Kia ora Whānau – Greetings everyone.

As we hit the middle of winter the usual bugs are present in our school, with coughs, colds and sore throats prevalent. If your child is unwell we ask that you keep your child at home until they are fit to be at school.

In addition to the usual bugs there are two other illnesses that we do need to be aware of. One is whooping cough and the other, measles. If you are at all concerned that your child may have contracted one of these conditions please see your GP immediately and keep your child at home until you know they are safe and well enough to return to school. Before the end of term there will be a specific School Links news note in relation to measles. With more people travelling during the break time the risk of transfer of this illness becomes greater. The Health Protection Officer has been asked to provide us with some advice and part of that advice is a reminder to families just prior to the holidays to be aware of this illness.

Mathematics Professional Development:

While the achievement levels for Mathematics at St Martins are very good, as a school we are committed to always pushing to do better. Consequently St Martins has begun specific professional development in the area of Mathematics Teaching. Your children may have mentioned to you the presence of some of our mentors/tutors at work last week across the school. This professional development happens not only as teacher training out of the classroom but more directly as teacher training in real-time while teaching is being delivered. Like any programme we enter into we do so with the very best. Our professional development is being led by Dr Bobbie Hunter, (Roberta Hunter) under the leadership of Dr Adrienne Alton-Lee, Chief Education Advisor, and is supported by very highly qualified mentors. It is rare for schools like St Martins to have access to professional development such as this, but this is about raising the bar and developing our school practice as a resource to support others. It is a privilege to have been included in this work and we are excited about what it will mean for learning in mathematics at our school.


Please be aware that in the near future St Martins School will have its first ‘lock down’ drill. While we have procedures ready for an event, they have not yet been practiced. We feel it is now important to do so. This is the reverse of an evacuation drill. The purpose is to bring children ‘inside to ensure safety’ from something that is happening outside. These events might be a toppled over tanker that is emitting fumes, an armed offenders alert in our local area, or an invasion by aliens! Regardless of how likely or unlikely the event we need to be ready and our practice will help us determine what we don’t know about the effectiveness of our systems. We do not wish to alarm anyone, hence this advance warning. The need for a practice will be explained to children by their teachers and the reason for the drill will also be outlined. While we hope there will never be a need for a real ‘lock down’ it is best to be prepared. The drill will take place sometime during the last week of the term.

Kind regards

Rob Callaghan