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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 center 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 achieves 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; organized 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 the 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

Hot Cross Buns

Fri Mar 31 11:41am

Hot Cross Bun orders will be available for collection on Monday after school.  Please make arrangements to have your order collected then.

If you would like your child to collect your order on your behalf, please get a message to the office before lunchtime on Monday.

Thank you for supporting SBS!

Safety Concern for SB children

Thu Mar 30 04:31pm

Kia ora Parents and Caregivers,

We were made aware at the beginning of the week that there was an approach made by a vehicle to two children in Hall Road over the weekend.

We have been awaiting official confirmation and support before communicating officially to families, but with the weekend coming up very quickly, we have decided to inform our community of what we know for the safety of our children. We have made very general reference in classes to work that we did last year about keeping ourselves safe this week in the interim without going into any great detail (as we would not usually do so until we have official confirmation, and have informed our parents first). 

While we do not know much more than this, we hope this will help parents to start a conversation with their children about how to be safe outside of school hours.

Also a reminder that the expectation for use of our school grounds outside of school hours, is under the direct supervision of an adult. You can find this reminder on the signage on the very front of the office, in our enrolment information and from previous communications.

Please take the time to discuss with your children what your family expectations are and what you can do together in this instance. We will continue to seek further support from our Police Education Officer and hope to be able to run another Keeping ourselves Safe unit as we did last year.

Please direct any questions around this directly to me at gareths@sawyersbay.school.nz. 

Ka mihi nui,

Gareth Swete

Newsletter Week 9 Term 1 2023

Thu Mar 30 11:36am



Touch Draw (Final game for the term)

Wed Mar 29 11:31am

Kia ora Touch Families,

The draw for tomorrow’s Touch game is below, please note it is the last game for this season. 

Sawyers Bay Stingers vs. Mornington Movers, 4.15pm, Oval Field 13

Hoping for a clear weather day to make the most of the last game!

Miss Tenci.

Final Futsal Draw for the Term!

Sat Mar 25 04:13pm

Hi there, 

This is the final week of Futsal for the term, below is the draw.

Sawyers Bay Strikers vs. St Joseph’s Green, 3.45pm, Edgar Court 18

Sawyers Bay Stars vs. Fairfield Funk, 4.45pm, Edgar Court 11

Sawyers Bay Sparks vs. Sacred Heart Strikers, 4.15pm, Edgar Court 5

Sawyers Bay Sweepers vs. St Brigids Hotspurs, 4.15pm, Edgar Court 18

All the best for these last games!

Miss Tenci.

Newsletter Week 8 Term 1

Thu Mar 23 12:50pm



Touch Draw for Tomorrow

Wed Mar 22 06:51pm

Kia ora,

Hopefully the weather will clear up so that Touch can go ahead tomorrow in the afternoon!

Draw is as follows…

Sawyers Bay Stingers vs. BVA Typhoons, 4.15pm, Oval Field 9

Please also note there has been a reminder sent out about the importance of please collecting a score card prior to the game starting and handing it in with the appropriate details before leaving the grounds on Thursday. 

All the best for this week’s game.

Miss Tenci.

After School Care – indications of interest please

Wed Mar 22 10:04am

Good morning

Playball Dunedin is an OSCAR accredited after school care provider.  Information on Playball Dunedin, including pricing, can be found here – https://www.playballotago.com/afterschool-care

If Sawyers Bay School was to offer Playball Dunedin as an after school care option daily, would you use it regularly?

We are urgently trying to gauge interest in this after school care option and would appreciate you contacting the school office if you have a child (or children) who would use it regularly.  Please make contact and let us know – office@sawyersbay.school.nz or 4728981 

Swimming reminder

Tue Mar 21 04:38pm

Kia ora Whanau,

Thank you all for your help today. The weather, power, roads, trees and drainage were nothing short of disastrous! We really appreciate everyone’s patience with communication and support.

All going well, we will be swimming as planned tomorrow! Please remember your togs. Tane Mahuta will be leaving at the earlier time of 8.30am in order for us to all be able to have the time for full sessions.

Stay warm and safe, and we look forward to seeing many more of you tomorrow.


Kā mihi,


Swimming reminder

Tue Mar 21 04:30pm

Kia ora Whanau,

Thank you all for your help today. The weather, power, roads, trees and drainage were nothing short of disastrous! We really appreciate everyone’s patience with communication and support.

All going well, we will be swimming as planned tomorrow! Please remember your togs. Tane Mahuta will be leaving at the earlier time of 8.30am in order for us to all be able to have the time for full sessions.

Stay warm and safe, and we look forward to seeing many more of you tomorrow.


Kā mihi,


Hot Cross Bun orders – final opportunity

Tue Mar 21 01:25pm

Friday was the last day for those yummy Hot Cross Bun orders.  Anyone who has missed that deadline needs to return their form tomorrow (Wednesday) morning please.

Thank you


Update to power situation

Tue Mar 21 09:15am

Hi everyone,


Thanks all for your flexibility this morning. It looks like we will be without power for the large part of the day.

We will be following up on absences today, but it is going to take us a long time. If you have your child at home, and can send us an email, we would really appreciate it. 

For the children that we do have here, please be assured that they are fine and will be well taken care of.

Thanks again everyone.

School without power.

Tue Mar 21 08:25am

Good morning, as with everyone else in Sawyers Bay, we are without power.

We will still have children on site but if you have the option to stay at home, we would strongly recommend it. 

Please be aware that our communication is still available but will be slower than normal.


Stay safe everyone.


Futsal Draw for this Week

Mon Mar 20 07:58am

Hi there Junior and Senior Futsal families,

Below is the draw for both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sawyers Bay Strikers vs. Andy Bay Black, 3.45pm, Edgar Court 11

Sawyers Bay Stars vs. MHS Man United, 5.15pm, Edgar Court 15

Sawyers Bay Sweepers vs. Green Island United, 4.15pm, Edgar Court 21

Sawyers Bay Sparks vs. Sacred Heart Strikers, 5.15pm, Edgar Court 21

Hope the games this week are a lot of fun!

Miss Tenci.


A few reminders…

Wed Mar 15 01:40pm

Kia ora Whanau,

NZEI Industrial Action

A reminder that the school is closed tomorrow. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this causes families and do appreciate your support. We do hope that due to this disruption, we can work towards a better education system with quality, trained professionals taking care of our most precious taonga, our kids.


You should have received a notice regarding swimming yesterday. School swimming starts on Wednesday 22nd March. For our new parents, if this is your child’s first time swimming with the school, please feel very welcome to come and ask us all about it if you still have questions.

No Touch or Newsletter

Due to our staff being locked out tomorrow, and staff across the city, Otago Touch has made the decision to cancel Touch tomorrow due to the potential of having no teaching staff or communications. The Newsletter will once again also not be published tomorrow.


Thank you once again and if you are driving past, please feel very welcome to give us a toot as we march on the Octagon tomorrow to get a better deal for our teachers and our kids.

Gareth Swete

BBQ volunteers please

Tue Mar 14 09:36am

Good morning

Please help!  We need a volunteer to cook the sausages for our Wednesday Sausage Sizzle for this week and the last two weeks of term.

If you are available to cook sausages for one of the days below, from approx. 11.40am, please contact the school office.

Wednesday 15 March

Wednesday 29 March

Wednesday 5 April

Thank you!

Senior Futsal Draw and Touch Update

Mon Mar 13 04:02pm

Kia ora, 

Below is the Futsal draw for the seniors on Wednesday this week.

Sawyers Bay Sparks vs. St. Brigid’s Hotspurs, 4.15pm, Edgar Court 6

Sawyers Bay Sweepers vs. Abbots 9, 4.15pm, Edgar Court 21


Due to the Strike Day on Thursday Southern Football has called off Touch this Thursday. Many teachers/parents help to organise the games and run the matches in the afternoon and because this Thursday will not run like a normal school day this help is not able to happen. Sorry for the inconvenience and the fact that children will miss out on their Touch games this week, it will be back to normal next week.

Kind regards,

Miss Tenci.

Hot Cross Buns – orders due this week

Mon Mar 13 01:09pm

A reminder to please get your Hot Cross Bun orders in to the school office by Friday this week.

A great opportunity to support our school and eat yummy hot cross buns at the same time!

Thank you, Sawyers Bay School PTA.

Futsal Draw (Tuesday)

Sun Mar 12 06:19pm

Kia ora Junior Futsal Families,

I am yet to be sent the senior futsal draw so will post that separately. Below is the draw for Tuesday for the junior teams:

Sawyers Bay Strikers vs. Fairfield Hummers, 3.45pm, Edgar Court 15

Sawyers Bay Stars vs. Columba White, 4.45pm, Edgar Court 14


Miss Tenci.

Fern fever children running late

Fri Mar 10 02:31pm

The fern fever sports girls will be back at school by 3pm today, just a little late sorry.

Industrial action confirmed – Thursday 16th of March

Thu Mar 09 07:51pm

Good evening families,

We have been notified at 5pm this evening that the NZEI Teachers and Principals across the country will be on strike from 7am to 7pm , Thursday 16th March.

This means that due to the large majority of our staff being unable to work on that day, Sawyers Bay School will be closed for instruction.

We understand that this puts pressure of families. Please be assured that it puts significant strain on our teachers too.

Even if this was not necessarily the option most of us wanted, our staff will be getting right behind it as our NZ culture of chronically underfunding and undervaluing education needs to change. Our kids deserve a better education system, and perhaps this strike will give the government the reminder of that.

Thank you in advance for your understanding. If you want to know more, or have any questions, as always please feel very welcome to get in touch with me directly.


Ka mihi,


Important information update – Newsletter and potential Strike action

Thu Mar 09 10:10am

Kia ora Families,

This SchoolApp notification will be serving as our Newsletter today. There will be no ‘normal’ newsletter due to a technical issue with our newsletter platform. We have a solution for next week that will act and look almost identical to the usual newsletters.


Potential Industrial Action – Thursday 16th March

You may be aware that NZEI, the Primary Teachers and Principals Union, are currently negotiating the Collective Agreement for both teachers and principals. Unfortunately negotiations are not going very well.

Currently teachers across NZ are voting on whether to take part in Strike Action on Thursday 16th March. We do not know what the result of this strike vote is, and will not know until tonight. We are sharing this information with you as even though we cannot confirm one way or another, it is looking very likely that we will be forced to close the school next Thursday, 16th March and we know that this will cause disruption for families that you may need to plan for. As soon as we know, we will send out information asap.

We are saddened by this news and it is causing significant stress within our teaching community. While not all teachers and principals support a call to strike, we will be bound by the majority and this choice will be made for us. Our staff do however support many of the conditions that we are striking for.

What are teachers and principals asking for?

Our current negotiations can be roughly categorised into two areas:

Remuneration – Remuneration is actually a very small part of the negotiation. Teachers are fighting for a pay increase that comes close to inflation. We know that the cost of living is difficult for all families. You may find it interesting to know that a beginning teacher with a student loan is currently paid less than the minimum wage and many teachers in NZ are forced to take on second jobs to make ends meet.

Conditions for learning – This is the big sticking point  in where our negotiations are falling down. We are fighting for better conditions for all of our kids. This includes many things that directly impact on learners:

Class sizes

Learning Support funding  

Increased staffing ratios

Basically the required funding and support to be able to do our job properly. No school should ever have to fight with the Ministry of Education to get the support a child deserves.


We appreciate our communities support as we go into bat for not only our teachers, but really for all of our kids. I am also sorry that we are not in a position to give more definitive information yet, but we simply could not wait any longer to give families a chance to plan ahead for the very likely possibility of a school closure.

If you have any questions, please feel very free to contact me directly: gareths@sawyersbay.school.nz, and we will keep you all informed as quickly as possible as the situation develops.

Ka mihi nui,


Gareth Swete

Touch Draw

Wed Mar 08 09:12pm

Kia ora,

Below is tomorrow’s Touch Draw

Sawyers Bay Stingers vs. SFX Rockets, 4.15pm, Oval Field 7


Miss Tenci 

Futsal Court Change for this Afternoon

Wed Mar 08 12:01am

Hi there, 

Just notifying of a court change for this afternoon’s game, for the year 5/6 teams.

The court has been changed to court 21, time remains the same.

Kind regards,

Miss Tenci.

PTA meeting TONIGHT – all welcome

Mon Mar 06 12:25pm

A friendly reminder there is a PTA meeting tonight – 7pm Carey’s Bay Hotel Board Room.

(Please note the change of day – we are now meeting on the first MONDAY of the month going forward.)

New members welcome!  We look forward to seeing you tonight.

Futsal Draw for This Week

Mon Mar 06 07:45am

Kia ora,

Below is this week’s Futsal draw:


Sawyers Bay Stars vs. George Street Normal School Tigers, 4.45pm, Edgar Court 17

Sawyers Bay Strikers vs. Arthur Street Glory, 5.45pm, Edgar Court 14


Sawyers Bay Sweepers vs. Sawyers Bay Sparks, 4.15pm, Edgar Court 5

Hope the games are heaps of fun this week!

Miss Tenci.

Week 5 Term 1 Newsletter

Thu Mar 02 10:53am

Good morning

The Week 5 newsletter is now available for viewing.

Clarification – We are open all day!

Wed Mar 01 10:08am

Kia ora Families,

I am aware that there is some confusion around the fact that many schools in Dunedin are only open for a half day today.

I can confirm that SBS is open all day as normal! If there was any variation from this, we would have ensured you were informed.

Many teachers across Dunedin, including representation from SBS, are away from their schools this afternoon attending a Paid Union Meeting. We are currently in negotiations with the Government over our different employment contracts which relate directly to conditions for teachers and children within our schools. 


Ka mihi,

Gareth Swete

Touch Draw for Tomorrow

Wed Mar 01 08:16am

Good morning Touch families/caregivers,

Below is tomorrow’s draw:

Sawyers Bay Stingers vs Concord Blue, 4.15pm, Oval Field 9


Miss Tenci.


Introduction of new School policy around physical restraint

Tue Feb 28 10:46am

Good morning Families,

The Sawyers Bay School Board is responsible for having policies in place that ensure the school meets all legal responsibilities and requirements (did you know that you can find a copy of all of our policies on the website?)

All NZ schools are now legally required to introduce a policy on ‘Managing Challenging Behavior and the use of Physical Restraint’ if they have not done so already.

I would like to assure all families that for our kura, this is a formality and will not change the care and positive pupil management that we currently provide. In fact in the last 10 years, there has been exactly zero incidences of notifiable restraint on children. Happy, engaged learners who feel valued and a sense of belonging most often do not require any greater intervention than a teacher to listen to them, support them, and encourage them.

Attached to this notification is a copy of the draft policy that will be tabled at our next Board meeting for adoption or discussion. All community members are welcome to provide any feedback on the policy before the Board meeting and can do so by emailing: bot@sawyersbay.school.nz. 

You can also read more about it here on the Ministry of Education’s website:


Thank you in advance for any feedback.

Ka mihi,


Gareth Swete

Click here to view the draft policy

Strikers Futsal Draw

Tue Feb 28 07:30am

Here is the update for the Strikers Futsal Draw for this afternoon:

Sawyers Bay Strikers vs. MHS Arsenal, Edgar Court 10, 3.45pm



Miss Tenci.

Futsal Draw for this Week (28 Feb./01 Mar.)

Mon Feb 27 08:33pm

Kia ora, 

Below is this week’s Futsal draw:

Sawyers Bay Stars vs. St Brigid’s Strikers, Edgar Court 12, 4.45pm

Sawyers Bay Sparks vs. Abbots 9, Edgar Court 4, 4.15pm

Sawyers Bay Sweepers vs. Halfway Bush Defenders, Edgar Court 6, 4.15pm

Note: Sawyers Bay Strikers, I am yet to receive any draw information for your team this week. This may mean that this week is a BYE for you. However, I have emailed to follow up and will post asap if I am provided different information.

All the best for your games this week!

Miss Tenci.

Touch has been Cancelled!

Thu Feb 23 03:11pm

Sorry Touch families, but I have only just now received an email to say that Touch has been called off today due to very bad weather down at the Oval! 


Hopefully it will clear up for next week,

Kind regards, Miss Tenci.



Week 4 Term 1 Newsletter

Thu Feb 23 11:42am

The Week 4 newsletter is now available for viewing on both the website and the app.

Touch Draw for Thursday

Wed Feb 22 04:06pm

Good afternoon Touch families/caregivers,

Below is this Thursday’s Touch Draw:

Sawyers Bay Stingers vs. Abbots 3, 4.15pm, Oval Field 9

Have a fun game!

Miss Tenci.

Typo. Senior Futsal Draw

Tue Feb 21 05:14pm

Hi there,

Sorry there was a little typo on the senior Futsal draw yesterday. 

The Sweepers game details remain the same as the first post. 

However, the Sawyers Bay SPARKS are up against Green Island United at 4.15pm on Court 4.

I apologise if there was any confusion there!

Kind regards,

Miss Tenci.

No Subway lunch this Friday

Tue Feb 21 12:40pm

Edit: No Subway lunches this Friday 24 February (not March!) as originally messaged.

Subway have advised us they are unable to provide lunches this Friday (24 February).  Ordering will be back to normal for Friday 3 March.

Senior Futsal Draw for Wednesday

Mon Feb 20 06:21pm

Kia ora senior futsal families/caregivers, 

The Wednesday draw is as follows:

Sawyers Bay Sweepers vs. Concord Shooters, 4.15pm, Court 5

Sawyers Bay Strikers vs. Green Island United, 4.15pm, Court 4

Have fun at the games!


Miss Tenci.





Tane Mahuta – Cycle skills change of date

Mon Feb 20 12:10pm

Kia ora Tane Mahuta families.

The cycle skills programme that was planned for tomorrow has had a date change.

It will now be on the 31st March.

Apologies for any confusion.

Ka mihi,



Junior Futsal Draw for Tuesday

Sat Feb 18 12:53pm

Kia ora Junior Futsal families,

The draw for Tuesday is below:

Sawyers Bay Strikers vs. Kaikorai Snakes, 3.45pm, Edgar Court 10

Sawyers Bay Stars vs. SPC Pihinga, 4.45pm, Edgar Court 14


Miss Tenci.


Week 3 Term 1 Newsletter

Thu Feb 16 09:55am

Good morning

The Week 3 newsletter is now available for viewing.

Touch Draw for Thursday 16th Feb.

Wed Feb 15 05:22pm

Kia ora Touch families,

The draw for tomorrow is as follows:

Sawyers Bay Stingers vs. Opoho Phantoms, Oval Field 8, 4.15pm

Hope it’s a great game,

Miss Tenci.



Futsal Draw for Seniors, 15th Feb.

Tue Feb 14 12:56pm

Hi there Senior Futsal families,

Below is the Futsal draw for tomorrow’s games:

Sawyers Bay Sparks vs. Green Island United, Edgar Court 5, 4.15pm

Sawyers Bay Sweepers vs. St. Bernie’s Burritos, Edgar Court 4, 4.15pm

Hope both teams have great games!

Miss Tenci.


Futsal Draw for Tuesday

Mon Feb 13 06:49pm

Kia ora families of Junior Futsal kids,

Sorry for the late notice re. this week’s Futsal draw it only got sent through this afternoon. We are yet to receive the Wednesday draw for seniors, I will get this out as soon as I have the information. 

The draw for tomorrow is as follows:

Sawyers Bay Stars vs. Fairfield Bandits, Edgar Court 17, 4.45pm

Sawyers Bay Strikers vs. Karitane Kea, Edgar Court 18, 3.45pm

Thank you,

Miss Tenci.

Week 2 Term 1 Newsletter

Thu Feb 09 10:23am

The Week 2 newsletter is now available for viewing on both the app and the website.

Sports Teams configuration

Thu Feb 09 08:06am

Kia ora Parents,

We are currently configuring our sports teams and could really use a couple of extra players in the following grades:

Year 1/2 Futsal

Year 5/6 Touch

We currently only have one registration for junior touch. We can enter a team if we have a sudden influx on registrations today.

If you would like to register your child, email sophiet@sawyersbay.school.nz directly by 3pm today!

Week 1 Term 1 Newsletter

Thu Feb 02 10:48am

Good morning

The first newsletter for 2023 is now available for viewing on both the app and the website.

Sausage Sizzle – Term 1 2023

Wed Feb 01 09:33am

Good morning
School lunches begin again next week and we are asking for volunteers to cook the sausage sizzle for our children on Wednesdays this term please. 

If you are available to cook sausages from approx. 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.
Wednesdays 8, 15 and 22 February
Wednesdays 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 March
Wednesday 5 April

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

Thank you

Can’t wait for school tomorrow!

Mon Jan 30 03:52pm

Kia ora Families,


We are very excited to welcome our kids and parents back tomorrow. There are a couple of tiny reminders:

It is going to be HOT this week! Please remember your school hat, sunscreen and water bottles. If your school hat has gone walkabout over the holidays, any wide brimmed or bucket hat will be fine, or you can purchase a new one for $6 from the office.

Stationery packs will be given out to all children tomorrow and sent home to be named and labelled if required. These packs will be put onto your child’s account unless we hear from parents otherwise that they wish to purchase their own stationery.

Tane Mahuta and Hinemoana children – unfortunately our cloakroom renovations in your classrooms are running behind schedule. Please do not go straight to your cloakrooms to unpack in the morning, your teacher will tell you what to do. The good news however is that by the end of the week, you will have brand new bathrooms and cloakrooms by the end of this week.

We can’t wait to see you tomorrow morning.

SBS Staff

Welcome back for 2023

Tue Jan 10 09:00am

Kia ora families,


I hope that you have had an excellent Christmas and New Year with your families. With the start of Term 1 just around the corner, here a a few little reminders:

First day of Term

The school officially starts on Tuesday 31st January for all children. Important dates can be found on our parent calendar on the website.

Class lists

Class lists are now displayed in the office window.

Sports Shirts

If you ordered a sports shirt last year, they are on-site and ready to be distributed (they literally arrived less than an hour after closing on the last day of Term 4!!).

Stationery and back to school costs

The school continues to be part of the Ministry of Education Voluntary Donations Scheme which means that there is no costs to families other than stationery. We have chosen this option to make back to school as easy as possible for all.

The School Office will be open on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th January from 9am to 12.30pm for any stationery/sunhat purchases, or other enquiries. 

We have all stationery packs ready to distribute and these do not need to be purchased prior. We will distribute these directly to your children and charge your school account to keep it as simple as possible for families. However, if you wish to organise your own stationery, please let us know and we will send you a stationery list. The prices are as follows:

Papatuanuku – $30

Hine-Rau-Wharangi – $25 

Tawhirimatea – $23

Ranginui – $25

Hinemoana – $28

Tane Mahuta – $34

SBS Sunhats (heavily PTA subsidised) – $6


In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. The best way to reach us is to email me directly – gareths@sawyersbay.school.nz or the School Office – office@sawyersbay.school.nz

We are excited to get back into teaching and learning with your children very soon!


Ka mihi nui,

Gareth Swete