Te Totara Primary School - Growing and Learning Together

 Wellbeing at School

As part of supporting our staff and students at school, we have formed a Wellbeing Committee. This is comprised of teachers at different levels of the school, as well as staff representing the different levels of the school staff i.e Administration Staff, Teacher Aides.

As part of our Annual Plan, we have enrolled in the New Zealand Council of Education Research Wellbeing@school Programme. This provides schools with self-review tools to build a safe and caring climate that deters bullying. I would recommend taking time to look through the link and seeing how it can help us in the future. This programme is acknowledged by the Education Review Office as a useful tool to support students and staff and is now provided to Schools ACC to ensure schools have this free access. 


Initially, we will be surveying Year 5-6 students and staff. All surveys are anonymous. We are also working on a modified survey for our Year 1-4 students so that we include their perspective as well. Once completed, it will give us a picture of our school and going forward will help form an action plan. We'll keep everyone updated on what is happening, but if you do have any queries please don't  hesitate to contact the Principal Anne Fraser.


This year to support wellbeing we have introduced the Pause, Breathe, Smile Programme for our Year 2-6 students, with early positive feedback. 


Please see the Pause, Breathe, Smile tab for more details under the Wellbeing Main Tab. 


Background Information on Our Current approach to Behaviour, including Bullying

The philosophy of Te Totara Primary School is to provide an inclusive and positive education which is fostered in a holistic manner. Student behaviour is viewed as a part of child development that will be modelled and encouraged within a partnership between home and the school. Inclusive practices and safe environments are of greatest importance to all students.

Behaviour goals have been formulated to provide a school wide approach in this area. This is our 'Reach For the Stars' philosophy and it is highly visible in all interactions and flows through to every part of our school community.

Managing behaviour relies on consistently applying both our schools 'Reach for the Stars' philosophy and strategies to promote positive student behaviour.

Reach for the STARS was developed to help with the key competencies of the curriculum. We use our special STARS theme to provide a school-wide focus on the skills needed for achieving. The STARS programme links in with our school logo and the names of our buildings.





The power point below goes through the various aspects of the programme. 

STARS presentation.ppt


Te Totara Primary School's Student Behaviour Management Policy outlines our system for managing students' behaviour at school.



From the Ministry of Education site for Parents .....What is Bullying? 


Bullying behaviour is serious and complex. It is a form or aggressive behaviour.

Most widely accepted definitions of bullying behaviour are based around the following four things:

  1. Bullying is deliberate - harming another person intentionally.
  2. Bullying involves a misuse of power in relationships - there is real or perceived imbalance that may be based on physical size, age, gender, social status, or digital capability and access.
  3. Bullying is usually not a one-off but is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated over time. It is when one student (or group of students) keep picking on another student again and again to make them feel bad.
  4. Bullying involves behaviour behaviour that can be harmful - it is not a normal part of growing up.

Bullying is a word sometimes used to describe a lot of things that are not actually bullying. 

These other behaviours are just as serious and upsetting, but may need to be sorted out in a  different way.

Sometimes there may be a fight or argument between students. If this happens once, or with a friend and they can sort it out, it is not bullying. Not liking someone, a one-off mean or spiteful act, or isolated incident of aggression are not bullying


Parent Testimonials 

"I just wanted to say how pleased I was to receive a letter regarding the 'Pause Breathe Smile' programme and wanted to congratulate the school on taking  proactive and positive steps to address mental wellbeing for our children. I also really appreciated the discussion around the holistic benefits of cross country in the newsletter  (linking in the physical, mental and social wellbeing advantages of the activities our children participate in).  I am really encouraged to see the well rounded approach to learning and wellbeing at Te Totara and the positive impact it will, no doubt, have for our children as they grow. Keep up the good work and please pass on my thanks to Sally Mowbray and all the others involved in the work."
"I am so grateful that the school is teaching Mindfulness because both my girls are very anxious and one of my daughters has talked about the programme at home which has opened up a lot of discussion around around this and what to do. I have noticed a huge improvement with coping with stressful situations and I can't thank you enough."


"My daughter has for the first time ever gone off to friends house for a sleepover which is huge for her (High Anxiety). So whatever you are doing it has worked for her"


"I am so thrilled with my daughters progress. The programme has been absolutely amazing for my daughter who has been a very anxious child. She has said to me that she is no longer going to say she is no good at soccer that instead she is going to say she is learning new skills in soccer and that she was going to create a new neural pathway. I can't thank you enough for what the programme has done for my child, she practises the breathing at home and it has helped her cope better."