June 19, 2022

Kia ora koutou

I hope everyone is able to keep warm on this very wintry Sunday. It is a short week with Friday being a public holiday to celebrate Matariki. 


We are very much looking forward to welcoming you all to our matariki celebration this coming Wednesday. There are some awesome workshops on offer that all are welcome to attend, including arts and crafts, star gazing, Te Ruma ō Hiwa-o-te-Rangi where you can make a wish for the coming year, Te Ruma Pōhutakawa for remembering loved ones, candle making, lantern making, playing the ukulele and more!

There will be soup a-plenty for whānau to enjoy, performances to celebrate and a hangi to share. It is a wonderful time for our whole community to gather, and a highlight of the Ao Tawhiti calendar. 

2-3 Set up/ decorate the school

3-4.30 Workshops and afternoon tea 

4.30 Tidy up workshops

4.45 Performances

5.30 Lantern parade

6.00 Hangi and shared kai

7.00 Tidy and home!

Thanks to Niki for her work organising this day and to everyone who has volunteered to support this important day. 


Our Covid numbers continue to decrease, so again, I would like to thank everyone for their support of our public health measures. They do make a difference to the health and safety of our students and community.  We have one staff member test positive this week and five students. 1 x Y13, 1 x Y11 and 2 x Y10.  Apologies if I have missed any other positive cases. If your child does test positive then please email us at covid@aotawhiti.school.nz. This helps to support our health and safety decision making around covid. 

Please continue to keep your child at home if they are unwell. 

Here is a link to the updated education guidelines under the COVID-19 protection framework. 

Education at Orange Setting

Road Safety

Please remind your children to wait and cross the traffic lights on the green ‘walk’ signal – and to use the traffic lights. We have had a couple of reports of students running across the road on the ‘red’, or running straight across the busy city roads. We are a central city school which means that traffic can pose a risk for students when they are navigating their way around the city before and after school. We will do a reminder at school, but it would be great if this message can be reinforced at home as well. Please also remind your older students that they are role models for the young ones.


Thank you to Sarah Marshall and the whānau who came along to the presentation by Netsafe. The link below outlines the information shared in the presentation. The biggest ‘takeaway’ from Netsafe’s presentation was the importance of communication within families around social media and online behaviour. Parents need to be aware of their childrens’ activities online so they can provide support if things go wrong. I would recommend that all caregivers (5 years plus) have a look at the resources at the link below.

Parent Tool Kit Netsafe

Schools can support students and families if they are struggling with the fallout from social media or online misuse. This would be done through our guidance and pastoral teams. We can also support students and families to make reports to Netsafe, who are the team who investigate and make recommendations about prosecution under the Harmful Digital Communications Act. The Harmful Digital Communications Act is legislation passed in 2015 with the purpose of preventing harm through digital communications and providing redress for victims of harmful digital communications. Students are often surprised at what is illegal under this act. A summary is at this link Harmful Digital Communications Act

Netsafe is also able to negotiate with platforms, such as Instagram or Snapchat, to remove harmful media and images. 

School Calendar for the remainder of 2022

Below are the dates for Public Holidays, Term Dates, IEMs and Staff Only Days for the remainder of 2022. 

Friday 24 JuneMatariki Public Holiday
Thursday July 7 Last day of normal timetabled classes for term two
Friday July 8IEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1 – 6 if needed
Monday 25 July IEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1 – 6 if needed
Tuesday 26 JulyTerm 3 normal timetabled classes begin for term three
Monday 22 AugustNCEA professional learning day. Students in Years 9 – 13 will learn at home on this day as the Learning Advisors who teach NCEA will be off site. Online learning will be provided for students on this day. 
School is open for year 8 and younger.
Thursday 1 SeptemberStaff Only Day – School is closed for instruction
Friday 2 SeptemberStaff Only Day – School is closed for instruction
Thursday 29 SeptemberLast day of timetabled classes for term three
Friday 30 SeptemberIEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1 – 6 if needed
Monday 17 October IEMs – supervision is available for students in Years 1 – 6 if needed
Tuesday 18 October Term Four normal timetabled classes begin for term four
Monday 24 October Labour Day – Public Holiday
Friday 4 NovemberLast day for students in Years 11, 12 and 13 (NZQA exams start on Monday 7 November)
Graduation at The Piano
Friday 11 NovemberShow Day – Public Holiday
Thursday 15 December Last day of school for 2022

Have a great week everyone. If you are travelling for the long weekend then please travel safely.

Ngā mihi nui