Plimmerton School

11 School Road
Plimmerton, Porirua 5026

PO Box 57146
Mana, Porirua 5247

04 233 8677
Email Us

Covid updates 2021

Written by Mike Forrest

All Covid related emails sent home to parents. Latest first.

Update #08 Virtual Assembly Online Wednesday 8/9 & Return to School Thursday 9/9

Posted on 9 September 2021

Kia ora e te whānau 

Staff are busy today making sure we meet the level 2 requirements. We are all looking forward to our students returning tomorrow. 


Virtual assembly

Over the last week some of our student councillors have been preparing a Virtual Assembly that highlights some of our students and staff activities over the last few weeks at home. This is available for viewing on the school website. 


Returning school devices

If your child had a school device issued to them over the lockdown period, please could they bring it back to their classroom this week.


Face coverings

Face coverings are not required to be worn in schools. The Director General of Health has recommended that children 12 years+ wear a face covering at school – just as older children are required to wear face coverings in some other places.  Staff and adult visitors are also encouraged to wear face coverings at school.

The decision to wear a face covering is up to you and your whānau, whatever your decision it will be respected.

If your child is choosing to wear a face covering, please assist them on how to manage one.


Contract tracing for parents and caregivers

Schools are required to have strict contact tracing. For parents and caregivers who need to enter the school grounds, we strongly encourage our community to check-in using the NZ COVID Tracer app including when doing pick-ups and drop-offs. If you do not use the app, then please sign in on a manual record, if available at the gate, or sign in at the office.


Bee Healthy dental checks

The Bee Healthy dental van will be at School from next week. They will be doing dental checks on all students registered for their service. They were unable to do checks last year as we were scheduled over the previous lockdown. 

They will be following strict level 2 protocols. If you have any queries please contact 0800 825 583.


If you have any concerns about your child’s return to school please contact your child’s teacher by email. 

Ngā mihi

Mike Forrest

Tumuaki / Principal

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Update #07 Return to School in Alert Level 2 on Thursday 9 September 2021

Posted on 6 September 2021

Kia ora e te whānau 

Following today's government announcement, we are looking forward to welcoming all students back to school on Thursday 9 September. 

All teachers will be meeting at school on Wednesday to prepare for school reopening. This means teachers will not be available for distance learning on this day. The students already booked in for school under Level 3 restrictions may still attend their ‘bubble class’.

To summarise:

Tuesday (tomorrow)

  • Last day of Level 3. 
  • Distance learning continues.
  • Only students registered to attend in Level 3 are at school.


  • First day of Level 2. 
  • Teachers preparing for school reopening. 
  • Distance learning continues, however teachers are not available for online meetings, etc.
  • Only students registered to attend in Level 3 are at school.


  • School reopens - all students welcome back to school!


At alert level 2 the focus is on playing it safe. We have a plan that meets government guidance and are confident that we can operate safely. Our Level 2 plan ensures we have safe hygiene practices and contact tracing in place for our children. This email contains the key elements of our plan.


Hygiene and distancing for students

While at school students will be:

  • regularly reminded about good hygiene practices like coughing or sneezing into elbows or tissues
  • sanitising or washing and drying hands when going in and out of learning spaces, and before and after break times 
  • maintaining physical distancing during class and inside activities 
  • helping with some of the regular cleaning of surfaces

Your child will need to bring their lunch and a named water bottle each day. Drinking fountains are not accessible, and unfortunately our older students will not be able to buy fish and chips at lunch time for a while! We’ll be reminding students not to share food or drink. 

Students in Kōwhai and Mana syndicate (Years 1-4) should bring a pencil case if they have one.


Students with Illnesses

A critical part of the level 2 requirements is that anyone who is self-isolating, sick, or has any symptoms of covid-19must stay away from school. Children who become sick or show symptoms during the day will need to be collected as soon as possible. Parents should get advice from their doctor or the  Covid-19 medical advice Healthline (0800 358 5453) about whether testing is required. 


Minimising Contacts and Contact Tracing - Pick up and drop off

All adults who enter school grounds (inside the fencing) need to either:

  • use the covid tracer app any time - the QR code is on the signs at the gates. Please Note - this is our preference for contact tracing, or 
  • sign in on the manual register staff or senior students will have at the gates at pick up and drop off time; or
  • sign in at the office outside normal drop off and pick up times 

We ask that you help us minimise contacts by not entering the school grounds unless you really need to.

Ways that you can help us:

  • Drop students off no earlier than 8.30. Kelly Club before school care is available if you need to drop your child off earlier.
  • Arrange to meet your child at an agreed location, preferably away from the school gate or the top of the ‘snicket’ (walkway from Motuhara Road to the school field), and away from areas where people already congregate such as the dairy and cafe.
  • Use the quick drop off and pick up we have in place in the bus turnaround. Note this is a 2 minute stop and drop and parents must stay in their cars. 
  • Ask older siblings to help younger children find their classrooms if they need support.
  • Please, leave dogs at home, as these are often a magnet for people gathering! 


Collection of Kōwhai students (Year 1 and 2) 

  • We will continue to release Kōwhai students as normal from their classrooms.
  • Parents or caregivers, or older siblings collecting these students should gather outside the classes in the junior playground, with the required social distancing. Parents please scan using the covid tracer app, and note in the app if you have preschoolers with you.
  • Please leave the school promptly after your child is released.

If you do need to enter the school grounds you will need to scan with the covid tracer app or sign in. Before and after school, staff members will be located at the barrier arm gate and the bottom of the snicket. They will be asking any adults who wish to enter the school grounds to scan or sign in on a register sheet. During the school day any adults who enter the school grounds must report directly to the school office to sign in before going anywhere else in the school grounds, and should maintain the physical distancing required in public spaces.

Students catching the bus

The school bus will  be operating on its normal route. Masks are not required.

How you can help your child

You can support our plan by talking to your child about:

  • how the drop off and pick up will work;
  • giving each other space to keep each other safe;
  • using your elbow when you cough or sneeze; and
  • wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.

We will be doing all we can to support our students to feel reassured and safe as we transition back into Level 2. If you have any concerns about your child’s response to the transition please contact your child’s teacher by email. 

We will continue to update you as more guidance is made available. 

Ngā mihi

Mike Forrest

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Update #06 Transition to Level 3

Posted on 29 August 2021

Kia ora e te whānau 

We will transition to Alert level 3 on Wednesday 1 September. At level 3 the school reopens for a limited number of students. The key message from the government is that at Alert Level 3 schools will effectively continue to be closed for face-to-face learning, other than for children in the situation where all parents/caregivers need to leave home to go to work and there are no alternative care options available.

A reminder to all families - at level 3 the school grounds are still closed to the public. 

The school will continue to provide and support the distance learning that each syndicate has set up. Everything you’ll need for the week has been emailed from each syndicate and also posted on the Learning Hub on the school website. The week 6 timetable for online class meetings is also on the website - please note, there have been changes in meeting time for some classes.

Families whose children will need to come to school must complete this online form to register your child’s attendance at school. Thank you to those families who have already done this. We will be contacting families to confirm arrangements at school over the next two days. 

Students who need to be sent to school will be supervised while working on the same distance learning programmes. In order to ensure the safety of the children and staff who do come to school, we will be strictly enforcing the required health and safety measures. These include:

  • Children will be allocated into a ‘school bubble’ of up to 10 students, and will stay in that same bubble at school for the whole time they attend during Alert Level 3. School bubbles will not mix with each other.

  • Children will mainly remain in one designated room that is their allocated bubble room. They will be allocated a space to sit that is at least 1m away from anyone else. Students and staff will be required to maintain at least 1m separation while inside. 

  • Children will have their own basic set of resources to use during the day. Normal class toys, resources and equipment that are shared cannot be used. 

  • Siblings and other children who are together in the home will be allocated to the same school bubble. All school bubbles will be mixed year groups. 

  • The supervising teachers in the school bubbles are unlikely to be the children’s regular classroom teacher. Our classroom teachers will still be providing support for distance learning.

  • Children will have up to 4 short breaks or exercise times during the day. To ensure separation of school bubbles, these will be at different locations for each bubble. Children are required to be at least 2m apart while outside. Children will not be able to use any adventure playgrounds, the sandpit or any play equipment that is shared or passed between each other.

  • Children will use hand sanitiser on entering and exiting their school bubble classroom. There will be hand sanitiser in their designated toilets. 

  • Staff may be wearing PPE gear (awaiting MoH/MoE advice)

  • Start times are staggered to allow social distancing and limit contact. Each school bubble will have a designated start and finish time. Start times will be staggered between 8.45 and 9.15am and end times will be between 2.15 and 2.45pm. (The earlier leaving time is due to reduced break times.) The car park by the hall will be the designated drop off and collection area. 

  • Children will need to bring their own lunch and a named water bottle. Drinking fountains will not be used.

  • Parents will not be able to enter the school, other than to go to the school office.

  •  There will be no before or after school care service operating.

  •  It is not yet known if the school bus for Plimmerton School will be operating.

As you can see this is a far cry from how school typically operates.

Thank you all for your efforts at home. Please keep connecting with your teachers with any questions you might have, and keep being kind to yourselves and each other.

Ngā mihi 

Mike Forrest - Tumuaki / Principal

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