Kia ora Koutou, Haere Mai , Haere Mai  Heare mai

Powhiri mai nga kaitiaki me nga tamariki

Hello everyone, welcome! Welcome to all parents, caregivers, and children back to 2021!!

Fasten your seat belts as the journey of learning, of friendships, of playing, and having fun is about to begin!! I trust everyone has had a wonderful holiday, enjoyed the hot summer temperatures and the freedom we have all been granted to be with friends and family.

THIS WEEK is all about:

Routine Establishment – Getting to know each other, or reacquainting with each other and living together as a community. Please remember your child and all adults have been used to the freedom of being with family and friends, maybe not eating to a schedule or getting up too early. All these elements require adjustment and the teachers are here to help you re-establish a routine at school.  If you need help or support please let us know. Teams will be sending home a newsletter at the end of the week outlining details of routines that are being established in the classes.

Welcome to all new Families and Teachers – We look forward to getting to know you all. A Powhiri will be held on Friday 26th February starting at 9:15am as a part of the first full school assembly for the year back. Details will be in next week’s newsletter.

Welcome Ms Marion Robinson to the Kiwi (Year 3 & 4) team as one of the three teachers in this team.  Ms Robinson was teaching at Kingsway School prior to coming here and she has lots of skills and talents. Next week she will share a short Bio with you in the newsletter.

Leadership Year 8 – Over the years leadership opportunities have grown and developed at Wainui School and become very much a part of what we do here!! This Friday the leadership Interviews will be held.  Year 8 students have been preparing for this over the holidays and will apply for various leadership roles, from Student Councillor, House Leader, Communications, Sport, Enviro, and Bike Team. The Interviews consist of an application with a CV, then giving a 3-minute speech in front of all the Year 7 & 8’s and myself, Mr. Irvine, and a Board Member.  The decision is a joint decision between the adults and the students – 50% vote from all the students and 50% from the interview panel.

These students exemplify student voice and agency, are able to bring their passions, grow in confidence, and lead in a wide range of areas. Being able to communicate and self manage is a key goal in New Zealand education as well as in life!!  Students will bring their own passions, skills, and ideas as so many amazing traditions have been born out of our leadership programme, such as Wai factor, MasterChef, Pest trapping, the bike track, and the Matuaranga garden.


We are all disappointed we could not officially welcome everyone into the new classrooms and even start the year with classes in there.  As almost all of us know when you build from new the best-laid intentions are often held up.  There was a commitment by the Ministry of Education to get these done as they were in fact due to be completed in Term 4, 2020. The good news is we have been assured we will be all moving in at the end of this first week – fingers crossed. The even better news is the classrooms with breakout rooms are absolutely stunning, a wonderful asset for Wainui School students to learn in.

There was a blessing held of the buildings by kaumatua Keareama Nathan from Te Herenga O Orewa marae, with attendance at dawn from quite a number of Staff, Board of Trustees, and Whaea Leanne Wade.

An official opening will be held when we are all assured of moving and can plan this accordingly. We are very fortunate we have a hall and library that is housing the 3 kiwi team classes. Thank you to these teachers for being so flexible and setting up in these spaces.


Refurbishment of Totara, Kowhai, and Nikau classrooms began in the holidays – These are on track to finish on March 15th when the two classes of Year 5 & 6 in the tech block area will move back. Again the environments will be vastly improved for learning.

Field drainage –  The field has been cored to enable it to be used all year round and this will make a huge difference for us at Wainui being able to play in winter without the mud, unfortunately, it hasn’t been reseeded for grass to go back due to the dry weather.

Swimming – Thank you Mr. Irvine for enabling our pool to come back from its winter state!! Today as I write this the pool has no power, but we are ready to go as soon as this is remedied.

The staff all completed some professional development in the holidays around swimming. We are so very fortunate to have a pool as so many schools do not and new schools are all built without pools. You will hear about and observe a change in focus this year, moving even more into water skills for survival. New Zealand continues to have a high rate of drowning as I know you are all aware of.  The focus in our schools is more about being able to survive in water, put on a life jacket.  We will still have the competitive element. This year our seniors are all booked into swimming for a week at the Northern Arena as well, a Board Of Trustees decision to increase the swimming level throughout the school

Orewa Kahui Ako – Wainui School as many of you know has been a member of the Orewa Kahui Ako, together with Orewa College, Orewa School, Orewa Beach School, Silverdale Primary, and Dairy Flat school for the last 4 years. The leadership was for those years Ms. Kate Shevland, Principal of Orewa College. For the next two years, the leadership of the Kahui Ako is a shared leadership position with myself and  Mr. Cameron Lockie, Principal of Silverdale Primary. This will mean each week Mr. Jason Irvine will be stepping into the Principal role as I will be away from school a day a week, usually a Thursday.

Mrs. Sandy Blackburn continues this term as an Across School Leader, (there are 4) and Mrs. Leanne Stevenson and Mrs. Wendy Taylor continue as within school leaders. I will share more as the collaborative role develops and the goals of the Kahui Ako are developed.

Big BUZZ Festival

Sunday 14.02.21. The Big Buzz Festival is on track to bee a truly amazing FREE family day out at Matakana Primary School on Our NZ Honey & Bee Festival Trust with the full support of ApiNZ the official NZ Beekeepers association.
The festival is a first and Wainui School together with Matakana School, Ahuroa School, Leigh, and Pakiri Schools have all benefitted from the Big Buzz Educational programme in 2020 with Grass Esposti and have an opportunity to present our work at the festival.  Our programme will include some great children’s activities, free workshops, a range of really interesting talks, yummy local food trucks, live entertainment all day, a variety of honey producers, bee-related stallholders and environmental groups plus competitions, spot prizes, Michelin Chef Master class, honey tastings, free ice-cream and more much more.  The BEE team with Kyle Atkinson (parent expert and helper with our bees) and myself will have a stall at the festival selling juicies and honey from some of the pupils. If your student has been a member of the BEE team and would like to man the stall for part of the day please let me know.  See attached link for further information


Beach Day – Friday 19th February – Our well-loved tradition of Beach Day is having a revival!! See why below!!

NEWSFLASH – BEACH DAY IS BACK –  Over the holidays I have worked on a proposal called Operation BBBD (Bring Back Beach Day) and I am so excited to announce it has been successful! Thank you Mrs. Bray for allowing this event to return. Beach Day is where the whole school goes to the beach, to welcome us all back as a school, build house culture, get to know everyone in the school, and of course, for a fun day in the sun. We break into our house teams and do sports, make sandcastles, go for a swim, and have a picnic.  Please remember to wear your house colours!  This year’s Beach Day will be at Orewa Beach on the 19th of February from 10.30 am to 1.30 pm. There is no cost for this day and I have organised buses to transport everyone to and from the beach.

To help pay for the buses there will be a sausage sizzle, baking, juices, and drinks for sale on the day, all $2 each. If any family would like to sponsor or contribute towards the costs of the buses for the day please let Mrs. Bray know. We are lucky that NZ Surf Lifesaving’s paid lifeguards will be patrolling the beach this day, so make sure you swim between the flags. I also need the help of our parents and whanau as we need to have lots of extra sets of eyes to ensure everyone has a great day and to make sure that this event can continue in the future. If you are available to help supervise on the day, that would be awesome. Permission slips will be coming home shortly. It is also a fantastic way to get to know other parents and children – especially if you are new to the school and also to meet all of the teachers and see them in their shorts! So mark the day in your calendar and get your togs ready. See you at the beach! By Bella Browne Hale

Year  7 & 8 Takahe Team – Positive Puberty Programme – Tuesday 16th February via ZOOM –  An evening for parents, followed by the in class programme for the students on Thursday 18th February. More information will be coming from the Team Leader of the Takahe Team.


Back to School Night – Thursday 18th February – 5:00- 7:00 pm –  Come and meet the teacher for the year, meet us all, find out more about what happens at our wonderful school. More will be shared about the format next week, but this is our time to welcome you back, share our big goals as a Board of Trustees and start the year!!


There will be a number of questions from you, please do not hesitate to make a time to come and see us, say hello, and have a chat.  We are so looking forward to 2021 –  let’s hope COVID-free!!

COVID 19 Level  1 is still in place.  There is hand sanitiser in all classrooms and teachers are ensuring it is used regularly.  We encourage the drop off to be used still as this was so successful for most children to encourage self-management and independence.  If this is still hard for your child, you are most welcome to come up with your child. All teachers will bring their classes down for pick up in the afternoons.

Happy start to the year everyone!!

Ka kite ano,

Gillian Bray


  • Tuesday 9th February – First Day of Term 1 – 2021
  • Sunday 14th February – Bee Festival – Matakana
  • Tuesday 16th February – Positive Puberty Programme Evening for Adults via Zoom – Takahe Team Only
  • Thursday 18th February – Positive Puberty Programme – Takahe Team
  • Thursday 18th February – Back to School Night Come and meet the teachers – 5.00pm – 7.00pm
  • Friday 19th February – Beach Day – Orewa Beach – 10.30am – 1.30pm
  • Monday 22nd February – Takahe Team – Surfing at Orewa Beach
  • Thursday 25th February – Year 5 & 6 Interschool Swimming
  • Friday 26th February – Powhiri and Full School Assembly – 9.15am
  • Friday 12th March – Years 7 & 8 Kaipara Interschool Swimming
  • Wednesday 31st March and Thursday 1st April – Learning Conversations (more info to follow closer to the date)
  • Thursday 15th April – Bike a Thon
  • Friday 16th April – End of Term 1


Ezlunch – See attached for link to view menu for Term 1 – 2021.  Click here for the link.  

Thinking Caps – See attached flyer for information.  Starting back at Wainui on Thursday 18th February 2021.

Music Lessons – Maria O’Flaherty will be offering Keyboard, Piano, Singing and Guitar – Starting Wednesday 17th February and Ross Hutchinson will be offering Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass and Drums starting on Monday 15th February.


Rodney Basketball – My name is Matt, I run Rodney Basketball which is a Basketball Club giving opportunities for our kids and adults to play socially and competitively – locally, nationally and internationally.   I am wanting to announce that in Term one of 2021, February 6th – April 10th, we will be running two Junior Competitions out of Kaipara College for Year 5/6 and Year 7/8.  It is all done online and can be done by each individual player (parent) or as a whole team registration.  Games will be held on Saturday mornings, competition draws will be found on our website.
Uniforms are not necessary as we have bibs but are encouraged if you have them available. More information can be found at including the registration links. There is also a flyer/poster attached,