Riversdale School Newsletter Term 3 Week 2

Farewell to Alyssa Bartlett


Tena Koutou Parents, Caregivers and Whanau.

Hello everyone,

Kia ora e hoa mä.

John Parsons

John Parsons worked with our children and parents last week. He has the most current knowledge on how to support our children around technology in a safe way. Research shows that technology is driving a wedge between parents, whanau, guardians and children, because of the lack of socialising and the effect this has on relationships.


Key messages included:

  • Between 2-5 years of age, devices are in competition with time with Mum and Dad. At this age the most important thing for a child’s development is to be socialising with parents. Put the device down and away.

  • No child between 3-5 should be left unattended on devices.

  • Technology is introduced to children by watching caregivers.

  • Keep technology and food apart – be mindful of eating, have conversations at mealtimes.

  • Technology should not be in bedrooms or bathrooms and not used first thing in the morning. Get the chores done and be ready for the day before going on to technology.

  • In adults who have less than 6 –7 hours sleep/day, there is an increased risk of heart attack, cardio vascular disease, strokes, diabetes and early onset of Alzheimer’s.

If our children aren’t getting enough sleep because they are continually using technology in the bedroom, what will be the impact on their health and well-being?


So get active and interact with children up to age five years and then introduce technology with strict regulations. Look at the whole child – are they active, getting enough sleep and eating well. If these things are right, then they probably aren’t on technology too much. When one of these isn’t right, look into how much time they are spending on technology.


Working Bee Wednesday 7 August at 3:00pm

Working Bee – now next Wednesday 7 August at 3pm


We would like to get the hedge trimming finished, and some other areas around the school tidied up before you all get too busy with lambing and calving. Please bring along hedge clippers, brooms, rakes, wheelbarrows, spade/shovels, etc. We look forward to seeing lots of folk along to support this.



Safety before and after school:


Although teachers are at school early, supervision is only from 8.30am. This is when buses begin to arrive at school. If your child has an accident prior to this time, it is not a school responsibility. Some schools do not even let children inside the buildings before 8.30am. The same applies after school. We ask that children go straight home, and then it is up to parents whether they return to play at school. If they do, it is a parental responsibility if they have an accident while in the school grounds. Thanks for your support with this.


Health Programmes – Healthy Relationships including Sexuality Education


Teachers will begin this unit of work on Monday 5th August and the learning will run for a fortnight to three weeks after this. I have included information about what schools are required to teach in the sexuality education section of Healthy Relationships. Parents are welcome to view the content of the programmes if they wish, and can pop in, as a copy of what will be taught at each level of the curriculum will be held at the office.


Sexuality education is part of Health and Physical Education in The New Zealand Curriculum (2007) and is based on the values, principles, and concepts of the learning area. It is underpinned by the four underlying and interdependent concepts of health and physical education: hauora; a socio-ecological perspective; health promotion; and attitudes and values. "Sex education" and "sexuality education" are different. The New Zealand Curriculum supports a holistic approach to sexuality education as defined by the hauora model, which includes physical, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. This is much broader than "sex education" which relates only to the physical aspects of sexual and reproductive knowledge.


Sexuality education in New Zealand takes a positive view of sexual development as a natural part of growing up. It encompasses learning about physical development, including sexual and reproductive knowledge, gender identity, relationships, friendships, whānau and social issues. It sits within the broader area of relationship education, which also includes social and emotional learning (SEL), and violence prevention education. In sexuality education young people learn about themselves and develop knowledge and skills that will help them to interact in positive, respectful, and supportive ways with others. Through learning about sexuality students also come to understand about the social and cultural influences that shape the way society views gender and sexuality. Sexuality education starts at Level 1 of The New Zealand Curriculum and takes both an inclusive and developmentally appropriate approach. All young people need access to information and opportunities to think about, question, and discuss issues related to relationships, gender, sexual identities, sexual orientation, sexual behaviour, sexual and reproductive health, and societal messages. Sexuality education provides a framework in which this can happen. Sexuality education, as a part of health education, is vital for young people’s development, learning, and overall well-being. Learning in this area also contributes to academic success and positive mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.


Junior Primary (Years 1 – 3)

At these levels, sexuality education will focus on learning about growth, development, the human body, friendships, and family relationships. Students will describe changes in growth and identify body parts and developmental needs. Students will discuss family relationships and affirm and show respect for diverse family structures. Gender stereotypes and norms will be questioned and discussed, and students will take action to support the well-being of others and learn friendship skills. Students will learn about basic human rights in relation to relationships and identity. Students will learn to express feelings and how they contribute to positive and inclusive environments. It is recommended that discussions about identity, personal health, body parts, and families are woven into learning throughout the year and that appropriate and diverse resources are used to engage students in discussions.


Middle and Upper Primary (Years 4 – 6)


At these levels, students will learn about pubertal change and body growth and development. This may include human reproduction. They will learn how to support themselves and others during change and develop a positive body image. They will describe how social messages and stereotypes about relationships, sexuality, and gender affect well-being, and will actively affirm the rights of themselves and others. They will reflect on friendships and plan strategies for positive and supportive relationships. They will identify risks and issues in online and social media environments and question messages related to gender, sexuality, and diversity. They will identify how to access health care. It is recommended that specific time is dedicated to learning about sexuality.


Intermediate (Years 7 – 8)


At these levels, students will learn how to support themselves and others during pubertal change and develop a positive body image. Intimate relationships and sexual attraction will be discussed and respect and communication skills highlighted. Processes of conception and child birth will be included and students will identify health care resources in the community. Students will critically explore how gender and sexuality messages affect well-being and plan strategies to support inclusion, diversity, and respect in friendships and relationships (including in online environments). Students will analyse how sexuality is represented in social media and mass media, and critique dominant messages. Students will develop assertiveness skills and recognise instances of bullying and discrimination and question and discuss gender norms.

The Education Review Office has identified that schools with effective programmes spend at least 12–15 hours per year on sexuality education (ERO, 2007b).


The right to withdraw


When the Board of Trustees has adopted the statement on the delivery of the health curriculum, the school does not need to seek parents’/caregivers’ permission for students to participate in the programme. (We did the Health Consultation process earlier this year.) According to the Education Act (1989; updated in 2001, section 25AA), parents/caregivers may write to the principal requesting to have their child excluded from any particular element of sexuality education in a health education programme. The principal is required to ensure that the student is excluded from the relevant tuition and that the student is supervised during that time.


Answering students’ questions


Teachers are legally entitled to respond to any questions that students ask in formal sexuality education programmes or at any other time. Some questions may be difficult to answer and teachers may wish to delay their answers and seek advice and support from other health education teachers (or via professional development contacts). One possibility is to set up a process such as a question box (where students can post anonymous questions and teachers can answer them at their leisure, with time for giving thought to the appropriate answers). Discussion about respectful questions is important and teachers are entitled to refuse to answer personal questions.


Coming Up This Term….

Monday 5 August - Healthy Relationships unit starts in all classrooms.

Tuesday 6 August - Riversdale School and Community Pool AGM, 7:00pm in the staffroom.

Wednesday 7 August - Working Bee at the School - 3:00pm.

Thursday 8 August - School Speeches for Years 5, 6, 7 and 8 children.

Thursday 15 August - Sports Activator working with all children.

Monday 19 July - Waimea Speech Competition hosted at Balfour.

Monday 19 July - Board of Trustees meeting 7.30pm at school.

Thursday 22 August - Community Assembly 1.30pm in the school hall.

Wednesday 28 August - Polyfest for our Kapa Haka children in Invercargill.


Rotary Dictionaries for our Year 3 children


Today at assembly all year 3 children were presented with their very own beautiful dictionary. These are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Gore, and are a very generous educational gift to all year 3 children in the Eastern Southland community. We thank the Gore Rotary Club for this kindness.


Year 7 Vision Screening, Thursday 8 August


If you do not want your child to be screened, please contact the school and let them know.

Note: Students who are already under the care of an optometrist or eye specialist will not require screening.


AGM for Riversdale School and Community Baths Tuesday 6th August 7pm School Staffroom Apologies to Rachael 027 4544742


Wanted - House to rent in Riversdale. Please phone 027 8612395.

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