Kea Crossing IMG1389 IMG9913 IMG7815 Wakefield School from Lookout 3 IMG4764 Picture from Waimea Weekly

Use fake information and use avatars instead of real pictures. If someone says something mean don’t answer back. Stand strong and walk with you head up and not down because that makes you look weak.  Luca

 Cyber Safe and Sound


Tena koe

The statement above is Luca’s takeaway from his lesson last Monday with John Parsons, our cyber safety expert.  If you’ve been talking about this with your child, or if you were one of the 35 or so people who attended John’s parent session, you will be impressed by the quality of his messages and the simple advice he has to help you keep your child - and yourself - safe on the internet.

Here’s what Maisie learned:

We shouldn’t tell people your name or where you live or phone number. He showed us a video where kids were playing a game and it had a genie. The genie told the kids not to share their information.

If you missed John’s message we’re posting a summary with this newsletter.  The big ideas I took this time from John are;

•take the same approach to protecting our children in the online world as we do in the real world

•be excellent models for our children in our own online behaviour: “what we model today will either come back tomorrow to embrace us or to bite us.”  One positive thing we can all do is be clear with children when they can access internet-based services.  For example, 13 is the entry age for Facebook.  Does your child have a Facebook account?

Last word to Hamish:

I was surprised how easy it is to look at someone to get information. Its rude and weird. I know it can be dangerous on internet games now. If someone talks to you and you don’t know them don’t talk back because you have the power.

It’s goodbye from me...

Well, not really, but I will be on sabbatical leave from school in term two.  I will spend part of the time studying schools in Canada and USA that are working in similar ways to us, promoting inquiry learning that is student-led and grounded in real-world ideas and contexts.  If you want to find out more, here’s an excellent recent story by renowned authors Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy that explains why schools need to (and are) changing to make education better suited to the world your child is growing into.

Just read the Foreword or, if you need a quick answer, here’s one statement that echoes what’s on my mind: 

The new (way of schooling) is based on a learning partnership between and among students and teachers that taps into the intrinsic motivation of students and teachers alike. These new developments are so attractive that they spread easily and can be furthered by leadership that responds to and enables further learning. Crucially, this new learning is heavily based in the “real world” of action and problem solving, and it is enabled and greatly accelerated by innovations in digital technology. These forces converge to produce deep learning tasks and outcomes.

I look forward to sharing some more ideas with you when I return in term three. 

While I am away Sue McLaren will be acting principal, with Kent Davis and Isobel Ford as the DPs.  They will do an excellent job of running Wakefield School.

And it’s goodbye from them…

Sadly, it really is goodbye to two staff: Leith Bruning, who leaves to become DP at Waimea Intermediate, and Ann Baker, who has left us to take up a position with the DHB.  We wish them both well, and I take a moment to acknowledge Ann’s fabulous service to the children of Wakefield School since 1998.  Ann is a highly skilled, friendly and compassionate teacher aide whose knowledge and craft will be missed by us all. 

What the community survey said

Finally, thank you for participating in our recent Board of Trustees community survey.  We had responses from 56 families and we’re looking closely at what you’ve said. We’ll report the results of the survey in a future newsletter from the Board.  We hope to draw the winners of the grocery vouchers at assembly this Friday.

Have a beaut week, Easter is just around the corner.


Peter Verstappen 







    Please click here for the link to their flyer



    Education Review Office

    The latest ERO report for Wakefield School can be found here:




    Policies and procedures for Wakefield School can be found here:

    Logon: wakefield

    Password: village







Here’s What We Mean by ‘Student-Led Learning’


Jordan, who is six years old, was recently appointed to our Student Council as a representative of Matai Kereru team.  Last week our Council meeting clashed with scooter training for Jordan.  He came to the office to tell me but I was out, so what did Jordan do?  He wrote me this letter:



To mistir vstn

Sore I cant go to the

Shooht cousool

Becose I

Got scooti

Chraning at



from Jordan.


I love this letter, for two reasons.  First, it is a beautiful expression of a child learning to write; look at how he has made sense of the words ‘student council’, you can hear Jordan picking out the sounds in his mind. 


Second, it is a beautiful expression of student-led learning.  You might ask, ‘what’s he learning?’ but consider this.  Here’s Jordan, 6, as a thinker: he knows he has an obligation to the Student Council, he sees he cannot fulfil it, he comes to tell me, that doesn’t work, he decides he needs to write to me so he creates this letter and brings it to the office.  This is even more impressive because Jordan doesn’t know much about the Student Council yet, he’s only attended one meeting, but he knows he has some sort of obligation to it.  Here’s Jordan as a communicator: if he can’t tell me in person, he’ll slave over this letter to get the message to me.  Here’s Jordan as a planner: he’s thinking ahead and balancing his commitments.  Okay, Jordan will have had some prompts from his teacher, but he’s taken up the challenge and look at what he’s achieved. 


I value the opportunities children have to be leaders at school through the Student Council, committees, monitors and other roles.  Their work in these roles contributes to the smooth running of the school, but as well as leading others they provide real occasions for children to lead themselves, to become masters of their own learning.  And that’s what a democratic curriculum looks like.


Have a good week,




Peter Verstappen 


School Calendar

The school calendar includes Board of Trustee meetings,  PTA meetings, term dates, school events and activities . . . more

  School Newsletters

For a link to the latest newsletter please click here . . 


... read more

School A-Z

Find the answers to your what/where/how questions about Wakefield School.....


read more......