School Communication

Latest Notifications

Ecosanctuary catch up trips

Thu May 12 03:14pm

Kia ora Families,

As you may recall, three of our classes missed their Econsanctuary trips last term due to illness and weather. We have finally been able to secure replacement dates for this term, but the catch is that the date for Tane Mahuta is next Tuesday!

We know that this does not give you much time but we would really appreciate it if you could review and return the latest permission slip.

If for any reason it does not makes its way home in your child’s bag, we have attached a copy below.

Permission slip available here

Newsletter Week 2 Term 2

Thu May 12 10:56am

Good morning

This week’s newsletter is now available for viewing.

Newsletter Week 1 Term 2

Thu May 05 11:05am

Good morning

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

Term 2 Sausage Sizzle – volunteers please

Tue May 03 12:04pm

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 ( or 4728981) with the date(s) you are able to help.

Wednesdays 11, 18 and 25 May

Wednesdays 1, 8 and 22 June

Wednesday 6 July

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

The sausage sizzle is very popular and we are keen to continue providing it as an option.

Board casual Vacancy update

Mon May 02 11:07am

Welcome back to Term 2. We are thrilled to have our children back with us once again.

This notification is to provide a quick update on a Board related matter.
A casual vacancy has occurred on the school board for an elected parent representative. mark Gillon, a long serving board member has resigned as his last child left the school at the end of 2020. I would like to thank Mark for his dedication and hard work on behalf of the school board. 
The board has decided to fill the vacancy by selection. This means that the casual vacancy will be covered until the triennial election a little later this year.
If 10% or more of eligible voters on the school roll ask the board, within 28 days of this notice being published, to hold a by-election to fill the vacancy, then a by-election will be held instead.
Request for a by-election should be sent to:

Matthew Dick,

Presiding member (chair)
Sawyers Bay School Board
99 Stevenson ave, Sawyers Bay
by: Monday 30th May.


Thank you in advance for your continued support.

Ka mihi,


Term 2 COVID changes

Fri Apr 29 02:19pm

Kia ora Families,

We are very much looking forward to getting back into school again for Term 2! As we mentioned last term, there will be a couple of minor adjustments to our COVID operating protocols for Term 2. Please note that this plan is based on our current situation and may need to be revised if the situation develops. I think we are all getting well used to changes!

Access to school grounds:

Parents will be able to come on-site from Day 1 Term 2. While we are excited to have parents back on-site, it will only be outside of the classrooms at this stage. We would ask that adults avoid the classrooms and indoor spaces unless absolutely necessary please. If you do need to come into the buildings, we would ask you to sign in, in the office first please. All parents and visitors will be required to wear a mask while on-site, including outdoors, during school hours. 

Masks for children

Year 4 children and above are no longer required to wear a mask in class, but strongly encouraged to. Children below Year 4 are also of course welcome to continue to wear masks. We have seen first hand how illnesses travel through both masked and unmasked classes quite differently. We anticipate increased colds and flu, as well as COVID, during this winter term and we desperately want to keep our kids healthy and present.

Keeping the school informed

Please keep us informed if you, or a member of your family, are positive, or isolating for COVID. We have a stock of RAT tests. If you need them, let us know and we will get some to you.


Please do keep your child home if they are unwell, regardless if it is COVID or a general illness.

Pick ups and drop offs

If you have enjoyed the gate pick up and drop offs, please feel very welcome to continue this practice. Teachers will continue to be available before and after school at the gate.

School tops

To finish on a positive, our new school tops have arrived and we will be distributing these as of Monday. Don’t forget to name them!


Enjoy your last few days of the holidays together and we look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Ka mihi nui,


Gareth Swete

Newsletter Week 11 Term 1

Thu Apr 14 10:28am

Good morning

The final newsletter of Term 1 is now available for viewing.  Have a great break and we look forward to seeing everyone back in Term 2.

COVID Update – move to orange

Wed Apr 13 03:04pm

Kia ora families,

As you may be aware, all of New Zealand will be moving to COVID orange setting as of tonight.

While this will have an impact on how we operate moving forward, we will NOT be making any changes to our protocols before at least Term 2. We still identify a high level of risk within the school and desperately do not want to send COVID home to any families over the holidays.

We will of course communicate any changes that may affect your child before the start of the term.


Ka mihi,


Gareth Swete

Tane Mahuta Ecosanctuary trip postponed

Wed Apr 13 09:23am

Good morning Tane Mahuta whanau,


Unfortunately due to staff shortages at Orokonui, the Orokonui team have made the decision to postpone the class trip today. We are currently working on alternative dates for early next term and will confirm with you asap. Apologies to our parents who have made the time to join us today.

Ranginui Ecosanctuary trip postponed

Tue Apr 12 08:45am

Kia roa Ranginui whanau,


Unfortunately due to the weather, the Orokonui team have made the decision to postpone their trip today. We are currently working on alternative dates for early next term and will confirm with you asap. Apologies to our parents who have made the time to join us today.

Hot Cross Bun – collection today

Thu Apr 07 09:30am

Good morning

A reminder hot cross bun orders will be available for collection this afternoon, between 2.30 – 3.00pm at the top tennis court gate.

Please bring your own bags.

Week 10 updates

Tue Apr 05 09:03pm

Kia ora Families,


Just a few quick updates for the week:


There will not be a newsletter this week. We will send any updates via SchoolApp notification

COVID Changes

As the COVID situation in the country continues to evolve, just a reminder that there will be no changes in our operating protocols before the end of the term. We are keeping all of our protocols in order to be able to help stem the flow of cases within our school. This will be reviewed during the term break but we would ask families to keep us informed of any positive cases over the break to help us get a picture of what our situation is.

Hot Cross Bun orders

Thank you to all families who placed a Hot Cross Bun order with the PTA. These will be available to be picked up on Thursday between 2.30-3pm on the top court. Please can you bring your own bag and please remember that it is still a school requirement to wear a mask on-site during times when the children are present even though it is outside.


Ka mihi,



Newsletter Week 9 Term 1

Thu Mar 31 12:38pm

Good afternoon, this week’s newsletter is now available for viewing.

Book Club close off brought forward

Thu Mar 24 12:39pm

Hi everyone, we are bringing the close off of the Scholastic Book Club Issue 2 forward to 25 March (tomorrow) so we can have our orders arrive before the end of the term. 

If you would like to place an order, please order online or send your order forms into the school office before 11am tomorrow.

No Subway this week

Wed Mar 23 11:01am

Good morning

Unfortunately Subway lunches are not available to order on Friday this week.

Sausage Sizzle – Wednesday volunteer please

Tue Mar 22 10:11am

Good morning – we are looking for a volunteer to cook the sausages for tomorrow’s Sausage Sizzle please.  If you are available to help from 11.45am – 12.30pm please contact the school office on 4728981 or

Thank you

COVID and Swimming

Mon Mar 21 05:56pm

Kia ora families,

Unfortunately we now officially have positive COVID cases in all classes. We ask that you all remain vigilant, keep children at home if they are unwell, and notify the school if anyone in your household tests positive.

I would like to thank all of our families who have been in touch with us and helped us to keep organised and prepared.

Not related to COVID, please do also remember your togs tomorrow!


Ka mihi,


School Jersey – last orders today!

Fri Mar 18 11:40am

Last chance for orders for this round today. We will be collating orders at 3pm.

(finished design will have a green zip the same colour as the sleeve trim)

Please note that these tops are not a compulsory uniform item.

The cost per jersey is only $40 thanks to a generous contribution from our PTA. Any orders will need to be paid for before receiving their top. 

Order form available here:

If you think your child would benefit from a new school jersey, but $40 is currently out of reach, please contact me confidentially and we can try find a solution together. 

Week 7 Term 1 Newsletter

Thu Mar 17 09:25am

Good morning

The week 7 newsletter is now available for viewing.

School Jersey orders due this week

Tue Mar 15 12:17pm

Kia ora Families,

Hopefully you would have seen our notice regarding new school jerseys last week. This is a small reminder that orders will be due in by Friday this week.

We will have the sample on display at Road Patrol times this week.

(finished design will have a green zip the same colour as the sleeve trim)

Please note that these tops are not a compulsory uniform item.

The cost per jersey is only $40 thanks to a generous contribution from our PTA. Any orders will need to be paid for before receiving their top. 

Order form available here:

If you think your child would benefit from a new school jersey, but $40 is currently out of reach, please contact me confidentially and we can try find a solution together. 

Togs and COVID on a Sunday Night

Sun Mar 13 08:32pm

Kia ora Families,

Just a quick reminder that we will in fact be swimming tomorrow (no false starts this time!). Please can you make sure that your child has their togs with them tomorrow and also that our Tane Mahuta children will be on the bus leaving school at 8.40am.

Over the weekend, we have been informed of several new cases on /COVID amongst our students. Up to this point, we have been notifying individual classes to let them know that there are confirmed cases within their class. If there was a confirmed case, all we would ask is that you take care with symptoms of illness, mask wearing and hygiene, As these are all things that we have become experts in recently, and given the fact that the majority of our classes have cases of positive COVID within them, we will not be advising individual classes, but rather all assuming that we have COVID amongst us and should be taking all precautions regardless. If we have a particular hot spot within any area of the school, we will address it as it arises.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly, and we will do everything we can to keep you all informed.

We do look forward to swimming as something more positive to focus on tomorrow. Thank you once again for all of your patience and support.


Ka mihi,



COVID Update for all families

Thu Mar 10 08:07pm

Kia ora families,

We want to keep you all as up to date as possible without inundating you with information.

Currently we have several confirmed cases of COVID within our school. While these are not our first cases, they are different in the fact that there may have been students at school during a period when they are infectious. We are confident that our health and safety procedures will certainly slow transmission between students, when cannot ignore the fact that there will be more cases.

We have really appreciated your support in relation to COVID and ask that you bear with us and be patient as we do everything that we can to keep our school running and our kids safe. This does mean that we are having to be really careful with children that display any symptoms and will be in touch with families in this instant. For our senior children, mask wearing for those that can, combined with good hygiene, is proving the most effective way to avoid transmission. 

If you do happen to have a positive case within your household, please let us know asap as it helps us to manage the spread the best that we can. We really appreciate the communication with families.

I would also ask a small favour too. Our teachers are working night and day running both on-site programmes and distance learning, as well as having to adapt to our ever changing landscape. Please be patient with our teachers as they do everything they can for our kids.

Once again, thank you for your support, we are working extremely hard to keep your children safe and the school running as ‘normal’ as possible.


Ka mihi,


Gareth Swete


Week 6 Term 1 Newsletter

Thu Mar 10 12:13pm

The week 6 newsletter is now available for viewing on both the app and the website.

Optional School Jersey order form

Wed Mar 09 12:20pm

Kia ora Families,

Unfortunately we can no longer provide the screen printed black Hunting and Fishing Polar Fleeces.

We have therefore sourced a new optional school jersey design that is closer to our sports tops, and utilises a local supplier.

(finished design will have a green zip the same colour as the sleeve trim)

Any families wishing to buy one for their child can do so via this form. Please note that these tops are not a compulsory uniform item.

The cost per jersey is only $40 thanks to a generous contribution from our PTA. Any orders will need to be paid for before receiving their top. 

As we cannot invite parents on to try sizes, we have established that the tops are the same size as our school sports tops. If you know which sport top size fits your child best, this is a good indication, or even a size up to allow for layering.

Orders will be due by Friday 18th March so that we can get them ordered and delivered nice and promptly.


Order form available here:

If you think your child would benefit from a new school jersey, but $40 is currently out of reach, please contact me confidentially and we can try find a solution together. 

Walk ‘n’ Wheel To School Week – Wacky Wednesday

Tue Mar 08 10:32am

Tomorrow, to celebrate our Walk ‘n’ Wheel To School week, is Walk ‘n’ Wheel Wacky Wednesday.  Wear something bright; bright shoes, bright socks, bright helmet, bright clothes.  Be seen by the cars on the street! 

At 8.20am, there will be teachers to meet you at a ‘Walking Bus’ station around Sawyers Bay. At 8.30am the walking school bus will leave and we will all walk and wheel to school together. 

Corner of Station Road and Duke Street – Mrs Campbell

Corner of Hall Road and Hugh Street – Mr Swete and Mrs Brewer

Corner of Stevenson Ave and Mill Street – Miss Laing

Corner of Hall Road and Tewsley Street – Mrs Swete


We look forward to seeing you for Wacky Wednesday!

Swimming postponed until next week (14th – 25th March)

Mon Mar 07 10:07am

Kia ora Parents and Caregivers,

Unfortunately a situation has arisen this morning that we have had to react to in the best way possible to ensure the safety and needs of our children are met, and therefore not much notice of a change of dates I’m afraid. Due to a misunderstanding with our Swim Instructors, a double booking has occurred meaning that we will not be able to swim this week. Swimming will now start on Monday March 14th, and go through until Friday 25th.

We are terribly apologetic for getting our children excited about swimming, and do very much appreciate the efforts that families have gone to to get prepared for swimming today. The safest way forward was to simply push our start date back a week in order to ensure that we have exclusive use of the pool and the correct ratio of children and instructors.


Again, my apologies for the confusion. Thank you in advance for your understanding.  


Ka mihi,


Gareth Swete

Don’t forget your togs tomorrow!

Sun Mar 06 06:26pm

Swimming starts tomorrow, and every day for the next two weeks.

Tane Mahuta children, remember that your bus leaves at 8.40am.

Week 5 Term 1 Newsletter

Thu Mar 03 10:30am

Good morning – this week’s newsletter is now available for viewing on both the app and the website.

COVID Update for the coming week.

Sun Feb 27 07:48pm

Kia ora Parents,

As many of you will already be aware, we have several cases of COVID within our school and parent community. If your child’s class has a positive case of COVID, we will be in touch, and have been with those classes affected so far. While we know that we have very carefully structured health protocols in place, we also know that no system is perfect of course. We really do need to emphasise the wearing of masks for not only your child, but for the staff and children in their classes, hand washing, and good hygiene.

PLEASE, if your child is unwell at any time, keep them home until they are completely symptom free for a good period of time (we can help guide you on this on a case by case situation). It is also super helpful if you can let us know that your child will be away from school. Thank you to all of our wonderful parents for doing both of these things well so far this term.

This week we already have a significant impact on staffing. Your child will very likely have relieving teachers at some point this week. We have excellent relief teachers who know the school and kids well, but you will need to expect this disruption.

If you and your child are required to self isolate, they can access many of our learning activities via their Seesaw link. Staff will do their very best to respond to submitted work but please do be patient with us. Staff will be working extremely hard to be able to firstly meet the needs of their classes, as well as attending to home learning. We will get to both and do appreciate your support.

Again, if you have any questions at all, have a positive case in your household, or need any clarification, the best thing to do is to contact me via email directly at any time, any day of the week. I will come back to you with a response asap and hopefully help to clear up any uncertainty etc.

Thank you once again for your continued support.

Ka mihi nui,


Gareth Swete

Important COVID-19 update

Thu Feb 24 12:54pm

(A paper copy of this notice will be coming home today too)

Dear Parents and Caregivers,


First of all, congratulations to everyone for getting this far through quite an epic journey with such a low level of disruption and stress. This only happened due to the efforts of everyone to keep each other safe.

As many of you may already be aware, Omicron is now within our school community. We are very fortunate at this time to have no evidence of exposure to any COVID-19 strain in any of our classrooms or playground. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all families affected who have followed the health guidelines, and in effect, kept a potential significant spread from occurring within our children.


Once again, the rules have changed. The flowchart that we shared last week is now redundant as the guidance to schools has been updated in response to the Government’s move to Phase 3. From the beginning of Phase 3, the definition of close contacts in particular has a dramatic effect on how we manage future cases. As we will continue our health protection measures, there is a very good chance that we will not have to send classes home due to a positive case within the class.


What to do if you, or any member of your family are unwell

Please isolate immediately and do not send your child to school. PLEASE COMMUNICATE WITH THE SCHOOL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. From here, seek your health professional’s advice and try to secure a RAT or PCR test for COVID. If you, or any member of your household return a positive result, you will all need to isolate and follow public health advice (isolation for ten days, re-test on Day 5 and Day 8) and only return to school after the isolation period, AND when symptom free.

If your child is unwell for any other reason, please keep them at home until they are completely symptom free for at least 72 hours. This will help us to protect our most vulnerable and also avoid high levels of transmission of any illness.


Will classes be removed from school at any time?

Not a straight forward answer. If a case is identified within a classroom, and all children have adhered to our protection strategies, then no we will not need to send bulk numbers of children home. For children that cannot wear masks, or are particularly vulnerable, we will communicate any Ministry of Health guidance for these students directly with the families.  If staff become infected, we will be implementing our business disruption strategy to maintain as normal operation as possible. If multiple staff are put into isolation, and suitable cover of classes cannot be achieved, there is a small possibility that we may need to move some classes into distance learning. This will strictly only apply if we cannot adequately staff the school for their own safety and learning. In this instance, we will work with families to be able to get this information out as soon as possible as we appreciate that this will cause significant disruption to families.


What can I do now to help slow the spread within the school?

To help slow the spread, we ask all families to simply continue doing what we are already doing! Keep unwell children at home, wear your mask at pick up and drop off, maintain social distancing at the gate. The children can help by continuing to practice good hygiene and particularly handwashing procedures at school and for those that can, continue to wear your mask in class (we really appreciate the effort kids have made here to not only protect themselves from all bugs and colds, but to support those that are either vulnerable or cannot wear a mask).


Once again, we truly appreciate your support as we navigate yet another change in how we can operate. Our aim as always is to an air of normality for our children, and to keep our learning programme going ahead with as little disruption as possible.


Kā mihi nui,


Gareth Swete


Week 4 Term 1 Newsletter

Thu Feb 24 10:01am

This week’s newsletter is now available for viewing.

COVID Testing flow diagram

Mon Feb 21 09:53am

Kia ora Parents,

We understand that there is a little confusion over what to do in terms of attendance for children now that more and more of us are undergoing tests for COVID, or being identified as close contacts. 

To keep it nice and simple, please click below for a flow diagram of most scenarios. This is a guideline only and you may have more specific situations that are not covered. In this case, please do get in touch and we can work it our together.


Ka mihi,



COVID flow diagram

Week 2 Term 1 Newsletter

Thu Feb 17 01:42pm

Good afternoon – this week’s newsletter is now available for viewing on both the app and the website.

Kiwiharvest delivery, plums, apples, bananas and rice

Wed Feb 16 02:13pm

We have a large delivery from Kiwiharvest today. Boxes of plums, apples, bananas and Uncle Ben rice pouches. Please bring a shopping bag to pick up and fill yer boots!

Due to COVID restrictions, we are going to do it a little differently today. All of the food will be on the top court. You can enter through the gate closest to the sharing shed and exit the same way by following the chalk lines. 

Any adult on-site will be required to wear a mask though please.

Touch Rugby starts tomorrow – Team information

Wed Feb 16 07:48am

Good morning Parents,

Apologies for late notice, we have been awaiting confirmation of the competition.

We officially start Touch Rugby tomorrow. There are two teams entered:

SBS Incredible vs. SFX Rockets  3:45 PM Oval: F6a

Korben Taylor

Kenneth Makanesi

Viliami Molia

Mele Molia

Willow Heineman-Livett

Aarlo Cunningham

Ava Mason


SBS Awesome v NEVN Taniwhas 4:15 PM Oval: F3

Beau Glover

Anja Sweeney

Liam Mason

Ava Mason

Liam Grey

Monty Olsen

Luca Phillipps


We do still need parents to help manage the teams. We can run practices at school but simply need someone to be the meeting point, help run subs and give out player of the day. If you could help, we would greatly appreciate it, please let us know asap.


Download the School App

Our School App is what we use for general School-Wide communication. You can download the School App to receive Alert Notifications, read the latest newsletter, view upcoming events, submit absences and more.

To download the School App, search SchoolAppsNZ in the App Store or Google Play Store, and then search Sawyers Bay School in the search bar in the app.

If you are on a mobile you can click this link to download the App.