Frequently asked questions

You will no doubt have lots of questions and rightly so. Choosing a school for your child can be a big decision. We are sure you want your child to be happy and flourish.

We have answered some of the most commonly asked questions below. We also encourage you to come for a school visit and have a look around our wonderful school.

Organise a school visit

your questions answered

Will my child miss out on opportunities by being at a small school?

On the contrary we believe your child will have more opportunities. Every school has pluses and negatives, but we believe the advantages of being at a small school far outweigh the disadvantages. Attending a smaller school means:

  • better teacher-child ratios
  • children interact across all ages which develops empathy, leadership and trust
  • there is not a 'junior' and a 'senior' playground
  • all staff have a strong understanding of each child and how they learn
  • staff capabilitiy is excellent as everybody does everything
Because we are small school, this means we can ensure every child participates in school activities - not just select pupils chosen by the teacher. For example:
  • all children join on school outings and trips
  • all children take part in challenging activities such as public speaking during school assemblies
  • all our older children develop exceptional leadership skills

What extra-curricular activities are there?

We offer a wide range of extra opportunities and activities for children. Sports and physical activities

  • School sport teams playing hockey, netball, soccer, touch and futsal.
  • Early morning yoga class run once a week by Kids Yoga Dunedin.
Cultural and creative oportunities
  • Annual Wearable Arts competition
  • Otago Polyfest performances
  • Ukele Jam
  • Music lessons available (during school time) in guitar, piano or keyboard and violin
  • After-school Art Class run by two local artists

Does my child need to be able to write their own name and read before starting?

No - all children learn at their own pace and are taught in the classroom accordingly. Teachers are trained to manage the widely varying skill levels they will have in any classroom.

Is there an afterschool programme?

Our after-school programme is in Frog Hollow, adjacent to the school library in our historic building. Children go straight their after school for afternoon tea and then decide if they would like to play indoors or outdoors. The programme is relaxed and informal. If it is not wet or too cold, children mostly enjoy playing outdoors in the playground. If they are indoors they have options to do art and crafts, dress-ups, imaginative play or read. The cost is $6/hour. Children can be booked in as needed. They do not need to be booked in on a regular basis.

Do you have early drop-offs?

School opens at 8am and you are welcome to drop your child off at school at any time between 8am and 9am. There is no charge for early-morning drop-offs. Our experience is that children enjoy having time for some free play before school starts.

How much time do children spend on computers?

Devices are provided for children to use at school and children are responsible for the device they use. It can be taken off them if used inappropriately. From year 3 up children use google classroom. We also participate in Chapter Chat, a nationwide As a guide children Year 1 and 2

  • maximum 10 minutes/day
  • used for reading or maths
  • used to publish writing (every few weeks)
Year 3 and 4
  • maximum 30 minutes/day
  • use google classroom
  • coding sessions (on and off the computer)
  • presentation tool to make google slides and docs
  • learn to use different tools
Year 5 and 6
  • one hour/day (sometimes more)
  • have a computer use and guidelines contract
  • used for maths skills, including coding
  • used for research
  • presentation tool
  • many literacy and numeracy learning and tasks are still book-based

Is healthy eating encouraged at school?

We are a water only school. In fact we were one of the first schools in Dunedin to become a water only school. Every morning we have a fruit break - also called a brain break - where children take a short break to eat a snack of fruit, nuts or yoghurt. We have a school garden and orchard where we grow our own vegetables, herbs and fruit, as well as school chickens who provide us with eggs. Some vegetables, like sugar snap peas, disappear the moment they are ready to be picked! Our own produce is used when making hot lunches on Wednesdays, and some is offered to parents as a small fundraiser.