Term 1, 2022 Newsletter

Wilson School
School Newsletter
Excellence in Special Education.

Me Mahi Tahi Tatou Mo Te Oranga O Te Katoa

We work together for the well-being of everyone

2022 Term Dates

Term one: 3rd February – 14th April – (Term Break – 18th April – 29th April)

Term two: 2nd May – 8th July – (Term Break – 11th July – 22nd July)

Term three: 25th July – 30 September – (Term Break – 3rd October – 14th October)

Term four: 17th October – 16th December

Kia ora koutou.

Advanced warning – long newsletter, grab a cuppa! It’s been a busy start to the year

I hope this newsletter finds you safe and well.

It’s been an exciting first few weeks back to school, everyone has quickly settled back into routine. We send out a warm welcome to all our new students and staff!

Operating under the COVID-19 Protection Plan – Red Phase 3

I’d like to thank our amazing staff team, they have welcomed our students back with open arms and helped to make the start of term very positive. At the start of the year we shared our COVID Protection plan, this sets out how we will be operating under red. This plan does include keeping visitors to school at a minimum, we appreciate your support with this and look forward to welcoming you all into school when we are able.

Omicron appears to be spreading through our communities very quickly and at this stage we have had positive cases linked to school. If there is a positive case, we will let families know if their child or young person has been in the same location. As a reminder, close contacts are now only those that live with someone who is a confirmed case.

The school is registered as a critical service and is therefore able to operate under the close contact exemption scheme. This will allow us to bring staff back into work if they are considered a close contact. To do this, those staff members will be required to complete a Rapid Antigen Test each morning before coming to school and must be symptom free. They will continue to follow our COVID Protection Plan, which includes all staff wearing a mask. We will be making every effort to keep school open, however if our staffing levels are too low we will need to revert to remote learning. This will be kept to a minimum and only to the areas of the school where it is absolutely required.

If there is a positive case in school we will treat this with respect and privacy, we have had parents calling to ask who the confirmed case is. Please note, we will let you know if there is a case linked to the area of the school where your child is but won’t be identifying the person. A big thank you to those parents who have been in touch with us to share information, we really value this and thank you for supporting us to create the safest environment we can at this time.

Should you have any questions about how we are operating under Red Phase 3 please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Please take care everyone. If you are currently at home sick or isolating, we send you kind wishes and hope you are able to join us back in school soon.

Noho ora mai

Neil Kefford – principal@wilson.school.nz

COVID-19 Vaccinations

We have now run three vaccination clinics from Base School, there has been a great response to these, we understand it makes it much easier coming to school rather than an unfamiliar vaccination centre.

We have also had positive feedback from parents around home-based vaccinations. This is a service available for all ORS funded students. Details below –

If you are worried about getting the vaccine, you can talk to a trained advisor in the Healthline disability team. The team is made up of people who have experience of a disability themselves, or who have worked with the disabled community. They will support you, your whānau or someone you care for and answer any questions you may have about:

  • Accessibility arrangements and getting mobility assistance at different vaccination centres.
  • Getting your vaccination safely.
  • Home vaccinations
  • Any effects the vaccine may have on your or your medications.

The disability team is available Monday to Friday, from 8am to 8pm.

Wilson School Organisation 2022

Principal: Neil Kefford – principal@wilson.school.nz

Deputy Principal: Kay Gunston – kay.gunston@wilson.school.nz

Junior Syndicate

Anju Raza – Assistant Principal


Base Class 1

Craig Field

Base Class 4

Marie-Therese Stevenson (Senior Teacher)


Phil Johnson & Rebecca Bartlett

Windy Ridge

Susan Murray (Senior Teacher) & Ria Du Plessis


Robin Taylor-Lyons & Sushen Ganancial

Senior Syndicate

Linda Kneale – Assistant Principal


Base Class 2

Mike Wynne

Base Class 3

Coby Delle Donne

Base Class 5

Patricia Pascual

Base Class 6

Kirsten Kirkby

Albany Junior High School

Ben Crosby & Nancy Combs

Glenfield College

Kathryn Huish, Brendan Crossan & Bridie Connew

Supporting Families and Whānau: Free training for whānau

Support your child’s emotional wellbeing and help reduce stress for the whole whānau. The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program® has helped thousands of Aotearoa families be happier, cope better with stress, and enjoy family life more. Choose the FREE online course that’s right for you, to help with child or teen anxiety, general parenting issues, and supporting your child’s development. A whole range of tips and tools are all available to FREE, to all parents and caregivers in Auckland, Counties Manukau, Waitematā and Waikato DHB regions that have been most impacted by Covid 19. Find out more at https://triplep.online/nzmoh  

Free access to Triple P Online, Teen Triple P Online, and Fear-Less Triple P Online has been funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Health, with support from Whāraurau.

Our School Strategic Plan

Thanks to all of you who responded to the questions we sent out at the end of Term 4. Your responses were really useful! We’ve placed the comments you have provided alongside the feedback from our staff team to identify priority areas for 2022 – 2024.

The overarching aims for the next three years will be:


Students are provided with high quality teaching and learning opportunities, that are personalised to support their growth and development.

1.1 Creating high quality and functional learning opportunities, focusing on communication skills, independence, and community engagement.

1.2 Using Sport and The Arts to create accessible hauora focused opportunities for students, supporting with re-engagement in school following COVID-19 lockdowns.

1.3 Further developing the school’s transition provision, specifically focusing on accreditation pathways and a life skills focused curriculum.

1.4 Continuing our digital journey, supporting all learners to engage in a digitally rich learning environment, building capacity and increasing integration of digital tools to enhance and consolidate teaching and learning.


Our team are supported with opportunities to promote professional growth and equipped to meet the learning and development needs of our students.

2.1 Developing the use of coaching skills throughout the staff team, impacting on teaching and learning, student, independence, leadership, and collegial support.

2.2 Developing the school’s approach to the delivery of Literacy, including assessment for learning, teacher judgement and understanding next steps in learning.

2.3 Equipping and upskilling all staff around positively supporting behaviour and well-being, providing a positive, safe, and nurturing learning environment.

2.4 Developing a framework for inquiry, knowledge sharing and reflection, supporting staff to be well equipped to meet the changing needs of the school population.


Working in partnership with our community, we recognise all cultures and strive to develop sustainable and future focused initiatives.

3.1 Creating further opportunities for whānau engagement and community learning, creating a culture of openness and sharing.

3.2 Recognising Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the variety of cultures represented within Aotearoa New Zealand and within Wilson School, celebrating the principals of protection, participation and partnership.

3.3 Identifying areas of the organisation where sustainability can be improved, alongside educating students and staff around the importance of sustainable and healthy practice.

Some of the highlights from your feedback – Thank you 😊

  • Calm peaceful environment, high support needs
  • Effective IEP process
  • Excellent open lines of communication
  • The quality of support staff is very high, from SLT’s to OT’s
  • Wilson’s lockdown support and their quick return to full time lessons was commendable.
  • We thought the timely vaccine clinic was a great example of the way the school is proactive.
  • Thank you for working hard with my son to provide the opportunity to him to grow and learn.
  • Great year with visible improvements in whanau connection, physio, communications, an excellent covid response.
  • Kids really enjoy going to school.
  • Culture of inclusion- Care, Respect and dignity towards the child.
  • The work the teachers did with online engagement was fantastic.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, this is a great tool to share what is happening within school and to link with other useful events or organisations.



Let’s get physical!

Our Physical Gurus, Dermot and Pippa, have made sure lots of our students have had a busy start to the year. They have recently reviewed our PMP programme and purchased new equipment. Our students are really enjoying this, it’s wonderful to see them so engaged. Thanks Dermot and Pippa!  Here are a few photos from Room 1.

Student Absence

Please report all student absence to the main school offices for base and satellite students. Absence can be reported via phone, text or email:
09 489 5648 – phone
027 336 9467 – text
office@wilson.school.nz – email.

Moving Home?

If you have reccently changed your address, please let us know so that we can update your details.

Please let us know ASAP if there are any changes to transport arrangements, including changing
address, this can take up to 10 weeks to be processed by the Ministry of Education.
Email the our admin team: office@wilson.school.nz

Copyright © Wilson School 2022
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Term 4 Newsletter

Wilson School
School Newsletter
Excellence in Special Education.

Me Mahi Tahi Tatou Mo Te Oranga O Te Katoa

We work together for the well-being of everyone

2021 Term Dates

Term 4 – Monday 18th October – Tuesday 14th December

The last day of term for students will be 13th December.

Staff Only Day / Accord Day 14th December

2022 Term Dates

Term 1 – 3rd February – 14th April

Term 2 – 2nd May – 8th July

Term 3 – 25th July – 30th September

Term 4 – 17th October – 16th December

Kia ora koutou.

I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend.

I’m sure you are as disappointed as we are that school hasn’t been able to re-open yet. Things do seem to be moving in the right direction, this week we have been able to open for small groups of our Year 11+ students. It’s been great to see our young people back in school, however, at this point school needs to look a little different. Staff are following the guidance provided by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health. Chris Hipkins announced today that Primary aged students might be able to return to school mid-November, we will communicate further details as we get them and when we have a plan. At this point we aren’t sure what we will be able to do regarding our end of year assemblies, we will need to continue to review the alert levels and guidance for schools.

Vaccination is heavily focused on within the media, and we’ve had lots of questions from parents regarding the vaccination status of our staff team. Although we are unable to disclose personal information about staff, we are obliged to follow the vaccination mandate for all education staff. This will mean that all staff must have received their first vaccination by 15th November and second by 1st January, at the latest. In addition, all staff returning to school physically during Alert Level 3 are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test. If a staff member isn’t yet fully vaccinated, they are required to be tested on a weekly basis. I would like to thank the team who are currently back in school. These members of staff responded very quickly at the end of last week and kept the testing stations busy over the weekend!

It appears that COVID-19 is going to be part of our lives for quite a while to come and we are going to need to become used to living with it. Thank you to all parents who have sent Lizz Sadler appointment dates and proof of vaccination. This is helping us to put together our vaccination register. If your young person is over the age of 12 and you haven’t contacted Lizz yet, please do so. The Ministry of Health would require this register from us, if we had a case linked to the school. If we do have a case in school, we will need to follow direction from the Ministry of Health, this would involve providing contact tracing information for students and staff, closing for a period of time and initiating deep cleaning. The period of time we would need to close for will be set depending on the number of cases and the vaccination levels of our students and staff.

As per our last newsletter, we welcomed Ben Crosby and Sudha Packirisamy at the start of this term, this week we also welcomed Helen Meyrick. I know these new faces have already been joining Zoom calls and are working towards getting to know everyone.

Sadly, we will be saying goodbye to Susie Mole (Speech Language Therapist) and Jenni Verity (Teacher) at the end of the year. Both have invested significant time into Wilson School, Susie 21 years and Jenni over 13 years. Their passion and dedication in supporting our students is exceptional and they will be greatly missed. Jenni has been instrumental in developing our Transition provision at Glenfield College, she has built up a wealth of connections between the school and the local community. These have supported our students with valuable opportunities for work and leisure experiences. As our Speech Language Therapist, Susie has worked across the school, both directly and indirectly with so many of our students. Her passion for communication and experience with a range of communication methods has benefitted so many. We wish them well with their move, the South Island is very lucky to have them. Susie will be working alongside Sudha this term for a substantial handover.

We will also be saying goodbye to Alicia Gilchrist, Emily Botes and Angela Robinson, Emily and Angela are moving onto new roles and Alicia is going to be re-locating to Palmerston North. We wish them well and look forward to working with them until the end of the year.

After 34 years of dedication to Wilson School, our Deputy Principal Rosemary Jenkins, has decided to step down from her position. Rosemary has been one of the rocks that has helped to build Wilson School into what is it today. She was also amazing and supported me into the Principal position last year. She worked for the school long before it moved into the Base School we have today and has navigated her way through numerous changes to the education system. We are hoping that Rosemary stays in touch and continues her relationship with Wilson and we will be working with her to see what this could look like. We are already well into the recruitment process to find our next Deputy Principal, whoever that person might be, they will have some big shoes to fill.

We were due to have an Accord Day / Staff Only Day Friday 26th November. Due to the recent levels of disruption, we have now moved this to the end of the year. The last day for students will now be 13th December 2021.

I’m hoping to be able to see everyone back in school soon!

Kia Kaha

Useful contacts that remain open During Lockdown

  • Healthline for COVID-19 health advice: 0800 358 5453
  • Counselling Free Call or Text 1737
  • Oranga Tamariki call centre 0508FAMILY
  • Depression Helpline 0800 111 757
  • Women’s Refuge 0800REFUGE or 0800 733 843
  • Alcohol and Drug Helpline 0800 787 797
  • Oranga Tamariki call centre 0508FAMILY
  • Samaritans 0800 726 666

New Staff Announcement

Welcoming Helen Meyrick 

Kia Ora Wilson School Whānau!
My name is Helen Meyrick, I am excited to be joining Wilson School in term 4 as a Teacher. I have been teaching in education for 11 years all over West and South Auckland as well as two years teaching and living in Virginia, USA.
I am excited to be joining Wilson School, getting to know the staff and students and learning lots of new educational ideas and experiences. When I’m not teaching, I like spending time with my family and friends as well as hiking, walking my dog and trail running.

Tēnā koutou katoa,

This year we enjoyed a wide range of activities to celebrate  Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.  Our tamarariki participated in waiata-a-ringa (action songs), kanikani (dance) and haka as  fun and engaging ways to learn Te Reo Māori.

 We  adapted a waiata to include local place names to help with pronunciation.  Māori kites were  made to demonstrate old traditions using Flax, Toi toi and Rāupō.

Despite lockdown, we were able to connect through Zoom, and shared resources and activities on our school Facebook page.  Here are some of the photos and resources we enjoyed through the week.  Kia kaha te Reo Maori!

Albany Junior Satellite Classes

Kipa singing waiata with manu tukutuku (kites) in the background: 

Fun with Flax and Maori drill technology we began this term:

Links to further Māori Home Learning resources

For pronunciation


To learn about colors, numbers and more:


Explore a Maori village through an interactive website:


Student Absence

Please report all student absence to the main school offices for base and satellite students. Absence can be reported via phone, text or email:
09 489 5648 – phone
027 336 9467 – text
office@wilson.school.nz – email.

Moving Home?

If you have reccently changed your address, please let us know so that we can update your details.

Please let us know ASAP if there are any changes to transport arrangements, including changing
address, this can take up to 10 weeks to be processed by the Ministry of Education.
Email the our admin team: office@wilson.school.nz

North Harbour Hockey – Hockey Without Limits

 A FREE hockey-based programme open to participants aged 8-21 with physical or intellectual impairments. Further details and contacts can be found here.


Copyright © Wilson School 2021
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Term 3 Newsletter

Wilson School
School Newsletter
Excellence in Special Education.

Me Mahi Tahi Tatou Mo Te Oranga O Te Katoa

We work together for the well-being of everyone

Term Dates
Term 3 – Monday 26th July – Friday 1st October
Term 4 – Monday 18th October – Tuesday 14th December

Staff Only Days
Friday 13th August 2021
Friday 26th November 2021

Kia ora koutou,

How has it got to Term 3 already! This year is flying by at a rate of knots. Leizl Mowbray, one of our teachers at Glenfield College, left us at the end of term. We wish Leizl well in her new job nearer to home. We are pleased that one of our relieving teachers has jumped in to lead the class. Brendan Crossan has been working for us on a casual basis across the school, he is pleased to now be working with the class at Glenfield 5 days a week. 

We had a very exciting Term 2 and would like to extend thanks to Lake House Arts and CircAbility for supporting our programme and for providing a range of exciting experiences. Lots of fun was had by all.

Our next accord day / staff only day is planned for Friday 13th August. There is lots planned for the day. Our amazing team of Teacher Aides will be working around developing communication skills with TalkLink, while our Teachers and Therapists will be working alongside counterparts from all Auckland Specialist Schools. This will provide opportunity for all of the schools to share knowledge and experience. We are very proud of Angela Robinson, Ria Du Plessis and Marie-Therese Stevenson, who have all put themselves forward as presenters for the event.

Invitations will be coming out shortly for you to meet with teachers to discuss progress against IEP goals, we look forward to seeing you in school soon.

Have a great Term 3.

Neil Kefford


COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Northern Regional Health Coordination Centre has been in touch. They are starting to plan an outreach vaccination programme for young adults (16 and over) with disabilities. We will be working alongside NRHCC to support this programme and will be in touch once we have any further information

Junior Syndicate

Term 2 has been full of fun and learning for the Junior Syndicate with visits into the community and the community coming into school. This term our Unit study was on Belonging and we celebrated our cultures. Circability came into our classes and showed us circus skills which we loved practicing and Special Olympics taught soccer skills to some of the classes .

We were also out and about in the community at Lake House Art enjoying art workshops. Some classes joined other Special Schools at the Bruce Mason to see the NZSO perform while other classes visited the Museum. Weekly swimming and horse riding have been ongoing throughout the term with students making great progress. 

Rosemary Jenkins

Deputy Principal

Intermediate/ Junior High Syndicate

The intermediate syndicate are looking forward to an exciting (and hopefully not too wet!) term 3.  Our focus this term is ‘The Arts’ with lots of learning opportunities themed around The Olympics, as well as looking at different art forms around the world. We have a variety of opportunities for our students this term – culminating in ‘The Wilson School Olympics’ for our base classes and an exciting outdoor education event in the works for all our intermediate students! All this is building on the amazing learning from last term – the photos below show some of our highlights from term 2.

Kay Gunston

Assistant Principal

Senior/ Transition Syndicate

Our focus for Term 2 was the Living World which lead us to many activities including Clay work creating some very cute clay hedgehogs and a fantasy tale to go with them. In Term 3 our Topic is  “Celebrating Culture”. We will be looking at the diverse cultures across our school community and within our classroom. We will have a focus on Te Reo and Tikanga Maori with our Kaiwhakaako, Kipa Rangiheuea who will visit each week, to support this learning, bringing new interesting activities into our programme. We will also be joining in at the Basket Ball Special Olympics this term, and looking forward to some Outdoor Education at the MERC.

Linda Kneale

Assistant Principal

Student Absence
Please remember to report all student absence to the main school office, this is for base and satellite students. 
Absence can be reported via phone, text or email:
09 489 5648 – phone
027 336 9467 – text
office@wilson.school.nz – email 

School Transport
If you are planning to move house, please let us know ASAP. Any changes to transport arrangements, including changing address, can take up to 10 weeks to be processed by the Ministry of Education

In addition to providing the music therapy services at Wilson School, Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre also provides individual and small group sessions at their Grafton centre and satellite locations – located around Auckland in Orewa, Titirangi, Otara and Pukekohe. The Registered Music Therapists at Raukatauri use the motivating power of music to work towards each child’s individual goals, which may focus on growth in areas such as expressive language, emotional regulation, attention, engagement and self-expression. Because Raukatauri is a charitable trust, they subsidise all of their sessions and never want payment to be a barrier to anyone receiving music therapy. While their suggested fee for individual sessions is $55, families who are on a low income can apply to pay as little as $6 per week. You can find more information about their services on their website: https://www.rmtc.org.nz/. Once their team receives the referral, they will invite you in for a free parent/carer consultation to answer any questions you might have.

Connect Music Therapy Groups offer community-based music for children and young adults with a disability. Groups run on Saturdays during school terms, starting Saturday 31 July in Term 3. Music therapy is great for your child’s creativity, language, and social skills. It can also help your family to communicate and connect with your child in their daily life.  

Spaces are available for pre-schoolers, primary, teens and adults, and each member of the group receives an experience tailored to their strengths and goals. Get in touch to see how music therapy could help your child!

10am North Shore GROOVERS (30+ years old) – 45 mins – $179 per Term

11am North Shore JAMMERS (11-29 years old) – 45 mins – $179 per Term

2.15pm Glen Eden ROCKSTARS (2-7 years old) – 30 mins – $129 per Term

3pm Glen Eden JAMMERS (8 years and up) – 45 mins – $179 per Term

Central/Eastern ROCKSTARS – TBC

*Eligible for Carer Support/Individualised Funding if you have these available*

Families are saying:

“Thank you so much for doing this for my son. He had a blast every time”

“Rachel was fantastic and he really looked forward to these sessions”

“We’ve noticed a real difference in our son since we started music therapy”

Email rachel@connectmusictherapy.nz with queries or sign up here: https://forms.gle/AVUP1Hresu8ZT2f46

We take enrolments throughout the term and trials are available on request.

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