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

Nga mihi ki a koe, greetings, 


After last week’s stormy weather we look forward to a more settled time - in all respects - and offer our support and encouragement to all who have been affected by the storm, especially families in Golden Bay and Riwaka/Brooklyn. 


Your school donation - what’s it for? 

Thanks to the parent who raised this question recently.  The donation is not targeted to any specific purpose, it is absorbed into our operational funding so it contributes generally to the running of the school.  For your interest, our biggest costs are wages for support staff (teacher salaries are centrally funded), energy, property maintenance and depreciation (replacing equipment, computers, furniture, books etc).  If all families make the donation it accounts for about 1.5% of our operational funding for the year, which seems like a small amount but it allows us to buy some important extras over and above our normal commitments.  It may mean hiring an extra teacher aide, purchasing some new technology or restocking reading books.  You can make your donation at the school office (Eftpos available) or online to Wakefield School: 03-0751-0225833-000. 


Using the school crossing on Edward Street 

If you and your child need to cross Edward Street before or after school please use the patrolled crossing point outside the main gate.  It is tempting to dash across from your parked car, or to cross at the bus bay if you are approaching from the Pitfure Road end of school, but this sets a dangerous example for our children during these peak traffic times.  Local police will be monitoring safe crossing over the next few weeks.  Thanks for your cooperation.  


Big ups for car parking management 

The use of the drop off zone has been really good this year.  Thank you!  Remind your child not to walk through the car park immediately before and after school unless accompanying you to your parked car. 


Removal of National Standards - what does this mean? 

You are probably aware that the government has removed National Standards.  This means we will no longer use National Standards in our school reports or elsewhere.  So, how will we measure your child’s progress and achievement?  We continue to have a range of robust tools for this purpose, including: national curriculum levels, Literacy Learning Progressions, Mathematics numeracy levels and others.  We’re confident you will continue to receive excellent information about your child, but we’re using the removal of National Standards as an opportunity to talk with you about school reporting.  Shortly, you will be invited to give us feedback on some important questions, like: how clear and useful is the school report? What information would you like to see added or removed from the report? How useful are the learning conferences?  Is the timing of these right?  Think about these things and watch out for the survey, or flick me a response now if you wish. 


New website on its way 

Our old website has done its dash.  Watch out for our new website coming your way very soon; with new information, more ways to interact, online forms and more. 


Have a beaut week 


Peter Verstappen 



Parent/Caregiver Science Survey

Complete this survey and go into the draw to win one of the four smartphone microscope converters we have to give away. (Sorry not the phone as well!)

Please click the following link to access the survey:


Please click here to be taken to Waimea Community of Learning website





    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