To educate each girl in a safe, supportive, Christian environment, to be a confident, lifelong learner.


Please phone the school office before 9am if your daughter is going to be absent giving the reason for her absence. Teachers have to indicate this on the digital attendance system. If your daughter arrives late, or leaves early, she must see Mrs McEntyre at the school office who will fill in the Daily Absence book.


Accounts for Term Payments are sent out at the beginning of each term.  These are to be paid to School Support Southland, Box 390, Invercargill by the middle of each term if paid as a lump sum.  An automatic payment option is available.  Details will be sent out with the first invoice.  All invoices MUST be paid by the end of each term.


This is a very convenient, safe service and is available every week day in the library from 3.15 – 5.15p.m.  Attendance may be on a day to day, or weekly basis. You do not have to book in.  It is a great back up for that odd time when you are running late.  Just phone the office and we will organise for your daughter to attend or if your daughter has a cell phone, leave a message for her. The girls are provided with afternoon tea and homework assistance/supervision and play time, outside if fine.  The minimum charge is $2.  Payment for casual attendance is due the day of attendance.  All other payments are due at the end of the week. Unfortunately there is no Before School Care.

After School Care 2017 Charges

3.15 – 3.30 – $2 3.15 – 4.15 – $5 3.15 – 5.15 – $8 For more information, contact Noeleen Wilson.


Girls may arrive at school after 8.20am.  Staff are not responsible for your daughter if she is dropped off earlier than 8.20am.  Prior to this is teacher preparation time.  You can help your daughter become more independent by dropping her at the gate and encouraging her to get organised by herself.  As adults we often under estimate what children can do! Ideally girls need to be at school by 8.35am so that they have time to get organised for the day.


We have an assembly every morning at 8.45am run by the house captains/deputies.  Line-up is at 8.40am. Messages are shared and talents celebrated.  Assembly begins with a reading and finishes with a prayer.  Parents/grandparents are always welcome.


The girls may wear a house badge, speech and dance exam badges, librarian badge, aviary badge, choir badge, stripes and if applicable house captain and deputy badges on their uniform.


8.20 amGirls may arrive at school after this time
8.40 amLine up for assembly
8.45 amAssembly
10.30 - 10.50 amInterval – the office is unmanned but the answer phone will be on
12 noon - 1 pmLunch (office is unmanned 12 – 12.30pm)
1.40 pmEnd of first afternoon period
2.20 pmEnd of second afternoon period
2.55 pmEnd of school warning bell
3.00 pmEnd of school
3.15 pmAll day girls are to be off the school grounds unless they are with an adult. If any girls are still at school they are put into the After School Programme and parents are charged accordingly. The minimum charge is $2. This is a wonderful back up if you are running late.


We celebrate birthdays in assembly and in the classrooms in our own way.  Please do not send any birthday food/treats to school. This very easily gets out of control. Unfortunately, the same is happening at Christmas.  We enjoy seeing the girls share Christmas cards with lovely personal messages but please no treats or gifts.


The Board of Trustees is responsible for the running of the educational side of the school.  The Board of Proprietors is primarily concerned with property, the Special Character and Gilmour House.  The boards work well together.  The BOT meet monthly and the BOP once a term.   Meetings are advertised in the school newsletter. Mrs Keri Bryan is the BOT chair and Mr Lee Moreton the BOP chair.


Every new pupil to the school purchases a St John’s Girls’ School book bag.  This is fantastic way to carry homework home, books to other classes etc.  It is required every day.


Pupils may order books from Scholastic New Zealand Book Club once a term.   Cheques are to be made payable to St John’s Girls’ School.  This cannot be paid online or through School Support.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Girls in Years 5 – 8 need an iPad, mini or full. Year 4 girls in Room 4 also require one.

  • It must be named.
  • It is brought to school at her own risk. We will provide safe storage at breaks.
  • 3G or 4G browsing devices may not be used at school as we are unable to monitor them.
  • They need to be charged and ready for use each day.

They are not to be used at breaks without teacher permission. Girls in the junior school are welcome to bring an iPad, but it is not an expectation.


Years 6, 7 and 8 attend a camp during the year. Year 6 – an overnight camp at Mokotua Scout Camp, 30th – 31st March, approximate cost $50.  2018 will see Year 6 return to an adventure camp at Camp Columba, approximate cost $200. Year 7 – a cultural camp in Dunedin 28th – 30th March, approximate cost- $250. Year 8 – Deep Cove, 27th – 31st March, estimated cost – $260. Miss Bradley will be the backup teacher. Teachers will send notices out seeking interest from parents to accompany their daughter on camp.  Unfortunately, if there are a lot of parents interested, we will not be able to take everyone.


The purpose of the Care Network is to coordinate and support St John’s Girls’ School families and staff in times of genuine need.  This builds on the values of the school.  The aim is to build on the positive relationships, work together and help each other whilst respecting confidentiality, to help people with the little things, as well as the big. The SJGS Care Network Committee are a sub group of the SJGS PTA: Glenda Corson, Liz Doherty, Maria O’Donnell, and Ange Pope.  They can be contacted here.


These are a wonderful way for you to keep in touch with your daughter especially if after school arrangements change.  They are also useful for bus girls to have as a back-up.  The girls are not to use them during school time but may check them at interval/lunchtime as required.


All pupils have a weekly Christian Education lesson and are expected to attend and take part in the Easter Service and Christmas Service.  Mrs Provis- Black takes these classes.


Our Christmas service is held at St John’s Church on Friday 8th December at 1.30pm.  All girls are expected to attend.  The girls and staff will travel there and back by bus.


Email is a fabulous communication tool but it comes with the expectation that the recipient will reply immediately.  We do not expect staff to reply to emails in their personal time.  It is likely that you may not receive a reply until the next day or even later, depending on the urgency of the matter. Teachers often do not have time or the opportunity to check their emails during the day so if you have an urgent message, please send it to the office so it is not over looked.


Please read the Communication and Complaints Procedure.  We work hard to communicate with families about events and changes as well as celebrating the successes of the girls.  We encourage you to make a time to see us should you wish to discuss your daughter’s progress if you have any concerns.  In most instances, the homeroom teacher is the first person to discuss your concern with.


All cyclists are to enter through the Avenal Street entrance.


Pupils have dance as part of the school programme.  The dance uniform is their P.E. top and lycra bike shorts available from the school.  The girls get changed in the break before their dance lesson and wear their PE shorts over the lycra shorts until the dance class starts, to prevent laddering. All girls from Year 3 upwards sit a dance exam at the end of term 3.  Term 1 dance is preparing for the House Aerobics competition.


Pupils visit the Dental Therapist at Waihopai School.  Parents accompany their daughter.  Please inform us if your child will not be attending this clinic.


The Easter Service is at St John’s Church.  The girls will travel there and back by bus.


We have a silver enviro award so sustainable practices are important to the school.  Paper and cardboard rubbish is placed in the recycle skip and we ask that all lunch rubbish is taken home.  Many girls use recyclable containers for their sandwiches.


Entrances are from Avenal Street and Dee Street.  We encourage the use of Avenal Street as the traffic flow along Dee Street is heavy, especially in the mornings.  If you are popping into the office briefly and it is not at the beginning of the day or end of the day please feel free to park in the carpark or along the drive. For safety reasons, please

  • Only use the driveway off Dee Street when dropping off or picking up boarders or a sick child and when popping into the office as explained above.
  • Don’t pull up on the yellow lines at either entrance to drop girls off or to collect them. This is particularly dangerous on Avenal Street as it obscures the duty teacher’s vision.
  • Please use the footpath on Dee Street, not the driveway.
  • Parents of boarders – on Monday mornings, please park along the driveway, not in the carpark.


An Event’s List is attached to the fortnightly newsletter and is also on here.  Often parents are unsure which events they may attend.  Below is a list of events and who is invited to attend.  If in doubt, please phone the office to ask.

  • Greats and Grans Day – Grandparents only
  • House picnic – school only
  • Disco – parents are welcome to pop in briefly when they drop their daughter off and we welcome you back at the end when you collect your daughter.

Parents and grandparents (extended family etc) are welcome at:

  • Aerobics Festival –limited space if wet
  • Assemblies
  • Carol Service
  • Easter Service
  • Gym Festival –limited space
  • Prize Giving
  • Years 4 – 8 Swimming Sports – Championship event only, in 2017
  • Tabloids
  • Term 4 Celebration of Dance – limited space
  • Year 8 Father/daughter netball
  • Zone Athletics Sports Day for 8 – 10 year olds at Surrey Park.
  • Year 8 leavers’ ceremony – parents and grandparents only.  No siblings.


We use Facebook to communicate last minute sports cancellations, items of interest and for photos.  You don’t have to have a Facebook account to access the page.We encourage you to Like the page.


This is the boarding house which is the brick building in the middle of the school grounds.  There are twelve, Monday to Friday boarders this year. Two house mistresses live on site. Casual boarding is available for girls in Year 6 upwards.  This is useful if you have to be away for a couple of nights or a couple of weeks.  Phone Gilmour House directly and talk to Mrs Paterson.


Hair must be kept neat and tidy at all times and be off the face. Shoulder length hair or longer is to be tied back with plain navy blue hair ties and/or ribbons. Brown and black clips can be used.  Colouring hair is strongly discouraged.


The Public Health nurse, Mrs Sanderson visits the school regularly.  Year 5 – 8 girls can access Mrs Sanderson through the “Suggestions/Concerns Box” in the foyer for a variety of health issues.  This is a confidential referral system.  They must include their name. Pupils who need hearing and eye tests are seen by a Vision/Hearing technician who comes during the year.


All pupils will have homework. It will be mostly reading, learning basic facts and spelling.   The expectations for each class are set out clearly at the beginning of the year at the Meet the Teacher evening.  Homework is an opportunity to reinforce the learning that has happened at school and for you to share in it.  It should be an enjoyable sharing time.  If you have any queries, contact the class teacher.

General expectations – Monday to Thursday inclusive:

Years 1 – 3 – Approximately 15 – 20 minutes per night Years 4 – 6 – Approximately 20 – 30 minutes per night Years 7 – 8 – Approximately 30 – 40 minutes per night


Girls are placed in houses run by a house captain and deputy house captain.  These are Alabaster, Enderby, Lester and Marchant, all names of previous principals.  House Captains and deputies run the assemblies, lead weekly house meetings and take a special interest in the girls in their house.  They also organise an annual house picnic. Girls earn house points from all school wide sporting events.  House rivalry is fierce.  A leader board is kept up to date in the hall. House badges are available for purchase at the school office for $5.00. There are several house events held during the year where the girls may wear house colours.  It would be useful for your daughter to have a simple t – shirt and hair ribbons in the colour of her house. Alabaster – pink Enderby – red Lester – royal blue Marchant – forest green


In the case of an accident, staff will render First Aid.  If the injury is thought to be serious, parents will be advised immediately and the child will be taken to Accident and Emergency at Southland Hospital.


Term 1 – 15th March – 10 minutes Sharing assessment information plus setting goals. No samples sent home. Parents may request an interview at other times. Term 2 – 27th/28th June – Post report interview – 15 minutes Reviewing progress


The girls may wear small, plain navy blue, silver or gold studs in pierced ears, only one in each ear.  No decorative studs. No ring keepers.  No nail polish. No make-up.


The Nicholson Library was named after Miss Nicholson, a former school principal.  Every class has a weekly library period for girls to borrow and return books.  The girls may borrow two books at a time, for a period of two weeks but may renew them so they can have them for longer. If your daughter loses or damages a book, you will be invoiced for the cost. The library will be open on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes for girls in years 5 – 8 to read and to change books.


The use of this book in your daughter’s class will be discussed at the Meet the Teacher evening.


A lot of class time is lost in the junior school chasing missing items of clothing because it is not named, so please name everything, especially shoes and second hand pieces of uniform.  There is a lost property box in the office which the girls can check before school and from 12.30 – 1pm and 3 – 3.15pm.  The school takes no responsibility for lost clothing.  Clothing not claimed at the end of each term is donated to the uniform shop or to charity.


Lunch time is 12 – 1p.m.  Pupils may bring food wrapped in tinfoil and clearly named, to be heated.  Please do not send frozen food to be heated. Lunch is eaten outside on the tiered seating in fine weather and in the hall on cold or wet days.  Teachers check that the juniors have eaten something substantial, ie a sandwich, wrap or roll.  Generally our girls have wonderful, healthy lunches fill of sandwiches/wraps/rolls, fruit, yoghurt etc  We often find the girls have too much and think that they have to eat it all.  Please talk to your daughter regularly about her lunch needs.


At the end of the year each girl is awarded a Merit Certificate at prize giving which is a record of her involvement and achievements for the year.


Respect for the environment is important.  The girls are expected to treat the grounds with respect, therefore they are not to climb on the shrubs except in the hedge where they are allowed to climb. For safety reasons the girls are not to climb on to the top of the barrel or the wooden rails on the field playground.


Pupils should not have money at school unless it is requested for a special activity.  In this case, the money should be taken directly to the school office in an envelope with the pupil’s name, room number, amount of money, and what the money is for.  Money is not kept on the school premises so please ensure the correct money is sent to school as change cannot be given.  For larger amounts cheques are safer or online transactions.  Please put the reason for the payment and your daughter’s name.  Mufti money is collected by the classroom teacher.


Everyone is outside at morning tea.  If it is really cold or wet the girls eat their morning tea outside and then go inside but are expected to be doing something quietly.


School newsletters are emailed home on alternate Fridays. No hard copies are sent.  The newsletter is also put on the website. There will be a lot of forms sent home in week one.  We apologise for this but they are important as we require accurate contact and medical information.


The school office is situated in the Administration Block at the top of the driveway.  Any general enquiries are to be directed through the office manager, Mrs McEntyre.  The office is open from 8.30am – noon & 12.30pm until 3.15pm. The answer phone will usually be on until 8.30am, at interval and from 12 – 12.30pm.


The areas behind Rooms 1, 2 and 3, and Rooms 7 and 8 are out of bounds.  Years 5 – 8 are allowed in the area between Rooms 5/6 and 7/8 however they are not to loiter in the cloakbay.


The Parents’ Association organises school activities and is another link between the parents and the school.  Meetings are advertised in the newsletter.  They meet at 7pm on the second Tuesday of each term except term one when they meet in week 4.  This group provide extras for the school such as library books, venetian blinds, new ranges, desks, PE equipment, basketball towers, musical instruments etc.  The first meeting for the year is at 7pm on Tuesday 21st February in the staffroom.  New members are welcome. The Parents’ Association would like access to new parents’ contact details.  If you do not wish them to have your phone number or email address, please let us know, otherwise your contact details will be passed on at the end of week 2, term 1.


All girls require a physical education bag.  This may be purchased from school if they don’t already have a suitable navy, draw string bag.


Our prizegiving is held at St John’s Church on Wednesday 13th December at 1.30pm.  Extended family is welcome.  The prizegiving takes an hour.  Even if a girl does not receive a prize, all girls go up to receive a Merit Certificate. There is a Literacy Award, a Mathematics Award, a Values Award and an Effort Award for a girl from each class/year level.


We have a goal setting interview in term one.  The girls are encouraged to attend the interview with their parents.   Written reports are sent out in terms 2 and 4.  The term 2 reports are followed up with a 15-minute interview.  Parents may request additional interviews at any time. If you have a concern, contact the teacher and discuss it.  It is better for this to happen earlier rather than to wait.


In cases of sickness, parents will be phoned to collect their child if, in the opinion of the staff the child is too ill to remain at school.  Under no circumstances are girls to contact their parents directly if they are feeling unwell.  They must communicate with their teacher and then the school office.


There will be a ski trip for years 5 – 8 in the third term.  The tentative date is the 18th August.  Approximate cost – $100.  Parents and siblings are welcome on a first in basis.


Coaches and Contacts

The girls are heavily involved in sport so we need parent coaches and managers.  Please share your skills or learn as you go.  We cannot enter teams unless we have a coach.  Notices will be sent out asking for coaches.  Coaches who may have unsupervised one-on-one contact with girls will be Police Vetted this year.


In the first instance, contact the coach.  If the query is of a general nature, contact our sports coordinator Mrs Fiona Smith.


The school does not sell stationery.   Your daughter will receive a stationery list at the end of the year for the following year.  All the main stationery outlets will have one.


At the end of term 2 and term 4, stripes are awarded to Year 7and 8 pupils.

Work Stripes:

  • Red: to girls who have academic ability and put in maximum effort.
  • Green: to girls who work to their full potential and put in maximum effort.

Sports stripes: (Set criteria – participation in a certain number of sports)

  • white for effort and fair play
  • gold for outstanding ability (representation at Southland level, sports cup recipient) and effort and fair play.


Sunhats are not a compulsory part of the school uniform but are encouraged.  Any plain royal blue/navy hat is acceptable.  The school sells navy wide brimmed sunhats for approximately $12.  We provide and encourage the use of sun block.


Girls are not to bring sweets, chocolate or sugary drinks to school.  This includes fruit juice as it is full of sugar.  The fountains outside Room 2/3 and Room 6 have filtered water.  This is part of our healthy food education programme.


School swimming is in term one from 1.30pm – 2.30pm for all Year 1 – 3 girls and for Years 4 – 8 who cannot swim 200m freestyle.  It starts in week 3.  If your daughter can swim 200m freestyle, and is new to the school or has moved into Year 4 please provide a swimming certificate to Mrs Smith as soon as possible. All swimming gear must be clearly named and kept in a bag.  Parent help with dressing the juniors is appreciated. The swimming sports will be a different format this year.  We plan to run a Championship Event only.


These are usually the second last Monday of the year, starting at 1pm.   It is part of the house competition.  Each house competes in a series of activities.  The afternoon finishes with various relays and a house chant.  Parents and extended family are welcome to attend.


Technology is wonderful, but we want your daughter to socialise during breaks so cell phones and iPads are not to be used in the playground and not inside without a teacher being in the room so we can monitor appropriate internet use. Cell phones are to be left in school bags during the day.  If a girl is caught using her devices during school time without permission, it will be confiscated and kept in the office for the day.  If she is found using it again parents will be required to come in to collect it. Only Year 7/8 girls are allowed to use the hall sound system – for practising aerobics etc and only after asking a teacher. Only the Year 8 girls are to use the data projector in the hall and only with teacher permission.


Pupils are not allowed to use the school phone unless the matter is urgent.  Please make sure that pupils know their bus arrangements or other transport arrangements before they leave for school in the morning.  Please do not phone the office with last minute changes to after school arrangements.


Term 1 -Tuesday 31st January –  Thursday 13th April – 104 half days Term 2 – Monday 1st May – Friday 7th July – 98 half days Term 3 – Monday 24th July– Friday 29th September – 100 half days Term 4 – Monday 16th October – Thursday 14th December – 86 half days 384 half days


Waitangi Day – Monday 6th Feb Queen’s Birthday – Monday 5th June Labour Day – Monday 23rd October


Most uniform items can be purchased from school.  Contact Mrs Lang to make an appointment or if you know what you need, send a note with your requirements. Girls should always leave the school grounds in the correct uniform unless they are going directly to a sports venue (school sporting event starting by 4.05pm), in which case they may wear their PE uniform.

  • Top buttons are to be done up.
  • Socks and collars are worn folded down.
  • PE shorts may be worn beneath dresses as long as they cannot be seen.
  • Girls may have bare feet on the field but must have shoes on in class and if climbing in the hedge as there are sharp bits.


Living by Christian values and using manners are important at St John’s. The values we concentrate on are: – Respect, responsibility, honesty, fairness, compassion, integrity, hard work and kindness.


If your circumstances change and you have to withdraw your daughter, let me know ASAP please.  If you wish to withdraw your daughter from the school permanently you are required to give one full term’s notice in writing (or the Boards may charge a term’s fees in lieu thereof). If you have any queries or concerns, please contact the relevant person early so a solution can be found.


This follows the prizegiving and is held in the school hall at 3.15pm on the 13th December. Grandparents are welcome but sorry, no siblings. We look forward to working with you and trust your daughter will have an enjoyable, productive year.