Parent expectations of the school are naturally individual in character and relate very much to the needs, abilities and interests of their child. They expect the school to be welcoming and friendly with approachable staff members who respect children as individuals. Teachers are expected to be competent, professional, and well organised.
Opportunities to be actively involved in their children's education, consulted about programme or organisational changes, and informed about progress and matters of concern are often seen as rights. Academic competence seems to be strongly valued but not at the expense of personal happiness, social skills or a positive self esteem.
Competence in 'basic' areas of the curriculum is usually identified as a primary task of the school. Maintaining a balance with cultural, aesthetic, social, and physical activities to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes is also seen as important. Parents support the school in providing direct experiences as a basis for learning. Being part of a school which draws on a diversity of social, cultural and family background appears to be recognised as a strength by many.
For a significant number of parents, particularly Māori, the opportunity for children to learn, use and value te reo Māori and tikanga Māori is a high priority. Parents tend to judge a school on the successes it achieves with their child. They demonstrate an expectation that their child learn skills of communication, numeration, self reliance, self-discipline, initiative and perseverance. They also see the need for their child to learn how to learn and to want to learn. They expect their child to feel secure, recognised and confident in the activities and environment of the school.
They expect that the 'whole child' will demonstrate growth in response to the school's teaching and learning programmes. Engendering respect for others and the environment is also important.
These expectations emphasise the centrality of the child in all that the school does. This accords well with our school vision of: "A community of confident and connected, actively involved lifelong learners."
Children are entitled to start school on their fifth birthday. Families are encouraged to pre-enrol their child as soon as they think their child might attend our school since it will help our planning processes. This involves filling out a pre-enrolment form and returning it to the school office.
You and your child will be invited to make an appointment with the Principal, to complete enrolment formalities. This will take about 30-45 minutes and will include a visit to the classroom in which your child will be placed. This is an ideal time to share information or ask questions that will help make settling into school easier for your child and you.
Students who intend transferring from another school during the year will be required to complete an enrolment form. These arrangements can be made with the school secretary. Students will then be able to start school on the next school day following completion of the enrolment formalities.
This involves completing some forms, exchanging information about the school such as fees/donation, stationery, community support etc., and organising for school visits for you and your child.
The forms to fill out include:
- A pupil enrolment form
- A medical history health form
- A pupil information form for the principal
- An Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) permission form
- A Cybersafety form
Please bring your child's vaccination certificate (complete to age 5) and a copy of their birth certificate / passport to this meeting .
Because starting school can be a slightly daunting process we like to organise for 4 school visits before your child starts school. These visits are generally held on Friday mornings; three visits from 8.55 a.m. until 10.30 a.m. and the fourth visit from 8.55am until approximately 1pm. The last visit offers your child an opportunity to stay for lunch and experience a whole morning at school.
These visits are valuable because they provide an opportunity for your child to spend time in the classroom familiarizing themselves with the teacher and the other students. You and your child are welcome to stay during the morning interval on the first three visits.
We prefer that younger siblings don't attend these visits, but feel free to discuss this with us if this will cause difficulty.
Additional visits can be arranged if needed - please contact the classroom teacher to arrange this.
Parent Information Sessions
During the school visits your child will go with the class to the Kowhai Syndicate assembly from 10 a.m. - 10.30 a.m., and you will have the opportunity to gather with the other parents and one of the syndicate teachers for an informal parent information session. Topics covered include discussions about the school curriculum, how you can help your child settle into school and some of the things to expect in those early weeks. It is a time for you to meet us and other parents and ask any questions you may have. We enjoy the chance to meet with you.
First Day at School
Both parents and children can be nervous about the first day, but a blend of family warmth and encouragement plus a matter-of-fact "we know you can do it" positive attitude can greatly help the initial process. Your child will be supported by classmates and the teacher through the settling in period. We recognise that you know your child best and we want you to feel reassured that your child's teacher is trained and experienced at guiding children into school.
Five year old children begin school in the Kowhai Syndicate which is the group of Year 0 / 1 classes based in or near historic Renwick House at the rear of the school.
Year 0 - Year 1 students have a separate playground located next to Room 10. They are of course also able to play in all playground areas.