Te Totara Primary School - Growing and Learning Together



This Emergency Information Sheet contains important background information about processes and procedures that will be followed by Te Totara Primary School in respect of your son/daughter. 

IN THE CASE OF EMERGENCIES (Fire, Lock Down, Chemical Spill or Civil Emergency)

Please look on our Facebook page or school website (www.tetotara.school.nz) for updates regarding any emergencies.  We will also use our School App to notify parents.

Emergencies & Accidents

Te Totara Primary School is responsible for all emergency procedures during school hours.

In the event of a serious accident or emergency appropriate action will be taken and you will be contacted as soon as possible by the contact number/s you provided on your child’s Enrolment Form. 

If you change any of your contact details e.g. mobile number, address or email, it is VERY important you advise the School Office on 07 853-0039.

If your child has an accident, Te Totara Primary School may need to consent to urgent medical procedures on your behalf.


We have an obligation to trial these systems in order for the school to be as prepared as possible for any such emergency. Our staff are trained to look after our children, reassure them and ensure both their physical and emotional safety. We have noticed that the more often we have these trials, the more familiar we all are with the systems.

Please note:  No-one will answer the front door or the school phone during Lock Down as we need to keep the phone lines open for Emergency Services to use. Everyone’s safety is paramount.

What happens at school during a Lock Down?

Either a pre-recorded announcement will be made or a long bell for five seconds will ring followed by a one second delay.  This will be repeated several times.

All areas of the school have on display an Emergency Procedures checklist to follow, which is reviewed annually (or more often if required).  Any visitors to the school on site at the time must go to the nearest classroom or Administration block and follow the procedures displayed.

  • Teachers go to the nearest classroom or safe area that has a phone (unless told otherwise)

  • Teachers will lock their classroom door and the nearest teacher to the pod door will lock that too, after checking the toilets for students.

  • Everyone is to stay below window level out of view, curtains closed (if applicable).

  • Teachers will count the number of students in front of them and record full names of other adults in the room.  These details are phoned through to designated phones within the Administration Office.  After 5 minutes a recount of students is taken to ensure there has not been an error.

  • For safety teachers will NOT answer the classroom door.   Teachers will await further instructions or an update from the Principal.  

  • If a Lock Down occurs close to pick up time of 3.00pm, then all parents/caregivers are asked to assemble in the Matariki Hall until it is safe.

  • We have a team of people, located in the Administration area, who receive these phone calls and populate a spreadsheet with the number of children/adults in each area.  The total figure is checked against our Student Management System (eTap).

  • Any discrepancies are followed up and re-checked with classroom teachers.  

  • A designated staff member monitors the CCTV to liaise with NZ Police or to locate any missing students/staff/visitors.

  • Surrounding schools/ECE Centres are likely to be contacted as part of the process.  In an actual lockdown situation then the NZ Police will take control.

Communication - How will we contact you in case of an Emergency at School?

We will use various social media including Text Messaging, School App, Facebook, website www.tetotara.school.nz and/or phone if necessary, so it is a good idea to make sure you keep your contact details up-to-date. 

It is important that you follow any directions given, especially around not rushing to school if you hear of an emergency.  This can cause congestion, confusion and stress. Please note that in a real incident that NZ Police will be taking charge of our site (either remotely or onsite) and staff must follow their direction. The Police would take control of access to and from the school, while we look after our children.

Collecting Students from School in the event of a Lock Down

In the event of an actual Lock Down situation our school is under the control of the NZ Police, it is likely that they will block all access points to the school.  

Parents/caregivers are asked to please stay away as Emergency Services may need to access our school.

The students will not be released to families until we have been given the OK by the NZ Police.  When safe to do so, they are to be collected from the classroom whereby the classroom teacher will record that they have been collected. 

We thank you for your cooperation.

James Murray