INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

ABSENCES: Please contact our school on 06 322 1544 and leave a message on the answerphone, email office@clifton.school.nz, use our School App or send a signed note with another family member if your child is going to be absent on any day. Teachers take the school roll as soon as school starts and mark children with a question mark (?) if we have not been advised that they will be absent. A text is sent to parents/caregivers to the mobile phone number we have on file requesting confirmation that your child is at home with you. If we do not hear back, your child will be marked truant. It is for this reason that parents are urged to let us know whenever a child is absent from school. Similarly, if your child is going to be picked up early, or needs to leave the school grounds for any reason, we need a parent or guardian’s authorisation. If we haven’t been advised, your child will not be allowed to leave until we have contacted you. We thank you for your support in helping keep your children safe.

ACCIDENTS AND SICKNESS: Parents will be contacted if, in a staff member’s opinion, a student is in discomfort or needs medical treatment. If parents or an emergency contact person cannot be contacted, the student will remain at school until contact can be made or taken directly to the medical centre in Bulls if serious.

We ask for parents’ co-operation in not sending already unwell children to school. A table is shown below from the Ministry of Health, with stand-down times for common infectious diseases. You need to keep child home:

Doctor’s advice should be sought in all these matters where information isn’t available from the school or the Public Health Nurse (except head lice).

Staff are not permitted to administer drugs or medicines to pupils without prior written permission from parents. Please contact the school if this is required.

COVID-19: Our school will follow the latest Ministry of Health guidelines.

ASSEMBLIES: We have presentation assemblies where each class showcases their learning. These are held approximately every two to three weeks. Assemblies focus on sharing work, commending good work/behaviour, engaging in communal activities (eg, singing, shared reading) and similar. Parents/caregivers are welcome to attend these assemblies which are held on Friday afternoons at 2:15pm in our Discovery Centre. Weekly assemblies are usually held on Monday mornings, and special assemblies for important notices and organisational details are held when necessary.

AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS: You are welcome to pay for uniform and stationery by online banking and automatic payments. Please use your child’s name as the reference when making payments to ensure these are credited to the correct account. Receipts are sent home for every payment received with our weekly newsletter. Statements are sent home with the newsletter closest to the end of the month. NB: No statements will be sent home during the school holidays as our office is closed.

BE READY FOR SCHOOL - NEW ENTRANTS: You can help your child’s transition to school by encouraging some of the following. Does your child:

  • Know their name, address and telephone number, and know how to repeat it if necessary?

  • Put away play things when not using them?

  • Know how to take off and put on outer garments without help?

  • Know how to tie their shoelaces?

  • Know how to use a handkerchief and always have one?

  • Know how to wash and dry hands and remember to flush the toilet without assistance?

  • Know how to hold and use scissors?

  • Know their basic colours?

  • Know how to count from one to ten?

  • Know how to sit and listen to a story?

  • Know the days of the week?

  • Recognise and write their name?

  • Look after their belongings?

  • Know their birthday and birth month?

  • Pack and carry their bag?

There is also a special New Entrant Handbook which can be collected from the office.

BICYCLES: Parents are asked to use their discretion in allowing children to cycle to and from school. Please be sure that your child can ride safely and obey road rules all the way to the school gate from your house and back home again before allowing them to ride to school. A bike rack is available in the school grounds during normal school hours. We also have a cycle track on school grounds which children can use during break times.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES: The Board of Trustees is responsible for the governance of our school. Our Board is made up of five parent trustees, a staff trustee, and the Principal. The Board meets twice each term in the school staffroom. All parents and caregivers are notified of meeting dates through the school newsletter. Elections are held at 18 month intervals. A public copy of board meeting minutes is available at the school office for any parents or caregivers to read. A list of Board of Trustees members is available on our website or from our school office on request.

BULLYING: Our school is a “no hitting place”, but we do have disagreements in play situations. We have a zero tolerance to bullying and will deal with it proactively. We prefer for parents to inform us of any problems and not to take matters into their own hands and being at odds with our school procedures.

BUS TRANSPORT: To be eligible for travel on a school bus a student must live more than 4.8km from their nearest school (or less than 3.2km for children under 10). Students not meeting these criteria technically travel on a school bus by private arrangement with the bus contractor. Students that meet the criteria may be eligible for a government funded bus allowance if they have to travel to meet the bus. A Code of Conduct will be given to every child who travels on the bus. This needs to be read and signed by both the student and their parent. If your child is not travelling on the bus for any reason, please contact the school office to notify that they will not be there. If the school has not heard from parents the child will travel home via the bus.

Approximate timetable: in the morning, the bus leaves Flockhouse at 8:05am, arrives at Ohakea Base at 8:20am then travels to Clifton School via Bulls School to arrive at 8:45am. In the afternoon, the bus departs Clifton School at 3:00pm, travels to Bulls School, then to Ohakea Base, with the last stop at Flockhouse at approximately 3:40pm.

CELL PHONES, iPods, MP2s, PSPs: The above are not permitted at school unless prior approval has been arranged with the Principal and teacher. If children do need to bring a device to school, it is to be handed to the classroom teacher or put in the box at the school entrance (this is monitored by a teacher).

CHEWING GUM, SWEETS AND FIZZY (SOFT) DRINKS: Chewing gum, sweets, and fizzy drinks are not considered part of a healthy diet, and are not permitted at our school.

CLASS TRIPS AND VISITS: As part of the class programme, day visits (or in some cases, overnight camps) are undertaken by classes. These are a valuable extension of the class programme and involve a large amount of work and organisation. However, their value is unquestioned. Parent/caregiver help on such excursions is essential and any offers of transport or supervision at these times are greatly appreciated. Parents/caregivers offering transport are requested to be fully licensed, with a warranted and registered car. All occupants must wear a seatbelt and the driver must hold a full licence.

CONCERNS/COMPLAINTS: There will be times when you have concerns about aspects of your child’s education and there will be times when confusions or errors occur. On these occasions please come and talk to us. We want to know about, and alleviate, your concerns. In short, if you like what is happening then please tell your friends and neighbours, if you don’t, then please tell us! Often unnecessary worry can be caused by unfounded rumour or misinterpretation. If the issue is “whole school” please see the Principal. If you ever have any classroom concerns, please contact the classroom teacher in the first instance. If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily, you should then contact the Principal and then the Board of Trustees - IN THAT ORDER. NB: Our school defines a concern as something expressed verbally and a complaint as written.

COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY: Our school is well resourced with devices, eg, i-Pads, Chrome books. In the senior school, one class has an interactive whiteboard and three have large screen televisions. Junior classes have large screen televisions to assist their learning. Pupils may only access the internet/email for their learning with teacher permission and under adult supervision. All students and staff sign a computer safety contract each year which governs the use of the internet at school.

DENTAL CLINIC: Children can be enrolled from the age of two. Once enrolled at the clinic, treatment occurs regularly. The clinic phone number is 06 322 8791.

DRESS CODE:

    • Makeup, nail polish and jewellery (with the exception of small studs or sleepers in ears) are not permitted.

    • All boys’ and girls’ long hair (when it reaches the shoulders) is required to be tied up.

    • No visible tattoos or body piercing.

    • Sun hats are to be worn outdoors during summer. Woollen hats may be worn outdoors and during the winter months. Hats are provided and allocated to every child for terms 1 and 4.

    • All students are expected to wear correct, clean and tidy school uniform.

EMERGENCY DRILLS: Regular emergency drills are practised at school each term. We ask that if you happen to be in school at one of these times that you follow the directions of the staff. Please attach yourself to the nearest class or staff member.

ENROLMENTS: Children cannot be officially enrolled before their fifth birthday although the enrolment forms can be completed before this. Enrolment packs are available from our school office which includes the necessary information about how to enrol your child for school, including an invitation for pre-school visits. Please note that if your child is a new entrant, we need a copy of their birth certificate or New Zealand passport, plus immunisation certificates. A transition programme is run in the new entrant room on a Friday morning in order to ease the movement into school for both the child and the parent.

EVENTS: During the school year children will be participating in a variety of events, eg, swimming, cross country, athletics, summer and winter sports, cultural presentations, etc. You will be informed, by newsletter as to when these events are to be held. We welcome all parents/caregivers, grandparents and friends of the children to come along and join us on these occasions. These events are an important part of school life and all children are encouraged to participate in all activities.

FUNDRAISING: Government grants pay for most things in a school, ie, staff salaries and overheads which include electricity, broadband, telephone, heating, building maintenance, cleaning, etc. Extras such as additional books for the library, computers and associated costs, camps, sports equipment, etc, need to be funded via grants or fundraising. During the year we have various activities to raise money; please support these ventures. It may not involve money but if you have time or energy to help, the school would appreciate your support.

HEAD LICE: Outbreaks of head lice occur periodically in all schools. Standard procedure is to notify the school when infection occurs and administer medication immediately. There is no stigma with the problem of head lice. ANYONE can catch head lice from head-to-head contact, sharing brushes and combs, hats and jerseys or mixing clothes.

HEALTH NURSE: The Health Nurse visits the school upon request to provide specialist assistance to the children. At various times during primary school, specialist technicians check the children’s hearing and vision. If you are worried about your child’s vision or hearing, please notify the school immediately.

HOMEWORK: At Clifton School we do not set formal home learning. We encourage our students to be active outside school hours, and our parents to help their children by:

  • Encouraging reading for pleasure and information.

  • Listening to them talk about things that interest them.

  • Giving them the opportunity to help at home, and encouraging them in their interests.

Juniors are likely to bring home readers each day for their literacy development.

LIBRARY: The school library is our most valuable non-human resource with over 3000 books. The library is part of our Discovery Centre which has attractive and welcoming surroundings. We encourage its extensive use and urge children to read and research as widely as possible. Parent help at home is very valuable in developing good reading habits and interests.

LOST PROPERTY: Lost property is kept on a rack outside the staffroom and is wheeled out to the front of school each morning for parents to check. At the end of term, all unclaimed and unnamed non-uniform items will be donated to a local charity. Any unclaimed and unnamed uniform items will be taken to the school office to be re-distributed to other students. Please name all children’s clothing so that it may be returned when misplaced.

NEWSLETTERS: Every Tuesday, a newsletter will be sent home with your oldest child. Parents/ caregivers are asked to read all newsletters as these contain information about upcoming events. Newsletters can also be downloaded from our website (clifton.school.nz), are sent out to our school app, and an emailed copy is sent to those who have given their email address to the school office. If you would like to receive an emailed copy, please inform the office.

OFFICE HOURS: Our school office manager works from 8:35am until 3:00pm each day.

PB4L-SW: Clifton School is part of the Positive Behaviour for Learning – School-wide programme. This involves focus around our values and rewarding desired behaviour instead of focusing on the undesirable. Vouchers are used as reinforcement and these, in turn, work towards certificates and school rewards.

POLICIES: The Board of Trustees has an overall responsibility for setting the school policies and procedures. Policies are the guiding documents for the governance of our school, eg, financial planning, curriculum delivery. Procedures relate to the day-to-day running of the school, ie, internet use, emergency evacuations, pupil assessment, etc. Our school policies are available online at:

https://clifton.schooldocs.co.nz

Our user name is “clifton” and our password is “soar”.

REPORTING TO PARENTS: We report to parents regularly throughout the year. Children complete Home Sample Books in terms 2 and 3 which have examples of work and progress within it. In term 2 we hold parent/teacher interviews and a written report is provided in December.

SCHOLASTIC BOOK CLUB: Scholastic Book Club send out order forms each term so that children can purchase specially priced reading books. Purchasing is voluntary with no pressure to buy.

SCHOOL APP: Clifton School’s app is Skool Loop. Please search your Play Store or App Store for Skool Loop for your free download. Our school newsletter, notices, alerts and the calendar are all uploaded to the app, and it will be used for updates through the school year. If you have any difficulty, then please feel free to come and see us in the office and we will help you.

SCHOOL COUNSELLOR: Clifton School is very fortunate to have an experienced school counsellor available two days a week (currently Wednesday and Thursday). Children, parents and family members are welcome to meet with him. Please contact our Principal if you would like an appointment.

SCHOOL DONATIONS: Our school does not request donations from parents/caregivers.

SCHOOL LUNCHES: Clifton School takes part in the government’s free lunch programme, Ka Ora, Ka Ako. Every child will receive a free, healthy school lunch every day unless the parent/caregiver opts out. Special dietary requirements have been taken into consideration – please let the class teacher know if your child is gluten-free, diabetic, etc.

SCOOTERS, SKATEBOARDS, BIKES, SKATES: For safety reasons, the above are not permitted to be used in the school grounds during school hours (ie, 8:25am to 3:30pm) unless it is an organised activity by the school. We have a Wheels Day every Friday so they can be brought along and used for the day. NB: Please ensure that children bring suitable safety gear to school.

SPECIAL PROGRAMMES: Our school funds comprehensive special needs programmes of both a remedial and extension nature taken by teachers and/or teacher aides. Currently, our programmes include:

  • Music

  • Mathletics

  • STEPS

  • Early Words

  • Young Leaders Conference

  • Drama Production every second year and involves every student

  • Camps

  • Reading Eggs

STATIONERY SUPPLIES: Stationery can be purchased online from OfficeMax with each room’s list published on their website at myschool.co.nz. A small stock of stationery items will be available from our school office during the school year.

SUN HATS/SUN SAFETY: Our school is a SunSmart school. Students are issued a named school hat at the start of term which they must wear during break times during terms 1 and 4. At the end of term, hats are returned to their class teacher.

TECHNOLOGY CLASSES: Year 7 and 8 pupils attend Technology classes at Rangitikei College once a week, departing school by bus. All students are required to wear covered shoes and have long hair tied up (shoulder length and longer) for technology classes.

UNIFORM: A school uniform creates a sense of pride and belonging in our children. Wearing a uniform puts everyone on an even playing field, allowing all children to feel equal. It show-cases our children in the community and is an easy way to identify them as belonging to Clifton School when they are involved in school or community-based activities.

Our uniform consists of a navy and gold polo top with school logo, navy and gold polar fleece with school logo, optional navy and gold reversible jacket with school logo, navy drill skort with school logo, navy drill trousers, and navy drill shorts. During autumn and winter, navy thermals can also be worn under uniform items - no white, stripes or fluoro, please.

Polo tees, fleeces, pants, shorts and skorts are available from our school office, and are supplied on a cash sale basis, ie, items need to be paid in full before you take them home. You are welcome to pay by internet banking, cash or cheque, or put the items on layby. Please note that we do not have eftpos or credit card facilities.

All children must wear the approved uniform; non-uniform items including fleeces or jackets, or uniforms with holes or of tatty appearance will not be accepted. Children coming to school in non-uniform fleeces or jackets will be asked to remove them.

WARRANT OF FITNESS - PUPILS: Education is a partnership between home and school. It would be appreciated if children were sent to school with a current ‘warrant of fitness’ which includes:

  • Plenty of sleep. We can’t work with children who have watched too much TV, played iPads or Playstation for hours, or stayed up late—10 hours sleep for primary children is recommended.

  • To be well fed! Children can’t learn when they do not have a balanced diet with regular meal times—breakfast is essential before a six hour school day. We run a Breakfast Club at 8:30am five days a week, where the children can get a bowl of Weetbix. Children need both mid-morning and lunch time food and a bottle of water (Clifton is a water-only school). Brain food should consist of fruit, vegetables, nuts, etc. If you have any queries, please speak to your child’s teacher.

  • To be secure. Children need reassurance and to have realistic expectations from their parents.

  • To have a positive attitude. If children expect good things to happen at school in all areas of learning they will have a keen and sparkling approach to their day. Don’t dull this with your worries, fears and niggles!

  • To have the correct gear. Comfortable uniform, stationery, brain food and morning tea, library books. Don’t let children ring you to bring things—we encourage independence and self-organisation.

  • To be on time. Social things happen before school and children who come late are disadvantaged. They are not ready for the day’s learning and playing.