Absence from Class

If your child is going to be absent from school please

  • Ring the school office before 9 a.m. and leave a message on the answer machine. Please give a reason why your child is absent.
  • Please ring daily if your child is away for more than one day. You can send an email to the school office admin@halswell.school.nz or via School Links.

If your child arrives late to school he/she must report to the office and the office will give him/her a Late Slip to give to the teacher.

Please make an application in writing to the Principal, in advance, if you need to take your child out of class for an extended period of time.


  • Achievers: Do their best, aim high, accept challenges be successful and confident.
  • Communicators: Share, exchange, and convey information effectively and respectfully in a variety of ways using technology, spoken and written language, mathematics and the arts.
  • Thinkers: Wonder about their world and be able to ask questions. To be reflective, creative and critical thinkers able to solve their problems.
  • Interactors: Are able to learn from, and work with others, work independently or collaboratively, enjoying the diversity of the Halswell School and community.
  • Versatile Players: Value opportunities to try new or different activities, engage with their environment and participate in a range of sports and arts.
  • Enjoy Learning: Finally, we want your children to relish their school life and develop the love of learning.

To be successful in life we have to be ACTIVE in our approach to life, our learning and our pursuits. Each attribute is also connected to one of the five Key Competencies that the new curriculum states children need for life:

  • Managing Self
  • Relating to Others
  • Participating and Contributing
  • Thinking
  • Using Language symbols and Text
After School Care – Oscar @ Halswell Inc

The school supports a well attended and highly successful, CYPS approved OSCAR programme (Out of School Care and Recreation). Before, after school and holiday programmes are provided to families of the school for modest fees, in a relaxed caring atmosphere on the school grounds. The programme is an incorporated non-profit society, co-ordinated by a separate committee and run by trained staff dedicated to the care and well-being of the children. The contact telephone number for OSCAR is (03) 322 5127. Email halswelloscar@gmail.com.

Appointments with Class Teachers

There is plenty of evidence to show that children whose parents and family/whanau get involved in their learning are more likely to have lifelong success through learning. We acknowledge this and actively encourage parents to become involved. While parents are welcome, we like to know in advance if you wish to discuss any specific matter. This should not deter you from asking your child’’s teacher for a time for this to occur, or phone for an appointment. Teachers have limited time after school as they are required to meet with colleagues immediately after school two days a week.

While we have an ‘open door’ policy and encourage parents to visit, we would ask that you vacate classrooms promptly in the morning and please do not enter the classroom while lessons are being taken.


School assemblies are an important part of school life. All parents are welcome to attend assembly, which is usually on alternate Tuesdays at 2.15pm (‘even’ weeks).


At Halswell School there are many different badges you can earn. These are Canterbury Representative, Sports Representative, Academic, Cultural, School Services and International Ambassador.

There are a variety of ways you can earn these badges. You can see all of the different ways to earn a badge in the criteria below.

Awarded For Criteria
Canterbury Representative
CHCH School’s Music Festival Special Groups Participation in Special groups
Attendance at Canterbury Champs School-based sports – must qualify through zone (plus Chess Finals)
Placing at Canterbury event Non-zone based e.g. Indoor and Summer Tournament, Gymnastics, Cantamath
Jump Jam Placing at the Regionals
School Services
Senior Choir or Orchestra Leader Lead the Orchestra and Senior Choir
Student Council All class representatives
Road Patrol All fully trained Road Patrol members
School Radio 1 Year of service as a DJ. Awarded at the discretion of TIC
School Leaders School leadership positions e.g. Communications, Enviro, Safety, Library and House Captains
Senior Choir / Vocal Group Years 5-8 Only, 1 year +
Orchestra/Jazz Band 2 years + (Invited Jazz Band member 1 year)
Rock Band Years 5-8 Only, 1 year +
School Music Award 1st, 2nd or 3rd place
Kapa Haka 2 years +
Hip Hop Qualification for Regional competitions
Sports Representative
Zone Representatives Participation at a Zone Sports event
Gymnastics Participation at a Canterbury event
Aerobics Participation at a Canterbury event
Jump Jam Qualification for Regionals
ICAS Competition Distinction, High Distinction and Medals
Problem Challenge Top 10% in year level
Chess Tournaments Participation at Canterbury Finals
Chess Tournaments Canterbury Individual Tournament Age Group Champion
Cantamath Team Member
Current Events Quiz Placing in Competition (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
Literacy Quiz Placing in Competition (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
Christs College Science Competition Placing in Competition (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
Speeches Year Level placings (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
Canty/Westland Science Fair Accepted for main exhibition
Spelling Quiz Placing in Competition (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
Robotics Competition Placing in Competition (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
International Ambassador
Homestay Hosting an International Student
Buddy Outstanding care to an International Student over a length of time in class and beyond, at the discretion of the International Director.
Travel Represent the school overseas in either an exchange, member of touring school group or as a sports or cultural representative.

To apply for a bade please complete the Students Badge Application.

Badge Criteria Information

Board of Trustees

Your Board of Trustees, including the Principal and a staff representative is responsible for the ‘business’ management of the school. It represents the community interest in the school and is always involved in:

  • the administration and the appropriate expenditure of school funds
  • a business relationship with the Ministry of Education to whom it is accountable
  • close liaison with the staff and P.T.A.
  • the maintenance of good school/community relations
Book Club

Ashton Book Clubs provide interesting reading material for the children at relatively cheap rates. Please note that there is no compulsion on any pupil to buy this material in spite of the fact that we act as a distribution point. Once ordered books are received, they are then distributed to the children. The school receives a credit with Scholastic NZ, for approximately one third of the sales, which is available to purchase books for both classrooms and the library. Please watch for the notice to pupils when it comes home. However, anything that encourages children to read recreationally is useful.

Change of Contact Details

In case of an emergency, it is vital that the school is able to reach parents. Please notify the school immediately of any change of address and phone number, including emergency contact numbers.

Community Support

A network of parents, offering practical support, for families in our community who are going through a difficult period. We welcome everyone who can very occasionally make a meal or do some baking which is then delivered to the family in need on a strictly anonymous basis.

Cyber Safety

In the interest of safety we require parent(s) permission for the publishing of pupil’s work, first names and photograph on our website, newsletters, promotional material and any other forms of media e.g. newspaper, television etc.

We believe it is important to celebrate pupil achievement, but are aware of potential risks when such personal information or material is published on a global system such as the internet. All photos are condensed before publishing.

Dental Care

The Mobile Dental Services van provides a free service for eligible students at the school when it is based at the school. At other times phone 322 8438.

Educational Trips

The interactions that take place while learners are outside the classroom are rich opportunities for implementing an inclusive curriculum. Throughout each year experiences beyond the school grounds will arise within the Halswell Community including: Halswell Quarry, Halswell Domain, Halswell Library, Halswell Aquatic Centre, Halswell Shopping Centre, and Muir Park. A permission slip is signed on enrolment to cover such ventures. Individual permission will be sought for excursions beyond Halswell or overnight stays. Parent help is usually required for trips in order to establish appropriate adult to child supervision ratios.

We also have an ongoing programme of school camps – Education Outside the Classroom – where children experience ever developing skills at each progressive class camp. Commonly used venues in recent years have been Living Springs, Arthur’s Pass, Wainui (on the Akaroa Harbour) and Taumutu Marae. The programme starts at Year 5.


Halswell School operates under an enrolment scheme – details of which are available from the school office. All students living in the ‘home zone’ (defined by geographic area) are entitled to enrol at Halswell School at any time. It is very important that you notify us, as soon as possible, of your intention to enrol your child at Halswell School. Either call at the office or make phone contact. Registration on the school’s Register of Intention does not automatically ensure enrolment if you are ‘out of zone’. The information will only be used for the purpose of predicting future roll numbers and does not in any way bind you to send your child to Halswell School. You may change your mind.

Registration of intent to enrol should, preferably, take place before the end of June for the subsequent year to assist the school in forward planning. Parent/caregivers of children who live out of zone should make an application in writing by the end of August of the year prior to the child starting school (dates to be advertised). In recent years the only out of zone enrolments have been of siblings of students who either currently attend or previously attended this school.

Approximately six weeks prior to your child commencing school an enrolment pack giving details of the enrolment process will be sent to you. Included in this is a booklet which gives you information about how to help your child settle into Halswell School and how to help them with their learning in their first year at school. Before your child starts school there will be three Tuesday visits from 10:20am to 12:30am. From 11am to 12:30 parents are invited to the staffroom where they are provided with orientation talks. When you do arrive for the first day in the class, you are welcome to stay for a while, but we would ask you to use your discretion about going, should your child begin to show signs of being unsettled.

Because the orientation or settling in of a child is a lengthy process, we encourage parents to bring children on the Monday after their fifth birthday. A copy of the school’s New Entrant Enrolment policy is available on request.

Parents are also welcome to visit and use the New Entrant playground prior to their children commencing school.

Health Nurse

The Public Health Nurse visits the school regularly. If a parent or teacher requests it, the nurse will follow up any matter needing attention.

Hearing/Vision Specialists

These specialists generally visit school at least once a year to conduct hearing and vision tests in certain age groups of the school. Pupils found lacking in either of these two areas will have their difficulties documented and parents will be advised of remedial action necessary. The school will of course receive a copy.


Taking activities home to complete is a ‘choice thing’, to do. To bring current learning activities home from school allows parents to be informed and therefore better able to support and encourage their children. It is always a pleasure to see children wanting to finish off classroom activities independently.

Children may bring home relevant classroom tasks that they can finish independently for up to 30 minutes four nights per week. Any work completed at home will be an integral part of the classroom programme.

All children should be expected to play or be physically active for 15 to 30 minutes per evening, preferably outside. Reading, with increasing independence with maturity, for 15 to 30 minutes per night is an expectation.

Children who are not able to complete activities because of extra-curricular actives will not be penalised.

House System

Upon enrolling each child is assigned to a house. Numbers in each house are kept as equal as possible. Siblings will be assigned to the same house.

Inter-house competition aims to: reward positive behaviour both inside and outside the classroom announced at each school assembly; and to provide for an air of competition in certain school sports events, e.g. swimming, athletics, cross country.

Illnesses and Accidents

Accidents and illness at school are attended to in the sickbay by designated trained first aid staff. Parents are contacted, except in the case of minor injuries or illness.

Parents should inform the school of any health or associated problems affecting their child. Arrangements must be made through the school office for children needing medication during school hours.

Indoor Footwear

Many children replace wet weather footwear outside (in winter) by slippers inside. This may also apply to wet and muddy shoes. From experience (and from the cleaners’ points of view) this is a good idea.


Each class has weekly visits to the Library, which is organised to offer appropriate recreational reading and material to assist the school’s emphasis on inquiry learning. This facility is available to children during most lunch breaks. Parents are asked to encourage regular reading at home and to ensure that books are properly looked after and returned.

Lost Property

Lost property is kept in the library foyer for unnamed items. Named items are returned to the owner.

Music Tuition

All children receive an hour per fortnight music tuition with our music specialist in the Performing Art Suite. A rich extra-curricular programme is also available:

  • The Jazz Band is a group of brass and woodwind players who rehearse from 8.30 to 9.am. on Monday.
  • The Senior Choir is an auditioned choir of Year5 -8 children who rehearse from 8.30 to 9.15am on Tuesday. The main focus is participation in two music festivals during the year.
  • The Vocal Group is a specialist group of children from the Senior Choir who rehearse from 1.30 to 2.10 each Tuesday, and prepare for performances, often outside of the school community.
  • The Orchestra of string, woodwind, brass and percussion players rehearse on Wednesdays from 8.30 to 9.10am. Children can join the group on recommendation from their music tutor.
  • The Year 3 to 6 choir is an all-comers choir which rehearses on Thursday from 8.30 to 9am, and functions as a training choir which often performs within the school community.
  • Through the Itinerant Music Programme we provide the opportunity to learn a range of different musical instruments. Lessons are available during the school day include: piano, violin, viola, trumpet, flute, clarinet saxophone, drums and guitar. Limited vacancies occur during the course of the school year. Children who are interested in learning an instrument register their interest with our music specialist.
Newsletter (School-Links)

We regard communication with school families as extremely important. We use a web-based programme, School-Links that sends parents an email alert whenever a newsletter or notice is posted. Hard copies are available in the office foyer. A weekly newsletter is posted by Wednesday, which include a community news section.

Parent Involvement

At Halswell parent participation is actively encouraged. There is plenty of evidence to show that when parents and schools work together, children learn successfully. It is the policy of the school to incorporate parent help in classroom programmes and in more general helping tasks related to the wider school programme whenever the need arises. There are many ways you can be involved:

  • Sports coaching programmes
  • Library administration, book repair, covering, cataloguing, etc
  • New Entrant – Year 4 programmes
  • School camps and trips
  • Helping run the Tuck Shop
  • Road patrol
  • Helping at the biennial Country Fair
  • Assisting the school apply for grants
  • Participating in the PTA

Please let us know if you would like to contribute in any way!

Physical Education

Physical Education is a vital component of learning at Halswell. If a pupil wishes to be excused from activity then a note from parents is essential. We prefer to work according to your direction in this, as sometimes inability to take part is obvious and other times, not quite so clear. Teachers will rightly question an excuse by children that is not verified by a parental or caregiver’s note.

PTA (Parent Teacher Association)

This organisation is the lifeblood of our school and every effort is made to foster its growth, health and effectiveness.

We pride ourselves on our attendance at meetings and the support offered to the school. The Board of Trustees and the PTA have an excellent working relationship with each other and the staff and this can only be beneficial to the school. We value your attendance at meetings greatly, and to this end we direct the subject material towards what you want. We welcome your suggestions. Social occasions are an integral and on-going part of our organisation. The PTA meets twice each term and dates are published in the school’s calendar and newsletters.

Pupil Placements

The placement of pupils in classes is the direct responsibility of the Principal. Classroom teachers will compile draft lists for the following year taking into account academic, social and physical abilities of children. As all classes are composite, children in the lower year group can expect to remain with the same teacher, should that teacher be remaining at this school and teaching at that level in the subsequent year.

Pupils will know by the end of each school year who their class teacher for the following year will be, and in what room they will be placed. This information will be conveyed in writing to parents.

Children of families who move, through the year, to Halswell will be placed according to sizes of classes at the children’s level, and will be at the Principal’s discretion.

Religious Education

Children from, and including, Year 3 to Year 6 receive half an hour’s religious instruction once a week. The school is officially closed during this time to comply with the secular provisions of the Education Act. The option for parents to request that their children not attend these classes has always existed. A written note to the class teacher is required to this effect. The operation of this programme always depends on the availability of instructors and the classes which participate may vary from year to year.

Reporting to Parents

Initial Parent Conferences are held early in each year (usually about Week 3) and offer parents the opportunity to meet the teacher, share what they see as their children’s strengths and areas of need, as well as set goals for the year.

This is done in the form of a 20 minute three-way conference late in Term 2 and a further written report in December. As well, we offer the opportunity of a further conference with your child’s teacher if desired where information that is helpful to the child’s development may be discussed. This can be prompted by either the teacher or parent/caregiver.

If you have a concern about your child’s progress, or about any aspect of the school’s activities (e.g. new programmes), please do not hesitate to phone us to make an appointment to discuss this. The programme of assessment and evaluation is under constant review and may change from year to year.

Road Safety

The two crossings in School and Halswell Roads are patrolled daily from 8.30am to 9.00am and 3.00pm to 3.15pm. Parent help is critical for the operation of the patrols. If you are interested in helping please contact the office so your name can be added to the roster.. Parents are asked to park considerately. We encourage drop-off and pick-ups in Kennedy’s Bush Road. All the streets surrounding the school are hazardous.

Many of our children ride bicycles to school and are obliged to travel on busy roads. The risks involved are obvious to most and we know that you support us in our programme of road safety education. It is compulsory to wear a safety approved cycle helmet. We do not support children under 10 riding their bikes to school.

School Accounts

All billable items are charged through an individual parent’s school account, including school donations, up to and including Term 3. In Term 4 all items are paid for in advance of the activity.

School Donations

Parent donations are an important source of school funds and are used to support all school programmes. As a decile 10 school we are one of the schools that receives the least amount of Government support. The donation pays for things that are not directly funded by the Government: library books, sports and recreation equipment, music resources, e-learning equipment including computer hardware, software and video equipment.

The annual donation:

  • applies to the first two children in a family, with a 50% reduction for the third child, and subsequent children
  • is tax deductible

No child will be denied any experience should his or her parents be unable to contribute.

From time to time, there will be an extra charge to cover other approved outings. In the main these are Education Outside the Classroom events requiring off-site or overnight stays. The school fees have been set as $150 per annum billed over the first three terms for children who are enrolled in Term 1.

Your Board of Trustees is totally committed to maintaining the high standard of facilities and education at Halswell School and trust that you will support us in this regard. School donations, which are a voluntary donation, will be charged to your account.

School Hours

First Bell 8.55 a.m.
Morning classes commence 9.00 a.m.
Morning interval 10.30 – 10.50 a.m.
Midday Lunchtime 12.30 p.m.
Afternoon classes commence 1.30 p.m.
Classes conclude 3.00 p.m.

Children are instructed to go straight home after school before engaging in any other activity. We expect most of our pupils to arrive at school between 8.30 and 8.45 a.m. Teachers are in the classrooms by 8:30am. The teachers do not carry out playground duty before or after school.

Specialist Teaching including Technology

An important and productive liaison has developed with Hillmorton High School which is used by our Year 7 and 8’s for specialist teaching which over the two years currently includes: dance, drama, art, science, computers, woodwork, metalwork, fabritech, and cooking. Our Year 7 and 8 pupils travel to Hillmorton High School for half a day each week. The Year 7’s attend for the first half day and the Year 8s for the second half, but do not return to school until 3:40pm. The programme is a varied one with the range of subject’s dependant upon Hillmorton’’s own timetabling. The Ministry of Education gives a grant for each student taking technicraft subjects but this does not cover the full costs. Parents are therefore charged a “Technicraft Fee” to help cover the cost of the actual materials used. Halswell School acts as a collection agency for this fee.


Opportunities are provided for students to participate in a wide range of sports. All students have the opportunity to participate in triathlon, swimming, cross country, and athletics. Selected Year 5 to 8 students compete in the Ellesmere Zone Sports Events in a range of sports. If successful at this level they may be offered an opportunity to compete at Canterbury level. During Terms 2 and 3 children from Year 5 to 8 represent the school in hockey, football, netball and rugby at a city wide competition held each Friday at Hagley Park.


We supply New Entrants with their initial stationery which parents purchase. All other stationery should be purchased through a retail shop.


This is a very important school subject and must be treated as such. The requirement is simple. It is part of our job to encourage confidence and a love of swimming, as well as teach skills. This is a term four programme. A feature of our swimming programme is the use of the heated pool complex, run by Starfish Swim School, at Aidanfield Christian College. This is a New Entrants, to Year 6 programme. Parents need to ensure their children bring their togs each day of the swimming programme. Lessons are charged along with the bus fare.

A short two or three lesson programme immediately prior to our February school swimming sports can be held at the Halswell Aquatic Centre, subject to the availability of the pool.

Tuck Shop

Tuckshop will resume when the new buildings are completed.

On Wednesday we have a sausage sizzle. Also available are juicies and a cookie. The cost of each item is $1.50. Children fill out their requirements on a form in the classroom. Tickets are issued for each item. Pupils collect their food from outside the Year 7 / 8 block at 12.30 p.m.


Our school uniform has just been updated and is available on-line from ArgyleOnline.  Additional information can be found at http://www.argyleonline.co.nz.   Here is a brochure outlining the school uniform.


Physical Education and Sports Uniform

A school P.E and sports uniform top is available through ArgyleOnline.  This item is not compulsory, but is strongly recommended from Years 5 and above. When children represent our school in sports events or inter school games they wear their P.E./ sports uniform or will be outfitted with a school loan sports uniforms, which will need to be washed and returned to school promptly.

Second Hand Uniforms

We encourage parents to donate uniforms that children have grown out of. These are stored in the old office  and are freely available to parents requiring garments.

This is also a Facebook group set up by parents: Halswell School Uniforms for Sale


The question of children bringing valuable personal property to school seldom arises, but when it does the question as to whom is responsible for safe keeping could be a problem.

As a general rule the responsibility for the property is on the parents and the pupil involved, although the school would make every effort to ensure that the property is protected. However, if the property was requested by a staff member it would seem reasonable that responsibility for its protection be assumed by the school.

Cameras, walkmans etc. taken on school trips are strictly the child’s responsibility. The carrying of jewellery and large sums of money by children is strongly discouraged. Only ‘studs’ or ‘sleepers’ in pierced ears please. We discourage pupils from wearing any unnecessary items of jewellery to school. This includes necklaces, bangles and rings. Teachers may request the removal of these items if they could be considered a danger (e.g. Physical Education lessons).

The bringing to school of expensive toys (e.g. scooters), motorised cars, transformers etc. is actively discouraged. All money brought to school by junior children should be in an envelope stating name, room and purpose, and brought to the office.

Children are not permitted to bring cellphones to school. Children who are found to have a mobile at school will have it removed to the office whereupon the parents will be rung and asked to come and collect it.

Visitor Information

Halswell School hosts other schools and groups of visitors on Thursdays.  Available sessions are 9.30 a.m. – 11.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. – 3 p.m.  Please contact the school office to book a time slot.