Torbay School Learning Powers – RIC


Tēnā koutou e te whānau

A huge thank you to you all for your support and patience over the last few weeks as we have negotiated a tricky period. The children have come back to school in a happy albeit in some cases, a tired mood. They have in general settled into school well and have handled the split timetable and for the seniors, the wearing of masks really well.

We have had a relatively settled time at school and the teachers have been pleased with the children’s levels of engagement and achievement over this period. This is a tribute to our children’s resilience, your support and encouragement and the skill of our staff to not only deliver online learning but to very quickly adapt and provide a hybrid model that has delivered both online and face to face learning. This has been set in a scene of continued property development that has restricted our movements. Congratulations to everybody for making these last few weeks work really well.

Property: Unfortunately, our new staff carpark development was delayed during lockdown and now will not be completed until late January, however it will be ready for the beginning of our new school year. Work has started on our new caretakers shed and new pathways into school at the Deep Creek Road entrance. This work should also be completed by mid to late January.

Last week work started on the drainage of our new top field. Weather permitting this will be completed this week and grass will be sown providing us with a new field at the start of term 1 next year. This will see the end of the major redevelopment that has taken several years to conceptualise and plan and two years to complete.

Congratulations to successive Boards who have driven these changes through and worked closely with the Ministry of Education, architects and construction companies to provide our school with facilities that will rival most in the country.

Also thank you to our staff, students and community who have accommodated changes and restrictions throughout the construction period. I look forward to being able to enjoy the new facilities in 2022.

Drop off and pick up day: Thank you to all those parents who took time out of their Saturday to return devices, books and other resources. The day was very successful and we recovered a huge percentage of our resources. If you still have books or devices please arrange to return them to school. If you are not sure how to achieve that please contact our office.

A massive shout out to a large number of our staff for giving up their Saturday morning to be at school to accept the returns and distribute children’s belongings.

Our final week: On Monday and Tuesday this week we celebrate our Year 6 children’s final days at Torbay School. Each day we have a formal celebration followed by a lunch for the children and then a fun activity afternoon. While this is different to our normal programme I am sure it will be a day that the children will remember and treasure. We will video the ceremony and this will be shared with the Year 6 parents. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, (our last days for each group) we will be closing school at 12.30pm for all children.

Please make sure that all devices and books are returned to school this week and also that your children take home all of their possessions.

Classes for 2022: This afternoon at 3pm our teachers will send an email to all parents informing them of their child’s classroom and teacher for next year. The communication will include a link to a video that will help introduce the children to their new teacher and the space they will be placed in. Please respect our teacher’s privacy and resist the temptation to share or post these videos on social media. I thank our teaching staff for putting the time and effort into making these clips and hope it helps the children look positively towards next year.

2022: The likelihood is that we will start next year with relatively normal circumstances with all children back at school fulltime. We may still have to restrict parent access to school, this will be determined by the level we find ourselves at after the summer break. Our Board has made a bold and, in my view, sensible decision to overstaff us by two teachers for 2022. This will ensure that we have ample staff to add value to our existing programmes and support our children as they transition back into school. I look forward to having all of our children back at school next year and being able to take advantage of our fabulous new environment.

Meri Kirihimete: In a year that started relatively normally we have built a new turf, opened a new building, managed to sneak in three outdoor education camps, spent half the year delivering online learning, developed a new hybrid system of schooling, spent about 40% of time in lockdown and had to continually adapt throughout the year. I have to say we as a school, have all learnt a lot. 

I urge you to sit back and look for the silver linings that are to be taken from 2021. They will be different for everyone but as Christmas approaches do take the time to reflect on what we have learnt during this unusual year and how we might apply these learnings to the future.

I thank you all for your support, your patience and your goodwill. We have received numerous messages of support during the year. They have been important to us and I thank you for them. I recognise that not all of our decisions have pleased everyone, however we have tried to put the children at the centre of our thinking while maintaining the health and wellbeing of our enormously hard-working, unbelievably professional staff.

I wish you all Meri Kirihimete and hope that you have a safe and happy summer.

Ngā mihi nui

Gary O’Brien
[email protected]


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

Extraordinary Kids provides extra help with Maths, Reading, Writing and Spelling on the Northshore for students 6 to 16 years old.
Spaces are available now and we are running a January Summer School. We will be open until the 24th of December and then between January 10th and 27th.

Phone:  09 475-6296 or 0223411716

Email: [email protected]