Frequently Asked Questions
New Zealand law requires that children must attend school whenever the school is open, unless there are special circumstances such as illness. A phone call advising the school of a reason for a child’s absence is required, preferably before 9.30am on the first day of absence. The school will make telephone contact if there is unexplained absence.
It is sometimes necessary for parents to take children from school during school hours. Please advise the class teacher when the child is leaving as this will save confusion or worry as to the child’s whereabouts.
ACCESS TO PUPILS
If special circumstances relating to pupils, or custody rulings apply to your child, please advise the Principal. Copies of appropriate court orders, etc should be made available to the school.
School begins at 9.00am each morning. Assemblies are held on Monday and Friday mornings at 9.00am. These are to give out Certificates and special awards to the children and for classes to have turns at displaying their work. Parents (and members of the community) are welcome at all assemblies.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETINGS
These are held monthly, usually on the third Thursday, at 6.30pm, in the Conference Room at The Leigh Sawmill. All parents and community members are welcome to attend. To find out about dates and times please refer to the school newsletter.
The school belongs to the Scholastic New Zealand Book Club which provides a range of graded reading material to schools at reasonable prices. There are two issues per term. Children are provided with an illustrated order form to take home. Books usually arrive about two weeks after orders are placed through the office. There is no obligation to buy. The school earns points for all books that are bought and this enables us to buy Library books or Teacher resources for the school.
Is daily from 10.00 am – 10.10 am and is where the children have a brief break to eat a healthy snack, have a drink of water and / or use the bathroom. Brain Break snacks should be fresh fruit, dried fruit, vegetables or nuts preferably.
We have a school bus run from Schollum Road, Whangateau to Leigh School (and return).
Children will be eligible if they live at least 3.2 km from the school. Please ask at the school office for information on where the school bus stops and the times.
We currently do not have a bus run from the Pakiri direction, however, your child may be eligible for a conveyance financial allowance if they are at primary school and live at least 3.2kms from school (and are in our school catchment area). Please speak to Principal Julie Turner about this if you think it may apply to your family.
CAMPS AND OUTDOOR EDUCATION
The School has a set of procedures on Outdoor Education.
From time to time teachers will want to use the local physical environment as part of their planned educational activities. Parents are needed at such times for supervisory, safety purposes but also to be involved with the children and class programmes.
As a general rule of thumb Outdoor Education Camps or major trips involving overnight stays are confined to the Senior Classes and are usually undertaken once a year. The BOT checks over and approves the RAMS (Risk Analysis Management Systems) forms for all camps or outdoor education trips.
Class trips are sometimes undertaken to support classroom learning. A permission/consent slip signed by a parent/caregiver is required before any child is able to take part in a class trip.
Buses are used wherever practicable and economically viable. On some trips, a small financial contribution may be required. Otherwise we use parent transport.
A parent pupil ratio of 1 adult per 6 children is required for most trips. Near water or in the bush the ratio is 1:4. Parents are needed and encouraged to come on school or class trips and support this valuable form of extension learning.
The school has a policy on trips and it can be requested from the Principal.
The school has a written policy on complaints. We have an open door policy and encourage open lines of communication. Any concerns should be directed to the person it directly concerns as complaints are best settled informally.
If a complaint remains unresolved, it should then be referred to the Principal for further investigation. From there, if no resolution is met, then the complaint can be put into writing to be addressed by the Board of Trustees.
If the person complaining does not feel that justice has been done please follow the guidelines in the Policy. Any complaints that relate to the dealings that children have with each other are to be referred to the Principal.
The policy can be requested from the Principal.
CYBERSAFETY (Internet Safety)
All children are required to sign a Cybersafety Agreement outlining the expected behaviours when using any computer or internet device. The school has an Internet Safety Policy that is reviewed annually by the Principal and as part of a schedule of policy review by the Board of Trustees.
The Dental Clinic which services our school is attached to Matakana School. The transporting of the children to and from the Clinic at Matakana is the responsibility of the parents.
If parents have any dental concerns or emergency work needing attention for their children, they can ring the Warkworth Primary School Clinic during work hours and make an appointment.
DONATION / FEES
Government Funding does not meet all of the costs of running the school, so we rely on an annual donation from parents as a supplementary form of funding.
A standard enrolment form prepared by the New Zealand Principal’s Federation is used when new pupils enrol at the school. Parents of 5 year olds enrolling for the first time are asked to bring the child’s birth certificate and immunisation certificate when enrolling.
The school welcomes parents who would like to come and speak with teachers and the Principal about school programmes before enrolment. We will make a time to show you around the school and can usually introduce you to other parents with similar aged children if you wanted to chat informally about the school to another parent.
Children attending Leigh Preschool will be invited to do a number of school visits prior to starting to help make the transition easy for them.
Reasonable supplies of first aid equipment are kept in the Sick Bay. Please advise the school of any allergies your children may have when you enrol, or as they develop them, and send any medication to the school to the class teacher with clear instructions for its use. Members of the staff have NZQA approved First Aid Certificates. Parents will be advised of any injury or illness that occurs at school.
To protect the children from the harmful effects of the sun during the summer months, the Leigh School PTA will give each child a free sunhat. This hat remains the child’s property and is kept at school. If this hat is lost or damaged, parents are required to purchase another hat for their child at their own cost.
Homework will vary from room to room, it will be given to pupils on a regular basis to support classroom programmes. Parents are urged to provide time to help and work with their children, and to provide a suitable situation for children to complete their work. We ask that the homework is signed by the parents and returned to school.
Start time 9.00 am
Brain Break 10.00 am – 10.10 am (Brain break is where the children have a brief
break to eat a healthy snack.)
Interval 11.00 am – 11.20 am
Lunch time 12.35 pm – 1.25 pm
Home time 3.00 pm
A House System has been in progress for a number of years. There are four houses: Sharks, Whales, Kingfish, Dolphins. Each week, term and year the points are accumulated and the winning house rewarded. Points are gained for positive actions and behaviour plus Sports Day’s achievements etc.
We have an up to date library and purchase new books throughout the year.
A major renovation of the library has been worked on since 2014 and is still on our agenda. In addition to the large collection of new books we were able to recently purchase (thanks to Warkworth Rotary and the Chenery Memorial Trust), ‘Access-It’ software which is an integrated whole-of-school information management system for staff and students alike that also provides a great resource for the older children to be able to do research online.
The final stage is to purchase exciting ‘innovative learning environment’ style furniture, to make the library an interesting and inspirational place in which the children chose to spend their time.
The school strongly encourages children to take home library books to increase their recreational reading. Each class has a weekly timetabled library time in which to choose and return these books. The children may take a maximum of three books out of the Library at a time.
Parents may also take books out of the school library for home reading with their children. The library is also open three lunchtimes per week for the children.
We encourage children to look after their clothing and take it home at night. We endeavour to return misplaced articles of clothing as they are found. However we still end up with a huge amount of lost property that does not get claimed. Unclaimed articles are kept in a lost property bin. Lost Property is regularly held up at Friday morning assemblies. Named clothing ensures prompt return. Lost Property not claimed goes to the Hospice at the end of each term.
Parents are welcome to check lost property at any time.
A weekly newsletter is sent home every Wednesday to keep parents informed of school events and matters concerning the everyday running of the school. The newsletter is emailed out to parents and members of the community who would prefer an electronic version – please email us if you would like to be added to this list. Newsletters are uploaded onto this website on Thursdays. In addition, school news is printed in the local ‘Leigh Rag’ community newsletter monthly. Plus you can keep up to date on the school facebook page.
PARENT HELP IN CLASSROOMS
The school values and encourages parent help in classroom programmes.
Parent helpers usually assist in writing, reading and mathematics programmes. Anyone interested in participating in these programmes is invited to contact the Principal or a classroom teacher.
PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE
A Public Health Nurse visits the school regularly to support the school with Teacher referred problems. The Public Health Nurse is available to see parents who may have concerns about their children’s health.
REPORTING TO PARENTS
Interviews for each child will be held by the end of February for interaction between parents and teachers and for teachers to explain class programmes. A formal 3-way parent / child / teacher interview is held in June / July. Written reports are sent home twice yearly, in June and December. The report has space for comments which can be points for discussion at the parent interview.
In addition to this, parents are welcome and encouraged to discuss their child’s progress with teachers at any time during the year, and an appointment need only be requested, or call in after school for an informal chat.
SPORT (INTER SCHOOL TOURNAMENTS)
There are a variety of inter school sports events on the school calendar for each year. These events are regarded as official school days and children are expected to attend (usually Year 4 upwards). The events give the children the opportunity to interact with other children who may come from different social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. Schools in the district which usually take part are: Ahuroa, Kaipara Flats, Matakana, Mahurangi Christian School, Snells Beach and Warkworth. Fixed calendar events are: Swimming (March), Netball and Soccer (June), Cross Country (August), Hockey (September), Athletics (December).
A full supply of stationery is kept at the school office. Children are given a list of stationery requirements at the beginning of the year and when extra books are needed during the year, children may purchase them from the office.
Our annual school fundraising Summer Festival is held in February every year. We need lots of volunteers from our parent and wider community – so please email us if you would like to be involved.
The pool has a cover that is used nightly in summer to keep the heat in so it is warmer for swimming – thanks to the Leigh & Districts Ex Services & Community Club for funding this back in 2014.
Keys to the pool are sold to school families $60 and community members $80 for recreational use out of school hours.
The Teacher Aide provides learning support on a one to one or small group basis, either in the classroom or in a withdrawal area within the school for children with needs in specific areas. We currently have two Teacher Aide – Liz Brown.
UNIFORM T SHIRTS
It is important that children be brought up to realise the value of a tidy and clean appearance. Children should look their best and take pride in the school when on a sports outing or a school trip.
Blue polo shirts with the Leigh School logo printed on them are available for purchase through the office or on loan through the school for such events.
It is a great help to staff if all sweatshirts, T shirts, footwear etc are named for easy identification.
USE OF SCHOOL GROUNDS AND BUILDINGS
The School’s facilities are available to all members of the Leigh Community. Classrooms are available for meetings by contacting the Principal. We ask that everyone respect our outdoor equipment and take responsibility for their children outside school hours.
VALUABLES AT SCHOOL
As teachers cannot be responsible for the safety and security of valuable articles and/or favourite toys, therefore children are advised not to bring them to school.
WORKING BEES WITH FoL & THE BoT
From time to time the BOT Property Officer will call for a working bee around the school. By having these we are able to save money for the school and get a lot of the odd jobs done during the year. The money that we are able to save enables us to provide extra resources for the children. These are usually held once a term.
VOLUNTEER READING PROGRAMME
This programme provides for one to one oral reading practise with parents or members of the community. Helpers give 1 hour per week and each child receives 15 minutes reading time, each day that a helper is available. Contact Julie Turner if you are interested in volunteering for this worthwhile programme.
WHOLE SCHOOL OUTING
Each year the school organises at least one major whole school outing (often to Auckland). The trip is usually related to a school wide topic of work.