Newsletter- 14 June 2021

Nau mai haere mai, Greetings | Tena Koutou | Talofa Lava | Malo e Lelei | Namaste | Ni sa bula | Noaia’e mauri | Fakalofa lahi atu | Kia Orana | Asalam Alykum | Ni Hao | Konnichiwa | An Nyung Ha Sai Yo | Nay Ho | Goeie Môre | Привет

It is hard to believe that a year ago this week we were moving from Covid -19, Level 3 to Level 1. Please keep up the health and safety routines with your children, as we know for the reports from overseas that Covid-19 is still very much a real threat.

A special welcome to our new families joining the Pakuranga Heights School community.

School Zone
The Ministry of Education has indicated to the schools in our area that we will be meeting in the near future to start the process. Once we have had this meeting, we will then have a timeline for consultation for our community. We can expect that it will most likely be in place for 2022.

Enrolment Schemes (school zones)- information from the Ministry website
School enrolment zones stop schools from being overcrowded, and give children who live in the school area (the zone) a guarantee that they can go to their local school.

What does zoning mean?
Briefly, zoning means:

Children who live in the school’s area (the zone) guaranteed a place at their local school.

Once we have more detail and a process going forward, we will consult with you and the wider community.

The School Hall Upgrade
We hope the school hall upgrade will start next term. There are delays around the availability of building materials and tradespersons. The hall is to be upgraded because it was cheaply built and now needs to be externally relined, a new roof, covered walkway and new windows. The Board of Trustees has undertaken to replace the kitchen, upgrade the toilets, and install heat pumps at the same time.

What about Before and After School Care while the hall is being upgraded?
While the hall is unavailable, we will be using Room 9 and Room 10 as it is close to toilets, has a small kitchen area, and the students can use the TLC area. 

Principal Secondment
I have been selected as a Leadership Partner to train and work alongside the Education Review Office.

The Leadership Partners programme provides successful school leaders with the opportunity to work alongside review teams as partners in their external school evaluation process. (Education Review Office)

Essentially I will be trained as an Education Review Officer and review other schools approximately a week a term over the next year but still be principal at Pakuranga Heights School. During my absence, Mrs. Kandasamy will be in charge. During Week 9 of this term I will be in Wellington to undertake my training.

Principal Sabbatical Award
During Term 4 I will be on leave undertaking a study to investigate how schools identified and built on parent agency post Covid-19, in order to maximise new home school partnership opportunities with the ultimate aim of lifting student achievement and engagement, especially priority learners. I will be visiting a variety of schools in urban and rural settings to gather information on the above, see first-hand, and record any sustainable successes. I will also review and compare this to current research. During my absence, Mrs. Sue Kandasamy will be in charge.

School Reports and Parent Conference
Parent teacher conference will take place on Tuesday July 6th and July 7th where your child’s teacher will discuss your child’s curriculum progress.

Online booking of times will be available tomorrow please follow these instructions.

Simply access the online booking site via the web at or the live link on the school web page:  then enter the School Event Code: u38fr 

At parent-teacher conferences, you can find out more about your child’s academic, emotional and social development at school. You can also share information about your child. Going to these conferences shows your child that you are interested in her learning and life at school. 

You can prepare for conferences by thinking about what you want to discuss with the teacher, as well as any questions about your child’s progress. One of the first things you can do for this kind of interview is to read your child’s school report carefully and note down anything you want to ask about.

It can help to take a list of questions and information with you to conferences so you remember what you want to talk about. The time tends to pass quickly.

If you are not sure what to talk about, here are some questions to get you started:

  • What are my child’s interests and strengths?
  • What does my child struggle with?
  • How much homework should my child be doing every night?
  • What can I do at home to help my child with schoolwork?
  • What can you tell me about my child’s behaviour in class?
  • How is my child getting along with other students?
  • What support services are available for my child at this school?
  • If you do not get through everything you want to discuss, you might need to arrange another meeting with your child’s teacher. 

Talking with the teacher: tips                                                                                     
Being open and friendly will set you up for positive communication with the teacher. You can show that you respect what the teacher is saying by listening carefully and trying not to become defensive, even if you disagree with feedback about your child.

It is important to get as much out of the meeting as you can, so it is OK to be direct when you need to be. For example, you can ask the teacher to explain, clarify or say more if you do not understand something.

You can also arrange a separate meeting if you want to discuss something that might take longer than your allocated 10-15 minutes. For example, you might want to tell your child’s teacher about something going on at home that could be affecting your child’s behaviour or academic performance, like the death of a grandparent or a parental separation.

Bringing Toys or Swap Cards to School
We do not encourage any toys or cards coming to school. The toys tend to get broken and arguments occur because of card swapping. The safest thing to do is to leave all valuables at home.

Student Sickness – To keep my child home or not?
At present, there are a lot of bugs and illnesses amongst children and schools are the perfect place for these to spread. Lately we have seen a number of children turning up to school unwell. 

There are many reasons why parents drop their child off sick including work pressures, no immediate family or close friends able to help, worried their child will get behind etc. We have had instances of sick children dropped at school and we are unable to make contact any parents or emergency so they have to remain in sickbay all day. If your contact details change, please let us know straight away.

Below is some advice from the

Is My Child Too Sick to Go to School?
Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD

Knowing whether a child is well enough to go to school can be tough for any parent. It often comes down to whether a child can still participate at school. Having a sore throat, cough, or mild congestion does not always mean a child cannot handle class and other activities. For example, kids with strep throat need a dose or two of antibiotics first, which can mean staying home the day after diagnosis (or possibly longer).

Fever with no other symptoms usually is not reason enough for a child to stay home. But many schools or childcare centers request that a child not return until at least 24 hours after a fever has broken naturally (without fever-reducing medicines).

Chickenpox sores should be dry and crusted over before kids go back to school (usually this takes about 6 days). Other contagious infections — like rubellawhooping coughmumpsmeasles, and hepatitis A — have specific guidelines for returning to school. Your doctor can help you figure this out.

Kids with coldscoughs, or pinkeye can go to school if they feel well enough, don’t have a fever, and don’t need so much care that they will burden the teachers. 

Of course, never send a child to school who has a fever, is nauseated or vomiting, or has diarrhea. Kids who lose their appetite, are clingy or lethargic, complain of pain, are drooling with mouth sores, or who just do not seem well should also take a sick day. 

Children with diarrhoea or vomiting should stay away from school for 2 days after their symptoms have gone.
If your child will need more care than the teacher can provide, it is only fair to the other kids and staff that your child stay home.

Most important, go with your gut. You know your kids best. If your child has the sniffles but has not slowed down at home, chances are they are well enough for the classroom. If they have been coughing all night and has a hard time getting up in the morning, he might need to take it easy at home.

The best way to help your child and us is to communicate with our office staff by phone or in person keeping them up to date with your child’s health and any concerns you may have.

Birthday Treats

Birthday Celebrations
Teachers take great pride in making your child feel special on their birthday.  If you do feel the need to send something for your child to enjoy with her or his classmates, please follow the birthday guidelines below:

If your child wants to bring a birthday treat, encourage them to bring an item for the classroom such as a classroom book (signed and dated by your child) or other classroom supplies. The reason for this is the growing number of students who for religious reasons, struggle with food allergies, diabetes, and childhood obesity. Cupcakes, cakes, doughnuts etc will be sent back home. There is also pressure on you as parents to supply a class with treats.

We encourage families to send non-food items on birthdays. Instead of a food item, please consider sending something for the class to enjoy such as:
• A game for the classroom
• A classroom book (A nice touch would be having your child pick it out, sign it, and date it.)
• A classroom set of items for each child to keep such as pencils, pens, erasers, markers, etc.

The items listed above will still make your child feel special and they will last a lot longer than a food item.

Thank you for your support as we anticipate this will this take the pressure off you, students and teachers.

Need to Know

Student Safety
On their way home from school recently, two students were harassed by a car of teens.  The teenagers were in a silver Mazda SUV on Udys Road, heading toward Riverhills Road near Marriot Road.

If you saw or know anything about this incident please let the office know, alternatively, if you see this vehicle loitering around the school in the future, please also let the office know.

Please remind your children of the need to be wary if approached by strangers and if possible walk home with a buddy, rather than on their own.

Below are a few tips to provide helpful information to discuss with your child on keeping themselves safe.

Tips for Parents:

Set your focus and calm your nerves
Conversations about personal safety should help children develop their confidence and competence rather than raise their levels of fear and anxiety. Try to take a calm, confident and matter of fact approach with a focus on helping your child develop personal safety skills that will enable them to be more responsible and independent.

Use clear, simple and age appropriate language
How much information we share and the way we present it really has to take into account the age and temperament of the child, as well as anything pertinent in the child’s current situation.

  • Discussions about personal safety should evolve and mature as their levels of freedom and unsupervised time increases.
  • Discuss scenarios and situations that your child is likely to be in.
  • Let your child’s temperament guide the focus of your discussions. For example, if you have a child who is likely to tends to follow the crowd you may want to emphasis the importance of trusting their own judgment and thinking for themselves. Whereas, if you have a very outgoing child you may want to emphasis the rules for interacting with people you don’t know well when you are not with a trusted adult.

Focus on Safety rather than Danger
Help your child identify potential risk factors but concentrate on what your child can do to keep themselves and their friends’ safe when they are not with a trusted adult.

Please click on the link below for an example of some further information to parents.


Interschool Rugby 2021

On Friday 11th of June we took an under 50kg team and an open weight team to the Interschool Rugby Competition. The under 50kg team played two games of which they won both. The open weight team played a mixed barbarians style game with members of other schools and showcased some of their skills to the onlooking crowd. The next competition day will be held on Friday 2nd of July and we hope to get a few more wins under our belt. Well done to our Pak Heights rugby players!

Upcoming events

One of our lovely parents entered a team into the Howick Local Board Moth Plant Pod competition. It ran for a month until 9th May 2021. The team consisted of Amanda Winter and 7 children from Pakuranga Heights School – Liam Winter, Hannah Winter, Josh Livingston, Thomas Henderson, Kayleigh Metford, Mason Metford and Sophie Rangi. Mrs Bassingthwaite received and passed on the Moth Pod Pack from the Howick Local Board, consisting of gloves, weed killer, protective eye glasses and lots of fliers to put in people’s mailboxes to raise awareness about the noxious weed that is the Moth Plant and we got collecting over the school holidays.

Last week, they all attended the Prize giving event at Howick Primary School and although they collected a whopping 1800 moth plant pods and seedlings they didn’t win 1st, 2nd or 3rd prize in the Primary School section. BUT, they did win the Thickest Vine prize! The vine root was 13cm long and the prize was $100. The students are donating the money to the school and are looking to find a good use for it.

In addition to the $100, they received a lizard habitat for the school. It looks like a piece of corrugated roofing (the size is about a square foot) and lizards like to set up home beneath them which will find a good home for at the school.

As a thank you for their work, the students were also given an amazing boat trip to Motuihe Island to meet a DOC ranger to learn about their Pest Free work on the island! 

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