Torbay School Learning Powers – RIC


Tēnā koutou e te whānau

Thank you for your support as our children have returned to school. We have once again had to restructure our approach, systems and practice to ensure our student and staff safety. Your support in this effort has been critical and has provided a stable supportive base for our children as they return to playground restrictions and protocols such as mask wearing.

We are working very hard to minimise risk and yet continue with as many of our programmes as we possibly can. Keeping our year groups separate in the playground and in the classrooms will enable us to isolate any cases of Covid 19 and minimise the risk to the rest of the school. 

The plan we have put in place relies heavily on good hygiene practices, ventilation of classrooms, mask wearing by senior students and staff and the separation of our students and staff, working and playing in their own year groups. Everything we do is designed to minimise the risk for our tamariki and staff. Thank you for your support in all these areas, for wearing your masks at the gate and for setting good examples for the children. Your encouragement and support of our senior students to wear masks is vital, they are doing a wonderful job. Should we have a case in our classrooms, this will be a vital factor in minimising the spread of an outbreak.

Should we have a case in our school we will:

  • assess the situation very quickly and with the support of the Ministries of Education and Health make an informed decision as to whether and what portion of the school we may need to close. 
  • The school community will be informed by email of the nature of the outbreak and the action we will take.
  • In a separate email you will be informed if your child is a close contact and needs to self-isolate at home. You may also be contacted by the Ministry of Health.
  • If you have been on the school site or in the classroom affected, you may receive QR code notification yourself (This is very unlikely with the restrictions we currently have in place)

Close Contacts Must (under current advice):

    • Self-isolate at home for 10 days post exposure, test immediately and on days 5 and 8 post exposure.
    • Continue to isolate at home until negative day 8 test result received AND 10 days has passed since exposure.
    • Be advised by public health when they can return to school / kura, and return to normal life
  • Get an additional test immediately if symptoms develop at any time during the 10 days. Stay at home until negative test result AND until 24 hours after symptoms resolve
  • Ensure that unvaccinated household members, including children/tamariki, stay at home until the Close Contact receives a negative day 5 test

Secondary Contacts.

You are considered a secondary contact if a household member is a close contact and they have been asked to isolate. If you are a secondary contact, you are still able to come to school or go to work.

E.g. If there is a case of Covid in Rakino/Year 6 and your child is sent home to self-isolate, your Waiheke Year 5 child, (provided they are vaccinated), can come to school.

This guidance is at variance with some of the guidance you may find on the internet as it is a local DHB ruling for Tāmaki Makaurau and some other DHB’s.

Online Learning

If the staff and children of a particular class, whānau or indeed the whole school are sent home to isolate, we will resume our online learning programmes for that group. Teachers who are self-isolating and who are not unwell or showing symptoms will provide online learning to their students. Please note that this may not be at the same level as previously delivered during lockdown as we may not have all staff available and our staff may be dealing with illness in their own Whānau.

To this end we have been working hard this week to make sure our tamariki are ready for online learning. Senior class students who have been allocated devices from the school have been taking them home each night ensuring that should they need to self-isolate the next day they will have a device at home and that they have all the knowledge they need to engage.


It always gives me a great deal of pleasure to welcome new staff members to Torbay School. 

This term we welcome Todd Goodman to our Tiritiri Year 1 team and Cathie Wharemate who will be working across the school in various teams but who is currently working with the Kawau Year 3 Team. Both Todd and Cathie are 1st year teachers who bring a huge range of knowledge and experience to our team, and I am very excited to watch their careers develop at Torbay.

Chrysi Toerien has joined our teaching staff in the Rangitoto Year 2 team. Chrysi will be well known to many of you as she has worked as a Learning Assistant for several years at Torbay. In the last 3 years she has studied alongside her work and graduated last year with a Bachelor of Education. I am thrilled she has joined our staff and will continue the next stage of her journey with us.

It is fabulous to have Alyce Debenham return from maternity leave to reunite with the Waiheke team and Rebecca Buchanan back in the classroom supporting the Kawau Year 3 team after being on extended leave last year. Welcome back!

We have a wonderful staff who have once again adapted, swivelled and worked incredibly hard to prepare for 2022 and I thank them all for a great start to the year.

New Whānau

The beginning of the year is an exciting time as we welcome new Whānau to Torbay School. This year is no different. We have a large number of new children joining the school both in Tirtiri Year 1 and further up the school as whānau have moved into our area. We welcome you to our community and our school. Please take up all opportunities you can to become involved in school life and please make yourself known to me at any opportunity. 

Our normal practice is to have a Pōwhiri to welcome new staff and students to our school, however red-light protocol has meant we have had to delay this event this year. We look forward to holding our Pōwhiri just as soon as we can.

Whānau Feedback

We usually hold parent whānau feedback meetings in week 3 of term one. We are currently working on a virtual approach to these meetings this year. We think it is vitally important that you have the opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher and share those important pieces of information that will help us maximise your child’s progress and well being at school. More information on how and when this will occur will be available next week.


Unfortunately, Monika Benkovic left our staff over the summer break. Monika has been a member of our staff for five years. I would particularly like to thank Monika for her work as Sports Coordinator and Physical Education Specialist Teacher over the last three of those years. She has embraced Sport and PE at Torbay School and ensured that we have one of the best sports programmes on the North Shore and that PE is alive and well in our classrooms. Monika has been a passionate, skilled and dedicated member of our team and we are sorry to lose her. I wish her well for her future career.

We are currently seeking a replacement for Monika and this combined with the restrictions we have found ourselves in currently will impact the way we do sport at school, please be prepared for change. We are well on the way to appointing a replacement and we will endeavour to get all our sports teams up and running for the coming seasons. 

The Field

As our top field has turned green with new grass over the last month the anticipation of seeing children playing on it is growing to almost bursting point. The first mow will take place in the next week and the field will be handed over on the 24th of February. This event will mark another milestone in the extensive property development we have undergone in the last two years and hopefully coincide with the return to some sort of normalcy. There will still be a period of time to wait before it is usable. We look forward to that day as to have the field available will be sensational.  Our new staff car park is in action and the building work is finally coming to an end. 

Once again thank you for the way you support our school, your children and our staff. We are all having to rethink, adapt and make compromises. I look forward to another wonderful year at Torbay School and witnessing the fabulous things your children do. Please do not hesitate to contact me on any subject.

Ma Te huruhuru, Ka rere Te manu – Adorn the bird with feathers so it can fly

We look forward to providing your children with the ability to fly in 2022.

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 23rd February @ 7pm. This meeting will be held online.   The next New Parent Meeting will be held on Monday 14th March @ 9.15am in the staffroom.

WAITEMATA DISTRICT HEALTH BOARD VISION AND HEARING will be visiting on Friday 25th February 2022.  Any children that are due to be seen will be seen on this day.

Y3 SLEEPOVER – Due to the current COVID restrictions we have decided to postpone our Year 3 sleepover until further notice. We hope to be able to hold this later in the year.

SCHOLASTIC LUCKY BOOK ORDERS – ISSUE 1 – Lucky Book Club Order Forms will go home next week. Closing date for orders is Friday 25th February at 3pm.  Orders can be done online easily via the LOOP. Every order helps the School get valuable resources for our Library.

Y6 WATERWISE – starts on Friday 25th February. Waterwise runs on Fridays from 9am and all children will be back at school at approximately 2pm. More detailed information will be sent out to Year 6 whānau very soon. We do require volunteers in order to have this programme run effectively. If you would like to help please let Melissa know asap at [email protected]

2022/23 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.



Term 1: 8 Feb 2022 – 14 Apr 2022

Term 2: 2 May 2022 – 8 Jul 2022

Term 3: 25 Jul 2022 – 30 Sept 2022

Term 4: 17 Oct 2022 – 16 Dec 2022

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:

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 in 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.

SCHOOL POOL –  is closed until further notice.

LUNCHROOM – is closed until further notice.

YUMMY STICKERS – Don’t forget to keep collecting your yummy stickers. Last year we collected enough yummy stickers to be able to spend $1,566.00 on sports gear!!  Ka Pai!!  If you require a new collection sheet you can request one from the school office to be sent home with your child.

School is open between the hours of 8.40am-3.00pm- please be here by 8.45am. If your child arrives a few minutes before the 8.40am bell they must wait outside the gates until the 8.40am 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 (unless prior arrangement has been made with the office)
  • Please update your contact details if these have changed
  • Subscribe to our newsletter (for information) Click here to subscribe .
  • Please ensure you sunblock your children during the summer months

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 crossings, not at the top of Alexander Ave
  • Young children should be holding your hand while crossing
  • Push your bike or scooter across the road
  • 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 – CAN YOU HELP?  The WSB Coordinator is the go-to person for Walking School Bus enquiries from current & new members of the school community. We are looking for someone to take on this role. The role can be shared by a number of people.  If you’d like to know more please email [email protected] 
We currently won’t be operating the WSB in RED however once we are back in orange or green we will be full steam ahead!


“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

CHESS POWER is back and we are excited to offer after-school ONLINE chess coaching classes, available to all kids across New Zealand and Australia.

Classes are presented by NZ Chess Champion,
Paul Macdonald

Learn more about Paul

  • Classes are from: 4:30pm – 5:30pm NZST
  • ALL classes take place after school on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • Each class will present a fun and instructive game of chess where you can solve puzzles along the way. The game will feature two interesting characters, loads of tactics and awesome attacks on the king.
  • This class suits all students. Students will need to know how the pieces move.
  • Students will also have the opportunity to play two tournament games against other students in the class. The class fees are: $20 per session


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

Is your child struggling at school? Or do they just need a confidence boost?
Extraordinary Kids provides extra help with Maths, Reading, Writing and spelling in Browns Bay for students 6 to 16 years old.

  • Homework Help
  • Structured Learning Environment
  • Programmes for Dyslexia and Learning Difficulties
  • Warm and Friendly
  • Small Groups/ Individualised Work
  • Spaces Available now

Phone:  09 475-6296
Email: [email protected]