Newsletter 26th June

Newsletter No7. Term 2                                                                                                                                   26th June 2020


I’m writing this newsletter, remembering how we used to start our letters before covid19.

They went like this…..

Welcome to all the new families who have joined us here at Don Buck school.  In order for school and home to work together well, we need you to know that always, always contact us if you are concerned or have any queries .  Carolyn and Michelle are in our office and will help you.


Some of our pupils are brand new school children.  They are 5 years old. It’s all an exciting time and their uniforms have lots of room for them to grow into.  These pupils bounce into school waving goodbye to family at the gate. They put their own bags away, they rush in to chat with their new buddies and the teachers and they get on with their school day.


Some children have come to us from other schools.  They miss the friends they had, they know all routines will be different.  Being the new person anywhere, always comes with that little niggle of uncertainty.  Teachers are trained in knowing how to allow those new ones to slowly find their way around … building new friendships;  Finding out about the teachers; Where the library is; Where toilets are; Where the sickbay is; How the bell times work.  All of those things and more, matter, before new pupils can even begin to concentrate on learning and where they left off.


Library information

Our school pupil librarians promote the love of books and the treasures to be found in our school library.  Miss Sim coaches them in the finer points of team work, allowing our library to tick over and always be the hub of learning.

The members of the 2020 library team are . .

Jorjah,  Risha,  Lora,  Eva,  Etuate T,  Felix,  Lautele,  Eliana,  Lois,  Siosi,  Charlie,  Atlanta.

Currently, they are mastering ins and outs of the school intercom system, to connect across the whole school, so they can promote book pick up times.  Next, they will be promoting new books on zoom and as always, being truly valuable to Miss Sim by working on these things while Miss Sim can get on with teaching the library skills required, for enhancing learning and the pleasure in enjoying a really good book.

We value our reader leaders, the librarians.  Thank you Miss Sim for seeing their passion and believing in them.


The end of an era for Don Buck school and RTLB

The 36 Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour who serve 53 schools in this area have been employed by us for many years.  Next year, we are relinquishing the employment role.  Mrs Judith Harris has managed this team since 2011 and is resigning next week.  We wish her well for the future


Tenders are out!  Building works will begin following this process.

The time is here for us to concentrate on the building works about to happen.  The ministry has identified our school as a growth school and the Board and Management are moving focus onto curriculum developments and promotion and the appropriate buildings required.

We will advise you if your child will be housed in a different part of school during the building process.


Interim Junior school leadership confirmed.

The Board and Staff acknowledge MaryAnne Carr-Neil’s acceptance of the role of interim Don Buck Junior School Lead Teacher.  This role includes MaryAnne working with families with children in that area of the school.  She will work alongside your child’s teacher to ensure you receive any information you may wish to know around learning progress for your child.

MaryAnne is an experienced junior school teacher with a passion, for exploring the exciting ways children can transition from early childhood learning, to school and onwards, into preparing them for leaving the junior school with all the key competencies needed to be independent happy students.

Much needed precious shade has been found.

It was sad when our line of trees edging the lower court needed removal after irreparable damage in a storm 18 months ago.  As well as looking welcoming on a hot sunny day, they helped us cater for dotted about shade areas.  They couldn’t protect a class as they took part in outdoor physical education lessons though.  The board has received news we can now put a high roof cover over our flagpole court. This will give school a large area to meet outdoors with weather protection.


Communication and information are essential if school and family are to work together keeping your child at the heart of the matter.

Thank you for contacting us when you need to share information, to fix things to do with your children at school.  Thanks for letting other parents know to contact us.  Thanks for knowing that just like any institution, we can only work with the information we have.  Thanks for remembering, we will not always be able to please everyone.

Speaking badly to staff or other parents can’t be tolerated in the roundabout or school grounds.  It is really unhelpful.  If you have a problem, do the right thing and come talk to us.


Reporting to you

School is charged with giving your child’s learning progress information any time you request it.

Thanks for remembering this.  Gone are the days when on one day/night all parents would pour into the school and wait for their 10 minute appointment time, hear stuff and then go to the next interview.

We always felt for those of you racing from interview to interview.  Teachers only had time to talk about facts.  Today, we know those facts take second place to true learning skills and 10 minutes is not time enough.  Many of you have liked calling, having a calm chat and listening to what the teacher is observing and what the teacher will do next.


You may remember when people thought that a neat writing book meant a good pupil.  Now we know that our pupils’ work books are just that, work books.  Mistakes need to be made, letters practised, numbers practised etc.


Nowadays, schools continually remind families that they can make an appointment time that suits all parties.  School will always contact you if we feel we need a chat about your child’s learning or indeed anything that we feel you need to hear.  If you don’t feel you wish to meet,  we will send our information to you and record that we offered to meet with you, so we know we attempted to communicate with you.


It’s sad when people won’t meet with us and assume a lot of things that are not correct.  They then share their anger with other people.  While it’s a shame, school gets on with the job of working with all of you.   Understand we need each other in order to help your child.



Year 7 students will be offered Boostrix vaccine (dTap) in school.  This vaccine is a booster of diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough most children received last as pre-schoolers.

Information on the vaccine and a consent form will be sent home with your child.  If you would like more information on this important immunisation programme please go to

This vaccine is also available free of charge from your general practice.

Please complete the form and return to school.       Bridget Pynenburg Public Health Nurse 021 241 8312



Massey High School – Monday 3rd August – details to be confirmed – visit closer to this date.

Waitakere College – Thursday 23rd July – 6.30pm