February 2024 Edition
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The Connection

Week 3

Term 1

Huapai District School

February 22nd 2024

Senior Leadership Message

I have written many newsletter messages in my time as principal at Huapai District School, and this would be the most difficult, as I would like to share with you that I have decided to retire.

This has been quite a process for me as I really value being part of Huapai District School. I officially notified the Board on Monday and have subsequently advised staff and children today.

The privilege and pleasure of being the Principal at Huapai District School is something I have cherished. The option to “retire” is something I have struggled with, but when I pull back from the relationships, the culture, and the love I hold for the school, I know the time is right for both me and the school.

There is a process the Board will now begin in seeking to shape and promote this position. You can expect communication from the Board next week. I have indicated I will remain until at least the end of term 3 and later if required.

My intention all along has been to present the school in a strong place with stability, capability, and the confidence of the community. I have been deliberate in developing leaders and leadership. We have a very strong culture, with high-quality people in all sectors of the school. The school is in a good place!

I know the school is well-positioned for the future.


John Petrie

Upcoming Events

  • Monday 26th February - Female Swimming Sports
  • Tuesday 27th February - Male Swimming Sports
  • Tuesday 27th February - Family Fun Night
  • Saturday 2nd March - School Working Bee

How Can I Help My School This Week?

As a member of the HDS family, you are automatically a member of the HFN - Huapai Family Network. This is our Huapai version of a PTA. We do NOT believe in burning people out with exhaustive committee meetings and onerous workloads, rather we all pull together when needed to run events, build community, provide support for our students and raise funds for things at school that will directly impact our children. Our members lend a hand where and when they can as the year progresses. Perhaps you own a business or work somewhere that could offer its services to our school in some way, perhaps you’re happy to sell ice blocks once a term, perhaps you have a candy floss maker that you’re happy to use at an event, perhaps you’re passionate about discos, perhaps you’re willing to be a marshal for an event, perhaps you cook up some sausages on the school bbq. These are examples of the ways our school community already joins together!

This section will detail each week the skills we are seeking currently within our school community. Please keep an eye out to see how you can help this year.

This Week:
  • Working Bee helpers (more information below)

School Working Bee

Saturday 2nd March 8.00am - 10.00am


We take pride in our school and would love to see a few areas of need tended to.
The details of the areas and work involved are outlined in the link below.
We need approximately 80 adults.

* Come along and lend a helping hand
* Lend tools & equipment

We'll have a BBQ going and refreshments to satisfy those cravings!

For registration and further details please use the link provided.
*Children are welcome under your supervision and care.

Jobs to cover: playground wood chip, painting, gardens, flax trimming, bench seat upgrade.

We need: wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels, paint brushes, handyman tools. A bonus is parents with tractors and power tools.

Family Fun Night

Tuesday 27th February - next week

This Tuesday we invite you and your whanau to join us for our annual family fun night. It is a relaxed afternoon where you can pop into your child’s class and chat with their teacher. Our focus is building relationships and growing community. Teachers will be in their classroom spaces from 3:30pm-5pm, then please join us for family games and activities on the soccer field until about 6:30/7pm. We will have music, an inflatable obstacle course, sausage sizzle and ice blocks. A great chance to meet some of the friends you’ve heard about.

House T-Shirts Required For All Students In 2024

Last year we introduced House coloured t-shirts into our school uniform. These are now compulsory for all students. House t-shirts can be purchased from The School Uniform Company website (linked below), which is the same place all school uniforms are ordered from. They are the same sizing as the school uniform tops, so please use your child’s current uniform size as reference.

House coloured t-shirts will be used for all in-school activities such as Athletics Day, Cross Country, etc.

Please note, these can not be worn to school in place of our school uniform tops. They are for event days only.

AIMS Games

Does your child excel strongly in a sport? Are you interested in them participating in the National AIMS Games? In the past we have had swimmers, mountain bikers and a basketball team enter.
Competitors must be over 10 years of age and under 13 years of age, as at 31st December the year before the tournament year. Competitor’s birthdates will be required on school registration documentation. For the 2024 Zespri AIMS Games, this means the accepted birth years are: 2011, 2012 and 2013. The link below will take you to the 2024 Aims Game booklet.
*Please note, the school does not send a staff member to this event, arrange transport or accommodation. ALL associated costs with this tournament are up to individual families. If you wish to register your child for an event, please contact maree.lloyd@hds.school.nz

Swimming Sports

Our swimming sports will be held here at school. All students in years 5-8 are invited to participate and selected top swimmers from years 1-4. This year we will hold our sports over two days. Monday 26th February will be the female swimming sports day and Tuesday 27th will be the male swimming sports day. Seniors (years 5-8) in the morning and juniors (years 1-4) in the afternoon.


Is your child keen to play netball this season? Kaipara Netball are hosting an open fun day. Please register directly with them.

Football Boots

We have a dozen pairs of football boots to lend out for a season if your child needs some. They are all smaller sizes - up to about a large 4 ish? If your child needs some, please ask them to see Mrs Lloyd and we can try them on. We ask that these boots come back to us once your child has grown out of them so that another HDS family can use them.

HDS Touch Singlets

Returned after final game please
Final touch games are held on Thursday 29th February. Please bring a spare shirt to this game so your school playing top can be returned after your final match to managers. We require singlets back as soon as possible to go out again for other sports starting. If you have a singlet that you are no longer using, please return this to our school office as soon as possible.


Year 7 & 8
Is your child interested in orienteering as an after school activity? It’s a great sport that blends brains and fitness! Please register your child and pay directly to the Lactic Turkey account on the registration form. The locations vary each week and are at schools either on the Shore or out West. We will look to create a team for bulk entry next year.

Tough Guy And Gal Challenge

Our school enters a large group each year. This year we will participate in the event held on TUESDAY 6th August. Please use the link below to register your child online. Please indicate on the form for “teacher to collect” as this links all our registrations together.

Kickstart Breakfast Club

Our Kickstart Breakfast Club (Weetbix donated by Sanitarium and Milk donated by Anchor) was a huge success last year, with an average of eighteen children coming through every day by Term 4. It is a friendly, social space where many children enjoy starting their day.

  • We have the Weetbix and the milk (thanks to Kickstart).
  • We buy the bread and spreads as a school
  • We have the space (Room 5)
  • We need adult volunteers
We can only provide this opportunity for our students with parent help.

Can you offer 30 minutes once a week? (8.30am/ 8.40am to 9.00am / 9.10am).

Please contact Stephanie at stephanie.wales@hds.school.nz

This does not need to be a long-term commitment - we would love to hear from you if you can help this term.

If you cannot offer half an hour, would you please consider donating a jar of honey (our kids love honey and it is beyond our reach this year). This can be dropped in to the school office.

The Kumeu Show

The annual Kumeu Show is a large-scale A&P show held at the Kumeu showgrounds. We are keen to promote student entries into the indoor arts and craft sections. This may be something your child could work on at home or at school. Our staff have entry forms and we are happy to collect any entries along with a completed entry form and entry fee (generally about $2.50 - exact cash only will be accepted) here at the front office. Please see your child’s teacher for more details or check out the online information linked below.

Montessori Open Day

Saturday 9th March 2024

The AA Insurance Big Little Sponsorship Is Back

The Big Little Sponsorship is back, so spread the word and nominate our school for the chance to win one of two $10,000 sports grants – one for the North Island and one for the South Island.

Entering is easy!
Winning takes teamwork, so let’s get the whole community involved by nominating our school. Teachers, students, parents, friends and whānau can all share the love and show their support for our school by nominating at the link below.

Beyond The School Gates

This is a new section of our newsletter that is driven by you, our HDS community. While we know some of the amazing things our students get up to, we don’t know everything and this is where we need you to tell us. Do you have an HDS child / team / group that you would like to celebrate in the newsletter for an achievement? Please email 100 words or less and a photo to office@hds.school.nz with the subject line “Beyond the school gates” and we will add it to the weekly newsletter.

Sports-X Term 1 2024

Sports-X is back for 2024, offering Soccer focused programs. Click the links below to register with them.

Creative Matters

Creative Matters are back for 2024.

Music Lessons With MusiqHub

MusiqHub are looking forward to another awesome year of music in 2024 at Huapai School! They will have a bunch of slots available for Guitar, Drums, Piano and Ukulele lessons. If you're interested, be sure to get in touch to reserve your spot or ask any questions you may have. Contact details below:

Drums: paul.barry@musiqhub.co.nz

Guitar, Keyboard and Ukulele:

2024 Term Dates

These are the Term Dates for 2024:

Term 1: Wednesday 7th February through to Friday 12th April
Term 2: Monday 29th April through to Friday 5th July
Term 3: Monday 22nd July through to Friday 27th September
Term 4: Monday 14th October through to Friday 20th December

HERO Notifications

We use HERO to send classroom updates, to share regular learning posts and now for payment on all in-school costs. HERO sends push notifications or emails. You can now choose how you receive HERO notifications as well as manage devices that receive them.

To set your own notification preferences:
  1. Click on your profile image
  2. Select EDIT PROFILE
  3. Scroll down to My Devices and select your preferences.
Or please see the full instructions linked below.

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