Thornton School




The Board of Trustees is elected every three years and is responsible for the finances, the employment of staff and the governance of the school.

Anyone is most welcome to attend these meetings which will be advertised in our school newsletters.  BOT minutes are available for viewing on the noticeboard in the foyer.  Community consultation meetings are held annually.


The school firmly holds to the values of caring and sharing.  In a small rural setting these values are instilled in many children before they enter school.  We aim to build on these values and create an environment where children are happy, safe and confident in what they do.  Having a full Primary School - Year 1 to 8, enables the senior children to develop their leadership skills as well as providing suitable role models for the younger children.

An underlying theme of ‘I CARE’ is followed throughout the school and children follow a set of rules (on back cover) that they have developed themselves.


To encourage children to set personal goals, to take responsibility for their own learning, to have pride in their achievements, to learn from their mistakes, to be tolerant and friendly to others.

Welcome to the Community of Thornton.  This booklet has been prepared to introduce Thornton School to you.  I am sure you will find information contained in this booklet of value to you.

Caring, professional teaching staff and supportive community make Thornton School quite an idyllic place to educate children.  The school is small enough to retain a family feel to it, but is large enough to provide a rich and varied learning environment.  The staff make a point of making themselves accessible to parents and caregivers, enabling you to come and discuss matters relating to the academic and social development of your children at mutually agreed and convenient times.

Our Board of Trustees works closely with our school community and staff to provide our children with a stimulating learning environment.

As Chairman of the Board, I would welcome any approach from people considering having their children attend our School.  The school can also be contacted if you require further information.

Trevor Mews

Chairman BOT



Our ‘Agricultural Day’ takes place each October and certainly reflects the rural nature of our school.  All pupils are encouraged to participate, either with animal rearing (kids, calves, lambs – or domestic pets) or with any other organised activities on the day.  Finalists from this day go through to Group Day which involves all the schools in the area.


The Education Act requires that a child attends school every day that it is open.  When a child is absent for any reason please notify the school via the school app, by phoning the office. All absences have to be explained, so parents will be phoned if a child is away without a note or a phone call.


Children are not allowed to leave the school grounds during the day unless with a parent or guardian.  Please notify the school if you intend to pick up your child early or they are going to be late.  Inform the classroom teacher directly when taking your child.  Following these procedures helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures pupil safety. 


Period of exclusion from school:

Measles        for at least 7 days from the appearance of 

rash and until recovery

Chicken poxfrom appearance of rash until scabs are gone

Scarlet Feverfor at least 7 days

Mumpsuntil all swelling has subsided and patient restored to health

Diphtheriafor at least two weeks from onset

Ringworm         nil – if under medical treatment

Scabiesnil – if under medical treatment

School sores    nil – if under medical treatment

Headlice        treat before returning to school


When a parent/guardian wants to make a complaint about something that has occurred at school, the procedure is as follows:

The child’s teacher is the first person to take the complaint to.  If there are still concerns, then the principal should be approached.

Some complaints need to be worked through over a period of time.  Sometimes the parent/guardian will need to be liaised with for the satisfactory resolution of a complaint.

If the parent/guardian feels they are not receiving a satisfactory resolution to their complaint then they can put their concerns in writing to the Board of Trustees.


Children from this school attend the mobile dental clinic that comes annually to Thornton School. If your child requires attention between regular visits, please ring the dental therapist direct on 027-296-9624. 

The school is visited regularly by the Public Health Nurse and she is available to discuss any problems which may arise.

Children have a hearing and vision check prior to school entry. However if you have any worries concerning your child’s sight or hearing let us know so that test can be arranged.

Parents of new entrants are advised to take them to their own doctor to check that their immunisations are up to date.

If a child becomes ill at school we try to contact a parent so that the child can go home.  If that is not possible, the child is looked after at school.  If urgent treatment is required and parents cannot be contacted the child will be taken either to a doctor or the hospital.

If your child has medication to take at school please notify the classroom teacher.  Medication must be kept by your child’s teacher.


From time to time we enrich the children’s experiences and provide new learning environments by taking them on visits to places of special interest.  Depending on the occasion we may hire a bus or ask for parents’ help with cars.  Notes are sent home telling about the visit and requesting permission.  Our aim is to invite performers once a term to introduce the children to live performances.  You will be notified of these visits by newsletter.


A birth certificate or passport is required with all enrolments.


Regular emergency evacuation drills are held each term to ensure that the children know what to do if a real emergency occurs.  In the event of an emergency (e.g. earthquake, fire) children will remain at school, in the care of their teachers, until collected or contact is made with their parents/caregivers.

In emergency situations, as well as in normal situations, never take your child unless their teacher has been informed.


Although it is not the policy at this school to set large amounts of homework every night, there are certain types of work which children can do it at home.  In Year 1 & 2 this will mainly be reading and consolidation activities.  Children from Year 3 up can learn and practise basic addition and multiplication facts, revise spelling, complete unfinished work, research topics which are being studied at school and read books from home.


The school library is open for class visits as well as individual student research.  There are two computers available for this purpose.


The school has a lost property hamper located in the foyer by the staffroom door.  We recommend that you name your children’s clothing so that found items can be returned directly to them.  


Our Year 7 & 8 children go to the Manual Technology Centre at Edgecumbe on a cyclical basis.  They attend for full days in Term 1 and 3 and travel by bus, leaving here at 9.00 am and returning at 2.45 pm.

The children are informed of dates ahead of time.  There is a fee set by Edgecumbe that is sent out to parents and payable at Thornton School.


A weekly newsletter gets sent through on our Thornton School App and our school website. However, at times extra notes are required to co-ordinate activities in between main newsletters.  The community is encouraged to use the school newsletter as a means of conveying information and their contribution is most welcome.  


All classes make use of the outdoors environment.  The school is fortunate to be close to a variety of natural resources with several trips planned for each year.  At times, the whole school can be involved in studying the same theme, with all pupils going on the same field trip.  This of course depends heavily on parental involvement which is encouraged.  Costs associated with all activities are always kept to a minimum and at times are subsidised by the Board or PTA.


Parent help is always welcome.  If you are able to donate your time and help in any way please feel free to discuss this with the teachers.  Some examples could be classroom help, working in the library, lunchtime coaching, photocopying, gardening etc.


Twice a term we give children a leaflet describing a number of paperback books which they can order through school.  The leaflet will have on it the date when orders will close and the children will receive the books approximately two weeks later.  The books are reasonably priced and the material of good quality.  There is, of course, no obligation for anyone to order books.


The main aim of the Parent Support Group is to bring into closer relationship parents, teachers, the home and school, thus fostering increased understanding and partnership.  The Parent Support Group also assists in raising funds to provide improved facilities and opportunities for the children.  All parents are welcome to attend the Parent Support Group meeting held monthly.  You will be informed of meetings through the school newsletter.


When providing transport for school trips etc., please ensure your vehicle has a current warrant of fitness and registration and the number of children equal to number of seat belts. Do not smoke in a vehicle while transporting children. Children should not be allowed to travel in the ‘boots’ of station wagons, in the trays of utilities or on the back of trucks.

On arrival at venue, all children should stay in their vehicle until everyone has arrived.  Then the drivers should take their passengers over to where the teacher or person in charge is assembling the group.

All children must be returned to school after the outing for safety and organisational reasons.


When parking in front of the school, either before or after school, please do not park in the bus bay.  Cars can be parked in front of the hedge.  Please do not drop off or pick up children on the opposite of the road from school (river side) as it can be dangerous for children to have to cross the road at that point.  There is poor visibility when coming towards the school from either direction, and at the speed some cars and trucks travel past the school, this makes crossing the road very hazardous.


February  Senior School Aquatic Camp – Lake Rotoma

March      School and Interschool Swimming Sports

               Top School

May          Rugby and Netball tournaments

June        School and Interschool Cross Country Run

August    Soccer and Hockey tournaments

September    Art Week

October    School and Group Agricultural Club Days

                School Production

November  Interschool Athletics

December  Prize Giving

This is not a complete list as other activities are arranged during the year.  All dates are on our school website and school app event page


All of the stationery your child will require is held at the school office.  Your child will be supplied all their stationery for the school year and invoices will be sent out. We do get very discounted products and pass all of this onto our school families.


The pool is operational during Term 4 to the end of Term 1.  All pupils are expected to participate in daily lessons during the season.  Swimming is part of the school curriculum and we offer all children the opportunity to learn water safety techniques and swimming skills.


The school has a NO SMOKING AND NO VAPING policy.  The school grounds and buildings are smoke free at all times.


It is compulsory for hats to be worn during the first and fourth terms.  The school encourages children to wear sunscreen in the hotter months.  Lunch is eaten in the classroom.  Children without hats are only allowed to play in designated shady areas.


During the summer the swimming pool is available for people in the district to use out of school hours, at weekends and during the holidays.  Keys are available at the school, the hire charge being decided each year.  These keys are returned to school at the end of the swimming season.  Certain restrictions are placed on the use of the pool, the most important being children must be supervised inside the pool compound by a responsible adult.  There cannot be any behaviour at the pool which endangers the safety of anyone and the pool is not to be used after dark.


Thornton School has a compulsory uniform. Polo shirts, tracksuit jackets, trackpants, cargo pants, cargo shorts, skorts, fleece jackets and vests. These items are available for purchase from NZ Uniforms, The Strand, Whakatane 


We do NOT have short lunch times at Thornton School if it is raining, as our connection time with Edgecumbe College must remain constant.  The first bus will leave here at 3.00 pm each day.