Torbay School Learning Powers – RIC


Tēnā koutou katoa

Welcome back to school! 2020 has started well and it is fantastic to see all our children back and happy to be here at school. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and enjoyed time with your friends and family.

I would like to welcome new families to Torbay School, I hope that your children have enjoyed their first few days and that they are settling in well. Please ensure that if you do have concerns or are uncertain about some aspect of our programme that you discuss these with your child’s teacher or relevant member of staff. Also please feel free to come and talk any issue through with me or drop me an email.

I would also like to extend a warm welcome to our International Students.  I hope that you all enjoy your experience here in New Zealand and in particular while you are here at Torbay School.

A huge welcome to our four new staff members; Jon Bettin and Jack Coyle join our year six whānau, Lachlan Freeland our year five whānau and Paula Christian is Leading our year four whānau. We are very excited to have them join our staff and I know that our community will make John, Jack, Paula and Lachlan feel very welcome!

Family Picnic and Meet the Teacher evening – In week two we will be holding our annual picnic and parent information evening. This is an opportunity to both mix and mingle with other parents and to learn more about your child’s teacher, what they have planned for the children and how the class will operate. Each teacher will hold two sessions, one at 6.00pm and the other at 6.30pm, simply join the one that suits you best. There will also be a sports information meeting in the hall at 7.15pm for all those parents who are interested.

So, bring your picnic blanket along, let the children play and swim in the school pool and spend some time finding out about what they will be up to in their classes this year.

Whānau Feedback Evening – Teachers having a strong relationship with children in their class and understanding deeply what motivates and drives their learners is a key component to a successful classroom. To that end, this year we are replacing the usual goal setting evenings with an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher early in the year. This will be a one to one opportunity to share with the teacher, your thoughts about your children’s needs. The teachers will also share their initial thoughts and impressions and the objective is to have a healthy conversation about your child.   Your child’s attendance at these meetings is your choice, however, we do encourage that the children are present.

These meetings will be held over two afternoon/evenings in week four on the 25th and 26th of February. Online booking will soon be available. There will also be a crèche available where you can leave other siblings to be cared for while you focus completely on the conversations. 

Donations – You will have received a letter earlier in the week outlining the school’s position on fees and donations and then a request for donations the following day. With the new legislation surrounding donations and fees it has become even more important that we receive as many donations from parents and caregivers as we possibly can. Torbay School is reliant on these donations to enable us to provide the best possible environment and resources for your children. I urge you to please pay your donations just as soon as you can. Please utilise the termly payment plan to ease the burden and if you wish to talk to us about other arrangements that might suit you better, please come and talk to us.

Payments – We are increasingly using our online school shop,(KINDO) for payments to the school including registrations for sports teams and class trips. This makes the administration of these events and the management of money much easier for our staff and I would like to encourage you to use this system as much as you possibly can. Our School donations options are all currently loaded on KINDO and the process is very easy.  KINDO shop  

New Building – We are on the verge of starting construction on our new buildings. The land was blessed in a ceremony on Tuesday morning. During that ceremony we took soil from the ground that will be kept and used to grow a tree in and that tree will be planted adjacent to the new building and will represent the development and the growth of the children who will pass through that building during their time here at Torbay School. Construction will start sometime in the next two weeks and is scheduled to be completed by February 2021. 

During this time our top car park will not be able to be used and therefore a number of our staff will have to park on the road. Our roads immediately adjacent to the school are already congested and I ask you to consider alternative ways of getting your children to school such as using our walking school bus, riding bikes, the bus or walking your children to school rather than driving.

Excited – I am hugely excited by what we can achieve in 2020. After years of hard work by many people I look forward to watching our new building rise out of the ground, this will be a physical tangible object that represents progress and change, and it will be very satisfying to see it completed. 

More importantly however, I am excited by what we can achieve in our classrooms. In the last two years we have come to terms with life without National Standards and this has provided us with an opportunity to re-design our curriculum, broadening its base and exploring more deeply into areas other than numeracy and literacy, which for a number of years became a focus that narrowed our curriculum.

In 2020 our teachers will continue to work hard to develop a more integrated approach to curriculum delivery incorporating and emphasising the arts, sciences and the digital curriculum into our programmes. We will not lose sight of the importance of literacy and numeracy but believe that these areas will benefit from a more integrated approach providing more interesting programmes that motivate our children to learn more intrinsically.

It is clear that success in the workplace or indeed life is related to our development of skills such as our school Learning Powers, rather than just knowledge. We will be working hard to ensure that our children are Reflective, Resilient Learners who are Innovative, can Collaborate with others and are continually Curious.

I look forward to working with you again this year to ensure that your children have an exciting, enjoyable and productive year.

My email address [email protected].

Ngā mihi nui
Gary O’Brien


MEETINGS –  The next B.O.T Meeting will be held on Wednesday 19th February @ 7pm in the Staffroom.   The next New Parent Meeting will be held on Monday 9th March @ 9.30am in the staffroom.

PARENT HELPER TRAINING –  Parent Helper Training will be on Monday 24th March at 9am in the staffroom. Under the new Health & Safety legislation all parent helpers will need to complete an initial parent helper training session and sign a Health & Safety Procedure each year. Thanks for your support in this area. Reminder – all parents who come to school during the school day 8.55-3.00 must sign in at the office.

RAKINO Y6 TEAM PRESENTS – WHOLE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY will be held on Thursday 20th February @ 2pm in the hall.  All welcome!

PTA PIE DAY FRIDAY – The PTA is putting on a Jesters PIE DAY this Friday (7th February) Orders must be done through the online shop (KINDO) by midnight TONIGHT (Wednesday 5th Feb). There are several delicious flavours available, including vegetarian and gluten free options (certified by Coeliac New Zealand). All pies cost $5.80, with $2 from each purchase going to the 2020 PTA fundraising goal. See the flyer in the PTA section for the flavours on offer.

MEET THE TEACHER/SCHOOL PICNIC – Wednesday 12th February, 5.30pm – 7pm.
Next Wednesday we will host the annual Meet the Teacher/ School Picnic event. The school will be open from 5.00pm. Teachers will be available to meet the parents from 6.00 – 6.30 and 6.30 – 7.00 in their classrooms. The two sessions will be the same

SPORTS INFORMATION EVENING – Wednesday 12th February 7.15pm in hall.  All welcome to attend.

WHĀNAU FEEDBACK EVENINGS –  Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th February from 3.20pm – 6.30pm. Booking information will be coming home soon.

Y6 WATERWISE – Starts on Friday 14th February. Information about the Y5 Waterwise will be sent home soon.

SCHOOL DONATIONS & CHARGES – An email and a notice was sent home regarding these yesterday. Individual accounts will be automatically sent via email if we hold an address for you. Please note: there are no activity fees this year, Camp and Waterwise fees have not been set yet, therefore please wait until you receive information regarding payment of these. 

2020 ENROLMENTS – If your child or someone you know has a child who lives in the Torbay School zone and who is turning 5 this year please urgently complete an enrolment application (available from our website or at the school office).

CHANGE OF DETAILS – If you have moved house or have new contact details, or if your child has a new medical condition or older issues which have changed or are no longer a problem, please advise us so we can update our records.

SECOND HAND UNIFORM SHOP – The shop will be open to purchase second hand uniforms on the following dates: Thurs 13th February, Thurs 5th March and Thurs 26th March from 8:30am-8:55am and 3pm—3.30pm just inside the hall by the office. Hats are compulsory for terms 1 & 4, if you wish to purchase a new hat they are available at the school office for $14.  We are always in need of good condition uniforms for the second hand shop, therefore, if you have some that you wish to donate, please drop them off at the office.

CHESS AT TORBAY SCHOOL – Class details:  Sessions will be held on Mondays from 3:10 pm to 4:10 pm in the Multimedia Room starting Monday 10 February 2020. The last session will be held on 6 April 2020. The fee is $110 for the term.
REGISTRATION: If your child would like to be part of this please visit our website. Both registration and payment can be done online at 


SCHOOL ABSENCES –  Please remember to contact the school office if your child is going to be absent from school.

You can do this by one of the following:

LUNCHROOM –The Lunchroom will re-open on, Wednesday 12th February 2020 (2nd week of Term 1). It will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each week.

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.  The weather has been so hot and sunny this summer, please remember to sunblock your children every morning. Thanks for your support of being Sun Safe.


  • Teachers will let you know which days your child is swimming.
  • All learners with open sores are unable to use the swimming pool. No wounds with dressings and/or plasters are permitted in the pool. Learners must be clear of vomiting/diarrhoea for 24 hours before they are permitted back to school.Pool Safety Rules
  • Swimming caps MUST be worn by EVERYONE this includes parents, caregivers & whānau – NO CAP NO SWIM! 
  • Shower before entering the pool
  • Never Swim Alone. Under 14 must be supervised by somebody over 16 years old
  • No diving or jumping off the edges of the pool
  • No food or drink in or around the pool
  • No large beach toys in the pool
  • Lock the gate when you leave
  • Consider the enjoyment and safety of others and yourself and have FUN!!!

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.

OTHER GENERAL REMINDERS –  School is open between the hours of 8.30am-3.00pm- please be here by 8.45am. If your child arrives a few minutes before the 8.30am bell they must wait out side Rooms 1 & 2 until the 8.30am bell goes Fun club is available for before and after school care.

  • ALL carparks are closed between 8.30-9.15am and 2.45-3.30pm
  • Please update your contact details if these have changed
  • Subscribe to our newsletter (for information) and Skoolbag App (for emergencies and alerts)
  • Please ensure you sunblock your children during the summer months
  • Newsletters are shared with our community on a fortnightly basis.  On the non‐newsletter weeks we will  sometimes share information or curriculum news for our community.

The Travelwise team would like to remind children and adults to cross the road safely.

Just a few things to remember.

  • Please be a good role model for the children
  • Please cross at the designated crossing, not at the top of Alexander Ave
  • Young children should be holding your hand while crossing
  • Push your bike or scooter across the road
  • Cross between the lines
  • Stopping on the yellow lines is prohibited
  • If you are using the drop off zone please remember this is a 2 minute stop only. Please do not park in the drop off zone and take your child into school, it is designed to ‘drop and go’. In the afternoons please pull forward when possible. It is a left hand turn ONLY when exiting the drop off zone. Please adhere to these rules. Thank you for your consideration in making our roads safer for our children.

Below are Torbay’s School Uniform items – please ensure that students are following these requirements. 

  • School bucket hats (Black or Blue) are compulsory Terms 1 and 4.
  • Students are permitted to wear any tidy plain black leggings, skirts, skorts, trousers or shorts – NO denim jeans/skirts/shorts.
  • Plain sensible shoes (such as sneakers or sandals) that the student can put on/take off themselves preferably black or white in colour – No boots, crocs or jandals/thongs.
  • Socks are to be plain black, blue or white socks – NO long socks.
  • Students can wear plain black, blue or white short sleeve thermals or singlets under their school polo in winter months.
  • All uniform items are to be clearly named. Student’s name can be embroidered under the logo (or on the back of hats) in black, yellow or white cotton on school uniform. Contact the school office for further clarification.


“Ko ngā pae tawhiti whāia kia tata, ko ngā pae tata, whakamaua kia tina.”

“The potential for tomorrow depends on what we do today.”

Waitangi Day is widely recognised as New Zealand’s national day; it is an occasion for reflecting on the Treaty and its place in Aotearoa today.

The Treaty of Waitangi is one of the eight principles that provide a foundation for decision making within The New Zealand Curriculum. The Treaty of Waitangi principle puts students at the centre of teaching and learning, asserting that they should experience a curriculum that engages and challenges them, is forward-looking and inclusive, and affirms New Zealand’s unique identity. 

We are working on how Torbay School affirms New Zealand’s unique identity, which is an ongoing process.  We value Tikanga Māori and learning more about how to recognise it at school. We are working on giving opportunities for all students to hear and use Te Reo Māori.  Students will have opportunities to participate in kapa haka. We are also learning more about the Treaty of Waitangi in school because it is important for the children to learn about the history of New Zealand.  

Here’s a brief history of the Treaty

In 1840, Māori rangatira (chiefs) and British settlers signed two different versions of the Treaty of Waitangi – one in English and one in Māori. The two treaties had significant differences in their translations. In the Māori version, the British Crown gained governorship over British subjects living in New Zealand, while Māori would retain rangatiratanga (sovereignty) over the land, forests, rivers and tāonga (treasure or that which they deemed precious). The Crown believed the English text gave the power to govern, create laws and hold power to them.

At the time of signing, the population in Aotearoa was 80,000 Māori and 2050 non-Māori. It’s also important to note more Māori chiefs signed the Māori version of the text than the English one, and that the Māori version of the text is the only version recognised under international law.

Despite this, in the years following, significant numbers of British settlers arrived, and the British Crown took over governance of all areas of life. A long and ongoing process of colonisation ensued which still has impacts today.

This week we have been discussing the importance and significance of Waitangi day. Your child may have further questions, so if you would like more information on the topic please see the link below for resources.

Link to Maori and New Zealand History Resource lists 

Giving mana to Tiriti o Waitangi in our schools video

Waitangi Day – how will you commemorate? (n.d.). Retrieved February 04, 2020, from


PTA BBQ and Social Evening! Thursday Feb 20th 5.30pm

Do you want to be involved in the PTA?
Do you want to be Chairperson?
Do you just want to help out now and then or be part of the main committee?
Are you interesting in sponsorship?
Are you a new parent?

We have a core group of existing PTA members who are working to get things rolling for 2020 and beyond and they would like the opportunity to lay out the plans and ideas for 2020 to all those parents and caregivers interested.

Our PTA Starts 2020 without a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary as the incumbents have moved on with their children and so we thought we would start the year giving everybody an opportunity to be involved with the PTA, whether it be as a general helper, a sponsor or as part of the organising committee.

At the end of 2019 we asked you, the parents and caregivers of Torbay School, what types of fundraising events you enjoy, and what you’d like to see the PTA fundraise money for.

So the PTA and I are going to kickstart the school year with a family bbq at the schools staff room, where we will highlight the results of the survey, discuss the year ahead and changes to the team.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend, there will be sausages on the bbq and the pool will be open so kids – brings your togs!! Parents BYO as well as your drinks for the kids.

So we know how many bangers to whack on the barbie please indicate here if you plan to attend and how many you’ll bring along There will be adult supervision at the pool so you can kick back and relax with a drink and a sausage.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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



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