Friday 23 February 2018

Dear Parents/Whanau

It has been a great start to the year and our kaiako (teachers), kaiawhina (support staff) and tamariki are all working hard! It has been lovely to walk through our learning spaces and see so much focussed learning going on. It is amazing to think that we are already at the end of the fourth week of the school year!

Some reminders for the new year...

Just a few important messages about keeping our tamariki safe...

Around Redwood School, think safe, drive safe! We spend quite a lot of time and energy encouraging our tamariki to stay safe on the roads and it is important that this message is backed up and role-modelled by parents/whanau.

Please be very aware of the following...

  • Drive slowly around the school... Pyatt Place, Solomon Ave and Prestons Road are all busy pick-up points and accidents can easily happen before and after school with a lot of children around
  • Park sensibly... not over drives or up drives and not on yellow lines. Children are known to benefit from exercise so you do not need to park directly outside the school or over a driveway to save a few more metres of walking
  • Do not use the school car park for pick up and set down... it is too dangerous and you child will benefit from walking into the school from the street rather than being dropped off 'at the door'
  • Cross roads safely... on Prestons Road use the school crossing, set a good example
  • Don't let your child scoot or ride in the school grounds... before school and until 3.20pm after school children are not allowed to scoot or ride in the grounds due to accident issues! It is particularly disheartening to see parents allowing children to scoot and ride in the school grounds and put others at risk
  • Dogs in the school grounds... As a school we have been quite dog friendly. However, please leave your dog at home or in the car if at all possible rather than bringing them onto school grounds before and after school. A recent dog fight in the school grounds did upset a number of our tamariki.

We emphasise the importance of home/school partnership. During the day we are responsible for up to 360 children plus 35 staff. Please help us to keep our tamariki safe by working with us on the points above.

I hope you have a great weekend...

Kind regards

John Stackhouse



Dear Parents/Whanau,

The start to the year has been a very smooth one for Redwood School. It has been a very positive start and it has been great to catch up with tamariki and whanau. Please read through these items below and especially take note of my points regarding communication and if there is an issue to be resolved

School Redevelopment Update…

A Master Plan has been developed with the Ministry of Education regarding the replacement of some buildings and the refurbishment of others. This has now been sent back to MoE Property to determine if the plans fall within budget. The costings for this will be received by the school in the next few weeks. The plan will be tweaked, approved and then detailed planning of the buildings and learning spaces. This will involve quite a lot of community input.

Once detailed planning is finalised, around the end of Term 2 the school redevelopment will be put out to tender and a building/construction firm will be chosen. It is proposed that site works begin in Term 4 2018.

The school will be a mix of replacement and refurbished buildings built to accommodate a school size of around 360. More updates as information comes to hand.

Welcome to new tamariki, whanau and staff

Our powhiri on Wednesday next week is an official welcome for all new arrivals. However, we have already welcomed our new families and staff in many ways through the way we have supported them as they have joined our Redwood School community. The establishment of strong, positive relationships is so important… it is the WE in our motto/vision, We are climbing high… ready for life.

You will see a photograph of our new staff for 2018. The school has grown and so we have started with an extra staff member this year. We welcome Theresa Pearson (Whakatipu Team Leader) Rm 4, Maddie Stevenson Rm 2, Emma Costello Rm 19/20, Josh Harding Rm 18 and Charlotte Spencer Rm 16.

Although not a new staff member this year we welcome back the renamed Mrs Rachael Brokenshire in Rm 8 (was Miss Prescott) as she was married during the holidays.

Opportunities for parents to be involved

Redwood School has a number of events and opportunities through the year for parents to be actively involved in the school. Keep an eye out for chances to be involved with your tamariki in the school. On Friday 16 February we have the School Picnic and open classroom from 4.30pm. We look forward to seeing you on Friday evening next week.

Keep the communication going… but what if there is an issue?

One of our goals as a school is to communicate effectively with others. To do this we rely on good communication from home to school as well as school to home. Particularly if there are issues, please remember these golden rules…

  • Let the school know if there is an issue early. The longer it’s left the harder it is to fix! We do pick up on most issues ourselves, but you need to let us know if an issue arises
  • The school has jurisdiction over what happens at school… parents approaching children other than their own at school about an issue is not appropriate, leads to greater risk and tends to make issues much worse, not better
  • Realise the school is here on behalf of all our tamariki, not just your child
  • Understand we aim to get the best resolution for all involved, which relies on measured discussion, compromise, understanding and being able to listen
  • Realise that a lasting solution to many issues cannot be achieved ‘overnight’
  • Understand that your child’s perspective is one perspective, it does not convey the whole picture of an issue or concern and can quite often lead to wrong conclusions being reached. Children often find it difficult to understand what is going on when conflict occurs and to be able to express themselves adequately
  • ‘Knee-jerk’ reactions to an issue including aggressive comments, anger and abusive language

makes things more complicated to resolve… it is not appropriate to approach the school, school staff or tamariki in this way

  • In line with the We in our motto/vision We are climbing high, ready for life, the aim is to repair and strengthen positive relationships. The tamariki are learning about relating to each other as much as they are learning maths, science, reading etc. Relating well is a key to their future success
  • The example we set as parents and teachers is critical so we need to model the right way to resolve issues

School and home, as team working together, will achieve the best for our tamariki.

I am looking forward to a very full and positive year in 2018.

John Stackhouse