have a line of cars up Main Highway and we need to keep traffic flow moving. Remember to have a clear sign visible to hold up with your child’s full name when collecting your child in the afternoon so the duty teacher can identify your child(ren) quickly.
If you choose to drop at the rear of the school on Te Marama Road, please follow the road rules. Avoid blocking driveways, parking on yellow lines or in driveways and be super vigilant for children at all times. If you are entering the school from Te Marama Road, the back gate is locked during the school day and is open between 8:15 - 8:45am and 2:30 - 3pm.
END OF THE SCHOOL DAY
School bell rings at 2:45pm to signal the end of the day. Teachers release the children from their classroom. Children go to set areas for the walking school bus (refer to W), the back gate, bus (refer to B), car park pick up and after school care.
An account is emailed to each student every term, covering financial contributions for Attendance Dues, Special Character and Building Fund – the school pays these charges to the Catholic Schools Office every term. Also included are Parent Contribution (per child) and school costs such as swimming, activities etc. Financial contributions should be paid by each family and we would appreciate this by the fourth week of term.
In cases of financial difficulty, please contact Sue Kubala or Board of Trustees Chairperson, Siata Tavite, to discuss your options.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
The school is visited by a dental van and on-site checks are made of children’s teeth. You will receive notification of any follow up dental work if it is required. This will involve parents making a suitable appointment time with Sylvia Park Dental Clinic based at the back of Sylvia Park School, phone: 09-570 9310.
These drills are held on a regular basis. Drill procedures are located in the school office, staffroom and in every classroom.
Food Health and Safety
We do not allow the sharing of food at school. Students are not permitted to share food from their lunch boxes. We do not distribute birthday cakes or birthday treats and we ask that parents don’t bring these to school.
A copy of the Immunisation Certificate in the back of your child’s Plunket Book is required (a signed Immunisation Certificate or print out of Immunisation reords from your GP are also acceptable). Please provide this to the school office.
Nuts in School
Due to students with potentially life-threatening allergies we have adopted a nut-free policy throughout our school. Therefore, no nut products (such as peanut butter, hazelnut spreads, bliss balls or muesli bars containing nuts) are to be packed in school lunches. When we have shared lunches or bake sales please comply with this school policy.
Hearing and Vision Testing
When a child starts at St Mary’s School, parents are asked to complete a consent form to allow screening tests for their child’s hearing and vision.
Parents are asked to note health problems, allergies, medication and physical difficulties on the enrolment form. If your child needs to take medication during school hours, please contact the office to complete the relevant paperwork. This can be downloaded here, or requested from the school office and should accompany the medicine.
We are a smoke free school. No smoking in buildings or in the grounds at any time.
We require children to wear our school hat or cap outdoors at all times and to and from school during Terms 1 and 4. Children who do not have a hat will be required to stay in the shade on the deck. We also encourage children to apply sunscreen before school.
The school has four “Houses” – St Anthony (red), St Patrick (green), Euphrasie (yellow) and St Mary (blue). Children are allocated a house when they are enrolled and are part of this house for the duration of their time at St Mary’s School. Siblings are placed in the same house.
Student/Parent/Teacher interviews are held during the year and you will be notified prior to these. Parents are allocated a 10-minute slot for each child at school. These interviews have a learning focus and students should be present as these are three way sharing.
KINDO (online shop)
Our school uses Kindo, an online ordering and payment system. When we have a sausage sizzle, mufti day or sushi on a Friday, these can all be purchased using Kindo. We use Kindo for our Stationery Packs at the beginning of the year. Extra information can be found on the Kindo page of our website.
LEARNING and CURRICULUM
The NZ National Curriculum is the basic document for all New Zealand Schools to plan their learning and teaching programmes.
We have a deep learning culture at St Mary’s where we are working diligently to support our students to move from being passive to active learners. Teachers are developing their practice to embed assessment for learning practices and ensure each child is able to talk about their learning, the relevance of their learning and how they know they have achieved their learning goals. We are developing with our learners the character qualities of courage, optimism, collaboration, persistence, wonder and awe to prepare our learners for the future.
Each class visits the school library weekly. Year 2 to 6 may take their books home to read. They are to be returned to school each week. New books cannot be issued unless the previous ones have been returned.
All clothing items to be clearly named please. All unnamed property is kept in a lost property box, on the deck outside Room 13. At the end of each term school uniform lost property will be placed in our second hand uniform shop.
In an emergency situation, a message can be left with office staff and this message will be delivered to the teacher or student as soon as possible.
Children are not permitted to bring mobile phones to school. If they have a need to do so, they should be given to the teacher to lock away in a safe place.
MUFTI DAYS (Plain or themed clothes)
Throughout the year the school will hold 'plain clothes' (mufti) fundraising days. The children are allowed to come to school in their own clothes (sometimes a theme will be suggested) in exchange for a gold coin donation or paid online via Kindo.
Every fortnight on a Friday, a school newsletter will be sent via email to every family and a link posted on the school’s Facebook page. You can also find our Newsletter archive on the Newsletter page of this website. Caregivers and extended family members are welcome to sign up to the Newsletter to keep up to date with our school.
Other notices regarding trips, sports and events are emailed out as necessary.
NOTES FROM PARENTS
Notes are required from parents for the following (please submit to both the classroom teacher and the school office):
Student to be excused from homework, sport or PE (for health reasons).
Requests for holidays outside the normal school holiday period should be submitted in an email to the Principal.
We value our partnership with parents who are involved in many aspects of school life. This includes the Board of Trustees and Community in Action group, working bees, providing transport and supervision on school trips, coaching, refereeing and judging at sports activities.
Individual, sibling and class photos are taken annually – dates are advised in the school newsletter and shown on the calendar featured on the school website homepage.
We do take photographs regularly to use on our Facebook page, Website and Newsletters. As per our School Docs policy - image permission is an Opt-Out policy, please contact the school office if you have any questions or wish to Opt-Out.
Children are not permitted on the playground equipment outside the hours of 8:30am and 2:45pm unless they are supervised by a parent/guardian.
SCHOLASTIC - Lucky Book Club
Our students are able to purchase books regularly throughout the year using the Scholastic Book Club. Parents can order through the Scholastic Website or download the App - Book Club Loop. You will need to search for our school, - 'St Marys Ellerslie'. Orders can only be placed online - they no longer allow cash payments through school. For free delivery to the school, you need to ensure you order before the cut-off dates, which can be found on the St Mary's Ellerslie public calendar, or by contacting Scholastic directly.
Our school uses a school app, found in the App Store as @school. Your username and a temporary password will be emailed to you by the school office.
SCHOOL HOUSE MASSES
Children and their families are expected to attend a School House Mass on a Sunday once a term. The date is in the newsletters and School Calendar. Each mass is a special school event. Please make sure your children are in neat and tidy full school uniform and arrive in good time
The School Prayer is located on our Special Character page of the website
Any accidents that occur during the school day will be dealt with promptly and recorded in the accident register. Parents are contacted if an accident is of a serious nature. Parents are also notified if a child is sick and should be at home. We ask parents to keep children who are unwell at home. Following vomiting or diarrhea or any other contagious condition, a child needs to have a minimum of 24hrs clear before they can return to school.
If parents or emergency contact persons are unavailable and the problem is deemed to need immediate medical attention, the student may be taken to a local Accident and Emergency Centre.
This common problem can cause much worry at the beginning of school life. Try to remember that this is probably the biggest change your child has been through and the full school day and week can seem long. Unfamiliar surroundings, routines, lots of new learning, thinking, socialising and playing. To help with this settling in period, try the following:
Limit out of school activities
Try to give your child plenty of rest.
The first six weeks are very important in establishing school routines and reaching the first reading/writing milestones that will encourage your child to take the next academic steps. It is therefore important to have them attending school as much as possible during this period.
A stationery pack will be required to be purchased prior to your child starting school. This is available via Kindo, please select the correct classroom for your child for 2020. The pack will be delivered to school and will be sent to the classroom for your child.
Written reports on your child’s progress and achievement are issued for all pupils twice per year. The teachers write these achievement reports on student learning. Year 1 – 2 students will be reported on at the date of their start of school anniversary. Year 3 – 6 students will be reported on at the end of Term 2 and the end of Term 4.
Please remember to keep these in a safe place, as many Intermediate and Secondary schools request a copy of them as part of their application processes.
TAX RETURN INFORMATION
You can find all of the necessary documentation for filing annual tax returns on our Enrol At Our School page, under the Tax Return heading
At St Mary’s we strive to be a sustainable school and we ask that our learners lunchboxes are trash free. Any rubbish that comes to school in the lunchbox will go home again at the end of the day.
Articles of substantial value should not be brought to school. Small toys, trading cards etc. are not permitted.
We have high expectations for our school uniform.
Our school uniform is seen as an important part of our school culture and students are expected to wear the correct uniform at all times, including when they leave school each day. All clothing and footwear must be clearly marked with your child’s name. Uniforms, including shoes should be clean and maintained and we expect a high standard of personal hygiene and grooming.
For more information refer to the Uniform page on our website.
WALKING SCHOOL BUS
We have several walking school buses led by some of our parents. Please see the attached leaflet.