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Belfast A-Z



If your child is to be absent, please call the school Office on 323-8849 before 9.00 a.m. on the day of absence.  You can leave an absence message at any time on the school’s answerphone.  Alternatively you can email an absence to absences@belfast.school.nz or text an absence to 027 6364254.  Absences will be checked with the classroom teacher.  Parents of non-reported absences will be phoned by the school’s administration personnel.



If your child is biking to school, please check that:

  • *  Your child wears a helmet (compulsory by law)
  • *  Your child’s bike is roadworthy and meets the standard in the Road Code
  • *  Your child knows how to ride properly (is the bike the right size?)
  • *  You have practised getting to and from school together.

Regular checks of your child’s bike should be done.  It is also a recommendation that children under 10 do not ride to and from school.


We are most fortunate to be able to provide bus transportation for those children living in the surrounding districts, to and from school at no cost.  There are criteria laid down by the Ministry of Education that must be met to be eligible for this.  Ask the Deputy Principal for more information.



Belfast School’s Choir is made up of Year 4-8 students.  They practice weekly throughout the year to perfect their singing for performances at the Kaiapoi Music Festival, Open Nights, Community Christmas in the Park, and school Assemblies.  Using a mixture of contemporary music and more traditional pieces the students greatly enjoy performing to various audiences.  The school Choir is a great opportunity to stretch and extend those children who display an interest in music.


Beginning school for many families is much like other new things in life that is new.  There are new routines, procedures and rules for families to learn.  If you are unsure please ask Staff for an explanation.  At Belfast School these are the ways you can access information:

Website – www.belfastschool.co.nz  –  Fortnightly Newsletters (every second Wednesday) which are emailed to our families  –  Calendar of Events  –  General school information  –  Individual Class Newsletters  –  Board of Trustees information  –  Home & School information.

Belfast School has an “open-door” policy.  We encourage you to come and see your children’s teachers and/or the Syndicate Leader or the Deputy Principals to discuss any matter concerning your child and the school.  On most occasions an appointment will need to be made out of school time.  Please inform the school of the reason for the appointment, so Staff can be prepared with necessary information.

Please make the school your first point of contact with any concern.  We are only too willing to discuss any matter.



Dental Clinic

The new mobile Dental Clinic will visit Belfast School 2-3 times per year.  Children may be enrolled from the age of 2-1/2 years and Parents are encouraged to take advantage of the availability of early dental care.  Children will have regular visits to the mobile Dental Clinic where an emphasis on prevention of dental decay, and positive care of teeth and gums is made.

Drop Off and Pick Up

The best place to drop children at school is on the Main North Road or the Sheldon Park car park.  If you are dropping children opposite the school please make sure your children cross at the controlled road crossing.  The Staff car park is out of bounds at all times for drop off and pick up.  This is a safety issue.


Enrolment Zone

Belfast School has an Enrolment Scheme in place which covers a home zone area, full details of which can be viewed in our Enrolments section.


To help organise New Entrants into Belfast School, it is helpful if you enrol your child at least six months prior to your child’s 5th birthday.  Please complete a pre-enrolment form (refer Enrolments page on our website).  We encourage you both to have three pre-school visits to familiarise yourselves with the Teacher and classroom routines.  A copy of your child’s Birth Certificate/Passport and Immunisation information is required upon enrolment.  This is a requirement of the Ministry of Education.  This information remains confidential to the school.

Belfast School has an enrolment zone area, and therefore a placement is not guaranteed if you are out of zone.

If Parents wish to enrol a child who has any Special Needs, we would recommend that contact with the school is made at least one year prior to enrolment.

Extension and Enrichment Opportunities

Belfast School aims to cater for the individual needs of all students.  Students are grouped within classes for Literacy and Numeracy lessons, and are instructed at an appropriate level.  Visit In the Classroom for more details.


First Aid and Sick Children

There is a Sick Bay at school for children who are unwell or have had minor accidents at school.  Wherever possible, Parents will be contacted if the problem is of a serious nature.  If Parents are unable to be contacted, the emergency contact will be rung immediately.  If no contact is made to either the Parents or emergency contact then Staff will take all necessary steps.  This may include transport to a Doctor or hospital.  The Sick Bay is well equipped and all Staff qualified in First Aid.

It is important that the school is informed of any special medical conditions and the appropriate action to be taken if necessary.



Home Learning

We believe that Home Learning should be meaningful, interesting and relate to the class programme without developing into a stressful situation.  The amount and type of home learning will be determined by the age, ability and class level of the child.  Time spent may range from 10 to 15 minutes a night for Junior children, and up to 2 hours per week for Senior children.  Parents should discuss any aspects of home learning with Class Teachers.  For our Senior pupils it is a time when those all important study habits become established.


Children from Years 1 to 8 are placed in one of our four school Houses.  The Houses are identified by colour and the House Captain’s name.  Children can earn house points through sports events, class rewards and playground activities.  House t-shirts are available for purchase from the school office at a cost of $15.00.






We have a well stocked computerised library with a qualified Librarian, Mrs Margaret Symes.  Each class has weekly visits and children are able to select books to take home, and use the resources for research.  The school Library is open at morning tea and lunch times.  When books are being read at home, please ensure they are treated with respect and returned on time, so others have the opportunity to enjoy them too.  The Librarian also trains children as Librarians each year.

Lost Property

This is stored in Room 13.  Parents and children are welcome to search for articles during school hours.  It would be greatly appreciated if all items of clothing were named to help us manage the return of lost clothing.


Children are able to order bakery lunch on Friday and Sushi for lunch on Wednesday (orders in on Tuesday) at the school office between 8.30 and 8.55 a.m.  Up to date details and price lists are available from the school office.


Money at School

If you are sending money to school, please make sure it is in a sealed envelope, labelled with your child’s name, room number, amount and the purpose for which it is intended.  This can be handed in at the school office.



Newsletters are emailed fortnightly on Wednesdays.  If you are not receiving our Newsletter please check that we have your correct email address.  Please email principal@belfast.school.nz with your updated email address and include your child’s name and room number.  Other information is sent home as needed.


Outdoor Education

The importance of education outside the classroom is acknowledged and we aim to provide balanced experiences.  We are always sensitive to cost requirements and believe that no child should miss an opportunity for financial reasons.  Parents should feel free to contact your child’s Class Teacher, Deputy Principals or Principal to discuss financial options.


Parent Help

There are numerous ways in which parents can assist their children in learning and helping to improve the quality of school life by:

* Supporting children to be enthusiastic, interested and independent.  Each child is an individual who will have strengths and needs and, learning at varying rates.  Encourage children to improve but try not to compare you child with others.
* Ensuring that children have adequate lunches and are at school on time.
* Providing positive experiences and discussions.
* Ensuring that the school is informed if there are circumstances which could influence the child’s learning at school.
* Supplying materials for art and craft and creative work, especially in the New Entrant/Junior school e.g. ice-cream containers, boxes, cartons, newspapers, magazines, fabric scraps and used calendars etc.
* Reading can be supported by:  a.  Reading stories to children.  b.  Helping children when they read.  c.  Ensuring that reading time is enjoyable.

Parents are always welcome to assist with sports coaching programmes, school visits and camps.  The contribution made by parents is valued and many school activities would not be possible without parental support.
Having parents in the classroom is a huge benefit to children and the teacher.  In the New Entrant area of the school we have a timetable asking for parent help in the core Curriculum areas i.e. Reading, Writing and Maths. Teachers will advise you of how they wish parent help to work and an information letter will follow.  Parents are encouraged to participate, which is a huge benefit towards greater community co-operation and understanding of life at school.


Belfast School has wonderful and spacious grounds of which we are very proud.  We encourage the children to keep this tidy and appreciate the efforts of our caretaker Mr Lintott.

During school hours the playground is supervised by Duty Teachers who are supported by our Peer Mediators.


The Principal of the school is responsible for the day to day management of Belfast.  The Board of Trustees carries out duties for the governance of the school.



Reporting to Parents

Reporting to parents is done through Mid-Year and End of Year Reports.  We also hold parent/child/teacher Learning Conferences in Term 2.

If you wish to speak to your child’s teacher, please make an appointment with them out of school hours at a time which suits you both.

Road Patrol

As many of our children have to cross the Main North Road we have a road patrol.  Accordingly, we organise Senior pupils who receive special training from the Community Police to assist your child to cross safely.  These pupils are supervised by a roster of parents and teachers.  This service is available from 8.30 to 9.00 a.m. and immediately after school.



The safety and welfare of pupils is a priority consideration at all times.  Communication is essential if a child has to leave school during the day.

When pupils leave school at 3.00 p.m. it is expected that they return home immediately unless prior arrangement has been made with the parent/caregiver.  Pupils are always welcome to call into the office if there are problems after school.

After school, children will be the responsibility of Staff until 3.15 p.m.  After this time, if children remain at the school, they are the responsibility of the parents/caregivers.  Parents should ensure that children travel to and from school by the safest route possible.

If children bring skateboards, roller blades or scooters to school they must only be used in a special area and proper safety equipment (including helmets) must be worn.  We ask that children who need to cross the Main North Road do so while the road patrol is active.  We ask that when picking up children from school you use the car park in Sheldon Park or park on the south side of the crossing on Main North Road.upils leave school at 3.00 p.m. it is expected that they return home immediately unless prior arrangement has been made with the parent/caregiver.  Pupils are always welcome to call into the office if there are problems after school.



School Activity Fee

A $15.00 Activity fee is charged per child per term.  The Activity fee covers Syndicate school trips, and visiting performers.

School Donation

The Board of Trustees has set the 2018 school donation at:

  • $80.00 for the first child
  • $120.00 for two children
  • $140.00 for 3 children or more 

School Donations will be included in the first invoice Parents/Caregivers receive for the year.  A receipt will be issued for your payment which qualifies for a Tax Rebate.  Please keep this receipt in a safe place.

Eftpos payments can be made at the school office between 8.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. during the school term. Payments may also be made into our Bank account number:  12 3149 0286872 00 which is held with the ASB Bank, Papanui. Please include your child’s name as a reference and state what the payment is for.

School Hours

School is open from 8.30 a.m. until 3.15 p.m. when the bus leaves.

  • Literacy time:  8.55 – 10.30 a.m.
  • Morning interval:  10.30 – 10.50 a.m.
  • Numeracy time:  10.55 a.m. – 12.00 p.m.
  • Lunch interval:  12.00 – 12.30 p.m.
  • Topic time and extra Curricular activity:  12.45 – 3.00 p.m.


All school policies can be viewed on line at http://belfast.schooldocs.co.nz/ by using the Username:  belfast and the Password  sheldon

Parents are able to review policies by selecting the “Parent” option.  A Review Schedule of our policies can be accessed from the Welcome page. 




Smokefree School

Our smokefree policy allows us to comply with smokefree legislation, and promote a smokefree lifestyle to all members of the school community.  This means that all school buildings and grounds are smokefree, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (with no exemptions).


We are very proud of our rich sporting heritage at Belfast School.  Much of this is due to the wonderful facilities we use such as Sheldon Park, the pool, netball and tennis courts.  The tireless efforts of teachers and parents contribute greatly to supporting and coaching children in team sports such as netball, rugby, soccer, hockey and cricket.

For a more detailed description on our Sports programme please go to the “In the Classroom” section of our website.


Children starting school at 5 years old are known as “New Entrants/Year 1”.  The New Entrants stationery pack is available for purchase only from the school Office at a cost of $50.00.  This pack includes all their books, writing materials and book bag.


Every summer in Terms 1 and 4 we make the children aware of the dangers of over-exposure to the sun.  As part of our school policy it is compulsory for all our children to wear hats at playtime and lunch time during these terms.

Sweets/Soft Drinks

Children are not allowed to bring sweets and soft drinks to school.



Our Year 7 and 8 pupils travel to Breens Intermediate every Friday (during term time) for 3 hours.  They cover all areas of the Technology Curriculum with specialist classrooms and teachers.  There is a cost to parents for the materials used, however no charge is made for bus transportation.  The following areas are covered:  Biotechnology; Electronics; Food; Materials-Fabric, Wood, Metal and Plastic; Production and processes; Structures’ Mechanisms.

Term Dates


Term 1:  Monday, 4 February to Friday, 12 April  (Waitangi Day 6 February, Good Friday 19 April, Easter Monday 22 April, Easter Tuesday 23 April ANZAC Day 25 April)

Term 2:  Monday, 29 April to Friday, 5 July  (Queen’s Birthday 3 June)

Term 3:  Monday, 22 July to Friday, 27 September

Term 4:  Monday, 14 October to Friday, 19 December  (Labour Day 28 October, Show Day 15 November) 








Belfast School has a compulsory school uniform.  A complete list of clothing is available from the school office, and can be viewed on our website on the “Enrolments” page.  All uniform items can be purchased from The Warehouse at the Northwood Supacentre.

Use of School Grounds

At Belfast there is real pride in our beautiful environment.  The community is welcome to enjoy our grounds and play areas out of school time.  Parents need to be aware that they are responsible for the actions of their children.







This is on our website under the “Enrolments” page.  A copy of the enrolment description can also be obtained from the school office.  The number of out of zone places available each year will be discussed at the Board of Trustees meeting in September.  If spaces are available for the following year, an advertisement will be placed in the local newspaper calling for enrolments.  All applications will be informed in November.