A to Z information directory
Please find below an A to Z guide of all our school information. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact the office (firstname.lastname@example.org / 939 8771).
According to New Zealand law, all tamariki (children) enrolled at school must attend unless they are sick. If your taitamaiti (child) is sick or will be absent, please use the parent app, or email the school office - email@example.com, or leave a message on the school's absence line 04 939 8771 ext 2 - before 9am. Please also let us know if your taitamaiti will be arriving later than 8.55am. A system is in place to follow up on any tamariki who is not present the roll call if parents have not notified the school office.
If you need to collect your taitamaiti before 3pm (eg for a medical appointment), please call into the school office and sign them out on the tablet.
After School Care
Enjoy Childcare is the independent OSCAR approved after school care option available on site.
For more information about Enjoy Childcare visit their website www.enjoychildcare.co.nz/ or call 022 651 0773
Arriving at school and collection after school
We prefer tamariki to arrive between 8:30am and 8:45am. Parents should not drop tamariki at school earlier than 8:30am as teachers appreciate having time to prepare for the day without tamariki present.
At the end of the day, our new entrant tamariki must be collected from their classroom by a parent, caregiver or older sibling.
Assemblies are usually held in the middle and at the end of the term. Dates and times will be posted on the school events calendar.
School assemblies are formal occasions when we meet to sing, congratulate students who have represented Tawatawa - Ridgway or have achieved particularly well, and occasionally to listen to a visiting speaker.
All whānau are welcome to attend assemblies and hui.
In 2014 we became a PB4L-SW (Positive Behaviour for Learning - School Wide) school. You can find out more about PB4L-School Wide from the NZ Ministry of Education.
We teach tamariki the expectations we have for how everyone (adults and tamariki) should act in various school situations and acknowledge tamariki positive behaviour. This is our PB4L Plan and Behaviour Management Flow Chart.
Parents are notified of any concerns regarding their taitamaiti behaviour. Please contact your taitamaiti teacher if you have any questions or concerns.
Board of Trustees
We take all reported incidents of bullying very seriously. Bullying is a social problem that can have a serious and long lasting impact on those who are targeted.
At Te Kura o Tawatawa - Ridgway School we work hard to provide tamariki with an environment where bullying cannot thrive and take all reports of bullying behaviour very seriously. We do a range of things to teach tamariki how to recognise and respond to bullying and also to preserve a school culture where bullying has no place. We teach tamariki how to be respectful, responsible, resilient, and resourceful.
"R card" used to acknowledge positive behaviours
Teachers are trained to use positive behaviour management strategies
Teachers actively supervise play areas during morning tea and lunch times
All tamariki are taught ways to peacefully resolve conflict
Senior students are trained as peer mediators and are available at break times to help younger tamariki to resolve conflict in a peaceful way
Circle time is used in classes to discuss and resolve problems
Friends programme is taught across the school to help children manage their emotions and anxiety
Tawatawa - Ridgway is very well served by public transport - buses stop directly outside the school.
The #7 bus route is from the CBD to Kingston, along The Ridgway.
The #27 bus route links Ridgway, Vogeltown and Berhampore.
The #29 route runs between the Ridgway and Island Bay.
For maps, fares and timetables, see the MetLink website http://www.metlink.org.nz/network-map/
We encourage all tamariki from Year 4 - Year 8 to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to school. All tamariki in Years 5 - 8 require an appropriate device that they can use at school daily.
Cellphones should be treated as valuable items (like money) and must be given to the class teacher to lock away for safekeeping during the day. We cannot take responsibility for valuable items that are lost or damaged if they have not been handed in.
At times, especially in the senior school, it may be appropriate for a student to use their cell phone in class. Students could, for example, use the calculator function or take photos of a science experiment they are doing. In these instances, students are expected to take responsibility for caring for their phones and using them appropriately. Phones may not be used during break times.
Tamariki using phones inappropriately at school will have them confiscated and parents will be contacted to collect them from the office.
Tamariki should not use their cell phones to contact parents for any reason during the school day. If they are unwell they must report to the office. Office staff will contact parents if this is necessary.
The School Charter incorporates our school Mission Statement, and sets out a framework within which all school activities are conducted. It provides a benchmark against which we can measure our progress and performance. The Charter is reviewed regularly to ensure it remains relevant to the needs of our community.
Tawatawa - Ridgway does not have a uniform. We expect tamariki to wear sensible clothing and shoes appropriate for school activities and the time of year. Please remember to name all items.
We do have a school t-shirt, which we encourage tamariki to wear while representing the school at sports events or on class trips. Ask at the school office if you would like to buy a school t-shirt.
We would appreciate donations of t-shirts once your tamariki have outgrown them or left school, for lending.
CommunicationLink to the information about communication
Parents are not normally able to communicate directly with their children during the school day. While some of our older students may use their devices for email, all communication during the school day between parents and children should be through the school office and any such communication should be restricted to emergencies only. Parents may leave messages for their children at the school office in the event of an emergency (even minor ones) that require changes to pick up organisation.
The Bee Healthy Regional Dental Service provides free dental care to all tamariki from birth to Year 8 across the Wellington Region. Tawatawa - Ridgway students receive dental treatment at the Newtown Hub. Parents/caregivers will need to ring 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583) for an appointment, if their tamariki is in pain or if there are any concerns.
EOTC (Education Outside the Classroom)
The Wellington region is very rich in learning opportunities and resources, and we take full advantage of these, with visits to Te Papa, art galleries, plays and concerts offered from time to time. We also bring in outside visitors to enrich teaching programmes. Parents' consent is sought at the start of the year for all EOTC trips. Parent help with travel and supervision on these trips is often needed.
The EOTC opportunities that are provided at Ridgway School are fully embedded into curriculum programmes, but unfortunately funding provided by the Ministry of Education is not sufficient to cover the full cost . Parents are expected to pay for the EOTC experiences provided. Where extreme hardship would prevent a child from participating, we seek support from various grants or sponsorships.
We are very well-prepared for emergencies. Staff are trained in dealing with a wide range of emergencies, and there is a school policy specifically dealing with emergency situations. Here is the link to more information about Tawatawa - Ridgway Emergency preparedness.
Emergency contact information
When enrolling your tamariki it is essential that you provide alternative contact numbers which may be needed in the event of an emergency. It is essential to tell the school about any special health needs your tamariki may have, such as allergies or medication requirements.
If you have any change in your circumstances, it is vital that you inform the school office about any changes to your address, work and home phone numbers, emergency contact numbers, care or custody arrangements and changes to your tamariki health status.
These vary from year to year depending on the availability of tuition. In 2024, the following options are offered:
Piano and music lessons during school hours
Chess Club during school hours
To enrol your tamariki at Te Kura o Tawatawa - Ridgway School, please contact the School Office to arrange a time to come in and fill in the necessary forms. These include a copy of your tamariki birth certificate and immunisation certificate. Our school zone is in place from the start of 2021. Cohort entry for all new entrants is in place from the beginning of 2023.
We encourage tamariki approaching school age (at around 4 years 10 months) to come to our pre-entry sessions with their parent or caregiver. These sessions are very beneficial in helping tamariki become familiar with the school and its routines, and for parents to get to know the school, staff and other parents.
Please note that the parent or caregiver must stay on school grounds during these visits.
The school promotes healthy eating habits and we are a water only school. For their own safety children may not share or swap food items from their lunch box. Tamariki sit down to eat their lunch (this is a health and safety requirement). Staff supervise lunch eating and usually read a story at this time so that tamariki finish their food within the 15min supervision period.
We aim to have zero waste so please provide food for morning tea, a fruit snack break and lunch in reusable container. Lunch leftovers and wrappers are put back in lunch boxes to be returned home. Organic waste is collected for our compost.
Lollies and chewing gum are not allowed at school. We are a Water Only school, so please only send water in drink bottles.
We do not allow children to hand out lollipops or cupcakes etc. for birthday or other celebrations. Occasionally classes may have a “shared lunch” where parents send food to share. On these occasions parents are asked to highlight ingredients (egg, dairy, gluten, peanuts) and children with allergies should bring their own special occasion foods or be capable of choosing food that is safe for them.
ICT User Agreement
We believe in a digital citizenship model for supporting safe and responsible use of the internet in teaching and learning. All tamariki using digital technologies at Tawatawa - Ridgway must agree to use ICT responsibly and sign our user agreement.
Injury or illness
There is a first aid/medical room opposite the main entrance. In minor cases, first aid will be given at school. In more serious cases the Accident and Emergency department at Wellington Hospital will be used and parents contacted immediately.
In the event of children becoming ill at school, tamariki will not be taken or sent home unless the parent or caregiver has been contacted first.
Please ensure that your Emergency Contact Details held by the School office are up to date.
If you bring your tamariki to school after 9:00 a.m., please call in to the school office to let office staff know that you have arrived BEFORE going to class. This is very important, as your tamariki name will have been entered on the Absence sheet and will need to removed by office staff before they start phoning parents to determine the whereabouts of their tamariki.
Leaving the school grounds
No tamaiti is permitted to leave the school grounds during the school day unless this has been arranged between the school and a parent, caregiver or teacher, or are participating in an approved EOTC activity.
Please make sure that all clothing and property (shoes, socks, sweatshirts, coats, lunchboxes, raincoats, school bags) is NAMED. This helps us to return lost and unclaimed property to its owner promptly.
Where it is necessary for medication to be administered to your tamariki during school hours we require written and signed permission accompanied by detailed instructions of medication, dosage and time to be given. Please complete and sign the Medical Register which is held at the office for this purpose.
Meetings with the principal and staff
The principal or deputy principal is usually available to talk to parents and caregivers during the school day and after school, however please arrange an appointment.
Teachers are also happy to talk with parents and caregivers as the need arises. To ensure that the teacher you want to talk to will be available, it is advisable to contact the teacher via email.
Money, valuables and toys
Tamariki should not bring money, valuables or toys to school. If tamariki bring money to school for anything other than paying for things like a fundraising bake sale, it must be given to the teacher for safekeeping during the day.
News and information
We send out a newsletter each week and whānau will receive weekly messages from their whānau group teachers.
The Office Manager (Raelene Sloper) is in the office from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm each day and Nicole is there from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
You can ring the school's number 939-8771 at any time and leave a message on the school's answer machine. We clear the messages regularly at 8:30 am, during the day and between 2:30-2:50 pm every day. We attend to phone messages promptly. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Payments to the school can be made in the following ways:
By calling into the school office and paying by cash or EFTPOS.
By internet banking, using our bank account number 12 3141 0104464 00. Be sure to put your tamariki name and the nature of the payment on the transaction for your records and our own.
By sending the payment to school with your tamariki , in an envelope clearly marked with your tamariki name, class, amount and item being paid. Please ensure that your tamariki hands this envelope to their whānau teacher.
All payments received will be processed and a receipt will be emailed.
Please note that payments for Scholastic Book Club payments are separate to school payments and must be done online.
The two pedestrian crossings near the school are patrolled before and after school by senior students and a duty teacher or parent. The times patrolled are:
Morning: 8:30-8:50 am
Afternoon: 3:00-3:10 pm
The students are trained with the help of the Police Traffic Safety Branch. Parents are asked to cooperate with tamariki who are on duty, and to encourage good road sense in their own tamariki.
Parents who wish to help the school can be of great assistance by volunteering to be on duty one morning or afternoon per week, to free up teachers before and after school hours. Please contact the school office if you can join the roster.
See also: arrivals, late arrivals, after school
Once a year, a professional photographer visits the school. You will get ample warning beforehand. Orders can be placed for individual, whānau, class and sports team photos.
School routines and safety rules
Wide brimmed sunhats are worn while outside on sunny days in Terms 1 & 4
During morning interval, tamariki are to eat their morning tea inside for five minutes before going out to play.
At lunchtime, tamariki eat their lunch from 12:40-12:55 pm inside their classroom. This is supervised by their teacher. Tamariki may then go to play after checking that the area/classroom is clean and tidy with no rubbish.
We encourage healthy eating - no lollies and water only at school.
Tamariki must not leave the school grounds during the school day unless they have permission from their teacher. They MUST check out at the office before leaving, and check back in again.
Smoking is not allowed in the school buildings or grounds at any time.
Spare clothing for accidents
Accidents and spills do happen. The school has some spare clothes available, particularly for the younger tamariki, but it is best to send a change of clothes in their bag (pants and undies in particular!)
Group Special Education Service (GSE) has specialists trained to help children with special learning needs, emotional difficulties or social problems. You can find out more about Special Education services on the Ministry of Education website or call 0800 622 222. Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour (RTLBs) are specialist teachers who support schools to meet the specific learning needs of tamariki.
If your child needs specialist help we will, in consultation with you, make a referral to the RTLB service.
Sports programme and sports teams
Tamariki take part in a full health and fitness programme, learning the skills of both winter and summer sports. The school actively encourages tamariki to take up a range of sports. We have some school teams playing inter-school games for example netball and touch rugby. Parental assistance is always needed. If you are interested in becoming involved, please let the office know.
At the start of the school year, all tamariki are provided with a Stationery List. This includes a range of exercise books, dictionary requirements, pencils, rulers etc. Stationery may be bought from any stationery outlet. Stationery Lists are available on the front page of the website. If extra stationery is needed during the year a note will be sent home informing you of what is required (e.g. boards for science fair posters).
Supervision in the school grounds
We are fortunate to have spacious and sheltered school grounds - the upper area around the school buildings, and the lower playing field. This latter is in shared ownership with the City Council and has a Council sports field. The upper level includes our adventure playground. At morning interval and lunchtime, two staff members are rostered to patrol the grounds.
Support services available
All tamariki in their first year at school have their vision and hearing tested by a specially trained nurse. As part of the enrolment process you will be asked to sign a consent form for these tests. Parents will be notified if any problems are identified. Good hearing and vision are critical to progress in learning, and any problems with be followed up with appropriate referrals.
A speech therapist visits the school on request to check on children with speech difficulties.
It is school policy that all tamariki must wear a wide-brimmed sunhat while outside during Term 1 and Term 4. Hats can be purchased from the school office, but tamariki may wear any suitable hat.
We provide sunscreen to all tamariki and remind them to reapply throughout the day. We encourage parents to provide their tamariki with sunscreen in the morning before school, and to send their tamariki with their own sunscreen if they have reactions or sensitive skin.
All tamariki who are learning to swim take part in the Learn to Swim programme in Term 3, either at the Karori Pools or Little Makos in Berhampore.
The costs of these classes must be covered fully by parents, and cover pool entry, qualified instructors and transport to and from the pool.
Swimming is compulsory and tamariki must take part unless they are sick. A note from the parent is required if tamariki are to be excused from swimming tuition. On swimming days, tamariki need to bring their swimming gear (togs, towel, goggles) to school.
Tamariki should keep their toys at home and play with them after school.
Parents are asked to make a voluntary donation each year. In 2019, it is set at $240 per child per year. For whānau with two tamariki it is $432 and three tamariki whānau pay $648. We are happy to spread payments either term by term or monthly, whichever is easier. The funds are used for teaching resources for the school. This donation is tax-deductible. If you pay it before 31 March each year, you can claim the rebate with your tax return the same year.
How to claim your rebate
Because this payment is a donation, you are entitled to receive a rebate of 33% (payment for trips, activities and Year 7& 8 technology materials are not eligible for this rebate). To claim your rebate, save all your voluntary donation receipts for the tax year (1 April to 31 March) and send them to the IRD along with a completed rebate claim form (IR 526) for that year.
To obtain a copy of the rebate claim form:
Go to the Inland Revenue website www.ird.govt.nz;
Go to the Forms and Guides section (on the lower right hand side);
Categorise the forms by number, and locate form IR 526 which can be downloaded and printed out;
You can also obtain an IR 526 form by phoning 0800 257 773 and following the prompts. You will need your IRD number on hand;
You may also be able to claim childcare costs (such as Pridelands) using the same form. See the fact sheet IR 525 for details;
Send the completed form, with all receipts attached, to: Inland Revenue, PO Box 39090, Wellington Mail Centre, Lower Hutt 5045.
You should receive your refund within 6 weeks of lodging the claim. Also, note that you can claim rebates for donations made up to five years ago - if you still have the receipts.