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Windy Ridge School Newsletter

August 17th  2016

Week 4  Term 3

School Bank Account:  ASB 12 3072 033 4812 00

PTA Bank Account:   ASB 12 3072 0384799 00

Hello, Hola a todos, Kumusta, Annyeonghaseyo, Ni Hao, Konichiwa, Namaste, Zdravstvuyte, Ciao, Hallo, Bonjour, Salut, Fakalofa Lahi Atu, Talofa Lava, Kia Orana,  Kia Ora Koutou

News from the Principal

Ministry of Education – Review of School Funding

At the moment, the Ministry of Education (MOE) is reviewing the way NZ schools are funded for both operations and staffing.  There has been concern for a number of years that the current ‘decile’ funding model does not adequately deliver funds to the right places, and some children are not receiving equitable access to education as a result.

There are three key components that lie at the heart of the proposed directions for change.  These are:

  • A standard per child funding amount tailored to the learning expectations of children and young people at each stage of their education journey, rather than based on their age and year level
  • An additional funding amount for children and young people most at risk of educational under-achievement to replace the current decile-based system for both early childhood education services and schooling.
  • Supplementary funding to support a network of smaller and isolated early childhood education services and schools.

They also want to discuss a set of proposed supporting funding system components, including:

  • Establishing a global budget for delivering teaching and learning in all schools. This has the potential to increase flexibility in schools’ use of funding while simplifying funding arrangements.
  • Separating funding for property-related costs to provide opportunities for more efficient management of school property, while also helping school leaders to focus on teaching and learning, rather than property.
  • Developing clear expectations and greater accountability for the educational progress of all children and young people.
  • Directly linking the private school subsidy to the marginal cost of educating children and young people in the state schooling sector to provide greater certainty for families and private schools about future funding levels.

(More detail can be found at the MoE website:  MoE Funding Review information )

While there is potentially some merit within these proposals, there are also some areas of concern that have mobilised both teacher unions (NZEI and PPTA). They believe that the Government’s proposal of a “global budget” for education that removes the split between funding for staff and funding for operations leading to schools being forced to trade off the costs of teaching staff against other costs, which could mean:

  • fewer teachers and bigger class sizes
  • no consistent student/teacher ratios for year levels
  • increased casualisation of teaching jobs
  • even more downwards pressure on support staff pay
  • passing the buck for issues like class size onto schools
  • increased inequality — bigger and richer schools can raise funds to hire teachers, while smaller and rural schools will struggle

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association (“PPTA”) and the New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa (“NZEI”) have jointly announced planned PUMs (paid union meetings) to gather views, opinions and concerns of the sector as part of the review process.  The Government’s current funding review is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to better fund education.   NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA represent more than 60,000 teachers and support staff from birth to year 13. They have asked all members to attend meetings in September to hear more about the proposal and help determine the education sector’s response.  It is important for teachers and support staff to participate in this review as potentially the outcome could have significant impact on how they are employed and funded.

Section 26 of the Employment Relations Act balances the right of all union members to attend paid union meetings (including the imposition of a penalty on employers who fail to allow union members to attend paid union meetings) with the requirement to make appropriate arrangements “to enable the employer’s operations to continue”.

It is likely to be Sept 9th from 1.30pm, with an early finish on that day at 12.30pm.   We will provide you with more information once the Board of Trustees has met to discuss the implications and will confirm the date of the paid union meeting so you can plan ahead for childcare.

‘Gumbrella’ Day Olympics

On Monday next week, we will be gathering for the school Fun Olympics events.  Gumbrella Day ties in with our Winter Walkers travelwise programme and all children will be involved in a series of fun events that are a little different from your normal Olympic events:  gumboot mud running, umbrella throwing, wet weather obstacle course.  Children should bring their raincoats, gumboots and umbrellas regardless of the weather on the day.

The Gumbrella Olympics start at 1.15 pm and run for the afternoon block.  Everyone is most welcome to come along and help us enjoy the day.

Health Programme – Changes at Puberty

Yesterday our Year 5 and 6 students participated in a programme of learning about pubertal changes to be expected in their near future.  We were impressed with the maturity they showed in discussions and activities, and many had clearly already had discussions with their families on this topic already.    Further resources are available from Positive Puberty Plus online at Book Resources .

Maths Basic Facts tests

Don’t forget to keep practising those pesky math facts with your children at home – just a few every night.  The final test will be held this Friday at 9.15 am.

Sports News – Touch Rugby  

We are starting to organise our touch rugby teams for term 4.  The competition will be held on Wednesdays after school at Kaipatiki Park (Glenfield Rugby Club) starting on 26 October.  Touch rugby is available to all year levels, boys and girls.  Notices will go out next week for children to return indicating their interest in being in a team.  The cost to participate will be approximately $40 per player.

We are also looking for coaches and managers to support the teams.  If you think you may be able to help, there is a free training session on next Wednesday (24 Aug) afternoon (3.30 pm – 5.30 pm) at Northcote Intermediate.  Please contact the office to let us know if you can attend so we can book the course for you.  Teams can only play if we have the right adult supports in place – thanks in  advance.


School Notices are available on the school website.

  • Attendance – Please ensure that your children arrive at school on time and that we are aware of their absence by 9.00am each day. We do follow up lateness and absence as we are required to report on both to the Ministry of Education and the Board of Trustees.
  • Banking day is Thursday – please send ASB envelopes to the office.
  • Ez Lunch available all days of the week now. Please go to to register and order.  More information available at the office.
  • PTA Facebook – Information about our fabulous PTA is available online on Facebook. Search ‘Windy Ridge School PTA’ for the page and join up for updates and information about events and news.
  • WINDY RIDGE PARENTS Facebook – We have a closed Facebook page for Windy Ridge parents – you need to request to be part of this page. Search – Windy Ridge Parents. It is a valuable page for reminders, information, and general WRS ‘stuff’.
  • Parking: Parents please remember that the front car park is not available for parent drop offs as it is for staff and disability parking only.  Also remember that when you are parking in Valley View Road there are signs limiting parking between 8.45-9.15am and 2.45-3.15pm.  Please park outside the designated area or be aware that this is a ticketable traffic offence.

Term dates and Upcoming Events

School Terms 2016

Term 3     Monday 25th July – Friday 23rd September

Term 4     Monday 10th October – Wednesday 14th December

School holidays during the term:  Labour Day – Mon 24 Oct

Team Fantail Swimming Term 3:  Every Friday from 29th July for 8 weeks.

‘Gumbrella’ Day Olympics – Monday 22 August

Daffodil Day Fundraiser – Friday 26th August     To support the national cancer research fundraiser, we will be celebrating Daffodil Day by wearing something yellow and bringing a gold coin donation. We have a the daffodil donation box in the office if you would like to make a donation for a flower pin.

Early close – Sept 9th  – school closing at 12.30 pm to accommodate teachers union meeting (YET TO BE CONFIRMED)


CAKE DAY – This Friday 19 August 2016 is Cake Day!  Room 10 will be on providing cakes/treats.  Bring along $1 to buy a treat for morning tea.

FATHERS DAY RAFFLE – Fathers Day is coming up on Sunday 4 September so we would like to make up some hampers to raffle off to some give to some lucky dads.  If you would like to bring a donation into the office of chocolates, chips, snacks, alcohol or anything else mannish that would be awesome!!!  Raffle tickets will be out in a couple of weeks.

MOVIE FUNDRAISER “A SECRET LIFE OF PETS” – Good luck to those who have entered the colouring competition this is being judged by Cynthia Klenner from Harcourt’s Cooper & Co who is generously sponsoring this event.  This event is at Hoyts Wairau Park @ 1.45pm.  Tickets are $15 which includes a bag of popcorn, water bottle & chocolate fish.  Tickets will be available for purchase from Monday 22 August.  This is going to be an awesome family event so get your tickets quickly!!

DISCO – We have a disco coming up on Friday 2 September and the theme will be “OLYMPICS” so start organizing your costume – you could come as a country supporter or as an athlete.  A Flyer will be out in the next couple of weeks.

Community News