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Regular attendance and effective teaching are the biggest contributors to improving achievement outcomes.

Regular attendance and effective teaching are the biggest contributors to improving achievement outcomes. Please advise the school as early as possible of any absence or lateness. A telephone call, note, email or text (0279110819) is expected.

We will contact you to ascertain where your child is or the reason for their absence if we have not been informed shortly after school begins. This info is required to be logged in to our electronic register system.

If your child is sick we encourage you to keep them home so that they can get well and return to get the most out of their learning opportunities.


  • Visit the school with your children.
  • If they are going to be enrolled that day ensure they have:
    • Exercise books, paper & writing utensils.
    • Lunch.
    • If possible, data from previous school.
    • Copy of birth certificate is required for all enrolments and the sighting of the child’s immunisation form for new entrants only.
Moving to another school

As a courtesy, please advise the teachers and principal you are moving to another district and school in plenty of time. We can then make sure all your children’s exercise books are returned to you. It also gives us a chance to check that all library books out in your children’s names are returned to the library.

We thank you and wish you and your family a happy time in your new school.


Zero Tolerance for Bullying.

All children have the right to live and learn in an environment where they feel valued and safe. They are able to learn most effectively in an atmosphere free of verbal harassment and physical violence. Schools are places where bullying can flourish and we need strategies in place that will result in threatened children feeling safe, and the bullying behaviour of the offenders being modified.

Bullying usually has three common features:

  • it is deliberate, hurtful behaviour
  • it is repeated often over a period of time
  • it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves

There are three main types of bullying:

  • physical; e.g. hitting, kicking, taking belongings
  • verbal; e.g. name–calling, insulting, sexist, racist, homophobic remarks
  • indirect; e.g. spreading nasty stories, excluding from groups.

We want parents to be confident that the school staff do treat this issue seriously and are doing something about it, and they can in turn do their part, to support us in our efforts to minimise bullying in our school. Please contact your child’s classroom teacher as soon as you are aware of any problem your child is having.


Every Thursday at 1:30pm for Rooms 1 – 6, every Monday at 1:30pm for Rooms 7 – 16. Whole school assembly termly in the Hall with the end of term assembly being a ‘Pen Assembly’ where life long learning is celebrated by 2 students from each room receiving a Life Long Learner award. We celebrate a range of student achievements taking place both in and out of the school.


Teachers encourage appropriate behaviour of pupils on their way to school or returning from school to their homes.

If your child is involved in an incident after school please let us know. In most cases the school has no jurisdiction over incidents taking place outside of school hours.

We will endeavour to do all we can to provide support and advice. It is a good idea to notify the Police of any harassment, threats or dangerous driving that you observe or are aware of. They have the powers to follow up these incidents that take place outside of school hours.


We prefer children not to arrive at school before 8:30am as teachers are busy preparing for the day, and supervision starts at 8:30am.

  • 8:30 a.m. Children allowed into corridor & foyers.
  • 9:00 a.m. Children move quickly to classrooms.
  • 10:40 a.m. Morning interval.
  • 11:00 a.m. Interval ends.
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 12:45 p.m. Children dismissed by duty teacher and/or Councillors.
  • 1:20 p.m. 2 short bells to signal sports gear return and toileting.
  • 1:25 p.m. Luncheon interval ends.
  • 2:55 p.m. School closes and all bus children assemble.

Wet Day Supervision:

Signal for wet day supervision – 3 rings on bell at beginning of morning interval and lunch time. Children will remain inside under supervision. Should weather clear – after 12:45 p.m. – duty teacher will ring 1 long bell and children may go out, and normal playground supervision will take over. If it is necessary to bring children in after 12:45 p.m. through wet weather, duty teacher will ring 3 bells and wet weather supervision will take over immediately.


An all–in–one Scholastic Book Club brochure that includes all reading levels will go home once a month. The books are usually good value for money. The School does not receive a commission but does have access to a few buying specials or free issues.

Please have orders to the school office by the due date, preferably in a named envelope. If purchasing as a gift then please let the office staff know so we can contact you directly when the order has arrived.


The role of the Board of Trustees is to govern the school. It is their responsibility to be a good employer. It involves a successful blend of professional expertise, community involvement, and co–operation. The whole focus is on the needs of children and their learning.

The Board of Trustees at Otorohanga South are committed to the above and work in close harmony with all staff of the school. The regular meetings of the Board are on the 3rd Tuesday of every month except in January.

All parents are most welcome to attend. Parents wishing to discuss an issue should have it in writing to the office one week prior to the Board meeting.

Members of the Board of Trustees are:

Chairperson: David Brown

Secretary Elected Members Sandy Katipa-Maikuku, Sara Aymes, Anthea Tata, Ephiram Emery, Staff Rep Georgina Glenn


Buses are organised through Multiserve and operated by Dobson Motors and Go Bus. Safety precautions are taken by a staff member each afternoon. Responsible monitors are on each bus and they report any problems or misbehaviour to the teacher responsible. Any concerns please view the policy and talk to the teacher in charge.

Bus Tickets: These are available from the school office at a cost of $6.00 which gives entitlement to 10 rides



Speed limit is walking pace. Quick drop off zone (1 minute limit) is on Western side of carpark between school entrance and shelter. Use parking area if waiting more than 30 seconds or wanting to visit. Be aware of the pedestrian crossing near entrance of carpark and at bus shelter (under school sign). Please do not park around the edge where the no parking line is displayed or use the staff/taxi vehicle entrance into the school grounds.


Our school has well defined Fire and Earthquake procedures. Our staff are primarily responsible for the safety of your children – all other duties are secondary. Should a major emergency occur, school will hold the children until, either it is safe to release them, or parents collect them.

  • Parents who collect children after an emergency should – behave calmly and set a good example to children who could very well be upset.
  • Before removing children, parents must report to whatever central point has been set up to check names.
  • If children are removed by the school to a safer place then it is school’s duty to see there is adequate information available for parents.

Please feel free to view our emergency procedures.


Generally each year children move from room to room. Sometimes your child will have the same teacher for 2 years, sometimes your child will get a new teacher. Class composition is generally based on the number of children at school – divided by the number of teachers. When organising classes for the year we try to ensure flexibility and that all teachers have an even number of children in their class. This means that classes are composite. Students are taught, especially in literacy and numeracy, at the level they are currently at.


We recommend that you teach your children to ride safely and that you ride with them until you are sure they:

  • can control their cycle
  • know the basic road rules
  • have developed road sense
  • walk their bikes into and out of school grounds each day
  • wear a helmet even on a scooter

Children under 8 should not ride bikes to school. Cycle safety helmets must be worn at all times. Cycles should be maintained in good order and checked regularly. We do not permit borrowing and lending of cycles during school hours.


The Dental Therapist undertakes most of the dental health care offered to children from Year 1 to Year 8 and operates from a mobile clinic for defined periods here. Some children are referred to a Dentist. For all emergencies etc please contact the Dental Therapist on 0800 825 583.

EMERGENCY and FIRE DRILL, Lock Down Procedures

[This is practised once per term]

Signal: Continuous ring of the bell. If power is off, a series of whistle blasts.
  • Rooms 1 – 7. Children will leave by the exit leading directly from the classroom to the playground, not to the corridor. They must be trained to do this in an orderly, disciplined manner. Teachers will take their registers.
  • Children and teachers will proceed to the centre of the football field where the roll will be called.
  • Children and teachers from rooms 8 – 11 will leave by southern doors directly to the centre of the soccer field.
  • Staff will check toilets/sickbay etc.

See Emergency Procedure Booklet.

If the school needs to be evacuated written notice will be given and displayed in the staffroom windows.


We try to release all children at 2:55 p.m. daily.
All children must leave the playground by 3:15 p.m. and go home - they may return later provided their behaviour is acceptable and they have parental approval.

No staff oversight or responsibility is provided for children returning to play.


home Reading

All children are encouraged to read regularly at home. We like families to set aside a special reading time. Each classroom has its own home reading programme. Junior school children have home reading every night.

homework programmes take place usually on a weekly basis and involve a challenge task, plus parental help. Research or project tasks may be set and usually involve work over several days. Our aim is to have this extra work meaningful and pleasant. We endeavour to provide students with opportunities to practice skills as opposed to learning new concepts as homework activities. With co–operation from home, children should view homework as a challenge. As a guideline homework for Y1 - Y3 should be no more than 10 minutes, Y4 - Y6 20 minutes, Y7 - Y8 no more than 30 minutes per night.


Learning is a process which involves Parents, Teachers, home/School & Community. We like to involve parents where possible. Please feel free to make suggestions. If you have feedback for us please discuss them with us. Without the support and help of parents in so many practical and financial ways, our school would be far less effective and attractive. Please keep up your positive support.

New parents – welcome to our school. To get the most for your children become positively involved with your school.

Communication between the class and teacher can be through a notebook or homework book. Feel free to discuss any issues with your child’s teacher before or after school, preferably by appointment.


Students require a signed internet licence to be able to access the internet at school. A contract and Internet use procedure is provided for reading and signing by both parents and the student. Teachers retain these licences throughout the year. Students are able to use computers outside of school hours and during break times only when they have teacher supervision.


Should children be taking medicine which could affect their behaviour or school work please contact the teacher. If children have asthma ventilators, or similar, they should be brought to school and be available for use. All parents need to sign a disclaimer if you require staff to administer medicine. Should children be allergic to bee/wasp stings etc, please advise the teacher and office and provide the necessary medication.

Accidents at school – depending upon the circumstances or situation we:

  • give minor first aid
  • contact the parents if in doubt
  • phone the family doctor
  • In an emergency your child will be taken directly to the medical centre


Sometimes children need to bring money to school for such reasons as school trips, photos etc. This should be either taken to the office, or given to the teacher by 9am. It should not be left around or put in desks. Please encourage children to be "SAFETY WISE" with money. Extra money should not be brought to school. Payment of accounts over $5 should go direct to the office. Below $5 will be collected by the teacher.


There are a number of musical instrument and singing options for students during and outside of school hours. Drumming, piano, guitar (numbers dependant), lessons are available as well as a Song Squad that meets at lunchtime once a week. Please refer to weekly newsletters or ring the office for further information.


Newsletters are sent home every Thursday to the oldest in the family. Check and ask your children. We give out newsletters in good faith and at considerable expense and expect children to take them home. We don’t mind people putting items in our newsletter. We reserve the right to refuse. We do not allow advertising for any business except for the firms on the back of the newsletter.


(ORRS) Children with high learning needs and who are on ORRS Funding may select Room 13 as an alternative to mainstream education. Children that attend the Special Facility i.e. Room 13 will be integrated into mainstream classrooms according to their Individual Education Plan.




Should you require to collect your children early please write a note to the teacher, or if unanticipated contact school by phone.

Should there be legal non access restrictions regarding your children please advise school in writing – unless there is a non–access order both parents have equal rights.

Picking up children for Special Appointments All children are to be collected from the office or classroom. For safety reasons children will not wait at the gate to be picked up by parents.


The aim of this group is to provide a link between home and school and support school activities. Traditionally they have been the major fund-raiser for the school and this is still important today.

  • Raises money for the school
    • - Gala Day
    • - Spelling Bee
  • Works closely with the teachers and BOT
  • Makes suggestions to BOT, managament and teachers

Everybody is encouraged to participate as a member of the PTA - attend meetings - help out at school. The work parents do for the school is one of our most valuable assets.


  • Teachers are not available when teaching in the classroom to answer phone calls.
  • Teachers are usually available during intervals for personal contact.
  • Please leave messages for school children – provided they are important (we do not call them to the phone).
  • Children may phone home with important messages provided they have prior permission from a staff member.


The school is responsible for playground supervision from:

  • 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
  • 10:40 – 11:00 a.m.
  • 12:30 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.
  • 2:55 – 3:20 p.m. (car park supervision) or until the departure of the last bus.

During intervals 2 teachers will be on duty. Their duties include:

  • Supervision of children in the playground. All children should be able to play happily.
  • Treatment of any accidents - or organising treatment to take place. In serious cases the child is taken to the Medical Centre and parents informed.
  • Seeing that common sense rules are observed.
  • Supervision of lunch, ensure areas are tidy before dismissal.
  • In fine weather keeping corridors and classrooms free of children.
  • Check children leaving and entering grounds.
  • Make sure all children depart home promptly from school after 3:00 p.m.


A police officer may interview a child at school if:

  • The Principal or Deputy Principal is in attendance.
  • The parents have been informed. They have the right to attend.
  • The interview is conducted in privacy.

A Social Worker may interview a child under section 17 of the Children, Young Person and Families Act 1989 without having to notify parents or caregivers as part of a care and protection investigation. We take all reasonable steps to ensure the comfort and safety of students in all investigatory matters.


Please label all property and clothing as it is so much easier to find the owners. There is a lost property area at school.

Lost property is regularly displayed at assembly or other convenient times. We suggest you check clothing regularly as we often have some items unclaimed for many weeks (sometimes never claimed). At the end of term unclaimed items are usually sent to the opportunity shop or other worthwhile agency.


Along with all the other schools we receive regular visits from the Public Health Nurse who keeps a general eye on children’s health. She makes home visits as necessary.

The Public Health Nurse is responsible for arranging the usual health checks (particularly 5 year olds) - she may refer parents to their family doctor. Health camp stays are her responsibility. We find the Public Health Nurse an excellent link between home and school.


We endeavour to cover as many aspects of safety as possible in our education programme - please remember this is a two way programme and that children learn by your example as well as school instruction. We have a hazard register which is updated regularly. We wish to keep our school environment as safe as possible at all times.


There is no fixed policy regarding school camps and the situation is reviewed year by year with the staff likely to be involved and the themes being pursued – bush, beach, mountain, urban.

  • All children are encouraged to attend. We work hard to support families who find the financial aspect challenging. We have access to several options to provide assistance. Please let us no if this is a concern for you and we will discuss options.
  • We endeavour to use our very extensive camping facilities where ever possible.
  • We take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of staff, students and parents is paramount. (See EOTC policy and guidelines for further info)

Teachers who take camps do so of their own free will and often at considerable personal expense.


These are set each year by the B.O.T. to supplement the government funding we receive. The extra money that is given to school helps to enhance your child.s education by enabling us to provide more opportunities for learning. We appreciate that this is a voluntary payment and you are by no means obliged to pay this but we appreciate any support you give us. A receipt is issued and this can be claimed back on your Tax Return. The School Donation can be paid on an instalment basis.

School Donations
  • 1 child = $60
  • 2 children = $90
  • 3+ children = $100
  • Paper Fee: $15.00 per year
  • Tech Fee: $60.00 per year ( Y7 & Y8)


For Year 7 & Year 8 (F1 & F2) = $60 per year.


Our computerised school library has a very good collection of over 5,000 books which is being added to and updated as funds permit (as a general guide $1,000 fills less than one metre of shelving).

We timetable our children to use the library regularly and to care for the books they read. They may take home one book at a time. Each child must have a library bag to help avoid loss and maintain condition. Those students without a bag will be unable to take issued books home. Occasionally younger members of the family will tear a page in a book – please tell us if this happens, so early repairs can be made. An account will be sent home to cover the cost of any lost books.


Particularly in the Junior School children take home readers or other similar material. As with library books, we hope families will ensure books are used for reading, kept in good condition and returned to school immediately after use. They are usually part of a group set and very valuable to school – your co–operation is appreciated.


If your child has healthy food and drink everyday it’s good for their attention, behaviour and sets them up for learning. Get them off to a good start with breakfast every morning. We encourage students to have healthy lunches consisting of sandwiches, fruit, veges and low sugar content snacks. Lollie, fizzy drinks and large packets of chips etc are not seen as nutritional snack options. Get your child off to a good start with breakfast every morning. We have a breakfast option running most mornings a week starting at 8:30am where free weetbix and milk are on offer for those students who require it.

Subway lunch is available each Friday. Orders are taken on Thursday morning. Order envelopes are available at the office, this shows the choice and cost.

Very few children go home for lunch

We keep a list of these children. There is no problem if it is regular. If your child only goes home occasionally please provide a note. We do not want children wandering the streets during the lunch hour.


Classes arrange outings to fit in with their teaching programme. Parents are usually notified well in advance of the purpose of the visit, costs involved, supervision and transport (if any).

We welcome and encourage parent participation. All day trips must have the approval of the Principal. All overnight camps require the ratification of the Board of Trustees. We take our job seriously in ensuring that we aim to minimize risks to provide safe learning experiences for our students.


Otorohanga South School programmes follow the National Curriculum Documents.

Within these guidelines Otorohanga South adapt the programme to best suit your child’s needs.

If you have any enquiries please contact your child’s teacher.

NB Health Education Sex Education is not taught in Primary School. Pubertal change is taught only after parent consultation (2 yearly) and children may be removed from these lessons if a parent makes a written request.


An interview in Term 1 will be held so you can meet the teacher and discuss your childs learning early in the school year. School reports are given to all parents at mid year (usually late June) and end of year – December. All children get an end of year report. Interviews are held in the last week of Term 2 for parents to discuss progress and achievement. You have the option at both interviews in Term 1 and 2 to have you child sit in on the interview process. Reports contain judgements made by teachers against The 15 National Standards. You will also be informed of what your child can do, what their next learning steps are as well as what you can do at home to help.


Most parents are considerate and co-operative, keeping their children home when necessary – if in doubt please contact school. If infectious diseases are involved your doctor will advise when a child is able to return to school, often once a treatment has started, spreading by contact is no longer a problem.

Head–lice is a recurring problem. Attacks occur right throughout the year. Please check your children regularly. Your chemist or doctor will advise on treatment. Please inform the teacher. Please take immediate action if contacted by the school regarding a lice problem. This avoids further spreading of the lice.


Group Special Education: Children may be referred for a wide range of reasons. There are usually interviews with both parents and child. A report is prepared for the school. Usually suggested actions are listed. Occasionally we can get special help, usually for individual children.

Special Needs: The school also has a committee which looks at children most at risk and allocates programmes that will endeavour to improve the child’s progress. They may include Reading Recovery/Teacher Aide/Rainbow Reading/ Numeracy/Literacy Support. Contact Gillian Dampney of Ann Easter for further info.

Teacher Aide: Some children may be given extra teacher aide time after consultation with the child’s parent, and the writing of an Individual Education Plan. Children are put on a priority list for this support.

Special Needs: Those children with severe special needs may enrol and attend 13 Facility. See ORRS page 12.


At school children are taught a variety of sport i.e. miniball, softball, ripper rugby, netball, hockey, swimming, cross country running.

During the year the following sport events take place:
February - School & Interschool Swimming Sports
June - Interschool Netball/Soccer/Rugby/Hockey
September - School & Interschool Crosscountry
November - School & Interschool Athletics

All children are to take part in these school events. All children do suitable training leading up to these events, especially cross country. Children must have a note, preferably a Doctors certificate if they cannot take part. For inter school events children must wear the school sports uniform.


There is no set uniform. We expect a reasonable standard of dress. Cleanliness, tidiness and suitability are the major requirements. Our playing areas can be extremely wet and muddy and it is impossible to keep all the children away from it all the time. We expect our children to remove dirty footwear before entering classrooms.

Jewellery (bangles, necklaces, anklets, rings) are not considered appropriate for school. Ear rings (other than studs) are most unsuitable for school due to danger in play and should not be worn. Studs/ sleepers & watches only. All other piercings and facial make up, are deemed to be inappropriate for school time.


At the end of the year lists are posted on our website so that parents can buy the necessary stationery as soon as possible. Parents should purchase stationery where they can get the best deals for their children and have this ready for the start of the year where possible.


All children are to wear sun hats preferably with brims in Terms 1 and 4. Those children not wearing sun hats will be asked to play in shaded areas. It is advisable that students apply sunscreen prior to the start of the day in these terms. We have a number of excellent shade spaces under trees and sails. It is advisable that shoulders are covered to add further protection from the sun.


It is our aim to teach children to be water confident, to swim, to enjoy water and to survive.

Weather permitting each Year 1–6 class has equal access to the pool during the Term 1 season. Year 7/8 classes walk to the town pools at least 3 times per week during the Term 1 season. Please see that swim wear is brought to school and taken 17 home daily. Regular instruction is necessary for progress. We require a note if a child is not to swim. We encourage good swimming techniques and style and goggles and caps are a useful addition to supporting water confidence and learning in the pool.

There is a strong swimming club in Otorohanga which can further develop skills and competitive swimming.


School operates a group of traffic wardens for Te Kanawa Street and Rangipare Street - school gate pedestrian crossing. The wardens’ task is to assist children to cross the road safely in a controlled manner.

Duty Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 8:55 a.m.
2:55 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.


  • TERM 1 Finishes on Friday 12th April
  • TERM 2 Monday 29th April to Friday 5th July
  • TERM 3 Monday 22rd July to Friday 27th September
  • TERM 4 Monday 14th October to Friday 18th December