WELCOME TO TAMARIKI SCHOOL
We are different in many ways from other schools and we hope this booklet will help you to be comfortable with how the school responds to your children and to you. Parents are very welcome in the school at any time, we value you, and just by being there, you show your children that you value the school.
Tamariki focuses on supporting each child’s developmental pattern and passes on more than just academic learning. We provide a meaningful education and this is evidenced by the fact that some of our children are the children of past students.
Tamariki School was founded in 1967 by a group of Playcentre parents and people interested in positive mental health. The founders were influenced by the Playcentre philosophy that children learn best through play and in a caring environment, and also by the teachings of Dr. M. Bevan-Brown, a local psychiatrist and author of 'The Sources of Love and Fear'. The school was loosely modelled on Summerhill School in England, a ‘free school’ that was founded and run by educator and author A. S. Neill.
Originally a private primary school operating in a tiny brass band hall in Linwood, Tamariki moved to an old villa in Rutherford Street in 1969. We became an integrated primary school in 1990 and moved to our current site in 1994.
We proudly use the Maori name that has been gifted to us, as we truly are a child-focused school and we welcome children of all cultural backgrounds.
How Does Learning Take Place at Tamariki?
Learning by Experiencing
At the heart of the school is the fundamental premise that play is the essence of living and learning. Children don’t learn it, they live it; first comes the experience and then the understanding. The Tamariki experience is not about ‘formal learning’ as such, it is about education in its broadest sense; and it is through this process of self-understanding, awareness and trust, that the students’ real development takes place. The children get involved in a lot of physical activity, sports and outdoor activities, and also a lot of quieter activities such as painting, reading and board games—sometimes alone, but most often with others and most likely with children of varying ages.
Children Taking Responsibility
The School has been set up to create a community where children are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their own education. Learning is achieved through self-directed play and involvement in activities, outings and lessons. The fundamental ethos is that individual freedom is essential to the development of personal responsibility.
Tamariki children fill their days with activities that are interesting and meaningful to them. Whether it is learning to skateboard, chairing a meeting, making a mud ball circuit, setting up shop, attending academic lessons, or reading alone, students constantly take on tasks that challenge them and then face these with intense concentration and purpose. They book formal lesson time when they wish to. They work with passion; they experiment and bring incredible focus to their activities. They become self-learners.
Classes and Lessons
Formal classes, lessons and workshops are offered. When a child is serious about learning to read they can ask for sessions with a teacher, and this will be provided either with a group of other children or one-on-one. At about age 9, they may enter into an agreement for a period of time to attend regular lessons to further develop their literacy and maths skills. Year 7 and 8 children normally attend senior classes every morning to ensure that they are prepared for moving onto high school. Workshops for art, pottery, science and other focuses are offered too.
Our Special Character
Our Special Character is officially defined as...
Providing an education along the lines of the principles developed by A.S. Neill, the essential elements of which are:
- A value for emotional, physical, spiritual and social, as well as intellectual, development.
- A value for group involvement.
- A value for trust, co-operation and emotional health.
- A respect for individual learning rates and patterns.
Tamariki’s aims have been summarised as:
- To equip each child, according to the child’s nature and talents, to lead a personally satisfying life, and to be an effective and contributing member of a democratic society.
- To be a supportive community that nurtures its members.
The way that we achieve these aims are different in emphasis from mainstream New Zealand schooling and are what give Tamariki its Special Character.
What we value at Tamariki…
1. Emotional and social growth
2. Close relationships
3. Participation in rule-making and group meetings
4. Child-control over learning
5. Self-reflection and goal setting
6. Learning through play
7. Child-control over environment & resources
8. Involvement of whanau
There are eight main areas of emphasis:
1. Emotional and social growth are regarded as the base for cognitive development, and strategies which support these growths have priorities over all other activities. Tamariki operates in many ways more like an extended family, offering support and encouragement to all its members. It seeks homeliness and limits its numbers to sixty so that all members may know everyone else. Children mix freely irrespective of their age or gender.
2. The school values and works to achieve close relationships between teachers and children, children and children, and parents and teachers. These are based on trust, and we accept that children may need to test the reliability of teachers before learning takes place. Teachers are expected to be emotionally nurturing of the children, willing to cuddle them and to accept as natural a child’s need for physical contact. Teachers are also expected to physically restrain and hold a child when appropriate.
3. The children are deeply involved in creating and maintaining the social structures by which the school functions. This involves rule-making and dispute resolution through the mechanism of whole school and small meetings, which, when called take priority over all other activities. The school rejects punishments as a source of control or as a response to inappropriate behaviour.
4. The child’s learning is to a very great extent under the child’s own control. In this way children can genuinely advance at their own pace in response to their unique developmental sequence. Attendance at classes is generally voluntary, and exceptions must be justified. Such justification would normally be that the child is afraid of taking the risk of failing and compulsion would be applied for a limited period mutually agreed, to carry the child over the risk period. Mistakes are regarded as important learning information and public grading is NEVER done. The child’s learning belongs to the child, therefore the child is responsible to itself for this learning—a teacher can assist and support, but is not responsible for the outcomes chosen by the child. No adult has the right to demand to see the child’s work and such access is always under the child’s control. There are no class stratifications until the child enters Year 7. Children always work at their individual level of competence.
5. The children are encouraged at all times in all areas to compare their work and skills with their own previous achievements and their own goals. Self-examination is constantly fostered, and the capacity to use a skill and to generalise from it, is taken as demonstrating possession of that skill. The focus of teaching strategies is to acknowledge and support what children do well, and use these strengths in areas of weakness. We reject norm-referenced tests and examinations as incompatible with our emphasis on the individual. However, private assessments are seen as being useful at times. Competition is not regarded as a desirable learning activity.
6. Play is regarded as children’s work. By playing with ideas and objects they develop functioning cognitions about their world. The children may and do use all the materials in the school for their own purposes. We require an environment in which unstructured play freely occurs, with access to trees, sand, water, mud and junk materials. We also respect the child’s need at times to be still and quiet.
7. The children have a very large measure of control over the environment and the adults in the school recognise the environment as a most important resource for children’s development in all areas. Accordingly, they will defer their need for an orderly and tidy environment to the child’s need to experience cause and effect; to experience why order and tidiness are desirable. The school values and fosters a child’s full and committed engagement in any activity and this engagement can be inhibited by a concern about mess, so we accept that mess may be created at times.
8. Parents are welcome in the school, have unrestricted all-day access, and are not required to fill any particular role. In keeping with the school’s function as an extension of the family, pre-school siblings are welcome and enjoyed by the children.
Check out Appendix A for Who’s Who at Tamariki to find out the names of the people that currently hold positions in the formal structure of the school.
The Tamariki Society—The Owners
The Tamariki School Incorporated Society owns the school and all current parents are automatic members (other people who are interested can apply to join). The Society is a charity and is often legally referred to as the Proprietor. In 1990, the Society entered into an Integration Agreement with the Ministry of Education to provide schooling with a special character within the national education system.
The Society has a responsibility to maintain the Special Character of the school and to encourage the understanding of this amongst the school community. It is also responsible for capital works and long-term maintenance on the school buildings and grounds – we receive partial funding from the Ministry for this. Families enrolled at the school are charged attendance dues and requested to make donations to adequately enable the Society and Board of Trustees to carry out these obligations.
The Society meets monthly during term time, usually on the second Wednesday of the month at 7 pm. We encourage all parents to attend. Officers are elected annually to the Society at the Annual General Meeting (normally in April). You are strongly invited to join the committee.
The Society appoints two representatives to the Board of Trustees and these Proprietor’s Representatives participate as full board members with particular responsibility for seeing that the school operates within the Special Character.
From time to time, special general meetings of the Society may be called to discuss any major changes envisaged in the school, or any philosophical issues or problems that a parent would like discussed. All members of the community have the right to call such meetings.
Board of Trustees—The Governors
The Board of Trustees is a Crown entity and is responsible for the governance of the school. The role as a trustee, is to ensure that Tamariki is run in the best interests of the students and the community. The Board acts to set policy guidelines and goals for the Principal and Staff and monitors progress and compliance. The government pays our teacher’s salaries directly to them and provides the Board with an operation grant and a minimal level of maintenance funding. The donations paid by school families and collected by the Society, are passed onto the Board to help fund the Special Character of the school e.g. to employ teacher aides to ensure that we have a high adult-to-child ratio and can provide adequate supervision throughout the school, given the range of activities that can be going on at any one time.
The Board normally has seven members… Three members are elected to the Board by the parents every three years. Two members are appointed by the Tamariki Society as Proprietor’s Representatives and hold their positions for a term set by the Society. A staff member is selected as Staff Rep on the Board every three years. The Principal is an ex officio member. The Office Administrator also attends as minutes secretary but is not a member of the Board.
You are welcome at all Board meetings, which are held at school, generally on the third Tuesday of each month. The dates are publicised in the newsletter. Meeting’s minutes are posted on the website after each meeting.
Principal and Staff—The Manager and Delivery Team
The Principal is responsible for the day-to-day running of the school and works with the staff to ensure that the environment at Tamariki supports your child to develop and to experience the world around them. Each teacher has a group of children allocated to them (normally those that they work with). The teacher will take responsibility for the learning portfolios of these children and offers their parents regular interviews. All teachers are able to write up observations /Learning Stories for any child.
The teaching staff meet together each morning and on Friday afternoons to share what is happening for the children.
Staff are chosen very carefully, and the most important criterion is their whole-hearted support for the School’s Special Character. Our qualified teachers are paid by the Ministry of Education at standard nationally set levels. In order to have a satisfactory child-adult ratio, additional staff are employed and are paid for by your donations.
We also have a part time Administration Officer, to handle our income and payments on a day-to-day basis, fee arrangements, coordinate activities, new parent talks, etc.
Our playground supervisor is responsible for the safe and productive operation of our major physical resource, the playground, and along with the Principal, is the most useful person to check things out with.
Several of our staff do not work full time, and take a regular afternoon or day off.
Our full-time Principal is responsible for managing the school and normally teaches in the mornings. The role includes spending time with parents and staff as well as kids, organising the curriculum and the programme, keeping records and generally taking responsibility for the kind of life you and your children have here within the guidelines of Board policy. Talking with parents is a major focus so please approach her, no matter how trivial you are afraid your concern may be. If the principal can’t talk to you immediately, make an appointment.
Ministry of Education
We are in partnership with MOE to provide our special character education. The school needs to meet the national educational guidelines and is reviewed by ERO (Education Review Office) on a regular basis.
School rules are set by the children at Whole School Meetings. Rules relating to Health and Safety may be dictated by the Board of Trustees, but the children participate in working out the best ways to meet these requirements.
We know it will take your child a long time to learn the rules. We do not allow children to call meetings about mistakes new children make, and unless your five year old is an exceptionally robust creature who has dived headfirst into the meeting system and is swimming eagerly, we do not have meetings involving five year olds, but talk informally about what is happening.
The rules really boil down to:-
· Never do anything to anyone (tease, wrestle) without their permission.
· Only touch things that you know are school property, or if you have the owner’s consent.
· Respect bookings children have made for the swing, railway carriage, sports gear, etc.
· A joke is only a joke and a game a game if both parties agree.
· Don’t sit on tables.
You can model these rules for your child when you visit. Check with other children what the rules are for the situation, or for any piece of equipment that your child might be interested in using.
School rules always apply in any school activity, regardless of whether it is on or off site and in or out of school hours. You may find many of the school rules and systems very useful at home as well, but some may not fit at all; particularly those about swearing and similar issues. It is beneficial for children to learn to accommodate your rules, Nana’s rules and school rules, and useful for you to insist that visiting children observe your home rules.
When a child or adult finds some behaviour annoying or against school rules, they may request that the person stops that behaviour. For example, by saying ‘I request that you stop calling me that name’. If the behaviour does not stop or alter after a second request, the initiator is encouraged to call a meeting on the behaviour of the person.
Small Group Meetings
These are used to work through any disputes that arise. The usual first step in calling a small group meeting is for the initiator to find a child that is willing to be a chairperson. The chairperson then gets everybody involved together (including a teacher to be present) and chairs the meeting.
On occasion, staff may use different strategies in response to individual needs. For example, staff may have concerns that the wellbeing of a child chairperson may be impacted negatively, or that a breach of privacy may occur. Staff may chair a meeting themselves. One of our key values is to nurture the emotional wellbeing of the children, and children are not assumed to be ready for every situation that could arise.
If your child is involved in a meeting please don’t speak for your child unless requested to do so by the chairperson. You may be absolutely bursting to tell your child’s side of the conflict but please restrain yourself. We want them to speak up for themselves. The experienced staff and chairpersons are generally very good at getting at what has really happened; you can always have a word with staff afterwards.
There is no punishment as an outcome, rather consequences, and children have another try if a matter is not properly resolved (and often when it is). We are willing to wait for your child to develop their own voice and do what we can to help.
Whole School Meetings
A child, parent or staff meeting may call a Whole School Meeting at any time. These are often called to let everybody know about school activities coming up (e.g. ski trip) or to discuss a school-wide concern or issue. Current school rules may require children to call a Whole School Meeting if they want to book a particular space. Most usually there is at least one Whole School Meeting each week.
One of the children is approached to be a chairperson or offers to be one, and then walks around the school letting everybody know that a whole school meeting has been called. Children under six are not required to attend.
A very simple format is used in both small group and whole school meetings…
§ The chairperson checks everyone is there that needs to be.
§ The chairperson opens the meeting by asking ‘Meeting come to order, who called this meeting?’ The initiator responds.
§ Discussion is held, with people raising their hand and waiting for the chairperson to select them before they speak. Motions may be put forward for voting on.
§ When the discussion seems to have finished, the chairperson will ask ‘Any more matters on this matter?’.
§ Once the matter has been dealt with, the chairperson will ask ‘Any more matters?’.
§ When all matters have been dealt with, the chairperson will declare the meeting closed.
Ask for a copy of the Meeting comic book that one of teachers, Bob Gibbons, has drawn.
We do not have formal written reports as such, though we will provide one on request. The teachers maintain portfolios for each child and use Learning Stories to document and acknowledge the child’s activities and learning at school. Your child’s progress is assessed in depth twice a year, and you will be offered an interview when this is completed. However we are available to discuss what is happening for the child formally or informally at any time and ask you to set up a time for this whenever you feel the need. We always learn from these meetings and value them greatly.
OPERATION OF THE SCHOOL
Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm. Friday from 9 am to 2 pm.
The school is open during the standard primary school terms indicated by the Ministry of Education.
Every child is allocated a locker at school. Encourage your child to return their lunch bags and other possessions there, so that you don’t have to hunt for these at the end of the school day. The lockers for new entrants and younger children are in the New Entrant’s room. Older children are allocated a locker in the main entry foyer to the school.
Daily Clean Up Time
One of the staff reminds the children at 2.45pm (1:35pm on Fridays) that it is clean up time. All children are allocated to a different area each day, and are required to tidy up this area. If you are collecting your child from school early, please ask them to complete some tidying so that it is not all left to the other children in their team.
Phones at School
There is a phone in the kitchen that the children may use to call you, or which you may call to contact them. Children’s mobile phones are not to be used between 9 am and 2.30 pm.
· Office Phone: 03 384 9014
· Children’s Phone: 03 384 5561
There are often a lot of school trips that the children can choose to sign up for and there may be entry charges for some of these. Some activities such as horse riding, skiing, class camps, Technology Education, swimming, can be expensive and you may need to budget for them. Some of these are only available for older children so ask the Principal at what age your child may qualify for these, or what is likely to come up in any particular year. The Year 8 children often go on a trip to Wellington as part of their rite of passage onto high school, and this involves a significant fundraising effort.
We have no school uniform except that children must wear approved sunhats in the summer terms. Small children in particular need NAMED spare clothes in their locker, and we need you to check that these are either in their locker, or their original clothes are there ready to take home and wash. These are more likely to be scattered over the school site, and because if the clothes are not actually on his body, your child will most likely not recognise them all. We have permanent markers at school with which you may name clothes. Unclaimed clothes are left hanging on hooks by the main door, under the wooden seat in the centre meeting room or in the box seats in the kitchen. Periodically the clothes are washed, then sold or given to an op. shop.
Children may need or enjoy having a pencil case with pencils, ruler, eraser, and felts (please name them all). Teachers will tell you from time to time when they need exercise books.
Bringing Toys and Possessions to School
At times, children bring resources and play equipment from home, so that they can spend their time in an activity that they are currently very interested in, and/or to share the experience with others. The school will take no responsibility for the loss, theft or damage of any items brought to school. Depending on space available, some items may be able to stored in the teachers room for a period of time during the day. There is a risk that these items may be broken or lost. If your child absolutely insists and knows the risks, please name the objects. We do have a locked garage to store bikes, but children must remember to put the bikes away and we cannot guarantee security. Money should be put in a named envelope and given to a teacher to mind. While we do replace missing food we NEVER replace missing money or toys.
Bikes and Skates
Children often spend a lot of their time on wheels and we have a shed to keep bikes in, but it is not always secure, so please insure bikes. Children MUST wear helmets and for skating, must also wear protective gear. While school has helmets it is better if your child has their own (named). If children don’t observe the safety rules, or leave their bikes outside attracting vandals and thieves, their right to have a bike at school lapses until they can manage these rules. We take no responsibility and the teachers are not employed to put these things away.
Children are allowed to swear at school, as long as there are no visitors present. They are not allowed to swear abusively at other people, or swear while on school trips. We find that children often want to experiment with using swear words and once they find that their use does not get as good a reaction as they were expecting, the power of the swear word diminishes. We do discuss with them that some people are offended by children using swear words, and that it is in their best interests to be sensitive to this.
A child may occasionally have a friend or relative spend the day at school free of charge, but this must be arranged before the event with the Principal. Longer visits must be arranged with the Principal by the person taking responsibility for payment.
Tamariki children often want to continue their play and activities at one another’s homes after school. Going to another child’s house after school is generally called an “arrangement”. Please discuss with your child what your expectations and limits on arrangements are e.g. only on Wednesdays and they are always to check with you first.
Torrid experience has produced a number of rules and customs… small children in particular will invite any of many home and then ruthlessly cancel if something they like better occurs, leaving a wake of sobbing confusion. A child MUST stick with the first arrangement, unless it is abandoned by truly mutual consent, or unless the other parent has said no. If at home time the first arrangement is no longer wanted, it may be abandoned in which case the other child is free to make another arrangement, BUT the child breaking the arrangement may not make another one.
If you get into trouble with arrangements then get staff help. We have been to many, many meetings on this situation and can generally piece our way through the evidence no matter how confusing.
These can be a great source of difficulty if these are organised at school with children feeling left out if they are not invited. Unless the whole school is invited, we earnestly ask that you:
· Do not distribute party invitations at school
· Do not arrange special activities during school hours
Selling and Swapping Stuff
Children under age seven may not buy, sell or swap at school. All desired transactions must be accomplished out of school hours with the full knowledge and consent of both sets of parents. Children seven and over may buy, sell or swap any item for a sum not greater than 50c and have 24 hours with which they may renege on the deal. Deals involving items of greater value must have parent’s consent notified to the school, especially if the buyer is a lot older than the seller.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
The children and all adults at school are required to wear a sunhat during Terms 1 & 4. The hat must have a brim that protects the face and the back of the neck must be covered by either the hat or hair.
A helmet must be worn if a child is on wheels i.e. bike, roller blades, skates, skate boards. We prefer that children also wear other protective gear when skating or blading. E.g. elbow and knee pads.
Please ring the office and leave a message before 10 am if your child will not be at school for the day. We need to know.
The school policy on sickness says that no member of the school community should attend with any infectious or notifiable disease or with the following symptoms: fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, or sneezing/coughing. The Principal has the right and obligation to send home any person who shows any of these symptoms.
Parents are requested to take steps to eradicate parasites including head lice. Parents of infected children will be notified and shown procedure. A child with live lice will be sent home until active treatment has begun.
Please make sure we know who is available to care for your sick child if you are not, and allow 12 hours clear of any symptoms before returning a child who has had a tummy bug. When in doubt ring the Principal. We always have one or two children who are very vulnerable to infections and what may be very mild for your child can be life-threatening for them, so we ask for your full cooperation.
Please develop good hand-washing routines with your children, so that they are more likely to practise these at school. Ministry of Health Guidelines suggest that hands need to be washed with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, and then dried for 20 seconds. Remember to wash and dry between the fingers.
Food sharing while discouraged is almost unstoppable, and food ‘stealing’ can occur from time to time among littlies. Please try to make your children understand that sharing drinks is unwise in the extreme (we did once have a case of meningitis here and the whole school came back at the weekend for the antibiotic), and taking bites of each other’s food is not much better. They just don’t believe us.
Children may eat their food at any time and we have a parent available in the kitchen from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm each day to heat food up. There are food storage spaces, and a fridge. The freezer is not available for parents or children. Please name all food containers, including paper bags, pottles etc. Dishes are to be put straight into the dishwasher or left on the sink bench above it.
There is a complete ban on glass at school, so please never send anything in glass containers. We also ban sweets and bubble and chewing gum. We have also banned fruit drinks and soft drinks, as most have more sugar than recommended for children, and it is too difficult for teachers to monitor which drinks are acceptable. There is a chilled water dispenser in the kitchen and a drinking fountain outside. Children must bring a water bottle to school.
Health Advice & Dental Care
We have access to the Public Health nurse who will advise on matters such as head lice. The nurse will test the children for vision and hearing at 5 years and 11 years or more frequently by request. Free dental treatment is available through the School Dental Service and may be taken up at the clinic of your choice.
There are notices posted as to what to do in the case of fire or earthquakes and your children have regular drills for these. Please inform yourself about these procedures and comply with them if you are here when drills occur. There is a First Aid box in the teachers /office room, along with the notification sheet which has to be filled out for all but the most minor scratches. We have a supply of surgical plastic gloves and now routinely use these for any wound where blood may be encountered.
We have room for about 25 cars. As we have a very narrow drive and because St Johns Street is busy and dangerous, cars coming in always have right-of-way, even if you are three-quarters of the way out. It is still safer to back into the car park than the street. Please, please drive slowly when coming in and out of the school car park.
Please enter into the school car park to drop off and collect children. If you do drop them off on St Johns St, then ensure you do it on the school side of the road, so the children do not need to cross St Johns St.
There is a disabled car park by the gate. Please leave this free as we have a family who needs it. We ask that you always use the footpath around the car park as a model to the children. The parks on the street side of the car park that have no footpath, are for staff, as we do not want children walking across the car park ever.
Please leave the access gate into the back of the school clear at all times. The back gate needs to be kept shut to help keep the children safely inside.
The Tamariki school camp is a very informal affair, normally held over four days at the start of Term 1. The majority of families attend. Refer to the section at the end of this booklet for more information.
End of Term Lunch
At the end of each term the children bring a plate to share for lunch. This is normally held at around 12pm and the children enjoy the occasion of it. It’s also a great time to chat with other parents (before you start your end of term clean-up).
End of Year Award Giving
On the last day of the school year, after a shared morning tea, we gather at 11am in the Barracks for the giving of awards to each of the children. The children leaving that year also receive their learning portfolios.
The children put on a school concert on a Sunday afternoon at the end of Term 3.
PARENTS INVOLVEMENT AT THE SCHOOL
Expectation of Settling Children
We do expect you to stay with your child while they settle into Tamariki. Some children quickly feel comfortable with us and the environment, while others take longer.
Your Observations Are Important
Small children often bring home very elaborate stories which can sometimes be complete fantasies. If you have a horror tale, call a meeting the next morning or better still, get a staff member to call it for you. Approach it by way of “I just want to find out what happened yesterday” or some other neutral approach. If it should turn out to be a fabrication, don’t accuse your child of lying. Fantastic storytelling is very common among children aged two through to seven. Please always check out situations you may have observed and are not happy about with staff. Adults are able to call meetings too if they are concerned about a child or adult’s behaviour at school. We do not support children exploiting other children in any way, and do not always know what may be happening, so we appreciate your feedback.
Being at School with your Baby or Pre-schooler
You are very welcome at any time at school and your presence validates the school experience for your child. We are happy for you to be here and you don’t have to do any jobs to justify it (though we are delighted to get your help if you feel like helping). The centre meeting room, kitchen (when there is not a cooking class) and verandahs are all unrestricted areas.
The mezzanine is restricted, and no pre-schooler may go up there without an adult. This is both for the pre-schooler’s own safety, the safety of others, (littlies will often throw things down) and because we have had some lovely books damaged or destroyed. If your school child needs you in the classroom, please take full responsibility for your infant, see that there is no interference in other children’s or the teacher’s functioning, and return intact any equipment that may have been used. We also ask that you do not socialise with other adults in the classrooms. We love the sounds of you enjoying yourselves, but they are very distracting when children are trying to concentrate.
Use of Kitchen
Parents are welcome to use the kitchen, both to prepare food and drink, and to sit in. Please remember to tidy up afterwards and put any dishes in the dishwasher. We also ask that you do not change children’s nappies in there (these may be changed in the disabled /adults toilet) and that you are sensitive to children’s need to sit at the table to eat. Some are much too shy to approach if there is a crowd of adults laughing and socialising. We do appreciate your help for little children, when they are struggling to get food or to do their dishes.
Transport for School Trips
We take children on trips from time to time for educational purposes and find the cheapest option is to use parent transport. As each trip is arranged we will ask for offers of transport. To help in this way your are required to have a current licence, a current Warrant of Fitness and no medical condition such as a heart complaint or epilepsy. Each child carried must have a seat belt. There is a code of car behaviour and a trip’s procedure.
We welcome parent involvement at school. Over the years we have found that school is a richer environment when parents are able to spend time there. Just remember that the school rules and systems are there for you to adhere to and use!
Some parents are able to offer a workshop on a particular interest or can spend time supporting the children in the art room or to build huts. Perhaps you enjoy playing outdoor games, board games, or the guitar.
If you want to initiate an activity or workshop, talk to one of the staff members about when would be a good time.
End of Term School Cleaning
At the end of each term the school is given a major clean and tidy, the jobs are identified and described, and parents are assigned to each. We very much depend on these being done and it is NOT all right to forget about them. There are people available to do them for you at a cost of $30, and you are told who these people are when the list comes out. We do not put pregnant mothers or those with babies under a year old on these lists, so if you are in these categories, please tell the Office Administrator so your name can be removed.
These are held two to four times a year and we encourage all families to attend a couple of these each year. It is possible to pay someone else to do your work for you. We normally use the working bees to do particular maintenance tasks, spring-cleaning, and garden tidying for the school and we normally have a pot luck tea to end the afternoon’s activity.
Parents help to raise extra funds, usually for special purposes. Some years there is a school fair in the fourth term, sometimes sausage sizzles, and other activities. We very much appreciate your participation in these.
Dues and Donations
The Society charges mandatory Attendance Dues for each child enrolled and these dues cover insurance, capital works and other costs related to the property.
Tamariki families are asked to pay a regular donation to the Society to fund the high adult-to-child ratio and other costs demanded by our special character. The Society collects these donations and then passes them over to the Board to use in the running of the school. Tax donation receipts are issued for the donations portion.
The timing of fee and donation payments is flexible and should be arranged with the school’s Office Administrator. We have found that monthly automatic payments are a very simple and successful option.
Cleaning and Kitchen Jobs
School family members carry out the daily after school cleaning. They also help children heat up their hot lunches and supervise cooking in the kitchen from 12 – 1:30pm. When a position becomes vacant they are advertised in the school newsletter. Some of these roles are paid positions, while others reward the family with a discount on the school fees.
Books for Adults
We have a collection of books related to the philosophy of the school in the office.
Protocols for Adults at School
These are designed to help you in relating to the children. The most important guideline is that you remember that you are an adult and you will be interacting with inexperienced children. Model mature adult behaviour and set good limits.
Request and Meeting System
Use the request and meeting systems, or get a teacher to call a meeting for you. If you are not sure about a rule say “I wonder what the rule is about …..” If the rule you are told seems unlikely say in a wondering tone “I think I’ll just check that out to be sure”. The playground supervisor is a good person to ask. Give any relevant evidence in a very noncommittal, non-judgemental way, sticking closely to what you have seen today rather than what you saw yesterday, which may or may not be relevant, or giving opinions or deductions from it. It is remarkably easy to make assumptions, and some children can be easily scapegoated. We have found that adults do this more than the children do. Please come and tell a staff member if you have concerns that the meeting has not met.
Please ask a staff member for guidance in any situations in which you might find yourself in conflict with a child, and are not sure whether to use requests or meetings, or feel too angry to deal with it according to the guidelines.
- Please do not shout at or scold any child. Onlooking children can get really frightened and think that they may be treated in a similar manner. It is not always easy to predict who will be sensitive to such things.
- Do not make any comments or jokes about children, where any child could even remotely possibly hear you.
- Do not make sexual jokes or comments or discuss sexuality with children at all.
- Remember that all teasing must be playful, with the consent of the child, and that the child must not be put at risk of humiliation or frustration.
- Please do not offer children rewards.
Do not administer any kind of medication to a child but get the First Aid officer to do this, or a staff member. In emergencies there is a list in the staffroom of what medications a child may have. Please do not discuss drugs and drugtaking with children.
Parents rely on us to see that their children are not exposed to any sort of physical or psychological abuse or exploitation. We work to provide a safe environment in which the children can still get their own need for touching met. We recommend that except where a child has been hurt and needs carrying into school, adults avoid touching other people’s children.
Remember that children:
· Are inexperienced.
· Can be rendered both vulnerable and hostile by their need for approval.
- Can get themselves and you into compromising situations.
It is actually better to have another adult present always, even with a group of children. If you are organising some activity, please check it out first with the Principal. For your safety as well as the children’s we will get parental consent first.
Should a child say or do anything inappropriate to you, say “I request you not to” in a calm voice and mention it to the Principal or playground supervisor. Staff have training and a reporting system to deal with these interactions. Avoid being alone with that child until you are sure the child has outgrown the behaviour. It is generally preferable to avoid being alone with any child you do not know well.
The occasional older child can be confrontational and verbally aggressive to adults, and this also is best dealt with by requests and if necessary by a meeting. “I have not given you permission to speak to me like that” is a good response.
When you are Angry
Very occasionally an adult has found some child particularly confrontational and testing, and it can be very hard to restrain oneself in this situation. However it is never okay to threaten, either verbally or by posture any child. Get help immediately from a teacher. Hitting is illegal of course, and would render you liable to assault charges.
If you have any queries about any of the above, please feel free to discuss them with staff and members of the Board of Trustees. There are also relevant policies in the policy folder in the office.
COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE SCHOOL
Newsletters, Notice Board and Phone Lists
Newsletters emailed each week. It is your responsibility to tell the Office Administrator immediately of a change of phone number and address.
The school website is a useful resource for parents. The site is www.tamariki.school.nz. Listed are school news, events, policies, charters, Special Character information, Board meeting minutes, history and archives, links, FAQ and contacts.
There is a notice-board at school on the outside wall of the teacher’s room especially for parents, and you are welcome to post notices there as well as advertise your needs and news in the newsletter.
We put out a family phone list regularly. There is however a policy banning direct approaches to parents to sell or promote anything, whether it is ideas, seminars or products – in giving their names for the phone list the parents are not making themselves available as a marketing list.
Another way the community has of keeping in touch with each other are the Tamariki School Facebook pages. There are three different pages as follows:
- Tamariki School
This is our public page which is only to be updated with information we are happy for the public to view. E.g. Playgroup, events, pictures of special events etc. This is a public page that anyone in the Facebook world can like to get notifications.
- Friends of Tamariki
This is open to the wider community, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, ex students and their parents etc. This is a secret group. (it will not show up in search results) which people need to be added to by the administrators.
- Parents of Tamariki
This is for current parents only. So we can go on and share things about our kids/what’s happening at school etc. This is a secret group. (it will not show up in search results) which people need to be added to by the administrators.
Please contact the Tamariki School Office Administrator for contact details of the current Facebook administrators.
Contact with Teachers
Please let the teachers know if there are any issues at home or any health concerns that may be affecting your child/ren. The teachers are available to talk with you after school and oftentimes during school hours. Feel free to chat with them or to make an appointment, if you have any queries about what is happening at school for your child, the school philosophy and practices, and to share any delightful moments. If your child is wanting to develop a particular interest, suggest they talk to a teacher about getting support.
Concerns and Queries
If you have any queries or concerns, please talk to the Principal, the Board Chairperson or write to the Board.
The following is the complaints procedure for all members of the school community.
· The complainant is encouraged always to take his/her complaint to a meeting with the person concerned as the first step.
· If this is unsatisfactory, the matter should be discussed with the Principal, (in the first instance) or the Board Chair.
· If this is unsatisfactory, the complainant should make his/her complaint in writing to the Board of Trustees and the matter then becomes official.
These procedures are also to be used in the event of a staff member laying a complaint about a member of the community.
SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING
Encourage your child to talk about their day at school, as they may need a further opportunity to process events and activities. Share your day with them too, so that their awareness that we are all still learning is developed.
Learning Stories from Home
When you have observed your child doing something of interest that you think would be good to acknowledge, whether at school or home, consider writing up a learning story with them about the event or process. This can then be shared with the teachers at Tamariki and perhaps inserted into their scrapbooks. A Learning Story is also a good way to document what your child has been doing on those days when they have not come into school, because they have been engaged in a different activity or family event.
Here are some guidelines for listening to your child reading, when they bring reading books home or want to read to you at school…
- Make it a cuddly time if the child wants it.
- Accept what the child says if it makes sense, even if it is not what is printed.
- Only tell the child words if you are asked them.
- Let the child try to work out words.
- Show that you realise that the child is working at becoming a reader.
- Correct children unless they ask you to, and if possible do tell them that they made good attempts at the word.
- Try to help if you find that it makes you anxious or impatient.
- Make your child feel anxious, ‘dumb’ or humiliated.
Children are easily put off at this stage and we want reading to be an enjoyable and positive experience. Research supports very clearly that self-correction is a really major step in learning to read. Please tell us when you observe your child doing this as it is a matter for great rejoicing and shows that the child is making sense of print.
Printing and Writing Forms
The Printing and Writing Forms below are the ones taught at school. Please teach your children lower case rather than capitals, and help them to hold a pencil correctly without making an issue of it.
Printing and Writing Forms
The Cursive Style…
Issues and Concerns
If you ever have any questions or concerns about what your child is or is not doing at school, please talk with the teacher that has key responsibility for them. Or talk to the Principal.
SCHOOL CAMP—THE DETAILS…
The Tamariki school camp is a very informal affair, normally held over four days at the start of Term 1. The majority of families attend.
It is at Whitecliffs Domain, sometimes known as South Malvern Domain, on Hartleys Rd, just past the intersection with Whitecliffs Rd. It is a public domain and there will be other people there not associated with the school. It has water and toilets.
There is a shop, a telephone and a garage at Glentunnel about 3k down the road. The Glentunnel camping ground does not allow people to use their showers.
There is a meeting for all attending the camp at 7:00pm on the first evening to discuss any particular needs, hazards and rules. Parents are responsible for their children and are encouraged to set limits.
Children may not go without a responsible adult. If your older child wants to go and you can’t, you will need to arrange something with another parent or a teacher. If you cannot do this, please tell us and we will see if something can be arranged. We don’t guarantee this, but will certainly try.
What to Take
People take their own tents or caravan, cooking and sleeping gear. If you don’t have access to a tent or can’t get out there, tell the Office Administrator who coordinates these things. Also tell her if you have a spare tent, or space in your car. If you have no portable stove don’t worry, other parents have always been very willing to share theirs. Children will most likely need wet suits and shoes for wearing in the river.
Water play…One of the main attractions for the children is the Selwyn River, which is mostly fairly shallow, with at least three good swimming holes, and a set of rapids, which kids go down on lilos and tubes almost constantly. There are also good shallows for little ones. The children must always be supervised. The practice has grown up that at least one parent will follow the children’s progress down the river, and other parents must stay to supervise the swimming holes. The children know this also and will generally try to get supervision. We would like you to reinforce this to the kids, as in one situation in the past, two children would have been in very serious trouble had there not been quick thinking older people there.
Other attractions… bike riding around camp, including some steep tracks; bike riding into Glen Tunnel; walking; melting marshmallows on the fires (if allowed); talking; spotlight games; card games; larger swimming hole about 10 minutes drive down Hartleys Rd (please note, access to this swimming hole is through private land so please be respectful of this).
Over the years a fairly clear set of guidelines have evolved and these are:
At Camp, School Rules Apply:-
· Don’t touch other people’s property without their express permission
· Don’t tease anyone without their permission
· Children may not swear in a public place
The Special Camp Rules for Kids are:-
· Children under ten must always have supervision when near the water.
· Older children must be in groups of three or more around water, so that if someone gets hurt, one child will stay and one child can go and get help.
· Tell your parent where you are going if you leave where they are.
· Don’t leave the grounds except with the consent of the person responsible for you.
· If you are on a bike, pedestrians have right of way. If you can’t manage this, then you shouldn’t have a bike at school camp. You must wear your helmet.
· Don’t play with sharpened sticks, or a stick longer than yourself.
· Be considerate of people trying to sleep late at night and in the early morning.
· Don’t shine torches at other people’s tents.
· Rock throwing, including in the river is absolutely out. If children want to skim stones, they must have adult supervision.
Any problems with these, especially safety around fires, are always dealt with at a meeting, and teachers are available for these. Please speak to a teacher if you are unsure about anything.
Some Dos and Don’ts for Adults:-
· Please don’t play radios or sound systems loudly or sing loudly after a negotiated time set at a meeting at camp. Parents of smaller children get to feel pretty desperate after 10:00 pm. Noise travels differently in a camp ground, and tents are not soundproof at all.
· Please take full responsibility for any alcohol you may have, never leave it where children can get it and never permit a child to have any without parental consent. This includes adolescents. Remember that children can be unscrupulous in their efforts to be ‘cool’. The accepted guideline is no alcohol for persons under eighteen years.
· Support the school policy by following the law on illegal substances.
· If you have any problem with someone else’s child please, please, please use the meeting system, as this keeps you safe.
· Ask about what you don’t know, no-one will think you are stupid.
· Use the request system with children, especially if they are infringing on your or people outside the school group’s rights.
· Please remember to keep car speed to a minimum at all times.
· If your child has a bike or tube at camp please make sure it is up against a tree or otherwise out of the way before dark. We have had some nasty trips over these in the past.
· Please do not bring your dog unless you have cleared it with the people on the School Dog Committee.
· A parent will be available as parent support, should you have any queries or concerns during camp.
Appendix A: Who’s Who at Tamariki
021 0645 219
027 367 4594
Appendix A: Who’s Who at Tamariki
022 651 1267
027 484 7275
Teacher part time
021 027 18942
03 389 1079
022 087 3893
021 030 7558
021 041 1154
BOARD OF TRUSTEES:
021 214 4563
022 651 1267
022 087 3893
021 184 1072
021 995 578
027 935 6561