Newsletter Monday 11th December, 2017

Kia Koutou

Our family picnic at Motunau beach today.

Our family picnic at Motunau beach today.

It has been a jammed packed 6 months since I started at Omihi School and I have loved every minute of it.  We have grown as a school and it is exciting to say that we are now at 31 students, and am still showing families through this week.  I would like to welcome Ace, Leni and Indi to our senior class for next year.

A big thank you to our amazing staff for all of their hard work and support.  It is Jaz and Jo's final week and we wish them luck for all of the exciting things coming their way next year.  It is also our Year 8's final week at primary school.  Next year Evie, Zoe and Allie will be heading into Christchurch for high school.  They are three truly wonderful, caring and respectful young ladies and we look forward to hearing about their successes at high school.  For the Lowrys and Wiltshires this is the end of an era as Allie and Zoe are the last of their children at Omihi.  Even though I have only been here for 6 months, I can see what a massive contribution they have had to our school.  Thank you for your dedication, love and support.

Next year we welcome Kathy Menzies to our team, who will be our ORs teacher for 0.2 and a learning support teacher for 0.2.  Jane Croft will also be working 0.3 as a learning support and specialist art teacher.  Ros Tavita will be coming on in term 2 as a 0.2 to teach music.  Our children are going to be very lucky to have so many wonderful teachers around.

Thank you for all of our community support over the last 6 months.  I have enjoyed getting to know you all and am very excited about what lies ahead in 2018.  George and I are heading off for a road trip around the North Island.  We'll be looking for some beautiful spots to run, bike, kayak and paddle board!  I'm looking forward to having a complete break before we start again for 2018.  Have a lovely Christmas and we look forward to seeing you all next year.

Ngā mihi
Maree Lucas, Principal        
P: 03 314 5857  E:


School Notices

Thank you for all of your support, we raised $4387!  As we no longer need to fund a teacher, this will purchase two new basketball/netball hoops for our playground.

Fundraiser 2018
We are holding a run/walk/bike race on Sunday 25th March, 2018.  It will start at the school, go onto the Crofts farm and through the forestry.  We would love your support with this.  Entries are open now on our website if you would like to enter or if you would like to be a volunteer or donate any spot prizes, please let me know.

Start date 2018
Our first day back is Wednesday 31st January.

Invoices for 2017
If you have an outstanding invoice for 2017, please can you make sure it is cleared by the end of our school year.  If there are any problems with this, please feel free to contact me and discuss.

Prize giving
We welcome all of our community to our prize giving on Thursday at 11.30am.  This is the last day of school for the year.



Maree Lucas
Newsletter Monday 27th November, 2017

Kia ora Koutou

Thank you to those parents who were able to come along to listen to John Parsons. If you weren't able to make it, we have purchased the book and are very happy to lend it out. John has some very strong messages about keeping children safe online.

I have listened to John a number of times, and I pick up new things every time. We have very active social media pages for Omihi and I make sure I follow John’s advice on these. I never put children’s last names with their photos. I seek permission from parents, plus I regularly talk to the children about what I'm putting on social media. One of the things John talks about is showing children the photos before they go online and making sure they are ok with them. This shows them that their identity has value, they own it and have power, control and influence over what is done with it.  Here are a few of his messages:

  • Empower our children to live in the online world safely and ethically

  • Educate our children to understand the value of self, to respect and protect family and friends and to broadcast decency and positive values across the internet

  • Encourage children to remember your family values when they are online.

  • Teach children to be ‘powerful and connected’ online. Share photos online that show them with family, friends, their school. Not photos that show they are vulnerable.

  • Help your children create a positive online profile. This is where future employees will be looking when they apply for jobs. Being a part of school websites, Facebook, etc is a great way to do this.

  • If your child has a social media account, ensure it is private and you are a part of it. They shouldn't have more friends online than they know in real life.

  • Ask your child what they have been doing online. Take an interest. Find out about the online games, social media if you don't know much about them.  Keep an open line of communication with them and don’t overreact if you see something that alarms you.  Make sure the games are appropriate.  There are a number of R18 games that young children are playing.

  • Teach your child never to give out private information online - just like you would in the real world.

  • Keep devices out of the bedroom

Reading the book there are so many more helpful things I could write here.  Get in touch.  Borrow the book and read it for yourself.  We are off to Queenstown for our senior camp this week.  We are looking forward to all of the amazing experiences Miss Lotz has planned and will share them with you via social media.

Ngā mihi
Maree Lucas, Principal        
P: 03 314 5857  E:

School Notices


Grandparents Day
Thank you to all of our wonderful grandparents that came along to school last week.  We loved having you at our school.

Bus Driver
We have been lucky enough to have Sue Parish driving our bus for the last 35 years. Sue will be continuing this next year, but is looking for someone who may like to job share later in the year and then potentially take over the bus run. If you might be interested in this and being a relief driver for us, please contact me on

Principal’s Award
Congratulations to Zoe Wiltshire who received the latest Principal award.

Wellbeing Survey
If you haven't already, please remember to fill out the wellness survey that we emailed out a couple of weeks ago.

Omihi Fundraiser
Thank you for all of the support for our Omihi fundraiser. This is the last week to purchase tickets. If you haven't done so yet, either pop into school or go to our Givealittle page. Tickets will be drawn at the end of the week. Any ticket money or unsold tickets need to be returned asap please. Winners will be announced on our Facebook page and next newsletter. Prizes can be collected from school or we will organise for delivery if you are out of town.

School Calendar
Remember to keep an eye on our school calendar on our website to keep up to date with things going on. It's a busy time of year. If you would like me to share the google calendar with you so you can have it on your phone, just let me know.

School Working Bee
We have a school working bee on Saturday 9th December at 8am.  We haven’t managed to find many people that are interested in helping with the gardens.  If you are able to come down for an hour or so, we would love your support.

End of Year Prize giving
This is on Thursday 14th December at 11am.  All of the community are most welcome to attend.  This is our final day for the year.



Maree Lucas
Newsletter Monday 13th November, 2017

Kia ora Koutou

After announcing our two new teachers last week, we are excited today to introduce seven new children to Omihi.  A big warm welcome to Stanley, Daisy, Tom, Zac, Taylor, Christian and Billy.  Tom has started already and the other children are coming every Monday, then will start full time in 2018.  We now have a roll of 27 children, which will be 24 at the start of next year when the Year 8’s have left.  We only need 2 more children to enrol to increase our staffing.  We will be able to use this staffing to employ a teacher to help with learning support and also to work in specialist areas.  Our children are very lucky!


I had a very inspiring day last week listening to Jan Robertson, who is an Academic Leadership Consultant.  Jan talked a lot about leadership within schools and how we can coach our staff and children to become leaders.  There was so much learning from this day.  Here are a few of the main points I took away:

  • Create leaders that are more than you have ever been yourself
  • Use questioning - give students/teachers a chance to reflect and discuss their thoughts and ideas
  • The leadership coach is a learner.  Not an expert or a knower.  They want to learn with and from the person they are coaching
  • Support and challenge thinking
  • Great leaders know how to really listen
  • Active listening - be present and focused.  No questions.  No judgement.  No advice.  No conversation.  Actively listen to learn.
  • Leave time for the pause.  Be comfortable with pauses
  • Reflective questioning after actively listening
  • Use a growth mindset.  Mindfulness.  Resilience.  Wellbeing.  Sustainability - all part of being a leader

Also a reminder that we have a parents evening with John Parsons (Cyber Safety Expert) on Wednesday 22nd November at the Leithfield Hall at 6pm.  I highly recommend all parents should go to this.

Ngā mihi
Maree Lucas
P: 03 314 5857  E:


BOT Chairperson Report

Welcome to the first BoT section of the newsletter. We’ll have a regular section every few months to give you information and updates about what’s happening at the board level.  The board of trustees is responsible for the governance of the school, it sets the direction and outcomes for the school and establishes the policies. Maree as principal is responsible for the management of the school which is concerned with how the direction and outcomes are achieved.

The current board members are Sarah Barnes (chair), Ruth Lowry (deputy chair and secretary), Bridget Banks (treasurer), Nick Hamilton (health and safety) and Leighton Croft (property). Miss Lotz is our staff representative.  Maree, as principal, also sits on the board and has input into the governance function.

We are about to start training to help us better fulfil our obligations in respect of student achievement. This training was recommended after the ERO review and Debbie Dawson is coming out on Monday to run a session on the governance role which will be new to some of us and a refresher for others.  The board meets twice a term, generally in weeks 4 and 9, and parents are welcome to attend meetings. If you have any questions at all about the board or governance please feel free to contact me on 314 5979 or

School Notices

Principal’s Award
Congratulations to Jack Little who received the Principal’s Award at the last assembly.

Grandparents Day - Tuesday 21st November, 9am - 11am
We ask that all families please bring in a small plate of food to have a shared morning tea with our grandparents.

Tiromoana Walk
The seniors are doing the Tiromoana Walk on Tuesday.  We will be leaving school at 9am.  Check the Facebook page in the morning for any cancellations.

GRIP Leadership Conference
Some of the seniors will be going to this on Wednesday 22nd November.  The children attending need to meet at school at 7.30am.  Please note the normal bus run will not be running this day.

Community Working Bee
We are having a community working bee on Saturday 9th December from 8am.  If anyone would like to help, please feel free to let Maree know on 314 5857 or, or just come down and join us.  We will be doing the following:

  • Gardening
  • Putting bark on the playground
  • Tidying the container, garden shed and cleaners cupboard
  • Filling the potholes in the driveway
  • Building a bus shelter
  • Painting the bench and shed door in the pool area
  • Staining picnic tables
  • Take tiles off and painting the lizard

Next year we will have a caretaker/gardener a few hours a week to keep everything maintained.  So I would like to get it all up to scratch before they start.

We are looking for a cleaner for 2018.  If you are interested please contact Maree on 314 5857 or  The hours are flexible.

School Fundraiser
$10 a ticket.  You can either donate $10 onto or drop $10 into school.  Every $10 you donate puts you in the draw to win a prize.  There are also tickets for sale at Fossil Point Cafe.

Community Library
We are thrilled to announce that we are joining with the Hurunui Library, so our school library will be a community library in 2018.  We will let you know more details of opening times, etc nearer the time.

End of Year Prizegiving
This is on Thursday 14th December at 11am.  All of the community are most welcome to attend.  This is our final day for the year.

School will start on Wednesday 31st January and will finish on Tuesday 18th December.  There will be a Teacher’s only day on the Thursday before Show weekend.



Maree Lucas
Newsletter Monday 30th October, 2017

Kia ora Koutou

It’s been an exciting first two weeks of school.  A big thank you to Tracy Wiltshire for organising our pet day and Leighton Croft for organising the Agri Sports.  The children had loads of fun!  It was great to see so many members of our community there as well.  Trophys for pet day will be given out in our assembly this Friday.  Congratulations to the following 1st place winners:

  • Best lamb - Alice Barnes
  • Best dog - Allie Lowry
  • Best miscellaneous animal - Evie Croft
  • Lamb drinking competition - Lily Banks
  • Best dressed animal - Evie Croft

We’ve also had an exciting week with our staffing organisation for next year.  I have applied to the Ministry of Education for an extra teacher and through a long process we have managed to secure extra funding for 2018, so we can now confirm there will be a teacher in each class for 4 days a week.  The BOT will still be funding part of a teacher, but it won’t be as much as we had first anticipated.

Jo Richards has decided not to apply for a position for 2018 as she would like to spend more time with her family, especially before Arlo starts school during next year.  Jo has been a real asset to our school and the children absolutely love her, so she will be missed.  Hopefully we will see her to relieve throughout the year.

We had very experienced teachers apply for our recently advertised position and were able to appoint two teachers.  Katherine Hanna will be teaching in the senior class 4 days per week and Jennie Manson will be teaching in the junior class 4 days per week.  I will teach in each class one day per week and sometimes they will combine on a Friday.

Katherine is currently teaching at Broomfield School, and has been at Loburn and Rangiora Borough prior to Broomfield.  She has years of experience throughout all of the year groups.  Jennie has two young children.  Since going back to work she has been teaching at Tuahiwi School and Kaiapoi Borough School across a variety of ages.  Katherine and Jennie will come in this term to meet the children.


Ngā mihi
Maree Lucas
P: 03 314 5857  E:


School Notices

Pool Keys
The pool is going to be ready to use again by Show weekend.  Families are welcome to use the pool outside of school time.  There will be a charge for the key which will contribute to the maintenance cost of the pool.  If you had a key last year and no longer require it, please return it to our school office.  If you would like one this year, you can purchase these from our school office or email Ruth on  They are $50 (school families), $70 (non-school families) and there will be a $20 refund when the key is returned.  There is also a contract that all families with a key must sign.

School Fundraiser
$10 a ticket.  You can either donate $10 onto or drop $10 into school.  Every $10 you donate puts you in the draw to win a prize.  Prizes are on our website -  Prizes will be drawn on Friday 1st December at 2pm.  Thanks to all of those that donated at the Amberley Show!

John Parsons - Cyber Safety
John Parsons is an Internet Safety and Risk Assessment Consultant.  He runs workshops all over the country.  I have seen him twice and he is brilliant.  He has very relevant information for our students, right from Year 1 - 8 and he has great tips for parents and teachers on how to keep our children safe online.  John is going to be working with Amberley, Broomfield and Leithfield School in term 4, and they have very kindly said we can join them.  Our students and staff will be part of his workshops, plus he is running a parents session which I highly recommend all parents attend.  The parents session will be at Amberley School on Wednesday 22nd November - time TBC.  For more information on John -  Our school have recently purchased his book and are happy to loan it to parents if you would like to read it.

Jan and Mark Archbold
I would like to say a big thank you to Jan and Mark who deliver our newsletters out to our community.  We really appreciate your contribution to our school.

If you have any concerns about our school or ideas for us, please feel free to contact Maree on  If you would like to make it formal, please follow the correct procedure on  Our username is omihi and password is glenmark.

Small School’s Athletics - Year 4-8
This is on Thursday 2nd November at Waipara School.  We would love to see our community there to support us.

Junior School Assembly is this Friday at 2pm.  Everyone is welcome.

Community Notices



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Maree Lucas