Our very successful ‘walk and wheel’ to school message has seen more and more families making the trip to school a fun family event, involving all family members, even the four-legged ones. If you take your family dog for a walk on the way to school please consider those members of our school community who are not keen on dogs.

Keep your dog on a leash.

Please don’t leave your dog tied up and unattended outside classrooms or on the scooter racks. Some children really do not like dogs and your dog’s unattended presence gives these kids a stressful start to the day.

Also consider the impact of your dog in classrooms, have you asked your child’s teacher how they feel? Some might say no, some might ask for more regular visits – get the communication going and find out.

And… don’t forget your plastic bag, sadly some dog owning parents are leaving the poo behind.

As a dog owner myself I believe that animals at school are a positive presence, if managed well. So please listen to the valid concerns of the non-dog loving members of our school community to keep Waimairi School a happy place for all two and four legged beings.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

PS, Yes the cute dog in the picture is my boy Murphy.

PS, Yes the cute dog in the picture is my boy Murphy.


Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 09:52 PM
Hi Mike

I LOVE DOGS however I am not happy about them being in the school grounds with large groups of children. It is an accident waiting to happen.
Friday, March 27, 2009 - 11:51 AM
I would like to continue to have dogs in the school and I agree with the points you have outlined - I cant believe some have been brought into classrooms without permission and some poos havent been picked up. That is a real shame and reflects badly on the majority of parents that bring dogs into school with no negative impact. I agree that dogs should not be allowed to be tied up unattended either as there is potential for disaster.
Having dogs in the school is a very positive experience for children and parents with children who are nervous around dogs should see this as an opportuntiy to teach your child how to respond appropriately.
As a parent of the school but also as a dog trainer and an educator who runs dog safety programmes in schools and preschools, I have been teaching New Entrants at Waimairi for a few years now as well as the local kindy. I am very proud to say that I observe almost all children at the school responding appropriately to dogs and around the school - asking to pat the dog before approaching, patting it correctly and safely and not being silly around them. Well done!
Having any animals in the school is a wonderful experience for children - dog owners please don't ruin it by not controlling or looking after your dog while at school. It would be a shame to lose this special part of Waimairi culture. Finally, parents of children who dont like dogs - please dont tar and feather all dogs in front of your child. Children respond to the signals you give out - if you appear fearful they will expect that something negative is going to happen. Please see dogs(or any animal) in the school as a wonderful learning experience - a chance for you to help your child overcome a fear.

I am more than happy to assist the school again in teaching safe dog handling practices, advising dog owners/ staff/ parents on appropriate ways of working with dogs, or providing one on one positive experiences with one of my dogs and children wanting to overcome a fear.

Susan Tansey

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 01:03 PM
Phoebe Fulton
I like dogs too although I am currently not a dog owner, and my children love going up to the fence to talk to our neighbours dog. I also know some children who see a dog and take a wide berth, many times with good reason. Most dog owners say their dogs wouldnt hurt anyone and they are probably right although sometimes they jump up at you, and bark or take off when another dog approaches and that is often the time when children are scared. I dont think any child need be subjected to that at school. I think educating the children about dogs and how to behave around them is very beneficial however I would still rather dogs stayed at home or outside the school grounds. I seem to have noticed more dog poo around the school grounds this year than ever before although this probably cant be attributed to the dogs who come in to the school grounds on leads to drop off or collect their 'mates' before and after school.

Friday, April 3, 2009 - 08:49 AM
I walk to school each day with Doug the Dog as it is my belief that dogs need to be well socialised and are more likely to respond in a positive manner towards children if they are used to them.
The children at Waimaire are polite and generally ask before touching a dog.
Of course all dogs need to be kept on a lead and any doggy doo must be picked up, this is council bylaw as well as good manners. I have only seen well behaved dog owners at the school and agree that animals at school are a positive presence.

Friday, April 24, 2009 - 10:07 PM
I agree that animals are a positive presence, however I believe this is up to the parents to manage what experiences their children should have with dogs or any other pet.

I for one would rather see dogs outside of the school grounds. A stressful experience in the morning of encountering a dog (for my child) has repercussions for more than just the 2 minute encounter with the actual animal. Such an encounter stays with my child for most of the morning, and disturbs her learning.

Thursday, June 4, 2009 - 04:20 PM
Chris Jenkins
I love to see dogs at school with their families but agree with Mike that dog owners need to be careful of anyone nervous of dogs and keep them on a short leash, pick up mess and not leave them tied up anywhere. If dogs are included in the "Walk to School" outings families are more likely to walk. Dogs are great motivators!!
Having just lost my beautiful Sammy at the ripe old age of 15 I understand how important dogs are to their owners and to exclude them causes stress.

More on creativity

Last year I featured a movie clip of Sir Ken Robinson on this blog. This clip generated lots of discussion with parents and between our teachers.

I’m grateful to Carol for letting me know that Ken Robinson was interviewed on National Radio on Friday. Here is the link to the podcast of that interview.

Have a listen and share your thoughts.

Dads in the rain

Ten Waimairi dads kindly gave their time on Sunday morning to dismantle the junior playground. Some parts are heading away to be reconditioned before Playco use them as part of the new playground.

Thanks to the team of dads who turned up on a rainy morning to get stuck in with tools, shovels and of course... a digger (we need big toys to play with when we get together). Your help is really appreciated and I hope you enjoyed getting home into dry clothes as much as I did. Big thanks to Michael Fulton for organising the event.

View pictures of the working bee

Parent education night

Due to a date clash with part of our Education Review Office visit we have had to postpone our planned parents’ literacy learning information evening.

We will be running this event next term. Stay tuned for a new date and time.

Junior class sizes

Class sizes in the junior school.

Unexpected roll growth has lifted junior class numbers higher than we would like them to be. We would like to act quickly to address this issue. This letter is to inform you about how we intend to meet the needs of children in our NE/Year 1/Year 2 classes. (Rms 3,5,6,10,14 and 20) NB this will not include any children from Rm 1.

Our Board of Trustees is supporting us by resourcing a new Year 1/2 class. This class will be taught by Delwyn McGrath and be based in Room 4 and will be part of the Hurunui River team for the rest of this year.

Mrs McGrath will be teaching this group of children in the mornings from week 8 of this term (23 March) to lower numbers in all Year 1 and 2 classes at literacy and numeracy time. She will commence full time teaching of this new class in term 2.

We will be putting together the new Room 4 as a well balanced, functioning class with the same range of abilities and needs found in any other room.

Teachers will be contacting families of children being considered for the new Room 4. You will have a choice, we will not move children from their current rooms against your wishes.

The Year 1 and 2 team are meeting on Monday afternoon to consider the composition of Room 4 and will be in contact with you if applicable.

As in previous years another two junior classes will be established, one around Queens Birthday weekend and another as new entrant numbers demand it later in the year.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

News from the Christchurch Avon Athletics Club (CHAV) of great achievement by past and present Waimairi students.

Following last weekend’s Canterbury Champs met at QEII Goiteom Gebremedihin and Laura Clarke have been chosen (along with approx 70 other athletes) to represent Canterbury at this weekends triangular meet in Dunedin against Otago / Southland / Canterbury. Ex Waimairi students also going are: Charlotte Hadfield and Rebecca Gillett.

This Friday night at the International Track Meet at QEII, CHAV was approached to enter relay teams. Ella-Rose Tanoa-Kell and Laura Clarke are running for 8yr girls in this event which their team won at Canterbury Champs.

Thanks to the Clarke family for this update. If you know about any Waimairi success make sure you let us know so we can all celebrate the achievement.

1 Comment Manage Comments for this Entry
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 01:19 PM
Go Goiteom! I hope you get over that broken arm injury soon because we need you in the school team. Drink lots of milk to make that bone strong...