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Welcome to


Sawyers Bay School is a semi-rural school on the outskirts of Dunedin. We are a ten minute drive from the centre of town down the beautiful Otago Harbour

Who are we?
Sawyers Bay Primary School was established in 1861. We offer a welcoming and inclusive community atmosphere. Sawyers Bay achieve excellent results for our children and our current enrolment is approximately 140 students. We offer spacious grounds and play areas, ‘Active Schools’ sports and PE for fun, challenge, cooperation and leadership; organised activities include netball, futsal, soccer, school camp (Year 5 and 6), T Ball, sponsored runs and swimming. We have small class sizes and well resourced programs which include sports, ICT, visual and performing arts. Arts activities include annual school play, recorder, marimba and guitar groups as well as many creative arts activities in the classroom. We are able to integrate learning support and extension as required throughout the school.

Enrolment Information

Our People


Latest News & Events


Latest Notifications

Week 10 Term 3 Newsletter

Thu Sep 29 10:36am

Good morning

The Week 10, and final newsletter for this term, is now available for viewing.

Raffle card results!

Wed Sep 28 02:44pm

A big thank you to all of our supporters for making this a very successful fundraiser.

We have made the draw today and the results are as follows:


$300 Four Square Voucher

Lewis Stoddartt

$100 Four Square Voucher 

Caren Van Gastel

Mel Ure

Steve Walker

Emme Haworth

Jeannie Paterson

Mel Phillips

Nicole Sinclair


$50 Megazone Voucher (from the full card prize draw)

Carlos-Torr Family


A member of the PTA will be in touch very soon with your prizes.

Thanks once again!


A friendly reminder – School Photos are ready for viewing!

Tue Sep 27 10:45am

Good morning

A reminder school photos are ready for viewing.  Orders are due by tomorrow – Wednesday 28 September.

Please click here to go to the online gallery link. The password for the gallery is aroha.

All orders are done online, and payment can be made via credit card or bank transfer. You can view the 2022 Price List here.

If you have any questions or need help with ordering please get in touch with Edith via email or phone – edith@edithleighphotography.nz or 021 214 4075.



Mon Sep 26 06:02pm

Kia ora families,

Three quick reminders for tomorrow:

1. Raffle cards, please return any late raffle cards tomorrow or they will miss the draw on Wednesday.

2. Tawhirimatea and Tane Mahuta will be walking to the golf course to plant trees tomorrow and will require good walking shoes and warm clothing. We will be at the golf course from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

3. Tomorrow we will be starting an education programme with our Police Education Officer, Emily Plew.  The programme is called ‘Keeping Ourselves Safe’ and focuses on what we can do to keep ourselves (the kids) safe in various situations (for us ‘older generation’ think Stranger Danger). Information about the types of conversation to have at home will come home with your child, but please be aware that the programme starts tomorrow. 

We cant wait to get stuck in to a very busy week! See you all tomorrow.

Last day for raffle cards to be handed to office tomorrow!

Thu Sep 22 06:26pm

Week 9 Term 3 Newsletter

Thu Sep 22 11:31am

Good morning

The Week 9 newsletter is now available for viewing on both the website and the app.

School Photos are ready for viewing!

Wed Sep 21 12:40pm

Kia ora Sawyers Bay School families

It was so much fun photographing your children! They were all fabulous to work with and I hope you LOVE your school portraits.

Please click here to go to the online gallery link. The password for the gallery is aroha.

All orders are done online, and payment can be made via credit card or bank transfer. You can view the 2022 Price List here.

(Please contact the school office if you have any trouble with the website links.)


That gives you one week to choose your favourites (but we’re pretty sure you’ll love them all!)

If you have any questions or need help with ordering please get in touch with me via email or phone – my contact details are in the gallery. 

Enjoy your school portraits!

Warmly, Edith and Jannah

Edith Leigh Photography

COVID presence once again

Wed Sep 21 09:45am

Kia ora Families,

A quick heads up that we once again have cases of COVID within our school again.

The current guidelines are that any child with COVID must be self-isolating for seven days. Family contacts do not need to isolate but are required to test every day for the first five days.

Please help us avoid another large spread by keeping any unwell children at home, being cautious and testing. If your child or family members are particularly vulnerable to illness, we would encourage masks and support your child to wear a mask within the classrooms.

We appreciate your support once again.

Raffle cards due back this week

Wed Sep 21 09:02am

Please remember that the green PTA cards are due back to the office by Friday.

Thank you once again for your support. 

No Parking outside of the school today.

Mon Sep 19 08:49am

Ata mārie Parents,

Please be aware that there is no parking outside of the school today. We are unsure what work is being carried out on Stevenson ave, and no idea how long it might be. We will still be monitoring the crossing and children being dropped off may need to walk from Hall Road, or you may like to do a church carpark drop off today.

Week 8 Term 3 Newsletter

Thu Sep 15 11:25am

Good morning

This week’s newsletter is now available for viewing.

Polyfest live stream link update

Thu Sep 15 10:16am

Kia ora everyone,


We are aware that the live stream link for our Polyfest that was sent out yesterday did not work on all devices.

The link sent out will work but just in case, here is the direct text format for the link:


All going to plan, we will be on stage at 11.35am.


Polyfest – tomorrow

Wed Sep 14 11:21am

Good morning

Tomorrow’s Polyfest performance has been moved to the slightly earlier time of 11.35am.

If you are going to watch the children, please be early and aim to be seated a couple of groups before our performance as entry is only allowed between performances.

If you are unable to make it, the link for the livestream is here 

A final reminder to please send your black clothing for our performance to school tomorrow, if you haven’t already.

The children have worked hard for Polyfest and we look forward to tomorrow’s performance!

COVID Framework changes update

Mon Sep 12 06:11pm

Kia ora Families,

Firstly I would like to thank you all for your continued support of our COVID regulations. I would particularly like to acknowledge the sacrifice of our staff and students who continued to wear masks this term for the well being of all, thank you.


As you may be aware, there have been significant changes to how we manage COVID in NZ today. Here is how it will relate to our school setting:

Masks will not be required at school. If your family choose to continue to wear a mask for health reasons, and to keep them safe from respiratory illnesses, we will support you to do so. If your child requires a mask because they are unwell, they need to be at home.

Any child who is unwell needs to stay away from school so that we do not have a sudden influx of all illnesses.

We will not be opening our doors to all adults quite yet sorry. AS of the start of Day 1, Term 4, we will be welcoming families back in as per pre-COVID (if you can remember that far back!).

Household contacts of positive COVID cases will no longer be required to isolate, but will be required to RAT test every day. Obviously positive case will need to continue to follow public health measures.


We do expect further information form the Ministry of Education at some point tonight that may add more detail to this emerging picture, but wanted to provide families with an update as soon as we could today. 

Again, I want to emphasise our appreciation of all of the community support that we have received over tis extraordinary time.

Ka mihi nui,

Gareth Swete

Desperate request for Polyfest notices

Mon Sep 12 08:50am

We are desperately requiring Polyfest permission notices back today please.

If you have lost your form, please just email the school with the following information: office@sawyersbay.school.nz

Confirmation that your child can travel by bus to the Edgar Centre on Thursday 15th September (leaving school at 10.45am)

Confirm whether they have a black t shirt and black shorts to wear (inside out black t shirts if they have a print on them is absolutely fine!) or whether we need to try and source them for you.

Let us know if you would like a second notice sent home for more specific details about the event.


Thank you in advance for your help.




Fri Sep 09 01:17pm

Good afternoon

We are fortunate enough to have apples donated by T&G to distribute to families today.

Please bring a bag to fill. We will have them at the school gate after school today. 

Week 7 Term 3 Newsletter

Thu Sep 08 11:34am

Good morning

This week’s newsletter is now available for viewing.

Late start due to snow/road conditions

Tue Sep 06 07:45am

Kia ora Whanau,


We have just been advised that all schools and kindergartens, Dunedin and Mosgiel, will be closed until 10.45am. Please do not travel if it is unsafe to do so. Many of our staff travel from Hill suburbs and will be asked to only travel when safe to do so as well. 

We will review our approach to the scheduled school photos this morning once we are all on site and have a better picture of our situation but please assume that we will be going ahead with photos, just a little behind schedule.

We will keep you up to date if any further information comes through. 


Ka mihi,


School Photos Tuesday and Wednesday this week

Mon Sep 05 11:04am

A reminder we have school photos taking place tomorrow and Wednesday.

You are welcome to bring in siblings not-at-school for sibling photos between 8.10am and 9.00am, but you do need to book. (Adults, please remember a mask.)

Further information and the link to book sibling photos can be found on this information page – https://www.edithleighphotography.nz/sawyers-bay-family-info


Week 6 Term 3 Newsletter

Thu Sep 01 11:55am

Good morning

This week’s newsletter is now available for viewing.

Sawyers Bay School Jersey

Fri Aug 26 01:41pm

Good afternoon

We are placing an order for school jerseys next week.

If you haven’t already sent a message to Kyla and would like to order one, please send a message to the office by Wednesday 31 August – office@sawyersbay.school.nz or 4728981.

The jerseys have kindly been subsidised by the PTA and are available at a cost to families of just $40.00 each.

Week 5 Term 3 Newsletter

Thu Aug 25 11:44am

Good morning

This week’s newsletter is now available for viewing on both the website and the app.

A reminder to families for Tuesday

Mon Aug 22 01:34pm

Tomorrow (Tuesday 23 August) is a Teacher Only Day and school is closed for instruction.

Please do not send children to school as there will be no-one at school available to supervise them.

Week 5 Mask requirement update

Sun Aug 21 08:50pm

Kia ora Families,

At the start of the term, we asked for your support with increasing mask wearing for the first four weeks. This request was based on the guidance that we receive from the MoE and MoH. I would like to thank you all for your support as we looked to try and minimise any illness spread for the sake of our public health system.

Moving forward, we need to continue to adjust. Due to the continued high levels of absenteeism due to illness, we would still highly recommend that your child wears a mask if they can, but it is not a requirement. The small exception to this is when the whole school gathers, such as during Friday Assembly, we will encourage our children to wear masks as we are all in a small space for a prolonged period of time. Again, this is not a requirement, but we will encourage it for those that are able to wear masks to do so during this time.

If you and your child want to continue to mask, we will support your children to do so. If your child is unwell, please keep them at home and wait until they are symptom free before returning to school.

How does these adjustment affect adults?

There will be little change. Transmission rates in the outdoors are very, very small. We will not be asking any staff or parents to mask at Road patrol times, or during break times. Any parents coming on-site, we would appreciate you masking outdoors if you are unwell or been in close contact with someone else who is unwell.

In the classroom, teachers will be continuing to mask for the majority of their day in order to keep their children safe, and for their own protection. Any parents coming into the office or classrooms, we expect them to be masked (unless an exemption is in place).


I know these seem like only very little changes, but we do feel that we are moving in the right direction.

Again, we very much appreciate your continued support.

Ka mihi nui,


Gareth Swete

Week 4 Term 3 Newsletter

Thu Aug 18 10:09am

Good morning

This week’s newsletter is now available for viewing.

Apples, Apples, Apples!

Fri Aug 12 08:47am

We have an absolute truckload of apples to distribute from the great folk at Kiwiharvest.

Please bring a bag to fill. We will have some out before school and after school today. They are excellent quality and we do not want to see them go to waste.


Thu Aug 11 08:48pm

Kia roa Families,


Just a reminder that all children can wear theri brightest clothes to school tomorrow for StarJam (Please see newsletter for details).

Any gold coin donations for StarJam would also be very greatly appreciated if you can.


Ka mihi

SBS Teachers

Week 3 Term 3 Newsletter

Thu Aug 11 11:05am

Good morning

This week’s newsletter is now available for viewing.

Week 2 Term 3 Newsletter

Thu Aug 04 10:26am

Good morning

This week’s newsletter is now available for viewing on both the website and the app.

Stevenson Ave upcoming closure

Tue Aug 02 03:40pm

Kia ora Families,

You may have noticed that the sign at the bottom of Station Rd. indicating that Stevenson Ave will be closed for a significant duration.

I can confirm that this will only be the ‘other’ half of Stevenson Ave and access to the school will not be affected. It will put a little additional stress on other roads so please do be mindful of children walking to school. Blackman Ave will also be used as the alternative bus route (see image below) so may be best to avoid if possible.

Our half of Stevenson Ave will be worked on next year and we will be working with the DCC to limit disruption.

Ka mihi,

Gareth Swete



Week 1 Term 3 Newsletter

Fri Jul 29 10:24am

Good morning

This week’s newsletter is now available for viewing.

Sawyers Bay School Jersey

Wed Jul 27 01:59pm

Good afternoon

Some families have expressed an interest in ordering a Sawyers Bay School jersey however we require a minimum of 10 before we can place an order. 

If you would like to order one, please send a message to the office – office@sawyersbay.school.nz or 4728981.

The jerseys have kindly been subsidised by the PTA and are available at a cost to families of just $40.00 each.

Upcoming Teacher Only Day – Tuesday 23rd August

Mon Jul 25 05:30pm

Kia ora Families,

This is to let you know that the school will be closed for instruction on Tuesday 23rd of August for a Teacher Only Day. All staff are involved in a full day Mathematics Workshop.

This is our first Teacher Only Day during Term time in three years as we try to limit disruption to families. If you would like further information, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.


Ka mihi,

Gareth Swete

Term 3 Sausage Sizzle – volunteers please

Mon Jul 25 11:56am

Good morning

Volunteers are desperately needed to cook the sausage sizzle for our children on the Wednesdays this term listed below please.  If you are available to cook sausages from 11.45am on a Wednesday for 45 minutes, can you please contact the school office (office@sawyersbay.school.nz or 4728981) with the date(s) you are able to help.

Wednesday 27 July

Wednesdays 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 August

Wednesdays 7, 14, 21 and 28 September

(Please note you will be required to wear a mask.)

The sausage sizzle is very popular and we are keen to continue providing this as an option for our children.

Term 3 COVID and mask update

Fri Jul 22 12:34pm

Kia ora Families,

I hope that you have all had a chance to recharge over the holidays and the kids are ready to go for another action-packed term!

As mentioned at the end of last term, we have been busy reviewing our COVID situation to ensure that we have the most up to date and balanced practices in place for the safety of all.

We have been advised by the Ministry of Education that we need to continue our mask procedures for the first four weeks of school. This means that we will be once again asking all children Year 4 and above to be masked while indoors. This decision from the MoE, and specifically the Otago regional office, is based on the evidence and statistics around not only COVID cases, but our health systems ability to cope with the large spike of respiratory illnesses that occur in the first few weeks of Term 3. Please be assured that we have become very used to modifying our day to provide plenty of fresh air and outdoor breaks.

If you have previously indicated that your child has a mask exemption, you will not need to re-indicate this, we will assume that this remains the case unless told otherwise. Please do remember that any adults entering the school grounds need to be masked as well.

We appreciate that this is a continued sacrifice by our children and staff. We also appreciate that this is a highly emotive topic for many families. This is why we have purposely not taken any steps to put a formal policy in place for our school. We are simply asking for your continued support and understanding as we do our very best.

Thank you once again for your understanding. We will continue to adapt to the most recent advice and requirements as they come to ensure that we are working our way back to ‘normal’ as quickly as we can.

Ka mihi nui,

Gareth Swete