Policies and procedures

Policies and procedures

Please visit the School Docs page to view our full Policies & Procedures. Our community username is 'mararoa', please contect the school office for the password.

We have a number of school policies and procedures which are available for you to see at the school. We have included our Homework Procedure, Tree Climbing Procedure, Adventurous Play Procedure, Food & Nutrition Policy, Education Beyond the Classrooom and our Policy for Dealing with Concerns on this page at present.

Homework Procedure


  • To develop independent study habits.
  • To keep parents informed regarding school programmes.
  • To encourage parent, child and school co-operation.


The homework diary is an essential tool of communication between teachers and parents.

Regular homework is set.

The amount of time spent on homework will vary, according to the age of the child. As a broad guideline:

  • Junior room - 10 - 15 minutes
  • Senior room - 20 - 40 minutes

Homework is to be an extension of the classroom work. The need to practice certain skills may arise during the day, eg. - Tables, spelling, proof reading. During certain times of the year and at the teacher’s discretion other tasks may be set. Unfinished school work and research work may also be sent home as homework.

Tree Climbing Procedure


To promote safe adventurous play in the natural environment.


To take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of all students in this activity.


  • Playground duty will include the supervision of children climbing trees.
  • Children are permitted to climb trees in the school grounds.
  • If children are told to come down by a teacher they must come down immediately. This is at the teacher’s discretion.
  • Climbing privileges will be removed for children who fail to comply with the first three guidelines as stated above.
  • Trees will be checked to ensure no damage is done to them by the BOT property representative in the monthly property inspections.
  • Safety procedures of climbing trees will be reviewed annually.
  • No climbing of trees before or after school.
  • If a child falls from a tree the other children will seek the help of a teacher. The child is not to be moved!

Adventurous Play Procedure


To promote safe, adventurous play in the natural environment.


To take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of all students in this activity.


  • Boundaries will be set for the children’s play area and described to the children.
  • “Safety net” zone will be show to the children to define dangerous areas eg. fire and water hazards.
  • Children and the teacher must be in view of each other at all times.
  • When venturing away from the school grounds, a child/adult ratio will be at least 1:4.
  • Safe operation of tools will be demonstrated to the children.

Food & Nutrition Policy


  • To ensure Mararoa School has good nutrition and health procedures.
  • To develop skills, systems that promotes healthy education.


  • All staff members promote healthy eating – i.e. classroom treats to be restricted to Christmas and Easter. Healthy treat options will be available.
  • Students will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own health through classroom programmes.
  • Steps will be taken to encourage the consumption of healthy foods.
  • Where possible, foods available for school fund raising activities, festivals, school camps, sports days will be consistent with this policy.

Education Beyond the Classrooom


  • To enrich the classroom programme and enhance learning by providing first hand experience beyond the classroom.
  • To provide opportunities for the community to participate in the education of the children through sharing knowledge and experience.
  • To assist the children to understand and appreciate our bicultural society (both past and present).
  • To enable children to appreciate the different aspects of their local environment and those outside the immediate area.
  • To adhere to relevant sections of our Charter.
  • To introduce children to the challenges and dangers of the environment, and the safety procedures and skills for coping with them.
  • To enhance self esteem in children by developing strengths and abilities not evident in the classroom.
  • To help in the social development of children.
  • To implement appropriate safety procedures in planning outdoor activities.


The experiences should be different rather than distant.

Definite educational objectives relating to the curriculum and to the school and class programmes must be established.

In planning school trips, consideration must be given to the needs of the children and to their financial resources. Where hardship is evident, funding will be obtained when possible from grants.

One annual whole school trip will have bus travel funded by PTA (passed 19/3/96).

Parents are welcome to make a donation to other parents who supply car transport for trips.

An adult/pupil ratio of at least 1 to 5 should be maintained throughout any trip where extra supervision is required, eg. outdoor activities. Parent Helpers are not to bring pre-schoolers on school trips due to current Health & Safety regulations.

Parents transporting children on school trips should provide a seat belt for each passenger, and meet all legal requirements. eg WOF, driver's license, speed of travel. Parents must provide their child with a booster seat or approved child restraint up to age 7. This is to be brought to school on the day of the trip. Parents of children aged 7-8, or older, are welcome to provide booster seats/child restraints if they so wish.

In planning trips an attempt to identify possible hazards of a general nature will be made. RAM sheets will be completed for activities and all trips. Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure safety, eg. First aid kits carried. RAM sheets will be approved by BOT.

Consent forms will be obtained yearly from parents to give permission for children to complete all activities unless parents notify the school otherwise. Parents will inform staff of medical conditions and emergency contacts on emergency update form to be completed yearly. Parents will be informed through newsletters of coming events.

The Principal has overall responsibility for all class trips.

The Principal will liaise with the Board of Trustees regarding excursions from the school. This will be done through monthly reports. Adequate notice will be given where possible, ie. 2 months should be given to parents in order to accommodate fundraising efforts for camps etc.

Dealing with Concerns Policy


  • To help parents/school staff communicate their concerns.
  • To establish a procedure for concerns to be addressed as quickly as possible, in order to maintain positive relationships between the community and school.
  • To endeavour to reach a solution that is agreeable to all parties.


Parents are welcome to discuss their concerns out of teaching hours by prior appointment made during school hours.

The parent will address their concern directly to the classroom teacher.

If the concern remains unresolved the parent will direct the concern to the Principal. He/she will inform the teacher concerned, before anyone else becomes involved, so the matter may be dealt with by the teacher concerned.

The Principal will act as mediator, if necessary, with the prior agreement of the parties concerned.

If a concern is expressed in writing then it becomes a complaint and in the first instance, the letter is given to the Principal and teacher concerned. This signed letter should outline the specific incident, the date and circumstances.

If a satisfactory solution is not reached within an agreed time frame by the parties concerned then the matter should be brought to the attention of the B.O.T. in writing.

It is recommended that an anecdotal record of the concerns should be kept if possible by the teacher.

Mararoa School Bus Procedures

Our School bus rules are as follows:

  • Show respect for the driver and follow all his instructions immediately.
  • Children remain seated at all times in the allocated seat unless asked to move by the driver.
  • No wriggling around in seats – always face the front.
  • Remain seated until the driver stops at your bus stop.
  • Children may talk quietly to their neighbour. Absolutely no loud voices or shouting.
  • The consumption of food and drink is not permitted.
  • Be polite and courteous to everyone on the bus.

The consequences of these rules being broken are as follows:

In extreme/intolerable cases of misbehaviour we will go directly to step 3.

Step 1. First complaint: a verbal warning and, if appropriate, a letter of apology to the bus driver signed by the parents.

Step 2. Second complaint: the parents/caregiver will be notified and appropriate steps will take place at school.

Step 3. Third complaint: the parents/caregiver will be notified and requested to meet with the teacher and principal for an interview so next steps can be put in place. This may require the student being stood down from using the bus for an appropriate period of time.

It is important that our drivers have their full attention on the road and are not distracted by inappropriate behaviour in the bus.

Parents are to write a note or ring the school if there is any change in their child’s normal travel arrangements. Staff put this in the “Bus Book” and this is checked when buses are loaded at the end of the day.

Snow, ice or flooding, Mararoa School Bus Controller in consultation with staff and parents makes a decision in the best interest of safety. See separate set of procedures for this.

Children under the age of 5 years can only travel on the bus if parents sign a pre-enrolment form accepting full responsibility for their child.

The Board of Trustees takes the view that final responsibility for acceptable conduct of pupils on the bus rests with parents. The Board has the right to withdraw any child from the service who continually offends. This applies also, to those children travelling to and from Technology classes. If a discipline problem arises on the bus during travel, the bus stops on the side of the road in a safe and visible place. It doesn’t proceed until the matter is resolved. The bus driver will inform the Mararoa School Bus Controller who will contact the parents of the children involved.