Torbay School Learning Powers – RIC


Tēnā koutou katoa

Torbay Challenge

Thank you for your wonderful support of the Torbay Challenge! It was fantastic to see so many parents, grandparents and other whānau at school to support the children with their fundraising run. Our final total raised for the day is still not yet available but it is clear that you, your family and friends have been very generous, and our school will benefit greatly from this event.

More importantly, the day was filled with laughter and smiling children who seemed to enjoy the course that had been developed for them. It was also great to see those parents who are holding on to their childhood wallowing in the mud as well.

I can’t thank the PTA enough for the wonderful idea to replace our Chocolate Selling fundraiser with something that created so much enjoyment and gave our children a great physical activity alternative.  It was a huge effort on the PTA’s part to organise and support the day in so many ways, it is greatly appreciated.  A great big shout out to the group of parents who came together under Vanessa Ibbot-Whites guidance to create the course. They dug holes, climbed trees and built things with enthusiasm, creativity and gave of their time selflessly, it will be hard to improve on that course in two years’ time when we do it all again.

If your children registered for the Challenge and raised more than $10.00, they should have been on the website and selected their reward. If they have not done this yet, I urge you to get them to do so quickly to avoid disappointment. The rewards will be delivered to school in the coming weeks at which time we will arrange a system for distribution.

Placement for 2020

Thank you to all those parents who have contacted me regarding placements for next year. Today is the last day to contact me as we now have entered the process of placing children. I would also like to thank many of you for the lovely feedback about our teaching staff and the experiences your children are having here at Torbay. It is reassuring for us to hear that feedback.

New Building / Playground

The very first preliminary stages of our new building will start during the coming weekend. Our middle school and senior playgrounds will be demolished over the weekend as the new building will be built on this site. The middle school playground will be relocated to the area in front of rooms 17 – 20. The relocation will take approximately two weeks. The Senior playground will not be relocated, however, a new playground will start to be developed on the northern hillside, boundary of the school. This will take some time as it is in the planning stages at the moment. We will be using some of the elements of the Senior playground that we will be putting into storage. The building is due to start in January 2020.

Support Staff

Our Support staff work at the heart of our school alongside our teachers. They do very important work whether it be supporting children’s learning or assisting the teacher to prepare for lessons and activities. They support children who have additional needs and are often called on to support during difficult situations. 

We have a larger than normal group of support staff and this is only possible because of the backing of the board who allow us to spend a significant amount of our operations grant on Support Staff salaries. I am in total support of this as our greatest resource here at Torbay is our people.

The group of support staff we have working at Torbay School are outstanding, they are flexible, adaptable people who bring an enormous amount of experience and knowledge to their roles. Their presence in our classrooms is highly valued by our teachers and children.

This week I am focusing on our support staff as we are at a critical stage in their pay negotiations. Support Staff are drastically under paid and I would like to implore you to bring pressure to bear on the government to improve their level of pay significantly. Alongside the collective award the government is also considering a pay equity claim that could see a significant move in pay rates. Support staff also, very often work from year to year on a fixed term contract that lack security of tenure.

I am very proud to say that our board has undertaken to work towards being a living wage employer and to ensure that our staff are employed under permanent contracts regardless of the negotiation outcomes. This work is currently in process.

Please support this NZEI campaign wherever and however you can. Whether it be in discussion with friends or writing letters or emails to MP’s.

I thank you for your continued support of our school and all we do here, please do not hesitate to contact me about any matter.

My email address [email protected].

Ngā mihi nui
Gary O’Brien


KAI PAI to the following students who have shared their fantastic learning with us this week: Ruby P & Caitlin D Rm 5, Dylan B Rm 7, Oliver W Rm 24 Awesome work!

CONGRATULATIONS to the following tamariki who received certificates from their class teachers: Annabel & Alex Rm 1, Aryan & Arty Rm 2, Emme, Max P & Cruz Rm 3, Chloe & Tessa Rm 4, Max K & Jed W Rm 5, Imogen, Ryder & Abigail B Rm 6, Johanna & Liam Rm 7, Bianca & Jacques Rm 8, Kaelin & Isobel Rm 9, John & Reef Rm 10, Josh & Archer Rm 11, Jasper & Xander Rm 11b, Leo & Evan Rm 12, Jay & Kai, Rm 13, Riley & Larissa Rm 14, Greta & Toby Rm 15, Xander & Elijah Rm 16, Darragh, Elijah & Paige B Rm 17, Jack & Mia Rm 18, Isabella & Daniel Rm 19, Hudson & Isaac Rm 21, Isaish & Tyler P Rm 22, Puma & Maggie Rm 23, Brianna & Kay Rm 24, Erin & Alex Rm 25.  Well done!!


MEETINGS – The next New Parent Meeting will be held on Monday 18th November @ 9.30am in the staffroom.  The next B.O.T Meeting will be held on Wednesday 4th December @ 7pm in the Staffroom.   

THANK YOU COMMUNITY MORNING TEA – Tuesday 19th November 10.15 – 11am in School Hall. Don’t forget to come along to our Thank You Community Morning Tea on Tuesday.  This is a Special Thank you to our school commuinty/whānau that have helped out during the year.  We can’t do it without your support!! We look forward to seeing you there.

INTENTION TO LEAVE TORBAY SCHOOL –  If your child/ren will not be returning to Torbay School next year please email [email protected]  to advise as soon as possible. Thank you.

TEACHER ONLY DAY – PROFESSIONAL LEARNING As part of our Professional Learning for this year we will be having a Teacher Only Day on Monday, 9th December. The school will be closed for learners on this day. Fun Club will be open. Please contact Sandie or Thelma on 021 399 626 to book in.

  • ‘Foster Hope’ is a New Zealand charity set up to provide children who are going into foster care with an overnight backpack.  This is filled with basic items to make the transition more pleasant for these children.  
  • The Year 3 Kawau Team is pleased to be supporting this charity and putting into practise our CARE values.  
  • To find out more, please click on this link:  FOSTER HOPE.
  • Two of the items ‘Foster Hope’ would appreciate to go in the back packs are:

*Soft toys (under 30cm in length – new, or in very good/ clean condition).

*Towels (brand new – can be bought for as little as $5).

  • If you are able to donate a new towel, or clean/near-new soft toy, please place them in the boxes in Room 7 by Friday 29th November.

Thank you very much for your support,

The Kawau Team 

SCHOLASTIC LUCKY BOOK ORDERS – ISSUE 7 – Lucky Book Club Orders have closed and will be delivered to the school in the next couple of weeks.  ISSUE 8 – Brochures have gone home. Christmas is coming and there is some great gift ideas for children! Over the counter orders must be into the office by Friday 22nd November @ 3pm  or even easier, order online through the LUCKY BOOK CLUB LOOP by Monday 25th November at 9am. Any orders that are gifts need to be marked ‘GIFT or HOLD AT OFFICE’ please.  Thank for your support this year. We have added valuable resources to our School Library with rewards received from all your orders.

SCHOOL POOL KEYS – These will go on sale to our school community from 8.30am Tuesday 19th, November 2019. Cost $100.00 hire plus $20 refundable key bond (Total $120) 

NOTE: These will not be able to be purchased through the online shop.
(Sorry, no waiting list for keys and no keys will be issued until the pool contract is completed.)  


  • Teachers will let you know which days your child is swimming.  
  • This year swimming caps must be worn for students who have shoulder length hair or longer. 
  • We encourage everyone to wear swim caps to keep our pool free from hair. 
  • You can purchase fabric caps from $3.00 from a variety of retail stores like Kmart.
  •  A shower will also be installed for all swimmers to use prior to entering the pool. 
  • We also ask that you do not use beach toys in the pool.

We had several problems last year with hair and sand blocking our filtration plant causing us to close the pool on several occasions. Hopefully these new measures will ensure an uninterrupted swimming season.

Pool is open to the public who have keys from 4pm – 7pm on weekdays (3-4pm is used for cleaning and balancing the pool.) and weekends and holidays 9am – 8.30pm.

Please supervise your children at all times in our school pool. The Pool is under 24 hour camera surveillance for your security.

HATS & SUNBLOCK- Hats are now compulsory for students to play outside in the playground.  Please ensure all hats are named. New school hats are available from Janbells, Mairangi Bay and the school office.  As it is getting warmer, please sunblock your children every morning. Thanks for your support of being Sun Safe.


Please do not send any children to school who are unwell.

  • VOMITING/DIARRHOEA: Any children who have had vomiting or diarrhoea must not return to school until 24 hours after the last episode.
  • HIGH TEMPERATURES: For more information about fevers  Click here
  • HEAD LICE: Check your children for head lice as this is an ongoing problem. Children with eggs or lice will be sent home for treatment.

All aboard the Torbay School Polar Express

What: Browns Bay Santa Parade

When: Saturday the 7th of December at 5pm.

We are looking for Christmas enthusiasts to join us in making the Torbay School entry great.

If you would like to help with float making or just be part of the parade please us know. 


Melissa and Kaye
[email protected]
[email protected]

Photos from our Obstacle Course:  Photo credit – Kevin Lam



WOW it’s half way through term 4 already! 

Spring has unleashed some very changeable weather on us, however, luckily we did not have many cancellations of hockey, netball or Y3-6 touch rugby, unfortunately the Council closed the grounds on Tuesday due to the weather and Y1/2 children missed out on their touch rugby games this week.

Torbay School hockey is humming with activity and 6 children from our school were selected for the North Harbour Hockey Development Programme. We would like to congratulate them as there is always a lot of applicants and it is a huge success to be selected for this programme. For the 1st time Torbay School has an all girls team in the summer hockey season and it is great to hear that they are doing really well and having lots of fun. Our Y3/4 team won their 1st game and are improving a lot, along with our Y1/2 teams.

Little League, Miniball and Basketball have 3 more games left before the finals. Towards the end of the year the games get more skillful and physical, which can prove a challenge. We would like to finish the season in a positive way and celebrate all the progress, team-work and skills the children have gained, therefore please encourage your children to play by the rules and do their best at trainings.

There will be a transition from Flippaball to Water Polo Camp held in January 2020. The clinic is for children in Years 5, 6 & 7 as of January 2020. Please note that spaces are limited and these camps usually fill up very fast – so get in quick!

Our Y1 and Y2 netball teams keep amazing us with their ability and the way they pick up new skills so fast. I am hearing from the players what amazing games they had and how many goals they have scored! Years 3, 4 and 5 children are training hard, the teams are gelling together and a great big thank you goes to all the coaches and parents who make this all possible. Y6 Spring Netball season is half way through and our teams are making amazing progress and having lots of fun.

Thank you again to everyone for supporting, transporting and encouraging your children to take part in sport, without you, this would not be possible.

Helpful websites:,,,,

If you need any help regarding sports at Torbay School please contact Monika Benkovic, our Sports Co-ordinator [email protected], or visit our website


Little League – Torbay Bulls: Rhys G (31 Oct) Eli B (7 Nov) 

Basketball – Torbay Kakapos Harry O (25 Oct) Lola (1 Nov)
Basketball – Torbay Kiwis: Charlie E (1 Nov)  Bede T (8 Nov)
Miniball – Torbay Tornadoes: Jared B (5 Nov)
Miniball – Torbay Swish: Eddie M (29 Oct) Jack H (5 Nov)
Netball – Torbay Unicorns:  Greta B (19 Oct)  Neva T  (2 Nov)
Touch Rugby – Torbay Minecraft: Kaelin (4 Nov)
Touch Rugby – Torbay Leopards: Harry O & Toby B (28 Oct) Jamie N (4 Nov)
Touch Rugby – Torbay Rhino’s: India R (5 Nov)
Flippaball – Torbay Dophins: Levi (20 Oct) Hanson (3 Nov) Kenzie (10 Nov)


Vector ePro8 Challenge

A few weeks ago on the 25th of October 4 teams represented Torbay School at the Epro8 challenge. In Epro8 you have to build structures and machines to earn points. There are many different sets of challenges you can choose from and if you complete one you can do another one. In each set of challenges there are mini challenges, each earns you different amounts of points. You have to do these in order and you can’t skip any. There are bonus points if you choose the random challenge (you get a ball which tells you the challenge you can do to get an extra 30 points), tidy workspace and a bonus for finishing a set of challenges. You usually get around 40 points for each step. Parents can’t talk to the students otherwise their team lose 50 points. You have a shelf which holds the materials you need. There are five different lengths of iron bars, bolts and wing nuts, 4 wheels, pulleys, axles, different size gears and many more. If you finished something the you press a button and it plays music each team’s music are different (our’s was YMCA)!

While we were waiting Kevin, Nathan, Darcy and I saw our team name on of the stations, we were at the top left corner. The judge gave us a quick demonstration and we started. We decided to get a random challenge. The challenge said ball pit. We started by building a device to measure distances. I came up with the design, it had a wheel at the end and a handle, we had to try many times before we got it right. The rest were easy, We fitted a battery, sensor and a counter, for each turn of the wheel’s distance we had already measured that for the first challenge, whenever the wheel turns a full circle the counter goes up. The next challenge was measuring the hall with our device. We got over that pretty easily. Then we had to build a box and fill it with balls ( this took us a while). The final number was 312 balls. The next four challenges were easy as we had a calculator, we had to figure out how many balls were needed to fill the hall and we got about 12 million. We got 60 points for tidy workspace throughout the challenge and we got a grand total of 310 points and tied with another team from Campell’s Bay School in first place. At the prize giving the judge gave us a trophy and certificates. It was the BEST DAY EVER!

By Tiger
Part of the Epro8 team Torbay
Metal Machines

Here are some photos of the day:

Congratulations to Nathan G, Darcy G, Tiger Z & Kevin C – First Place winners at the Epro8 Challenge Ka Pai ! 

WeLearn 2019

What you do at we learn and what it is about

The whole idea of WeLearn is to learn new things about digital technology.
There were 17 schools from around Auckland, 165 children and 20 teachers all learning from each other. At WeLearn you get to try out a bunch of different technology that other schools have done. All of the children ran the workshops that you got to go to. In between each workshop you got fifteen minutes to try out some of the demonstrations that some companies brought to the Welearn Conference there was Minecarft education edition, Virtual reality headsets, Scratch pad , a laser machine that you could get your name lasered into a cookie, Bricks 4 kids and even a drone. You could see what the drone could see it was so cool and I enjoyed doing WeLearn it was so much fun.

Created by Codi

At WeLearn 2019 we went to different workshops that other kids in different schools ran. Ella (Me), Kyla and Codi ran a Sphero workshop. A sphero is a small round ball that is see-through so you can see how it works in the inside. You control the sphero with an iPad, you can drive it, code it, drive it though water, paint with it and more! Our workshop had three stations my station was a robot race that you jumped up jumps and drove round cups with a Sphero. Whoever won was the ROBOT RACE CHAMPION! Kyla’s station was a spelling race where you tried to spell different robots names as well as racing against another person on a map with letters. Codi’s station was an obstacle course turning sharp corners and also racing.
We also tried out other kids workshops as well as some sponsored companies that showed us how to use different robots, and there was Flexo which is just like lego but bendy. I really enjoyed taking part in WeLearn 2019!

Written by Ella C

Some photos of the day:

Year 4 Motuihe School Trip 

The Year 4 Team has been learning how we can contribute to the Torbay community. We walked to the Torbay shops to learn about our area. Then continued to the beach and met with Auckland Regional Council to talk about pests and trapping in our area. A very exciting trip had by all!

Kay Z- Room 24
It was a sunny Wednesday. We were going on a trip to Torbay Village. We left at about ten o’clock but on this trip, we didn’t take a bus. Instead, we walked there. In Room 24/25 we had about 7 groups, in my group we had William. W, Dayton, Ronan, Brayden, Soren, and Mrs. Brown. While we were walking we past the Deep Creek River. We were looking for eels. Below the bridge, the river split into two but then I came up with a question. I asked Mrs. Brown, “where the river leads to on the west side?” Mrs. Brown had to google it. Once we got to Torbay village we all got a scavenger hunt. It was really challenging but in the end, I still finished it. It was now my very favourite part, we got to have fish n chips on the beach. But first, we had to get down to the beach so we took a really long time to get there to the beach. When we finally got to the beach we got 30 minutes to play on the playground. After that, we each got a bag of fish n chips. Once we had finished eating it we went to find possums traps with Bree’s mum from the council.

Kaleb A-M – Room 24
Last week we went on a team trip and saw different traps for pests. They were fun and exciting for me. I liked playing games and having fish and chips. I learned a lot of things and it was fun being free and learning at the same time. We learned about taking two trees down because they don’t want Australian trees at Waiake beach. We saw disgusting photos of dead mice too.

Sammy T – Room 24
Our inquiry is how we can contribute to the Torbay community so we went on a trip around the Torbay community. Room 24/25 went to St Marys By the Sea to have morning tea and we learned about the community food box. Next, we had a scavenger hunt in our groups. We found Plunket, the billboard and lots more. We also saw the cemetery! After we did the scavenger hunt we all met outside Mobil. Once we all met up we walked to Waiake Beach to have fish n chips. While we waited for the fish n chips we played on the playground and played games. Mrs. Kilkolly came with our fish n chips and we all ate them under a tree. After we all ate them we went past Deep Creek to meet Bree’s mum (Mary) from the Council. She told us about pests and traps. When she was done talking we went to find the traps she had hidden and found any evidence of the pests. We found some evidence of a hedgehog! There were seven traps to find. Right, when we were done finding them all it started to rain. We all got out jackets and jumpers on and had to walk back to school. When we got back to school we did a seesaw post to our parents.


As part of an initiative toward a pest and predator free East Coast Bays and Hibiscus Coast, funding from Predator Free NZ and Taiaotea Trust has seen 120 rat traps in private back yards across the entire Browns Bay catchment area. Volunteers are also looking after 35 Council traps inside local Reserves, and several around the Browns Bay commercial area.
To date we have caught nearly 500 rats and mice in the past year, plus several possum. It is now time to target the Waiake Beach catchment, and we are hoping that Torbay School families can help protect our local environment by putting a trap in your backyard. Traps should be spaced approximately every 50mtrs or so to give a solid defensive line against the rats, so the more backyards we can get these into, the better. The taps and tunnels are free for a limited time, until our funding runs out.
The traps are instant kill traps inside wooden boxes, similar to this picture. You can use peanut butter, jam, cheese, Nutella or similar as bait. They are cat safe as the entry hole is too small for a cat to enter.
If you would like a trap, please let me know.
Thank you for your cooperation. Together we can achieve a predator free East Coast Bays and help our local environment thrive.
Kathy McCormack Ph: 021 612 105
Email: [email protected]


Congratulations to Max & Theo P and Lydia A that won Ann Emerson’s Harcourts Browns Bay Colouring competition!

Stay up to date with all our fundraising events by following our Facebook page: “Friends Of Torbay School”