It is with pleasure that I write and welcome you to Russell Street School. Whether this is the beginning or continuation of your time with us, I look forward to working with you.
My name is Carolyn – it’s wonderful to meet you and your child! I am a graduate of Waikato University with a Bachelor of Education and a Primary Teaching Diploma. I have been teaching at Russell Street School since 2008. Working with children taking their first steps in their schooling and seeing the huge progress that they make so quickly is a wonderful experience.
As your child begins their time at school, I believe that communication between home and school is vital. If we can work together, your child will benefit. Please don’t hesitate to discuss anything that is concerning you or that you don’t understand. Pop in, write a note, send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or make an appointment. By dealing with concerns early, we can prevent problems from developing.
Every week the Thursday Noticeboard (TNB) is updated on our school website www.russellst.school.nz . While the majority of our families choose to receive this electronically, if you require a hardcopy of this newsletter, please ask. I encourage you to take the time to familiarise yourself with our website. It contains answers to most of the questions you may have, our policies, events, staff information, online copies of notices sent home and celebrations of our learning. You can also use the website as a gateway to the class blogs.
http://rsslittleeinsteins.blogspot.co.nz is the direct link to our class blog - you are here! We’d LOVE you to visit our blog often and comment on our posts – the children are hugely excited by ongoing feedback about their learning. Friends and relatives out of town – and the country – enjoy participating in our learning in this very direct way, too.
Reporting and Assessment
During the initial weeks of school, a variety of checks will be completed to determine your child’s development and ability. This ensures that we cater for your child’s specific needs and that they are grouped at their correct level. Earlier starters in my class will receive a formal report at the end of the year.
Your child has a personal portfolio which enables them to share their learning with you. This comes home close to the end of each term and is a wonderful record, celebrating their learning and progress throughout the year.
Every night, your child will bring home a reading activity, book, or poem in their book bag. In the morning, they need to return their book bag to the book bag box. When your child arrives at school, it is preferable to allow a few minutes to settle your child into an activity or read a book together in the library corner. This gives you time to spend with your child and allows for a transition for your child from home to school. The bell for the start of the school day rings at 8:55am, but you are welcome from anytime after 8:30am. If your child is upset when you leave, it is best for you to farewell them and leave. Most children settle quickly. If your child is still upset after 10 minutes, we will ring you.
8.55am – 10.55am Teaching Session 1
10:55am – 11:05am Brunch (Supervised Eating)
11:05am – 11:25am Brunch Playtime
11:25am – 12:55pm Teaching Session 2
12:55pm – 1:05pm Lunch (Supervised Eating)
1:05pm – 1:45pm Lunch Playtime
1:45pm – 3pm Teaching Session 3
During the first teaching session, we stop for five minutes for a “Brainfood” break. Please provide your child with a healthy snack for this time. This may be a piece of fruit, some vegetables, nuts or popcorn. At brunch, I will encourage the children to eat one sandwich and one other piece of food from their lunch box. The children will have the remaining food at lunchtime. During the rest of brunch and lunch, two teachers and two peer mediators supervise the playground areas while the children play. A teacher is also available to provide first aid if necessary. The children will get to know where to find the teacher on duty, or me, during these times.
The children are encouraged to put their drink bottles in a container in the classroom. They are able to drink at any time during the day. When it is hot, we will stop for regular drink breaks. Please fill the drink bottles with water only.
We have a policy at Russell Street School that children must wear a school hat when outside during Term 1 and Term 4. When not in use, hats are kept in the classroom. They do not usually get taken home.
Please label all school clothing. We have a lot of unmarked and unclaimed clothing every term. Lost property is stored in the hallway between Room 1 and the Library. Please also label your child’s lunch box and drink bottle.
Each week we visit the School Library to return and reissue books. The children are able to choose 1 book to bring home to share with you. This term, library day is Tuesday at 12:30pm. Please ensure that the book is returned to the library box on, or before, Tuesday so your child is able to choose a new book.
Please ensure your child has a ROOMY schoolbag that can adequately hold their lunchbox and drink bottle, reading folder, raincoat and spare clothing.
I value parent help both in the classroom and at home. Initially I give the children time to settle into school routines before I ask for help. If you are able to help, it is a good time to get to know and work with your child’s classmates and get to know the school routines and programmes. It also allows for more one on one adult time for the children during reading, writing and maths. If you have some free time available on a regular basis, and would like to join us, please let me know.
Assemblies are held on alternate Fridays at 2:15pm in the hall. This is a lovely time where children share their learning, present items and sing. New students are usually welcomed with a certificate at the first assembly after they start school. If you would like to come, you are very welcome. On the other Fridays we enjoy School Singing at around 2:25pm.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information. I look forward to getting to know you and your child. I am sure we will be able to develop a supportive partnership between home and school as your child begins their formal education.
The following links provide general information about starting school in New Zealand and may be of interest: