An A to Z of all things you need to know about at Halswell School.

Click on the heading to expand or collapse each section.

Absence from Class
If your child is going to be absent from school please

  • Use the Halswell School App to send an email, or ring the office to leave an absence message on the answer machine before 9am. Please give a reason why your child is absent.
  • Please notify the office daily if your child is away for more than one day. You can send an email to the school office

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.

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 parent or caregiver’s note.

After School Care – OSCAR at Halswell
OSCAR at Halswell provides a safe, organized, fun and above all, quality out of school care programme, which caters for children’s different ages, gender, cultural and religious backgrounds while attempting to encompass individual needs and interest. Staff are carefully selected to meet the high standards of programme delivery set by the programme Supervisors and Committee.

Space currently available in both the morning and afternoon programmes

Before school: 7.15am – 8.30am
After school: 3.00pm – 6.00pm

Contact Details
Phone/text: 0274 181 786

To contact a supervisor at the Halswell School Oscar, a message can be left at any time. Where required, calls will be returned between the hours of 4.00pm and 6.00pm. The current supervisors are Gloria and Leanne Johnston.

OSCAR Enrolment Form 2020
OSCAR Terms and Conditions June 2020

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 Fridays at 9.10am (‘odd’ 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 Representative Groups Participation in Representative group
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
Hip Hop Member of a crew who qualifies for Nationals
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 who have done one or more terms of road patrol
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/extension ensemble group 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 Regular participation in the Senior Group for 2 years
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)
EPro8 Tech Competition Reaching Regional Semi Final or Final
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 badge please complete the Students Badge Application.

Book Club
Scholastic 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 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.
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. Please alert the school secretary if you become aware of a family in need of community support. This maybe due to illness, bereavement, sudden loss of employment.
Concerns and Complaints Process
At Halswell School, we encourage open and honest communication with our parent community. If you have any concerns regarding your child and/or practices at our school please follow the Concerns and Complaint process (attached).

Halswell School Concerns Complaints Flowchart

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.

Email and Social Media

All children Year 4 and older will be allocated a school email address which operates through the schools ‘Hapara Teacher Dashboard.’ As a Google Apps school we use Hapara to more effective manage learner activity in this digital environment. It allows teachers to track learner progress, provide ongoing feedback, disseminate files, and facilitate collaboration and differentiation through flexible groupings.

We openly discourage use of social media by children and ask parents to reinforce the message that we give at school:

  • Everything that you write or say on the internet stays on the internet
  • If you wouldn’t say these things in person then don’t say them online
  • If someone else is saying mean, hurtful or inappropriate things – don’t join in or reply, tell an adult

Internet Filtering

The school uses an internet filtering system through Network 4 Learning (N4L), a government provider. This service provides a ‘Web Safety’ filter as part of the managed network using Cisco Scansafe, a product primarily designed to restrict Internet access in the workplace.

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, Te Hapua (Library and 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, (Year 5 and 6 alternative years); Wainui (on the Akaroa Harbour) Mount Cook and Taumutu Marae. Year 7 and 8.

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: provide 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.

Children who have coughs and colds or tummy bugs that result in vomiting or diarrhea should remain off school for the first 24 hours after their symptoms end.

Indoor Footwear
Many children replace wet weather footwear outside (in winter) with 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 T group 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 administration building, for unnamed items. Named items are returned to the owner.
Music Opportunities
We provide a wide range of  extra-curricular opportunities for children in music. What is offered can vary from year to year depending on children’s strengths and interests.

Currently we offer:

  • Senior Choir: an all-comers choir for children in Years 5 -8. They rehearse from 8.30 to 9.00am on Tuesday. The main focus is participation in our Music Assemblies and the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival.
  • Vocal Group: an auditioned choir taken from the Senior Choir. Vocal Group rehearse each Tuesday, and prepare for performances, often outside of the school community.
  • Orchestra: Consisting of string, woodwind, brass and percussion players. Orchestra rehearse on Wednesdays from 8.30 to 9.10am. Children can join the group on recommendation from their music tutor, or auditioning at the start of each year.
  • Junior Choir: an all-comers choir for children in years 3 and 4 who rehearses on Tuesday at 1:30.  The choir functions as a training choir which often performs within the school community and at our Music Assemblies.
  • Rock Band: An auditioned band who rehearse on a Friday after school. Rock Band play at Band Quest each year and often perform at Music Assemblies.
  • Percussion Ensemble: an auditioned group that rehearse on a Wednesday
  • 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, trumpet, flute,  drums, guitar and bass guitar. Children who are interested in learning an instrument register their interest at the end of the year in preparation for the start of the following year. Limited vacancies occur during the course of the school year.
We regard communication with school families as extremely important. Our newsletter goes out electronically every second Wednesday on odd school weeks.

Previous newsletters can be found here.

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
  • Ahuriri, Huritini and Orongomai programmes
  • School camps and trips
  • Helping run the Coffee and 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!

Policies and Procedures
To view the School’s policies please follow this link and log on with this username and password:

User: halswell
Password: quarry


  • Welcome!
  • Treaty of Waitangi
  • Governance and Management
  • Curriculum and Student Achievement Policy
  • Documentation and Self-Review Policy
  • Employer Responsibility Policy
  • Finance and Property Management Policy
  • Health, Safety, and Welfare Policy
  • Legislation and Administration Policy
  • General
  • Forms
  • Useful Links and Contacts
  • What’s New?
Pupil Placements
The placement of pupils in T groups is the direct responsibility of the Principal. Teachers will compile draft lists for the following year taking into account academic, social and physical abilities of children. As all groups 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 T group teacher is for the following year will be, and the teachers in their studio and Learning Centre. This information will be conveyed in writing to parents.

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

Religious Education
No religious instruction is available.
Road Safety
The crossings at the intersection of School Road and Kennedys Bush Road, and Halswell Roads are patrolled daily from 8.25am to 8.50am 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 $175 per annum billed over the first three terms for children who are enrolled in Term 1. For third and subsequent children they are discounted by 50% – $87.50 per annum.

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
Hand Bell 8:45 a.m. children from Otumatua.
First Bell 8:55 am
Morning classes commence 9:00 am
Morning interval 10:30 am – 10:50 am
Midday Lunchtime 12:00 pm
Afternoon classes commence 12:30 pm
Free play and sports practices 1:30 pm
Inquiry Time and Project based Learning 2:00 pm
Classes conclude 3:00 pm

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 available in the Learning Centres from 8:30am. The teachers do not carry out playground duty before or after school.

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 Year 0-6 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 and Sausage Sizzle
Tuck Shop

Tuckshop orders are now online, including new pie, sushi, bakery & gluten free items! Register at

Browse the new menu, order & pay online anytime during the week, for delivery on Friday. Orders close 11:00am Thursday.

Sausage Sizzle

On Wednesday we have a sausage sizzle, where children can also buy a cookie. The cost of each item is $2.00. Children order in the Hall before school on a Wednesday morning. Cookies are given to them at the time. Sausage tickets are delivered to their T Group before lunchtime – children then use these at lunchtime to get a sausage from outside the Hall.

Our school uniform has just been updated and is available on-line from ArgyleOnline.  The office has complete sets of sample uniforms in sizes 4,6,8,10,12 and 14 for trying on before ordering online. Additional information can be found at

Here is a brochure outlining the school uniform – Uniform-brochure

Order Here

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

Useful links for parents

The Ministry of Education provides useful information for parents on supporting your child’s learning in reading, written language and maths.

Supporting your child’s learning

Canterbury District Health Board have a series of parenting guides covering topics such as:

  • how to help kids be grateful and kind
  • how to help kids manage worries
  • how to help kids feel good and have fun
  • how to help kids keep calm

CDHB Parenting Guides

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 discouraged from bringing cell phones to school. However if parents deem this necessary they must remain in the child’s bag until after 3pm.