Return to School Plan

Kia ora koutou Birdwood Whanau

I hope this letter finds you and your whānau safe and well. We are delighted to be able to welcome more tamariki back onsite under Alert Level 3 from next Wednesday 17 November. We know learning kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) is the best option for children and young people. It’s important for them to connect with their friends and teachers and it helps their social, physical and emotional wellbeing. The details for how school will look (attendance, start and finish times) have been  developed with the school’s senior leadership team.

There are several Health & Safety Requirements that we need to adhere to to make this work. This includes:

  • Staff having had their first vaccination by next Monday 15th November
  • Limiting the number of students on site at any one time
  • Physically separating bubbles of students who are on site
  • Spacing students out within a bubble
  • Optimising ventilation in classrooms
  • Students from Year 4 upwards, and staff of these students, have to wear masks
  • Eating and drinking without a mask will need to occur outside
  • Teachers are required to monitor and enforce this mask wearing requirement as per the MOH/MOE guidelines. Any child that does not have a mask in Year 4 – 8 will be provided with one from school supplies
  • Regular hand sanitising
  • Staggering break times during the school day
  • Students will need to be dropped off at the front gate from 8.30am daily and go straight to their bubble class
  • On the first day staff will greet your child at both entrances and direct them to their bubble classroom.
  • Parents will not be able to come onto the school grounds to pick up children at the end of the day. Please meet your child at either entrance and remember to socially distance yourselves from other parents.
  • Parents are encouraged to wear face coverings during drop offs and pick ups. Any parent who has to come on site, must wear a face covering, and phone the school office beforehand.
  • The playground will remain open as the virus does not remain on surfaces for long. Hand sanitizer will be available for children to use once they leave this area.


 What you can do to help: ·

  •  Stay at home if you or your child is sick. If a child comes to school coughing or has a cold we will be sending them home.
  • Avoid catching up with other parents, children and whānau at the gates. We will be restricting access to the school site at pick up and drop off times.
  • We will ask all parents/whanau to drop their child off at the school gate and to not enter the school site. ·
  • Wear a face covering and maintain a two-metre distance from people not in your household bubble ·
  • Get advice from your doctor if you or your child has complex medical needs (and please get in touch so that we can support your child to return onsite, wherever possible) ·

 How we have  worked  with you to plan our arrangements: ·

We have tried to  contact every family to confirm whether you would like the option of returning your child back to school. The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education requires that we ‘reduce’ the number of children onsite through staggered/short days and we will need to have an accurate indication of attendance to ensure we can meet this requirement. We would encourage you to talk to your child about what our plans are and why this is happening. Please note, we’ll continue to support learning from home for those tamariki who will not be attending onsite via our Distance Learning google classroom / seesaw as per normal.

Plan to return to school:

  • Students will attend school 2 days a week from 9.30am – 3pm.
  • The school gates will be open at 8.45am until 9.30am. Gates will be locked after this time and you will need to text or call the office.
  • Each bubble will have a maximum of 20 students
  • Team A– Bubbles 1 – 6 will include tamariki who are mainly an only child, 1 year 8 bubble and 1 roopu  from TPoTR.
  • Team B Bubbles 6 – 11 will include all tamariki with 2 or more in their whanau and 1 roopu from TPoTR.
  • We have tried our very best to put children in either team A or team B according to the criteria above but there may be some crossovers. Please bear with us.
  • Teachers will contact you on Monday or Tuesday  to inform you of the days your children will be attending school. Please do not hesitate to contact your class teacher if you need further clarification
  • Please note that each group will return to school for 1 day next week and in week 9, then 2 days per week in weeks 6, 7 and 8.
  • Year 8 students will return for 1 extra day on their own on Wednesday 15th December. This will allow us the opportunity to send them off to high  school.
  • Students will be provided with online tasks through their class google sites or seesaw on the days they are not on site.
  • Tamariki may not have their normal class teacher for the next 4 weeks but they will be in the same bubble and have the same 2 teachers during this time. It is important to note school will be different for these last 4 weeks of the year where our focus will be on building relationships, connecting within friends and having some fun.


Please read the plan for when your days are at school. 


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 5

15th – 19th Nov

Online learning Teachers prepare for learners at school Bubble 1 – 6 Bubble 7 – 11  


Online Google Meets

On Fridays only 

 These will be in the form of Team Assemblies


Teachers will use this day to plan and mark work

Week 6

22nd-26th Nov

Bubble 1 – 6 Bubble 1 – 6 Bubble 7 – 11 Bubble 7 – 11
Week 7

29th – 3rd Dec

Bubble 1 – 6 Bubble 1 – 6 Bubble 7 – 11 Bubble 7 – 11
Week 8

6th – 10th Dec

Bubble 1 – 6 Bubble 1 – 6 Bubble 7- 11 Bubble 7 – 11
Week 9

13th – 15th Dec.

Bubble 1 – 6 Bubble 7 – 11 Year 8 only

School closes 12pm for 2021

Online meetings will be held on Fridays only in the form of a school assembly at 10.00am


If you have questions or concerns, you can contact your child’s classroom teacher via email for clarification.

Nga mihi


Jenny Bernard

Tumuaki / Principal