Goldfields Primary
Goldfields Primary School principal Anna Harrison introducing the new entrants to school dog Rosco. Photo Jan Hawkins

The start of the school year 2022 has meant some adaptation and careful planning, but all three local school principals have been pleased with how students, parents and teachers have responded to the new guidelines under the Red Traffic Light requirements.

For Cromwell College, it has meant mask wearing, moving directly to whanau time, cancelling the Maori welcome and having to be outside at break times.

Principal Mason Stretch says,

“Our students have been thoughtful, considerate and fully supportive of the measures that are in place to keep us all safe from Omicron.”

He thanks the students who have enabled a busy, productive and calm start to the year, and the parents for supporting the school so strongly, saying, “There has been a great atmosphere around school, with students happy to be back and looking forward to the opportunities for 2022.

At Goldfields Primary, measures are in place to help students adapt with the new guidelines. The playground has been zoned to keep year level groups in their own areas, and year 4 students and above, who are having to wear masks, are given a ‘brain break’ after every hour to enable them to get outside and take masks off.

Staff go to the hall for morning break, so that they have space to all be together, as they do not want to lose their connection with each other.

Assemblies are virtual, and there was no mini whakatau to welcome the students this year.

“Kids are coping well with the new guidelines, and all remembered to bring their masks and are wearing them respectfully,” says Principal, Anna Harrison.

New Principal of Cromwell Primary School, Matt McCormick, says, “The start of the year has been going very well.

Teachers are full of energy and positivity, as are the students, who arrived last Wednesday.” The school held a mini whakatau to officially welcome Matt as the new principal, as the courts are large enough for the school to come together with adequate distancing between syndicates.

There is flexibility to allow students to go outside to have a break from their masks as needed.

Matt is keen to thank parents and students for their support with the new Covid requirements, saying,

“We are committed to ensuring our school is a safe and happy environment for our tamariki.”

Student rolls have increased in all three schools, with numbers of 277 at Goldfields Primary, 342 at Cromwell Primary and 580 at Cromwell College.