Kia ora Whanau/Parents,

Two weeks have passed already since our return to school. It has been a pretty smooth start to the year and I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our teachers/kaiako, support staff/kaiawhina and tamariki/children.


We have welcomed new staff… Ellie Cherry DP; Chris Thurlow, Cindy Giddens, Lynda Selwood as new teachers; a number of new tamariki.

We will have a special mihi whakatau soon to officially welcome all new staff and tamariki to the learning community of Redwood School. Look out for a separate notice regarding this. We are thrilled to have tamariki, whanau and kaiako becoming part of our team!

Supporting your children’s learning… no substitute for whanau time

Masses of research and common sense keeps telling us that children need regular, consistent support from home in their learning. The school’s influence on learning is only a fraction of the home influence. By age seven or thereabouts, much of a child’s social and brain development has taken place. Personality and attitude has been largely developed. If the first few years of home life are years of lack of support or neglect, lack of care and inconsistency then the consequences are deep and long-lasting. School or early education centres are not substitutes for families/whanau supporting their tamariki.

Redwood School, like nearly all New Zealand schools, has noticed a decline in children having the basic foundations of oral language, social skills, fine and gross motor skills. Schools are experiencing more children who cannot hold a pen/pencil, write one letter of their names, speak full sentences, concentrate for any period of time, play with others or identify which way up to hold a book. We spend more time at school making up for basic learning deficits in a growing number of children. The school is highly committed to doing this, as evidenced in our great staff and their heart for kids and our commitment to keep class numbers low in the early years.

As your children grow in their learning please:

  • Read to and with them regularly
  • Talk with them regularly, spend time to answer their questions… a screen and Wikipedia are no substitutes for your teaching and guidance
  • Support the school to do their best to support and grow your tamariki
  • If they receive special help at school (e.g. reading recovery) do support them in any way you can
  • Develop a positive relationship with your child’s teacher and the school
  • Invest TIME in your children/tamariki… relationship is so important.

For the vast majority of our parents these bullet points are what you do anyway and we appreciate your support for our tamariki and for Redwood School.

Nga mihi nui,
John Stackhouse.