If you can’t find the answers to your questions in this booklet, 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 before the start of school, or through the school app. If you have not contacted the school by 9:20am we will ring or text you to check on your child’s absence. If a child is late to school then a parent or caregiver must sign them in at the office. The school answer phone operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Whole school assemblies are held once a fortnight. These will be held on a Monday afternoon from 2:00pm – 2:45pm. Keep an eye on the school newsletter for any changes to assembly times. Whanau are welcome to attend.
BEHAVIOUR / The Pokeno Way
At Pokeno School we have four values:
Ako - We are all learners, we are all teachers
Manaakitanga - We are respectful of ourselves, others and our community
Kotahitanga - We work together and celebrate our successes
Whakawhanake - We continually develop and grow with our community
Pokeno School is a PB4L School (PB4L - stands for Positive Behaviour for Learning) and as such we base our behaviour management practices on our school values. Our values were selected after consultation with students, whanau and local community.
Teachers and staff teach the behaviour we want to see students displaying (we do not assume children know how to behave). We strive to focus on recognising the positive over the negative to reinforce the behaviours we expect to see at Pokeno School.
A reward system works in conjunction with our values. How this works can be found in every classroom or a copy is available at the office.
Any inappropriate behaviour is dealt with by teachers. Consequences will vary depending on the age of the child and the specific behaviour. Parents / Caregivers will be contacted if it is deemed necessary. The Principal, Deputy Principal or Associate Principal will deal with any severe behaviour deemed to be serious enough to extend beyond normal school wide consequences.
Children and parents are encouraged to discuss any concerns about inappropriate behaviour with the classroom teacher as soon as possible. The Whanau Leaders, Associate Principal, Deputy Principal and Principal are also happy to discuss concerns and support students.
All Ministry of Education guidelines and procedures on stand-downs and suspensions will be strictly followed.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The BOT meet twice a term 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 termly fee of $45.00. 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 is reported to the Board of Trustees by the Principal. The charter can be found on the website.
Schools can be a breeding ground for infections and illnesses. Please keep children away from school if they have a bad cough or cold, diarrhoea or vomiting, feverish or are very tired after an illness. Children should not return to school until 24 hours after their last bout of vomitting or diarrhoea. The following chart may be of help to you in diagnosing some of the common childhood illnesses.
11 to 23 days
usually 14 days
Fever, crops of spots which blister, become itchy and form scabs
Disappearance of spots
12 to 26 days
usually 18 days
Swelling of face just in front of ears, can be one side only, usually both, pain on swallowing
2 weeks from onset or 1 week after swelling settles
Until sores have healed
Small red spots
Disappearance of rash
14 to 20 days
usually 18 days
Mild illness, short-lived rash, 1 – 2 days
7 to 21 days
usually 10 days
Cold, runny nose, red eyes, fever, very miserable, marked rash, blotchy, for 4 days or more
Disappearance of rash
2 to 6 months
Mildly unwell, off food, dark urine, occasionally jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
Very variable, obtain doctor’s advice
Hand, Foot and Mouth
7 to 21 days
More common in pre-schoolers, tiny pin point red or white spots on palms and soles along with a number of mouth ulcers
Disappearance of rash
Public Health Nurse – Please contact the school office for a current contact number.
COMMUNITY USE OF THE GROUNDS AND FACILITIES
Our grounds and facilities are open to the community at all times for children and families to use. No vehicles or animals are permitted on school grounds at any time unless on school business. People using the grounds out of normal 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. Ongoing 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 Deputy Principal, Associate Principal or Whanau Leader to be involved. If necessary an action plan, stating objectives, outcomes, responsibilities and timeframes 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 Whanau Leader, Associate Principal, Deputy Principal or 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 endeavours to reconcile the differences outlined in the letter of complaint. All complaints submitted to the Board shall remain confidential and 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 endeavours 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
We are a Duffy Books in Homes school. All children will receive three or four books a year which they can take home and keep. Additional books may be given out as rewards. We are very grateful to the Alterno Foundation and Barfoot and Thompson Pokeno who sponsor our Duffy Books.
Children may legally be enrolled at school from the time they turn five. Enrolment forms are available on the school website or can be requested from the office. When enrolling your child 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 can be booked through the school office and will be 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.
As part of the enrolment process families will be asked to meet with the Principal, Deputy Principal or Associate Principal, depending on availability. As Pokeno School is rapidly growing and new students are regularly starting at our school, it is preferred that all new students begin on a Monday to avoid disruption to classes. This will be discussed with families during the enrolment process.
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 organises regular activities to raise funds to purchase new equipment, apparatus and materials. The PTA meet 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.
Ruru Whanau - Year One & Two
There is a strong literacy focus for these children. This may include reading books, a poem of the week, alphabet work, sight words depending on the child and the class. Reading Eggs and Mathseeds are also an option for families.
Tui Whanau - Year Three & Four
Homework at this level will include reading, spelling, Reading Eggs, Mathletics or Mathseeds and an optional inquiry project.
Kea Whanau - Year Five to Eight
Fortnightly research homework, spelling (at the teachers discretion), Reading Eggs and Mathletics form the basis of homework at this level. At times, uncompleted school work may be sent home as well
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.
We also understand that families can be very busy and some children will be involved in sports, dance, scouts etc. Therefore it may be unrealistic to complete homework. Please communicate this with your child's teacher.
Some children require extra support for learning or behaviour difficulties. Individual teachers are required to cater for the individual needs of each child in their class. However, it may be necessary at times to seek support through external agencies. The Associate Principal, Mrs Karen Houghton is the school's Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and is responsible for all special 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 behavioor they should first discuss it with the classroom teacher.
LENGTH OF THE SCHOOL DAY
The school day begins at 9am and finishes at 3pm. 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
Ms Bronwyn Flint is responsible for the library. The children in Years 1 - 3 are able to borrow one book, for up to two weeks at a time. The children in Years 4 - 8 can borrow two books 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. Please ask at the office for the current location of lost property. Lost property not collected by the end of each month is cleaned and donated to a charity.
MONEY TO SCHOOL
All money that is to be paid to the school must go through the office. Payment for stationery 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 once a week on a Wednesday. We do not send a paper copy of the newsletter home. This is a valuable source for communication and the best way of keeping parents informed of school events. Families can access the newsletter through our website, app or can have it emailed directly to them. Please discuss with the office how you would like to receive the newsletter.
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 re-commences in its usual non-secular mode. Children who need to be at school between 9:00 and 9:30am and who are not attending Bible in Schools will be supervised. Parents must send a letter to 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 beginning of Term 3. Formal written reporting is scheduled for the end of Term 2 and Term 4.
Pokeno School prides itself on its wonderful environment and surroundings. We ask the children to help look after the school grounds by taking their lunch rubbish home.
The Board of Trustees has opted in to the Government Scheme for 2020. The school will recieve $150 per student from the Government. This means that the Board will not be asking families to pay a school donation. It also means that families will not be asked to pay any fees towards Reading Eggs & Mathletics or tech fees for the Year 7 & 8 children.
Mrs Karen Leathem operates our school office from 8.30am – 3:15pm, Monday to Friday. Eftpos is available at the office.
At the beginning of the school year stationery packs are available from OfficeMax My Schools stationery website. Any further stationery required throughout the year can be purchased at the school 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 health needs, addresses 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 is 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 terms one and four. If children choose to wear a hat in terms two or three they are able to choose a sunhat or beanie. Hats and beanies must not display any offensive graphics or language.
In terms 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 and classes access the pool in Term 1.
The Board of Trustees currently employ 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 Thursday. 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. Children must have closed in shoes when attending tech.
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 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 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.