Newsletter LogoWednesday 9th February 2022            No. 1

Kia Ora e te whānau

He mihi nui ki a koutou katoa i te wā ō te timatanga o te tau hou o 2022.
Nau mai haere mai ki Te Kura ō Tōtara Grove.
He Kura, He Tōtara!

Welcome to week 2 of school and our first full newsletter for the year of 2022.
A big welcome back to all of our whānau and tamariki returning to Tōtara Grove School, and also a special welcome to all the new whānau joining us in 2022.

It was wonderful to see a large number of new faces being welcomed into school last Thursday with our powhiri, as well as meeting many more new whanau enrolling over the past week. We know that you will enjoy your time at Tōtara Grove School and we look forward to getting to know everyone over the coming weeks.

Our newsletters come out every fortnight with a focus on sharing events from the previous 2 weeks and to update whānau on any upcoming events and important dates. Have an awesome start to the new school year and especially this week whānau!

For this term, I will be leading our kura as the Acting Principal and Whaea Pam is our Acting Deputy Principal. We are excited to paddle this waka with an amazing team of kaiako, tamariki and you, our whānau.
He waka eke noa, we are all in this together!

Mauri Ora,

Whaea Vanessa (Vanessa Peters)
Acting Principal
Te Kura ō Tōtara Grove
He Kura, He Tōtara


Teacher Only Days – “Ako” We are all learners…

We hope everyone had a good break and are feeling refreshed, ready for 2022. 

We have been extremely busy in our first week at school and our staff are enjoying settling back into classes along with a few new kaiako joining our kura also.

The staff had two teachers only days before school started which were awesome. The two highlights would’ve been working with Sheena Cameron (via zoom) who is the expert when it comes to literacy. The other workshop was working alongside some of our MOE (Ministry of Education) facilitators and learning about ‘Brick Club’ (lego) and how we as educators can use this as a tool to enhance our classroom programmes. What an amazing resource lego is, the teachers had a great time working and collaborating together. 


Tōtara Grove School Staff – Term 1 – 2022

I would like to welcome the new kaiako to Te Kura ō Tōtara Grove, 2022.
Whaea Emma, Whaea Kerryn, Whaea Sue & Whaea Melissa.
Nau mai haere mai ki Te Kura ō Tōtara Grove!
We welcome you with open arms and look forward to working alongside you and your tamariki this year. Karawhuia mai!

Please remember if you have any concerns to see the class teacher first for assistance . With us now in the traffic light framework and in the red light, we look forward to getting to know all of our tamariki and whānau better as best we can over the coming weeks and building relationships for a positive year ahead.
A list of our 2022 staff is included below.


Covid 19 Vaccinations

Important note from our BOT regarding covid19 vaccinations and our Tamariki.

As you will be aware the government have approved the Pfizer vaccination for Tamariki aged 5-11.
We are aware that late last year there was some misinformation around Totara Grove’s standing on vaccinating our students.
We as a Kura will not be offering vaccinations to Tamariki.
Vaccinations are not available through the school and it is absolutely the choice of the Whanau as to whether you have your children vaccinated.
Vaccinations can only happen at approved vaccination clinics such as Ngati Hine Trust, The Northland Event Centre or for more info -

Please speak with our staff if you would like more clarification.

Nga Mihi
Totara Grove School Board of Trustees.


Mask wearing

Students from Years 4, 5 and 6 will be wearing masks while in class. We will be aiming to support students with the correct way to wear masks, but this is not easy for adults let alone students. We ask that students come to school with their own mask, either cloth or disposable are permitted. If there are problems with this, please let the school know. Please do not let this be a reason for your child not to attend. If you have a child in Years 1, 2 and 3 they do not have to wear a mask, but if you choose for them to do so, that will be supported by teachers. Teachers in Years 4, 5 and 6, and staff who support that area of the school will also be wearing masks. Both teachers and students will be having a mask break every 20-30 min. During this time they will be outside, having a drink and a walk around the school field, if weather permits, otherwise out under a sheltered area.

Some disposable masks were kindly donated for those without, however these are quickly running out so please bring your own if you are able to.

Coming onto the school grounds as a parent, caregiver or whānau:

1. ONLY if you NEED to come on to the school grounds, please wear a face mask. If you do come on to the school grounds we ask that you only go as far as the classroom door please, no entry into the classroom.
Otherwise, we are asking if you can drop your child off at one of the school gates please. We understand if your child is new and is going through the settling-in process or is anxious. We are wanting to limit the number of people on the school grounds during this tricky time, we ask for your cooperation and understanding.
2. Scan or sign in at the gates
3. Entry 1 person per whānau when dropping or having to pick a child up please, only if needed.
4. End of day pick up – Corks Rd, Wairau Rd and the Drop off pick up zone. If you can meet your children at these destinations.
4. If you have a mask exemption, please show this at the gate or give a copy to the office. This way we can support you.


Free school lunch programme

Again we have lunches in schools this year. The menu varies weekly and with such a variety of healthy kai. We ask all students to give the lunches a go and all dietary needs are catered for. If you want to know more about this, please contact your child’s teacher or the office.

This Fortnights lunch menu:



Swimming is still going ahead and every class has a time to swim everyday. Can you please make sure your child has his/her togs and a towel. Swimming caps are compulsory but provided by the school. If for any reason your child can not swim can you please send along a note or contact the teacher. This is part of our school curriculum.


Hats, Hats, Hats! – Sun Smart!

Term 1 & Term 4, hats are a compulsory item to wear when outside. If you can send your child with a brim/bucket styled hat, NOT a cap and preferably with their name inside it please.


Teacher & whānau contact & connect

Answer your phones please, classroom teachers are looking forward to having a kōrero with you. 🙂

Over the next few weeks you should hear from your child’s teacher via text, phone call or email. This is so the teacher can introduce themselves and connect and make sure we have all the right information when needing to contact you. This then leads me to saying, if you have moved recently and need to update address details, phone numbers and emergency contacts, please do so, this would be much appreciated by letting your child’s teacher know or by calling the office.
Communication is the key.


Goal Setting Interviews 2022

Wiki #5  Wednesday 2 March  & Thursday 3 March

At this stage, within the red light framework, we can meet with one whānau member/caregiver and your child to talk and plan your goals, dreams and aspirations for your child this year, 2022.
Once the booking times are ready and a newsletter is sent home, please select a time that best suits you. We look forward to having you come in and share all the great things about your child. Nau mai, haere mai e te whānau.


Te Manawa Tahi Timetable

If you have a concern about your child’s language development, learning progress, social and emotional wellbeing, or behaviour, TeManawa Tahi have specialists available so you can discuss your concerns directly with them.
This is a free service and each site will be identified by a Te Manawa Tahi flag. Drop into a hub or make an appointment by phoning 0800 5248 4256 or emailing


School Term Dates for 2022

Term 1          3rd February – 14th April

Term 2         2nd May – 8th July, TOD Fri 3rd June

Term 3          25th July – 30th September

Term 4          17th October – 13th December


Community Notices