Torbay School Learning Powers – RIC


Tēnā koutou katoa

I hope this newsletter finds you all well and coping with our continued lockdown.

Class Placements for 2022

We are moving ahead with class placements for 2022.  Now is your opportunity to provide us with information around class placements for next year. These requests should be based around our ability to meet any specific needs your child may have whether they be learning, health or well-being issues. While we are aware of many of our children’s needs there may be something you consider important that we may not be aware of. I would like to emphasise this is not an opportunity to choose your child’s teacher or classroom, or to ensure children stay with their friends, but to inform us of important issues that we should consider when placing your child. Do not just rely on a discussion with our teachers please put your thoughts in writing so they are not overlooked. Please send these requests direct to me via my Email address by the 5th of November. [email protected]

Managing Lockdown

While the messaging this week from Chris Hipkins was inconclusive it seems clear that we will be locked in Level 3 until at least the 15th of November taking us into the last month of school before we might possibly return. Many of you will have questions about your children missing a huge slice of their education over the last two years and what are the implications for their learning in the future. There is no simple answer to this, children’s progress may have stagnated in some areas, and they may have benefited in others, outcomes from the lockdown will be different for every child. There is no rule of thumb as children have had different experiences over lockdown. Some children have attended online school regularly and others haven’t. Some have had other rich experiences with their families that they may not have had without the lockdown. Some children have thrived others have not, outcomes will vary just as they do at school.

When we do return to school it is our job to pick up the children’s learning from the point they are at and continue to develop each and every child and this we will do. I want to reassure you that this will not mean an immediate raft of testing to see where children sit when they return, we already know much of that information from our midyear assessments and if we have observed changes over lockdown we will take them into account, we will only test a child where we are unsure of their level. We will be focusing on quality teaching and learning providing engaging, rich learning opportunities for our children, making sure that they settle back into school and re-engage with learning and with each other. We will also be focused on each child’s wellness making sure they are happy and contented at school and ready for learning.

Please do not worry that this event will impact your child’s learning adversely. Learning is not a steady linear development; it ebbs and flows and children, particularly at the primary school age, can recover ground very quickly. The best thing that you can do to support your child’s learning is to continue to be positive, support your children’s learning where you can and recognise when it’s time to stop and go and play. We know that this is beneficial for the child and often even more so for the parent. Below is a link to a youtube video about how important play is for young children: –  Playbased Learning.

As we move through another week of lockdown and online learning, I know that some parents and children are facing daily challenges. I want to reiterate my message from last term urging you to search for some balance in your situation. If children are reluctant to engage with learning online sometimes it is better to allow them some time away from the screen and for them to play. It is not essential for children to keep up with their learning in the same way we would expect at school. There are much more important wellbeing issues at stake both for the child and the parent.

We as parents often struggle to find ways to connect with our children in stressful situations and tension can build and provide outcomes the exact opposite of what we were hoping to achieve. I found this video shared with us by the Ministry very helpful. Nathan Wallis is an education-based neuroscientist and Hinemoa Elder a well-respected youth psychiatrist.   Lock Down Tips with Nathan Wallis and Hinemoa Elder. More resources and tips can be found on the Ministry of Education website. 

It remains difficult to know when we will return to school and therefore difficult to plan. We are preparing ourselves for the possibility of online learning for the remainder of the year but hopeful that the government find us in a suitable position to facilitate a return to school. We believe it is better to mentally prepare ourselves for the long hall and urge you to do so as well. This must involve us making sure we keep a balance as discussed, both for ourselves and for our children. Please do not spend time worrying about what your children are missing out on educationally but more about what they are gaining from this experience, look for the gems in what you are doing with your children and ensure they are well within themselves.

Thank you for your continued support during this challenging time. We rely on your support for our online learning programme to be successful but know how challenging this can be for working parents, please seek that balance for you and your children. This was shared with me by Katie Hills our former DP.

What if instead of “behind” this group of kids is advanced because of this?

Hear me out.

What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connection, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing.

What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet? What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower?

What if this generation is the ones to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well-run home?

What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less? What if they learn to plan shopping trips and meals at home?

What if they learn the difference between want and need?

What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?

What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place? 

What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life. 

What if he or she truly learns what really matters in this life?

What if they are ahead?

– Jaime Ragsdale

Stay safe and take care!

Ngā mihi nui

Gary O’Brien
[email protected]


CONGRATULATIONS to the following tamariki who received online certificates from their class teachers: Emma, Luke, Theo, Charles, Rm 1, Adison, Mila, Elvis, Connor Rm 2, Elise, George, Louis, Baxter Rm 3, Declan, Bella, Sofia, Lucia-Grace Rm 4, Rhianna, Odelia, Allie, Lucca Rm 5, Raymond, Mason, Cara, Liam Rm 6, Larissa, Ethan, Ella, Jarvis Rm 7, Travis, Olivia, Archer, Avleen Rm 8, Michaela, Lottie, Owen, Shijie Rm 9, Lucy, Kai Rm 10, Skye, Otis, Dylan, Maya, Evelyn, Jack, Arthur, Bella Rm 11, Senja, Daniel Rm 13, Madison, Indy, Rm 14, All the mātua (parents) in rooms 15 and 16, Isaac, Emma Rm 15, Charlie, Amelie Rm 16, Kaylene, Taina Rm 17, Cameron, India, Makaia, Isaac Rm 19, Eddie, Michaela, Nadia, Marcus Rm 20, Mila, Sienna, Isaiah, Oliver B Rm 21, Kayleb, Tyler P, Benji, Alex Rm 22, Tristan, Rose, Zirah, Freya Rm 24, Paige, William Rm 25, Spencer, Joel, Jasmine, Jaime, Max, Eddie Rm 26, Bill, Jared, Rm 28 Ka pai!!


2021/2022 ENROLMENTS – If your child, or someone you know has a child who lives in the Torbay School zone, and they are turning 5 next year, please urgently complete an enrolment application (available from our website or at the school office when back in Level 2).

SCHOOL DONATIONS – A reminder that if you are paying off your annual donation – instalment 4 was due on the first day of term.

Donation (1 child) $45 per instalment
Donation (2 children) $80 per instalment
Donation (3 or more children) $107.50 per instalment.

Electronic statements will be sent out showing any unpaid amount on your account (the system automatically sends these with the email subject line of Request for Payment). Please note these statements will be sent out once we have processed refunds for all cancelled activities due to lockdownThis is a chance to check that our records agree with yours. Please contact [email protected] if you have any queries.

PHOTOLIFE SPORT TEAM/GROUPS PHOTO SHOOT – Has been rescheduled to Friday 26th November (level changes allowing).

SCHOLASTIC LUCKY BOOK CLUB ISSUE 7 – Welcome to Term 4 and a Special Home Edition of Book Club! While we are currently schooling from home, Scholastic has created a special digital catalogue to help families stay inspired to read and learn. It’s jam-packed with bonus Christmas pages and the best of the best books of 2021! This issue is available by viewing the catalogue online and placing an order on the LOOP platform. Orders over $35 will be delivered directly to your home for FREE before 5th November 2021!  Click here to view the home catalogue.  

SPORTS UPDATE – Unfortunately Netball and Touch rugby seasons have been cancelled for 2021. 





Celebrating Term 3 – click here to view video.



Disclaimer: The following advertisements are placed as a community service – publication does not imply Torbay School endorsement.

Professional Tutoring: Math’s, Reading, Writing and Spelling, I have over 15 years teaching experience especially encouraging students who are struggling to succeed.

*Homework help

*Structured Learning Environment

*Programmes to help with Dyslexia & Learning Difficulties.

*Warm and Friendly

*Small Groups/Individualised Work Yvette Walton NZ Registered Teacher, 022 34 11716 [email protected]

Please see my web page for testimonials, more information and a list of available spaces.