Torbay School Learning Powers – RIC


Tēnā koutou katoa

It was great to see everyone coming through the gates this morning with wide grins on faces and a look of expectation and excitement. I would like to welcome all of our new children to Torbay School, along with the the Whānau that they represent. I look forward to getting to know you and I hope you enjoy your time as a member of our school community. I would also like to welcome two new teachers to Torbay, Amanda Walenkamp and Annika Jamieson. Amanda (Mandy) will be teaching in Year 1 Room 16 and Annika will be working in Year 3 Room 10. Mandy and Annika have both completed teaching practices at Torbay and bring a great deal of enthusiasm and skill to the rolls they will fill. They are both beginning teachers and we wish them well for their future careers.

I am looking forward to 2021 and all that we can achieve. In the last three years we have made some significant changes in the way we do things here at Torbay School and I am looking to this year embedding and developing further some of those changes making them sustainable going forward.

One of the changes we have made is the way our Learning Assistants (Teacher Aides) work . We have developed an inclusive model where learning assistants work in the classroom rather than withdraw groups of children to work on specific programmes. Working in the classroom has many advantages such as: keeping the work connected to the classroom programme, reducing the stigma attached when children are being withdrawn, providing flexibility within the programme allowing the classroom teacher and whānau leader to work with the learning assistant and it allows the learning assistants to build strong relationships with a wider group of children.

This year our Learning assistants have been allocated to teams and are directly responsible to the Whānau Leaders.

Tiritiri : Debbie Abbot, Gail Irwin and Linda Broadfoot

Rangitoto: Chrysi Toerien, Louise Maney and Chris Martin

Kawau: Mable Cuff, Lynne Alty and Tanya Edelinski

Motuihe: Loretta Perry, Rachel Watts and Jess Underwood

Waiheke: Kaye Inns and Stephanie Richardson

Rakino: Robyn Jones and Carey Wessels.

Our Learning assistants do an important job, in particular in their role supporting our children with diverse needs. We have a large team of learning assistants compared to most similar sized schools. This reflects the boards focus on teaching and learning and dedication to ensuring that our children are getting the best deal possible. This group of people are a real asset to our school!

Before School and After School Protocols

Thank you for complying with our before school protocols today, it makes such difference to the start of our day. Please see these below.

Before School

  • 8.30am – Bell signally to children and caregivers that school is open
  • 8.45am – Hooter sounded and parents asked to leave the school grounds
  • 8.55am – Bell signally start of school

After School

  • 2.50pm – Gates open for parent to enter school to collect children
  • 3.00pm – Bell signally the end of school
  • 3.15pm – Any children remaining at school who are not accompanied by a parent/caregiver will need to wait at the office

Birthday Treats

I would also like to emphasise the change we have made to the practice of handing out birthday treats to the children in your child’s class. It had become a common practice for parents to provide their children’s class with birthday treats on their birthday. Often these treats take the form of sweets or cakes. The board has discussed this matter and as of the start of this year we would like this practice to cease. There are a number of reasons for this decision, including healthy food policy, food safety, health and safety and equity issues.

I am in complete support of this decision and have instructed our teachers not to accept any offers of treats to be distributed to the children in their classes. I thank you in advance for your support around this decision.

Donations and Fees

Please be aware that our invoices for School Donations will be sent via email early in term one. The fees for 2021 have not changed.

Covid 19

We are very aware of the issues surrounding Covid-19 and are monitoring the situation very closely. While we are all hopeful that we can have an uninterrupted school year, we must remain prepared for any escalation. In the meantime we continue to plan optimistically and do everything we can to minimise risk.

For our school we will:

  • display QR code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App.
  • keep our visitor register, attendance register and timetables up to date.
  • be monitoring for illness and asking anyone who is unwell to remain at home, or to go home.
  • encourage people with relevant symptoms to seek medical advice through Healthline or their GP and get tested for COVID if recommended to do so.
  • reinforce the importance of good hand washing and drying.
  • reinforce good cough and sneeze etiquette.
  • respond quickly to any government or Ministry directives.

Please support us by:

  • using your tracer app at our gates when entering the school.
  • making sure that your children stay at home if they are unwell.
  • reporting to our office and signing in if you visit during the school day for any reason.
  • reinforce good sanitizing practices with your children.
  • talking positively about being at school and how the school is looking after your children.

It may also be a good idea to prepare for any possible lock down and return to distance learning with a small supply of stationery at home so the children have something to write in.

New Zealand remains at Alert level 1 and everyone is doing the right thing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so we’re pleased to say it’s business as usual at Torbay School.

 Building Work

You will be aware of the new building currently under construction. The building is progressing well and while running a little behind schedule we are very pleased with the progress. The estimated handover date currently sits at the 28th of May at which time Years 4 – 6 will move into the new build. We look ahead to this date with anticipation. The works however do not finish then as the removal of rooms 17 – 25 then needs to take place, the reinstatement of the playing field and the building of a new staff car park. Consequently we will continue to be affected by this development for the remainder of the year.

Turf Project

Our turf project is well underway and an is due to be completed in early March.

These projects impact heavily on our playground areas and therefore we will maintain our split timetable with the senior and junior school having separate lunch and playtimes. This causes some inconvenience however there are some positive aspects to it and the short term pain we are currently experiencing will be far outweighed by the gain of a new turf and 12 classroom block.

Our year is getting of to a busy start with two overnight camps going out in week 2 (Year 5) and week 3 (Year 6) and our normal programme of meet the teacher  (Feb 16th) and whānau feedback (23th and 24th of Feb) evenings. It is great to hit the ground running and I thank our staff for all the work put in in recent weeks preparing for school. I am looking forward to an exciting year filled with activity and learning.

Please do not hesitate to contact on any matter. My email address [email protected].

Ngā mihi nui
Gary O’Brien


MEETINGS –  The next B.O.T Meeting will be held on Wednesday 17th February @ 7pm in the Staffroom.   The next New Parent Meeting will be held on Monday 8th March @ 9.30am in the staffroom.

PARENT HELPER TRAINING –  Parent Helper Training will be on Monday 15th 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.

MEET THE TEACHER/SCHOOL PICNIC – Tuesday 16th February, 5.30pm – 7pm.
Next Tuesday we will host the annual Meet the Teacher/ School Picnic event. The school will be open from 5.30pm. 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 – Tuesday 16th February 7pm in hall.  All welcome to attend.

WHĀNAU FEEDBACK EVENINGS –  Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th February from 3.20pm – 6.30pm. Booking information will be coming home soon.

RAKINO Y6 TEAM PRESENTS – WHOLE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY will be held on Thursday 4th March @ 2pm in the hall.  All welcome!

Y6 WATERWISE – Starts on Friday 26th February. 

2021 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.


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 17th February 2021 (3rd 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 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 – 8pm.

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 outside the gates 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)
  • 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.
WALKING SCHOOL BUS – If you’d like to give walking a go for the start of the new year, try the Walking School Bus! You can walk or drive to the meeting point and drop off to avoid trying to find a park near the school gates. Here are the meeting points for our current 3 routes:
  • Alexander Ave / Finchley: 21 Alexander Ave @ 8.25am
  • Deep Creek South : Corner Holt & Deep Creek Roads @ 8.20am
  • Deep Creek North: At St Mary’s By the Sea Church @ 8.10am
Any questions or enquiries, email Keryn Grogan at [email protected]

Marrzipan Drama – Self-Confidence classes at Torbay-  Space Available for Term 1 2021!  Marrzipan have gained a huge reputation in New Zealand for the development of shy children, especially those with anxiety, autism and selective mutism. Saying that, this is a class for the super crazy and dramatic types too, as we focus on positive leadership and social skills. Our classes focus on inner and outer self-confidence, and are super fun and exciting for children. Parents are kept up to date with weekly emails about what’s been covered in class and why, as well as what you can work on at home. We have two awesome showcases at the end of every term too, so you can see your child’s development first hand as they perform in one of our termly productions.

Our classes will be running on Wednesday’s, After School 3.00-4.00pm in the Library.

Spaces are limited to 10 students per classto sign up for a non-obligatory trial lesson on the 17th of Feb – please register your interest by emailing [email protected] or calling 0273673334


“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.

Giving mana to Tiriti o Waitangi in our schools video

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

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