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HOME2021-09-16T13:11:31+12:00

School is open at Alert Level 2

Kia ora koutou,

School is open to all students but we will be following Alert Level 2 protocols and safety measures.  Please be aware of the following:

1. Online learning programmes will not be supported by teachers from Thursday as their focus, once more, becomes their in school teaching and learning programmes;
2. We will manage risk in school by:
a. Having children sanitise their hands on every entry to and exit from their classrooms;
b. Sanitising doors handles and other high touch areas at the end of each break;
c. Not having any assemblies or off-site activities during Alert Level 2;
d. Not having external providers or groups from other schools coming on site during this Alert Level;
e. Asking everyone, children and adults, to remember to socially distance [1 metre inside and 2 metres outside] when on site;
f. Asking parents only to come onto the school site if it is essential business. If parents do come onto the site, they must please sign in either via one of the Covid-19 Tracer QR codes positioned around the site or by filling in the log sheets provided in the Main Office area or outside each classroom;
g. Returning to staggered pick ups as happened at Alert Level 2 last year. So:

  • Room 1 and 2 children will finish at 2.30pm. Please wait for the children to be delivered to you at the appropriate gate [Pedestrian Crossing gate for Rm 1 and Field Gate for Rm 2];
  • Room 3 children will finish at 2.45pm. Please wait for the children to be delivered to you at the Field Gate;
  • Room 4 and 5 children will finish at 3.00pm. Please wait for the children to be delivered to you at the appropriate gate [Field Gate for Rm 4 and Pedestrian Crossing gate for Rm 5];
  • Older children can leave with younger children at the earlier time as it suits.

Other important points to note:

3. Our Student Conferences have had to be moved from the last week of this term to Week 2 of Term 4.
4. Masks are not mandatory in schools and, especially in primary schools, they are not considered necessary. Still, if any parent wants their child to wear a mask, we will support them in doing so.

Thank you for your on-going understanding and support during these challenging times.

Nga mihi nui,

Simon McGowan

Principal

SCHOOL REOPENING THIS THURSDAY, 9th SEPT..

Kia ora koutou,

I am sure everyone will have heard the very welcome news that schools outside of Auckland can all reopen this Thursday under Alert Level 2 restrictions. There are a few things I need to clarify about our arrangements for this with all our school community:

1. At Alert Level 2, it is considered safe for all children to return to school. Online learning programmes will not be supported by teachers from Thursday as their focus, once more, becomes their in school teaching and learning programmes;
2. We will manage risk in school by:
a. Having children sanitise their hands on every entry to and exit from their classrooms;
b. Sanitising doors handles and other high touch areas at the end of each break;
c. Not having any assemblies or off-site activities during Alert Level 2;
d. Not having external providers or groups from other schools coming on site during this Alert Level;
e. Asking everyone, children and adults, to remember to socially distance [1 metre inside and 2 metres outside] when on site;
f. Asking parents only to come onto the school site if it is essential business. If parents do come onto the site, they must please sign in either via one of the Covid-19 Tracer QR codes positioned around the site or by filling in the log sheets provided in the Main Office area or outside each classroom;
g. Returning to staggered pick ups as happened at Alert Level 2 last year. So:

  • Room 1 and 2 children will finish at 2.30pm. Please wait for the children to be delivered to you at the appropriate gate [Pedestrian Crossing gate for Rm 1 and Field Gate for Rm 2];
  • Room 3 children will finish at 2.45pm. Please wait for the children to be delivered to you at the Field Gate;
  • Room 4 and 5 children will finish at 3.00pm. Please wait for the children to be delivered to you at the appropriate gate [Field Gate for Rm 4 and Pedestrian Crossing gate for Rm 5];

Older children can leave with younger children at the earlier time as it suits.
Other important points to note:
3. During Alert Levels 3 and 4, we have handed out 21 devices to whanau to support online learning programmes. Please ensure that all these devices [and their power cords] are returned on Thursday so there is no problem at school with some children not being able to access devices because they have ‘forgotten them’ at home;
4. Some children and caregivers have been asking about our Student Conferences at the end of this term. Now we are back at Alert Level 2, these are very likely to go ahead but I need to discuss this in more detail with colleagues. I will give everyone a clearer response as soon as I am able to.
5. Dr Ashley Bloomfield stated today that masks are not mandatory in schools and, especially in primary schools, they are not considered necessary. Still, if any parent wants their child to wear a mask, we will support them in doing so.
Thank you for your support in making this all run smoothly and I look forward to catching up with everyone [from a suitable Social Distance!] from Thursday.

Nga mihi nui,

Simon McGowan

Principal

SCHOOL CLOSURE CONTINUATION

and

VERY LIMITED OPENING FROM FRIDAY, 3rd SEPT.

Kia ora koutou

OPUA SCHOOL WILL BE CLOSED ON TUESDAY, 31st AUGUST, WEDNESDAY 1st SEPTEMBER and THURSDAY 2nd SEPTEMBER UNDER COVID-19 ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS. IT WILL THEN HAVE VERY LIMITED OPENING FOR A SMALL NUMBER OF CHILDREN FROM FRIDAY, 3rd SEPTEMBER UNDER ALERT LEVEL 3 RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE READ THE MESSAGE BELOW FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THESE CONDITIONS.

The quick move to Level 4, record volumes of testing for COVID in the community, extensive wastewater testing, huge numbers of New Zealanders being vaccinated (more than 2 million people have now received their first dose), and a very wide net being cast around confirmed cases, has given the government confidence that we are safe to move to Alert Level 3 on Friday, 3rd September.

At Alert Level 3, children must by law stay learning from home and stay within their household bubbles. As the Prime Minister noted in a recent Covid-19 press conference, schools are essentially closed at Alert Level 3 with the exception of those very few children whose parents and carers must go to work at Alert Level 3, and there is no appropriate caregiver at home.

So Opua School will be open this Friday, 3rd September for a very small number of children who have no alternative but to attend. As you can imagine, it will not be school as we know it under Alert Level 2 or 1.  All our usual safety precautions for Alert Level 3 will be in place which include following all the recommendations from the public health experts. This means we will regularly clean and disinfect high touch surfaces, encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently and cover their coughs and sneezes, and keep everyone physically distanced from others as much as possible (1 metre inside and two metres outside). We will also keep any school bubble to a maximum of 10 students. If there is more than one school bubble, an individual room bubble will not mix with another room bubble. When we were previously at Alert Level 3 last year, there were only 3 of our children [one small school bubble] who had to attend school. I am expecting a similarly small number this time around but, obviously, I need to confirm this very quickly with parents. We will continue to support all children [which will be the vast majority of our school population] who remain learning from home through our distance learning programme.

Most, probably all, of our teachers will be working from home and I will be the teacher of the one bubble at school based in Room 5 with my wife, Kay, one of our Teacher Aide team, as my support at school. Denny, our Caretaker, will also be at school ensuring the site is regularly sanitised. This situation is similar to what happened last year. If you are an essential worker or you are permitted to attend work under Alert Level 3 and you genuinely have no other childcare arrangements for your child / children, please email me urgently to indicate your circumstances and that your child will have to attend Opua School under Alert Level 3. If I don’t receive an email from you, then I will presume that your child is continuing their learning from home under Alert Level 3.

Any parent dropping a child off at school under Alert Level 3 must sign in by scanning the Covid Tracer App QR code on the window of Rm 5 or sign the physical register that will be placed on a table outside Rm 5. Please do not enter Rm 5 as this would be ‘breaking our classroom bubble’.

You can also assist everyone’s safety by keeping your child at home if they are feeling unwell and please do contact your GP or Healthline, to seek advice about getting tested.

While we know how difficult it is trying to work from home as well as support your child’s learning, please follow the government rules and keep your child at home if there is an appropriate carer available. For those of you with no other option, I look forward to seeing your child at school this Friday. If your child is attending school under these conditions, please note that they will need to attend with all their normal school equipment and food and, especially, they must have their own personal water bottle as water fountains will not be operational. School will start at 9am [please do not drop your child off earlier than 9am] and it will finish at 3pm [please don’t be late collecting your child]. At 3pm, your child will be outside Rm 5, under the archgola, awaiting collection. I will be inside Rm 5 monitoring their safe collection.

If you have any questions about these arrangements, don’t hesitate to email me at principal@opua.school.nz or ring me at school on 09 4027840.

Nga mihi nui,

Simon McGowan

Principal

UPDATED at 4pm on Friday, 27 August, 2021

SCHOOL CLOSURE CONTINUATION

and

ADVICE FOR PARENTS

Kia ora koutou

OPUA SCHOOL WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY, 30th and TUESDAY, 31st AUGUST UNDER ON-GOING COVID-19 ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS

I am sure everyone will have heard the P.M.’s announcement today, Friday, 27th August, that the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 Lockdown must continue. My best advice to parents and caregivers regarding school work for your children continues to be the following:
1. Continue to engage in reading, writing and maths maintenance activities and whanau fun time that promote well-being as well as learning;
2. Continue to look around the excellent sites and learning activities promoted on our Home learning tab. To access this, go to our website www.opua.school.nz, click on Our Rooms and scroll to the right. There is a wealth of wonderful material there. Please check out all the links. Do go right to the bottom as probably the most comprehensive support is in the link at the very bottom of the page [on the left hand side] titled: Ministry of Education Support. Especially, check out the tabs Distance Learning, Learning Resources and Home Learning TV.
3. Make contact with your child’s teacher via email. Their email addresses can be accessed via our website. Go to the Our Rooms tab and click on the Room that your child is in. Each teacher’s email is on their page. Teachers have either tried contacting parents personally already to discuss and advise regarding suitable teaching and learning activities or they have been posting some thoughts and activities in a few different ways: some on their room’s Seesaw pages or Google i-Sites [which children and parents should have been given links to] or on their Room page on our website or directly to your children via their school Gmail account.
If there is any family that is struggling either with accessing a device for children to do their work on or require hard copies of materials for children to work with, then there is still the option of liaising with me and working out a suitable time to collect your child’s school device [if they have one – usually the older children] or hard copies of learning materials. However, the Ministries of Education and Health have set stringent criteria around accessing the school site. I will need a minimum of 24 hours notice for the collection of a device and longer than that for ‘hard packs’ as I will need to liaise with the teachers to put such packs together before organising for their collection. If you are in need of such a device or materials, we will need to set an exact time and location at school for anything to be collected by ONE caregiver. More than one caregiver cannot be on site at the same time. The caregiver collecting the device or work must also wear a mask. I must wear a mask and gloves. The device or work will be passed safely from me to the caregiver – not directly hand to hand and with a distance of 2 metres and a barrier [such as a glass sliding door] between us.
If you need to organise this with me, please email me directly on principal@opua.school.nz

It continues to be a challenging time for all. If there is anyone in our Opua Whanau who is in need of specific, more urgent support with a welfare issue either for one of our children or for yourself, then click the following link which contains a series of very useful contact numbers for such issues:

5581_Covid 19 Welfare contact card A4_v0.7

Please stay safe and, hopefully, we will all be back at school very soon.

Kind regards to all,

Simon McGowan

Principal

SCHOOL CLOSURE CONTINUATION

and

ADVICE FOR PARENTS

Kia ora koutou

OPUA SCHOOL WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY, 23rd and TUESDAY, 24th AUGUST UNDER COVID-19 ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS

As the extension to Lockdown is such a short additional 2 days, my best advice to parents and caregivers regarding school work for your children is:
1. To continue to engage in reading, writing and maths activities and whanau fun time that promote well-being as well as learning;
2. Continue to look around the excellent sites and learning activities promoted on our Home learning tab. To access this, go to our website www.opua.school.nz, click on Our Rooms and scroll to the right. There is a wealth of wonderful material there.
3. If you are struggling and you feel that you need some more specific activities, have a look on the tab for the room that your child is in. Teachers might soon start posting some thoughts and activities on their Room page or, alternatively, their email address is on their Room page; send your child’s teacher an email directly to get some guidance from them.
If there is any family that is struggling either with accessing a device for children to do their work on or require hard copies of materials for children to work with, then there is the option of liaising with me and working out a suitable time to collect your child’s school device or hard copies of learning materials. However, the Ministries of Education and Health have set stringent criteria around accessing the school site. I will need a minimum of 24 hours notice and we will need to set an exact time and location at school for anything to be collected by ONE caregiver. More than one caregiver cannot be on site at the same time. The caregiver collecting the device or work must also wear a mask. I must wear a mask and gloves. The work will be passed safely from me to the caregiver – not directly hand to hand and with a 2 metre distance and barrier [such as a glass sliding door] between us.
If you need to organise this with me, please email me directly on principal@opua.school.nz

It is a challenging time for all. If there is anyone in our Opua Whanau who is in need of specific, more urgent support with a welfare issue either for one of our children or for yourself, then click the following link which contains a series of very useful contact numbers for such issues:

5581_Covid 19 Welfare contact card A4_v0.7

Please stay safe and, hopefully, we will all be safely back at school very soon.

Kind regards to all,

Simon McGowan

Principal

SCHOOL CLOSURE

Kia ora koutou

OPUA SCHOOL IS CLOSED FOR THE REST OF THIS WEEK

You will likely have heard our Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this evening that the whole country is moving to Alert Level 4 for the rest of this week. This means school is closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.

It is important to note that this is a dynamic situation and the extent of our lockdown could be extended. We all need to be aware of this and ready for such a possibility.

For the rest of this week, I suggest the following:

  1. Enjoy your children’s company, play lots of board games, alleviate their worries and read regularly together;
  2. For those wanting a little more structured work for their children, please access a range of comprehensive links that we have on our website just for this eventuality. You can source this by going to www.opua.school.nz , clicking the Our Rooms tab and going to the Home Learning tab on the right.
  3. Please also keep an eye on your child’s Room tab to the left of the Home Learning tab. Classroom teachers might post some ideas here [but this is only required if the lockdown extends beyond the initial 3 school days].

I will post this message on our school website too. Please forward the message on to other caregivers and members of our community who should know about this school closure.

Please stay safe and, hopefully, we will all be safely back at school very soon.

Kind regards to all,

Simon McGowan

Principal

End of Term 2; Start of Term 3

Kia ora koutou

Our incredibly busy and productive Term 2 ends Thursday, 8th July at 3pm as Friday , 9th July is a Teacher Only day. On behalf of all the staff at Opua School, thank you to all the wonderful parents and caregivers who have helped us out through this term to put on many, very varied activities off-site and at school. The children are the happy beneficiaries of all this goodwill and we are very grateful.

Remember: Year 7 and Year 8 children are straight onto the bus on the first Monday back to enjoy every Monday for 2 terms doing specialist technology classes at Moerewa School. Don’t forget your covered shoes and don’t be late – the bus can’t wait for you. It leaves at 9am on the dot!

We wish everyone in the Opua School whanau a very safe and enjoyable holiday. We look forward to seeing everyone back on Monday, 26th July. School starts at 9am.

Nga mihi nui,

Simon McGowan
Principal

A busy start to Term 2

Kia ora koutou

It has been a very busy and positive start to Term 2 at Opua School.

We have had excellent sessions in every classroom delivered by our professional learning facilitator from Using Technology Better [UTB], our formal Ministry of Education PLD provider who is helping us use an amazing array of online tools to help children access engaging writing activities. We have also enjoyed a wonderful Dance presentation from the DDF group [including one of our past pupils, Savannah Norman], expert rugby and netball coaching sessions for our teams attending the annual Maromaku tournament later this term, our expanded curriculum and well-being sessions on Thursday afternoons, a successful trip to the Northland Rugby Tag tournament for our Year 7 and 8 team, the beginning of Room 2 and 3s’ environmental  learning programme ‘Drains to Harbour’ and two excellent Sharing Assemblies, one run by Kowhai House and one by Room 3. What a lot to pack into 2 weeks!

On the near horizon, we are looking forward to more Fun Focus Thursday sessions, more Maromaku Rugby and Netball training sessions, a Pink Shirt and Crazy Hair day on Friday, 21 March to raise money for the national Anti-Bullying campaign, a P.T.A. run Movie Night from 6pm on that same day and  having a powhiri on the morning of Monday, 24th May to welcome our new Room 4 teacher, David Acton, to our school.

You are all most welcome to attend as many of these events at school as you are able to.

Nga mihi

Simon McGowan
Principal

Back to Alert Level 1

Kia ora koutou

It is with relief that we received the P.M.’s announcement today. Please be assured, though, that, as we return to the relative normality of Alert Level 1, we will not be dropping our guard on safety. We will continue to advise all children on effective hygiene protocols and make sanitiser available in all rooms. We also ask all visitors to the site to use the government’s Covid-19 Tracer App as a very wise precaution.

All normal school events are back on. So, our Room 3 Assembly on Friday, 19 February and our Hauora Day’s outing to Long Beach on Monday, 22 February are  green for go!

Nga mihi

Simon McGowan
Principal

2021 – OUR NEW SCHOOL YEAR

Opua School had another excellent year in 2020 despite all the challenges and interruptions it brought. We are now very much looking forward to a new, more settled school year and building on our many achievements and our core beliefs of ‘Caring and Sharing’ and providing a very safe, challenging and happy learning environment for all our pupils.

The first day of school this year is Wednesday, 3rd February. School starts at 9am and we look forward to welcoming everyone back. If you would like to pop in early, talk to the Principal and collect our enrolment pack, you would be most welcome. Our school’s Main Office will be open from 10am on Friday, 29th January.

Find Out More about various Covid-19 Alert Announcements…

Opua Primary is a small school, around of 100 children, aged from 5 to 11 years which is dedicated to student learning through creating innovative and creative classroom programmes. We offer a wide range of high quality of teaching and extra-curricular activities and promote an ‘extended family’ attitude to our students.

We place a strong emphasis on caring and sharing as students, families and members of the wider community. We pride ourselves on providing a rich supportive structure for all students to flourish academically and emotionally as they develop their strengths and unique talents.

Opua School is very lucky to have a dedicated Board of Trustees in addition to a well-supported Parent Teacher Association which works with the staff and parent community to fundraise and organise a wide range of events and activities. We are very proud of our school and we invite you to come and see for yourself why Opua School would be an excellent choice for your child.

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OPUA SCHOOL VALUES

Our school will provide a caring and sharing environment that will educate and equip the child for life.

We value:

Aroha:                                  By being respectful, honest and empathetic.

Whanau:                             By being inclusive, responsible and active participants in our community.

Hauora:                               By having a strong sense of self-identity and caring for our physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being.

Inquiry:                               By being passionate, curious and creative about learning.

Never giving up:              By being resilient, persevering and having a positive ‘can do’ attitude.

Always being our best:  By striving for personal excellence.

OUR CHILDREN will receive an education that is challenging, engaging, inclusive and co-operative.

OUR SCHOOL will be safe, well-resourced and stimulating.

OUR BOARD and STAFF will communicate with honesty, integrity, trust and respect.

Developing Literacy and Numeracy ability so students can access all aspects of the curriculum.

Developing regular physical activity and promote healthy eating.                   

Identifying individual needs and providing appropriate programmes and support.

Recognising and catering for diversity.

Providing opportunities to develop skills for future learning and being responsive to the concept of holistic learning.

Fostering social and communication skills.

Developing attitudes of caring and sharing.

Continuing the development of curriculum areas, specifying achievement expectations and monitoring Maori students’  progress.

OUR KARAKIA

E hoa ma, whakakotahi ai tatou, ki te manaaki i o matou whakaaro, me nga whakaanga katoa, kia noho ponotia ai i runga i te rangimarie, hei akoranga atawhaingia ai tatou katoa.

Na, ka whakarongo ki te kawenga, kia whai ake matou i to tatou pepeha – manaakitanga me te awhina.

My friends, together we will respect each other’s feelings, creativity and thinking by being honest, reliable and kind learners. We will listen and take responsibility by always following our motto – Caring and Sharing.

Our Karakia background

We are very proud about how we came to the wording for our kura’s karakia. We wanted it to be student driven. Together, as a whole school, we brainstormed thoughts about our school and what we most valued. With all these ideas on the whiteboard in the hall, we then worked collaboratively to synthesise the ideas into connected sentences. We edited and re-edited the sentences. Finally, at the end, we all discussed and agreed that it was exactly what we saw at and felt about learning at our kura.

We then asked our wonderful kaumatua and ex-principal, Mr Joe Tipene, to reflect on it and to translate it into reo for us. He was very impressed with it and also felt it was an excellent representation of this school and the children’s attitudes to learning.

We have, since its construction, saying it and learning it together, once each day. Some children already know it ‘off by heart’ and are so proud of presenting it to the rest of the school in assemblies.

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