BIS Newsletter Week 3 Term 4

Friday 5th November 2021


Morena e te Whānau,

I hope you are keeping well in your bubbles. I did not expect to be in lockdown for this long and the fatigue across our community is certainly showing at the moment. I think it's really important that we take time to acknowledge that this is a difficult time. Keeping positive at the moment when we have more questions than answers is tricky. It is very normal and expected that you will be feeling frustrated, angry, confused and powerless as we wait for changes in the covid situation. Thank you for continuing to support us as we also deal with these emotions while trying to navigate the best ways forward.

I wanted to share some certainties with you today.

A decision to reopen schools has not been made. This decision will be made by the Minister of Education.

When schools do reopen they will look different to how they usually look. Health and safety measures will be prioritised to prevent/reduce the spread of any virus. At Birkdale Intermediate we have started making some of these changes by looking at sanitisation systems, air flow and ventilation, limited movement across school, students in same bubbles all day, regular breaks outdoors and a focus on re-integrating students back into a school setting. Students will not be returning to school for assessment purposes.

Schools are connectors to the community. With this in mind, all decisions that are made to reopen our school will be done with the best interests of our community in mind. We make our best decisions when we have lots of data to inform our thinking. For this reason we want to know from parents if you will send your child back to school when the MOE reopens schools. This is important information for us as it will give us an idea of how we could reopen and what other options we need to make available. I am hoping to get responses from all parents so I have made this survey very short. PLEASE take the time to let us know your thoughts. It is anonymous.

I have fielded many questions about the collection of vaccination records. We are required to collect this information. It is private and confidential. Your child's teacher, other students and their whānau will not know your child's vaccination status unless you choose to tell them. We will only share your child's health records with health professionals if there was an outbreak and they needed to know who was most vulnerable. Only you can consent to your child being vaccinated and the school is not doing covid vaccinations onsite. I hope this eases any concerns that some of you have expressed in emails to me.

The final certainty is that this is hard work for everyone. Our staff, your children, you and your whānau. We know that you are doing the very best that you can do in this situation and we hope that you know that we are doing the very best that we can do in this situation. We may have days when we get it wrong or days when it feels like you are doing it alone. I apologise for those tough days but want you to know that we are trying to get it right. Your support of our staff makes my job so much easier. Thank you for letting teachers know that they are appreciated and thank you for soldiering on with the home learning.

I look forward to the day when we all look back at this time and say, "Thank goodness Covid is gone and we all came out of lockdown safe and well".

Kia kaha everyone,


The Return to School Survey

Please complete this form:

Staff Changes for 2022

We have a few staff changes happening for next year.

Marelize van de Wall has had an exciting opportunity to relocate her family to Cambridge. We are so sad to lose her. She has been a bubbly, kind and incredible teacher at our school and I know that the students in Whānau 1 will be very upset to hear that she is leaving. Mrs. Malia Naititi has been on leave this year and living in Canada. She will be returning to our school and will take over Whānau 1 in term 2. We are looking at options for term 1.

Rachel Young will remain at our school but will increase her work as a sports coordinator meaning that she will not have a Whānau class in 2022. Her current cohort of year 7 students will remain together and will be in Whānau 3 with Mr. Zachary Fowles as their Whānau teacher. Our students already know and love Mr. Fowles.

Our amazing performing arts coordinator and mentor teacher, Mrs. Kylie Dalton has decided to focus on her own children next year. She will be a big loss to our school as she really is a master of everything. We won't miss her though as she will continue to be involved in some of our performing arts programmes including ShowQuest.

Whānau teachers will be reminding students that the Whānau classes stay together for 2 years at BIS. This is to ensure they continue building strong relationships with their peer group and their Whānau teacher. This will be particularly important in 2022 after the disruption to this year.

The Health Curriculum

Our NZ Health Curriculum covers a range of topics from care for self to relationships with others and safety in a variety of settings. Some of these topics are more important and relevant at different times in a child's schooling. Some of these topics are best taught by outside agencies who have expertise in the subject while some topics need to be covered regularly by many teachers. The priorities change in response to current needs. Our community consultation is done every 2 years so we can ensure that we deliver the health programmes that best meet the current needs of the students at Intermediate. Please take some time to read the survey questions and answer these from your own point of view. We want to gather your personal thoughts and ideas. We collect this information anonymously and value your input.

New Enrolments

Do you know a student who is currently in year 6 and intends to come to BIS next year? Please encourage them to enrol NOW. All details are on our website:

Strategic Review

Each year we spend time reviewing our programmes, resourcing, use of staffing and facilities and our school vision. Term 4 is a good time to brainstorm ways to improve outcomes for students, property improvements, future resourcing and curriculum delivery. We have a variety of ideas that have been added to our strategic plan that cover how we teach, what we teach, the resources we use to teach and the upgrade to teaching spaces. We are always looking to improve and are always keen to ensure we are delivering an education that is relevant and responsive to the needs of our community.

So, we want to hear from you. We want to know what you think the priorities should be for the next year. We want all and any ideas that you have from new resources, allocation of staffing, subjects taught, uniform, property, outdoor facilities, resources, technology, school culture and vision. We will then take these ideas, put them into a consultation document that will be shared with the school community. Even if your child won't be at Intermediate next year, we still want to hear from you. You can view this year's plan by clicking the button below.

Please email your feedback to our Board's presiding member, Rachael Barnett.

We are hoping to get hundreds of emails so you may not get a reply but we will aim to include all ideas in our consultation document.

Retail Opening Next Week

If you are returning to work next week as a retail worker and you have no child care options, please contact Mrs Bush if you want your child to attend school in a bubble of 10 students.

We currently have 20 students onsite in 2 managed bubbles. We will add a third if the need is there. Students can only attend school if they are registered to attend. We can not have walk ins each day as we have to ensure adequate supervision per bubble and we cannot mix or rearrange the current bubbles of students.

School Face Masks - Delivered

They have arrived. They are made of thin wetsuit type material and fit well on small faces. We still have some available to order.

To encourage mask wearing and to try to normalise this at school, we have purchased fabric reusable and washable face masks to sell. These are adjustable and good quality face masks that will have our school logo on them. We will name each mask in fabric paint when purchased. Order forms will be sent out shortly. Masks will cost $10.00.

These are available for order now and can be paid via kindo. Click on the link to order one.

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Newsletter proudly sponsored by

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Cyber Safety with NETSAFE!

Netsafe is a website that holds a variety of resources for parents and their children about staying safe online, and what to do if you are being bullied or harassed online and on any social media platforms. You can report incidents of online bullying, harassment or if you or your child feels unsafe or is receiving.

Upcoming Events

Monday 15th November - Tentative start date back given by the Government. Please keep an eye on your emails for further information regarding the actual start date back.

Tuesday 16th November - BOT Meeting 6.30 pm (in school or online TBC)

Tuesday 7th December - BOT Meeting 6.30 pm (in school or online TBC)

Wednesday 15th December - Prize Giving (TBC). End of Term 4

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.

Community Advertisements

Please contact to advertise your community event in this space.

What's happening in our Community?

Click here to see the events and activities the Birkdale Beach Haven Community Houses have planned for our community this Term.