A to Z information About SFDS

Please see below an A to Z guide of all our school information. If you are unable to find what you are looking for please contact Suzanne or Bridgette in the school office.

Absences

According to New Zealand law, all children enrolled at school must attend unless they are sick. If your child is sick, please phone the school office before 8:55am. Please also let us know if your chid will be arriving later than 9:00am.

We have a system in place to follow up on any child who is not present for roll call if parents have not phoned the office. If you need to collect your child before 3 pm (eg for a medical appointment), please call into the school office and fill in the Early Leaving book.

Family holidays during school time

Parents and caregivers are asked to seek approval from the Principal for any absences arising from family holidays taken outside normal school holidays. You will be asked to provide some activities for your child to carry out during such an absence.

After School Care and Before School Care

A professional after school care programme is not provided on site at St Francis de Sales School. However we have two off site options of care.

Kelly Club: They are a licenced provider and will come and collect your child/ren from our school and walk them to their base at Island Bay School. Please see their website for more information and booking information. www.kellyclub.co.nz or Contact Brigitte Gilmore or Charlie Burgess 022 198 6316 islandbay@kellyclub.co.nz. Care is offered five days a week between 3-6 pm. Kelly Club also run holiday programmes that children can attend full or part time.

Presbyterian Church After School Care: They are a licenced provider and will come and collect your child/ren from our school and walk them to their base at the Presbyterian Church Hall on The Parade, Island Bay. For enquiries or bookings, please phone our supervisor on 383 9618 or 027 457 5359.

Presbyterian Church Before School Care: This available from 7:30am on site in our School Library for enquiries or bookings, please phone our supervisor on 383 9618 or 027 457 5359.

Arriving at school and collection after school

We prefer children to arrive between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m. We ask parents not to drop children at school earlier than 8:30 a.m. as the playground is not supervised before then and teachers are unavailable to supervise children in the classroom. Please ensure your child arrives at school by 8:50 a.m. at the latest.

School finishes at 3:00pm. If you are unable to collect your child/ren please ensure that alternative arragements are made. Teachers and school staff are not available to supervise children after 3:00pm. Children are encouraged to go home in groups, not alone.

Assemblies

Whole school assemblies will be held twice each term in 2015. Dates and times will be posted on the school website and weekly school newsletter.

Each group of classes will also hold at least two hui each term and the dates of these can also be found on the school website and weekly school newsletter as well as syndicate blogs.

Whole school assemblies are formal occasions when we meet to sing, congratulate students who have represented St Francis de Sales School or have achieved particularly well, and occasionally to listen to a visiting speaker.
Team hui are more casual affairs, where students might share their learning and applaud members who have achieved their goals.

All parents and caregivers are welcome to attend assemblies and hui. Preschoolers are also welcome, but we ask that if they are noisy or unsettled you please take them out for a break as our students need to be able to concentrate.

Behaviour management @SFDS

This is based on the following convention;

  • Teachers and students have the right to expect and obtain standards of behaviour appropriate to everyones’ needs
  • Teachers and students have the right to work in a pleasant atmosphere.

Our behaviour mamagement system involves early whanau contact when difficulties arise. There are also incentives and awards which affirm the positive behaviours. We will be working during the year to establish shared expectations for how to act in various school situations and how to acknowledge children's positive behaviour. Parents are notified of any concerns regarding their child’s behaviour. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns.

Board of Trustees

See the Board area of this website.

Bus services

St Francis de Sales School is very well served by public transport, both in and out of Island Bay- buses stop just down from the school on The Parade. For maps, fares and timetables, see the MetLink website

Cellphones

Cellphones should be treated as valuable items (like money) and can be given to the class teacher to be put into the Class Bag for safekeeping during the day. We cannot take responsibility for valuable items that are lost or damaged if they have not been handed in.

At times, especially in the senior school, it may be appropriate for a student to use their cell phone in class. Students could, for example, use the calculator function or take photos of a science experiment they are doing. In these instances, students are expected to take responsibility for caring for their phones and using them appropriately.

Children using phones inappropriately at school will have them confiscated and parents will be contacted.

Charter

The School Charter incorporates our school Mission Statement, and sets out a framework within which all school activities are conducted. It provides a benchmark against which we can measure our progress and performance. The Charter is reviewed regularly to ensure it remains relevant to the needs of our community.

We encourage all parents to familiarise themselves with our Charter.

Communication

Children learn best when their whanau and school work together in partnership, with regular communication between home and school.

Our website is updated weekly with information for parents about upcoming events, how the school operates, and news about what has been happening around the school. Teachers regularly communicate with parents, caregivers, and guardians via e-mail, phone and team blogs. Face to face meetings occur informally both before and after school, and you can schedule a meeting with the teacher or Deputy Principal and Principal at mutually agreeable times.

Cancellations and postponements are communicated by both email and text message. Emergency communications, such as an early school closure, will be sent out via email and text. Emergency communication for an individual student is always made with a phone call.

Meetings for parents are held from time to time throughout the year, often combined with an informal social gathering. Parents are invited to special evenings during the year to find out about specific teaching programmes. They are an excellent opportunity to meet staff, Board members and of course, other parents.

Dental treatment

The mobile dental clinic visits the school once a year. The dental therapist is always available to answer any questions you may have. Contact the school office for information on the mobile clinic.

EOTC (Education Outside the Classroom)

The Wellington region is very rich in learning opportunities and resources, and we take full advantage of these, with visits to Te Papa, art galleries, plays and concerts offered from time to time. We also bring in outside visitors to enrich teaching programmes. Parents’ consent is sought at the start of the year for all EOTC trips. Parent help with travel and supervision on these trips is often needed.

The EOTC opportunities that are provided at St Francis de Sales School are fully embedded into curriculum programmes, but unfortunately funding provided by the Ministry of Education is not sufficient to cover the full cost . Parents are expected to pay for the EOTC experiences provided. Where extreme hardship would prevent a child from participating, we seek support from various grants or sponsorships.

Emergency preparedness

We are very well-prepared for emergencies. Staff are trained in dealing with a wide range of emergencies, and there is a school policy specifically dealing with emergency situations.

Emergency contact information

When enrolling your child it is essential that you provide alternative contact numbers which may be needed in the event of an emergency. It is essential to tell the school about any special health needs your child/ren may have, such as allergies or medication requirements.

If you have any change in your circumstances, it is vital that you inform the school office about any changes to your address, work and home phone numbers, emergency contact numbers, care or custody arrangements and changes to your child’s health status.

Enrichment programmes

These vary from year to year depending on the availability of tuition. In 2015, the following options are offered:

  • Guitar lessons (after school) for all ages
  • Piano and violin lessons during school hours

Enrolment

To enrol your child at St Francis de Sales School, please contact the School Office to arrange a time to come in and fill in the necessary forms. These include a copy of your child’s birth certificate and immunisation certificate.

We encourage children approaching school age (at around 4 years 10 months) to come to our weekly pre-entry sessions with their parent or caregiver. Please book these 2 visits at the school office. These sessions are very beneficial in helping children become familiar with the school and its routines, and for parents to get to know the school, staff and other parents.

Please note that the parent or caregiver must stay on the school grounds during these visits.

Healthy eating

The school promotes healthy eating habits. Lollies, chewing gum and fizzy drinks are not allowed at school.

Lunchtimes

At the beginning of lunch time, children must sit down to eat their lunch (this is a health and safety requirement). Teaching staff supervise children to ensure that children do not skip this meal. When they have finished eating, children may go to play.

Subway Lunches: Subway envolopes are available form the school office. Orders need to be returned to the office by Tuesday 3:00pm and lunches are deleivered on Wednesdays.

Sushi Lunches: Sushi can be ordered online for lunch on Thursdays. Ask for details at the school office.

Homework

Homework is a useful way of involving parents more closely in their children’s education. It is given to encourage children to consolidate newly-acquired skills and help them develop good study skills. It also extends their learning beyond the classroom.

During their primary school years, children are often introduced to many extracurricular activities such as Cubs, Brownies, sports, music lessons and so on. Participation in these activities is an important part of their education. Family trips and visits are also very important. We encourage parents to strike a balance between developing a habit of regular homework for their children and leaving sufficient time for children to follow other personal pursuits.

Teachers will monitor and provide feedback for homework that is completed, but will not punish children who do not complete it.

Homework in the junior school

Children are given reading to take home, and parents are asked to listen to their child read and to give plenty of support and encouragement. Children will also have a word list at their level, and should read through this with the help of a parent each day. Once children can read independently we encourage them to read their choice of material for 10-30minutes every day.

Homework in the middle school

  1. Maths - your child's teacher may provide a worksheet or recommend a website.
  2. Reading - at least 15 minutes every day of the week
  3. Spelling - please assist your child learning to spell their weekly word list.

Homework in the senior school

  1. Research topics for their own inquiry
  2. Spelling - please assist your child learning to spell their weekly word list
  3. Reading - approximately 30 minutes each day of the week
  4. Mathletics - at least 3 sessions a week completing over 1000 points each time.

Injury or illness

There is a first aid/medical room within the adminstration area. In minor cases, first aid will be given at school. In more serious cases the Accident and Emergency department at Wellington Hospital will be used and parents contacted immediately.

In the event of children becoming ill at school, children will not be taken or sent home unless the parent or caregiver has been contacted first. Please ensure that your Emergency Contact Details held by the School office are up to date.

Late arrivals

If you bring your child to school after 9:00 a.m, please call in to the school office to let office staff know that you have arrived BEFORE going to class. This is very important, as your child’s name will have been entered on the Absence sheet and will need to removed by office staff before they start phoning parents to determine the whereabouts of their child.

See: Absences

Leaving the school grounds

No child is permitted to leave the school grounds during the school day unless this has been arranged between the school and a parent, caregiver or teacher, or are participating in an approved EOTC activity.

Lost property

Please make sure that all your child’s clothing and property (hat, shoes, socks, polarfleeces, coats, lunchboxes, drink bottle, raincoats, school bags) is NAMED. This helps us to return lost and unclaimed property to its owner promptly. Lost property is kept in a large basket beside the main entrance to the school. Each of the A area classes also have lost property baskets. Parents are welcome to check these for lost items.

Medication

Where it is necessary for medication to be administered to your child during school hours we require written and signed permission accompanied by detailed instructions of medication, dosage and time to be given. Please complete and sign the Medical Register which is held at the office for this purpose.

Meetings with the Principal, Deputy Principal and staff

The Principal and Deputy Principal are usually available to talk to parents and caregivers during the school day and after school, however it is best to arrange an appointment.
Teachers are also happy to talk with parents and caregivers as the need arises. To ensure that the teacher you want to talk to will be available, it is advisable to contact the teacher via email or written note to arrange a suitable time before or after school.

Please note that teachers are not available at these times:

  • During school hours (8:50am – 3:00pm)
  • Tuesday 3:15 – 5:30pm (team meetings held during this time)
  • Wednesdays 3:15 – 5:30pm (staff meetings held during this time).

Money, valuables and toys

Children should not bring money, valuables or toys to school. If children bring money to school for anything other than paying for special lunches, books or other costs, it must be given to the teacher for safekeeping during the day.

News and information

We publish a weekly 'newsletter', this goes home every Tuesday; there is a paper copy as well as a copy emailed out. The newsletter is also available on our website. The website is updated weekly and parents should check this as a first port of call.

Office hours

The Office Manager (Suzanne Lek) is in the office from 8.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Thursday and the Office Assistant (Bridgette Stasiewicz) Tuesday to Friday 8.30am-3.30pm.
If you want to leave an important message please call the school’s number 939-7370 at any time and leave a message on the school’s answer machine. We clear the messages regularly at 8:30 am, during the day and between 2:30-2:50 pm every day. We attend to phone messages promptly.

Payments

Payments to the school can be made in the following ways:

  1. By calling into the school office and paying by cash or EFTPOS.
  2. By internet banking, using our bank account number 12 3141 0233071 00. Be sure to put your child’s name and the nature of the payment on the transaction, for your records and our own. Please advise the office of your internet payment, by emailing office@sfds.school.nz with details of your child’s name, class, amount and the item being paid.
  3. By sending the payment to school with your child, in an envelope clearly marked with your child’s name, class, amount and item being paid. Please ensure that your child hands this envelope to the school office.

    All payments received will be processed and a receipt sent home with your child.

Please note that payments for Ashton Scholastic Book Club payments are separate to school payments and should be handed into the office to give to the organiser.

Road patrol

There are 2 crossings near the school are patrolled before and after school by senior students and a duty teacher or parent. The times patrolled are:

Morning: 8.30-8.50 am
Afternoon: 3.00-3.10 pm

The students are trained with the help of the Police Traffic Safety Branch. Parents are asked to cooperate with children who are on duty, and to encourage good road sense in their own children. Parents who wish to help the school can be of great assistance by volunteering to be on duty one morning or afternoon per week, to free up teachers before and after school hours. Please contact the school office if you can join the roster.

School hours

  • Start: 8.55 am (bell)
  • Morning interval: 10.45-11.05 am
  • Lunch: 12.30-1.25 pm (the bell rings at 1.25 pm)
  • Finish: 3.00 pm

See also: arrivals, late arrivals, after school

School photos

Once a year, a professional photographer visits the school. You will get ample warning beforehand. Orders can be placed for individual, family, class and sports team photos.

School routines and safety rules

  • Wide brimmed sunhats are worn while outside on sunny days in Terms 1 & 4
  • During morning interval, children are to eat their morning tea inside for five minutes before going out to play.
  • At lunchtime, children eat their lunch from 12:30-12:40 pm inside their classroom. This is supervised by their teacher. Children may then go to play after checking that the area/classroom is clean and tidy with no rubbish.
  • We encourage healthy eating – no lollies or fizzy drink at school.
  • Children must not leave the school grounds during the school day unless they have permission from their teacher. They MUST check out at the office before leaving, and check back in again.
  • Children may only play on the field if a duty teacher is supervising.

Smokefree status

Smoking is not allowed in the school buildings or grounds at any time.

Spare clothing for accidents

Accidents and spills do happen. The school has some spare clothes available, particularly for the younger children.

Special education

Group Special Education Service (GSE) has specialists trained to help children with special learning needs, emotional difficulties or social problems. You can find out more about Special Education services on the Ministry of Education website or call 0800 622 222. Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) are specialist teachers who support schools to meet the specific learning needs of children.

Sports programme and sports teams

Children take part in a full health and fitness programme, learning the skills of both winter and summer sports. The school actively encourages children to take up a range of sports. We have a number of school teams playing inter-school games: netball, mini-ball, touch rugby, floor-ball and water polo. Parental assistance is always needed. If you are interested in becoming involved, please let the sports co-ordinator know.

St Francis de Sales School Sports Code of Conduct

Class stationery

At the start of the school year, all students are provided with a Stationery List. This includes a range of exercise books, dictionary requirements, pencils, rulers etc. Stationery may be bought from any stationery outlet or purchased from our school office. Stationery Lists are available on the front page of the website. If extra stationery is needed during the year a note will be sent home informing you of what is required.

Supervision in the school grounds

We are fortunate to have spacious and sheltered school grounds –the upper turf area, the middle basketball court and middle courtyard and covered area as well as the bottom netball court. These are monitored at morning interval and lunchtime, two staff members are rostered to patrol the grounds.

Support services available

All children in their first year at school have their vision and hearing tested by a specially trained nurse. As part of the enrolment process you will be asked to sign a consent form for these tests. Parents will be notified if any problems are identified. Good hearing and vision are critical to progress in learning, and any problems with be followed up with appropriate referrals.

A speech therapist visits the school on request to check on children with speech difficulties.

Sun protection

Sunhats: It is school policy that all children must wear a wide-brimmed sunhat while outside during Term 1 and Term 4. Hats can be purchased from the school office, but children may wear any suitable hat. Years 7 & 8 students can either wear a wide-brimmed sunhat or a SFDS cap.

Sunscreen: We encourage parents to provide their children with sunscreen to ensure adequate sun protection when they are outside.

Swimming tuition

All children who are learning to swim take part in a Learn to Swim programme, as well as other appropriate programmes based on the needs of the students. Years 1-2 are catered for by Little Makos – based at Berhampore School and Years 3 to 8 at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre in Kilbirnie.

The costs of these classes must be covered fully by parents, and cover pool entry, qualified instructors and transport to and from the pool.

Swimming is compulsory and children must take part unless they are sick. A note from the parent is required if children are to be excused from swimming tuition. On swimming days, children need to bring their swimming gear (togs, towel, goggles) to school.

Toys

Children should keep their toys at home and play with them after school.

Uniform

In keeping with the tradition of our Catholic school and that of other Catholic schools, it is considered necessary that the children wear a school uniform. A school uniform studenst identify with their school and assist with the development of school spirit. We have a uniform shop on site; this operated on Tuesdays 8.45am–9.15am and Thursdays 2.45pm-3.15pm. Orders can also be made at the school office.

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