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Te Kura o Pipitea

An A – Z of useful information


If your child is going to be away from school please try to phone, or send an alert via our app by 9:30am.
When there is an unexplained absence and we have not heard by then, the school will phone or email to find the reason for the absence.
This will help ensure the welfare and safety of children.


In the event of your child being involved in a serious accident the school will take appropriate action and will contact you as soon as possible.


During the course of the year parents are asked to pay for a number of activities such as after school care, technology at Mt Cook for the seniors, swimming, etc.

It is important for the school’s cash flow that all accounts are paid promptly and in full.

After School Care

After and Before School Care is operated by Kelly Club and available each day from 3:00 to 6:00pm at a reasonable cost. 


Kelly Club is OSCAR accredited and eligible parents are able to get a subsidy through WINZ.


Phone: 021 322 502 (3:00pm – 6:00pm). 

An answer phone is in operation if you are unable to get through and the programme also has an email address –

Check out info here

Arrival Times

School begins at 9:00am, and is open from 8.15am. We can provide supervision from this time. School finishes at 3pm. Kelly Club is available for before and after school care.

Art Week

Each year the school holds an Art Week during which all children and staff are involved in small group art activities between 9:30 and 2:30 each day. This is a feature of the
school calendar and parents are invited to assist.

There is very good evidence indicating that strong Arts programmes reinforce the core curriculum areas of Literacy and Numeracy and this is one reason for holding this art week.

At the end of Art Week we invite parents in to see what has been produced.


We meet together weekly as a kura to celebrate our mokopuna. We alternate music assemblies with full celebration assemblies each week. It is important we illuminate our mokopuna for the wonderful people they are through their
achievements across the curriculum and adding to our kura culture. These are mokopuna oriented and directed.
Whanau are always welcome.


Teachers are constantly monitoring and assessing children’s progress both formally and informally and the results of these assessments are used to inform planning and further learning. We use a wide range of tools available to schools.

Learning progress and achievement is shared with whānau regularly. 


Written reports are shared at the end of Term 2 and Term 4. These are emailed to whānau. Reports cover all areas of the curriuculum with a focus on Literacy and Numeracy against the New Zealand Curriculum. Please talk to your whānau teacher for more information.


It is a requirement that all children attend a school from the age of 6. Once enrolled, children are expected to attend every day.

There will always be times when children are absent for extended periods for family
reasons but outside these times it is important for learning that children attend school regularly. 

If you are taking your child out of school for anything non-school related, you'll need to apply for leave by filling in an Extended Leave Application form at least one week prior. Click here to go to the form download.


Periodically we arrange barbecues as social events for the school. Parents are invited to get involved in the organisation and running of these. They are timed to allow parents to come along after work and are an opportunity for the school community to meet informally.


While we do not have a long list of school rules we expect children to maintain acceptable standards of behaviour and teachers display lists of what is expected. In essence our expectations are built around the idea of
respect:- respect for others, respect for the environment and respect for self.
We hope we can count on the support of parents to help ensure that these expectations are met.


The school takes a pro-active approach to what can be a real problem in schools, and, by giving pupils strategies and skills to deal with difficulties we have been able to ensure that this has not become a major issue for our children. 
If children feel they have a problem they are encouraged to talk with a teacher or with the principal.


Pupils in Junior classes will often bring home school bookbags containing reading material. Please make sure that the reading is heard and that the books and bags are returned to school.

Board of Trustees

The Board meets regularly and meeting dates and times of meetings will be published in the school newsletter as well as being on the school website. Parents are welcome to come to meetings, which are held in the staffroom.
Minutes are held in the office and displayed Here.

Book Club

Children have the opportunity to buy books through Scholastic Book Clubs about 4 times a year and will bring home brochures and order forms.


Thorndon School has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. From Year 5, students are able to bring their own digital device to school once they have completed and signed the required agreement in conjunction with their
parent. This is a voluntary scheme.
  Find more information HERE.


Senior children have the opportunity to participate in an EOTC cycle which gives them the chance to experience a camp at least once in their time at Thorndon.
We strongly urge parents to support these activities which are always a highlight in a
mokopunas time at school.

Cell Phone

We will be reviewing our cellphone and phone-capable watches procedure in 2023. For now, all phones and phone-capable watches are handed into the teacher before school. Students collect them at the end of the day. The school will take all reasonable care but it needs to be clear that children bring these to school at their own risk. If whānau need to communicate with their child during the school day, they should do so through the school office (04) 472-4267.

Students are not permitted to call their whānau on their phones during the school day.


The school has a very strong chess club and we enjoy considerable success in local and regional tournaments.

In 2009, 2017, 2018 and 2022 our senior team represented Wellington in the National Championships and in 2010 and 2018, our junior team did the same. Each year the school holds a chess tournament and numbers participating grow year by year.


The secondary schools in Wellington send out prospectuses and enrolment forms in the middle of the year.
If you have a child in Year 8 it is important to make sure that he or she is enrolled early.

Please note that entry to a zoned school is dependent on where you live, not on the location of this school.


We communicate with parents in a number of ways. The principal’s newsletter is available on odd weeks during the school term.
Hapū (Tūī, Kerererū, Kākāpō, Kea) newsletters are available on even weeks and week 1 during the school term. Teachers use group and individual emails to keep in touch with parents and the office will from time to time send out an email notice. In 2016 a Thorndon School App was created. The app is free and accessible from the app stores. Type in “thorndon school” and it should come up. More information is under “T”.


Digital devices play a key role in teaching and learning from Year 5 onwards. At this level the school has a ratio of about 1 device to every two children.
The computers are used to enhance and support learning in all areas of the curriculum.
The school is networked and all classrooms have access to the internet through a high speed fibre optic link.


From Year 5, students are able to bring their own devices to school. (See BYOD.)


Click Here to View Thorndon School's Covid-19 Procedures.


This information is updated regularly to respond to developments and align with the latest requirements and advice from the Ministry of Education in regards to Covid-19.


From time to time staff will organise and present evenings or lunchtime sessions on aspects of the local and national curriculum, especially when new material is introduced.
By attending these sessions you can become better informed about the school curriculum.


Dental Clinic

The Dental Service bases two therapists at Thorndon for a period each year and children from the school are examined at this time and referred for treatment at another clinic. At other times parents can contact the dental service on 0800 825 583.


The school asks every parent for a donation each year.
This is an extremely important part of the school’s income and, while it is classed as a voluntary donation, we rely heavily on it.
We are more than happy to have these paid in

Earthquake / Emergencies

In the event of a major earthquake or other civil emergency, children will be held at school until collected by a parent or other adult authorised to collect them or until other instructions have been given by Civil Defence authorities. 

As part of our procedures for such an event, we ask that you send in a list of up to four adults authorised to collect your child.
Children are given instruction at school on what to do in the event of an earthquake or fire and these procedures are practised from time to time.


Each teacher has a school email address and parents may contact teachers using these. We will do our best to make sure that any queries are responded to within 48 hours.
It is extremely useful to the school if we have parent’s email addresses and we encourage you to include these with your contact details. Teachers send out newsletters and class notes by email and we also email a link to the
fortnightly newsletter.


The school is committed to the practice of Education Outside the Classroom in its broadest sense. Because of our location we regard the city itself as one of our major resources and will make frequent use of opportunities to visit the central city area.
Over the course of their time here children can generally expect to go on a camp in the senior school, do an overnight stay away from the school in Years 5 and 6 and, in Years 3 and 4 experience an overnight Noho Marae in the hall. Circumstances change each year however and there is no commitment to an annual school

Enrolment Scheme

Excessive demand for places required the school to put Scheme an enrolment scheme in place in 2002. This allows the board of trustees to manage the school roll to prevent
Children who live within the home zone have an automatic right to attend the school regardless of the roll. Details of the scheme are held in the office and are also found HERE.


The school has been involved in the EnviroSchools programme since 2007 and has achieved the full bronze award. In 2015 we achieved the silver award. We are now working towards the gold award.

Entertainment book

As part of our fundraising programme we sell the Book Entertainment Book each year and per head, we are one of the most successful selling groups in Wellington.
Information on this will come through the newsletter.


The school’s major fund raising event is the Thorndon Fair, which is held on the first Sunday in December.

Tinakori Road is closed off and the school, in addition to having stalls of its own, lets out stall space to more than 300 other stall holders, some of whom come from as far away as Auckland and Christchurch.
There is a huge amount of work involved in the organisation of the event and there is an expectation that every parent will commit some time to the fair either in the lead up or on the day itself.

The Fair Committee are always interested in hearing from parents who would like to contribute.  Please email the Fair Chairperson, Andrea Jones:

To read more about the fair and contact the commitee - click HERE


While the fair is our major fundraising activity we do have a small programme of other fundraising activities and you will be informed of these through the school newsletter.

We are always keen to have parents involved in the organisation and running of these activities.

Goal Setting

Following the completion of the formal testing we carry out early in Term 1, we hold Goal Setting meetings.
These meetings with child, parents and teacher will be to establish learning goals for the first half of the year.
These goals will be reported on and discussed at the Three Way Conferences held later in the year. We hope to have all parents come to these meetings.


As part of trying to make the school ‘sunsafe’ we require children to bring hats to school and to wear them whenever they are outside between 9:00am and 3:00pm.

We face a battle each year, particularly with senior pupils, to ensure that they are wearing hats and that the hats will achieve what they are meant to achieve – caps don’t!

You can help by making sure that children bring suitable brimmed hats. Children not wearing a sun hat will have to stay inside during morning interval and lunch times.

Healthy Eating

The school tries to encourage healthy eating habits and we ask parents to reinforce what we are trying to do by providing healthy lunches.

Holiday Care

During the four main holiday breaks, a holiday
may be run at the school. Notice is given through the school newsletter.


Research evidence indicates very strongly that formal homework is of little value to primary school children and may even have a negative effect.


Our policy is to set very little homework beyond reading, spelling – to a particular level - and the learning of basic maths facts.
We take the view that it is of at least as much value for parents to help their children by encouraging reading for pleasure and information, by listening to their children talk
about matters of interest, by providing them with the opportunity to help at home, and by encouraging them in the pursuit of worthwhile interests.


As a matter of interest there is research which indicates that one of the strongest indicators of later academic success or achievement is
families sitting down at the table to eat together.


School begins at 9:00am and finishes at 3:00pm.
Morning tea is from 10:30am until 10:50am and the lunch hour begins at 12:30pm and finishes at 1:30pm.


The school does not have the resources or the facilities to care for children who are unwell. When children become unwell at school parents will be phoned and asked to collect them.
Please do not send children back to school before they are well enough to take a full part in the classroom programme.


An IEP is an Individual Education Plan and all special needs children have IEPs which are developed by parents, teachers and specialists.


Lateness is sometimes unavoidable, especially for those families who travel a long way to school but we ask that everyone makes a real effort to get their children to school on time. Every time a child arrives in the room late they disrupt not only their own learning but that of the rest of the class.


The school has an arrangement with outside providers to supply lunches. Monday to Friday lunches are able to be ordered from Wholly Bagels. Ezlunch/O’sushi is available on Wednesdays (this must be ordered and paid
for online by Tuesday night). On Fridays children can order from Subway (this must be ordered and paid for online before 9.00 am Friday).

Wholly Bagel menus and price lists are available from the office. Children bring their order to school in a sealed envelope which has the correct money inside and has the child’s name, room number and order on the outside. No
change will be given.

Orders are to be taken to the office when children arrive at school and must be in by 9:15am.

More information HERE

Children are generally not permitted to leave the school grounds to buy their lunches.


The school has a well stocked and well equipped library which relies heavily on parent help and donations.
The senior classes make use of the Wellington Public Library on a monthly basis.
We also operate a holiday borrowing programme which allows parents to come in before the holidays and issue a selection of books for their child to read during the

Lost property

Each year the school collects an astonishing amount of lost property. This is kept in the foyer in the hall. From time to time items are displayed so that children can identify their property and reclaim it. Once a term unclaimed clothing is collected and taken to one of the charitable organisations.

Parents can help reduce the problem by making certain that clothing is named.


Year 7 and 8 pupils travel to Mt Cook School for technicraft once each week.


This programme involves the children in various aspects of technology education – Cooking, sewing, woodwork, metalwork (in the old language) and film-making.


A charge is made to cover some of the costs of this programme.


Please try to avoid sending medicines to school for teachers to administer. It is possible for doctors to prescribe medicines which do not need to be taken during school hours.
Some children need to keep inhalers or other emergency medication at school and these should be taken to the office.


We discourage children from bringing money to school unless it is absolutely necessary.
When they do bring money they should give it to their teacher or hand it in to the office for safe keeping.


The school has netball teams which play on Saturday mornings at Newlands Intermediate and Newlands College during the winter terms.

Parent help is essential to allow us to continue this.


A newsletter is emailed home every fortnight on a Friday. This will keep you up to date with school activities as well as community events.


We will try not to send notices home on other days though this is sometimes unavoidable.
Parents are welcome to send in items and notices for the newsletter.

We encourage parents to give us their e-mail addresses so that we can send out a link to the newsletter which is also posted HERE.

New Children

Parents intending to enrol their 5 year olds at Thorndon are invited to bring them in on Tuesday mornings from 9:00 to 10:30 for the three weeks prior to enrolment.

This can help ease the transition for the child. Parents are expected to stay with their child during this time.

Office Hours

The office is staffed between 8:30am and 4:00pm each day.


If the phone is not answered please leave a message on the answerphone, and we will get back to you.


Parking is at a premium in the inner city and this can cause issues for drop off and pick up of students.


The Wellington City Council has provided us with a drop off zone at the eastern end of Hobson Crescent.


This is a school zone between the hours of 8.00 am – 9.00 am and 2.45 pm – 4.00 pm, with a 10 minute parking limit. This zone also services Pipitea Childcare Centre. If students are dropped off here they can then walk down the driveway between Pipitea Childcare Centre and the Wellington Girls’ Pavilion.

There are some areas that should be avoided. Turnbull Street is very narrow and does not have a turning circle at the end. It is best that it be avoided. The Thorndon Pool carpark on Murphy Street is a possible drop off site but care must be taken by students crossing the carpark and
drivers need to take care not to block the entrance.

Parents must not drop off inside or across the entrance to our staff carpark on Hobson Crescent. Teachers and staff need to be able to access this space at all times.

Walking, scooting or biking to school have many benefits. If you are driving onto town you might want to consider parking away from the school so you can walk part of the way with your children. As students get older, they should be able to walk themselves from a reasonable distance away from the school.

Phys Ed

Children are involved in regular PE and we ask your assistance in making sure that they have suitable clothing and footwear.

Parent Support

The school welcomes parents, and if you would like to spend some time helping in your child’s room, helping with reading programmes, preparation of materials or in the library, please let your classroom teacher know.


During the year teachers report to parents in a number of ways, often informally. You are welcome to phone at any time to discuss your child’s progress. Please be aware that teachers are busy and have many commitments outside classroom hours.

Each child will have a goal setting meeting in Term 1.

After our formal testing has been done early in Term 3 there will be a three way student led conference. Written reports are provided on students’ individual reporting websites twice a year, once at the end of Term 2 and again at the end of Term 4.


A more detailed explanation of the reporting system is available from classroom teachers.

RT / Lit

The school has a Resource Teacher of Literacy attached to the staff. This teacher provides assistance in the area of literacy learning to children and schools in the northern suburbs.


Referrals to the services come from schools within that area. The clinic is located at 27 Hobson Crescent.


Scooters have become very popular over recent years, and, while we do not object to children riding them to or from school, if parents are agreeable, we do not allow them to be used in the school grounds because of the lack of space.

There is a rack on the wall of the hall for children to hang their scooters during the school day.

Skateboards / Rollerblades

We ask that children do not use skateboards or rollerblades at school as space is at a premium and the risk of an accident is too great.


We have a number of teams playing sport outside school hours. Netball teams play every Saturday during Terms 2 and 3 and Waterpolo teams compete at Kilbirnie Pool on Monday evenings during Terms 1 and 4.


While teachers are involved these teams are very much dependent on the involvement of parents as coaches and managers.

Staff Meetings

The whole staff is involved in staff meetings on Monday afternoons, in team planning meetings on Tuesday afternoons, and admin meetings on Thursday mornings.
On Thursdays teachers may be attending IEP meetings for special needs children. Please keep this in mind when phoning or trying to make appointments. It is not always easy for teachers to free themselves.


The school does not carry a stock of stationery and, apart from junior classes (New Entrant – Year 2), children will need to buy their stationery outside the school.


New Entrant, Year 1 and 2 children are asked to pay $10:00 per term and this will cover all their stationery needs. Parents will be invoiced for this.


For more info click HERE


Please make sure that your child does not bring sweets, gum, fizzy or energy drinks to school.


During the summer, swimming is a major part of our PE programme.


Our Year 5-8 students swim at Thorndon Pool.


Our New Entrants-Year 4 are transported, via bus, to the Kilbirnie Aquatic Centre where they have instructors teaching them.

All children are expected to take part unless there is a medical reason for not doing so.

There is a charge for using the pools and you will be invoiced for this.


Please remember if you are phoning the school, that teachers are not generally available to take calls during class time.


Pupils are not encouraged to use the phone unless it is for school or class business. The school is classified as a business so all outgoing calls are charged for.

Thorndon School App

Our App has many functions that can help improve communication between home and school. These include:
- easy access to inform the school of absences
- links to contacts around the school
- term dates
- calendar
- newsletters
- helpful links
- alerts/reminders about things happening at Thorndon School.

The App is free and accessible from app stores. Just type in “thorndon school” in your app store and it should come up.

If not you can also open it via THIS LINK


This will take you directly to the Thorndon School App within your app store (on any device).

While this App has a wide range of applications, we are particularly mindful of its potential for communication during emergencies, even if it is to just send out a
reassuring message to let you know that we are all okay.

Three way conferences

Over the 1st and 3rd terms parents are invited to pupil Conferences directed three way conferences involving the pupil, the teacher and the parents.


At these conferences children will talk about their learning, showing examples and presenting evidence, and examining how well they have done in terms of meeting the goals set in Term 1.


At these meetings new goals will be set for the remainder of the year. Parent participation is vital if these meetings are to be worthwhile.


The school cannot guarantee the security of valuable items children may bring to school. Please make sure that they do not bring along expensive toys or jewellery.


Visitors to the school should report to the office as the first point of contact.

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