COVID-19 Info

We are currently at Alert Level 4 - School is CLOSED for ALL Students.

Thursday 16 September

Registering for School at Alert Level 3

Kia ora koutou

Firstly, thank you to all the parents and caregivers who have been working so hard over the last several weeks supporting your children and the school while we have been in lockdown. I know it has been hard for many families during what has been a particularly anxious and challenging time. Seeing the struggles that Australia has been having getting their Delta outbreak under control has made me appreciate how well we are doing here.

Last week the Prime Minister announced that, in principle, we will be moving to Alert Level 3 on Wednesday 22 September. This means that the school will be opening to those students who ‘NEED' to be supervised. Students who have a parent or caregiver at home (this includes those working from home) should be at home. If there is someone in your extended bubble that could look after your children, this should be the first option.

You will need to register your child’s attendance at school so we can carefully manage the bubbles. I want to make clear that our number one priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. The lower the number of students we have, the safer everyone will be.

You can register your child’s attendance using the link towards the bottom of this letter

We have been instructed by the Ministries of Education and Health to follow some strict health and safety practices, which will mean a very different schooling experience will be provided.

The Health and Safety practices that will be put in place include:

  • Keeping a teacher and a class ‘bubble’ to no more than 10 students. The bubbles will remain tight as we need to maintain contact tracing registers that will be used in the event of a case of COVID-19.

  • Students and teachers have to maintain a distance of one metre in the classroom and two metres in the playground. They are to sit in the same place during the day and not share equipment or devices.

  • Class furniture, bathrooms, and anything regularly handled, such as door handles, needs to be disinfected at least once a day.

  • Hand sanitiser will be at every classroom entrance.

  • Outdoor playgrounds cannot be used and play equipment like balls cannot be shared.

  • Depending on the number of ‘bubbles’, school start, break and finish times will be staggered so that students are not coming, playing or leaving together. If you are dropping your child at school, you will need to remain outside of the school gates, ideally remaining in your cars, as no parents will be allowed on school grounds.

  • Staff and students who are immunocompromised or suffer from underlying conditions should not attend school.

  • Students who are feeling unwell are not to be sent to school. If they start feeling unwell during the day, then they will be sent home.

  • The office will be locked and all communications need to be through phone calls, emails or texts to reduce contact.

  • We will have siblings or cousins together in classes so that they can share resources and keep bubbles as small as possible.

Other Teaching and Learning Considerations:

  • The teaching and learning programme at school will be the same as the Distance Learning Programme (DLP) being delivered to those at home.

  • As the number of students attending school increases, the DLP may change to reflect this.

  • Most students will not have their normal classroom teacher as we will only have a few staff members at school.

  • After school care will not be available until Alert Level 2.

If you believe your situation reaches the required criteria for your child to attend school PLEASE FILL IN THIS FORM by 2:00pm on Monday 20 September to allow us the necessary time to plan and prepare spaces. It is essential that we have accurate details about those attending. If you do not register, your child will not be allowed to attend school from Wednesday. We will be sending out this form each week we are in Level 3.

The Minister of Education is still considering moving the school holidays and has said he will announce a decision by the end of this week. Depending on what he decides, it could make this all moot. I'll be in touch if anything changes.

It has not been an easy time for many, but to lose the gains we have made as a country would be a huge shame. So I implore you, if you are able to continue learning with your children at home, please do so. I understand and sincerely empathise with everyone: working parents, single parents, families who have lost income, and those parents who have children with special needs. I realise that is a very prescriptive email, but considering the circumstances I am sure you will understand the importance of maintaining the health and safety of us all.

he waka eke noa - we’re all in this together

Ngā mihi nui

Nick Shaw

In this Edition

  • Board Community Survey

  • Holiday Supervision

  • 2022 Enrolments

  • Staff Changes

  • Vaccine Information Event


Monday 13 September


Kia ora whānau


Nau mai haere mai ki te wiki o te reo Māori - Welcome to Māori Language Week. Olive has shared some te reo Māori activities for the tamariki (and you) to do this week to celebrate. Make sure you tune into the Zoom session tomorrow for the Kahoot - it should be a lot of fun. To give yourself and whānau a little warm up test, you can try this Newshub Quiz of 100 Māori words.


Board Community Survey

While it is not ‘business as usual’ at the moment, we are trying to keep moving forward in preparation for 2022. In doing so, the Board would appreciate you completing the following survey to help us update our Strategic Plan and develop our 2022 Annual Plan. The survey should only take 5-10 minutes, and the Board really values your input. Survey Form: https://forms.gle/B1EzsTxPH6tJxh1z5


2022 Enrolments

Out of Zone Enrolment information was published in the Gulf News and on our website last Thursday. If you have a younger child starting school next year and live outside of our school zone, you need to have your enrolment in by Wednesday 29 September 2021. Even if you do live in zone, we would appreciate you getting enrolments in as well, as this will help us with classroom planning.


Holiday Supervision

As discussed last week, I am working on a plan to support families with childcare if we move to Level 2 during the school holidays. We understand that some families may have exhausted annual leave entitlements or work for themselves and haven’t been able to put aside time or money that would usually be there for school holiday care. At this stage I am trying to find out what the level of need might be. If this might be something that you’d be interested in, could you please complete this form: https://forms.gle/edcQnvSWrUq48UC7A


Staff Changes

Last week was the final week for Melanie Brookes, who has been working one day a week in each of Tītoki and Pōhutukawa this year. Melanie and her family have been associated with WPS for many years, and we are going to miss Melanie’s sense of humour, can-do attitude, and of course her excellent teaching. We are hopeful that we will get a chance to formally farewell Melanie before her and her family more to Nelson.


I am very pleased to announce that Kirsten Simmons will be replacing Melanie from the start of Level 2. Most people know Kirsten, who has been working at WPS over the last 18 months developing our Nature Education programme. Kirsten is an outstanding educator with a Master of Education degree and a vast experience across the education sector, from Early Childhood, creating her own education facility and working as a Deputy Principal at a primary school in the UK. We feel very lucky to have Kirsten taking on these positions.


Vaccine Information Event

W3 – Wonderful Waiheke Wāhine September Event

‘Your questions answered about the Covid-19 vaccinations’.

Via Zoom today! Monday 7:00pm-8:00pm

https://mailchi.mp/6344a96dc1d6/w3_covidvax_webinar


Final Notes

I will be sending out more information following the Prime Minister’s announcement later this afternoon on Alert Level changes. I hope you are doing okay in your bubbles. I have found it getting more challenging as the days have gone by, and I am sure no one is finding this lockdown easy. Remember, if you do need any support, George Bach, our Special Needs Coordinator and trained counsellor (george@waiheke.school.nz), is available to support you and your children if needed.



Noho ora mai


Nick Shaw

Tumuaki | Principal

Monday 6 September, 2021


Kia ora Whānau


Sorry this week’s message is a little long - a bit of cabin fever kicking in, perhaps. As we head into another week of lockdown, I hope you and your families are in a nice routine that is working for you.


I have had a couple of parents reach out to me asking about the school holidays and if there has been any thought about moving them forward into the lockdown so that when we move to Level 2, we can come straight back into school. This was something discussed by Auckland Principals with the Ministry of Education a couple of weeks ago, and the Ministry said they were considering it. However, late last week they announced, mainly due to NCEA exams, that shifting the holidays now looks very unlikely. The Education Secretary, in her email to principals last week, did say, though, that things may change.


Individual public schools have no authority to move the holidays; however, I am very aware of how some families have had to use up annual leave, leave they would normally put aside for things like this, and I am working on something that may help families in that predicament. I’ll let you know how I get on next week.


I want to acknowledge the work that you are putting in to support your child’s learning. I know you didn’t sign up for being a teacher, and I will let you in on a secret - teaching your own child is way harder than teaching a whole group of other children! So be kind to yourselves.


We are currently preparing details for when we move to Alert Level 3. These are largely unchanged from previous lockdowns. However, based on Ministry of Health advice, in-school bubbles have been shrunk from 20 to 10 students, and there will be no singing allowed indoors. I will share the finalised details with you closer to the end of Alert Level 4.


Something a bit lighter, if you are interested in some good shows that I am enjoying, The Flight Attendant on Neon or Sky Go is great, and another murder mystery that is a bit light but really good is Only Murders in the Building on Disney+ (both are not suitable for kids).


School Notices:

  • If you have a child starting in 2022, we ask you to please enrol them by the middle of October. If you are Out of Zone, you need to enrol by the 29th of September. More details will be shared on Thursday.

  • Jayne Alexander, the Policy Rep. on the Board has asked me to share with you the review of our Concerns and Complaints Policy. You can read the policy and and give feedback here: https://forms.gle/bepDvWB9NRtqNbWt6

  • Two of our intermediate students, Zoe and Jett, met with the Local Board shortly before lockdown to talk about the Pump Track that was designed but never built at the Skate Park. They have a petition out now to get that going. You can sign it here: https://chng.it/Y45pgKVw

  • George is available for any counselor or wellbeing needs (george@waiheke.school.nz).

  • Olive and myself are also available should you have any questions or issues.


Ministry of Education Notices:

  • Vaccinations for 12-15 Year Olds

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect each of us and our whānau. The more of us who are vaccinated in our community, the greater our immunity.

The Government approved a vaccine to immunise and protect 12 to 15-year-olds. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been approved by our Medsafe experts. This vaccine is also used for 12 to 15-year-olds in other countries such as Canada, USA, Europe and Japan.

Here is a video you can watch to explain how the vaccine works.

Many parents and whānau would like to provide informed consent on behalf of their young person. The easiest way to do this is for a parent or caregiver to be present during vaccination and provide verbal consent. You can book your young person in for vaccination at the same time as your vaccination or accompany them to their appointment.

You can book through your GP or through vaccination centres:

  • Book online through Book My Vaccine

  • For a group booking, call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am–8pm, seven days a week).


  • Web Filtering in Your Home

For personal devices, we suggest using Network 4 Learning’s simple but effective content filtering service Switch on safety for students learning from home.

We encourage all parents/whānau to take advantage of this free service. It’s a universally available support for learner devices once they are off the school site and not protected by your internet filtering service.

It’s important to note however that content filters are not a complete protection from online harm and should be used in conjunction with other cyber security precautions (for example, anti-virus software) and appropriate supervision.

  • We also fund Netsafe to support schools with online safety to ensure that all New Zealand kura and schools and their communities have access to quality advice and support for digital safety and security.

  • Cert NZ also provide advice on cybersecurity and any student experiencing incidents can report them directly.

  • Another great resource for parents and young people is the Department of Internal Affairs’ Keep it real online campaign.

Noho ora mai


Nick Shaw

Monday 30 August, 2021


Kia ora whānau

I hope you and your family are safe and well. This is a challenging time for many. My wife and I are in the same situation as many of you, trying to work remotely while supporting our children’s learning. It is not easy, and that is why we have always maintained that we do not want Distance Learning to become a level of stress in your homes - so, please do what works for you. As I mentioned last week, if you think your child needs some higher expectations and wants us to put a little pressure on them to get work completed, then please email your child’s teacher, who will follow up with them. We know the influence that we have and are here to support you the best we can.

One of the biggest things we noticed after the first big lockdown in 2020 was how tamariki struggled socially on their return to school. One of the most important elements of school is that for large parts of the day, children are interacting with each other, learning, playing, solving problems, etc. Unfortunately, that really can’t be replicated online, but there are some things we can do. I suggest encouraging your children to arrange Zoom playdates, collaborate on some of the learning tasks, play some suitable online games against their known friends, or even chatting on the phone. Maintaining these social connections is so important, particularly for when they transition back into school.

As the Prime Minister announced last Friday, it looks like we will be at Level 4 for at least the next couple of weeks, and then I am assuming at least a couple more at Level 3. This is going to be a hard slog. Please look after yourselves. A wise Board Member told me at their work they use the airline analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask before looking after others. Our children need us to be at our best, so we need to be cognisant of our own wellbeing. Remember our school counsellor, George, is available to chat if you need any support - george@waiheke.school.nz.

Some additional information you may find helpful can be found here:

Thank you for your ongoing support of myself and the staff. I have received some wonderful emails in the last week, and I really appreciate them. The staff have reported high levels of student engagement, which is fantastic. Olive and I look forward to sharing the Talent Show with you - we are trying a new voting system this year. Have a great week and make sure you tune into the assembly on Friday.

Noho ora mai

Nick Shaw

Tuesday 23 August, 2021


Kia ora whānau

As you may have heard, this afternoon the Prime Minister has announced an extension to the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions. Auckland will remain at Alert Level 4 until at least Tuesday 31 August meaning the school remains closed to all students.

In the meantime, the Distance Learning Programme will continue as normal.

Thank you to those who have reached out to either myself, Olive, George or your child’s teacher. We are aware how challenging lockdown can be and these extensions can add to the angst and uncertainty. On Friday I will send out an Assembly video and hand out some virtual certificates. If you have that you or your child would like me to share at that time I’d love to hear from you.

Until then, stay home and stay safe.

Noho ora mai

Nick Shaw

Monday 22 August, 2021


Kia ora whānau


Please see my video message here: https://youtu.be/9_3-hB1Mylk

Items covered include:

  • Feedback Results

  • Schoolwork expectations

  • Device Deliveries

  • Whānau Challenge

This week’s Whānau Challenge is a Talent Show. Share with us a video (2 minutes max.) of you showing us your talent. Music, singing, drama, magic, dance, whatever you got, we want to see! Send your entries through to Olive (olive@waiheke.school.nz) by Friday 3pm and we will share them next week.

You can see the video Olive and I made last year to get you in the talent show mood: https://youtu.be/Wxnr3SMjlro

We have created some short videos of us reading some stories that you can share with your children.

Please let either myself, Olive or George know if you or your whānau need any extra support.


Noho ora mai

Nick Shaw

Tuesday 17 August, 2021


As you will be aware by now, the country moves to Covid-19 Alert Level 4 at 11:59pm tonight for at least the next three days, with Auckland there for at least the next seven.


Unlike Alert Level 3, the school is closed for everyone, even for students whose parents/caregivers are essential workers. The Ministry of Education has also instructed us that we are unable to provide Chromebooks or learning hard packs at this time but they will notify schools if this changes.


No learning will be sent home tomorrow (Wednesday 18 August) while staff get their own children and families settled. The Distance Learning Programme will roll out on Thursday morning.

If you would like to start learning from home tomorrow, there are Ministry of Education resources available here: https://learningfromhome.govt.nz/learning-resources/supporting-learning-from-home-resources

The Home Learning TV shows are also available at: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/home-learning-tv


On Thursday you will receive an email with a short video from your child’s teacher as well as a plan for the day. The plan will be syndicate based (Years 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, or 7/8) and will provide a breadth of learning experiences. You can choose to do as much or as little as your child/whānau wants or needs. The wellbeing of you and your family is the top priority at the moment.


Teachers will arrange a Social Zoom on Friday for children to chat with their friends and have a catch-up. You will get an email tomorrow asking for feedback around the delivery of the programme and how we can best support the students.


For some, this will be quite challenging, and we are aware of the strain lockdowns put on families. Remember that George Bach our Special Needs Coordinator is a trained counsellor and happy to work with you. You can contact him at george@waiheke.school.nz


Please take care of yourselves. We have been through this before, and we know the short-term pain of lockdowns works in the long run. Please make sure you are using the Covid Tracer App, as this supports everyone at the school. Stay home, stay safe.


Kia kaha koutou


Nick Shaw

Tumuaki | Principal


More information is available from https://covid19.govt.nz/