Info for Parents
Almost everything you might need to know as a parent at Linkwater School
The following information is taken from the school's Parent Information handbook, which can be accessed here.
Download the Linkwater School Loop App to stay in touch with: notifications; report absences; give permission; etc
Office, bus, carpark and communications
The school office is open from 8.30 to 12.30 p.m. Monday to Friday. The school has an answer phone and messages can be left for staff outside of these hours. This is cleared regularly, and will be cleared prior to buses leaving in the afternoon. Should you wish to leave anything in the office, please put it in a recycled envelope (available from underneath the office counter), writing on your name and contents of the envelope and drop it into the slot which leads to a secure locked box beneath the counter.
After school arrangements
The school must be contacted in advance, via the office phone, or with a signed note, if a child’s after school arrangements are to be different from usual. Verbal changes from children cannot be accepted.
Afternoon leaving times vary; depending on which run is going first for the term. These alternate each term. Check with the school to find out the current order.
Willow Bay / Mahakipawa Anakiwa / Momorangi
Line up 2.45pm Line up 3.10pm
Leave 2.50pm Leave 3.15pm
Line up 3.20pm Line up 2.45pm
Leave 3.25pm Leave 2.50pm
Children are eligible to travel on the bus if they are:
Years 1 – 8 and live more than 3.2kms from the school.
Pupils living beyond the bus run are eligible for additional assistance – please contact the school office for further details.
Please note that the route and collection points are set between the Ministry of Education and the Bus Contractor and the school has no control over these issues. Please contact the school if bus transport is required.
Misbehaviour while on the bus may result in the removal of the privilege. Children are expected to remain seated while on the bus, and not do anything that could distract the driver and so endanger safety. All children receive periodic instruction about conduct on the bus and are expected to follow these common sense rules. A duty teacher organises the children on to the bus in the afternoon.
Please note that the entrance to the parent car park is via the Fire Station end of the car park and the exit via the school gate end.
Please park at the spaces next to the footpath to allow your child to walk along the footpath to the school gate, NOT behind cars or on the driveway.
Communicating with Office & Staff
A school/home book is issued to your child each year. This is used for messages for or from the office staff (bus notices; permissions etc) or your child’s teacher. Please note that should you have an urgent message (i.e. change for the bus roll) not relayed via the school/home book it is preferable that you ring the school and leave a message on the answerphone which will be cleared daily in the afternoons as any messages sent to the office e-mail address for the afternoon will not be cleared until the following morning.
Regular communication between home and school is important, and a school newsletter is published and distributed, via e-mail or, if requested, by hard copy, every second Tuesday. We celebrate our students who have won a whetū award for displaying the values of a Linkwater Lifelong Learner. Class teachers write a brief summary of the class activities that have occurred and what will take place the following week. Information about school events is also provided.
Absences and illness
When a child is absent from school for any reason, we require a call before school or a note with a sibling that morning, explaining the reason for the absence. All unexplained absences will be followed up with a call to parents / caregivers. If we are unable to contact you we will try the emergency contacts. It is important that we know where children are. If your child arrives late (after 9:00 a.m.) to school please remind them to call into the office so that the attendance register can be updated as they will be marked as truant if we are not informed by 9.15 am.
Please ensure that your child is well enough to attend school. We have limited facilities and staff to care for unwell students. Normally we work on the principle that if a child is sufficiently unwell, or is likely to affect the health of other students and staff, they are better to be at home.
Attendance at school is important to facilitate the best educational opportunities for your child/ren. If absences become regular, school staff will contact parents to discuss the matter further.
Please note that if your child is going to be away from school for an extended period of time, you need to contact the principal.
Medical, Dental, Allergies
It is essential that we know of any allergies and have the appropriate medicines at school. It is the responsibility of parents to keep these medicines up to date and notify the school of any changes.
Children receive free dental treatment once a year from the Blenheim Community Oral Health Clinic – Ph 520 9922 / 0800 833 849. Students are given permission to be absent from school to obtain treatment. Names of children enrolled at school are given to the clinic, which will ring parents to make an appointment. For emergency treatment, please contact the Oral Health Clinic.
The services of the Public Health Nurse are available to the school. Please contact the school if you have any concerns about your child, and we will contact her. It is important to make the school aware of any health problems your child has. Teachers are able to refer a child to the nurse for an eyesight or hearing test, or for any other health matter.
First Aid treatment
If your child has special medication, or medical concerns, please contact the school to discuss these in confidence. Minor accidents are dealt with at school. If more serious accidents occur, the parent(s) or person listed for emergency calls is contacted. If they cannot be contacted, the school will take whatever action is deemed necessary. We will however, try to contact parents first. Should there be any change of phone number or home address, please notify the school as soon as possible. It is important that our records are up to date.
Learning - homework; reading; parent involvement
All children should be reading at home most nights. Students in the junior area of the school will bring a book home, while senior students may have both books from school or reading material at home. Younger readers will not be expected to know all the words, but time spent sharing this book together is most important and should be done in a non-threatening and relaxed manner. A notebook is used which enables free contact between the school and home for notes/messages. With older students it is important that as well as reading by themselves, they regularly share what they are reading with an adult, reading aloud and gaining increasing fluency and understanding from what they are reading.
It is a good idea to ask your child questions about what they have read to make sure they understand.
As a school we are very conscious that many of our students have extra-curricular activities. It is important that students participate in these as they provide learning experiences that complement the ones they receive at school. It is also important that students have time to relax and play and interact with their family and friends, as this provides the building blocks to leading a balanced life.
We therefore, ask that parents ensure their child spends a little time each afternoon on homework, and that this doesn’t take over the whole of their afternoon / evening / weekend activities. This is to help the older students develop their time-management skills and prepare for college.
Homework will vary throughout the year, but we are keen for our students to read every night, practice their spelling, learn basic facts for maths and share their school experiences with you at home.
Please refer to the Homework Information Booklet if you are looking for ways to support your child with learning at home,
We have a well-stocked library, which students have regular access to. It is open at lunchtimes and classes are timetabled for regular visits. Please encourage children to return books on time. Parents will be invoiced for any missing books.
E tū Kahikatea Awards & Assemblies
Twice a term, students are selected by their teachers to receive an E tū Kahikatea award; these are presented at our BIG ASSEMBLIES on the Friday of week 5 and week 10 at 1:50-2:30pm. We encourage as many parents to attend as possible. The students will have been chosen for something they have achieved, the way they interact with others or for the way they respond to the agreed values of the school. The students are celebrated not only during our assembly but will also be in the newsletter. Being a recipient of an E tū Kahikatea award is something that all students should aspire to.
We strongly encourage parents to be involved in the education of their children. In addition to support at home, involvement could include assistance in the classrooms, preparing library and class reading books for use, providing transport and assistance on out of school trips, taking a group for Funky Fridays, or sharing skills and expertise with students. When parents are actively involved in the school, we all benefit. As a valued member of our school community we appreciate your feedback concerning how things are going at Linkwater School, please make a time to talk to the teacher concerned with your feedback as we encourage your interest and participation in our school.
Our school is part of the Pelorus Cluster of schools who participate in sporting and cultural events throughout the year as well as working together to enhance the learning of all of our children. Other schools in this cluster are: Canvastown, Havelock, Rai Valley Area School and Waitaria Bay.
Remedial and Extension programmes
In all schools there are students with special needs, who require extra help in order to achieve and remain willing learners. Some students have real talents and require extension programmes that academically challenge them. We engage a Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) to assist us with learning programmes.
Reporting to Parents
An information session is held early in term one to discuss classroom routines and expectations. Around the middle of term one, parents are invited to spend time with their children so that they can explain their current goals and how they are progressing against them. Children’s books or their achieved learning books will come home at the end of each term so that you can see what they are learning. In the middle of the year our students will conduct a Student Led Conference for their parents. Teachers will be present to support the students if they require this. A mid-term report will be sent home to parents after these meetings have been held. A full written report will be issued in Term 4. If you would like to discuss your child’s education at any stage of the year, please contact your child’s teacher to arrange a suitable time.
We do not ask parents for school donations of a monetary nature. Out of school trips and some curriculum areas have fees attached to them. Parents are issued with school accounts once a term or as necessary.
In Terms 1 and 4 children are required to wear a brimmed or legionnaire-style hat to play outside. Children are to wear their own sunhats. If they do not have a sunhat they will be required to sit in the shade. It would also be helpful if children could wear sunblock to school. We do have small supply for re-application.
Swimming and Physical Education
Swimming and PE are compulsory and children must bring their swimming costume every day while the pool is open. Children who, for medical reasons are not swimming or who are to be excused from PE / fitness must bring a note. Families can purchase keys to the pool for personal use from the school office. During swimming season, the pool is open from 4 – 7 pm on school days and from 1 – 7 pm on weekends and school and public holidays.
Year 7 and Year 8 pupils travel to Havelock in private cars. They then travel to Blenheim on a bus to attend the Marlborough Technology Centre. This is usually completed in a block of five to six sessions, spread over a five to six week period.
Students receive instruction in food technology, hard materials, soft materials, audio-visual, digital and design technology. A timetable of the technology bus from Linkwater will be circulated to parents of Year 7 and 8 children at the beginning of each term. Students return to school after the school buses have departed so arrangements will need to be made for their transport home. Please check with your child each technology day, to ensure they have the necessary equipment and materials. Covered shoes must be worn at the technology centre at all times. Students should be at school by 8.20am on technology days or arrange for a suitable pick up point along Queen Charlotte Drive.
At any time during your child’s schooling, the following things can affect his or her happiness, well-being and performance at school:
a new addition to the family; separation; remarriage; redundancy; an absent parent; bereavement; death of a pet; a change of medication; shifting house; hospitalisation.
Anything you wish to share with staff will remain confidential. Sharing helps the school provide understanding and support for your child.
Supplies - uniform; stationery; lost property
We do not have a school uniform, other than sports tops which are issued prior to Cluster events. Students should wear appropriate shoes for fitness and physical education.
School sports uniforms will be issued to children as necessary. These need to be washed and returned to school as soon as possible after use.
A list of required items for Year 0-1 students is given to families prior to entry to school. At the end of each school year, a stationery list is handed out for the following year. This will differ depending on the age/class of each student. We encourage all students to reuse old books before purchasing new ones. The school expects that all stationery is purchased before the start of the school year and that it is named and all books covered. Many students find that it is necessary to replace certain items during the year as they get used up. The school will have a small supply at school to accommodate this and any issued stationery will be charged to your account.
All left property is placed in the 'Found Property' box. It is often displayed in the lunch area. Items that are unclaimed at the end of term are given to a charity. Please ensure that your child’s clothing is named. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their belongings by not leaving items lying around the school.
Mobile phones and valuables
There is generally little need for students at this school to bring mobile phones to school. If, in the rare instance that it is necessary, these must be handed in to the school office at the start of the day and the classroom teacher should be informed.
Children are usually enrolled from age 5 years but legally must be enrolled at an educational provider when they turn 6 years old. Prior to the enrolment of a new entrant, school visits are arranged to ensure a smooth transition to school. As a child approaches the age of five, parents are invited to complete enrolment documentation. Parents are asked to bring a copy of the child’s birth certificate and immunisation record so that the school can verify date of birth, and immunisation status. Overseas children need to also bring their passport so we can verify their immigration status. We tend to draw children from Ngakuta and Momorangi Bays, The Grove, Tirimoana, Anakiwa, Linkwater, Mahakipawa through to Moenui and from along Kenepuru Road.
Visits by Preschool Children
Preschool children will be encouraged to have visits prior to starting school. This introduces the child to his/her school and new surroundings and is a valuable contact for parents, especially those who have had no previous dealing with the school or are new to the district. Please contact our Junior staff to arrange these visits.