Haere mai!

Welcome to Musselburgh School

Click to download of copy of this Info Pack

Welcome to your new school.  Musselburgh School is a safe, friendly place where children feel happy and secure while enjoying the best in teaching and learning.


Our aim is to promote a quality learning atmosphere by providing your child with a programme that is rich in a variety of exciting experiences and stimulates your child’s desire for learning.  Our teachers give your child every opportunity to develop their skills and talents to be the best they can be.


This A-Z Handbook contains most of the information that you and your family will need to know about the school.   Additional information is available from the School office upon request, from our website, www.musselburgh.school.nz, or by making an appointment to see any of our staff.


As part of our school community, we welcome your thoughts and feedback and will make every effort to provide you with all the information you need.


I look forward to working with you and your family.


Ngā mihi nui


Debbie Smith





“Our mission is to a provide quality education in a friendly, personal learning environment.”


What does Musselburgh School have to offer your child?


  • Positive, helpful and hardworking teachers, who have a great deal of skill and knowledge of the curriculum.


  • Our children are taught: language, spelling, handwriting, reading, mathematics, science, music, drama, health, physical education, social studies, dance, visual art, Te reo and tikanga Māori and the use of information technology tools such as computers and digital cameras.


  • A low pupil/teacher ratio to promote learning, and allow greater individual help for your child.


  • A wide range of resources, including:

–       a well stocked library to encourage reading.

–       computers in every class networked throughout the school to provide your child with valuable skills for the future.

–       well-appointed play areas including two adventure playgrounds and a covered sandpit.


  • An attractive, safe environment with plenty of outdoor space.


  • A wide range of sports teams, with a physical education programme aimed to provide skills, enjoyment and a healthy attitude.  This includes swimming and aquatic lessons at Moana Pool.


  • A Perceptual Motor Programme (PMP) for all junior children.


  • A choir and instrumental music programme.


  • A senior school camp for social and outdoor activities.



Musselburgh School was opened on August 14th, 1905.   Friendly relations were developed with Musselburgh in Scotland by local Scotsmen, which resulted in a Scottish flag being delivered to the school by Sir Harry Lauder.    This link is still shown in our school crest.



When you enroll your child, we will ask you to complete an official enrolment form.  This will include details such as your child’s full name, address, phone number, parent’s/guardian’s names, date of birth, emergency contacts etc.  This information remains strictly confidential at all times.


In order to keep school records up to date please notify the school of any changes of address or phone numbers (especially mobile numbers or emergency contacts) as this is extremely important in cases of emergency.


If you are enrolling a child who is starting school for the first time we can help you with their transition.



To ensure pupil safety we require a phone call before 9am if any child is away sick.  If you wish to leave a message out of school hours the office has an answer phone which is cleared daily. Please inform the Principal if pupils are to be absent for reasons other than sickness.



Our school community comes together each fortnight for assembly. Pupils’ achievements are acknowledged and learning milestones celebrated. All classes assemble in the hall at 1.30 pm and parents and friends of the school are welcome to attend. Assembly dates are listed in the fortnightly newsletter and on the School’s website www.musselburgh.school.nz. Each team has its own assembly.


Whole School Assembly       Fridays  1.30 pm – 2pm                 Hall



Musselburgh School operates a school-wide behaviour code that all pupils and teachers adhere to.  The code supports the School’s positive and proactive approach to student behaviour.


At Musselburgh School     EVERYBODY  has:  RIGHTS



We have a right to work, play and learn in a friendly, safe and helpful school.



We all have a right to teach in a friendly, safe and satisfying school which is supported by the school community.



We all have a right to feel welcome and to know that our children work, play and learn in a friendly, safe and helpful school.


At Musselburgh School EVERYBODY has:



We all need to care about ourselves, other students, parents, teachers, belongings, our school and equipment.  Here are some examples:


to listen                                  to be honest

to help                                   to look after each other

to try our best                        to try and understand each other

to discuss                              to respect others

to encourage                         to work and play safely

to be polite                            to share attention

to make time for others          to share equipment

to be on time                         to share time

to help others understand     to co-operate

to help others belong            to ask for help

to try and work out                  to have a go

to ask for opinions and ideas problems in a   fair manner


At Musselburgh School, EVERYBODY has: RULES


To help protect our rights and to encourage responsibility, we have basic rules for our classrooms and for times when we are out of class.

Talking or communication rule – Covers

  • hands up
  • working noise
  • hurtful language
  • assemblies
  • moving between rooms
  • lining up.


Learning rule – Covers

  • the way we learn and play in our room and out of class
  • how to get attention or help
  • co-operation
  • behaviour on camps and excursions.


Movement rule – Covers

  • the way we move about
  • equipment
  • being on time.


Treatment rule – Covers

  • the way we treat each other (no sexism, no put-downs, no racism)
  • manners.


Problem rule – Covers

  • the way we fix up problems between each other.


Safety Rule – Covers

  • safe behaviour
  • use of equipment
  • camps and excursions.

At Musselburgh School there are  CONSEQUENCES


These are planned consequences for in class rules.  Depending on circumstances, they can be used in any sequence.


  1. Rule reminder, state preferred behaviour, outline consequences, name on the board and a tick
  2. Rule reminder, outline certainty that consequences will happen
  3. Third tick.  No discussion.  Detention 20 minutes.  (Inform the Principal)


Other strategies may include

  • In class time out
  • Buddy class time out
  • Yellow card call to the office


NB: Severe behaviour requires a red card and time out in the Thinking Room.



These are planned consequences for out of class rules.  Depending on circumstances, they can be used in any sequence.


  • Rule reminder
  • Verbal apology
  • Written apology
  • Sit down together, work it out using problem-solving steps which are consistent and common throughout the school.

–       The problem is . . .

–       Some ways to fix it are . . .

–       We plan to . . .

–       We will check with . . . to see if our plan is working.


  • Walk with teacher and/or fill in a simple sheet.

–       What did I do against the rules?

–       What rules did I break?

–       Why did I do it? (optional)

–       What else can I do to fix it?  Not just ‘sorry’ but strategies to use when a similar problem arises.


  • Withdrawal from playground, other staff involved in supportive action, parents involved if necessary, loss of privileges, behaviour agreements.
  • Outside personnel, suspension.



Musselburgh School uses the Cornerstone Values programme to provide all students with the opportunity to develop their character.  The eight Cornerstone Values are: Respect, Honesty & Truthfulness, Responsibility, Kindness, Consideration, Obedience, Duty and Compassion.   Each term a different value as the focus. Students are encouraged to practice the value and celebrate it when it is observed in others.  For more information on Cornerstone Values visit the website www. cornerstonevalues.org.



In the event of any civil emergency the children will remain at school.  Usual procedures should be followed by the parents:


  • Listen to the local radio station for information.
  • Do not ring the school unless absolutely necessary.
  • Depending on the conditions do not rush to the school.


If a decision is made to send the children home, only those students whose parents are known to be at home will be allowed to go home.  They will go in groups where possible depending on the area where the live.  Parents will be notified as soon as possible as to their whereabouts.   Younger children will be accompanied by an adult.



When unusual circumstances require it, the School may be closed for a period or the starting time delayed.  This will be broadcast over local radio stations from 7.30am. Classic Hits 89.4Fm and Newstalk ZB 1044.  Call the  24 hour cancellation line 03 474 8400. If this occurs children must not be sent to school until the stated time.


There may be many reasons for altered arrangements but weather conditions are the most frequent and parents are urged to use their common sense.  If in doubt keep their children at home and stay tuned to the radio.



Named clothing is easily returned.  Please make sure all uniforms are clearly named (not just initials).  Named uniform items are returned to the owner.  Unnamed items are placed in the lost property box in the hall.  At the end of each term all items are publicly displayed. Uniforms not claimed are given away.



The school grounds are open for the use of the community during daylight hours providing consideration and care is taken of the School environment and equipment.  Skateboards and bikes are permitted on the tarmac areas. Cyclists and skaters are asked to refrain from using the bench seats and the sun shelter.


All young children should be supervised by an accompanying adult.



Breakages are inevitable, particularly where children are being encouraged to use balls for a variety of activities.


Where a genuine accident occurs, other than having the person responsible assist in cleaning up, no action is taken, but where there is damage caused by deliberate vandalism the child will be expected to accept responsibility and contribute toward the cost of repairs.  Parents will be contacted in all instances.



All pupils are treated at the School of Dentistry, telephone 479-7129.  Children must have signed parental approval before they can attend.  Children are transported from school under the supervision of a dental therapy student in mini buses equipped with seat belts at no charge to parents.  Parents are welcome to attend appointments.



Educational visits are an important part of our teaching and learning.  From time to time all children will go on excursions off-site.  Parents will be given advance notice and details of all trips and are welcome to assist on excursions.



Enrolments can be made any at any time.  For children turning five parents are encouraged to make contact at least one term prior to their child’s fifth birthday.  At this time arrangements will be made for a series of visits for you and your child to his/her classroom before officially starting school.  Please contact the School Office.



An annual charge of $60.00 per child is payable to cover trips outside school and cultural productions visiting school.  This may be paid in a lump sum or four termly payments of $15.00 – or any other frequency please advise Karen Ratten in the office.   Automatic Bank Payment forms are available from the office.  Please note this does not cover the cost of Swimsation.



The school operates solely upon government funding. Parents, teachers and pupils are often actively involved in fund-raising and this is usually project specific.  We welcome your support with these.  Donations are gratefully received and can be made at any time.



All New Entrants are tested for vision and hearing by the Public Health Nurses soon after entering school.  Other children are able to be seen on request for specific concerns. Referral forms are available from the Office



Children expect homework to be:

  • Varied, practical, interesting and relevant to their learning.
  • Supported at home.
  • Marked regularly, acknowledged for excellence and contain constructive feedback.


Parents expect homework to be:

  • A regular part of their child’s weekly programme.
  • Focused primarily upon Literacy & Numeracy skills (i.e. nightly reading & basic facts practice).
  • Linked to current themes and practical life skills (e.g. telling time, or tying shoe laces etc)
  • Appropriate to their child’s learning needs.
  • Clearly explained by teachers.


Teachers expect homework to be

  • A child’s own work.
  • Completed on time.
  • Proactively supported by all parents who request it.

Homework Procedure

  1. Most weeks all children from Yr 1-6 will have tasks in Reading, Spelling and/ or Basic Facts.
  2. Reading logs will be made available for parents to record reading homework.
  3. Additional tasks such as inquiry, current events or thinking skills will be included in an optional Homework Club unless specifically requested by a child’s parent.
  4. Any work handed in will be marked by the teacher, and be returned with feedback.
  5. Incomplete home based tasks will not be followed up.
  6. Teachers may use incentive programmes to encourage participation.
  7. From time to time School events may take precedence  e.g. trips, productions., Sports Events)
  8. Children will be regularly recognised for their efforts  (assembly, principal, excellence letters)
  9. Parents are encouraged to contact teachers with concerns or queries.


Please read each teacher’s homework information.  If in doubt make contact.




To ensure the safety of our children we prefer them to remain at school at lunchtime.  Emergencies will arise from time to time and in other cases the School is happy to accommodate reasonable requests.  We ask that teachers are informed in advance and, if necessary, the Principal.


Children are not to leave the school without prior parental or teacher consent.  Emergency contact phone numbers are reviewed regularly.  Please let the school know if circumstances change.



The school has a well stocked library used by all classes.  Pupils are permitted to take two books at a time from our library.  They must be returned before new books are issued.  All new books are stamped, coded and entered into the computer before being released for use.  Parents are responsible for lost of damaged books. A charge of $20 will apply for items not returned.



“Little Mussels” is our entry programme for pre-schoolers.  Sessions are held weekly on a Thursday afternoon from 2.15pm.  Details are available from Kathryn Wealleans in Room 3 or from the office.



At lunch times pupils eat lunch together with their teacher in the shade if fine, or classroom if wet or cold.


Healthy “Smart Food” school lunches are available daily for $3.00 or $4.00.  Children make their order in Rm 6  or look for helpers under the sun shelver before 9am.   Helpers will go around the junior school after 9 a.m. to collect orders.    Smart Lunches are delivered to each class at 12.25pm


Terms 1, 2 and 4 there are hot lunches on a Friday – during Term 3 when we do swimming, hot lunches are switched to a Monday.


As a Health Promoting School we ask families to refrain from dropping off “lunch treats” such as McDonalds, Fish & Chips.  Our drink of choice is water.


Each Wednesday the School P.T.A runs a Sausage Sizzle. A sausage in bread costs $1.  Orders are made in the classroom before 9am.



In many of our programmes items such as plastic film canisters, ice cream and margarine containers, yoghurt pottles, egg cartons, odd balls of wool, cotton reels, buttons, brightly coloured material off cuts and scraps, coloured paper etc are constantly sought.  From time to time teachers require small grocery packets and supermarket bags.  You can be of great assistance by saving such items and sending them along to school.


If any parent has access at their work place to other resources such as computer paper, off cuts of paper and cardboard, or materials and fabrics suitable for collage work, the school would gratefully receive them.





When a child needs medical attention at school the following procedures will be followed:

  • Parents will be contacted at home, or their place of work to take the child.
  • If a parent can not be reached then their nominated emergency contact will be phoned.
  • If parents and emergency contacts can not be contacted the Principal will act in loco parentis seeking medical attention for the child.
  • If in the opinion of the staff an ambulance is required this would be called before calling parents. 



All medical incidents are recorded in the Accident Register book kept in the medical room.

  • A confidential medical register of ‘at risk’ children is kept in the office
  • A well equipped first aid kit is maintained in the medical room.
  • Minor cuts and grazes are attended to by the teacher on duty.
  • All duty teachers carry a small bag with basic first aid equipment.


Infectious Diseases

Parents frequently enquire about isolation of children with infectious diseases or in contact with a disease.  The following table may prove helpful.



Disease                       Period of Exclusion

Measles                       At least seven days from appearance of rash.

Chicken Pox                 As above.

Mumps                         Until swelling has subsided & patient returned to normal.

Ringworm                     Not necessary but must be treated.

Whooping Cough         At least three weeks from onset or as Doctor directed.

Impetigo                       Not necessary, but must be treated.

Head Lice (Nits)           Not necessary, but must be treated with shampoo for the recommended time with medicated shampoo available from the chemist for the purpose.  Keep checking hair regularly 



If your child is allergic to bee or wasp stings, or is diabetic, asthmatic or has any serious medical condition please ensure the School is notified.  Any essential medication should be clearly labeled and given to the school secretary for safe keeping.  Only minor first aid is carried out in the school. Panadol is given with parental permission.



Please make sure money sent to school is labeled, named and wrapped.  Change is given for lunches and stationery only. Please ensure the correct money is sent to school. Pupils are not encouraged to bring large amounts of money to school.

To safeguard your child’s money it should always be given to their teacher for safe keeping.  The school can not be responsible for any valuables and money left in desks, bags etc.



You can help us avoid serious vandalism by reporting anyone deliberately damaging School property to the Police. The South Dunedin Police can be called on 455-1199 or Dunedin Central on 471-4800.  Our security company is Armour Guard: 0800 766 300.



School newsletters are sent home each fortnight on a Tuesday.  Shorter notices are put out as required.  Spare copies are always available from the Office.  Newsletters are emailed on request. To be added to our mailing list please contact school office (office@musselburgh.school.nz) with your address.  Newsletters are also posted on the website: www.musselburgh.school.nz.



All parents of children at the school are encouraged to take an active role in school activities.  The PTA is the school’s parent-teacher organisation which works hard for the school supplementing our income and providing money for unexpected items such as sports gear, school camps etc. The PTA meets alternately on the second Monday of the month in the Staffroom at 7pm.  For more please contact P.T.A. President – Sandy Gorman on 455-1213.




Parent help and interest is always welcome.  Many activities could not operate without the support of our parent volunteers and we are grateful for this help.  Parents are welcome to help us with class trips, the Perceptual Motor Programme,  Talk to Learn, the typing of children’s stories, taking sports such as tee-ball, touch and miniball as well as  hearing children read etc.


Parents assisting in the classroom

Prior arrangements for parents to assist are made with teachers and with the knowledge of the Principal. Parents can assist specific teacher-directed tasks.



A range of opportunities exist for parents to meet with their child’s teacher to discuss academic achievement and social development.


February  Meet The Teacher information meeting

March       Interviews to meet and share goals for the forthcoming year

June                  Written reports are sent home at the end of Term 2

July           Interviews to follow up reports are held in early in term 3

December         End of year reports. Optional interviews are offered


Classroom teachers and the Principal are available to discuss the development of your child at any time during the year as the need arises.  Please phone to arrange a mutually convenient time.



The school is currently trialling Supakidz (Scripture Union Primary Adventures).  This is a club for children who want to investigate ‘life questions’ and think about their values from a Christian perspective.  It is a 6 week block every term held in the lunchtime.  A permission slip is sent home for this.



Out of school hours children are the responsibility of their parents.  The school assumes responsibility for pupils in the school from 8.30am until 3.15pm.  Pupils wishing to play in the grounds should go home first and obtain permission to return.  The school accepts no liability for children in the school grounds after 3.30pm.  Parents are strongly urged to accompany young children at all times.



The School has one pedestrian crossing situated on Culling Street.  In the interests of safety parents are asked to encourage their children to use the pedestrian crossing at all times.  Drivers are asked take care when approaching the crossing.



Senior pupils patrol the Culling Street crossing before and after school each day. All pupils crossing the road are expected to use the crossings. Teachers and parent volunteers supervise after school crossings.



You are urged to exercise extreme care when setting down and picking up your child from School. Please refrain from driving your car into the school grounds.  The School has a large street boundary and plenty of parking exists. It may be useful to arrange a suitable place to meet your child at one of the four gateways.

Please avoid parking on the yellow lines on the street as these ensure there is ample clearance around the pedestrian crossing.



Safe practices are encouraged and children are made aware of dangers and hazards. Stone, woodchip and sand throwing is not permitted.  Careless and inconsiderate use of equipment is discouraged.  The following procedures are adhered to:

  • No child will leave the school grounds without permission from a teacher or without supervision.
  • Pupils are permitted in the classroom for quiet activities (on wet days only).
  • Care is to be taken when moving about the school at all times.
  • Physical education, gymnastics and swimming activities will be taken only when monitored by a teacher.  All relevant safety guidelines apply.
  • Pupils are made aware of the danger of standing on furniture or apparatus near windows or glass, or playing on high equipment. Dangerous games such as “bull-rush” are not permitted nor is the practice of older children carrying younger children (piggy backs).
  • Tackling games are not permitted.
  • Children are instructed in the safe use of equipment in the playground and classroom.
  • All school excursions off site such as Beach education, boating, camps, and walks, require an EOTC Approval form and appropriate risk management plans to be completed and given to the Principal prior to departure.
  • For these activities the Board of Trustees recommends the following pupil/adult ratio.

1 adult to every 4 children – around uncontrolled water (beaches etc)

1 adult to every 6 children – in controlled water environments (Moana Pool etc)

1 adult to every 8 children – for other EOTC excursions. (Museum etc)


Cycling to School

Ministry of Transport recommends that only children ten years or more cycle to school.  Cycles are to be pushed inside the school grounds, and locked safely in the bike sheds.  The School takes no responsibility for loss or damage to cycles.  Children riding bikes must be familiar with the road code, and wear a safety helmet at all times in accordance with the law.



8.30 am    Children may enter classrooms when teachers are present.

9.00 am.   School lessons begin.

11.10 am   Morning break.

11.30 am   Morning break ends.

12.30 pm.  Lunch break.

1.30 pm   Lunch break ends.

3.00 pm   School finishes.


Lessons can begin smoothly if all children are on site by 8.45am.  Lessons begin at 9am and punctuality is encouraged.  Please phone if you are running late.



At Musselburgh School, we believe that all children have the right to:

  • Participate in and have fun at sports.
  • Have an equal opportunity to strive for success and to share leadership roles.
  • Participate at a level suited to their maturity and ability.
  • Be taught proper game skills in preparation for making choices later on in life.
  • Learn the skills of participation, co-operation, and relating to others, and competing.
  • Interact with pupils from other schools.



Musselburgh School has no swimming pool.   All classes have swimming lessons at Moana Pool in Term 3. The BoT meets the cost of bus transport. Swimsation costs $35.00 per annum per child. (A third of the usual cost).



From a safety aspect there needs to be great deal of parent vigilance because of the location of our school.  Please warn your children frequently about loitering on the way home, visiting friends without permission or having anything to do with strangers.




The acceptance of the Musselburgh Uniform is a condition of enrolment. Introduced in 2007 the uniform is designed to instill pride in our school and for all children to look their best at all times.


  1. The Board of Trustees expects all families to wear the Musselburgh School uniform.
  1. Postie+ is the official supplier.  The School uses their School Tex clothing.
  1. Identical items from alternative outlets are acceptable.  Plain clothing only.  No denim or licensed logo clothing.
  1. Footwear: Trainers / Closed toe sandals / School shoes.  Winter Option: Trainers or School shoes.  No heels, jandals, slip ons or open heels to be worn.
  1. Socks Plain white or dark socks  No licensed products e.g. Sponge Bob / Spiderman / Bratz etc
  1. Winter/Summer: Families can opt to wear the approved clothing items at anytime of the year e.g. polo shirts in winter, skivvies in summer.
  1. Sunhats: Must be worn in Terms 1 & 4.  New Sunhats are available at school office $12.50 – they are size adjustable and have a label for naming.
  1. Hair: All shoulder length hair or longer to be tied up.




Items of value should not be brought to school.  There is a danger that these will be broken or lost, and the school is not responsible for loss or breakages. Special items brought for news or to enhance topic studies should be handed to teachers for safe keeping.




Musselburgh School fully implements the “Building Character through Cornerstone Values”.   Each term values are shared with the whole school community.   Students are encouraged to live the values each day in all they do.


Our values are: respect, honesty & truthfulness, responsibility, consideration, duty, obedience,  kindness and compassion.



The Board of Trustees requires parents of children found damaging school property, to pay for the damage to be repaired or in some cases repair the damage themselves.



Whenever possible teachers like to invite people who have personal experiences applicable to a theme or unit being studied by the class.  We often like to make the best use of local resource people. If you, or a person you know of are able to assist with a topic under study please let us know.  The school also invites visiting theatre groups, puppeteers etc to perform in the school. Costs for these visits are covered in the annual cultural and trip fee.



Classes regularly move out of the traditional classroom environment as part of their learning of the school curriculum.  Visits are made to the theatre, art gallery, museum, early settlers, gardens, local industries. Your support of these visits is much appreciated.


WEB SITE: www.musselburgh.school.nz

Our school web site is always being updated and developed.  The website provides all enrollment information and acts as a first point of contact for people wanting to learn about us and what we do.


WIKISPACE: http://mussellinks.wikispaces.com

Our wikispace offers online resource areas for parents to keep in touch with their child’s learning.  The space has interactive games for assisting in the learning of mathematic basic facts and literacy.  All school newsletters are also found there.


Staff List 2012


Principal                              Mrs Debbie Smith

Junior Pod 

Pohutukawa        Yr 0-1       Miss Kathryn Wealleans /Mrs Chilcott

Rata                    Yr 0-1       Ms Tania McLean (Deputy Principal)

Kowhai                Yr 2-3       Mrs Vicki Curzon


Middle Pod

Rimu                   Yr 3-4       Mrs Lisa Switalla

Totara                 Yr 3-4        Mrs Kerry Dick


Senior Pod

Ti Kouka             Yr 5-6       Miss Katherine Ratcliffe (Associate Principal)

Ngaio                  Yr 4-6       Mrs Lesley Stevens


Classroom Release Teachers

Mrs Joy Chilcott


NB: All class teachers are released one hour per week.


University College of Education Teachers  

Sarah Flamank, Sophie McCormick, Sheralyn Weepers, Elise Dobier



Mrs Karen Ratten:  School Secretary


Support Staff

Ms Sharon Cleaver               Special Needs Pupil Support

Ms Lisa Lehane                    Special Needs Pupil Support

Mrs Nancy Turner:                Special Needs Pupil Support/PMP

Mr Paul Byers                       Special Needs Pupil Support

Mr Alex Veltman                    Classroom Support

Mrs Raewyn Elliott:               English-Second Language Support

Mrs Debbie Woods:              Musselcare Supervisor

Mrs Christine Reynolds         Musselcare Supervisor



Mr Lyndsay Kelly                           Caretaker


Board of Trustees     2010-13

                                    Mr Andrew Gorman      Chairman

Curriculum                 Mrs Debbie Smith        Principal

Mr Tony Boomer          Deputy Chairman

                                    Mrs Anne McLean        Treasurer

                                    Mr James Lowe            Property

Mrs Tracy Cameron     Health and Safety

Staff Rep                    Ms Lisa Switalla

Board Secretary        Mrs Karen Ratten



The Board meets the third Monday of every month in the School staffroom at 7pm.

Copies of minutes and all reports are available for public viewing in the office.