Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa, talofa lava, fakalofa lahi atu. malo e lelei, bula vinaka,
naumaste and greetings to all our Birdwood whanau.
Welcome back to Term 3. I would love to be welcoming you without any trace of COVID in
this letter but unfortunately it didn’t magically disappear over the holidays.
In previous years we have found there is an increase in winter illnesses in schools at the
start of Term 3 as students bring back infections after travelling and socialising during the
holidays. This year cases of COVID-19 are increasing in most parts of the country, and we
are also seeing high numbers of other winter illnesses.
For the start of Term 3, 2022, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health strongly
recommend that all schools and kura amend their mask policy for the first four weeks of term
to require mask wearing in all indoor settings. This has also been recommended by our BOT
and our Senior Management Team. We will review this in 3 weeks.
This recommendation does not include any situation where mask wearing might not be
practicable, such as while eating and drinking, playing certain musical instruments, indoor
sport, where it will have a significant impact on teaching and learning (for example, students
with particular learning needs), certain activities such as singing or drama performance on
stage, and PE. In these situations, particular attention should be paid to ensuring there is
good ventilation during the activity, and physical distancing where practicable.
Wearing masks can reduce new cases of the virus by as much as 53%. It works alongside
other measures including vaccination, good ventilation, staying home when sick, and hand
washing and other hygiene measures, to protect our students and staff.
Keep up healthy habits – Unite Against COVID-19
We know that that some of our tamariki/ākonga are exempt from wearing a mask. If they
have an exemption card or a letter from their health provider, or we have agreed that mask
wearing is not practicable for them, we will support them to not wear a mask.
Apply for a face mask exemption pass – Unite Against COVID-19
Please make sure that tamariki/ākonga come to school ready to wear masks. Students can
bring masks from home however there will always be a supply of masks for students at our
Thank you for your support in protecting our school community.
Noho ora mai