BIS End of Year Newsletter 2021

Friday 10th December


"We Survived" would be a great motto to adopt as we head into the very last weeks of 2021. As much as I joke about this, the reality is that we have not only survived this very lengthy lockdown but we have also thrived. There have been many moments of frustration, confusion, exhaustion and disappointment as the days turned into weeks and then months of unsettling and constantly changing times of covid. However, as we near the end of the year, it is a time to celebrate the successes.

For our students, the year has been disrupted and they have had to adapt constantly to a variety of learning environments. We have seen resilience, independence and self management skills develop as they have navigated their way through the lockdown learning climate.

Our staff never signed up to teach from home. Some teachers have had to manage pre-schoolers, others have had their own children doing home learning, some have been caring for their parents and all have had to become tech savvy in a very short amount of time. The variety of home learning activities have been varied and have differentiated for individual needs. Our students have responded positively and our teachers have continued to provide a quality education in a caring environment.

Our whānau have continued to support us. You have been amazing with your emails of positivity, your dedication to getting your tamariki online (we KNOW there were days when this was a struggle) and your ability to adapt every time the covid level changed and we had to rearrange our curriculum delivery model.

Our Board of Trustees have also been an incredible support to our school over this lockdown period. The Presiding Member, Rachael Barnett has been kind, encouraging and willing to do whatever is needed to help us to thrive in the second half of this year. I am so grateful to her for his support.

I don't think there is a principal in the country who could do their job without the support of a deputy principal. I am incredibly lucky to have 2 amazing women who are talented, dedicated and absolute stars at their jobs. Mrs. Katrina Bush and Mrs. Mel Robinson are leaders who put the needs of others well above their own needs. They are committed to this community and love our tamariki. Their passion for education comes from a place of aroha and there is nothing that they would not do to support our staff, students and our school community. I am so grateful to have them at our school and in my life.

I am hopeful that 2022 will be a very different learning and living environment for us all. I wish all of you and your whānau a well-deserved break and a very Meri Kirihimete. Please be safe, take care of your loved ones and we look forward to either seeing you in 2022 or hearing about your future successes as you move on to the next stage in your child's schooling.

Aroha mai, aroha atu,

JoAnne Sutton

Timetable for in school learning

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School Buses on Wednesday 15th of December

For those who have children who are travelling to and from school by bus on Wednesday, please note there will be no bus at 11.30am at the end of the school day. Please make alternate arrangements for your child to get home.

Second Hand Uniforms

At the end of each year we are always fortunate to have second hand uniforms donated back to the school so we can sell these as a fundraiser for the school. Sometimes, these uniforms are gifted to those who need them. At the start of each year we run a small second hand shop in the school hall to sell these uniforms. This provides a service to the community while generating funds for the school. Currently, we are fundraising for outdoor drink bottle refilling stations.

If you are happy to donate your child's uniform, please deliver this to the school office on Thursday or Friday next week.

Alternatively, there are always families looking to buy second hand uniforms so you might want to consider selling them via the community facebook pages.

Covid Cases in our Community

We have been asked about covid cases in our community. There have been some and these have affected our school community. We will not be identifying individuals who have been impacted.

A key message is to understand that covid is an illness that we are trying to prevent the spread of and it is not something that anyone should be ashamed to have contracted. In telling our community that we have had several students impacted by covid either through living with a family member who has had covid or through having had covid, we are also communicating a message of how to manage this illness.

All of the whānau who have been affected by covid have notified the school, self-isolated, sought medical help and have not returned to school until they have had a negative covid test and have been signed off by a medical professional. This is exactly the way that covid cases should be managed and we are very grateful to those in our community who are following these procedures to keep everyone else safe.

Sports Uniforms

Can you please make sure your child returns their Basketball Singlet, Netball Uniform or Sports Camp Hoodie to the office next week.

If your child isn't in school, please drop these off on the table in the office with your child's name clearly attached to the uniform.

Final Assembly Viewing

Due to the current covid traffic light system, we cannot have an open invitation to all whānau to attend the final assembly for 2021. We will be hosting this in the school theatre with limited invited guests present. All students will be in their whānau class bubbles and will be able to watch the assembly being live streamed via zoom at 9.30am.

If you would like to watch from home, here is the link -

This will also be recorded and shared via our website and facebook page if you wish to watch at a later time.

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An enrolment message from Birkenhead College

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

If you haven’t done so already and are planning to send your child to BC, please enrol by clicking the following link and we will be in touch with you shortly. If it’s easier, please pop into School for an enrolment application paper copy.

STEM Academy
Mathematics and Science tests for this specialised programme will begin shortly, numbers will be limited so please ensure that your enrolment application is sent in as soon as possible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at if you have any questions.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Nāku noa

Craig Waller

Birkenhead College

Upcoming Events - Important

Prize Giving on Wednesday 15 December

This will be the final day of the year and we would like to have all students who are well to be onsite for our final farewell assembly. It will be run slightly differently this year.

We would like all students to be in their classroom with their whānau teacher. They will all get their end of year report and year book. Year 8 students will get their graduation certificate and year 7 students will receive class confirmation and stationery lists for 2022.

We have invited students who are receiving a trophy or special prize to be in the theatre with one member of their family. Thank you to those who have sent in their RSVP.

All students who receive any award will come to the theatre and be filmed getting their prize. We will live stream this event so that family at home can watch.

School will finish at 11.30am and we will do a staggered exit to ensure social distancing.

Feedback on 2021

While the year has not panned out as planned and we may not ever find ourselves in this situation again, it is still good for us to reflect on how we did and what we can learn from the experience.

We are using survey monkey as a tool to gather some feedback from those of you who would like to share your thoughts. We are hoping for constructive feedback that can help us to improve. All questions on the survey require a comment answer so that you can share ideas, comments, solutions, etc...


Did you get your refund for a cancelled event? We have tried to contact people to refund money for camp, sports events and other student activities that did not go ahead.

The last day for processing payments this year will be Monday 13 December with payments being made on Tuesday. If you still require a refund, please email your bank details to Sue at

Huge thanks to those of you who have chosen to donate rather than ask for a refund. this was unexpected and very generous. All money not refunded will be used to support students in need to attend camp or sporting events in 2022.

Drink bottles, sun screen and hats

Please ensure that your child has a large bottle of water each day and good sun protection. Our drink fountains are closed so it is important that students have their own supply of water.

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Communication Home

We email home a school newsletter every fortnight. The purpose of this newsletter is to keep our community informed of what is happening at our school.

Please ensure we have an up-to-date email address, download our BIS School App, like our Facebook page and check our website regularly for more detailed information about what is happening at BIS.

More Upcoming Events

26 Nov - HPV Vaccination onsite

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