Week 7 Term 1 Panui

Monday/Rāhina - 14th March 2022

Principal Message

Kia ora koutou Witherlea whānau,

As COVID spreads through our schools, communities and whānau, we are constantly thinking about how to protect ourselves from the virus. We now think harder about how we work, how we social distance; we are more aware of ventilation and we wear masks indoors. We have our vaccine passes at the ready and we think more carefully about how we interact with people both in and outside of work and home. With the overload of information, resources and constant changes it can become overwhelming for most. Please see the link to the Kids Health Website which is being updated regularly to support students and their whānau.

Thank you to the whānau who have let the school know about positive cases in their household or with our students. We currently have 12 families/whānau who have been isolating due to COVID. We have had nine students test positive with six who have already recovered and returned to school. There seems to be no spread at present within our classrooms with all cases being in different parts of the school and most testing positive while in isolation.

We want to keep it this way so that school does not just remain open but is fully functioning. We are very grateful for this but we know we are not immune.

So, we continue to be very careful at Witherlea with our staggered breaks which mean our teachers are doing more duty and having fewer breaks, we meet digitally as a staff, we wear masks in all common areas and in the classrooms for all Year 4-6 students and teachers (this is an incredibly hard way to teach and something that we will never get used to) BUT we do it because it keeps us safe. We do it because it won't be forever.

This is why we have changed our Whānau Hui for all Year 2-6 students to the phone option which will alleviate any technical/digital issues and ensure equity (everyone is included). You still need to book an interview time following the SchoolInterviews Booking however, this will be a time when the classroom teacher will call you.

The school will still CLOSE at 12pm so that teachers have enough time to get organised, have a break and make their first of 22 possible phone calls to their whānau. We will have further times on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

Our Ferns Team will have their Hui onsite as these are our 6-week transition to school meetings. These will also be booked through the SchoolInterview site.

We have further information below regarding these essential Hui.

Property Upgrade = NEW Fencing

We are delighted with the Ministry of Education Learning Support Modification with fencing around the school. Redwoodtown had theirs installed at the beginning of Term One and Witherlea will have theirs completed by the end of this term.

It does mean that our boundary has been brought up to safety specifications for our most vulnerable students (all NZ schools have been or are being upgraded) and part of this are the self-closing gates at the required height. Small/shorter children will NOT be able to open these gates so school will be secure.

This is important to note if your children are coming into school after 8:50am they will not be able to get in without an adult. It is a school requirement that all students coming in late or from an appointment are brought to the office by an adult.

These gates extend to all entries; McKenzie Street, Harling Park and the two entries on either side of the top car park. The carpark is NO longer an access route into our school which will keep all our students safe.

These property works are not part of the school's property plan and are planned, paid for and executed by the Ministry Learning Support and Property Teams. School has very little to do with what, where and how as the Ministry owns our property and buildings.

However, the Ministry has done an outstanding job with the quality and speed of the work and we are delighted with the fencing. The students have been amazing at following the rules, as per usual, and staying away from the contractors. The contractors have told us how impressed they are with Witherlea School grounds and students and they go into A LOT of schools - so it is a real compliment.

Take care out there, make sure you have a look at the new fencing and book in your interview time!

Ngā manaakitanga,

Andrea Harnett - Tumuaki

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Sport @ Witherlea

One of the most important aspects of school for some students and principals is SPORT. We have such dedicated kaiako / teachers that we have made sure we have done as much as we could.

We have Rippa every lunch Mon-Thurs for our Year 4-6 students who wish to join in and Sevens Tackle every Fri for our Year 4-6 students (must be rugby players) - the students are loving this and even if they do not know how to play they join in. We are going to finish the term with a tournament.

Speaking of tournaments, our Innovation Team at school has put classes into Teams (like houses) and they have had a swimming challenge to complete - the winner will be announced soon.

And last but not least the students who represented us at the Marlborough Cricket Tournament featured above - thanks Mr Stevens for taking the time so our students could participate!

Click Here to BOOK your Hui Time

SchoolInterviews Site LINK - use the CODE: 42bxs

Whānau Hui: Parent Teacher Interviews

SCHOOL CLOSED at 12pm for Interviews on Monday 21st March.


We only have time to call ONE member of each family or whānau (or speakerphone for both) so it will need to either be the 'primary caregiver' or a designated parent or caregiver who will then share or communicate the information between both households. Split families and whānau can always request two reports following this.

COVID Format

We are going ahead with these important meetings/hui however in a much safer format. Our Year 2-6 area of the school will be doing these via phone call. You will book in using the School Interviews login and the teacher will call you.

Our Ferns Team which is our New Entrant and Year 1students have their 6-week visit and Hui which is different to the above and will be conducted on school grounds as there are much fewer adults and students. They will also be booked through the School Interview site.

We know these initial Hui are vital between home and school to connect, to be on the same page and to set goals together for your children therefore we do count them as compulsory.

The school will be CLOSED at 12pm so that our teachers have time to get through an entire classroom of students across the week.

Our Year 4-6 teachers, teach all day in a mask so having the Hui via phone will support their wellbeing rather than being in masks for EVERY Hui as well. We thank you for your support with this.

Following these Hui, the Term One Initial Report will be completed and sent home in the final week of school. These will have goals that you will be part of from your discussions with the classroom teacher about your child's strengths and weaknesses both in learning (Reading, Writing and Maths) and Personal Growth area; relating to others, managing self, participating and contributing.

We will be sending home the Whānau Hui and Report Guide to all whānau and families with the Dispositions Sheet so that when the kaiako/teachers call you can set goals together for your children. Any questions you have related to their learning and/or the dispositions (key competencies) can be answered during this time.

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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;

Daisy G, Poppy A, Simon R, Giacomo G, Samara H, Matilda H, Charles P, Rose P

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.

Term 1 Events - Wahanga Tuatahi

Week 7 - Wiki Tuawhitu


Friday 18th March

Subway School Lunches

Interschool Swimming Champs - TBC under Red Light

Week 8 - Wiki Tuawaru


Monday 21st March

Whānau Hui = Parent-Teacher Interviews


Wednesday 23rd-Thursday 24th March


Whānau Hui = Parent-Teacher Interviews

Week 9 - Wiki Tuaiwa


Monday 28th March

SCHOOL CLOSED - Term 1 Teachers Learning Day (TOD)

Friday 1st April

Subway School Lunches

Week 10 - Wiki Tekau


Monday 4th April

School Photographs

Friday 8th April

Subway School Lunches

Week 11 - Wiki Tekau ma Tahi


Thursday 14th April

Subway School Lunches


Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Fair Shoutouts

Congratulations to these students who have displayed one or all of our school behaviour expectations and are a model to others;


Victoria Apulu: For always showing respect. You are a great role model to your peers.


Elaine Huang: For always showing respect to everyone in the classroom and in the playground.


Jock Murphy: You are showing kindness and compassion to your younger classmates and emerging as an awesome leader.


Emmeline Walkenhorst: For being a caring friend and looking after those around her.

Early Words Recognition

Congratulations to these students for completing their Early Words;

Sophie H

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.

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