School Info


If your child is away from school at any time we require a note, website absence or a telephone call, from you explaining your child’s absence. Legally all enrolled children must be at school unless there is a justified reason for an absence. Family holidays should be undertaken during school term breaks.

Children should not be absent from school for reasons other than sickness or exceptional family circumstances (e.g bereavement) without first consulting the Principal.

Assemblies (School Meetings)

These are held every Wednesday at 2.00pm. These are student led assemblies, where we acknowledge our school values of Honesty, Effort and Respect through a range of sharing opportunities and acknowledgements. Parents are welcome to attend.

Board of Trustees Meetings

The Board usually meets at school during week three and week eight of each school term. The exact date , time and venue is advertised in the school newsletter in the term calendar.  A meeting summary is also provided in the next possible newsletter following a meeting. Parents are most welcome to attend these meetings. Full minutes of any meeting are also available on request.


Awahou School has a zero tolerance for bullying. All verbal / physical bullying is dealt with seriously according to our behavioural management procedure. The school meetings provide an avenue and opportunity  for students to discuss, as a whole, appropriate behaviour and confront children who have been demonstrating bullying behaviour over the past week.  There should never be any hesitation to make contact with staff should any students be experiencing any type of bullying. Research shows that victims of bullying who stay silent are more likely to be re-bullied. Please make contact with staff at the earliest indication there is a problem.


Under Ministry of Education rules, only children who live 3.2 km from school are entitled to travel to and from school by bus. The Ministry only funds travel to your nearest school.

We have two bus routes serving Awahou School. The “North” bus and the “South” bus runs. The North run travels north of the school up Pohangina Valley East Road and the South route travels to Pohangina village via Raumai.

Class Trips and Visits

As part of the class programme, day visits (or in some cases, overnight camps) are undertaken by classes. These are a valuable enrichment of the class programme and involve a large amount of work and organisation but the immense value they provide is often unmeasurable!

Parent help on such trips is essential and any offers of transport and supervision at these is greatly appreciated.

Parents providing transport must provide seatbelts for all passengers in a car with a current warrant of fitness and is registration. Drivers must also hold a full licence.

Classroom Help

From time to time we ask parent / caregivers to help in school activities (e.g Library book maintenance, sports days, transport etc). Offers of assistance with in class programmes (such as reading, writing or art and craft) are also appreciated. If you feel that you have expertise and / or time to make a regular commitment to classroom help please contact the staff. These offers are always most appreciated.

Classroom Organisation

Wharite               Years 0-3

Maharahara               Years 4-8

This may alter year to year depending on the numbers in each year group. Every effort is made to keep year groups together but cannot be guaranteed!  School management will attempt to ensure equity of numbers across the school.

Cluster Involvement

Awahou School is part of the Kainui group of schools. This cluster is made up of Awahou, Bunnythorpe, Colyton, Hiwinui, Mount Biggs, Newbury and Taonui Schools.  We work together to “Provide additional learning opportunities for the cluster community”.  The Cluster values are: Respect, Acceptance and Tolerance of Diversity and having a Positive attitude in all circumstances.

The Cluster undertakes two main objectives:

Student Focus: Staff Focus:
Opportunities to be challenged and extended (Year 4-8)Opportunity to develop skills through participation

(Year 0-3)

Opportunities to socialise and develop relationships.

Develop collegial support and professional development opportunities.

Establish and foster a shared learning community.

Cluster Event Calender:

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4
Swimming SportsYr 4-8

Junior Tabloids

Yr 0-3

Cross CountryYr1-8 Winter Sports Yr 4-8 (Various events)

Music & Movement

Yr 0-3

Athletics Yr 4-8

Collecting Children from School

If you are going to pick up your child, you will need to come into the school foyer to collect them. After school the driveway is strictly out of bounds for students. Students must walk to cars with an adult actively supervising them. Our driveway is a dangerous place! All student movements after school are tracked, so you will need to enter your child(ren)s details into the “bus” book informing staff of a change in their routine. If you would like your child to alter their “normal” after school routine concerning pick up or bus travel, a note must be sent to the staff. Telephone messages will be accepted, however, please note that we do not always receive messages left on the answer phone so we do not encourage messages being left.

After School Discovery Programme

New in 2017, we run an After School Discovery Programme for children who need supervision after school until parents finish work. This can be a regular booking or on a casual basis, just call the school for more information.

Common Diseases

Period of exclusion from school:

Measles               For at least 7 days from the appearance of rash until recovery.

Chicken pox       For 1 week from the appearance of rash until all scabs are gone.

Diptheria             For at least 2 weeks from onset.

Mumps                Until all swelling has subsided and child has normal health.

Ringworm           Nil, if under treatment.

Headlice               Nil, if under treatment.

Scabies                 Nil, if under treatment.

School Sores      Nil, if under treatment. (No Swimming until completely healed)

Doctor’s advice should be sought in all these matters, where information is unavailable from the school or the Public Health Nurse. (Except headlice)

Complaints / Concerns

Often unnecessary worry can be caused by unfounded rumour or misinterpretation. If the issue is “whole school” please see the Principal. If you ever have any classroom concerns, please contact the classroom teacher in the first instance. If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily you should then contact the Principal. If the matter is still unresolved please contact the Board Chairperson. We have a formal complaints policy which is available from the school office on request.

Please Note: We define a concern as something expressed verbally and a complaint as written.

Computers / Internet

We are very proud of our outstanding computer to student ratios. Many larger schools may market our ratio as having a “digital” classroom. We firmly believe that computer and internet use are an integral part of all learning experiences across all levels of the school.  We are able to provide our students with use of Chromebooks, Ipads, digital cameras, and LCD televisions equipped with Chromecast to aid their learning experiences. We are also fortunate to  host the “Reading Eggs” reading program to support literacy programmes and “Mathletics” to support numeracy programmes.

Dental Clinic

We do not have a dental clinic on site. Our students generally travel to the mobile clinic located at Ashhurst School.  Any queries regarding teeth can be directed to Mid Central Health.


Regular emergency drills are held at school to ensure that the children know what to do should a real emergency occur.

In the event of an emergency children will remain at school until they are collected by their parent or nominated caregiver. Children will not be released to any person other than their parent / caregiver unless a signed note from the parent / caregiver, requesting their release, is produced. An acceptable alternative would be the parent personally speaking to a staff member requesting their child be handed over to a nominated caregiver.

Emergencies: Pohangina River Procedures

At times, usually not more than once a year, the Pohangina River floods. If the river floods, school is closed to ensure that all children return to their homes and do not get trapped at school. The Office Manager maintains an Emergency contact list to be able to evacuate school as fast as possible. All parents are contacted via a phone tree to ensure they can make appropriate arrangements for their children.

Horizons Regional Council provide the data from their river monitoring site. The trigger to close school is when the river level reaches 2.8 metres at Mais Reach and is rising. This information can be found on the Horizons Regional Council website under “River Information”. Awahou School and the Principal at home receive automatic phone messages if this level is being approached.


During the school year children will participate in a variety of events; swimming, cross country, athletics, sports, cultural presentations etc. You will be informed, by newsletter or notice, when these events are to be held.

As a school we welcome all parents / caregivers, family and friends of the children to come along and join us on these occasions.

Friends of Awahou

This organisation (the traditional P.T.A) plays a vital role in providing support for the children of our school. This association involves itself in supporting curriculum evenings, organisation of social occasions, involvement of special projects and fund raising. Meeting venues and times will be advised via the school newsletter. Currently this group is led by Kim Marcus. Your involvement is most welcome!

Health Nurse

The Health Nurse visits the school regularly to provide specialist assistance to the children. At various times during primary school, the children’s hearing and vision are checked by the specialist technicians.


Students are encouraged to devote a regular period of time at home to complete school work. Various families have different expectations as to what this will look like at home. At Awahou School we view homework as a Home / School partnership. To ensure this works well for all,  Parents select what level of homework their child will receive;  from nothing, upwards. We very strongly advise daily reading for our Junior students as this is critical in their reading acquisition skills.  Students in Maharahara are encouraged to self-regulate via the ‘PRIDE Challenges’ homework programme. Please discuss your individual requirements with your classroom teacher.

Illness at school

Children who become ill during school time are cared for in the sick bay, which is located next to the administration office. Parents / Caregivers will be advised by phone that their child is unwell and will need picking up. Please ensure we have your current phone numbers.

Pain killing medicines such as paracetamol will not be administered to pupils unless the school has written permission to do so.

Children with medication at school should hand it into the classroom teacher rather than leave it in their bags (this excludes asthma inhalers).

Please keep us fully informed if your child is on any form of medication at any time.

Lost Property

Please ensure all clothing items are clearly labelled as this will reduce the chance of clothing not being returned to the right owner. We hold all lost property in the blue tube outside the Lounge. Any items still left at the end of any term will be given to the clothing bank.


We would encourage children to have healthy lunches and advise that sugary foods are to be left at home. We operate a zero rubbish procedure at Awahou School. This means that all packaging and rubbish bought from home must be returned to home. We would encourage the use of re-usable containers to transport lunch items to school.

New Enrolments

Arrangements can be made for pre-school visits 4 weeks before the child’s fifth birthday. To place a child on our “Pre-enrolment” list, contact the office before the child’s fifth birthday. On their fifth birthday, the parent or caregiver must come to the school office and officially enrol the child. The child’s birth certificate must also accompany a new enrolment.


Newsletters are sent home every second Wednesday. They are designed to inform parents and caregivers of coming events, changes or developments in the school. One page will contain a calendar of the coming weeks of the term.  The oldest child in each family is responsible for the delivery of the Newsletter. The newsletter can also be emailed to you if you prefer. Please contact the office to request this option.

Office Hours

Our school office administrator (Victoria Sage) works 9.00 a.m to 12.30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Pet Day

A major highlight of the school year is the annual Pet and Craft day. This is usually held on the last Friday of October. Details will be provided. Children are encouraged to enter as many classes as possible. They are also encouraged to enter their lamb, calf, goat, cat, dog etc in the competitions with the judging. There is also a garden section which requires a bit of work at home!


The Board of Trustees has overall responsibility for setting the school policies and procedures.  Policies are the guiding documents for the governance of our school (e.g: Financial Planning, Curriculum Delivery). Procedures relate to the day to day running of the school (e.g internet use, emergency evacuations, pupil assessment etc).

From 2017, our policies are stored online via the ‘SchoolDocs’ website.  A copy of the link to our policies and procedures is available from the Principal.


Children will often bring possessions from home i.e toys, skates, games etc to play with at school. Whilst every endeavour is made by staff to ensure that the property is looked after, we will not accept any responsibility for lost , stolen or damaged property. Please assist us by ensuring that all property is named and by discouraging children from bringing valuable possessions to school.

Progress through School

Children progress through school according to their readiness and ability. It is unwise to compare one child’s progress with that of another. Not only do children begin school at different times but they also progress individually and at different rates. Emotional barriers can be set up against learning if comparative or unrealistic demands are made of children before they are ready. Even children in one family have differing educational needs and learning rates. Please be aware of the huge danger in making comparisons between children. Please discuss any concerns you have with staff.


The following are suggestions you may like to use when listening to your child’s reading:

The Right Three:

The Right Time

10-15 minutes when neither you or your child is tired, hungry or keen to do something else. Try to read like this four or five times per week.

The Right Place

Choose a place as quiet, comfortable and as peaceful as possible, where you can be alone and free from interruption.

The Right Book

Choose material that is interesting for the child and is not too difficult.

What can your child do when he / she doesn’t know a word?

  • Go back to the beginning of the sentence.
  • Read again.
  • Say the first sound.

What can you do when he / she doesn’t know a word?

  • Pause: give him / her a chance to try. Wait 7 seconds!
  • Praise: all attempts e.g great thinking, I like the way you went back to the start.
  • Prompt: after 2 attempts by the child, tell him / her the word.

If he / she gets stuck again:

  • Go back to the beginning of the sentence
  • Read again
  • Say the sound, then…
  • Read on to the end of the sentence.


Now have a try:

  • Does it make sense?
  • Does it look right?
  • Does it sound right?

Reporting to Parents

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to contact the school at any time during the year if they have any concerns regarding the progress of their children.

If you would like an interview, please arrange a time, in advance, with the classroom teacher involved. From 2018, all reporting will be in reference to the achievement levels of the New Zealand Curriculum. From 2017 onwards, all students have an Individual ‘Learning as Inquiry’ plan to monitor and reflect on goals, progress and achievement throughout the year. This is a collaborative Google document shared with classroom teachers, the principal, and parents. We encourage you to check this document regularly and provide feedback and reflections with your child.

Formal Reporting Plan:

Term One:

Meet the Teacher Evening:                     Feb

3 Way Learning Conversations / Goal Setting:       April

Term Two:

Mid Year Progress Summary:   May

Term Three:

3 Way Learning Conversations / Goal Review & Reset:  September

Term Four:

End of Year Progress Summary:  December

School Donations

Donations are a vital part of the financial functioning of the school. These are set annually by the Board of Trustees and a request is made to parents / caregivers for the amount suggested.

Parents are encouraged to support the school in this financial contribution, or if this is not possible, to donate time to the school in terms of help with events / working bees etc. Awahou School seeks to keep the suggested donation level at a low amount. Currently we ask for a “donation” of $20 per term per child or $80 per child per year. Payment of this “donation” is voluntary however highly valued by the school. The school office will receipt any donations for tax purposes. From 2019 it is anticipated we will be able to forego this donation in line with new government policy regarding this.

School Hours

8:00 a.m School opens for staff (no children to be on site before staff)

8:30 a.m First Bus Arrives

9:00 a.m School Starts – whole school whanau time

9:20 am – Morning session

11:00 a.m Morning Tea

11:20 a.m Middle Session

1:00 p.m Lunch Time

1.45 p.m Afternoon Session

2:55 p.m School classes end

3:00 p.m Busses depart

Sun Sense

Our health teaching programmes make constant reference to the need for sun sense and the children are frequently reminded to wear hats, shirts and sun block creams when playing outdoors. Sun block is available in all classrooms. School hats are provided for children to wear outside during Term One and Term Four after Labour Weekend each year.

Swimming Pool

As part of the school’s aquatic programme children are expected to bring named togs and towel to school each day from the beginning  of term one and four. If children are unable to swim for medical / health  reasons, a note to the class teacher is expected.

The swimming programme extends for up to the first 7 weeks of term one.

Children are not permitted to swim if they have school sores.

Keys for the pool are available from the office for outside hours use for a small fee.

Term Dates: 2017

Term 1: Thurs 1st Feb – Fri 13th Apr

Term 2: Mon 30th April – Fri 6th July

Term 3: Mon 23rd July – Fri 28th Sep

Term 4: Mon 15th Oct – Weds 19th Dec

Warrant of Fitness

Education is a partnership between home and school. It would be appreciated if children were sent to school with a current “warrant of fitness” which includes;

Plenty of sleep: we can’t work effectively with children who have watched too much TV or played up late – 10 hours of sleep for primary children is recommended.

To be well fed: children can’t learn when they do not have a balanced diet with regular meal times – breakfast is essential before a 6 hour school day. Children need both mid morning and lunch time food and drinks.

To be secure: Awahou School students come from caring homes. However, children need reassurance and to have realistic expectations from their parents.

To have a positive attitude: If children expect good things to happen at school in all areas of learning they will have a keen and sparkling approach to their day. Don’t dull this with your worries, fears and niggles.

To have the correct gear: comfortable working clothes, stationery, lunch, library books and swimming togs.