Welcome To Papakowhai School


We welcome you and your family to Papakowhai School.

We are committed to making your child’s transition to school as smooth as possible. We hope the following information will help you in this process.

How to enrol

  • Check whether you are in the Papakowhai School home zone

         Click on this link to check http://www.papakowhai.school.nz/enrolment 

  • Pre-enrol your child well before their fifth birthday by contacting the school office Ph. 233 8321 or email: office@papakowhai.school.nz
  • You will then receive an enrolment pack containing school information and be put on our pre-enrolment list.
  • The enrolment process requires the child’s birth certificate to be sighted and copied. We are also required to sight and copy vaccination certificates and proof of address.
  • The enrolment process should be completed at least one month prior to your child starting school.
  • One month prior to your child starting school you will be advised who will be your child’s teacher.

Information Evenings:

  • The school holds a New Entrant information evening once a term.

          An invitation will be sent to you if you are on our pre-enrolment list.


School Visits:

  • To help your child with their transition to school, one or two classroom visits are recommended.
  • These visits are on a Thursday between 10-11.
    • You can also stay for morning tea 11-11.25 (bring some morning tea with you). Parents/Caregivers are required to stay on site. If possible we ask that you do not bring pre-schoolers with you.
    • Visits can be booked by going to www.schoolinterviews.co.nz

                The log-in code is 2ZQWK.  Further instructions can be found on page 10.

It is also a good idea to also visit the school outside school hours.

The playground can be a bit daunting for New Entrants.

Introduction to school:

Starting school should be an exciting experience for 5 year olds.

We recognise that for many children major adjustments are required and we try to make the transition to school as smooth as possible.

Some of the changes your child will face are:

  • Mixing with a larger group of children, much bigger and older than themselves.
  • Sharing the teacher's time with the other children.
  • Learning to find their way around a new larger environment.
  • Getting used to set times for working, eating and playing.

 Readiness Skills






is able to sit and listen to a story

can hold a pencil correctly

can speak clearly

knows basic shapes and colours

can be responsible for own belongings

knows we read from front to back and left to right of the page

can recognise and write their own name using lower case letters

can recount a personal experience

can use positional words correctly e.g. above, below, under, over front, back

can manage the toilet unassisted

knows the names and sounds of some alphabet letters

can draw pictures about their experiences

can initiate some conversation e.g. ‘good  morning’

can count to 10 and beyond

can dress/undress independently including shoes – (velcro is great)

can retell a story using the pictures


can listen and respond to instructions

can count a group of objects

can use scissors



is able to answer a question with a relevant sentence

can recognize numbers to 10 and beyond

can share and take turns



is able to ask for help when needed


Is willing to ‘have a go’





can happily separate from family

 Please note: these are only guidelines  - not requirements.



Please help us by checking at home that your child is holding their pencil correctly and forming the letters correctly. A guide sheet is included.

 Pencil Grip Development…..

The correct method of holding a pen or pencil: 

For more information click on the link below


Letter Formation – lower case


Letter Formation – Capitals


The First Day as a New Entrant:

The most important thing you can do for your child is to be positive about school; that way your child will feel more relaxed about starting school.

  • Children settle better in the morning if they arrive at school early enough to get themselves ‘organised’ before the first bell goes for the school day to begin at 8.55.
  • Consistency helps children adjust to new situations by increasing their sense of security. Try to develop a morning routine that will help your child get ready on time and allow the journey from home to school to be stress free and unhurried. Our classrooms are open from 8.30 – please arrive before the bell goes at 8.55 to allow your child to hang up their bag and get settled in. Children learn best when they arrive at school in a calm state and feel part of everything that is happening, right from the morning register.
  • If your child appears a little reluctant for you to leave in the morning, rather than prolong the inevitable, it really is best to leave your child in the care of the class teacher – your child will then settle more quickly into school routines.

Use the bell as a cue to leave.  We will phone you if there is a problem with your child settling.


Bell times:


Start of the day: 8.55 – 11.00


Morning Tea: 11.00 – 11.25


Middle session: 11.25 – 1.00


Lunch: 1.00 – 2.00


Afternoon session: 2.00 – 3.00


Encourage / support independence at the beginning of the day:     

Children are required to take their own belongings out of their bags and hang up their bags. Children get their own hook to hang their belongings and bag on. They need to unpack their reading folders and put brain food and water bottle in the appropriate box in the classroom. Children also put their name up on the board.


Encourage / support independence at the end of the day:

Teachers will assist children to gather up their         belongings and pack their bags.         Please let the children do this job as we try to encourage independence and a level of responsibility to look after their own belongings.  

Encourage / support independence at home:  

Encourage your child to pack their own bags at home before school.

This helps them remember what is in their bags and helps them be more accountable for their belongings.

There will also be notices and newsletters that come home, so please check book bags and school bags on a daily basis.

Home Learning 

Every child will have some reading ‘homework’ each night. This includes poems, library books, instructional readers, and books the children have chosen themselves.

We ask that Parents / Caregivers listen to their child read daily and share experiences with them. This should be a positive experience lasting about 15 minutes.

When reading with your child at home take time to talk about the book first………..

  • Discuss the pictures – pictures provide important clues for beginning readers so please don’t cover them up.
  • Point to the words.

Early reading books are very repetitive and your child may seem to have memorized the text, but memory plays a very important part in early reading. It helps children to recognize a number of frequently used words by sight.

  • One of the first strategies a child learns is to get their mouth ready for the initial letter of a word so knowing letter names and sounds is very important.

If your child gets stuck on a word pause and wait to see if they can work it out – ask questions like….”Does it make sense?” “What does it start with?”

  • Your child will be excited to share their reading with you however if it is a struggle for them please just read to them or read the story together.


                      “At home” reading is about practice, without stress.



Other ways you can help with reading at home:


  • Spend time with your child reading books.
  • Visit the library.
  • Sing songs and nursery rhymes.
  • Let your child see you enjoying reading.
  • Share favourite books.
  • Words are everywhere – when you go shopping or on outings, read signs and labels together.
  • Play word games like ‘I spy” as this helps with alphabet knowledge.
  • Show enthusiasm to have your child read their books from school every day.
  • Encourage writing, have writing materials available to your child.
  • Have magnetic letters on the fridge for your child to make words.

Our aim is to create in children a love of books, and to lead them towards being confident and independent readers.

Your support is vital at this stage.


Ways you can help with Maths at home:


  • Talk about time, colours, shapes.
  • Find numbers around the house / neighbourhood (clocks, letterboxes).
  • Make up number stories using objects e.g. we have 4 forks and 2 knives, how many do we have altogether?
  • Use language of position under / over, before / after.
  • Counting with your child backwards and forwards.
  • Play board games like snakes and ladders.
  • Measure things. Cooking with your child provides an opportunity for weighing and measuring.


Remember to make activities fun, varied and brief.



What your child needs to start School
  • A BIG school bag.


  • It is important that you name all clothing items.


  • Shoes need to be practical for their daily exercise routines.
    • Velcro instead of laces is perfect for young children.


•    Coat for cold days.


  • Spare Clothes.
    • Accidents can happen from time to time so it is a good idea to pack some spare clothes.
    • Stationery. A stationery pack is available from the school office or can be paid for via internet banking. The stationery will then be given to the class teacher, ready for Day 1.


  • A pencil case with felt pens.


  • A wet weather activity bag – a plastic bag with 2 or 3 activities

e.g. colouring-in book, puzzle / game, book to read and a spare set of pens. Activities children can manage independently.


  • Sunhat - sunhats are compulsory in Term 1 and Term 4.


  • Brain Food, Morning Tea and Lunch -
    • When preparing lunchboxes please supply a small, healthy snack to be eaten at 10.00 known as “brain food”. Brain food is a small snack of fruit and/or vegetables only.
    • Your child will find it easier to manage their lunchbox if brain food, morning tea and lunch are wrapped separately. Make sure your child knows which food is for which break.
    • It is helpful if fruit is cut into quarters or the peel has been started, and sealed packets of food that have a snip for ease of opening.
    • All students are supervised for the first 10 minutes of lunchtime and we endeavour to ensure your child has eaten sufficient food. Please ensure that your child can open all of their containers independently.
    • We also encourage students to take home any leftover food.


  • Please provide a water bottle daily. These can be refilled at school throughout the day if necessary.


  • Each Friday we have Subway lunches available. Orders must be in by 3.00 Wednesday. Order forms / menus are available from the office.

Transition to school can be a big step for some children. It can be hard for them to concentrate, sit still, follow instructions, and make new friends.  Please keep this quote in mind and do not compare your child with siblings or other children in the class.

“All children learn but not in the same way and on the same day”.


Our aim is to provide a happy, secure environment, with each child actively involved in the learning process.

Please check out the following links for more information:



 Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to know more about the transition process.



Barbara Foster

New Entrant Teacher

Email: barbara@papakowhai.school.nz




Booking pre-school visits:

Making an appointment for a school visit will be done via a website.  It is a simple, accurate system.www.schoolinterviews.co.nz

The log-in code is 2ZQWK.

To book

  • · Enter your details, and the number of children you are booking for
  • · Enter the children’s name/s
  • · Select the dates you want. You can select one or two visits.

You will be sent an email with your booking details. You will control your bookings and can make them to suit you; though like any system the earlier you book the more likely you will get what you want.  Changing or cancelling your booking can be done at any time, however please call the Office on 233-8321 if you need to cancel on the day of the visit.

If you are not able to make a booking online, or have difficulties making a booking, please contact the School Office.



Enrolment Checklist

 Have you …….


Completed and returned the enrolment form


Shown your child’s birth certificate to the school and proof of address


Shown your child’s vaccination certificate to the school


Arranged / paid for stationery


Booked pre school visits


Does your child have a…

Large school bag


Named lunchbox


Named water bottle


Named sun hat (Required in Terms 1 & 4)


Pencil case with felt pens


Wet Weather Bag – activities such as a colouring-in book, puzzle / game and a spare set of crayons / felt pens










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