17 April 2020

Tauranga Primary School Newsletter

Principal's Message

Tēnā koutou katoa

Ngā mihi nui, kia koutou katoa - Warm greetings to you all.

We hope that everyone is safe, well and happy.

This week staff invested time to connect personally with all of our school families, so far we have managed to speak directly to 95% of our school. From this information we have been able to order 58 hard copy learning packs from the Ministry of Education for those who need them, and cleaned, reconfigured and sent 56 school devices (ipads and chromebooks) to lend to TPS families who temporarily need some additional IT gear to access online learning. We hope the packs will arrive on doorsteps soon.

With the Prime Minister starting to discuss what Level 3 Alert might look like for our country it has caused some anxiety, as well as some hope and optimism for returning to some normality.

At this stage what you know is exactly what I know. I have no additional information. We are waiting for the official decision on the 20th of April. If it is decided that we move to Alert Level 3 then I expect that we will then be given detailed information and directives from the Ministry of Education about how it will work for schools and what we must do.

What we know about Level 3 at this stage (in regards to schooling):

  • Schools (years 1 to 10) and Early Childhood Education centres can safely open, but will have limited capacity.
  • Children should learn at home if possible.
  • People must work from home unless that is not possible.
  • 29th April is the earliest date for the first day that school might open

Once we have definite directives, we will:

  • Review and develop COVID-19 procedures and practices for returning to Level 3, that are resourced appropriately.
  • Follow the latest Ministry of Health advice to keep everyone on site safe and well.
  • Identify and manage any known and emerging risks.
  • Ensure that staff take care of their own health and safety by following our procedures and practices.

Until then please resist the urge to be anxious. No one will have to return to school, you have the power to act in the best interests of your children and family. At Level 3 your children are encouraged to stay at home.

We will communicate with you as soon as we have definite plans, our school community will be the first to know what is happening for Tauranga Primary School.

Learning at home is so powerful, do not underestimate what your children are learning and the high value it has in shaping them into the fine young people they are destined to be.

Your child(ren) will be learning:

  • To enjoy and be thankful for the things they do have.
  • To be creative problem solvers (an awesome workplace skill). They are learning to make do with what is available, re-cycle and re-purpose existing resources to address a need or want.
  • To be grateful for the kindness and bravery of others. To recognise the huge value of various jobs in our society …. health care workers, truck drivers, fruit pickers, farmers, nurses, doctors, super market workers, service station attendants, dairy owners/workers etc etc.
  • The value of generosity I have been blown away with the way companies, families and individuals have shared their talents and resources for the greater good. Musicians doing free online concerts, exercise classes free to air, telcos opening up broadband programmes and so many individuals connecting and helping out their neighbours and whanau in so many unseen ways.
  • To cook – so much of the NZ maths and health curriculum is covered by this daily task. It is an essential life skill that will always be needed.
  • To self-manage their time and space (again another highly employable skill).
  • The value of whanau/family …… eating together, negotiating and managing the squabbles and tough bits, and appreciating the special moments. You have a unique opportunity to create a special family bond that means when your children (finally) leave home, they will choose to come back and spend time with you because of this special whānau bond you have developed.

I am sure this list could be extended, but you get the idea.
  • Choose to look for the positives.
  • Be grateful for what you have achieved.
  • Be kind on yourself for what didn't go well - it’s all about learning from mistakes. Despite what Facebook and Instagram stories reflect, everyone gets it wrong and has nightmare days.

When we get the decision to move to Alert Level 3, our staff will swing into planning mode. We will be in touch with the absolute details about how it will look for our school, our staff, our students and our whanau.

Until then – take care and keep in touch.

Ngā mihi

Fiona Hawes


Helping students stay safer online from home

As you know, children's online safety is important. At school, Network for Learning (N4L) helps keep our TPS students safe from the bad side of the internet. During lockdown, the students' place of learning shifts to their home. So N4L has worked out a way to help parents keep their children safely connected at home.

FREE N4L safety filter for all students

N4L have set up a safety filter that parents can set up on their child's learning devices from home.

Just go to switchonsafety.co.nz to find clear instructions on how to do this.

The free N4L safety filter (by global cyber-security leader, Akamai) blocks websites containing known cyber threats like phishing scams, malicious content and viruses, while also protecting children from content deemed the worst of the web (like adult sites).

It is an extension of one of the many safety and security services we have in place at Tauranga Primary School and is a valuable layer of protection to help keep children safe online. Please remember that technology is not a silver bullet and the filter should be used in combination with Netsafe's online parent safety toolkit.

How does it work?

Once a child's device is set up, all internet search requests will go through the safety filter which checks if the website they are trying to visit is safe before allowing access. If it's a website that's known to be unsafe, then it will be blocked. The safety filter is applied to the child's device, so parents' devices are not affected.

Home Learning T.V. - TVNZ 2 + 1

You maybe aware that TVNZ are offering educational programmes on free to air TV.

This will be available on TVNZ 2+1, TVNZ on Demand, as well as on Sky Channel 502.

The new programming will start on Wednesday 15th April.

This is an option that you could choose to use to support learning in your home, if it works for your family and daily routine.

Here is the timetable:

9.00am - 9.10am Parenting - Nathan Wallis
9.10am - 9.25am Early Learning
9.25am - 9.40am Junior Health (Age 5 - 8)
9.40am - 9.55am Junior Literacy (Age 5 - 8)
9.55am - 10.05am Maia the Brave
10.05am - 10.30am Beginning Te Reo
10.30am - 10.50am Beginning Te Reo
10.30am - 10.50am Junior Science and Maths (Age 5 - 8)
10.50am - 11.00am Kai 5
11.00am - 11.15am Middle Literacy and Language Age (9 - 11)
11.15am - 11.40am Middle Maths (Age 9 - 11)
11.40am - 12.05pm Junior Project
12.05pm - 12.30pm Fanimals
12.30pm - 12.40pm Parenting with Nathan Wallis
12.40pm - 1.00pm Aotearoa HIstory
1.00pm - 1.30pm Senior Literacy (Age 12 - 15)
1.30pm - 1.55pm Born to Move - (Teens)
1.55pm - 2.25pm Advanced Te Reo
2.25pm - 2.50pm Senior Project
2.50pm - 3.00pm Daily Diary


This fact sheet below has lots of information and explains how to access help and assistance.

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Home internet slow - try these suggestions:

For home internet connections
It is important to eliminate performance/speed issues with the home wifi setup first, rather than assuming there is an issue with the connection from the house to the internet. To check this:
  • Run a speed test at www.speedtest.net to establish a baseline, and repeat after making any change below to check for improvement
  • Power off home router every morning, leave off for 30 secs before powering back on (don’t press the reset button this will reset the device settings!)
  • Turn off, or disable Wi-Fi on, unused devices where possible, especially older devices that run at slower Wi-Fi speeds
  • Decrease the physical distance between your device and the Wi-Fi router, line of sight is best
  • Use an Ethernet cable on devices where possible, to reduce Wi-Fi load (especially smart TVs, gaming consoles) – plug these into a spare LAN port on your router
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Fiona Hawes


07 578 6222

Deputy Principal

Cathy Ediker


Assistant Principal

Robyn Caley


Junior Team Leader

Pam Wilkins


Middle Team Leader

Jason Morgan


Acting Senior Team Leader

Jo Howard


International Student enquiries

Cathy Ediker


Business Manager

Susan O'Neill


Office Administrator and Enrolment Officer

Barbara Turley


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