Balclutha Primary School - T4 Wk 5

Newsletter 19 November 2021

Principal's Report

Kia Ora e te whānau and welcome to the end of Week 5.

With just over three weeks left in the term, the impact of COVID means the world around us is constantly shifting and changing. With the slow but definite crawl of COVID cases heading South, it's a timely reminder that we need to be adhering to the current Level 2 restrictions.

End of year activities

Our BOT has decided to follow the Ministry of Education recommendation that all of our end of year activities and celebrations be held without parent participation. Due to the size of our school we are unable to stay below the 100 people limit and safely adhere to level 2 social distancing regulations. While we are very disappointed that we will be unable to share these events with our parents, our primary concern is the health and safety of our students. There will be more information about our end of year activities next week, including opportunities to view recordings and photos of presentations and other school events.

Parents on site

We do request that parents continue to not come on site or visit classrooms unless it is necessary. If you do need to come on site, please wear a mask and ensure you sign in at the office. As part of the Health Mandate for schools, all parents who are working with or helping with any school related activity must have had their first vaccination, and be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

I acknowledge that the changing COVID landscape, and the uncertainly this brings has caused a lot of stress and anxiety in many parts of our school community. As a school we continue to follow our legal obligations and the recommendations from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to ensure all our students are in a safe and happy learning environment.

As a staff, we really appreciate your understanding and support with this.

Ngā mihi,

Vicki Neave

School Docs Review

This term the Board of Trustees in conjunction with SchoolDocs are reviewing a number of our policy documents. Parents are invited to provide feedback on two of our policies:

  • Religious Education
  • Māori Educational Success

If you would like to participate in this review, please log on to School Docs using the instructions below, select 'current reviews' from the green tab at the top of the page, read the policies to be reviewed and submit your feedback.

These reviews will be open until the end of term.

Logging on to SchoolDocs

1. go to

2. Click Search for your school

3. start typing the school's name and select it from the dropdown list

4. enter your community username and password.

username: balclutha password: balclutha

Farewell to Miss van Asperen

Today, we farewell Miss Sarah van Asperen, our student teacher who has been on placement with us for the last 5 weeks. We wish Sarah well for the next few years of study and we hope her pathway to becoming a Teacher continues to go well.

Board of Trustees Update from Chairperson, Jolene Ollerenshaw

Hi all

I just wanted to give our school community a bit of an update from the Board of Trustees as it has been a wee while since I have contributed this newsletter!

  • It was decided in the October meeting that for the next Board of Trustee elections, we will move to a staggered approach for the elections of the parental trustee representatives. For the next election in 2022, there will be 3 parental positions being called for a 3 year term, and 2 positions will be for a mid cycle term of 18 months. It was expected that elections were to be done in May 2022, however nationally this has now been pushed out to September. In the meantime, if any parent would like to know more about the BOT representative role please get in contact with me or call me on 021 521007.

  • As usual there is always an element of property and health and safety discussions at our meetings. A few projects are planned for the upcoming holidays; the playground turf project to replace the existing bark chips is still on track, work will commence during school holidays on this side of Xmas! The sandpit will be refreshed with new sand, the large trees around the back of the hall and the old concrete skate bowl will be removed, with the aim to upgrade this area with new plantings in 2022. With allocated funding from MOE, we are looking at possible projects for 2022, which may include upgrading the junior boys toilets area.

  • This year, The BOT funded a programme called Schooldocs, of which has been mentioned each term by Mrs Neave in previous newsletters. Parents and Teachers are encouraged to read and provide feedback on these school policies so we can customise sections relevant for our school community.

  • The progress of student achievement is always the main focus of the BOT as well. In Term 3, the BOT agreed to self fund an 8th teacher for the remainder of 2021 so that we could split the class sizes in the junior classes for term 4 and we are pleased to hear that the benefit of this for the teachers and students is proving its worth!

  • The BOT continues to be busy with a range of activities including, reviewing draft budgets for 2022, reviewing and updating our progress towards our strategic plan (you can view this on our school website) including consulting with staff, students and the wider community on the direction of the school curriculum and wellbeing. In the new year we aim to start sharing our BOT minutes to our school website for our school community to read and become aware of the activities of the BOT. While the restrictions of the COVID19 level responses have recently prevented several opportunities to engage with parents that we were planning for 2021, be rest assured that when it is safe and appropriate to do so, these opportunities to engage with parents will still be on our radar for 2022 .
Kind regards, Jolene Ollerenshaw (Board Chair)

Whanau and School Update

We have our last Whanau and School Meeting next week on Thursday 25th November at 7pm in the staffroom, it would be good to see a great turn out to plan and focus on what we can help provide for our children/school community for 2022.

Christmas Raffle

It's time for our Christmas Raffle so we are asking for the list of items for the grocery hamper from each class in week one, then each family brings a Christmas item in week two.

There will be a box in the entrance way at school (near the office) for children and adults to put items in.

Week One:

Room 1 – Crackers/chips

Room 2 – Packet of biscuits

Room 3 – Jar of chutney/sauce

Room 4 – Tea/coffee

Room 5 – Packet/ Jar of ‘meal helper’

Room 6 – A tinned item

Room 11 – Onion soup/Reduced cream

Room 12 – Chocolate/lollies

Raffle sheets will be coming out to each family in the next week, happy selling. If you require more please ask at the office.

Enjoy the weekend and Keep Safe

Whanau and School Co-Presidents

Sara Sutherland and Carleigh Frisby


2022 School Year - Term and holiday dates

Term 1
  • 1 February to 14 April 2022
  • Holidays: 7 February (observing Waitangi Day), 21 March (observing Otago Anniversary Day), 15 April (Easter Friday).
Term 2
  • 2 May to 8 July 2022
  • Holidays: 6 June (Queen's Birthday), 24 June (Matariki Day).
Term 3
  • 25 July to 30 September 2022
Term 4
  • 17 October to 15 December 2022
  • Holiday: 24 October (Labour Day)

Room 1

Room 1 have had a great week swimming! Thank you to all the parents who helped us this week.

Room 2

Room 2 have been enjoying their time in the swimming pool this week, where there have been several comments from the instructors, lifeguards and helpers about how much the children's confidence and ability in the water has increased since Term 1. Thank you to all the parents and whanau who have come to help us at the pool, we are very grateful for your support.

Room 3

Room 3 are very tired after their week of swimming! Miss Roughan has been so impressed with how everyone's skills and confidence have developed over the week.

Room 4 enjoying their time at the swimming pool.

Room 5

A tornado twister in the playground. Elm tree seeds swirled around and up. Hot air goes up. Cool air sinks down.

Room 6 students playing Lape this week

Room 12

Room 12 enjoyed a technology session with Phillipa on Monday. The students have been creating spaces that they then walk around in using the VR Goggles.

Room 11

Year 8 students are practising formal dances for our end of year graduation.
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Happy Birthday this week to...

Tiana Wyber

Bank Accounts

  • School Saveloys, sport fees and all camp fundraising - 02 0900 0000 452 00
  • Whānau and School, fundraising, school uniforms (2nd hand and new) -
  • 03 1734 0006449 00