Board of Trustees 2020 Term 1 Newsletter

Kia ora tatou!

Welcome to a new year at Ridgway-Tawatawa School!

A warm welcome to all new families who have joined our school community, we look forward to getting to know you.


Our first newsletter of the year comes to you as we all adjust to living in lock down. The board would like to thank the teachers for the tremendous effort they have put into developing the tools and systems to allow our children to engage in learning from home. Ridgway is truly ahead of the curve on this and that is testament to the hard work and foresight of Kathryn and her team. This is new territory for us all, including teachers, who we appreciate also face their own challenges outside of work. We look forward to seeing the amazing things the Ridgway staff, children and community can achieve during this unusual time.

Just a reminder that, while we are in level-4 lock down the school playground is, like all playgrounds, closed.

Board information

Please have a look at the 'Board' pages on the school website where you can find meeting minutes, school policies and other information about the board. There is also a building diary where you can keep up to date with the school rebuild project.

We are always keen to hear feedback, comments and ideas from the Ridgway School community. Feel free to email the board at

You are also welcome to come to board meetings to speak to the board on a particular topic, please let us know in advance if you would like to attend. We are currently meeting via Zoom video conferencing.

Future enrolment zone

Most of our neighbouring schools have recently put in place enrolment zones. The board has met with Ministry of Education representatives to start the process of consultation on the boundaries of an enrolment zone for Ridgway School. There are a number of consultation steps around this and the board will set up a sub-committee to run this. We would appreciate one volunteer to assist the board on this. If you are interested please get in touch. More information can be found here.

Bike track

You might have seen some recent earthworks activity on the field. This second phase of the bike track construction is a skills features track. Children will be able to take their biking skills to the next level!

Whānau Hui Group

Ridgway's Whanau Hui group supports and encourages Te Reo Maori within our kura. It is a very diverse and dynamic group of whanau. We'd love more of our Ridgway whanau to join us. Our next activity will be Matariki - a fantastic evening of whanau coming together to enjoy kapa haka, waiata and shared kai.

Please also see below for some repeat notices from our previous newsletter.

We hope you and your families stay safe and healthy in the coming weeks and that we will see you all back at school in not too long.

Ngā mihi nui,

Ridgway School Board of Trustees

Repeat notices from Term 4 2019 newsletter in case you missed them:

Voluntary school donation for 2020

Ridgway School asks for a voluntary donation from parents each year. This helps pay for things such as art supplies, library books and ICT equipment.

The amount has not changed since 2013 and will remain the same for 2020 as for previous years.

The Government recently changed the regulations around school donations in relation to decile 1-7 schools. This does not affect Ridgway School and the rules around voluntary donations for our school are the same as they have always been. As we do not receive this extra Government funding, our school continues to rely on parents to pay the voluntary school donation.

The donation, while much appreciated by the school, is voluntary. If you do not have the means to contribute to the school through the voluntary school donation, please pay as much as you can afford or consider paying in instalments. Remember that you can also contribute to the school in non-monetary ways through volunteering your time, skills or otherwise.

There are also other times the school may request specific donations, for example, for technology classes for Years 7&8, mathletics or swimming.

Thank you!

New te reo name for Ridgway School

Our school has a new part to its name! In consultation with the local iwi and the Ridgway Whānau Hui Group we have decided to add the te reo name of Tawatawa.

Tawatawa is the name of the ridge which the school is located on and which runs from Brooklyn to Island Bay. The Tawatawa tree was in abundance on this ridge. It is also part of the name of the bike track on the field. We are very pleased that our school's name now includes a reference to the local Māori history.

Barbara Dean

Board Chairperson

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