Paremata School

Below are some common questions asked by parents enrolling their children as a five year old. You can also find useful information on our Year 1 class pages.

How do I enrol? Contact the school office to discuss your child's requirements.  A pack can be collected or sent out that has the enrolment form and complete details for starting at Paremata School.

What are your school hours? We begin school at 8:50am and finish at 3pm. The children have morning tea between 10:30am and 10:50am. Lunchtime is from 12:30-1:25pm.  The Year 1 and 2 classes have a 'brain break' at about 2pm each day.

What does the school day look like? In Year 1 and 2 the first block includes Maths and Physical Education. After morning tea we teach Writing and Reading.  Handwriting, Letterland (our phonics/spelling programme) and Inquiry (Science, Social Studies, Health and Technology) are taught after lunch.  On Fridays we have Discovery Time, The Arts, Te Reo, and Assembly, Syndicate Sport and some Literacy and Maths time. This is a general timetable; individual classes operate slightly differently.

Who looks after the children during break times? Paremata School is fully fenced and we always have two teachers out in the playground to look after the students. They wear bright orange vests and carry a bag with plasters and other essentials. The children are encouraged to find one of these teachers if they need help during morning tea or lunch time. In addition to the two duty teachers there are teacher aides in the playground and two senior students who are on duty as trained 'peer mediators'. These older children are great at helping  the younger ones sort out minor issues such as who should go first on the flying fox.

Do you check that the children are eating during morning tea and lunch time? At morning tea time, we make sure the Year 1 children all choose a sandwich (or similar) and something else to take outside to eat. We do not take wrappers outside so they need to be things they can hold easily.  At lunch time teachers supervise their class eating inside for ten minutes and children can stay inside for a further five minutes to finish their food. We encourage them to eat their sandwiches and yoghurt first and packaged food such as chips or biscuits afterwards. During brain break time the children eat a small serving of fruit or vegetables in the classroom or on the deck/seats outside.

Can the children buy lunch at school? Yes, we have Subway lunches available on Fridays. To purchase these, a subway order envelope is brought to school on Thursday with the money for order. These envelopes can be found in each class or at the office.

Are there any rules about clothing at school? We don't have a school uniform so the children can wear their regular clothes to school. All teachers and children wear sunhats when outdoors during Term 1 and 4. When choosing footwear, please select shoes that your child can put on and do up without assistance. All clothing should be named and Year 1s should have a change of clothes in their bags in case of accidents. Messy activities such as painting tend to take place on Fridays.

What pre-school visits are there to get my child used to being at school? We run a fantastic programme called Flying Start for children who are enrolled at the school. They attend on Friday afternoons for about a term before they begin school. During the programme we introduce lots of activities similar to those used in our New Entrant classrooms. Parents or caregivers attend the programme with their child so it is also a great way to make connections with other families who will have a child in the same year group. Flying Start invitations are posted out to families about 3 -4 weeks before the programme commences. In addition to Flying Start all children attend three school visits to the class they will be in. These visits allow the children to meet their classmates and teacher and to get to know the routines in their class. Class teachers contact parents about these visits.

How can I prepare my child for beginning school? Children start their learning journey at lots of different points. Some of the most important things for children to know are non-academic things such as; being able to pack their own bag, open their lunch containers and wrappers, put on their own shoes, socks and jersey etc. Academically, children are off to a great start in literacy if they can write their own name (in lower case letters), recognise the letters of the alphabet and can hear some sounds at the beginning of spoken words e.g.: sand starts with sss. For maths, knowing the numbers to ten, being able to count forwards and backwards to and from ten and being able to gets sets of objects (e.g.: get 8 potatoes) is a great foundation.

What class/year will my child be in? We will let you know which classroom your child will be in  1-2 months before your child begins school. Sometimes we have 2 new entrant classes open and at other times of the year there is one, depending on the spread of the new entrant birthdays for that year. Generally, children who turn five between July 1st and the end of the year are classified as Year 0  for the rest of that year and will be in Year 1 the following year. Children who turn five between the beginning of the year and the end of June are generally classified as Year 1.

Do you teach swimming? Yes, we have swimming lessons at Ally Todd swim school in Whitby in Term 4.

What homework do the children get? As new entrants, the children receive a book to read to you Monday-Thursday. On Friday they bring home two poems to share with you. All new students have a little set of commonly-used words on a ring that they keep in their book-bag. These words are ones that we aim to get the children to recognise instantly. Your child's teacher will add to the set regularly. We also send home Letterland/phonics homework on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This relates to the sound of the day.  Once children are fluent readers they bring home some spelling words each week. Maths homework, in the form of learning basic facts is usually introduced in Year 2. In Year 1 the best way to support your child's learning in maths is to do lots and lots of counting, both forwards and backwards. There are fantastic maths things to do at home on the following website: http://www.nzmaths.co.nz/families 

How will I know how my child is doing at school? You will have a new entrant parent/teacher conference with your child's teacher 4-6 weeks after your child starts school. After that, our school schedule for reporting applies. We have parent/teacher conferences at the beginning of Term 1 and 3 and written reports go home at the end of Term 2 and 4. In addition to that, you can chat informally with your child's teacher to catch up on progress any time.

When do newsletters come home? Our school newsletter are emailed each week on Wednesdays. Just let the school office know the email address(es) that you would like it sent to. They are also posted onto the school website each Wednesday afternoon.

What do I do if my child is sick and not going to be at school? If your child is unwell or absent for any other reason, please call the school office on 2331339 and leave an absentee message. Alternatively, you can email the office or your child's teacher. When the registers are done in the morning the office staff cross-check the absentees noted by teachers with the phone and email messages to ensure all children are accounted for.

Where can I park? Most schools have parking issues and ours is no different! There are a number of parks along Paremata Road and a car park at the end of Station Road.  To help alleviate parking issues, we have two well used drive-through areas where parents can stop by the gate and children can get in or out. These can be used once your child is confident about coming into class independently. There are also many children who walk to school. School patrols assist children with crossing Paremata Road in the morning and afternoon.

Does the school have Before and After School Care? Yes, we have Before School Care that runs from 7:15am-8:30am. Children need to be signed in by a parent each morning. Children are able to enter their classrooms from 8:30am. After School Care is available from 3pm-5:55.  Information about these services is available at the school office.

How does your school library operate?  On their 'library day', small groups of children go to the library during reading time and are supervised by our full-time librarian. She assists the children with locating and choosing suitable books. Children can take out 2 books at a time and can keep them at home for up to two weeks. The library is also open during the second half of lunch time for children who wish to read, draw or play board games.

Is the school nut-free? Yes, we are nut-free to ensure the safety of children with severe nut allergies. Packaged food that states "may contain traces of nuts" is permitted.

Do the younger and older children work together? Yes, each Year 1 and 2 class has a buddy class in the Year 5&6 or Year 7&8 syndicate. These classes get together on Friday mornings to read together and sometimes do other activities such as art or singing. Buddy classes also host a school assembly together once each year.

What do I do if my child loses something at school? Lost property is kept in the After School Care area and is displayed during the last week of each term, with left over items being donated to charity. Please name your child's clothing clearly and if something is lost, check your child's classroom and the lost property area. Children are not permitted to bring toys to school as it is heart-breaking if precious items are lost.

When do you have school assembly?  Whole school assemblies are held every third Friday at approximately 11:45am (until 12.30pm) in the school hall. There is a reminder in the school newsletter the day before an assembly. Each class has a turn at hosting an assembly each year. Families are welcome to attend.

What is Discovery Time? Discovery Time is a much looked forward to, ninety minute activity-based programme used in Year 1 and 2. It provides opportunities for teachers to meet the diverse needs of students through well-planned, structured, hands-on experiences. There are usually five or six activities with a link between them. This link could be a curriculum area or a key competency such as relating others. During Discovery Time the children move freely between the activities in the classroom.

What sorts of school trips and events do you have? Syndicates take a trip out of school most terms. This may be related to an inquiry topic, the arts or be a team-building trip. The school also hosts a variety of visiting shows during the year in relation to dance, drama, music and the visual arts. The costs of these are covered by the activity fee. In addition to these we have a whole school sporting event each term, Book Week during Term 1 and fun days such as International Day, Multi-Coloured day and other theme days to raise money for charity.

What types of extra activities are held at the school? We have a range of sports teams such as hockey, netball and basketball teams. There is a school band and a Kapa Haka group. The age of entry to these activities varies. After school activities run by external providers for a small cost include Ukelele and Kelly Sports.

How can I be involved at the school? Parents at Paremata are involved in lots of different ways. We have an active PTA and a Gala Committee who meet twice a term through the year.  You can find details of about these meetings in the school newsletter or on this website. There is also a group of parents who are Friends of the PTA and are just called on when the PTA needs extra support with an event.

Parents are invited to accompany classes on school trips and to assist with school events such as our duathlon in term 4. Discovery Time on Fridays is a great way to involved in the classroom.

If you have other questions or would like to know more about the school or discuss enrolling your child please call 2331339 or email office@paremata.school.nz