Everything you ever wanted to know about Pokeno School (well almost everything!). If you can’t find the answers to your questions here then please feel free to ask.
ATTENDANCE / ABSENCES
Children are expected at school before 9:00am each day. Absences should be notified by a telephone call to the school office or via the school app before the start of school. If you have not contacted the school by 9:20am we will ring or text you to check on your child’s absences. If a child is late to school then a parent or caregiver must sign them in at the office. The school answerphone operates 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
Whole school assemblies are held once a fortnight. These are usually held on a Friday afternoon from 2:15pm – 3:00pm. Whanau are welcome to attend.
Pokeno School is a PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning) school. We began our PB4L journey in 2017. As part of this process, we have identified four key values - Ako, Manaakitanga, Kotahitanga, and Whakawhanake. These values are regularly discussed with the children and lessons are taught to reinforce the types of behaviours we expect them to display. In each two week period, the whole school will focus on one specific value. At the end of the two weeks, each teacher nominates one child from their class who has consistently displayed the attributes of that value. Those children are presented with a certificate at the school assembly.
Unacceptable behaviour is addressed by the staff at a level appropriate to the age of the children and the type of behaviour displayed. Any severe behaviour deemed to be serious enough to extend beyond the normal school-wide consequences will be dealt with by the Deputy Principal or Principal.
All Ministry of Education guidelines and procedures on stand-downs and suspensions will be strictly followed.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Our BOT meets twice a term at 7:00pm in the staffroom. All meetings are open to the public with dates being announced in our newsletter. Minutes of the Board meetings are available on request.
Scholastic NZ Ltd runs a book club offering book specials on a monthly basis. A special Scholastic newsletter is sent out to notify children and parents of upcoming events. Closing dates are advertised in the school newsletter.
A school bus funded by the Ministry of Education is available to eligible children free of charge. Eligibility depends on the age of the child and distance they live from their nearest school. To find out if your child is eligible for the bus please contact the school office. Ineligible children are able to catch the bus for a termly fee of $50.00. This fee must be paid in advance. For more information about the bus service please contact the school office.
The Charter is a document that defines how our school will plan for continuous improvement. The Charter describes the Board’s long-term (strategic) goals for student achievement and this flows through to the annual plan which has specific goals and actions that aim to achieve those long-term goals.
These specific goals and strategies are updated annually and progress against these goals are reported to the Board of Trustees by the Principal. The charter can be found on the website.
COMMUNITY USE OF THE GROUNDS AND FACILITIES
Our grounds and facilities are open to the community at all times for children and families to play. No vehicles or animals are to be on the grounds at any time unless on school business. People using the grounds out of school hours do so at their own risk.
The following procedures should be followed if a parent or caregiver wishes to make a complaint or if they have any concerns in regards to their child’s education.
- An appointment should firstly be made to see the teacher concerned. On-going discussions and an appropriate amount of time may be required to achieve an adequate solution. The parent/caregiver or the teacher may ask for the Assistant or Deputy Principal or Team Leader to be involved. If necessary an action plan, stating objectives, outcomes, responsibilities and time frames will be mutually drawn up. Dates for regular reviews should also be included and communication between both parties will need to be ongoing.
- If after several communications either party feels that insufficient progress is being made with the agreed action plan, the Principal should be informed of developments and asked to intercede.
- In the case of a complaint not being directly related to the education of a student, parents, caregivers and staff may go directly to the Principal.
- If a satisfactory understanding cannot be arrived at with the Principal, the parent or caregiver may submit the complaint in writing to the Board of Trustees.
- In due course, the Board of Trustees will consider the complaint and use its best endeavor’s to reconcile the differences outlined in the letter of complaint. All complaints submitted to the Board shall be discussed ‘In Committee’.
- A member of the Board of Trustees or staff member, personally invested in a complaint or concern, will take no part in the Board’s decision but may submit a statement on the matter.
- When a parent, guardian or staff member wishes to make a complaint against the Principal, the complaint will be made to the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees who shall use his or her best endeavor’s to solve the concerns raised.
- All complaints submitted to the Principal or Board of Trustees must be documented and filed in a secure location.
Complaints and concerns given open discussion, an action plan, and sufficient time for rectification should lead to satisfactory solutions for all parties involved.
Pokeno School provides a balanced curriculum in Literacy, Numeracy, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Physical Health and Well Being, The Arts and Taha Maori. Our programmes aim at developing each child academically, physically, emotionally and socially. The Pokeno School curriculum implementation plan was developed in line with the New Zealand Curriculum.
The school does not have a Dental Clinic on site. All Dental Health queries can be dealt with by phoning Pukekohe Intermediate School Dental Clinic on 237 1070
Children may legally be enrolled at school from the time they turn five. (Please bring your child’s birth certificate and a copy of their immunisation record upon enrolment).
Pre-school visits for pre-school aged children help to provide a smooth transition between home and school life. Through regular visits, children will become more familiar with their teacher, classmates and school routines before beginning school.
Children may attend up to three pre-school visits beginning three weeks before their fifth birthday. School visits are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00am and 11:00am. No more than four children will be able to attend at any one time. These will be booked through the school office and placed on the school calendar.
The teacher and parents will discuss how much time the child will spend unaccompanied by a parent. This will vary depending on the confidence of the child. Parents will be made aware that as under-fives are not legally enrolled until at least their fifth birthday, any cases of accident or injury to a child remain the responsibility of the parents.
As children attending pre-school visits are not yet officially enrolled at the school parents are required to stay on the school site for the duration of the visit. As pre-school children can be disruptive to class routines, parents are requested to make arrangements for other siblings if they are staying in class with their child.
The Board of Trustees has adopted an enrolment scheme which has been approved by the Ministry of Education. The enrolment scheme, which includes a written description of the home zone, a map, and information about out of zone enrolments is available in the school office. Currently, no out of zone enrolments are being accepted other than the siblings of students already enrolled.
To supplement our Governmental Operational Grant, our PTA organizes regular activities to raise funds to purchase new equipment, apparatus, and materials. The PTA meets once a month at the school. The major fundraising event each year for the PTA is our annual Gala. Keep an eye on the newsletter for dates and times of PTA meetings.
The main focus of homework is to develop literacy and numeracy skills. Therefore all children are expected to read every night at a level and for a length of time appropriate to them. Class teachers will be able to give guidance with this. Children will also have individual spelling programmes that are relevant and in context of their learning. This will range from basic sight words through to crosswords to increase vocabulary. We encourage parents to help their children with basic facts including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
In the senior school, additional homework may be set at the discretion of the class teacher. This may include follow up tasks, research, or uncompleted work. Teachers should clearly communicate homework expectations to families in written form. Expectations should also include realistic time frames for homework, i.e. time spent per night. This will be discussed at syndicate level to ensure consistency across the syndicate.
We believe in the importance of children being well-rounded individuals, therefore activities such as baking, creating, going for walks, imaginative play, sports, drama, dance and time spent with family all play a vital role in developing the child as a whole.
Some children require extra support for learning or behaviour difficulties. Individual teachers are required to cater to the individual needs of each child in their class. However, it may be necessary at times to seek support from external agencies. The Deputy Principal, Miss Stephanie Lee is the Special Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and is responsible for all learning needs. Teachers are able to access a number of support services such as RTLB (Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour), GSE (Group Special Education), Public Health Nurse, SLS (Supplementary Learning Support) and RTLit (Resource Teacher of Literacy).
If parents have concerns about their child’s learning or behaviour they should first discuss it with the classroom teacher.
LENGTH OF THE SCHOOL DAY
The school day begins at 9:00am and finishes at 3:00pm. The structure of the day is as follows;
9:00am First learning block
10:30am Morning tea break
11:00am Second learning block
1:00pm Lunch break
1:45pm Third learning block
3:00pm School ends
The children in Rooms 1 - 5 are able to borrow one book at a time for up to two weeks. The children in Rooms 6 - 10 can borrow two books at a time for up to two weeks. If a school library book is lost or damaged, parents will receive an invoice requesting the replacement cost of the book.
All clothing worn to school must be named. Lost property is gathered together and placed in a container which is kept outside Room 8. Lost property not collected by the end of each term is donated to the Salvation Army.
MONEY TO SCHOOL
All money that is to be paid to the school must go through the office. Payment for stationery, donations, and fees must all be taken to the office and not given to class teachers. Payment for class trips, visiting performers, sports trips should be given to the class teacher.
Our School Newsletter is published weekly on a Wednesday. This is a valuable source of communication and the best way of keeping parents informed of school events. Please check for this each week and take note of important dates and events. Newsletters can be emailed, found on the website or via the school app. Families who would like to receive a hard copy of the newsletter should contact the school office.
PROMOTION AND PLACEMENT OF STUDENTS
All children should be placed in a class grouping which will be to their best educational advantage. Careful consideration will be given to the age, academic, social, physical, and emotional development of each individual child.
New entrants with birthdays in January - June will be classified as Year One. New entrants with birthdays in July - December will be classified as Year Zero. In term four all new entrants with birthdays in May and June will be reviewed before a final decision about their placement in the following year. Consultation with parents will take place and any communication from parents will be taken into consideration when placing students.
The final decision for the child’s placement will be the responsibility of the school.
The school closes for secular education on Wednesday mornings from 9.00am – 9.30am. Bible in School teachers, sing songs, do activities and read Bible stories to the children during this half hour.
Attendance is up to parents and non-attending children are the responsibility of parents from 9.00-9.30am until school recommences in its usual non-secular mode. Children who need to be at school between 9:00 and 9:30am and are not attending Bible in Schools will be supervised. Parents must send a letter to the school stating specific reasons for children not attending.
REMOVAL AND LATE ARRIVAL OF STUDENTS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY
All students who are taken off the school grounds by a parent or caregiver during the school day or are returned to school during the day must be signed in or out at the office. All students who arrive at school after 9:00am must be signed in at the office by their parent or caregiver.
REPORTING TO PARENTS
We operate an open door policy where parents can discuss their child’s progress by making an appointment to meet with the teacher. More formal parent/teacher interviews take place at the end of Term 2/beginning of Term 3. Formal written reporting is scheduled for the end of Term 2 and December.
Pokeno School prides itself on its wonderful environment and surroundings. We ask the children to help look after the school grounds by encouraging them to take their rubbish home.
These donations assist the Board of Trustees and staff to deliver higher quality programmes that would be possible if we relied solely on our Government funding. The donations are tax-deductible, so please retain your receipt for tax purposes.
$100 per family
Families are also asked to pay a $10.00 paper levy.
Stationery packs are available at the school office from the first day of school. Children will not receive a pack until payment has been received. Any further stationery required throughout the year can be purchased at the school office. Please contact the school office for up to date prices.
Mrs Karen Leathem operates our school office from 8.30am – 3:15pm, Monday to Friday. Eftpos is available at the office.
We keep our Sick Bay well stocked with an up to date list of emergency contacts and specific individual health concerns. Please inform the school immediately of any changes of address or phone numbers. All staff have a current first aid certificate.
In accordance with Government legislation, Pokeno School, including all buildings and grounds, is a smoke-free environment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Pokeno School senior children are part of East Group which includes Mercer, Mangatawhiri, Mangatangi, Maramarua, and Kaiaua. East Group meets regularly for sporting ventures including swimming, cross country, and athletics. Some children will then go on to compete at Franklin level.
All children are expected to wear a sunhat in term one and four. If children choose to wear a hat in term two or three they are able to choose a sunhat or beanie. Hats and beanies must not display any offensive graphics or language.
In term one and four any children playing outside without a sunhat on will be directed to play in shaded areas. Children are encouraged to use sunscreen and to dress appropriately.
This is an important part of the physical education curriculum taking place in Term 1. Pool keys are available for out of hours use. Please contact the school office for more details.
The Board of Trustees currently employs teacher aides to support teachers and children. The teacher aides have a variety of roles within the school.
Our Year 7 and 8 children are involved in Technology sessions every second Friday. A bus provides transport to and from Maramarua School. The bus leaves Pokeno School at 8:30am. If the children are late for the bus then parents are responsible for transporting them to Maramarua School or they will remain at Pokeno School and miss their technology programme. A materials charge of $75.00 is required from each child as part of this programme.
Children are often required to be transported in private motor vehicles. All private motor vehicles transporting children must have a current warrant of fitness and registration. Children are only permitted to sit in seats with over the shoulder sash belts. Children are not permitted to sit in seats with lap belts. All drivers are required to have a full driver’s license. All transport information including the number and names of children, which car and parent they are traveling with will be kept in the school office and by the teacher in charge. All Children under the age of 7 are required to use a car seat or booster seat.
TRIPS / VISITING PERFORMERS
We try to organise a visiting performer or school trip for each term of the school year to enhance the children’s learning and enjoyment of school. We try to fit trips around school-wide studies. Plenty of notice will be given prior to each trip informing parents of the cost and dates.
Pokeno School has an optional uniform, which can be purchased at The Warehouse in Pukekohe. The school has a sports uniform which is distributed to the children when representing the school at sports events.
VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL
All visitors to the school must report to the office upon arrival. They will be asked to sign the visitor’s book and to wear a visitors badge during their stay. Before leaving the school grounds all visitors are required to return the badge and sign out.
The school has a website which can be viewed at www.pokeno.school.nz