A copy of our 2020 Parent Information Booklet can be found at the bottom of this page.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
ABSENCES There is an established system working within the school, which ensures that any absence from school is accounted for. Parents/caregivers are asked to ring, email, send a message through our App, or text (027 8198039) school before 8.50am to report a student’s pending absence. At 9.00am, all teachers advise the office of any absentees, and those families who have not informed the school of absence are contacted to confirm the reasons for the absence. If parents / caregivers cannot be contacted in the event of an unknown absence, we are required to mark the child as Truant in our Attendance system. A written note is appreciated if parents know in advance that a student is to be absent. Once enrolled, students must attend school each day, unless they are sick or previous arrangements have been made with the Principal. Attending school every day assists a child’s on-going education.
AFTER SCHOOL SUPERVISION For many working families, after school care is becoming more of an issue. If this is an issue, please contact the Principal to discuss the options available.
APP We have a school App that you can download from the App Store or Play Store for free. Search ‘Skool Loop’ and choose Tokomaru School once installed. Make sure you join the relevant groups within the App to ensure that you get the right notifications.
ATTENDANCE Tokomaru School is committed to ensuring that all of our students get the most out of their education and we want to support our students to maintain regular attendance. Students who attend school regularly learn more and achieve better results. We use the following figures as a guide:
Excellent = attendance rate of 96%-100%
Very good = attendance rate of 91%-95%
Good = attendance rate of 86%-90%
Concerning = less than 85%.
Note: our attendance rates make no distinction between justified or non-justified absences. That is, having a justified sickness is still recorded as an absence.
BEHAVIOUR At Tokomaru School, we: – use kind hands – use positive and encouraging language – treat others with respect – respect property – be safe and allow everyone around us to be safe. All classrooms will have on display a copy of the school Code of Conduct, as well as their own class rules or treaty. Consequences for not following the Code of Conduct will, where possible, match the behaviour ie; disrespecting property may result in picking up rubbish; damage to school property may result in a request for remuneration. In making this decision, staff will take into account the seriousness of the actions, and the age / maturity of the child.
Our Restricted Playground System may be used depending on the seriousness of the situation, or issues of an ongoing nature. A Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy is in place, and can be found on our website.
BELL TIMES The school bell times are as follows:
8.55am Warning bell
9.00am School begins
11.00am Morning interval (first 10mins eating)
11.30am Interval ends
1.00pm Lunch (first 10mins eating)
1.50pm Afternoon school begins
3.00pm School ends
A series of short bells indicate to children that they are to come inside because of rain (or in the event of a lock-down). A long continuous ringing of the bell is the signal for an emergency evacuation.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES There are five elected Parent Representatives, one elected Staff Representative, the Principal and a Minute Secretary. The BOT is responsible to the Ministry for the efficient running of the school. The BOT is elected every three years by the parents/caregivers of the children enrolled at the school. The last full Board election was held in May 2019. Trustees may be either caregivers or people interested in the school. In consultation with the community, Trustees create policy and approve procedures to ensure that goals and objectives are achieved. These meetings are open to the public and are usually held on the Thursday of Weeks 3 and 8 of each term at 6.30pm. Minutes from full Board meetings are also available to the public and can be viewed at school.
Our current Board Members are:
Matthew Henry – Chairperson Dave Lawton – Deputy Chair & Property
Wayne Richards – Parent Trustee Vince Fletcher – Treasurer
Deborah Phillips – Parent Trustee Sonia Mudgway -Principal
Mel Scott -Staff Trustee Christine Earle -Minute Secretary
BOOK CLUB . The school participates in the Scholastic Book Club and pamphlets are distributed regularly to all children. A.B.C, Lucky, Arrow and Star are now all combined into one booklet. If paying by cheque these are to be made out to Scholastic New Zealand – all orders must be accompanied by the payment. Books can also be ordered online with Scholastic’s Linked Online Ordering and Payments for Parents, or LOOP. If you need any help, please see Christine in the office.
BRAIN FOOD It is recognised that people regularly need food and water to maintain high-level brain function. Some children eat breakfast at 7am and then our morning tea is not until 11am. We find having a Brain Food break in between that time helps to keep their brains ready to learn.
Your child’s Brain Food needs to be a small snack (fits into the palm of their hand) that can be eaten (without mess) in 3-5 minutes and is not pre-packaged.
Appropriate Brain Food could include:
-seeds/nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts)
-fresh or dried fruit (raisins, apricots, apple slices,
grapes, small banana, berries, cherry tomatoes)
-vegies (carrot sticks, celery, cauliflower, etc)
-cheddar cheese cubed/sliced
-boiled egg (peeled)
Thank you for your support with this.
BUS ROUTES Bus transport for children attending Tokomaru School is provided by UZABUS. Please contact the Principal for service routes, times and eligibility.
CLASS TRIPS Parent help and assistance is both necessary and greatly appreciated with all class trips. A small charge is sometimes made for each trip. Money collected is later divided amongst the parents who have provided transport (or used to pay for a bus). It is expected that parents providing transport stay with the class during the trip and help with supervision if required.
Private Transport – Parent support in transport is very important, as is the safety of all our students. When parents / caregivers use private vehicles to transport students to sports, cultural or other school trips, the following guidelines apply:
Children may only be transported in vehicles carrying a current registration and W.O.F. All drivers must hold a current FULL driving licence and comply with the current Road Code. All children must wear seatbelts. Students up to the age of 7 must use a booster seat.
CLOTHING Please ensure that your child’s clothes are clearly named. Many items of clothing are identical or similar, and some children genuinely have difficulty in recognising their own. Encourage your children to develop a sense of self-responsibility for their clothes. Shoes/boots are not to be worn in the classrooms (but slippers may be brought to school in the colder months).
CLUSTER SCHOOLS We are part of the Fitzherbert Cluster along with Aokautere, Linton Camp, Linton Country, Opiki and Tiritea schools. During the year we combine and take part in sports, cultural, quiz and speech competitions etc.
COMPOSITE CLASSES As we are a full primary school, with New Entrants to Year 8 students, it is usual for a teacher to have 2 or 3 year levels in one room. This also means that a particular year level may be split between 2 teachers. At the end of the year when class lists are organised, great care is taken by staff to ensure that any year level split is sensitively done.
We consider the children’s progress, siblings, friendships, personalities, behaviour and the boy/girl mix when determining these classes. Parents/caregivers are always welcome to discuss their child’s needs with the Principal and teacher at this time.
DENTAL THERAPIST The Dental Van will be at the school for about 3 weeks during the year, where all school children and local pre-schoolers are seen. Once the visit date is confirmed, will inform parents via Facebook, our Google Calendar and the Newsletter. Please ask the Office Manager if you need to contact the Dental Therapist outside of this period.
ENROLMENTS Tokomaru School is now governed by an Enrolment Scheme. A map and description of our Home Zone can be found here: Approved Enrolment Scheme 2018. Parents/caregivers of new entrants are encouraged to enrol their child as early as possible before they are to enter school. Four-year-old children and their parents/caregivers are welcome to visit the new-entrant classroom. To help with transition and provide the best possible learning experience, pre-schoolers will be offered the opportunity to visit several times leading up to their first day. A school enrolment pack is available to parents/caregivers, which provides information on starting school and enrolment procedures. This includes the Enrolment Scheme and Bus information where applicable.
FACEBOOK You can follow us on Facebook. Search ‘Tokomaru School’. We post regular updates and important reminders. It’s also a great way to encourage extended family members to keep in touch with what we are up to. Our website is also a useful place to see what’s coming up, on the “What’s Happening?” tab. We also use the App ‘Seesaw’ to connect with our parents on a weekly basis. See your child’s teacher to sign up for the updates.
HEALTH / FIRST AID Parents/caregivers are requested to show their completed and signed (by their Doctor) immunisation form on entry to school. A medical room is available and suitable medical supplies are kept at school. Please advise us of children requiring regular medication, or for whom allergy medication is to be kept at school – you will be required to complete an ‘Administering Medication Form’. There are school guidelines on headlice, and procedures are in place to inform the parents of affected children. Parents/caregivers will be informed if we are concerned about the health or damage by accident suffered by your child.
HOME AND SCHOOL ASSOCIATION The Tokomaru Home and School Association consists of parents, caregivers, teachers and recognised friends of the school. It has a committee of 5 with all parents making up the full Association. The objectives of the Association are to further the interests of the school, and to promote a friendly spirit between teachers and parents. Liaison and co-operation with the Board of Trustees is also an important function. Notices concerning Home and School meetings, and regular reports from the Chairperson, are included in newsletters and on our School Facebook page.
HOMEWORK Homework at all levels throughout the school is encouraged where appropriate. Work set usually complements what is happening in the classroom and is relevant to the programmes of work and level of achievement of the individual student. For more detailed information please refer to our school Home Learning Policy, or see your child’s teacher.
KICKSTART BREAKFAST Thanks to Sanitarium and Fonterra, Weetbix and milk will be available free to all students every school day from 8.30-8:50am in the Staffroom. We have Breakfast Buddies who wear red vests before school; they are easily identified by the children and are there to help prepare breakfast for those who want it.
LIBRARY Our school has a comprehensive and extensive collection of books both fiction and non-fiction. In 2018 our library was temporarily relocated to the old Dental Clinic onsite. Each class generally visits the library each week, and each student may borrow books to take home for up to 2 weeks (see your child’s teacher for their rules around issuing). Tokomaru Early Childhood Centre also use our school library on a weekly basis. Damaged books should be returned to school for appropriate mending. Students will be charged for lost or damaged library books. Please do not mend books at home. We are always looking for parent helpers to tidy the shelves and return books. If you are interested in helping (even only every now-and-then) please see Sonia or Katrina.
LITTERLESS LUNCHBOXES Since 2016, our school has been working towards becoming more healthy and sustainable. We made a great start by becoming ‘water and milk-only’, having compost collections in each room, and recycling paper/plastic/glass throughout the school. We also reuse or repurpose what we can. (Home and School now use reuseable plastic bowls and cups for Variety lunches in order to minimise the wastage and cost of throw-away items). This has had a positive impact in reducing the amount of rubbish we have to pay to get rid of.
As our school has grown, so too has the waste from lunch boxes. In order to reduce this (and to continue to promote healthy choices) we now ask that children take their food wrappers / bags / packets home in their lunchbox every day. This means that parents are able to see what they eat and don’t eat, as well as helping us out as a school. If any child does not have a lunch box, they will need to bring a bag to put their food wrappers into (before putting it back in their school bag).
LOLLIES Sweets, lollies and chewing/bubble gum etc of any kind are NOT to be brought to school. If any of these items are brought to school, they will be held by the office until a parent can collect them.
LOST PROPERTY Any un-named clothing found at school is kept in a lost property basket outside the Office. Students are encouraged to look for lost clothing themselves, and named labels greatly assist the process of returning items to their owners. Lost property, which is not claimed, is given to charity at the end of each term.
LUNCH ORDERS Lunches are available from the local store every day. Students must order and pay for their lunches at the store before school. Senior students collect and distribute the lunches at the beginning of lunchtime. Students are not allowed to visit the shop during school hours without permission from their teacher or the Principal. Children are not allowed to buy drinks as part of their lunch order (other than bottled water).
LUNCHES continued…The Home and School have made available a pie warmer in the Staffroom Monday – Thursday (NOT Fridays) for students to bring along lunch to be warmed (Term 2/3 ONLY). Students need to bring cooked items (eg dinner left overs, mini pizzas etc) to school wrapped in tinfoil, labelled with their name and room number. Heated items will be delivered to classrooms by senior monitors. Fish and Chip Lunches and Variety Lunches are available on alternate Fridays. The Fish and Chip Lunches must be ordered from the shop, and Variety Lunch order forms are available from the School Office. See the newsletter for details on how to order.
Lunches are eaten in a defined area with teacher supervision. We encourage all students to eat their lunch and try to check to see that they don’t miss this important meal.
MILK IN SCHOOLS . Tokomaru School is part of the Milk in Schools programme with Fonterra. Senior students distribute the milk and organise the collection of the empty containers etc. If your child cannot or does not want to drink the milk please send a note to their teacher. Drinking milk is not compulsory.
MONEY Students are encouraged NOT to bring money to school unless it is for a particular purpose. This money should be in a sealed and named envelope, and taken to the office.
Credit Accounts – Parents are welcome to have a credit account for their children – trip money, camps, variety lunch costs etc can be taken from this. Parents are informed of the balance each time money is taken out.
School bank details – Tokomaru School BOT – Westpac -03 0726 0552461 00
NEWSLETTERS A fortnightly newsletter is emailed to all families on Thursday. Please read them as a handy reference for forthcoming activities. If you have any items you would like included in the Newsletter, please contact the Office at email@example.com. Please understand that School news is our priority. We will endeavour to publish your notice as soon as possible. Our newsletter is also online – we encourage you to visit our website on www.tokomaru.school.nz, and download our school app. There is also an online Google calendar on our website that contains dates of all upcoming events. This gets added to regularly.
PARENT CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS . If a parent has a concern about any school issue they should:
- Approach the class teacher in the first instance.
- If the parent remains dissatisfied, then the Principal should be contacted and an appointment made to see her.
- The Board of Trustees should be contacted only if matters cannot be resolved with either classroom teachers or the school Principal. See our Complaints Procedure/Policy.
PARENT – SCHOOL CONTACT Parents are welcome at school and are encouraged to participate in many of our school activities. If parents wish to contact the class teacher for student related matters it is requested that this be done outside classroom hours. Email is a great way of making contact if you cannot get into school on a regular basis.
POLICIES A number of school policies have been developed and approved by the Board of Trustees. These are available for perusal in the Principal’s office. As each Policy / Procedure is reviewed and approved by the Board it is uploaded / updated on our website.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Subject to BOT approval each year, Religious Education is held every Monday afternoon for most of our classes (subject to staff availability). This is not compulsory and students may be withdrawn from classes providing a written note from a Parent/Caregiver is presented. If you wish your child/ren to leave school for home prior to RE, please indicate on your note, if not they will remain at school (supervised) until 2:55pm. Due to lack of space, RE will not operate in 2020.
REPORTING TO PARENTS Teachers and parents both have an opportunity to request interviews at any time, but there are formal Parent/Teacher/Pupil Conferences scheduled during Term 1 and 3. A report is sent home at the end of Term 2, and again at the end of the year for Year 4 – 8 students. Year 1 – 3 students will receive their reports on their anniversary (After 1, 2 and 3 years at school).
ROAD SAFETY Though the school is accessed through an underpass, we remain concerned about the busy road at our front boundary. Students are prohibited from using the road coming to, or leaving the school. Car parks are available on Tokomaru East Road or in the Hall Carpark for this purpose. For your child’s safety, we strongly encourage parents/caregivers to use either of these car parks.
Riding to School – Students may ride their bikes to school as long as they:
Have their parents/caregiver’s permission
Have a roadworthy bike
Ride their bike in a safe, considerate manner
Wear a safety helmet and hi-visibility vest
Walk their bike through the underpass and school grounds
Must park their bike in the bike shed
SCHOOL DONATIONS Since 2014, the Board of Trustees has not asked parents / caregivers for a school donation. A “zero” donation policy was adopted. In 2020 the Board of Trustees has opted into the Government Donations Scheme (which gives us additional funding that we might have got through asking for Parent Donations).
SMOKE FREE Tokomaru School is a smoke free zone and smoking is prohibited anywhere on the school grounds. This includes vaping.
SPORTS Kiwisport, Swimming, Cross-country and Athletics are all included in our programme. Where possible and when numbers permit, the school has sports teams. If we cannot cater for a team that your child is interested in we will do our utmost to arrange a placement in a team from another school. Those wanting to play Rugby or Football usually join Linton, Shannon or a Palmerston North club. Parent/caregiver participation is vital in our sports programme, as travel is always a factor. We encourage parents/caregiver’s interest and participation in school life and we are grateful for the number of parents/caregivers who coach our teams and all those who provide transport or go to games to support and encourage our students.
Students are expected to have suitable clothing for P.E. and school sports. During Winter, students should have old clothes for playing on fields when weather permits. When representing the school, such as inter-school, sports or cultural events, students are expected to wear the Tokomaru t-shirts and shorts (which we provide on loan).
Swimming – The pool is normally available for school swimming from January to mid-March, and then again in November-December (if funding allows). Each class has regular daily swimming, and students are required to participate. If there is a reason for non-participation, a note is required. Classes may make use of the other local pools to participate in aquatics programmes, or we may have instructors come to our pool. In 2020 we have secured funding through Kelly Sports for the ‘Water Skills for Life’ programme in which all of our students participate.
STATIONERY At the end of each year, or when a new student is enrolled, you will be given a list of what stationery is needed. Book packs (containing the books/scrapbooks/etc for the year) are made up for us by Office Products in Palmerston North, and therefore need to be purchased there. Other items, such as whiteboard pens/pens/pencils/rulers etc can be purchased from a supplier of your choice, or you may purchase the ‘pen packs’ available via Office Products. Online ordering of stationery is also available and all details can be obtained from the school office, our website or our App.
SUN HATS The school has a Sun Smart Policy – students (and teachers) must wear a sun hat during Term 1 and Term 4. We have a supply of red bucket style sunhats with the school logo printed on. The hats are kindly paid for by the Home and School Association. Hats will be given out at the start of Term 1 and 4, and returned at the end of each of these terms, to be cleaned and stored. Hats must not go home. There will be a replacement cost to parents of $20 if the hat is lost or damaged.
SUPPORT SERVICES The school staff can call on several different support services for advice and assistance, where necessary. If parents/caregivers have concerns about their students then they can make direct contact themselves or through school. We also have a useful document, ‘RTLB Referral Process’ that shows the process we follow to access support or advice for a child. Please see the Principal for a copy.
TECHNOLOGY The Year 7 & 8 students attend Technology classes at Monrad Intermediate in Palmerston North. During the year they work on six technological areas of Music, Science, Hard Materials, Structures and Mechanisms, Food/Bio Tech and Soft Materials. Transport is by bus, which is provided free of charge. The Technology day is Wednesday, with the bus leaving school at 8.40am, returning at 12.30pm, with approximately 40 sessions scheduled. The fee for 2020 is $85.00. This is to cover the ‘take home’ material costs.
TELEPHONE Students are discouraged from using the school telephone (06 3298780) unless in an emergency. The school has an answer phone system in place for when staff are unavailable to take the calls – this is checked during the day. We also have a ‘Notices’ phone line on this number, where we leave updates, postponements and cancellation information. Our school cell phone (027 8198039) is for texting only, so parents can text absentee messages etc. If a child MUST bring a cellphone to school, it must be handed in at the Office before school , and collected at the end of the day (however we take no responsibility for them).
TOYS While it is exciting for children to bring and share toys at school, it’s often a distraction to learning, and can be an interruption when toys go missing or get broken. We therefore ask that NO TOYS come to school unless they are needed/requested by the class teacher as part of your child’s learning.
UNIFORM Tokomaru School does not have a compulsory school uniform, but we do have school t-shirts and shorts, which students are given to wear on school trips. We also have school jackets that can be borrowed by students when representing the school, and black caps for selected sporting events.
WATER ONLY Since the start of 2017, Tokomaru has been a ‘water only’ school. We really care about the health of our students and their achievement, and we are committed to this change. This means that children are NOT able to order juice/fizzy etc from the dairy for their lunch, nor are they able to bring juice/fizzy from home (if any of these items are found, they will be confiscated and collected by a parent from the office). We encourage children to have their own water bottle (filled with water only) to bring to school each day. There are two filtered water bottle filling stations for children to re-fill their bottles during the day.
WHEELS Between 8.00am-3:30pm the school rules around scooters, bikes, skateboards (all wheels) apply. Children must be wearing a helmet at all times. They must walk their bike/scooter to and from the gate before and after school. This also means NO wheels play before school. When using the underpass, children must walk their bike/scooter from school to the dairy corner before mounting, in order to avoid injury to themselves and others. There is to be NO sharing of scooters / bikes / helmets / roller blades / skateboards etc. If it’s not yours, don’t use it. Children must use the scooter rack and bike stands provided, to store their equipment during the day.
WORKING BEE Maintenance of the school grounds cannot always be completed within the caretaking hours available to us, therefore from time to time, working bees are arranged to help with the upkeep of the grounds and buildings e.g. gardens, play equipment, bark areas and guttering. We often run these alongside the Welcome Back BBQ held in February each year. All assistance is appreciated.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.