If your child is not able to attend school on a particular day please let the school office know by 8.55am. To report an absence email Michelle or phone 818 6216 and press 1 to leave a message. Whether by phone or email, it is a Ministry requirement that you state your name, your child/children’s name/s and class/es and the reason for their absence.
If you need to take your child out of school for any reason during the school day, please fill in a leave slip at the school office when you pick them up.
Oscar Kool Kidz operates a before-school, after-school and holiday care programme at our school. For more information visit their website.
We have a whole school assembly every second Friday, usually starting at 2pm and finishing at 2.55pm. The dates for our next assemblies can be found in our weekly newsletter or on our school calendar here. Our assemblies are hosted by students. Different classes or groups of students prepare items to share, and certificates celebrating achievement and excellence are handed out. We also welcome new students to our school by giving them a certificate at their first full-school assembly. All families and whānau of our school are welcome to attend our assemblies. We look forward to seeing you there!
It is important that students attend school every day unless they are sick.
Oratia District School is a values-based school. At our school we value respect, responsibility, risk-taking, resilience, and reflection. We believe fundamentally that every child has the right to learn and every teacher has the right to teach. Learning and teaching is expected to take place in a positive atmosphere where responsible risk-taking is encouraged and mistakes are seen as opportunities for learning. We have a Code of Conduct at our school that helps us to manage our behaviour positively. The Code of Conduct applies to all – adults and children alike. Our student behaviour plan is further supported by Peer Mediators and student buddies and we use restorative justice to resolve issues when required. For more information about behaviour management click here.
We encourage every student to bring to school some food to nibble on when they need to as they work. This may include fruit, vegetables, crackers and cheese or other healthy options. We specifically include brainfood snacking as part of our daily programme, especially during the long morning learning block.
Our school is a TravelWise school and an EnviroSchool. We encourage our 10-year-old (Year 6) children who live at the lower end of West Coast Road close to school where there are footpaths, and along Glengarry Road, to cycle to school. They must wear an approved helmet and the principal has to check their bicycle to make sure it is safe.
Because our school district covers such a wide area and there is no public transport to support our students, the Ministry of Education funds buses to transport our students to and from school. For more information click here.
School camps are an important part of our Education Outside the Classroom programme, and provide valuable opportunities for students to challenge themselves in a variety of situations and environments. Each year we run separate camps for Year 5 and 6 students.
Each year the Board of Trustees develops a Charter document that outlines the school’s vision, values, strategic goals, achievement targets and action plans for the year ahead. To view our current Charter click here.
In Term 2, Year 5 and 6 students are invited to audition for our school choir, which rehearses throughout the year and performs at the Auckland Primary Principals’ Association Music Festival at the Town Hall in November.
It is important that we can contact parents and caregivers at all times. Please make sure that the school office has your up-to-date contact details, including mobile phone numbers, email addresses and postal addresses. To report changes in contact details please email Michelle at the school office or phone her on 818 6216. Please also inform your child’s teacher (in complete confidence) of any changes in family circumstances that may affect your child’s behaviour or learning.
If you have questions about your child’s learning or behaviour, please speak to your child’s teacher. If your concerns are not addressed or if they are about a wider issue, please email the principal or phone 818 6216 to make an appointment to see her. Failing that, please talk to a member of our Board of Trustees or put your concerns in writing to be considered by the board at their next meeting. To read more about the school’s Complaints Procedure click here.
We recognise the importance of integrating digital technologies into our curriculum learning to prepare our students for life and work in the 21st century. Our computer suite, mobile computer equipment and class computers allow our students to access e-learning as a component of their inquiry-based learning. During 2014 our staff will be developing an e-learning strategic plan, which will inform our school’s approach to e-learning in the coming years.
The Oratia Country Fair is a biennial event, which usually takes place in late March. It is our school’s big fundraising event and is a great opportunity for people in the district to catch up and former students to reconnect. The most recent Country Fair was hosted in 2017 and raised money towards installing astro turf in our junior school. Our next Country Fair will be on the last Sunday in March 2019. Mark the date on your calendar now! To find out how you can get involved in this fun event click here or like our Facebook page.
Early in Term 2 all classes begin training for our annual cross-country event, which is held in mid-May. All children are encouraged to participate. The top runners from Years 4, 5 and 6 then go on to represent the school at the zonal cross-country championships.
Our school hosts a Auckland Regional Dental Service mobile dental clinic for part of each year. This mobile clinic rotates to different school sites in west Auckland throughout the school year. It is a treatment clinic, which means that students can have their free treatments done on-site when the clinic is based at our school. To contact the dental clinic phone 837 8897.
Our Parent Network organises a fundraising disco each year, usually towards the end of Term 3. The disco will be promoted in the school newsletter and tickets can be bought in advance.
Each year the school requests a modest donation from parents and caregivers to allow it to offer students a range of learning opportunities beyond those funded by the Ministry of Education. Most people pay by cheque or cash with their child’s stationery order at the start of the year, but you can also pay by EFTPOS at the school office or via online banking. To pay online, please deposit to account number 030146 0051054 00 with your child’s name and room number in the reference field. Thank you – it does make a difference!
If you would like to enrol your children at Oratia District School, please keep in mind that we have a school zone. It helps us greatly with our planning if you pre-enrol your child at about the time they turn four. For more information about enrolling, click here or pick up a copy of our enrolment pack from the school office. If places are available, children who live outside the school zone will be considered for enrolment under our Priority 2 criteria.
Our most recent ERO Report is available here.
We welcome use of our grounds by the local community outside of school hours. We take pride in our school’s beautiful setting and ask that you respect our grounds and leave them in the condition you found them. If you observe any inappropriate behaviour or vandalism at our school please contact the local police by dialing 111.
Hearing and Vision
The Waitemata District health board provides free vision and hearing screening for children. The screening is carried out by hearing and vision technicians who visit schools and provide clinics in various community locations. If you would like your child to be screened, complete a form at the office and when the technicians visit our school they will perform the screening. Information about forthcoming screenings is promoted in the school’s newsletter.
One of our school’s many valued traditions is the presentation of an Oratia hebe to each student when they leave our school at the end of Year 6. We hope that these hebes are planted and nurtured as a reminder of their time at the school.
We recognise that some families have very busy schedules after school with children attending training for sports, dance, music or other activities. It is however an expectation that every child will have homework. Homework can be as little as reading each day, learning spelling words and basic facts, or more involved research-type projects. Students in the junior school will bring home readers and parents are encouraged to listen to their children read each night. Older students are expected to read each night and may have spelling and maths tasks to reinforce and consolidate their classroom learning. If your family can not manage a particular piece of homework then we ask you to discuss this with the teacher. Homework should not result in stress and tears, but should be a time to connect and share.
Our school’s new Learning Centre opened in August 2013. As well as being the source of much fabulous reading material, it is open during break times and a popular place for children to enjoy quiet creative activities and to make new friends. Children who are feeling a little sad or lonely are welcome in the library, where there is always a pillow pet in need of a cuddle. Our librarian Wendy Roigard offers students from Year 4 to 6 the opportunity to learn librarianship skills and contribute to our school community through the librarianship programme. For more information email Wendy or read our library blog.
Life Education Caravan
Every third year the Life Education Trust caravan visits our school. The caravan is a mobile classroom and the programme in the class is age appropriate and relates to making good choices and being healthy and building positive self esteem.
Please make sure your child’s property is clearly named and marked. Should they miss some property by the end of the day or the week, please check their classroom first. Failing that, the junior lost property bin is displayed outside Pam Thomas’ office beside Room 4, and the middle and senior lost property can be found outside Room 17. During summer when we have swimming, lost property can also be located in the swimming pool shed area. At the end of each term we advertise a lost property parade and set out all items in the lost property bins so parents and students can reconnect with lost property. Any unclaimed items are donated to a good cause.
Please send your child to school equipped with a lunchbox of food to sustain him or her throughout the day. Water is available from the drinking fountains but many children prefer to bring their own water bottles. We have a no-food-sharing policy and lunch eating takes place under supervision either indoors or in a shady place outdoors.
Our school lunchroom operates on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, offering a range of hot and cold foods at reasonable prices. For a menu and information about ordering click here.
Please inform your child’s teacher if your child has any special medical requirements. Medications should be handed in to the office with a note giving the office staff permission in writing to administer the medication. Medicine must be collected from the office at the end of the school day.
Every Tuesday during term-time the Auckland Library mobile library bus visits our school. Children need to bring their Auckland Library cards to borrow and return books.
Our students have many opportunities to develop their musical talents through the choir, kapa haka, ukulele group and other activities. Students can also sign up to learn piano, guitar, Cook Island and rock drumming with visiting tutors during school hours. Payment for these private lessons is made directly to the tutors. For a list of cultural activities and contact details click here.
Every Thursday the school newsletter is distributed by email and posted on this website here. As an EnviroSchool we avoid paper newsletters, so please ensure that the school office has your up-to-date email address. This newsletter contains important information about forthcoming school events, class trips, sports draws and other news. Community notices are included when space is available. If you would like anything to appear in the school newsletter please email Michelle at the school office or phone her on 818 6216.
At the start of each term, the junior, middle and senior school syndicates each send home a newsletter containing useful information, calendar dates and contact details and outlining their learning programmes for the coming term. Additionally, the Board of Trustees produces a newsletter following each of its meetings to keep the school community informed about board activities. These are distributed by email, in paper form and are available online here.
Each year, usually during Term 1, we hold an Open Day where parents and caregivers are invited to spend part or all of the day observing their children’s classes – or other classes in the school. Watch the school newsletter for dates.
An out-of-school care service operates from our technology room before and after school on Mondays to Fridays and during the school holidays. This is not a service provided and run by the school, it is a private service called Oscar Kool Kidz. Their service is available from 7am to 8.30am each school morning and from 3pm to 5.30pm each school afternoon. For more information visit the Oscar Kool Kidz website or contact Kim Whitehead.
If you are able to help out with listening to children read, art activities or any other important tasks, please talk to your child’s teacher to find out what help is needed in their classroom. Alternatively, you can make a contribution to the school by volunteering to help the Parent Network (formerly the PTA) with their fundraising activities. If you have any particular skills in arts and crafts, sports coaching, Maoritanga or any other area, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Our school is a member of the TravelWise initiative, and as such we encourage families to catch the bus or walk to school whenever possible. If you do drive, please respect the 40km per hour speed limit during school drop-off and pick-up times, park considerately and safely, and follow the instructions of our road patrol. Please do not park in our bus bay at any time.
We are a Cool School and some of our senior students are trained to be peer mediators who assist other students to resolve conflict through a mediation process. Our peer mediators receive training each year and work closely with two teachers who support them in their work. Our mediators wear bright blue jackets so they can easily be spotted in the playground.
Our Code of Conduct states that we should know what to bring to school. This means that children and parents must make decisions about whether a precious item such as a favourite toy or family heirloom should come to school or not. We recommend that if an item is valuable, treasured or an heirloom, that it is best left at home as we cannot guarantee that it will not be lost. Children are not permitted to have chewing gum at school. Mobile phones belonging to children must be handed in to the school office before school each day and can be collected at the end of the school day.
Public Health Nurse
From time to time we will contact a public health nurse to support a family who are having some difficulties with health issues or managing children at home. For us to do so, we will need parents, caregivers or whanau to consent to public health nurse support.
One of the responsibilities undertaken by our Year 6 students is operating the road patrol on Shaw Road before and after school each day (with supervision from a teacher or parent). Please teach your children to use the crossing and model road safety by using it yourself.
Our Parent Network organises a fundraising sausage sizzle each term, usually at lunchtime on the last Tuesday of term. Order forms will come home with your children.
In the last few days of each school year we hold a Senior Prizegiving, to which all Year 5 and 6 students and their parents are invited. At this formal event students are recognised for their contributions to school life and for academic achievement. Every Year 6 student is presented with a small Oratia hebe shrub specially nurtured in our school nursery, as a symbol of their time with us.
Sick Bay/Wellness Room
Our Wellness Room is situated across the hall from the school office. Our office staff are trained in first aid and experienced in dealing with minor accidents and common childhood illnesses. In the case of serious injury or illness, the child’s parents or caregivers will be informed immediately. Please make sure that the school office has your up-to-date contact details, including mobile phone numbers. To report changes in contact details please email Michelle at the school office or phone her on 818 6216.
Please ensure your child has a spare set of clean clothes in their schoolbag at all times, especially during the winter months.
As part of oral language, our students are expected to write and make short speeches. Each year the school speech competition for year 5 and 6 students is held in Term 3. Our students also compete in the Auckland Primary Principals Association (APPA) annual speech competition.
We value the many contributions our community makes to the continued success of our school. If you or your company would like to sponsor a project or make a donation to our school please email the principal or phone 818 6216.
Stationery is available for purchase online via myschool.co.nz. There are different lists for each classroom – Junior School, Middle School and Senior School. If your child starts school part-way through the year please ask their teacher for a revised stationery list based on their needs for the remainder of the year. Individual items can be purchased from the office.
Each year the Board of Trustees revisits the school’s Strategic Plan, taking into account progress that has been made, new priorities and opportunities, and the input we receive from ongoing conversations with our school community. For more information click here.
At the start of the school year the students in each Year 5 and 6 class elect two student leaders and they are introduced at a whole-school assembly by the middle of Term 1. This group of elected student leaders will welcome and show visitors around our school, introduce important guests and host assemblies. They meet regularly with the senior staff to discuss issues related to the student body and suggest improvements that can be made at school.
Our SunSafe Policy requires all students to wear a wide-brimmed sunhat at all times while playing outdoors during Term 1 and Term 4. Students without a hat are asked to play in the shade. School hats are on sale from the school office.
During the summer months our students enjoy swimming and water safety lessons in our school pool. We are also delighted to offer our school pool to the community for use over the summer. Pool passes are available from the school office in the last couple of weeks of the school year. For further information phone 818 6216 or email Michelle.
Tea with Sherilee
Twice per term, parents are invited to meet with the school principal in an open forum to discuss a key issue or process that is part of our school. These are scheduled on different days of the week at different times of the day, so that we can give as many parents an opportunity to attend or be a part of the dialogue. Look out for information about this in the newsletter and on the website.
Term 1 – Wednesday 3 February to Thursday 15 April
Term 2 – Monday 2 May to Friday 8 July
Term 3 – Monday 25 July to Friday 23 September
Term 4 – Tuesday 10 October to Thursday 20 December
Our school day starts at 8.55am and finishes at 2.55pm in order to accommodate buses travelling to and from other schools in our cluster. Please ensure your child arrives at school in time to get settled in before the first learning session starts. Children learn best when they arrive at school in a calm state and feel part of everything that is happening, right from the morning register.
Our classrooms are open from 8.30am. If you need to drop your children at school earlier than 8.30am or pick them up later than 3.15pm, please make arrangements with Oscar Kool Kidz, which is the private out-of-school care service based at the school.
Our day is structured into three learning blocks and two eating and free play blocks. Our timetable is as follows:
|8:30am||Teachers in classes|
|8:55am||School starts – Learning session 1|
|11am to 11:30am||Morning tea break|
|11:30am to 1pm||Learning session 2|
|1pm to 1:50pm||Lunch break|
|1:50pm to 2:55pm||Learning Session 3|
|2:55pm||End of the school day|
If you would like to find out the detail of what your child will be doing in each block each day, please ask their teacher.
Our school does not currently have a school uniform. Sports uniforms are distributed at the beginning of each season or event and returned afterwards.
We welcome visitors to our school, but for health and safety reasons require that anyone visiting outside of normal drop-off and pick-up times reports to the school office to sign in and receive a name tag. Thanks for your support with this.
There are many ways you can get involved in the life of the school. Our lunchroom is currently looking for volunteers who can help out a couple of mornings a term – click here to find out more. You can make a contribution to the school by helping the Parent Network (aka the PTA) with their fundraising activities, or standing for election at the three-yearly Board of Trustees elections. If you are able to help out with listening to children read, art activities and many other important tasks, please talk to your child’s teacher to find out what help is needed in their classroom. If you have any particular skills in arts and crafts, sports coaching, Maoritanga or any other area, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Walking School Bus
During Terms 1 and 4 we have a walking school bus. This service is made possible thanks to very active parents who support the project. They take turns to walk the bus in the mornings and afternoons. The bus starts from the corner of Nicholas Avenue and Glengarry Road every morning. If you live on Glengarry Road, Meynell Court, Nicholas Avenue or West Coast Road and you would like you and your child to walk to school safely contact the school office to find out more.