Week 1 Term 1 Panui

Monday/Rāhina - 31st January 2022

Principal Message

Kia ora koutou Witherlea whānau;

A huge and resounding WELCOME BACK to you all.

What a way to start our year with our Mihi Whakatau. The Year 6 girls delivered a fabulous 'Karanga' to bring in the new students, the Year 5-6 Haka boys, in a moments notice, confidently chanted to our group of new students and ALL of our new students were up the front shaking hands and receiving their certificates.

It was really a proud Principal moment as we saw our new leaders - our Kaitiaki/guardians on display. We really hold this part of the Witherlea journey in high regard. every teacher throughout the school teaches the children something new on their way to Year 6. And, what spectacular Year 6 students we have.

This will be our only Mihi Whakatau (where we Karanga / sing / Haka while in Red Light. We will continue using our Flag Raising on a Monday morning; to welcome our new students, give out our Welcome to School Certificates, our Early Words and our Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Fair Certificates - whānau of these students will be able to attend with masks, scanning and 2-meter distancing, but only the whānau of these students.

If we start to see community cases in Blenheim we have a phase two approach and that will be NO Flag Raising, staggered lunch and playtimes so that students stay primarily in their teams.

If there was to be a case in the school we would let our community know for sure however we will be guided by the Ministry of Education: Director and Ministry of Health liaison. We have a step by step process to follow and this was formulated at the end of last year. It does however raise communication as vital: please ensure you have the School App and Seesaw updated and up and running. These will be the ways we communicate quickly to our whole community.

The second and most important is having your details updated in the office. We cannot stress enough about this. Last year we were caught out delivering hard packs and digital devices to wrong addresses, not being able to contact people via phone due to non-existent numbers and having sick or injured children without emergency contacts. This is a new world we live in and these contact details are more important now than ever before.

During a visit to each classroom today it was evident that each teacher was connecting to the new students in such unique ways. There were tours of the school, tours of Harling Park and the space where our trees were, choosing between Pet Dragon or Dinosaur, sorting out how to get group points, tidy shoes, stories, swimming and portraits with cool mask designs. The students and the teachers are buzzing.

Thank you today to those parents who could drop at the gate and do. There was no congestion with students and adults. Thank you for supplying masks for your children, trusting us to teach them 'how to wear them' and giving them enough breaks so that it is not a terrible experience. We do have a few children with conditions and exemptions where they cannot be worn but these are only a few - we show respect and kindness to these students and adults.

Lastly, even though we are having to do all of these things that seem different and perhaps hard our main aim is to STAY OPEN. We want school open for us because that is how we teach best, for our students because that is keeping everything as normal as possible and for you because we know distance learning is not ideal. So, please reach out to your children's teachers, stay in contact, book meetings after school if you need time (you are allowed at school for educational purposes). We are happy to ZOOM or Google Meet so that you do not feel on the outside.

We look forward to 2022, sharing loads on Seesaw, staying open and all the progress that each child will make on their way to reaching their potential.

Ngā manaakitanga,

Andrea Harnett - Tumuaki

Important Items to Remember for Term One

Sunsmart School

As we are a Sunsmart school we require students to wear the school hat (can be purchased from the office or if supplying your own, it must be plain navy with a brim all the way around) and wear this when outdoors in Term One and Term Four. Naming the hat is vital!

Swimming Gear

We have upgraded our pool heating system so that we can take advantage of Term One and Term Four. Students require; togs, towels, goggles (if they have them) every day so they are ready for their class and/or team swim time. It is best to have this in a separate bag.


If your child is in Year 4-6 they will be required to wear a mask. The recommended type has three layers. These will be worn indoors and every teacher in every class will teach good mask-wearing strategies and ensure that there are regular breaks and outdoor activities for their students. Please contact your classroom teacher for details of this.

Seesaw and School App

Seesaw is becoming one of our primary resources for connection between home and school and gives us the ability to show the learning for each child. It is like an ongoing record of learning, progress and achievement.

School App is our notification system and it integrates with our Newsletter and/or important updates for our community. It has our calendar, Links, where important newsletters or information are stored, a button to go to the Sports Hub and will be the way we notify the community of emergencies. You can also notify us of your child's absence on this app.

Please ensure that you have both of these platforms up and running for Term One. The school app can be downloaded from your phone app store (search for School Apps NZ). Once you have downloaded the app, it will prompt you to enter the name of your school. You will need to then click on the menu button (top left of the screen) and select 'alert subscription' and select the groups/classes that you would like to see alerts from. Even if you already have the school app, you will need to change the alert subscription if your child has changed classroom.

For Seesaw, your child's teacher will contact you with details of how to join.

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Welcome to Witherlea School

We wish to welcome these new students and their families and whānau to our school and community;

Dorian B, D'Arcy C, Cooper C, Aurora C, Traejahn F, Aoife F, Elsie G, Joseph H, Stella H, Logan J, Finn L, Telaiya M, Ella M, Hunter M, Flynn M, Eliza M, Finley P, Kate R, Jamie T

Welcome to School Certificates are given out at our Flag Raising on a Monday morning at 9am. During Red Light, ONLY parents of New Students receiving Welcome Certificates can be onsite.

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Uniform Shop 2022

We have a second-hand uniform shop available at school. Please get in touch with the office if you would like to purchase anything or email angelac@witherlea.school.nz

Prices are:

  • $5 tops and shorts
  • $10 polar fleece

We are always grateful for any clean, tidy uniforms to sell, these can be dropped off at the school office.

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Subway Lunches

This enables caregivers to order their children a Subway lunch which will be delivered to the school. The process is ONLINE and is between families and Subway - this eliminates any administration and/or money exchange for the school.

Our Subway lunches are every Friday. The menu is a limited menu designed specifically for schools and prices start from $4.50.

Orders must be placed before 8.45am via Subway Express on a Friday morning and will be delivered to school for our 1pm lunchtime.

Subway can only accept credit card purchases.

Please note that Subway lunches are unable to be ordered if a school trip or event falls on a


Term 1 Events - Wahanga Tuatahi

Week 1 - Wiki Tuatahi



Monday 31st January

Year 6 Leadership Orientation 11am-1pm

New Entrant Visit 11am-1pm

Tuesday 1st February

All year groups: First Day of School for 2022

Mihi Wakahatau @ 8:55am - Welcome to 'New Students' and Whānau (ONLY new students whānau can be onsite)

Friday 4th February

Subway School Lunches BACK for 2022 - please order by Thursday night and let your child know so they can pick up at the Hall.

Week 2 - Wiki Tuarua


Monday 7th February

SCHOOL CLOSED - Waitangi Day

Tuesday 8th February

Flag Raising Hui - School Event ONLY (Red Light)

Friday 11th February

Subway School Lunches

Week 3 - Wiki Tuatoru


Monday 14th February

Flag Raising Hui - School Event ONLY (Red Light)

Tuesday 15th February

Meet the Teacher - Digital this year = sent out to all families

Friday 18th February

Subway School Lunches

Week 4 - Wiki Tuawhā


Monday 21st February

Flag Raising Hui - School Event ONLY (Red Light)

Friday 25th February

Subway School Lunches

Week 5 - Wiki Tuarima


Monday 28th February

Flag Raising Hui - School Event ONLY (Red Light)

Tuesday 1st March

Kiwi Smash Cricket Festival = TBC under Red Light

Wednesday 2nd March

Yaer 5-6 Cricket Festival = TBC under Red Light

Friday 4th March

Subway School Lunches

Week 6 - Wiki Tuaono


Monday 7th March

Flag Raising Hui - School Event ONLY (Red Light)

Friday 11th March

Subway School Lunches

Week 7 - Wiki Tuawhitu


Monday 14th March

Flag Raising Hui - School Event ONLY (Red Light)

Friday 18th March

Subway School Lunches

Interschool Swimming Champs - TBC under Red Light

Week 8 - Wiki Tuawaru


Monday 21st March

Flag Raising Hui - School Event ONLY (Red Light)

Parent-Teacher Interviews: TBC


Wednesday 23rd-Thursday 24th March


Parent-Teacher Interviews

Week 9 - Wiki Tuaiwa


Monday 28th March

SCHOOL CLOSED - Term 1 Teachers Learning Day

Tuesday 30th March

Flag Raising Hui - School Event ONLY (Red Light)

Friday 1st April

Subway School Lunches

Week 10 - Wiki Tekau


Monday 4th April

Flag Raising Hui - School Event ONLY (Red Light)

School Photographs

Friday 8th April

Subway School Lunches

Week 11 - Wiki Tekau ma Tahi


Monday 11th April

Flag Raising Hui - School Event ONLY (Red Light)

Thursday 14th April

Subway School Lunches


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2022 School Dates

Orientation Day: Year 6 and New Entrant Only

Monday 31st January

First Day of Term: Whole School

Tuesday 1st February

Term One: Monday 31st January - Thursday 14th April

  • Monday 7th February: Waitangi Day Observed
  • Monday 21st March: Early Finish @12pm for Whānau Hui (Parent Teacher Meetings)
  • Monday 28th March: Teachers Only Day Term One
  • Easter Holidays begin Friday 15th April

Term Two: Monday 2nd May - Friday 8th July

  • Monday 6th June: Queens Birthday
  • Friday 24th June: Matariki Observed
  • Monday 27th June: Teachers Only Day Term 2

Term Three: Monday 25th July - Friday 30th September

  • Monday 5th September: Teachers Only Day Term 3

Term Four: Monday 17th October - Tuesday 20th December

  • Monday 24th October: Labour Day Holiday
  • Monday 31st October: Marlborough Anniversary Weekend
  • Monday 28th November: Teachers Only Day Term 4
  • Tuesday 20th December: Last Day of 2022 - 12pm school closed

Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Fair Shoutouts

These certificates will be given out at Flag Raising on a Monday at 8:50am - you will be contacted if your child is getting an award so you can join us.

The awards are for recognition in displaying and modelling our school motto and values; Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Fair.

At the end of the term, all students who have been nominated for this award will be drawn out for a FREE Subway Lunch with the Principal.

Early Words Recognition

These certificates will be given out at Flag Raising on a Monday at 8:50am - you will be contacted if your child is getting an award so you can join us.

We are very proud of the effort towards learning that our youngest students put in as the Early Words is the start of mastery at Witherlea School.