School Information



It is important that parents are kept fully informed on school happenings.

School newsletters are sent home every Thursday and can also be received via email (see school office to arrange this). Syndicates send home 'Block Newsletters' each term with specific dates to mark in your calendar and the learning focus for the term. 

Reporting to parents occurs through "3 Way Conferences" at the beginning of the year and again mid year, and written reporting in December. At these conferences 'Learning Journals' are shared to show students achievement and learning goals. If you have questions or concerns regarding your child's learning, progress or behaviour you do not need to wait until the teacher conference. Make an appointment with your child's teacher as soon as possible.


School Donations

 Donations can be made as one payment at the beginning of the year or on a term by term basis.

 The school donations are:

  • $100.00 per child for the full school year. The cost may be spread throughout the year being $25.00 per term per child.

  • $80.00 per child for a family with 3 children or more.

  • able to be paid by automatic payment.


Social Expectations

Totara Park School encourages children to develop self-discipline and to accept responsibility for their own behaviour while considering the learning and social rights of others at all times. The school runs a programme based on 'Circle Time' which is a method of rewarding children for being on-task and performing to expectations.


This is part of a school-wide reward programme, where each week the pupils are taught core values identified by its community and are rewarded for displaying behaviours which reflect these. Citizenship awards are regularly presented at school assemblies for children who are found living that value.


Parental Involvement

Parent involvement in school life is recognised as essential to the success of Totara Park School. Totara Park School welcomes parents to view classroom programmes in action. Parents are encouraged to participate in our programmes assisting with writing, art and craft and reading in the Blocks. Help with school visits and sports coaching is also appreciated.


If you have any queries about your child's progress, please make an appointment to see your child's teacher. If your queries are about the school, please make an appointment to see the Principal.


Extension Programmes

We aim to challenge children in their learning, while making them feel successful in their achievements. To do this the individual needs of children are paramount in all of our programmes. Children with special abilities are identified, and have their needs met through targeted teaching, small group withdrawal, learning centre extension programmes or individual contract work within classrooms.



Special Needs

Totara Park School operates a Special Needs Register which closely monitors the learning and social needs of all students. We cater for children with a variety of special needs, by offering:

  • Individual Education Plans [IEPs]

  • Extension Activities

  • Buddy reading

  • Parent tutoring programmes

  • Teacher Aide support

  • Small group teaching


School Hours

Monday to Friday.

8.55—5 minute warning bell—children need to be organised for the day and ready for fitness.

9.00—Bell for the beginning of the day.

10.30—morning tea

10.45—warning bell—5 mins to go to the toilet, get a drink, come from the field etc

10.50—second bell rings—all children go to class.

12.30—lunch time

1.25—warning bell—5 mins to go to the toilet, get a drink, come from the field etc.

1.30—second bell rings. Children should be ready in class for the afternoon programme.

2.55—Kool Kidz bell.

3.00—Bell for the end of the day.


The school grounds are open from 8.15am and the classrooms from 8.30am.

Parents are asked to ensure their children have left the school grounds by 3.15pm


After School Care

Youth Town offer programmes for years 0-6 kids based at Totara Park School and a dedicated programme for years 6-8 young people based at Maidstone Intermediate.

For more information phone 04 527 9730 or email  


Another option for before and after school care is Kool Kids, who bus pupils to and from the school daily.

Phone 939 1661 for more details.


Each teaching block is equipped with several networked computers, so all children gain experience in word processing, problem solving, research and learning programmes using this technology from their first year at school. The school utilises the internet for student research and communication. The school also has mobile pods of laptop computers and net books. Each classroom has a small set of iPads to be utlised by children.  All classrooms are equipped with Interactive Whiteboards, linked to the internet and school network. 



The school has an excellent library, containing over 3500 books. The library has an internet/email linked computer with CD-rom drive for research work, plus fax/modem facilities. All children will be taught how to use these technologies to enhance their own learning. The library search computer can be accessed from the classrooms



The school offers a large playing field, tennis/netball court, artificial cricket wicket and cricket net, as well as extensive paved areas for games and physical education lessons. Our junior adventure playground is sited under the shade of large Totara trees and complements our attractive outdoor environment. The senior adventure playground (for yr 4+) is situated on the building side of the field near M Block. As the result of an Inquiry learning topic, each class has its own vegetable garden. These are located between S Block and the Hall. Each class is responsible for the maintenance of their garden. A school sandpit is available at lunchtimes for junior students. Children are out of the suns rays, with a sun cloth that covers the sandpit. 


Student Absence

Students require permission to leave the grounds during school hours for appointments or to go home for lunch. Students are to be signed out at the Office by a parent/caregiver when leaving school within school hours. Children must also be signed in if they are returning to school, or if they arrive late.

 Parents/Caregivers are asked to phone the school before 9:10 am or leave a message on the answer phone if their child is to be absent. This ensures the safety of every child attending Totara Park School.



Hearing and vision testing is carried out at school for all new entrants. First aid for injuries is carried out by qualified adults. Accidents are recorded in an accident register.



Children will receive a list of stationery requirements at the beginning of the school year or when they start school. These items can be purchased through the school in pre-packaged bags at very competitive prices. 


Totara Park School does not offer lunches to purchase. For healthy lunchbox ideas visit  



As a result of recommendations from the Police, we have adopted a school policy which recommends only Year 5 and 6 children to ride bicycles to school. If parents want to have their child cycle to school under this age then they are advised to teach their child a safe route to school.



Children are discouraged from bringing unnecessary money, toys or items of value to school. The school accepts no responsibility for the loss of money or other items.


Lost Property

Parents are requested to ensure that their children's clothing and property are named clearly. A lost property box is kept inside the road patrol shed for parents/children to check should any items be mislaid. if you cannot find the lost property box, the office can direct you to it. At the end of each term lost property is laid out for classes to inspect and 're-claim'. 


© 2019 Totara Park School

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