A-Z of Pinehaven School
The following notes provide information about our school for parents and community members. If you think of any useful information that we haven’t provided, please let us know.
Absences and Illness
For safety reasons, the school must be contacted if your child is going to be absent. Please telephone the school office before 9.15am on the day your child is to be absent and leave a message on our absence line (please include your child’s name, room number and the reason for their absence). Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The school checks all absentees each morning and will make every effort to contact parents where children are not accounted for. If regular medication needs to be taken by a child during the school day, please come to the school office to fill out the appropriate authority form. Records and medication are kept in the office.
The school invoices families or school activities such as school trips, visiting performers to the school, etc. The invoices will be delivered home by your children. Payments made by cash or cheque need to be sent to school in a labelled envelope and posted in the soldier in the office. You may also pay by internet banking or via Kindo from home. This Activity Fee may be made each term or as one annual payment.
Children must leave the school grounds as soon as they are dismissed from class, unless accompanied by an adult. Children are not kept in unless parents have been notified.
After School Care
After school care is provided by the Pinehaven Out of School Care Association. They operate from the school hall. For further information on this service, phone Sandra Kenny on 021 251 1646.
School assemblies are held 3 times per term, on Friday afternoons. Learning Hubs take turns at hosting our assemblies, which are a time for celebrating success and sharing learning. Parents are welcome to attend our assemblies.
8.55am - 10.40am Session 1
10.40am - 11.00am Interval
11.00am - 12.30pm Session 2
12.30pm - 1.30am Lunch
1.30pm – 3.00pm Session 3
Although teachers are often at work early in the morning, they are preparing for the school day and we are unable to guarantee supervision of children prior to 8.30am.
We believe that children must know the Road Code and have the skills for safe cycling. We remind parents that the New Zealand Transport Agency and The New Zealand Police recommended age for cycling to school is 10. All cyclists must wear helmets.
The school has 3 bike tracks that are used during the school day. Children use school bikes and helmets.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees governs the school. It is made up of the Principal, an elected staff representative and parent representatives. Areas of responsibility include curriculum, finance, personnel, property, policy and consultation. The Board generally meets on the third Tuesday of each month in the school staffroom. More information can be found on the BOT Page of this website.
The Charter specifies the goals and objectives of the school and is a legal contract between the Board of Trustees and the Minister of Education.
Please help the school to promote child safety by encouraging your child:
- to go to and from school in groups
- to have and know strategies to deal with approaches by strangers, e.g. say "no", note number plates & car colours, walk towards a house where someone is likely to be home, and report incidents.
- have a family password to use if arrangements for collection have changed.
We all have a responsibility towards child safety in our community.
If you have any concerns, you should see your child's teacher in the first instance. If a resolution cannot be found, the Learning Hub Leader, Deputy Principal or Principal can be contacted. It is the school's aim to keep concerns/complaints to a minimum by dealing with them promptly. It is advisable to make a specific appointment time for formal discussions. A copy of our concerns/complaints procedure can be found here.
Dental therapists are no longer situated on our school grounds. The mobile dental clinic visits our school annually for check ups and if your child needs treatment, you will be advised to make an appointment at the Dental Clinic attached to Trentham School. If you need to get in touch with a dental therapist, the number to phone is 0800 825 583.
In case of emergency (illness or accident) we will telephone you or the emergency number you have given us. Minor accidents can be dealt with by the school staff. If we feel it is necessary, we will phone an ambulance to take your child to the hospital and also get hold of you to inform you of this.
The school has emergency procedures for fire, earthquake, lockdown and family reunification. A summary of these can be downloaded by clicking here.
Education Outside the Classroom
Excursions provide an opportunity for first hand experiences that enrich children's learning. We encourage trips on a regular but selective basis. At times, parents are encouraged to give assistance and expertise.
Camp is organised for Year 5&6 students once every second year. This provides an opportunity for children to develop valuable social, leisure and survival skills.
First Day of School
The first day of school for 5 year olds can be a challenge for both the child and the parents! To help the first day go smoothly we suggest:
- Leave in plenty of time so you are not rushed. Arrive at school in time to get ready before the bell – around 8.40am.
- Pack some favourite things in your child’s lunch (no sweets or flavoured drinks please). Wrap morning tea separately – show your child what is for morning tea so they don’t eat all their lunch at interval.
- Bring your child into the classroom.
- Stay for a short time to settle them (get them involved in an activity such as a puzzle), explain that you will be back at 3.00pm and then be firm about leaving.
- Try to be positive, relaxed and matter of fact yourself, but be aware you might feel quite emotional about this step in your child’s life!
We have a number of staff who are trained in first aid. Our staff administer first aid and record incidents in an accident register (excluding minor bumps and bruises). If we are concerned about children at all, we will contact parents directly.
Helping your child at school
The school day is only one part of your child’s education. There are many ways you can help at home:
- At school, we encourage children to work independently, make decisions and develop responsibility for their own learning. You can encourage this by giving them responsibilities at home.
- Praise your child’s efforts and value things they bring home.
- If writing things for your child to read, use clear printing similar to the style used at school. Use capital letters only for the beginning of a name or sentence.
- Play lots of games with numbers and words.
- Read lots of stories and encourage reading and writing.
- Set a limit on TV time and encourage your child to be selective in their TV watching.
- Help with, but do not do, homework.
- Make sure you child has adequate sleep.
- Recognise that different children progress at different rates.
- Be positive about school – your attitude affects your child.
Most importantly, please keep in touch with your child's teacher - communication between home and school is most important.
Head lice like healthy hair. This school is no different from any other in that head lice can occasionally be a problem. The spread of head lice in a classroom can be controlled and prevented by checking your child's hair weekly (eggs take about nine days to hatch).
If lice or eggs are found consult your chemist and notify your child's teacher that the student has been treated before coming back to school. All parents of the class concerned will be asked to check their child's hair.
Hearing and Vision Testing
Children have their hearing and vision tested at 4yrs as part of the B4 School check. If your child has not previously had a hearing or vision screening check, they will be tested during their first year at school. If there are any further concerns about your child's eyesight, please arrange an appointment with an optometrist / eye specialist. For hearing concerns please phone the Upper Hutt Health Centre (920 1800) to book an appointment (free monthly clinic) with Gail Tihore (Vision Hearing Technician) or any further enquiries phone Regional Public Health, HVDHB 570-9030.
All children get homework in reading. Parents will be provided with information to support their child with spelling and number knowledge homework. The following principles guide our practice in setting homework:
- homework offers some consolidation, revision and practice of skills
- it provides an important liaison between home and school, reinforcing the concept that learning is universal and not confined to classrooms
- it helps establish autonomy and independence in learning
It should be noted that:
- no child should find homework a source of stress (please contact your child's teacher if you sense that your child is frustrated or unable to cope)
- homework should not stop children from healthy, worthwhile pursuits such as involvement in sports, etc.
Teachers will advise parents of their routines and expectations.
We have a range of computers and devices available for teachers and children to use to enhance learning opportunities in an integrated manner.
During the winter months children are encouraged to bring suitable footwear, e.g. slippers, for indoors. This helps to keep the noise down when children are compelled to remain indoors and assists in keeping the inside of the school clean.
Part-time teachers and teacher aides work with individuals and groups of children who require individual needs. These individual needs include English Language learning (for whom English is a second language), enrichment and assistance for children with learning difficulties, and extension learning.
We encourage only ear studs and watches to be worn at school, unless for cultural or religious reasons. Other jewellery can be easily lost and can also be unsafe when children are in the playground or involved in sporting activities.
The Lost Property bin can be found in the Kereru Hub Corridor and can be inspected at any time. Property is displayed on assembly days each term. At the end of each term, we pass any unclaimed gear onto charity groups.
Leaving the School during School hours
No child leaves the grounds without being signed out by an adult. Children need to be signed out from the school office.
The school library has a large collection of books – fiction (including picture books), non-fiction and reference books. All classes regularly use the library. Our children also visit the local Pinehaven Library with their class.
Children are seated for at least 15 minutes while they eat their lunch. They are dismissed for play when the teacher supervising them is satisfied they have eaten most of their lunch.
Students are encouraged to eat healthy options for lunch. Please avoid sweets or sugary drinks. Click here to view our food and nutrition procedure. We do not have a facility for students to buy lunch each day, however do have options for purchasing lunches most Fridays. Information comes via newsletters.
Meeting with the Principal
Prospective parents and pupils are most welcome to visit to view the school. Please contact the Office to make an appointment if you wish to meet the Principal. She welcomes the opportunity to speak with parents.
A newsletter is sent home to each family fortnightly, usually on a Thursday and is sent via email where possible. The newsletter is also available on the website by clicking here. The newsletter keeps you informed of coming events, school policy changes and matters concerning the everyday running of the school. Please read newsletters carefully and return any slips promptly. A copy is also put on the school website on our newsletter page.
Children are discouraged from bringing to school any electronic items, toys, jewellery or any belongings irrelevant to teaching and learning. Most jewellery is not suitable in terms of safety in sport and play. The school can take no responsibility for any such items if they go missing or are damaged.
Class photographs are taken every year.
Prepare for School
Please prepare your child positively and realistically for school. Independence and social skills are more important than intellectual skills, and attitude is even more important than skills. It is more beneficial that your child comes to school curious and with a willingness to try things out, rather than having mastered certain skills.
However it does help if your child....
- can sit and listen to a story
- can follow simple instructions
- can take turns, co-operate, play and share with others
- can cope with a degree of success and failure
- can dress and undress him/herself with little assistance including doing up shoes
- can toilet him/herself, wash hands and flush the toilet without assistance
- can look after his/her own things and put them away
- has had lots of experience with scissors, paper, crayons, etc
- can recognise his/her own name
You can also help by...
- Providing a wide range of experiences
- Reading to him/her and fostering a love of books
- Familiarising your child with the school grounds by walking through them and playing in them at the weekend
- Practising eating school lunches
- Giving your child opportunities to be independent and responsible - to do things for themselves
- Listening and talking to your child frequently
If you are intending to send your child to Pinehaven School, it is a good idea to get enrolment information in up to a year ahead. Prior to starting school you will be asked to provide a copy of your child's birth and immunisation certificates.
We provide 4 school visits before your child starts school. We will make contact with you about 6 weeks before your child starts to arrange these. The visits will help you and your child see what happens at school and will make the initial adjustment easier.
Reporting to Parents
The teachers report formally in writing twice during the year (in Terms 2 & 4). Reports outline achievement in relation to the NZ Curriculum. A parent information evening is held in Term 1 and 3 Way Learning Conversations (parent/student/teacher) are held in Term 2. Teachers can provide detailed information specific to your child. Teachers are also available, by appointment, to discuss progress of their children.
Traffic wardens operate at the Pinehaven Road pedestrian crossing each morning from 8.30am to 8.50am and from 3.00pm to 3.15pm. Parents are asked to observe rules relating to double parking and yellow lines as it makes visibility difficult for patrollers.
School Trips and Activities
The children are involved in a variety of trips and activities during the year which complement the school curriculum. The office invoices parents for the activity fee at the beginning of the year. The system is designed to save parents and teachers the trouble of continually processing small amounts of money and to assist in budgeting. We appreciate prompt payment.
The Smoke-free Environments Amendment Act 2003, requires that the buildings and grounds of schools and early childhood centres are Smoke Free at all times.
Starting school is an important milestone in the life of a child. It is a time of change and adjustment both on the part of the child and his/her parents. However you can over-stress its importance. Some children have such a build up they become unnecessarily concerned and fearful - others develop unrealistic expectations and are disappointed. Your child may be tired for the first few weeks and some behaviours may regress but they will adjust.
The new entrant stationery pack is available for purchase through the school office when your child starts school. At the end of each year families are notified of the process to order the next year’s stationery on line through OfficeMax or they may obtain stationery lists from the school office to make the purchases themselves. Throughout the year individual items of stationery may be purchased from the school office.
We are a sunsmart accredited school! As part of the requirements in our Sunsafe Policy, sun hats are to be worn in Terms 1 and 4. These are required to be large brimmed or legionnaire hats.
Traffic wardens operate at the Pinehaven Road pedestrian crossing, each morning from 8.30am to 8.50am and from 3.00pm to 3.15pm. Parents are asked to observe rules relating to double parking and yellow lines. Please do not park in areas marked for buses. Please do not do U-Turns, or double-park along the stretch of road that our wardens patrol, as this obstructs their view while they are establishing safe times for our students to cross the road. Our carpark is closed while the road patrollers are in operation. This is to keep our children safe and we ask that you please take extra care in our school carpark.
Use of School Grounds
Entry onto the school grounds after hours is a privilege that our community enjoy. We ask that any children using the school grounds and/or playground after hours are supervised and take care of our school.
Each year the Board of Trustees asks for voluntary donations to supplement the school's budget. These donations are essential to support and enhance many aspects of the school curriculum and activities. The donations may be made each term or as one annual payment.
On Wednesdays, we allow children to bring their scooters, roller skates/blades and skateboards to school for use during lunchtime.