A-Z Interesting Information
AFTER SCHOOL CARE
After school care is available at the school for a fee. There may be a waiting list in effect, if the limit of numbers has been reached. Contact email@example.com. An alternative option is available by a company called Pridelands. Staff from Pridelands, come to our school, meet students and transport them to a nearby location. More details can be found at www.pridelands.org.nz.
AFTER SCHOOL HOURS
Play in the school grounds is not supervised after 3.00pm or during weekends and therefore parents must accept full responsibility for their own children at these times. All people connected with the school and community are welcome to use the school grounds and adventure playground out of school hours.
Weekly hui are held every Monday morning. At these assemblies we share information, sing waiata, announce birthdays and sports results.
Ministry of Educations legislation regarding attendance states the following:
"Schools (boards, principals, and individual teachers), along with parents and guardians, are responsible for making sure students attend school regularly.
Under Section 25 and section 31 of the The Education Act 1989, every school board must take all reasonable steps to make sure students attend school when it is open. Although there are some practical requirements, including maintaining a daily attendance register, it is up to individual schools to identify the scope of ‘all reasonable steps' in their attendance policies. School boards must give support when attendance issues arise."
You can help your child’s progress at school by ensuring regular attendance. It is important that children are not absent for reasons other than illness, as regular and continuous instruction lays a good foundation for progress.
Please use the Edge app, ring (475-3018), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text (022-561-3368) by 9.15am if your child is going to be absent. Your child’s safety is of great importance to us and unexplained absences have to be investigated. Your call as early as possible in the morning saves our staff a lot of time. If you are aware your child will be away prior to the day of absence, please let the school office know. We would like you to inform your child’s teacher of any home circumstances which may impact on your child’s progress at school.
The school understands that sometimes overseas travel is going to occur during school term time. Sometimes there are also special reasons for travel within New Zealand to occur as well. It is important that this is approved by the principal so that the absence can be recorded as "justified" (all absences have a code, depending on the reason.) Staff also appreciate being provided with sufficient prior notice if children are going to be away due to travel.
Travel will mean that students miss out on learning that has been scheduled for that term. Parents need to be aware that this may impact on their overall academic progress. However, this can be mitigated by planned work undertaken during the travel and by the rich learning that occurs as the child/children experience the travel, different cultures and new places. The school expects all travel related absences to be a rare occurrence.
Students who ride their bicycles to school must do so with their parent’s permission, wear approved cycle safety helmets correctly at all times when cycling, own a safe bicycle with effective brakes and other necessary safety devices (see Road Code) and walk their bike in the school grounds.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
A Board of Trustees elected from parents and caregivers of the school’s pupils governs Otari School. It is the role of the Board to provide philosophical direction and oversight to the management of the school, which is the responsibility of the Principal.
The Board is made up of six parent representatives, the principal and a staff representative. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to talk to members of the Board about ideas they have for the school. Matters of concern about the school can also be raised with members of the Board, although it would be usual to discuss them with the principal in the first instance. The Board usually meets 8-10 times a year.
During the year your child will bring home brochures from Scholastic NZ Limited offering books for sale. Ordering is done online - follow the details on the order form.
We take this very seriously. If you have any concerns please speak immediately to the principal. Staff are always vigilant about ensuring school being a safe environment for all children in all ways – emotionally, verbally and physically. We teach children assertiveness and how to speak out to ensure there is minimal bullying.
We are keen to make the school an entirely safe area for all the children who use it. If you are dropping your child off at school, and they are old enough to make their way independently to their classroom, please leave them by the entrance to the school. The school driveway is also used by parents delivering young children to the Preschool.
If you need to come into school for any reason, please park at the Otari Wilton Bush car park 100 metres north along Wilton Road, the parking bay 100 metres south of the main entrance, or in Shropshire Avenue.
Otari School is organised into three unique strands – Original Strand, Māori Immersion Strand and the Montessori Strand.
- Original Strand:
- Kākano (Yrs 1-2) Kākāriki (Years 3-4)
- Kererū (Years 5-6) Tōtara (Years 7-8)
- Immersion Strand:
- Kōwhai (Years 1-2) Tūī (Years 3-5)
- Kaikōmako (Years 6-8)
- Montessori Strand:
- Pōhutukawa (Years 1-4) Ngaio (Years 5-8)
All the classes are mixed-aged (vertical classes).
Some parents worry about siblings being in the same class. We have found that in nearly all cases, initially the younger child does look to their older brother or sister for support in the first few weeks of settling in. The older child usually responds well to this responsibility. Once the younger child has settled, they find their own friends and the two siblings rarely interact. Many parents enjoy having their children in the same class, appreciating the family atmosphere and more natural learning environment created.
Children need to wear suitable clothes for school. Strong shoes are required all year round. Jandals are not safe footwear for school. In winter children need to be dressed warmly and have a jacket. In summer children must wear sunhats and wear clothes that protect them from the sun.
Children need suitable shoes for outside, PE and sport. These should be available for use every day. Please label your child’s bag, lunch box, sunhat, jacket and other items of clothing you would be reluctant to lose.
There is a school complaints policy. We realise that we cannot please all people all the time and while most of our families and students are highly satisfied with our school, it is a recognised fact that people make more complaints to primary schools than any other public sector organisation.
DAMAGE TO SCHOOL PROPERTY
Vandal damage is considered a crime against the school community and all incidents are reported to the Police. When children damage school property such as windows, equipment, buildings or furniture, parents will be contacted and where appropriate will be asked to contribute towards the repair or replacement costs. Skate boarders are only welcome if they respect our property.
Treatment is free-of-charge for children from the age of two-years to the end of college. Dental treatment is now available in Newtown (dental nurses no longer visit the school). You can contact the Dental team on 0800-825-583.
School asks families for a yearly donation. We rely on these to help us provide a richer and more interesting programme for our children. We will contact you with a recommended amount each year. We realise that people’s circumstances vary and ask that you give what you can afford. The money will directly benefit your children.
Children need water regularly throughout the day. Please provide them with a drink bottle.
We have a strong commitment to conservation and teaching children about the environment. Your child will be involved in the gardening club as part of the environmental education programme. There is a nursery on-site. The school has a close association with the Otari Wilton Bush Native Plant Reserve, the school’s immediate neighbour.
The following is offered to students:
- Music lessons with Goodtime Music Academy: https://www.goodtimemusicacademy.co.nz/
Children need to bring a packed lunch most days. A bought lunch scheme operates on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (see Lunch Scheme).
Please try to ensure that your child's lunch is healthy and is enough to give them the energy they need for a day at school. Please do not include sweets, chocolate, chippies or other junk food in children’s lunches. A wholesome, interesting lunch should be provided, plus fruit and something special for the morning tea break.
Children need breakfast before they come to school. Teachers notice that children require breakfast in order to concentrate and fully participate in the morning sessions.
(See also Lunchtime)
School fundraising supplements the school’s operational bulk grant. The fundraising committee relies heavily on the support of families at school – particularly with supplying manpower to run the various activities held during the year. People who have fundraising ideas, or who are interested in being an active fundraising committee member should speak to the principal.
It is school policy that all children wear school hats during Term 1 and 4 during morning playtime, lunchtime and when out at sports. Caps are not suitable as they do not cover children’s ears and neck.
The Vision and Hearing Tester from Hutt Valley Health tests children’s hearing and eyesight during their first year at school. The tester contacts parents if there is any concern about either eyesight or hearing.
If your child is unwell and particularly if they have an infectious illness such as chickenpox or mumps, please keep them at home and let the school know. (See also Dental Care)
Homework is given to provide a positive link between home and school, to help children develop independent study routines and the effective use of time. The setting of homework is at the discretion of individual teachers. Teachers will inform parents of their homework intentions. Parents may choose for their child not to do homework.
School hours are Monday to Friday – 8.55am to 2.55pm. There is no supervision available until 8.30am. There is no supervision after 3.00pm, unless there are planned activities. Lunchtime is 12.30-1.25pm for the Original/Immersion strands and 12.15–1.25pm for the Montessori strand.
The school has an excellent library. All children are encouraged to use the library as a resource centre for learning. Parents/caregivers are also welcome to use the library. The library is seen as an extension to the classroom. Children are encouraged to use it regularly, either during class visits or to research information required for their work. Children are able to borrow four books at any one time. Borrowing time is for two weeks. Please make sure your child returns their books promptly. This ensures a fair turnover of books, so that all children may benefit from the most popular and newer books.
If a child damages or loses a library book, families are asked to replace them. Many families also donate books to the school library for a variety of reasons (including on their child’s departure from school). If you wish to do this, please speak to the librarian first to prevent duplication. We acknowledge donations with a special sticker in the front of the books.
As clothing and large items are found it is put in the lost property box by the PE shed. Small items (wallets, etc) are held in the office. If your child has lost something please feel free to come along yourself to claim it from the lost property box.
Parents should clearly name all of their children’s clothing to help identify lost property. At the end of each term, lost property is displayed on the court. Following this, it is disposed of to a local op shop.
Lunchtime is 12.30-1.25pm for the Original/Immersion strands and 12.15–1.25pm for the Montessori strand. Children are expected to sit and eat their lunch at the start of the lunch break and are supervised for this purpose for the first 10 minutes. Supervising teachers are on duty in the playground for the rest of the break.
Lunches - We have the following lunch options:
We have the following lunch options, which can be ordered through:
Tuesdays - Sushi Wednesdays - Subway Fridays - Hell Pizza
Lunchonline - https://www.lunchonline.co.nz/
Thursday - Nada Bakery
School advises parents when money is required for stationery, trips, etc. Money brought to school for these purposes should be handed in to the office or to the classroom teacher first thing in the morning. Please send any money via children in a sealed envelope with your child’s name, class name and purpose of the money, written clearly on the envelope. Children bring money and valuables to school at their own risk.
There is a Montessori Preschool on the Otari School site. This is a private, fee-paying early childhood centre, which is managed separately from the school. The Preschool is located in, and has exclusive use of, some of the school’s rooms. It also has separate, fenced play areas for the use of the children attending. If you wish to contact the Montessori Preschool office, phone 475-9688. You cannot contact the Preschool through the school office.
The school newsletter is published every Tuesday during term time to keep you up-to-date with school developments, coming events, etc. Please read these thoroughly as they provide a very useful link between home and school. Newsletters will be emailed to you.
This is manned from 8.00am to 4.00pm every day. An answerphone (475 3018) operates outside these hours for you to leave messages. Email is also available – the school address is email@example.com.
PARENT HELP AND INVOLVEMENT
We believe parental involvement in their children’s education is vital to their success at school. We encourage parents and caregivers to take part in school activities and outings, with fundraising and to help in the classroom. If you want to help, please talk to your child’s teacher.
PARENT HELP GUIDELINES
Otari School’s guidelines on parent help aim to ensure parents feel comfortable and safe being involved in school activities and that they work to support the classroom programme. It also aims to ensure that the professionalism of teachers is not undermined and the privacy of the children is respected. The full text of this policy can be read in the school’s policy folders. There is an information sheet available to help those providing parent help in the classroom.
PARENT TEACHER INTERVIEWS AND CONTACT
A mid-year report goes home in term 2. Parent-teacher meetings are usually held at the end of term 2 or the start of term 3 giving parents the opportunity to come and talk to the teacher about how their child is getting on at school.
Towards the end of the year, a written report will be sent home for each child. This will contain information about your child’s progress in all areas of the curriculum, as well as comments about their participation in and contribution to other aspects of school life. If you want to talk about your child at any other time, you are always welcome to arrange this with your child’s teacher.
School photographs are taken annually usually in terms 2 or 3. Families are able to purchase both class and sports’ team photographs and well as portraits.
The Board, the staff and the community have developed a number of policies, which cover a whole range of aspects of school life. If you wish to read these, they are available from the office.
(See Parent Teacher Interviews and Contact)
There is a road crossing just outside the main gate of the school. Senior pupils patrol the crossing from 8.40-9.00am and again from 2.55-3.10pm. Teachers supervise the patrols both morning and afternoon. Parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to model good behaviour at the crossing and follow the rules.
Should the school need to be closed due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. bad weather) the following will occur:
- A closure notice will go on The Breeze and Newstalk ZB radio stations.
- A closure notice will go on our facebook page.
- A closure notice will go on the school web page. (Make sure you use the refresh button to get up-to-date information.)
The school has a no smoking policy. This means there is to be no smoking in the school grounds by anyone – pupils, teachers or visitors to the school.
We welcome all children to our school.
SPORTS (outside school hours)
The children are asked if they would like to play netball for the school on Saturdays during the netball season. Practises begin at the end of Term 1. The season lasts to the end of Term 3.
During school time, the senior children participate in a range of sporting activities with other schools from time to time.
Stationery lists are available on the website of our preferred supplier, OfficeMax
https://www.myschool.co.nz/otari. You can either purchase from OfficeMax or print of the list and purchase from other shops.
SUPERVISION OF CHILDREN
Children are supervised throughout the school day. It is important that your child understands that she or he must not leave the school during the day at any time without the knowledge and permission of a teacher.
A staff member is on duty during both the mid-morning and lunch breaks. Children are encouraged to play outside on fine days.
See also Hats, Lunchtimes and After School Care.
If you require any other information or help please see the Office Manager.