Frequently asked questions
Absences and Attendance
By regulation children are required to attend school unless prevented by illness or some special family circumstance. Please advise the school of any non-attendance by:
Our current bell times and timetable are:
- 8:30 - Classrooms open
- 8:50 - Start of School and roll-call
- 10:00 - FAVE (Fruit and Vegetable Energizer)
- 11:00 - Morning tea play
- 11:20 - Morning tea eating
- 11:30 - Classes resume
- 12:45 - Lunch play
- 1:20 - Lunch eating
- 1:35 - Classes resume
- 3:00 - End of school day
Our children are treated at the Cluster Clinic. This is located on the school site, but is not part of the school. The entrance gate to the clinic is located next to the lower gateway to the school, near the Warehouse loading bay. Birkenhead Primary children are escorted from class to the clinic, and returned to the school gateway. Contact number is 09-418-0043.
Parents are requested to donate to the school to assist the school with its running expenses, and for school activities for the children - trips, visits, events etc.
Dress and Jewellery
Our school does not have a compulsory school uniform currently, although we will be reviewing this in 2022 with the introduction of our new logo and uniform items. Children are required to wear the school bucket hat during Terms 1 and 4.
Legally, children are entitled to start school at the age of five, but do not have to start until they are six years of age. At BPS we operate cohort entry so child can start in the next cohort once they have turned 5. We must see the child’s birth certificate (for New Entrant children), immunisation record, and proof of address at enrolment. Please feel welcome to arrange school visits or see the school principal before your child formally starts school. A coffee morning information session will be held each term for parents/caregivers. These may be attended by the Principal and BPS Board and PTA representatives.
For out-of-zone children, an application form must be filled in. Places will be balloted if there are too few places available. Please advise any change of address or phone number for emergency purposes.
Children require a nourishing lunch which will keep them focused for the school day. For FAVE (see bell times) children need a piece of fruit that they can eat in five minutes. Children may have a water bottle in class - stored in a sensible location. The school does not allow parents to bring food to school to hand out to their child's classmates due to allergies.
Health & Accidents
Minor accidents are attended to by staff members. In emergencies the child will be taken to the nearest doctor and parents informed. In less severe cases of injury or sickness we make every attempt to contact the parent or guardian. Please ensure that at all times we are informed of any medical problems of which we should be aware and that we have current contact telephone numbers for home, business and emergency contacts. Current address is essential. If your child is unwell in the morning please do not send him/her to school as we do not have the personnel to attend sick children and a classroom or medical room is no substitute for one's own bedroom.
Head lice are a recurring problem in all schools and we strongly advise parents to carry out weekly inspections of children's hair to prevent the spread of this problem.
All five year-olds have their hearing and vision tested soon after starting school. Parents will be informed when these are to take place so that they have the option to be present.
The school library is the major resource centre of the school to which all pupils have access. Please assist us in the care of the library by seeing that books brought home are cared for and not damaged or lost. Please ensure that library books are returned on time. Books damaged or lost will be charged at the value of the replacement.
Lost property gathered in the school grounds is stored in the wheelie bin beside the Library. It is put on display at regular intervals, and discarded at the end the term. Names on clothing, shoes, lunch boxes etc help us to keep lost property to a minimum.
Messages for Children
We are pleased to help in an emergency. Children are permitted to use the telephone only if the matter is important. We do not allow children to use the school phone to ask to go and play with a friend. We encourage children and their parents to make prior play date arrangements.
Individual parent paid music tuition is provided by:
Class and individual photos are taken each year in June by Photo Life, and are then available for you to purchase online.
This programme is designed to meet the needs of children who have turned 6 years of age, and have been diagnosed through the Diagnostic Survey (Marie Clay), as having learning difficulties in Reading. Children selected for this programme attend an individualised half hour session daily until they are ready to be discontinued. Only 4 children are able to be catered for in Reading Recovery at any one time.
Reporting to Parents
We have a full programme of reporting to parents, consisting of:
Please familiarise your child with road safety. Be sure your child knows how to behave on the roads - particularly how to use the pedestrian crossings between home and school. Please encourage your child to check before walking onto a pedestrian crossing. If you bring or collect children by car, do not park outside the school entrances. Road patrols must have uninterrupted vision. The Mokoia Road car park has a drop off zone for children to safely exit from cars. There is no provision for parents to park on the school grounds for drop off or pick up of children.
From time to time, books belonging to the school find their way into homes. Apart from library books, which we encourage children to take home, all other books belonging to the school should be returned. Parents' help with this would be appreciated.
Children may scooter to school, but must wear a helmet. Children may scooter with their Walking School Bus, but must remain behind the WSB driver at all times.
The school is involved with interschool competition in many sports codes. Sports clubs support school teams and where possible encourage children to take part in Saturday competition. The school promotes a wide range of Kiwi Sports. Parent support is sought and appreciated to encourage full child involvement. School uniform is required when representing the school.
This is available at Paper Plus, in the Highbury Shopping Centre, at competitive prices. The office will inform you of the correct stationery pack at the beginning of the year or as your child starts school.
Supervision of Grounds
As supervision of grounds commences at 8.20am and the grounds are cleared at 3.15pm, the school cannot accept any responsibility beyond these times. There is no provision made for accommodating children in inclement weather before 8.20am. Whilst the majority of staff are at school well before these times, this time is utilised by them in preparing and marking work. Teachers are on duty at morning tea and lunch time. Please instruct your child to come to the office if you are unable to pick them up by the usual time.
Swimming is part of the school physical education programme. All children are required to take part in swimming lessons unless prevented on medical grounds. A note is required from parents. The school has a heated swimming pool for our junior children (Years 0-3). We use the local pool at Birkenhead Memorial Park for 10 intensive swimming sessions for our senior children (Years 4-6).
Visitors to School
Anyone wishing to visit a classroom must sign themselves in at the office and give the reason for their visit. Classroom teaching time is valuable and fewer interruptions will result in more quality time for the children.
Walking School Buses
We have four Walking School Buses, supported by Auckland Transport: Hinemoa Hikers, Mokoia Marchers, Mahara Magic and Zion Lions. Click the link for more information about our WALKING SCHOOL BUSES.
Our Year 6 children take part in the Waterwise programme at Birkenhead Wharf. Children learn to sail, kayak and learn water safety techniques. Children in year 4/5 will participate in a water safety programme.