Kiwitahi School Information and Procedures A-Z

The purpose of this document is to give teachers, pupils, parents and community members an idea of the workings of daily life at Kiwitahi School. It is set out to be a guide so that all members of our school know what to expect during an average day of school, or other unexpected events.

It is appreciated if parents can inform the school if their child is going to be away from school, and to give a brief note with a reason for absence. We are required to provide a reason for an absence on our attendance systems. Contact can be made via phone call, text, email or the absence function in the Skool Loop app.

The school meets for assemblies each morning. We believe that time spent together is important to develop the culture of our school in a positive direction. We sing, read, and celebrate on a daily basis. On Wednesday mornings, the children spent time in house assemblies (the children are divided into two houses: Kowhai and Kikorangi). Here, they celebrate and recognise achievements in house points, as well as prepare for house competitions (poetry, singing, etc.). On Thursday mornings, the children have a Mascot Assembly; read more about this in the School Values section of this document. Every second Friday afternoon, the school meets for a formal assembly run by the senior children. Here, teachers present certificates and acknowledge significant achievement by our children.

As part of a strong educational journey, we use a variety of assessments to track pupils’ progress. As outlined in our Curriculum Document (school website, >Our Curriculum), pupils take part in some standardised assessments, but also a lot of teacher observation and in-house assessments. Like many aspects, we believe a balance is important. In Terms 1 and 3, pupils in Years 3 – 6 complete a NGRT (New Group Reading Test), a standardised assessment which we use to measure progress in reading. The same pupils complete a PASS (Pupils’ Attitudes to Self and School) survey. This helps guide us on our strategic journey of developing and improving well-being in our school. Some 5-year-old pupils complete a school entry check when they start school and have settled into their new routines. Sometimes, this assessment is inappropriate and can be difficult for children to complete. Our junior teacher completes regular running records and JAM testing (below) which ensures that each child is being monitored appropriately, anyway. At the end of their first year at school, children complete a 6-year net which helps to spot any gaps that may still be missing.Teachers periodically use JAM (Junior Assessment of Mathematics), GloSS (Global Strategy Stage) and running records/PROBE (Prose Reading Observation, Behaviour and Evaluation) to track and measure progress in maths and reading. Spelling tests are completed weekly in the middle and senior years. Regular marking of books as well as personal conversations with children and observations with teachers help to capture the whole picture of children’s progress. Teachers also meet regularly to discuss target children, as well as moderating writing to ensure consistency in each classroom.

We aim for all children to be at school everyday. Attendance is very important for a successful experience at school. 95% attendance is expected from each pupil during the course of the year. There will, understandably, be reasons why children can’t be at school. We appreciate parents discussing this with us ahead of time, if possible. Certainly, if sick, children must stay at home.

At Kiwitahi School, we expect all pupils and staff to show respectful and responsible behaviour at all times. Our two golden rules by which we live are: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” and “Treat others the way that you wish to be treated.”

We encourage and teach positive behaviours through a PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning) style method. We reward positive behaviours with house points or other relevant rewards, and manage negative behaviours according to the following schedule.

  1. For minor negative behaviours: these are dealt with by a child’s teacher and the child themselves.
  2. For repeated minor negative behaviours or medium negative behaviours: the principal will speak with the child and discuss a plan for improving the behaviours and rewarding for correction.
  3. For continued repeated minor behaviourscontinued medium negative behaviours or major negative behaviours: the principal will contact the child’s parents and ask for a conference either by phone or, where required, in person.
  4. For emergency negative behaviours: the principal will contact the child’s parents and may ask for the child to be removed from the school for the reminder of the day whilst an action plan is put in place. The principal may also seek guidance from the Ministry of Education. Depending on the severity of the action or behaviour, other outside agencies may become involved. A stand down may result.

Blanket Consent Form: children enrol at Kiwitahi School, parents will be asked to sign a blanket consent form. The purpose of the blanket consent form is to provide permission for every low risk trip or event, which helps to relieve some of the paperwork that goes to and from home and school for each and every trip. This covers permissions for day trips only, and those trips that have a low risk factor (such as a visit to a museum, or a sports day). Parents will still be informed about every trip beforehand, and can decide for their child not to go if they see fit. If parents do not sign the blanket consent form, the school will still contact parents about trips to ask for permission. Permission will always be sought for activities that carry higher risk, or involve overnight stays (see Trips and Camps (Education Outside the Classroom) below).

Board of Trustees:
Kiwitahi School is governed by the Board of Trustees (the Board). The Board is elected by the parent body every three years and meets at least twice per term. The presiding member (formally known as the board chair) calls the meetings and oversees their smooth running. The purpose of the Board is to plan strategically for the development of the school, and to oversee the long-term financial performance of the school. The Board directs the principal to oversee the day-to-day management of the school and in this capacity, he/she has a seat at the table of the Board, but is also employed by the Board. There is also a staff representative who sits on the Board. Occasionally, there may be reasons why the Board may seek to co-opt another person onto the Board for a particular purpose or period of time. For expressions of interest, you should make this known to the presiding member.

Bullying is not welcome at Kiwitahi School. Bullying is defined as the repeated, deliberate attempt at making someone feel emotionally or physically unsafe. There is no place for this at our school. Our positive culture eliminates much of the behaviours that can lead to bullying. However, we are not ignorant that this takes a lot of work. Discussions are held with children regularly about positive behaviour, promoting our school values, and equipping children with skills for dealing with challenging friends and peers. If/when bullying occurs, the staff at Kiwitahi School will refer to the behaviour management plan (see Behaviour above). Bullying in its early stages would be classed as a medium negative behaviour.

The majority of our pupils at Kiwitahi School commute to and from school by a government-funded bus service. At the time of enrolment, parents agree that their children will behave respectfully, responsibly and in accordance with the bus company’s policies. Kiwitahi School maintains a positive working relationship with the bus company and seeks to make the commuting experience positive for all children. The bus arrives at school at approximately 8.45am and departs as close to 3.00pm as possible. Any changes to the bus route will be communicated to parents as clearly as possible, and will come with a term’s notice. For children who usually catch the bus home but need to change their afternoon plan for any reason, parents must arrive at school before the bus leaves, or send a message to the school number (07 887 4823 or 027 887 4823) before 2.45pm asking for the children to be kept off the bus. All children will catch the bus unless parents have made contact with the school. We will not change bus arrangements if the children tell us unless this is followed up with parent confirmation.

Child Protection:
Keeping children safe at Kiwitahi School is a number one priority. We will always work within the law to keep children safe and to provide an environment that allows them to thrive, both onsite at school and at home. The designated safeguarding officer is the school principal and all safeguarding concerns should be addressed to him/her in the first instance. If the safeguarding concern is about the principal himself/herself, then the concern should be addressed to the presiding member of the Board of Trustees. If a child protection issue is suspected, the principal will investigate by talking to the child/children involved. The school may seek support from outside agencies including the police.

Cohort Entry:
Kiwitahi School has a policy of Cohort Entry for children who start school for the first time. This means that if your child is turning 5 and you’d like them to start school, they will likely not begin school on their fifth birthday as they traditionally do. Rather, the will start school at the beginning of the new term after their fifth birthday. For example, a child who turns 5 in mid-June wouldn’t start school until the beginning of Term 3 (usually late July). The philosophy behind this policy is to help children with their transition to school; starting in small groups as opposed to on their own. It also helps our junior teacher(s) to create better, more child-centred teaching plans.

Kiwitahi School prides itself on its regular, prompt and reliable communication with parents and stakeholders. We endeavour to give as much notice to parents as possible about events that may affect them. Our primary method of communication is via Skool Loop (see Skool Loop below), but we often send hard copy letters home, or updates to our school Facebook page (@KiwitahiSchool). We also send text messages or make phone calls, trying to touch base with each family at least once or twice per term. We rely on parents keeping us up to date with valid email addresses and phone numbers.

Community of Learning:
Kiwitahi School is part of the Morrinsville Kahui Ako/Community of Learning. We have joined with other schools in the area to grow as a group of schools, to support one another and to develop professionally with shared goals. One of the strengths of the Kahui Ako is the sense of progression for children as they transition from early childhood education to primary, to intermediate and then to college. Information about the achievement challenges of the Morrinsville Community of Learning/Kahui Ako can be found on our school website via the logo at the bottom of the homepage.

Concerns and Complaints: 

We take concerns and complaints very seriously at Kiwitahi School. We seek to make the educational experience as positive as possible for all children, parents and staff. If you have a concern or complaint, the first step is to make contact with the staff member directly. Should you not feel comfortable doing this, or if the concern or complaint is of a more serious nature, you should contact the principal. If your concern or complaint is not settled through this manner, or if the concern or complaint is of a more serious nature again, you should contact the principal or presiding member of the Board of Trustees in writing. Your concern or complaint will be acknowledged along with an expected timeframe for resolution. The formal complaint will then be dealt with following the school’s formal complaints policy (outlined by the Board of Trustees).

Kiwitahi School follows Covid-19 related guidelines from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. We encourage good hygiene (handwashing, sneezing etiquette, and cleaning regimes) as a matter of good practice. Depending on the Alert Level in which our school is placed, the school may be open fully, partially or not at all. We will always communicate effectively and regularly with school families about this when required.

Kiwitahi School has a robust and rigorous curriculum that has been written to reflect the special nature of our small, rural school. The curriculum is reviewed annually, and can be found on the homepage of our school website on the Our Curriculum button.

Donation Scheme:
Since 2020, Kiwitahi School has been part of the Ministry of Education’s Donation Scheme. In this scheme, the school receives a ‘top up’ of funding from the Ministry of Education with assurance that the school will not ask parents for further donations. Therefore, Kiwitahi School is a fees-free school. The only school payments that parents will need to make are for stationery (if they purchase this through the school) or uniforms. Day trips are free to parents. For overnight camps, the school is entitled to ask parents for a donation towards these costs (as accommodation and food are often very expensive). However, all pupils will be permitted to attend camp whether they pay the donation in full, in part, or not at all. Our curriculum is accessible for all pupils, no matter the child’s economic background.

During each break and lunch time, there is a staff member rostered on to supervise the playground and playing fields. This is to keep children safe whilst on the school grounds, as well as helping to resolve conflicts when they arise. Duty teachers also see to first aid needs. A comprehensive first aid kit is kept in the office, and for any medium to serious first aid needs, a note will be sent home to parents with appropriate follow up (phone call if urgent) when required.

At the end of each school day, each child is assigned a duty and it is their responsibility to complete this duty well. Examples of duties may be wiping down tables, picking up lost property, emptying bins, etc. The reasons for these duties are twofold:

  1. It helps to maintain a clean and inviting environment for the children

It helps teach children the values of responsibility. If they make a mess, they tidy it up.

Emergency Procedures:
All emergency procedures are available in the Emergency Management Plan in the office and are available to see at any time. Children take part in emergency practices each term.

In case of fire: evacuate the building using the nearest emergency exit; walk to the emergency meeting point in the middle of the playing field. Teachers ensure the classrooms have been evacuated and check toilets, etc. Teachers bring the class registers with them and a roll call is taken. Principal or teacher calls 111 and asks for the fire brigade to assist if required (extinguishers in each room if the fire is containable). Do not enter the buildings until it is safe to do so.

In case of earthquake: locate a safe space (door frame, under a table, etc.) Drop, cover and hold whilst the shaking is happening. Remain calm and quiet and follow instructions from teachers. When safe to do so, assemble in the emergency location in the middle of the field.

Lockdown: in case of an intruder on site, or a request from local police, the school may need to lock down. Children assemble quietly in their classrooms with their teacher. All doors to be locked with children and staff inside. Emergency kits with food and water are available in each classroom for the duration of the lockdown.

Kiwitahi School is implementing an enrolment zone which will be in effect from Term 4 of 2022. Please contact the school for more information on your eligibility to enrol your child. To enrol your child in our school, this can be done in hard copy (part of our prospectus package) or online at our school’s website. Follow the >Enrol Online tab which will take you to our online enrolment form. When enrolling in our school, we will take a copy of your child’s birth certificate and immunisation record. Please bring these with you as we cannot enrol your child onto our management software until we have this documentation. For children born outside New Zealand, a copy of their passport will be required. For information on transitioning children to Kiwitahi School, please see the Transitions section in this document.

The Education Review Office (ERO) is employed by the Government to work with schools to ensure that they are meeting their requirements and providing a safe, happy environment in which children can learn and thrive. The school expects to be reviewed by ERO every three years. Copies of historic ERO reviews can be located on the ERO website, and the most up-to-date report can be located on the school website under >About >ERO Report.


We are always striving to improve our school and systems. If you have any feedback on what we do or how we do it, we would really appreciate hearing from you.

Kiwitahi School is a fees-free school (see Donation Scheme above).

General Health:
In the case of minor accidents, Kiwitahi School staff will provide first aid to children and contact parents if necessary. For major accidents, emergency services will be contacted (if required) and parents will be informed. If children have particular allergies or medical issues, this will be recorded by parents on the enrolment form. An appropriate plan will be put in place if the need arises. Pupils should not attend school if they are unwell. If they have a cold, they should remain at home until 24 hours passes post-cold. For diarrhoea and vomiting, we ask that parents keep children at home for 48 hours after their last episode. Should a child begin feeling unwell whilst they are at school, the teachers/principal will monitor to check for symptoms of illness. If it is clear that the child is unwell, we will telephone parents and ask for the child to be collected. Whilst waiting, children will be removed from their peers and wait in the staffroom in an effort to help limit possible spread of illness. If the school suspects that a child may have head lice or nits, a courtesy note will be sent home asking parents to remove these as soon as possible. A general note to the school community will be sent out so that other parents can check their children’s hair, too.

Health Curriculum:
We believe that it is important to talk to children about health issues. There are a variety of publications available for teaching content, however we canvas our school community each year to get an idea of what our community is looking for in the health curriculum. Relationships and Sexuality Education is taught in a context that is appropriate for the age and background of our children. However, parents are welcome to withdraw their children from parts of these lessons if they wish. We invite parents to ask about content if they would like to know more.

Homework is a complex point for children and parents. Kiwitahi School tries hard to strike a good balance. We acknowledge that it’s important for children to go home and relax and spend time with their families and friends. However, we also acknowledge that many parents want to be involved in their child’s school work, and also want to establish good future routines for study at a higher level. We expect that each child will read every night. Junior children will be sent home with a book to read and some sight words to practise. In the middle and upper years, it’s expected that children will find books themselves (but are welcome to take school books home if they wish). They will also be expected to learn some spelling words. A good spelling programme is integral for children to learn to become proficient writers. From time to time, extra one-off homework tasks may be set.
Children at Kiwitahi School are split into two houses: Kikorangi House and Kowhai House. The houses are created to develop the delivery of the arts at Kiwitahi School, and also to create a strong reward and competition system. Sometimes, siblings will be paired in the same house, sometimes they will be split. Each house competes for house points for good behaviour, good work, good manners. There are also bonus points that can be scored during our regular house competitions. The house with the highest number of house points at the end of the year will be awarded the Kiwitahi House Cup for Most House Points during our end-of-year prizegiving.

Internet Safety:
The WiFi internet supplied at Kiwitahi School is provided by the government-funded Network for Learning (N4L). N4L comes with built-in browsing safeguards that prevent children from accessing inappropriate material whilst at school. Each child has access to an iPad, and each iPad is managed through a central computer that has further blocks to prevent children working around the internet safeguards. We teach children safe internet habits and work with parents to strengthen this at home, too. We also talk to children about the importance of seeking permission from others when taking photos or videos, and about fact-checking information that has been sourced from the internet. 

Kiwitahi Hall:
The Kiwitahi Hall is a community resource not attached to the school. The school is fortunate to be able to use the Hall for a variety of events (prizegiving, performances, discos, etc.). However, the Hall is not managed by the school. For information on hall hireage, contact the Kiwitahi Hall Committee. 

Launchpad (formally known as Bibles in Schools) is taught to children on a Wednesday afternoon in the library. In accordance with policy, this is an opt-in additional aspect of what is on offer at Kiwitahi School. No child is left out or ostracised if they do not take part in Launchpad lessons. Regular and resounding community feedback shows strong support for Launchpad to continue at Kiwitahi School. 

We have a beautiful and well-stocked library. Each week, the children are taken for a formal library session with their teacher. During this time, they are able to select two books that they can issue. These can be issued for two weeks, kept at school or taken home. No more books can be issued until the others are returned. The library is overseen by senior pupils who are elected as librarians. The library is also available at break times and lunch times for children who wish to read quietly. 

Prescription medicine can be administered at school providing parents have completed a Medicine Authority form. Dosage and regularity will be recorded in the medicine notebook which is housed in the office with the medicines. Paracetamol can be administered to children whose parents have selected this option upon enrolment. If paracetamol is administered, parents will always be informed. 

Music Lessons:
We are privileged to have Mrs Jane Fergusson who visits our school on Thursdays to teach piano and guitar lessons. These lessons, whilst they occur during school hours, are in fact not part of the curriculum delivery at Kiwitahi School. Therefore, parents must pay for these lessons. The pupils learn to play their instruments to a proficient level. Feedback from parents is that these lessons are very worthwhile. The musicians also have opportunities to perform their learning in front of the school and invite parents from time to time. 

Lost Property:
We ask that parents label all of their children’s clothing. This helps us to find the right owner when clothing inevitably gets lost. There is a lost property box at the front of school which is regularly checked. However, we encourage children to take responsibility for themselves and their own belongings, first and foremost. Lost property that has not been collected for a month or more may be added to our spare clothing collection, or donated to Hospice. 

We encourage healthy eating at Kiwitahi School. It is expected that all children will have a healthy lunch provided to their children each day. We ask parents to limit the number of salty or sugary foods and also ask that children only bring water to drink at school. Children are welcome to keep their bottles at school and fill up from our taps when required. After community consultation, late in 2021, we will be entering into the School Lunches programme offered by the Ministry of Education. From this time, lunch will be provided to children at no cost to parents, if parents choose to take up this offer. 

Sometimes, it is necessary for children to bring small amounts of money to school (for BookClub, fundraising, etc.). We ask that parents text the school number so we know who is bringing money to school and how much they are bringing. This way, we can ask children to put the money safely in the office, and ensure that the money makes it to where it is designated to go. However, for day-to-day schooling, we ask that children not bring money to school. The school will not be held responsible for money that goes missing. 

The school publishes a newsletter that celebrates the achievement of our pupils and keeps our community up to date with events that are happening at school. We try to avoid the newsletter becoming a ‘to do’ list and try to make it as much of a narrative as possible. We are happy to send out advertisements through our Facebook page as we try to avoid the newsletter becoming a classified publication. However, we are happy to support our community when the need arises. Please contact the school to discuss how we can help. The newsletters are published approximately every three weeks and go home to school families. They are also delivered to all members of the Kiwitahi community through our rural post driver. 

Parent and School Committee:
We have a strong Parent and School Committee (P&S – sometimes referred to in other schools as PTA). The P&S work hard to fundraise to support our school and contribute directly into the children’s education. They provide the swimming lessons (see Swimming Pool below) and contribute to providing funding for our third teacher. The P&S meets regularly and is always ready to welcome new families to join. 

Parent Interviews:
Parent, teacher and pupil interviews are held twice a year (usually Term 1 and Term 3 – the opposing terms for written reporting). The purpose of the interviews is to provide a formal chance for parents and teachers to discuss children’s progress in school. We encourage parents to allow their children to join the interviews as this makes the discussion more meaningful for them. It also allows the children themselves to take the floor and demonstrate their learning. Bookings can be made through the Skool Loop app through the >Interviews option. If booking times do not work for particular families, parents are welcome to email their child’s teacher and arrange a more suitable time. 

Permission for Trips:
Upon enrolment, parents are offered the option of signing a blanket consent form for trips and events that happen onsite or near the school site. See Blanket Consent above for more details. This is to relieve some of the paperwork that goes to and from school. If parents do not sign the blanket consent form, the school will still contact parents about trips to ask for permission. For trips of a larger scale (for example overnight camps), permission will always be sought from parents. 

Reporting to Parents:
Kiwitahi School prides itself on its regular communication with parents. Our policy is, “No surprises.” The school is required to report to parents on academic development of children during the course of the year. We do this twice: once in May (before 1 June – Moving Day for many dairy farming families) and once in December. Both reports focus on development in the core curricular areas (reading, writing and mathematics) as well as reporting on the arts and sports. Each report comes with a pastoral message from the child’s teacher which talks about attitudes, friendships and moral development. The reports are emailed to parents in PDF format. All reports are available in hard copy if requested. These reports are also sent on to future schools for families who move, or for Year 6s who move to intermediate school at the end of the year. 

School Hours of Operation:
School is open for children from 8.30am onwards. The daily timetable is as follows: 
8.55am – first bell 9.00am – assembly 9.15am – block 1 10.15am – first break 10.30am – block 2 11.15am – middle break 11.30am – block 3 12.15pm – lunch 1.00pm – block 4 1.45pm – final break 2.00pm – block 5 2.40pm – duties 2.50pm – bus line up 3.00pm – end of day
At the conclusion of the day, we ask that parents who collect by car do not arrive any later than 3.10pm. On occasions when a later pick up may be necessary, please contact the school in advance. 

School Office:
The school office is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8.30am – 12.30pm. If no one is available outside of these hours, please leave a message (either an email, voicemail or a note on the desk) and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

School Values:
Kiwitahi School is proud to develop the following values in our pupils:
Responsibility | HaepapaRespect | WhakautePerseverance | ManawanuiFriendship | HoahoaCooperation | Mahi TahiCompassion | Ngaākau Aroha
These values are explicitly taught and rewarded in our school as we believe that they help children to develop into successful young people. During assembly on Thursday mornings, one child from each of the two houses will be awarded the Mascot Award. This is in recognition of a child who displays the value of focus above and beyond their peers. The mascot is a toy that goes home with the child for one week, and a diary that the child completes and brings back to share in assembly the following week. Instructions can be found on the inside of the mascot diary. 

School Site:
The school site is available to families outside of school hours. We encourage families to make use of the fields, tennis court, playground and sandpit during the weekends and holidays. We do ask that families clean up once they have finished so that we can maintain our tidy environment.

Skool Loop:
Our primary method of contact for parents about general notices and information is Skool Loop, a downloadable application from the App Store or Google Play Store. Skool Loop allows us to send notifications to parents easily and keeps families up to date with events at the school. For more important information, or large-scale information, we still opt to send this home in hard copy, but will often send a Skool Loop message as well. Parent interviews can be booked through the Skool Loop app, too. 

Special Educational Needs (SEN):
Every child is welcome at Kiwitahi School. No child will be turned away because of a disability, whether physical or intellectual. This is a place where everyone is welcome. We are proud of our family environment that encourages a sense of wellbeing and care amongst the pupils and staff. For pupils with higher needs, we may seek support from outside agencies. One of the limitations of being a small school is that we don’t have access to vast numbers of people who are free to take care of children with higher needs as freely as you might find in a larger school. However, discussions about the possibility and limitations of education at Kiwitahi School will be openly and honestly discussed with parents before enrolment. 

Kiwitahi School believes in the importance of children engaging in physical activity, whether in organised sport or free play. We regularly put together netball and touch teams and occasionally gymnastics teams, too. We encourage all children to engage in sport. For sports that are not offered at Kiwitahi School, club sport is also available in Morrinsville. 

Staff Conduct:
We expect all employees to maintain proper standards of integrity, conduct, concern for the wellbeing of pupils and public interest. All teachers are expected to fully understand the expectations of Our Code, Our Standards (as set out by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand) which applies under the Education and Training Act 2020 to all certified teachers. Staff conduct is monitored through performance management, Our Code, Our Standards, employment agreements, job descriptions, attestation and appraisal. All non-teaching staff are appraised and vetted by police. 

Sun Safety:

Kiwitahi School is an accredited SunSmart School. This accreditation is awarded by the Cancer Society in recognition of good sun habits. At Kiwitahi School, all children are provided with a hat (with school logo). In Terms 1 and 4, all children must wear this hat whilst outside. Children take responsibility for their hats and without them, they must stay under the shade. Hats remain at school in each child’s cubby hole and don’t go home. The school also provides children with sunscreen (sensitive when requested by parents). There are ample shade spots for playing on site. 

Swimming Pool:
The school swimming pool is open for operation in Terms 4 (season begins) and Term 1. The pool is heated and maintained by the school. Children have swimming lessons provided by Raewyn Jacobs of Orca Swim School. These small-group lessons are paid for by fundraising from the Parent and School Committee. During the swimming season, the pool is available for parents and community members. Information and swimming pool policies can be obtained from the school office or the school website. Whenever there are children in the swimming pool area, there must be an adult (16 years or older) supervising. 

Teacher Only Days:
Occasionally, Kiwitahi School will be closed for a teacher only day. This may be for our own in-service training or it may be for training as a whole Kahui Ako (see Community of Learning above). These dates are set the previous year and will be communicated to parents with the rest of the term dates that are set, in accordance with policy. 

Teacher Release:
Full-time teachers at Kiwitahi School are entitled to CRT (Classroom Release Time) each term. This gives teachers time at school but releases them from their teaching load for two days per term. Time can be spent completing assessments or observations, or developing professionally in an appropriate way. We have an employed CRT teacher who will take the lessons whilst the teacher is out of the class. 

Theft, or suspected theft, will be notified to a teacher as soon as possible. We will do what we can to try and resolve the problem, but ultimately, the school will not be held responsible for items that go missing or are stolen. 

Kiwitahi School is proud of our robust transition procedure that is in place. Generally speaking, transitions refer to children who are starting school for the first time (i.e. New Entrants moving from early childhood centres or kindergartens). We communicate regularly with ECE centres, including sending our staff to visit prospective children in their current environments. We encourage children to visit Kiwitahi School for 3 – 5 days before they start school formally. This often starts as a half day with a parent present and leads up to a full day of school with children at school alone. This helps children prepare themselves for real school life. In certain circumstances, the transition period may need to be extended. Transitions are also available for older children who are moving to Kiwitahi School (this may involve one taster day), however this is not always necessary, and each child will be given what he/she needs to feel at home. 

Treaty of Waitangi | Te Tiriti o Waitangi:

Kiwitahi School works on the foundation of the Treaty of Waitangi | Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty), recognising that Māori and Pakeha are equal partners in the education of children at our school. In accordance with the Education and Training Act 2020, Kiwitahi School takes all reasonable steps to eliminate racism, and achieve equitable outcomes for Māori pupils. Ethnicity is important at our school in the way that we celebrate diversity and culture. However, there is no place for ethnicity acting as a separator. There is equal expectation on Māori and non-Māori to be socially, physically and academically successful at our school. 

Trips and Camps (Education Outside the Classroom):
The parent community of Kiwitahi School has clearly told us that regular trips and camps are an important aspect of making Kiwitahi School the special place that it is. When a day trip is planned, parents will be informed, but those families who have completed a blanket consent form (see Blanket Consent Form above) will not be required to provide permission. Families who have not filled in a blanket consent form will still be required to grant permission. Day trips do not come with a cost (see Donation Scheme above). For overnight camps, or trips that may involve higher risk, permission will always be sought from all parents (irrespective of whether they have signed the blanket consent form or not). Overnight camps come with an optional donation (see Donation Scheme above again), however all children will be entitled to attend the camp, irrespective of whether they have paid the donation or not. All overnight camps will be approved by the Board of Trustees ahead of the trip.

Kiwitahi School has a uniform, however this is not required to be worn on a day-to-day basis. The uniform is to be worn when the school attends sporting events, when pupils are playing in a school sports team (i.e. netball or touch), or occasionally when away on school trips. There is a top and a jacket, and these can be purchased from school.  There is a limited amount of secondhand items.

All visitors to Kiwitahi School (except parents at drop off or pick up) are required to sign in at the front desk. This is to keep a record of people’s movements in and out of the school, and also to ensure that children are kept safe. 

1 June:
1 June (Moving Day, or more archaically Gypsy Day) is an important day for many dairy farming families in Kiwitahi. We recognise that children have to move around with parental farming contracts and this means that there is often some disruption to the school roll and classes mid-way through the year. This is a normal part of rural school life, and a reason why we like our first reports of the year to be ready before this date. Kiwitahi School communicates with children’s new schools to ensure smooth transitions, whether moving to or from Kiwitahi.