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 Raelene in the school office.
According to New Zealand law, all children enrolled at school must attend unless they are sick. If your child is sick, please phone the school office before 8:55 a.m. Please also let us know if your child will be arriving later than 9:00 am. A system is in place to follow up on any child who is not present for roll call if parents have not phoned the office.
If you need to collect your child before 3 pm (eg for a medical appointment), please call into the school office and fill in the Early Leaving book.
Family holidays during school time
Parents and caregivers are asked to seek approval from the Principal for any absences arising from family holidays taken outside normal school holidays. You will be asked to provide some activities for your child to carry out during such an absence.
After School Care
Ridgway families have two independent OSCAR approved afterschool care options available to them. Pridelands operate a programme on site while Enjoy Childcare collect children at 3pm and transport them to a nearby school.
For more information on Pridelands, visit their website www.pridelands.org.nz or contact director Moses Ariama on 0220 807 036.
For more information about Enjoy Childcare visit their website www.enjoychildcare.co.nz/ or call022 651 0773
Arriving at school and collection after school
We prefer children to arrive between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m. Parents should not to drop children at school earlier than 8:30 a.m. as teachers appreciate having time to prepare for the day without children present. Please ensure your child arrives at school by 8:50 a.m. at the latest.
At the end of the day, all junior children (new entrants, Year 1 and Year 2) must be collected from their classroom by a parent, caregiver or older sibling.
Children are encouraged to walk home with peers along a predetermined route.
Whole school assemblies are held on the first day of term, at the end of the term and in the middle of the term. Dates and times will be posted on the school events calendar.
Each group of classes will also hold at least two hui each term and the dates of these can also be found on the school events calendar.
Whole school assemblies are formal occasions when we meet to sing, congratulate students who have represented Ridgway School or have achieved particularly well, and occasionally to listen to a visiting speaker.
Team hui are more casual affairs, where students might share their learning and applaud members who have achieved their goals.
All parents and caregivers are welcome to attend assemblies and hui. Preschoolers are also welcome, but we ask that if they are noisy or unsettled you please take them out for a break as our students need to be able to concentrate.
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 children the expectations we have for how everyone (adults and children) should act in various school situations and acknowledge children's positive behaviour.
Parents are notified of any concerns regarding their child’s behaviour. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns.
Board of Trustees
See the Board area of this website.
Ridgway School 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 #21 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/
Cellphones should be treated as valuable items (like money) and can be given to the class teacher to be put into the Class Bag 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.
Children using phones inappropriately at school will have them confiscated and parents will be contacted to collect them from the office.
Children are 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.
We encourage all parents to familiarise themselves with our Charter.
Ridgway School does not have a uniform. We expect children to wear sensible and sturdy clothing and shoes appropriate for school activities and the time of year. Please remember to name all items.
We encourage children to take pride in their personal presentation and to save personal adornments for special occasions (e.g. jewellery, large or dangling earrings, stick on tattoos, make-up and bright nail polish.
We do have a school t-shirt, which we encourage children 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 children have outgrown them or left school, for lending.
CommunicationChildren learn best when their whanau and school work together in partnership, with regular communication between home and school.
Our website is updated weekly with information for parents about upcoming events, how the school operates, and news about what has been happening around the school. Teachers regularly communicate with parents, caregivers, and guardians via e-mail and phone. Face to face meetings occur informally both before and after school, and you can schedule a meeting with the teacher or principal at mutually agreeable times. Cancellations and postponements are communicated by both email and text message. Emergency communications, such as an early school closure, will be sent out via email and text. Emergency communication for an individual student is always made with a phone call.
From 2015 we will not be sending home a weekly newsletter. Rather, we will send a weekly email with reminders about upcoming events and general information. Families who cannot access email messages may request a paper copy of the e-mail
Meetings for parents are held from time to time throughout the year, often combined with an informal social gathering. Parents are invited to special evenings during the year to find out about specific teaching programmes. They are an excellent opportunity to meet staff, Board members and of course, other parents.
The Bee Healthy Regional Dental Service provides free dental care to all children from birth to year 8 across the Wellington Region. Ridgway School 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 child is in pain or if there are any concerns. Ridgway School has not yet been advised of a visit by the Mobile Dental Van as the vans have been upgraded and may not be able to access the school.
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.
Emergency contact information
When enrolling your child 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 child/ren 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 child’s health status.
These vary from year to year depending on the availability of tuition. In 2015, the following options are offered:
- Guitar lessons (after school) for all ages
- Piano and violin lessons during school hours
- Chess Club during school hours
To enrol your child at 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 child’s birth certificate and immunisation certificate.
We encourage children approaching school age (at around 4 years 10 months) to come to our weekly pre-entry sessions with their parent or caregiver. These sessions are very beneficial in helping children 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 with the child during these visits.
The school promotes healthy eating habits. Lollies, chewing gum and fizzy or other high sugar drinks are not allowed at school.
At the beginning of lunch time, children must sit down to eat their lunch (this is a health and safety requirement). Teaching staff supervise children to ensure that children do not skip this meal. When they have finished eating, children may go to play.
Homework is a useful way of involving parents more closely in their children’s education. It is given to encourage children to consolidate newly-acquired skills and help them develop good study skills. It also extends their learning beyond the classroom.
During their primary school years, children are often introduced to many extracurricular activities such as Cubs, Brownies, sports, music lessons and so on. Participation in these activities is an important part of their education. Family trips and visits are also very important. We encourage parents to strike a balance between developing a habit of regular homework for their children and leaving sufficient time for children to follow other personal pursuits.
Teachers will monitor and provide feedback for homework that is completed, but will not punish children who do not complete it.
Homework in the junior school
Children are given reading to take home, and parents are asked to listen to their child read and to give plenty of support and encouragement. Children will also have a word list at their level, and should read through this with the help of a parent each day. Once children can read independently we encourage them to read their choice of material for 10-30minutes every day.
Homework in the middle school
- Maths - your child's teacher may provide a worksheet or recommend a website.
- Reading - at least 15 minutes every day of the week
- Spelling - please assist your child learning to spell their weekly word list.
Homework in the senior school
- research topics for their own inquiry
- Spelling - please assist your child learning to spell their weekly word list
- Reading - approximately 30 minutes each day of the week
- Mathletics - at least 3 sessions a week completing over 1000 points each time.
ICT 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, children 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 child 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 child’s 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 child.
Leaving the school grounds
No child 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 your child’s 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. Lost property is kept in a large basket beside the main entrance to the school. Each of the A area classes also have lost property baskets. Parents are welcome to check these for lost items.
Where it is necessary for medication to be administered to your child 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 is usually available to talk to parents and caregivers during the school day and after school, however it is best to 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 or written note to arrange a suitable time before or after school.
Please note that teachers are not available at these times:
- During school hours (8:50 am – 3 pm)
- Mondays 3:30 – 5:30 pm (team meetings held during this time)
- Wednesdays 3:15 – 5 pm (staff meetings held during this time).
Money, valuables and toys
Children should not bring money, valuables or toys to school. If children bring money to school for anything other than paying for special lunches, books or other costs, it must be given to the teacher for safekeeping during the day.
News and information
We no longer publish a weekly 'newsletter', however the website is updated weekly and parents will receive weekly emails with reminders about upcoming events and important information. Families with no email address may request a paper copy of the message.
The Office Manager (Raelene Sloper) is in the office from 8:30 am to 4 pm each day.
Trained telephone monitors from senior classes take calls during lunch breaks. If you want to leave an important message please ask to speak to an adult. 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.
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 03-0510-0741239-00. Be sure to put your child’s name and the nature of the payment on the transaction, for your records and our own. Please advise the office of your internet payment, by emailing email@example.com with details of your child’s name, class, amount and the item being paid.
- By sending the payment to school with your child, in an envelope clearly marked with your child’s name, class, amount and item being paid. Please ensure that your child hands this envelope to their classroom teacher.
All payments received will be processed and a receipt sent home with your child.
Please note that payments for Ashton Scholastic Book Club payments are separate to school payments and should be handed into the office to give to the organiser.
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 children who are on duty, and to encourage good road sense in their own children.
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, family, 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, children are to eat their morning tea inside for five minutes before going out to play.
- At lunchtime, children eat their lunch from 12:30-12:40 pm inside their classroom. This is supervised by their teacher. Children may then go to play after checking that the area/classroom is clean and tidy with no rubbish.
- We encourage healthy eating – no lollies or fizzy drink at school.
- Children 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.
- Children may only play on the field if a duty teacher is supervising.
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 children.
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 children.
If your child needs specialist help we will, in consultation with you, make a referral to the RTLB service.
Sports programme and sports teams
Children take part in a full health and fitness programme, learning the skills of both winter and summer sports. The school actively encourages children to take up a range of sports. We have a number of school teams playing inter-school games: netball, softball and water polo. 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 students 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 new adventure playground. At morning interval and lunchtime, two staff members are rostered to patrol the grounds.
Support services available
All children 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 children must wear a wide-brimmed sunhat while outside during Term 1 and Term 4. Hats can be purchased from the school office, but children may wear any suitable hat. Caps do not provide full protection for children's ears and neck and are therefore unsuitable for school.
We encourage parents to provide their children with sunscreen to ensure adequate sun protection when they are outside.
All children who are learning to swim take part in our Learn to Swim programme at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre in Kilbirnie.
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 children must take part unless they are sick. A note from the parent is required if children are to be excused from swimming tuition. On swimming days, children need to bring their swimming gear (togs, towel, goggles) to school.
ToysChildren should keep their toys at home and play with them after school.
Parents are asked to make a voluntary donation each year. In 2012, it was set at $240 per child per year. Once again we are offering a discount for those families with 2 or more children. Two children family's pay $432.00 for the year. 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.
Ridgway School is not zoned and we welcome enquiries from families in the Wellington region.