Welcome Back to 2012

9th February, 2012

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Thank you all for the wonderful start to the new school year.  Our student, both new and old, have settled back into their school life and we are determined that they receive the best possible education.

To help with your child’s education, it is important that we (teachers and parents) have a positive and productive home-school partnership.  We invite you to play a pro-active part in improving your school further and in particularly ‘keeping in touch’ with your child’s learning so that nothing is a surprise.

As you may (or may not) be aware, over the holiday period, Mrs Alcock accepted a teaching job closer to her home town in Feilding.  We wish her all the best at her new school.  Mr Clark is now our new Room 6 teacher.  I would like to welcome Mr Clark to Tokomaru School. I would also like to welcome Mrs Donna Gifkins who will be supporting our teachers for Term One.

I would also like to send a warm welcome to our new students (and families) to Tokomaru School. 

Why Wai?

This term, our school theme is a science/social science inquiry unit around “Why Wai?” (Why Water).  It is based around 4 key questions/ideas:  We don’t just wash in water. What is water? How do we use it? How does water affect our lives? 


We feel this will be real life learning considering the debate around water quality in the Tokomaru Area.  We already have some exciting events booked in for this term.  If possible, please make these dates available


Change of Bell times

This year, we have changed our bell times so that we have a longer learning time in the morning and a shorter afternoon period. Our times are now: First half of morning 8.55 -11.00, 2nd half of morning 11.30-12.50, Afternoon session 1.40-3.00. 



Please ensure that your child has enough food for brunch, lunch and brainfood.  Brainfood snacks could include popcorn, small pieces of fruit or vegetables (please don’t send a whole apple as it takes a longer time to eat), unsalted nuts or seeds.  It is also important to remain hydrated throughout these summer days so your child needs a named water bottle (not juice, V drinks etc.).



As part of our Why Wai Unit, swimming is an integral part of our Term 1 aquatic skills programme.  You child will need to bring swimming togs and towel every day.


Parent help

As teachers, we appreciate all the help and support that you are to provide.  Please let our class teacher know if you would like to help out in the classroom.  This may involve listening to children read, putting readers away, mounting art work etc.


Teacher Aids

From time to time, some of our students are lucky enough to receive funding for learning support.  Funding is available from a number of agencies such as CYF, Special Edn, and RTLB.  Unfortunately, funding is not guaranteed, generally limited and can change from term to term, therefore, making it difficult to have consistent employment for Teacher Aids. However, if funding does become available and you wish to be considered as an Aid to the Teacher, please inform our SENCO teacher, Mrs Bismark or the Christine.


Home Reading Books

Please do not worry if the book(s) your child is reading seem “easyish”.  It should be, as we need children to read so it “sounds like talking.”  If they have to struggle with a book then this is not possible.  The book may also be from their browsing box and they may have had it before.  This is absolutely fine- any practise is good practise!  Home reading should be a fun and an enjoyable experience.



If you wish to receive your newsletter by email in the near future, please send an email to principal@tokomaru.school.nz with word newsletter in the subject line.


Staff Professional Development

To ensure our staff continues to keep up to date with educational developments, this year there will be major focus around writing (particularly spelling, punctuation and grammar), and Numeracy.  The knowledge gained from this will not only benefit our teachers but also our students.  Alongside this professional develop, our ICT contract will continue.

On the 20th March, our teachers will be holding Parent Interviews.  This is an opportunity to gauge how your child is progressing and achieving and setting goals for the year. Check out the other dates and times at back of this newsletter.


Jared Ratana


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