Welcome to Russell Street School
|Tena koutou nga matua. Greetings to all parents.
For each and every student (and their family), starting school represents the beginning of another important, exciting chapter in their lives. There are new challenges, opportunities and expectations. We welcome you to the Russell Street learning community and invite you to take advantage of the ‘open door’ policy we have. We work hard to ensure that each child has a successful transition to school, giving them the best possible start.
I am aware too, that new parents have a lot to take in when becoming involved with a new school. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any queries that you might have.
I look forward to getting to know you and your child, and working together to provide the best possible education for him/her.
|We are pleased to welcome you and your family to our Junior Team known as Papatuanuku. We have an innovative and highly motivated team of junior teachers. Myself and then later in term 1 Nicole, will be teaching your child in Room 1a and 1b. Carolyn will join the New Entrant team later in the year, opening up Room 1 next door to us.
Our aim is for your child’s start at school to be positive and exciting. We want them to feel a sense of belonging and feel safe and happy right from the start. We look forward to meeting you and hope you will take up some of the many opportunities to become involved in the school community.
Please feel free to come and talk with any of the team if you have questions or queries.
The rest of the transition team:
Pre-enrolling your child is quick and easy. All you need to do is contact one of our office team, Ag or Rachelle, and ask for your child to be put on the pre-enrolment list. You will be asked for their full name, date of birth and a contact phone number. Pre-enrolling your child means that we know they are coming and can be prepared for their arrival. If your pre-enrolment is delayed we will work with you in making the move a smooth entry to school but may not have the necessary time for a full set of transition sessions.
Transition sessions are periods in the classroom which we encourage your child to attend before they turn five.
If you are on the pre-enrolment list, about a month before your child is due to start school, the prospective classroom teacher will make contact and organise with you a series of visits. Scheduled school visits are an extension of our Friday morning JumpStart programme. The actual time and duration is arranged in negotiation with you and depends on the needs of your own child. While visiting, you and your child will be encouraged to take part in our class activities so that you and your child can meet the teacher and children in the classroom, become familiar with the environment, find classrooms of brothers and sisters, become familiar with breaktime procedures and ask any questions you may have.
How are New Entrant Classes Organised?
At RSS, we have three classrooms that take new entrants. Rooms 1a, 1b take new entrants from the start of the year. Room 1c will open later in the year, around Term 3.
If your child starts school and their fifth birthday is before April 1st they are classified as Year 1. If your child starts on April 1st or later they are classified as Year 0. All children with a birthday in April will have their progress monitored during the first three years of school to ensure that this classification is the best one for them.
What you need to do:
Before the first day of school, perhaps during a JumpStart or school visit, you will need to fill in the school enrolment form. Ag or Rachelle (the office team) will help you with this.
We need you to bring a copy of:
The above documents which support the enrolment form can be dropped off to the school office between 9am-4pm weekdays.
You will also receive:
Stationery and Hat
Please access your child’s school stationery list requirements at Office Max ready for your child’s first day of school. You can shop online by going to myschool.co.nz, in-store, by phone or you can download a copy of the list. School hats can be purchased at the office.
Every morning the children have brainfood (i.e. nuts, fruit, vegetables, plain popcorn), brunch, lunch, and a bottle of water.
Powhiri/Mihi Whakatau (Formal Welcome)
On the first day of every term we have a formal welcome for any new students and families to our community. This is by way of a powhiri or mihi whakatau directly after 9am. This process includes mihi (speeches), waiata (songs) followed by kai (food). If your child begins mid term they will be formally welcomed at the next terms powhiri.
Meeting Other Parents and Finding Out About the School
Once a term we have a gathering where we invite new entrants’ parents/whanau and parents of prospective children to meet socially for an hour or so. Kelly (Transition to School Director), the new entrant teacher, a Board of Trustees & Supporters Club representative, will talk about our school and our community. There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions and to get to know each other.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there school a school donation?
Yes. These help cover the shortfall between the Ministry of Education funds and the actual cost of providing a quality education. This voluntary donation is set at $50 a child per term with a maximum of $87.50 per family a term. You can pay it all at once or smaller amounts more regularly if that suits, and we’ve got EFTPOS for your convenience. A tax rebate certificate will be issued from the Office.
We also have an Activity Fee. This covers all class and school events each term. The rate is set at $40 a child a year (or $10 a term).
What are the school hours?
School officially starts at 8.55am. Children can come into class from 8.30 to settle into their day of learning. Interval (Brunch) is from 10.55 to 11.25am with the first ten minutes being a supervised eating time. Lunchtime is 12.55 to 1.45, once again with the first ten minutes being a supervised eating time. School finishes at 3.00pm.
What do most children eat for lunch?
Most new entrants come to school with too much food or are too excited to eat it independently. Try giving your child a balance of ‘healthy’ and ‘enjoyable’ snacks and include a bottle of water.
Can I buy lunches for my child at school?
Throughout the term, The Supporters’ Club arrange lunches that can be bought through the school such as Sausage Sizzle, Pizza, Subway etc. More information will follow.
How are children looked after in the playground?
There are always two teachers on duty in the playground and one in the staffroom for First Aid. Each class has a buddy class they work with at different times of the week and older children are buddied up with younger ones. Buddies look out for each other in the playground and often play or help each other. We are also fortunate to have senior children who are on duty as Peer Mediators who are available to help solve any problems the children may have.
What do I do if my child is sick or is going to be absent?
It is important that we know if your child is sick/away. Please phone Ag or Rachelle in the office by 9.15am or use our school app (School Stream) to record an absence. Children are on duty in the office in the mornings before school so you can leave a message with them from 8.15am, or leave a message on the answer phone if before this. We will make contact with the parents of all unexplained absences by 9.30 am.
Can I stay with my child during the transition visits?
Students under the age of five must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver when attending any transition visits. However, we do encourage parents/caregivers to retreat to the staff room (perhaps with a good book?) giving new children a chance to become independent as soon as possible. Discuss with the teacher and decide together what is best for your child.
When is the best time to talk to a teacher?
Before school is fine, but it can be quite busy. It is a good idea to arrange an appointment when the teacher has plenty of time to spend with you. Just ask.
What do I do if I have a concern about how my child is settling into school?
Talk to the classroom teacher. All teachers are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible for children.
Ideas for Helping with Reading and Writing at Home
Ideas For Helping with Maths at Home
Counting and recognising numbers
Ideas For Supporting your child with School Routines
Although there will always be help for your child with these things as they learn, giving your child a sense of independence will help them during day to day classroom life.
Arrival at School
Managing their belongings