COVID-19 Update March 24 #3

Kia ora e te whānau

The purpose of this update is to clarify the processes and systems for continuing learning at home.

Here is a time frame so you are aware of what we are doing and when:

  • Tuesday & Wednesday March 24 & 25: Teachers are at school supervising the children of essential workers and finalising plans for setting up remote learning in Seesaw.
  • Thursday & Friday March 26 & 27: Teachers will share one or two simple learning activities for children to complete in Seesaw. This is to test the approach and address any issues that may arise and to build familiarity of supporting this as you are able with your children. It also gives you the opportunity to sort any technical issues at your end.
  • Monday March 30 – Tuesday April 14: School Holidays including Easter
  • Wednesday April 15: Remote Learning commences via Seesaw.

Each teacher has prepared a slide to give you a heads up of what the remote learning will look like for their class. The slides also outline the apps that we use and links to some suggested web sites. We require you to download the Seesaw Class app. This is to prepare you for learning at home before the actual learning is shared via Seesaw.

What about devices and Wi-Fi?

  • We have a limited amount of devices that we can lend out to families. If you need a device please email before 12pm Wednesday March 25. Decisions will be made on a case by case scenario and parents will need to sign an agreement accepting liability for the device.
  • If you have no wi-fi, please contact your child’s teacher, or phone the school office before 12pm Wednesday and together you can try and work out how this can work.

What else do you need to know about learning from home? Here is a guide for you.

  1. Teacher’s will put their and their family’s health first! Arrangements will be made for the learning to be communicated by another teacher if the teacher has a higher priority.
  2. We will use only one consistent platform (Seesaw) for communicating learning expectations and sharing learning activities.
  3. Teachers will only use other apps and online sites that your children have used before in class. We will not be introducing new apps and sites with your learners.
  4. Teachers will provide learning that is familiar e.g. a follow-up or extension of the current class and/or personal goals of your children. They will not be introducing new concepts.
  5. Learning will come from across the curriculum – this is not just about numeracy and literacy.
  6. Learning will up online by 10am at the latest each day (unless the learning/project is to be continued over several days
  7. Teachers will not be available all day! They will monitor, respond to and approve student learning as it is posted back to Seesaw, 2 to 3 times a day.
  8. Classroom teachers are only to communicate learning with you.
  9. School leadership will communicate updates on school closure/opening and all other relevant information.

Digital Citizenship

Working online provides a great opportunity for everyone to practice being a great digital citizen! The characteristics of a successful digital citizen closely align to our school’s values and are driven by our vision of Empowering Agency, Innovation and Leadership.

We think a good digital citizen is someone who;

  • is a confident and capable user of ICT
  • will use ICT for learning as well as other activities
  • will think carefully about whether the information they see online is true
  • will be able to speak the language of digital technologies
  • understands that they may experience problems when using technology but can deal with them
  • will always use ICT to communicate with others in positive ways
  • will be honest and fair in all of their actions using ICT
  • will always respect people’s privacy and freedom of speech online
  • will help others to become a better digital citizens.

We appreciate your support in modelling and supporting these characteristics with your children.

COVID-19 Update March 23 #2

Further to the notice sent out late this afternoon here are some further updates from the Ministry of Education relating to school closure.

Clarification of whether your work is viewed as an essential service can be found here:

If you need to have your child cared for by someone else you will need to identify that person or people as part of your self-isolated group. This will need to be done by midnight Wednesday and the group must remain the same for the whole 4 week period. The caregiver’s own group (eg, their partner and children), your child and your own group (eg, your parents and other children) become one group. This group needs to be limited to minimise any risk of spread and should be no more than 20 people.

Your children will be looking to you for guidance about this decision. Parents, caregivers, whānau and teachers will have a particularly important part to play in reassuring children at this time. If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to read the information put together by the Ministry of Education to support your conversations with your children – Talking to children about COVID-19

School holidays are being brought forward so that they are completed within the 4 week period. Holidays will now begin from Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive. At the end of the school holidays, schools will be open for distance learning but not physically open for staff to work at the schools. Please note the instruction to stay home (Alert Level 4) will continue beyond the new school holiday period but schools will be technically open for distance instruction. Teachers will be working offsite.

As noted by the Prime Minister these restrictions are our best chance to slow the virus in New Zealand and to save lives. We all have a clear role here to slow the spread of COVID-19.

We will continue to communicate with you over the coming days. Tomorrow morning we will communicate with you the process for continuing learning from home.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our school staff and school community.

COVID-19 Update March 23

As you are all aware the Prime Minister announced today that schools will be closed from tomorrow.

Here is what you need to know:

  • For situations where both parents work in essential services areas*, we will cater for your children for Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • For all other children, school is closed from tomorrow.
  • From midnight Wednesday, school is closed for all learners.

Teachers are ready to continue learning with your children at home. Information regarding this and how to access the learning will be communicated with you tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

*the Ministry of Education will be providing a list of what it deems as essential services areas. We will communicate this with you when it is received.

End of 2019 Update

Kia Ora Whānau,

The last day of 2020 is nearly here…

What a fantastic day this was for our departing 49 Year 6 leavers that we have. All we can say is that Ross, PNINS, Feilding and St Peters are very lucky to be receiving an amazing bunch of learners. Thank you for the leadership you have provided our school in your time here. Rosie, Nic, John, Bianca and Mel, as well as the rest of the staff are so very proud of you and your achievements. You will all be missed.

End of Year Prizegiving:
On Wednesday afternoon we had our end of year prizegiving recognising our many award winners and what an afternoon it was. We held it onsite in our hall for the first time in a number of years and it was a full house! Check out the nominees and recipients here: End of Year Prizegiving 2019. Congratulations to all our winners!

The annual mural was unveiled yesterday morning and I’m sure I say this every year, but this is my new favourite! It is simply breathtaking. Thanks to Carolyn for her leadership in this space, I know you are so proud of Peyton, Jack, Keira, Meleena, Eva, Daniela, JC, Rebecca and Emily. What a talented bunch of artists they are.

Tomorrow we farewell a number of staff who are finishing up with us::
Suzanne Smith has been a valued member of our staff for  years and has lifted the profile of GATE within our school. She has positively impacted many children’s lives through her One Day Schools, Create Groups, Teaching in Poutama and being our Reading Recovery teacher. She moves on to join the Feilding Kāhui Ako as the Learning Support Coordinator.
Stephanie Bookless was only really with us for 2018, but was a loved teacher by the kids in 6 with a Mix. She has decided that the ‘Mum Life’ is for her with her daughter Olivia. We wish her and Marc all the best.
Demelza Darby has been a great addition to the team keeping us covered while our Mums were on leave; taking over from Ebony last year when she had Evie and then this year for Samantha when she had Jaida. Hopefully she will be back doing some relieving for us one day.
-Bridget Higson has been an excellent part time teacher in a range of classes over her time her. She has shared her love for sport and art with a wide range of learners from Poutokomanawa, Te Whanake, Atawhai and Waka Huia. Thank you for your contributions to our school.
Kate Cliff has been a Teaching Assistant for the last few years supporting our priority learners. This year she became our Quick60 teacher, which is an intervention designed to help lift students achievement in reading and has gathered pleasing results. We wish her all the best for her next journey.
Jeremy Phillips has been our resident tech fixer upperer over the last 17 years and has decided to move on to the next stage of his life. His wicked sense of humour will be missed.
-Also a massive farewell to our parents who are ending their tenure with us by default, as they have a year 6 leaving tomorrow and they are the last in their family to attend our school. Like I always tell kids “Russell Street is more than a school, it’s in your DNA!” so don’t be a stranger. Farewell to any of our families who are leaving our school tomorrow and moving on to new schools in 2020.

School Reports:
These went home with your child today. Our staff have worked tirelessly to get these finished and they are all a beautiful read. I personally love the student voice element, which puts your child at the centre. Please take the time to read these alongside your child as opposed to on your own, as they really are a special document.

Start Dates for 2020:
Information about this is included in the report in the class placement. Korero Mai (Meet the Learner) is all set to go for the 28th/29th January 2020. You will need to book a 20 minute slot for your child/ren on either day. These are taken as school days and attendance is compulsory. The timeslots are at 11.30am-7.30pm on Tuesday 28th January and 9-5pm on the Wednesday 29th January 2020. Go to and the code is 228us to book. Full school back for instruction on the Thursday 30th January.

Class Placements:
Here is the map for 2020 so you can see where everybody is next year.

With Suzanne leaving us, from Term 2 John Smith has agreed to be our new GATE teacher for 2020 and beyond. He is extremely passionate about working with children who need further extension, so is the perfect person for this job (MuWahahaha)

Nic’s Sabbatical:
For those of you who don’t already know, Nic Mason won a sabbatical for Term 1 of 2020. John Smith will be the full time classroom teacher for those learners in Room 7 next year during Nic’s absence. When Nic comes back in Term 2, he will be resume co-teaching with John. (Nic: Monday, Tuesday, Friday. John: Wednesday, Thursday)

Sports Uniforms:
All our Summer Sports concluded yesterday and we desperately need to restock our shelves with our uniforms ready for next years sporting codes. If you forgot to give them back to your coach, could you please hand them in to the office, especially if you are a year 6 student who doesn’t have any younger siblings.

Library Books:
Have you seen these books? Rebecca would love them back please.

Blast to the Past

Russell Street School presents: Blast to the Past
Directed by Rachel Lenart, Dean McKerras and the teachers of Russell Street School

Russell Street School has just turned 90 and to celebrate, the kids of RSS are going back in time with their school production.

“How’s this for elearning! A time machine! How better than to connect to the school’s history than to EXPERIENCE IT! Not in VR but IRL! Show me some wairua and come with me! “

For four kids at Russell Street, the opportunity for adventure (AHEM… Learning) proves too tempting. But their actions have some serious consequences. Will they be able to fix what’s been broken?

Each class focused on a different decade, learning about New Zealand and what life was like for kids ‘back in the day’. Sometimes poignant, sometimes ridiculous, these ideas were threaded together into an irreverent and vibrant play by award winning theatre director Rachel Lenart (Vinegar Tom, Modern Girls in Bed) a Russell Street mum with clearly too much time on her hands. Because it takes a village, she was joined by Russell Street mums and dads on choreography, local legend Dean McKerras (Dance NZ made, Shortland St the musical), Marika Harvey of Dance Works (choreographer of the year, Mary Poppins) and Chantelle Christiansen (Dean McKerras School of Dance).

“Oooh, look! A big red button!”
“Don’t press it!”
“Dude, I’m totally going to press it”

Join Russell Street School for one night only on a journey through time. Where the children find the values of today, by celebrating and sometimes clashing with what came before. Music, dance, comedy, doubtful physics, over their heads political gags and school history have never been so much fun!

Ki o Rahi

Congratulations to our two teams who played in the Kelly Sport Ki o Rahi tournament at Ongley Park this week.

Our 2 teams were amazing, coming away with 1st and 3rd places overall!

Ka mau te wehi! What an awesome result for our learners.

Te Pikinga

Te Pikinga Roopu from Russell Street School competing in our first regional Kapa Haka competition. Even though we have lots to learn, we are still so proud of our wairua, kotahitanga and panekiretanga!

A fantastic ERO Report for Russell St School!

Kia ora whānau!

We are both excited and proud to share with you the final report from the Education Review Office.

The report outlines the great things that are in place at Russell Street to ensure it is a fantastic place for learning. This is a huge acknowledgement of work our amazing and committed team of teachers, support staff, leaders and trustees do to make our school the best possible place for our students.

The report confirms that the school continues to be on a 4-5 year ERO review cycle (which is awesome!), and I would encourage you to read the full report as there is so much to be proud of about our school!

Read the full report and letter from Jann Marshall.

If you have anything you would like to follow up with, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kia ora rawa atu, Nick