Heron Herald Term 1, Week 4, 2024

Kia ora koutou,

What a summer – we love seeing classes regularly getting into the school pool, building water confidence, and developing their aquatic skills.  We are lucky to have a school pool, as many schools don’t and with the warm weather everyone is enjoying getting into the water.

In a few weeks, the Rākau Team will be holding their annual swimming sports.  Traditionally, all Year 5 & 6 students travel to the Ōtūmoetai Pools and compete in various races.  These races include lengths of free-style, back-stroke, breast-stroke and butterfly.  There are relays and medleys, and often, a parent/teacher race to wrap up the day.  However, over the last few years we have been observing a rapid decline in the swimming capabilities of our senior swimmers.  While there are still capable and competitive swimmers in our school, the number of students who can confidently swim the length of the pool without stopping to hold the lane ropes for a break has increased significantly.

With many children unable to participate fully in swimming, we plan on splitting the team into two separate events.  Children who can genuinely complete two or more events will travel to the Ōtūmoetai Pool and take part in the traditional swimming event.  Those who can’t participate at that level will stay at school, where a swimming-based event will be run in the school pool.  This different approach will provide more opportunities for engagement and avoid having students sitting on the bleachers for long periods of time.

Our team is increasingly concerned about the declining capabilities of children in the water, as we know that water safety is an important skill for NZ children.  We have a few initiatives happening at school to support swimming development, including class lessons.  However, it could be worth considering as a parent how confident your child is in the water.  While they may be happy splashing in the school pool or the shallows at the beach, how would they go if they found themselves in deeper water, needing to travel a distance using their own strength?

Below is a short survey to gather basic information on swimming at Matua School.  We’d love to hear more, via this survey, about how swimming development happens in your family.

School Donations

Thank you for your patience while we have been preparing the school system to support payment of the 2024 School Donations.  This payment is now able to be made via Kindo.  The school donation for 2024 remains at $130 per child, which is the same as last year.  Part payments can be made within your Kindo account.

School donations are an important part of our school finances.  Matua School is funded by the Ministry of Education, and being a school located in a financially strong community, the funding we receive is on the lower end of the national scale.  Therefore PTA fundraising, community grants and school donations are all critical to us being able to deliver the level of resourcing we desire for our children.  If you would like to learn more about this, please follow THIS LINK to an information sheet on how these donations are used.

Follow THIS LINK to sign into KINDO, or use the link found in the Hero App.

Hero School App

Hopefully, you have downloaded and signed up to Hero, the new school app.  Our goal is that all key communication and information related to school can be accessed through Hero.  If you haven’t connected with Hero yet you can do that now by following these instructions.

There are two ways to sign up for Hero:

  1. Download the Hero by LINC-ED App from either the Apple or Google Play Stores.
  2. Visit the website: https://our-hero.com/nz/ and sign up via your browser.

Enter the email address that the school has as your contact email, select ‘New User,’ and you will receive a password to activate your account.

Pro Tip
If your child is going to be away from school, please use the ‘Report an Absence’ button in Hero.  This will send a message to both the school office AND your classroom teacher.  We have noticed that a few parents are sending absence notices to teachers through Caregiver Communications, which doesn’t get sent to the office.

Crocs and Jibbitz

At the end of 2023, I sent a survey about Crocs at Matua School.  This survey received one the biggest parent responses to any survey we’ve released…clearly a hot topic!  As highlighted in the graphs below, the support for keeping Crocs as an option for footwear at school was very strong.  The thoughts regarding Jibbitz are more evenly spread, but with the majority thinking, we should allow them.  What I have really appreciated is the strong parent support in recognising that the issues that can arise from things like Jibbitz is a good learning experience for children, and isn’t something that is the responsibility of the school or teachers.  There are occasions where Jibbitz are lost, or even taken by other students – which certainly isn’t acceptable.  However, we have reinforced to children that if something like a Jibbitz is personally valuable, then school isn’t the right place for it.

I am pleased to confirm that Crocs can be worn to school, and Jibbitz are a fun thing that, like other trends, will phase out over time.  Please talk to your children about how valuable their Jibbitz are to them, and about the possibility they could get lost at school.  If it’s not worth the risk, then they could be saved for out-of-school dress wear 🙂

Sponsorship 2024

We are thrilled to have a number of businesses that support Matua School as sponsors.  We are approaching a time when we have opportunities for new sponsors to partner with Matua School.  If you are a business leader and would like to explore these opportunities further, please see the information below and/or contact me at marcusn@matua.school.nz

Ngā mihi nui

Marcus Norrish


The first Tūī Talks episode for 2024 is now available on Spotify.  We have a new group of talented Matua Learners working on great content for parents and children.  The first episode this year has a look at the concept of Service – our Term 1 learning focus.

Please follow the link below to listen, and subscribe to our Tui Talks SPOTIFY channel for future episodes.


The roadworks continue on Levers Road as the council upgrades the pedestrian crossing.  While this is happening, the council’s road management team is providing staff to move students safely across the road before and after school.  Please be aware that apart from at these times, there is no supervised crossing of Levers Road, and no visible pedestrian crossing.  There will be an increased risk for children crossing the road in the evenings or at weekends.

We have also noticed an increased amount of traffic on Clivedene Street.  Please be mindful of children walking home from school in the surrounding streets as cars appear to be avoiding Levers Road while the roadworks are happening.

Crossing Clivedene Street

Designgroup Stapleton Elliott (DGSE) is an award-winning architect practice with studios spread across Aotearoa. Formed by a large team with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, their services include Architecture, Interior Architecture, Master Planning, and Landscape Architecture. Acknowledging the weight of their responsibility as architects, a deep understanding of people, place, and culture are at the heart of their design processes.



This workshop event is highly recommended for all parents who want to learn more about supporting children to navigate the challenging digital landscape we live in.  We would encourage you to take advantage of this popular event being held in our community.  Book your FREE ticket quickly as spaces are expected to go quickly.  CLICK HERE to access the booking website.

‘Inspace Joinery is a reliable and skilled carpentry company that offers quality services for kitchen and home joinery projects. With their attention to detail and commitment to customer satisfaction, they can turn any space into a work of art. Contact them today to discuss your renovation ideas. Visit our Showroom at
301 Maunganui Rd, Mt Maunganui.’


A big welcome to our Term 1 and 2 Librarians!  Our librarians are currently in training and begin their library duties next week.  A big thank you to Ada, Abigail, Layla, Isabella, Lakhwinder, Georgia and Amelie who have given up their lunchtimes to assist in the library while our new librarians are taken through their paces.  We have huge interest in students wishing to become librarians and we thank our Year 5 students in particular for their patience – many will become librarians towards the end of the year.  Librarians primarily assist at lunchtimes.  They promote books and good reads, issue/return books,  assist others when searching for books, read to younger members of the school, and help out with jigsaws or quiet board/card games.
Overdue Books
Families will begin to receive overdue notice reminders via email next week.  These reminders will go out every two weeks on Mondays.  Children can return overdue books directly to the overdue bin just inside the front door of the library or wait to return books during their library day later that week.


A friendly reminder that school is not open until 8.30am. If you require childcare before these hours, please contact SKIDS either by email – matua@skids.co.nz, phone – 027 586 0408, or book online – www.skids.co.nz/Matua.



Our second hand uniform shop is now up and running again. This is available every Wednesday afternoon from 2.45pm – 3.15pm. Cash or eftpos available. School fleeces cost $5 ($10 if nearly new), all other items are ‘Gold Coin Donation’.


Lunch orders are available for delivery to Matua School each Friday.


Simply order your SUBWAY lunch online through you myKindo account by CLICKING HERE

Order (or cancel) any time before 9:00am on the day or schedule in advance.

Help? Visit support.mykindo.co.nz or call 09-869 5200 Mon-Fri, 8:00am to 4:00pm.


Term 1, 2024 – Wednesday 7th February 2024 – Friday 12th April

Waitangi Day – Tuesday 6th February

Learner Conferences – Friday 1st March. School will be closed for instruction.

Easter Weekend – Friday 29th March until Tuesday 2nd April

Term 2, 2024 – Monday 29th April – Friday 5th July

Teacher Only Day #1 –  Friday 31st May

King’s Birthday – Monday 3rd June

Matariki – Friday 28th June

Term 3, 2024 – Monday 22nd July – Friday 27th September

Term 4, 2024 – Monday 14th October – Friday 20th December (12:30pm finish)

Teacher Only Day –  Friday 25st October

Labour Day – Monday 28th October




Setting up with Kindo

Kindo is our prefered payments system. To help you learn how it works, we’ve added their new help sheet and video. We hope it helps.




Children’s Day in our city centre is back on Sunday, 3 March and will be bigger and better than ever before! Organised by Tauranga City Council, in celebration of National Children’s Day, this free event will be a hive of activity with performances, face painting, arts and craft activities, superheroes and more.   

With six different activity zones spanning across the waterfront, the Cargo Shed, Willow Street and He Puna Manawa, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Practice your circus tricks, sit in a police car or take a sneak peek inside the Civic Precinct construction zone, this is one you won’t want to miss!  

The event is on Sunday, 3 March from 10am-3pm. Click on the image below or visit mytauranga.co.nz/citycentre for all the details.  



The annual Blue light Kids Gone Fishing Competition is being held on the 17th of March 2024 at Tauranga Bridge Marina.

This event is FREE!

  • Free bait
  • Free handheld lines
  • Free BBQ
  • Spot Prizes