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Riversdale School Newsletter Term 3 Week 7

Tena Koutou Parents, Caregivers and Whanau.

Hello everyone,

Kia ora e hoa mä.

Mā te tuakana ka tōtika te teina, mā te teina ka tōtika te tuakana

(From the older sibling the younger learns how to do it, from the younger sibling the older learns how to be tolerant/everyone has responsibilities, both the old and the young.)

Welcome back to school and ‘normal’ learning programmes everyone. It was so lovely to see all children back playing on our fields, and learning in classrooms (instead of at the kitchen table) yesterday. Thank you parents and whanau for the fabulous job you did over the past three weeks.

Remember parents to follow health and safety regulations if you need to come into the school grounds:

If you enter the office PLEASE

  • Wear a face covering.

  • Scan or sign in at the office.

  • Sanitize your hands.

  • Keep a 2m distance from others.


The school grounds are very wet and therefore children get muddy and wet at break times and bring the mud back into the classrooms. Please pack spare clothes in your child's bag for them to get changed into or put over the top of muddy legs and feet.



Years 7 and 8 – Renee Pomare, Adam Wing, Jake Eden.

Years 5 and 6 – Isabella Houghton and Ryan McNamee.

These children will go up to Te Anau next Wednesday 15 September to compete in the next round. Parents of these children should have received information about this yesterday, by email.

Cyber Safety

John Parsons, Cyber Safety expert, is visiting our school, on Monday 27 September. He will speak to all children, and is taking a session with staff after school.

He has also kindly offered to take a parent session at 6.30pm. We are very happy to provide a movie and snack for your children, so that you can attend this important session on keeping your child/ren safe online. Please diary this date now so that one whanau/family member can attend.

School Values Awards

At Riversdale School children are awarded House Points for displaying the school values of being respectful, responsible and resilient. Children are working towards achieving values targets.

50 House Points = Bronze Values Award.

100 House Points = Silver Values Award.

150 House Points = Gold Values Award.

Bagpipe Lessons

We are very fortunate to have Mr Brendon Fairburn, expert piper, coming out to Riversdale School on Monday evenings to take students and adults for bagpipe lessons. If you are interested in enrolling, or your child is, please contact him on 027 4314579 or This is a wonderful skill to have.

Board Corner

The Board met via Zoom during the lockdown. The following matters were discussed:

  • The current roll is 124 beautiful students.

  • Board members have the opportunity to attend Treaty of Waitangi professional development with Raiha Johnson on 27 October in Gore.

  • The Health and Physical Education programmes for the next two years were confirmed after the consultation period last term.

  • Kevin Knight, principal of the Graduate School of Education in Christchurch (a teacher training provider) worked with Kimberley, Tiffany, Kay and Jessica (as well as the West Gore leadership team) across two days recently. Kevin gave very high praise for the superb teaching that occurs at this school. He visits many schools, both in N Z and Australia, and was praising the quality of teaching and fabulous learning environments that the staff (including part time and relieving teachers and support staff) create at Riversdale School. He does not see this in every school he visits. (Virtual) flowers and chocolates for all the staff of Riversdale School.

  • Curriculum reports in literacy and mathematics were presented by Kimberley Harper to the Board. These were very detailed and included a close analysis of mid-year assessment information as gathered off the school reports. Kimberley and Tiffany spend a lot of time collating these and mining the data to show trends and patterns. Teachers also discuss the actions they will take to accelerate students who are not at the expected levels. The Board extended its thanks to Kimberley, Tiffany and the teachers for the work done in putting these together. Copies of these reports are on the notice board inside the front door.

  • There was a significant improvement in Basic Facts data from mid 2020 to mid 2021. Again a reflection of some very strong teaching at school. Thank you to all parents who support the school by reinforcing these at home. This is one area you can make a big difference in – travelling in the car is a great place to be practicing and learning them. Teachers are very happy to give you other ideas for helping your child/ren memorise these.

  • Financial matters: BDO have been appointed as the school auditors for the next three year period. They are our current auditors. In last year’s audit they praised the expertise of Pam Macpherson for the very clear and accurate financial records of the school, and the detailed compilation of these. The Board extended its congratulations to Pam for the fantastic work she does with this area of school operation.

  • Property work: The guttering has been cleaned out. Fill will be put under the ropes by McClintocks. Other work and maintenance is on-going.

  • Self-Review: Two Policies are up for review on the Schooldocs site.

1. Behaviour Management

2. Concerns and Complaints

Parents can log in and comment on these. Log in details are

Username – riversdale, Password – excellence.

  • School Uniform Survey. The wording of questions is completed. This will be typed into a survey that will be sent out via survey monkey (one response per family) once the Board confirms it is coherent.

  • Parents have been really supportive of the Covid Level 4 lockdown. The teachers and support staff have been fantastic with the quality of distance learning programmes, and acknowledge that it is a very busy time of year on farms. They really appreciate any support that parents can give their children regarding maintaining learning over this time.

  • The next meeting will be held on Monday 20 September at 7.30pm in the school staffroom. Everyone is welcome to come along.

Meeting closed at 9.50pm.

Please return Pool Keys to the School Office.

Coming Up

15 September Year 5, 6, 7 and 8 speech finals at Te Anau from 10am.

20 September Board of Trustees meeting 7.30pm in the staffroom.

22 September Northern Speech Finals at Northern Southland College.

27 September John Parsons 6.30pm parent/whanau session at school.

01 October Last day of Term 3.

18 October First day of Term 4.



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