A DAY AT SCHOOL Staff start the day with a briefing at 8:05 and the school day begins with a roll call at 8:40. Lessons commence at 8:50am. The day is structured around six 50 minute periods. There is a morning break from 10:30 until 10:50 and a lunch break from 12:30 until 1:20pm. Afternoon lessons continue until 3:00pm. Each segment of the day is broken into two 50 minutes periods.
Buses usually arrive at school around 8.30 am each morning and generally start to leave school at 3:10pm. If you need to know approximate departure and arrival times at specific bus stops along the routes, please contact the school office.
School is supervised before school between 8:25 to 8:40am and after school between 3:00 to 3:20pm. Please do not send your children early or have them stay later without some prior arrangement.
ATTENDANCE AND ABSENCES Regular attendance is vital to the progress of all students at school and it is a legal requirement for all parents and caregivers to ensure their children attend unless there is illness or an urgent family situation. All absences are checked each morning for safety reasons with phone calls home to parents/caregivers. Please phone the school and let us know as early as possible if your child is going to be absent that day. If you phone prior to 8am, a message can be left on the school answer phone. Longer periods of absence must be supported by a medical certificate from a doctor, or by special exemption from the Ministry of Education. The school will be understanding in this regard provided parents discuss the matter beforehand with the Principal - the educational interest of the student must be of prime importance. A District Truancy Scheme exists to support full school attendance.
CONTACT WITH THE SCHOOL The school and its staff believe that it helps make their work much more effective if there is close and regular contact between parents, community and school. Most direct communications can be arranged through the school office, preferably by telephoning beforehand on 03 524 8125. Teachers are generally busy during the daytime, but if a message is left, they will be happy to call back and arrange a meeting. Using email is also a very good way to keep in touch with the teachers. These are checked daily by staff. If you are not sure of your child’s teacher’s email address, please feel free to contact the school office for this information.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION The school operates a grapevine telephone network to warn homes in the event of unplanned closures due to flooding, or some other event. Families who do not have a home phone must have alternative arrangements in place and notify the school as to what these arrangements are.
GUIDANCE AND PASTORAL CARE Every child is under the immediate care of a class teacher, dean or mentor, as well as a whānau teacher in mixed Year 8-13 groupings. Student support and guidance is available for any student, including a counsellor who comes to us once a week. Our Special Education Co-Ordinator (SENCO) and also our Gifted and Talented Co-Ordinator, ensure that all students with special needs are given extra provision where possible (see Celia Thompson our 2017 SENCO and Katie Lavers our Gifted and Talented Co-Ordinator). A network of Student Contacts provide extra support for students from specially trained secondary students who ensure they are available at breaks and lunchtimes to all students ; while a similar network of Peer Supporters runs for the primary school, again with trained students to help other students. The school runs a very effective Reading Recovery programme (see Mel Dixon) and we can call on the Group Special Education (GSE) or the Resource Teacher for Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) for assistance when required.
HOMEWORK We expect our primary school students to do ten to twenty minutes of homework each day and the secondary students between one and three hours per week night, depending on class level and assessment programmes. Supervised afternoon study groups may be organised during winter terms. Regular reading at home is important at all levels.
LIBRARY Collingwood Area School library is bright and light and well stocked with up to date fiction and non-fiction books. We have a wide range of New Zealand authors and local history books. The library caters to the reading needs of all the different ages of the students at the school.
The students can borrow the books for an initial period of two weeks and may renew their books after that twice more. Year 1 students may borrow one book at a time; Year 2 may borrow two books and so on up to Year 5, when five books is the normal limit. Any books lost, damaged beyond repair or not returned after an extended period of time will have the replacement cost of the book charged to the student’s school account.
The library is open for borrowing Monday to Friday, from 9am to 3pm, morning break and lunchtime. The librarian is available in this time for help and advice on reading, research and study.
We have a main library area for our books, study tables, quiet area for new entrants and an outside deck. There are three computer rooms with glass sliding doors that can partition them to smaller areas. In these rooms are twenty computers and in the library are sixteen chromebooks available to use in the library and classrooms.
LIFE SKILLS AND OUTDOOR EDUCATION Lessons and trips outside the classroom are organised for each class and are considered to be a crucial part of the students’ education and important for their social development. These can range from school camps to Outdoor Education field trips. Students gain a huge range of skills from completing these activities that benefit all aspects of their learning. All classes are involved in some form of education outside the class and, where possible, we use local community locations for inspiration for on-going class work.
MENTORS In the secondary school students work with mentors in small groups and individually to set goals, plan career and tertiary pathways and talk about issues or challenges faced in their education. For Years 11-13 this happens twice weekly. For Years 7-10 Mentor time is once a week.
NCEA Being a school with smaller class sizes we can cater for a wide range of student interests in their subject choices. This helps students attain success with their overall achievement. The school surpasses Ministry of Education expectations for NCEA at all Year levels.
PROGRESS AND FORMAL REPORTS Reporting on student progress is made to parents/caregivers regularly. In Term 1 there is a progress report sent home for students in Year 9 to 13. The Primary Syndicate (Years 1 to 8) have a three way conferences with parents and their children. This is a good opportunity for goal setting and learning strategies that can help with your child’s learning at home. Term 2 sees a full report issued for secondary students and a second three way conference based around student portfolios in the Primary Syndicate. The end of Term 3 sees an NCEA summary sent home for students in Years 11 to 13. This is aimed at providing impetus for students to study during the Term 3 holidays and allows parents to see the progress their child is making toward gaining their relevant NCEA certificate for the Primary Syndicate the third three way conference is held. In Term 4 portfolios are again produced and a full report is written for the Primary Syndicate. A full report is also written for secondary students.
Please do not take this as meaning you can only contact the school at these times; do not hesitate to speak to us if you have any concern about your child. It is always best if such concerns are raised earlier rather than later.
POLICIES AND MINUTES Copies of school policies and minutes of Board meetings are available at the school office and on our school website. We value the input of the community in our school policies and welcome your feedback.
SCHOOL NEWSLETTER - FLYER A fortnightly newsletter, the Flyer, is emailed to each family at school - this is a very important means of communication between home and school, and is good reading. All of the upcoming events, photos of events and school and examples of student work are all included in the Flyer. This is also available on our website or Facebook page. Please let the school office know if you would prefer printed copy.
SICKNESS AND FIRST AID The school has a small sick bay where minor injuries and ailments can be attended. More serious complaints are reported to the medical authorities and the parents contacted. Sight and hearing tests, and other health inspections such as the mobile dental clinic, are run for the younger children through the local health service. Our local community nurse takes an active part in the support of our Health Education programmes and conducts self-referral clinics, which are available to students. If prescribed medication is required for a student at school, special arrangements can be made through the school office.
STATIONERY Students are required to provide their own stationery - a list of requirements will be given out at the beginning of the year or on enrolment. Most items are stocked by our stationery store. Purchases should be made before the start of the school day at the school office, with payment at time of purchase.
SUN SMART We are a Sun Smart School. As such all staff and students are required to wear hats when outside during Terms 1 and 4. Sun block is also available at the school office as necessary, especially on days such as Show Day and sports events.
SWIMMING Swimming occurs at school during Terms 1 and 4. It is important that students remember to bring their swimming gear during these terms. When possible, a swimming club also runs after school to support students who want extra tuition or help with their water skills.
The school pool is also open during the summer holidays. Keys can be purchased from the school office. At scheduled times a life-saver is on site. For more information on the times this service is available please contact the school office.
TRANSPORT TO AND FROM SCHOOL Students who travel on the school buses must obey the driver and the rules laid down by the bus controller. These are in place to ensure everyone’s safety. Those who use bicycles must wear safety helmets and follow road rules. Senior students wanting to drive private cars or ride motorbikes, or be passengers, will need to provide written approval from their parents and obtain permission from the Deputy Principal (Charles Bosch). Students walking from Collingwood township, or riding bikes to school must use the walkway and Gibbs Road, not Lewis Street.
USE OF SCHOOL GROUNDS AND FACILITIES Parents and caregivers are asked to ensure their children are supervised if they are using the school grounds after school. School buildings are closed outside school hours for cleaning and security purposes.
School facilities are available for hire for community use - please contact the office for details.