A-Z of Goldfields School




If your child is absent from school, please telephone or text the school office. Landline: 07 862 7172       Office mobile: 021 277 3214

If your child travels to school on a bus; parents/caregivers must also inform the bus company at their earliest opportunity (see contact details under Buses below)

If a child is absent for 3 consecutive days and parents have not contacted school, the office staff will telephone home.

All daily absences are recorded at school in line with MOE guidelines.



These celebrate student achievement and certificates are presented to one student from each class. A Principal’s Certificate of Achievement is presented to student/s for exceptional achievement. 


Appointments with Staff

We positively encourage all parents/caregivers to make appointments to meet with their son/daughter’s teacher, therapists or a member of our Senior Management Team (SMT) if they wish to discuss any aspect of their child’s schooling here at Goldfields.

If parents/caregivers are unable to get into school, staff will happily travel to do home or community-based meetings.



Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees meets twice a term and encourages all of our family/whanau to take an active and positive part in the life of our school. Meeting dates and times are on our website calendar.

Breakfast in School

We are a member of the 'Breakfast in Schools' programme so can provide breakfast for students who need it. Further details are available from the school office.


Most children travel to school on Ministry approved school transports. These are provided by Cross Country Rentals, Murphy Buses and Turley Motors. These buses are contracted by Ministry and not managed by the school although we do work closely with them of course.

Parents/caregivers receive written confirmation of pick up and drop off times. All students must be met by a known adult when they are dropped off at home.

If a child is absent from school, it is the parent/caregiver’s responsibility to inform the bus company directly. The school also 

needs to be notified.

       Cross Country Rentals: 0800 467 3782          Murphy Buses: 07 868 6265                 Turley Motors: 07 884 8208




All senior students have an opportunity to attend a school camp each year. Information about the camp is distributed each year once the focus and location have been decided by the senior school staff.

Base and satellite classes may also offer camps.

Parents/caregivers may if they choose to, use their Respite Support Days to help pay for school camps. Details of this are available from our Admin Team.


Contact Details

Goldfields School

55 Norwood Road

Paeroa 3600


T: 07 862 7172               Office mobile: 021 277 3214

E: office@gfs.school.nz               W: www.gfs.school.nz



Dental Care

The Dental Therapy Team visits our school annually. On enrolment all parents/caregivers are given the opportunity to sign their child up for these checks.

Many students receive their dental care through the hospital due to their child’s needs. Your own GP or our school Public Health Nurse (Jennie Carrie) may advise you further in regard to this.

Paeroa Central School Dental Clinic 862 8348.




School office: office@gfs.school.nz                                    Principal: principal@gfs.school.nz

Executive Officer: accounts@gfs.school.nz



Enrolments are open throughout the year. It is important to note that prior to starting at Goldfields School a Section 9 meeting must take place with the Principal. Following this meeting the principal will apply for Ministry approval for your child to attend the school. This process can take up to two weeks.

Unlike mainstream schools, Special Schools cannot just enrol a child. The law requires Ministry approval before any child can start at the school.


Environmental education

We are dedicated to the Enviroschools Programme and to this end encourage responsible and sustainable practices in all areas of school life. All waste from students’ lunchboxes which is not compostable is returned home. Sustainable practices are promoted and expected at school.  Students take responsibility for composting, food scraps, gardening, recycling, rubbish, worm farming, and many other aspects of eco-friendly practices at school.





A school Facebook page was initially set up to high light our ‘Step up for Goldfields' Appeal. All events linked to this appeal are showcased here, along with photograph albums and special videos. Since then, this page has grow to showcase and celebrate student achievement, special events both at school and in our wider community.

Please note this is just an information sharing page and we do not accept ‘friend requests’. We do however encourage everyone to share and like our page as a way of highlighting this appeal and our students’ needs.

It is the Board’s position that it is inappropriate for staff at school to befriend students on Facebook. This breeches the professional staff/student relationship and would be unfair for our students to see staff as ‘friends per se’.



Healthy eating is strongly encouraged throughout the school.  'Nude Food' is promoted to reduce packaged and processed food, especially in student’s lunchboxes. Parents/caregivers are asked not to send in lollies or fizzy/sugary drinks.

Each term the school hosts a Whole School Healthy Lunch which the students and staff prepare and/or organise. Our whole community is invited to attend this event.

Exceptions to our stance on Healthy Eating, especially at school, are celebrations and fundraisers. Although even at these the guidance about ‘occasional’ or ‘treat’ foods and drinks is reinforced.



Goldfields Way

'The Goldfields Way' refers to the manner in which staff have developed the highly differentiated teaching and learning programmes at our school. Whole-Part-Whole; Structured Workstations & TEACCH; Inquiry Learning; and the use of very specific Learning Intentions and Success Criteria are integral components of how we teach, and our students learn.



Home School Diaries

Every student at Goldfields receives a Home-School Diary. This provides a quick and easy way for parents and class teachers to communicate and share important information about the student on a daily basis. For some student’s visual diaries are used to support their learning and further develop their communication skills.



Bus arrivals and departures:

Am: 8:30 – 9:00am

PM: 2:40 – 3:00pm

Formal classes operate between 9:00am and 2:40 pm each week day

Morning break: 10:30 – 10:50

Lunch Break:

12:30 – 1:00pm – Meal time, with many students receiving structured programmes to support their independence.

1:00 – 1:30pm – Base school – Playtime; Senior School – sports programme




IEP is an abbreviation of Individual Education Plan. Each student has one of these at school and it is a carefully constructed plan which our teachers and therapists develop following thorough assessments. 'Student voice' is an essential element of these plans and this is facilitated through discussion with both staff at school and whānau/family at home. When completed, the plan is presented to parents/caregivers for discussion and review before being signed off. The plan is subject to ongoing review throughout the school year.

Information and Communication Technology

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an integral part of many classroom programmes. Adapted or assistive technologies (ATs) are used throughout the school.

All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards or panels, computers and iPads. In addition to these, a wide array of individualised technologies and adaptations are used and available throughout the school, dependent on individual student needs.



Inquiry based learning and staff development is a cornerstone of the practice of Goldfields School. The principles of Learning to Learn are embedded throughout the school and teachers’ day to day practice.




Key Competencies

These are most commonly abbreviated here at school to KCs (key competences); KCIs (key competency indicators) and the KCP (Key Competency Pathway).

KCs are an integral part of the New Zealand Curriculum. They are the things we all need "to live, learn work and contribute to our communities.' Here at school we refine and incorporate the KCs to identify the highly differentiated pathways of learning our students need. This is where the KCP and KCIs come in. If you are interested to find out more, please contact our staff at school.


We are a member of the KidsCan Schools Programme. This provides food and clothing to students and whānau/family in need. This is a wonderful charity which supports thousands of school age children throughout New Zealand. For more information please contact the school office.



Learning Support

Learning Support replaced the term Special Education within the Ministry of Education (MOE). All services which relate to the provision of special education now sit under the term Learning Support.


Our school library is fully computerised and offers a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books.  This is currently housed in a resource area due to space limitations.

Reading is a hugely important part of all students’ learning and development. It is also one of those quality times at home which prove a challenge for many of our students and their whānau/family. In school we have produced guides for parents to support reading in the home. We also have access to books suitable for students who have sensory, visual or physical impairments.

Please contact your child’s class teacher if you would like further information or support.


Lost Property

Our students are closely supported throughout the school day by their staff teams but occasionally clothing, bags or items brought into school go astray or get lost.

We strongly advise that all items of clothing and bags are named. This ensures that belongings can be returned to the correct child. Parents/caregivers are also asked not to allow their children to bring any precious toys or possessions to school.



Mobile phones

All parents/caregivers are reminded that the use of mobile phones is prohibited at school and we would strongly suggest you do not allow your child to bring them to school.

If parents/caregivers wish to contact their child during school hours they should do so through the school office.

Like all rules there are exceptions. Some students have music on their phones which they listen to on their journeys to and from school. Please make your son or daughters teacher aware if this applies to your child but remind your child that the phone is not to be used during school time.



Newsletters and Updates:

Weekly Newsletters are produced and are put on Story Park for parents/caregivers to read.These are for your information and enjoyment.

All newsletters and updates are put onto our website: (http://www.gfs.school.nz/about-us/publications/newsletters/2015-newsletters )

If parents/caregivers would like to receive these and other communications from school via email please inform the school office.




ORS stands for Ongoing Resourcing Scheme. ORS provides support for a all of our students, with the highest level of need for learning support. Essentially, this provides for the additional teacher, teacher aide and therapy support, for students who have special needs, throughout their school years.





Formal school photographs are taken usually at the start of term 2, depending on the availability of the photography company. Parents/caregivers are asked in advance if they wish their child to have a formal picture in addition to their class photograph. There is a charge for these photographs.


Parent and Caregiver Group

Parent to Parent group offers support and information via coffee mornings and informal get togethers. 


Public Health Nurse

Our school Public Health Nurse (Jennie Carey) has worked closely with our school and students.  She is able to: follow up on health problems at the request of parents or the school; help parents/caregivers to navigate the health system; support with clinic/specialist visits and provide in-home or school support and advice where needed. She will also check immunisations and work with teachers to assist the school with immunisation programmes.




Riding for the Disabled (RDA)

All students are assessed by our Therapy Manager and DP to see if they would benefit from attending RDA. Identified students are then given the opportunity to attend RDA if their parents/caregivers so wish. These sessions are led by trained RDA staff and volunteers. Our school teachers and physiotherapist liaise closely with instructors at our local centre to maximise the benefits our students receive from this.



Satellite Classes

We have a number of classes which are hosted by mainstream schools. Students who attend these classes are fully enrolled at Goldfields School and the classes are staffed by Goldfields staff. Students receive exactly the same therapy services as students who attend classes at our Base School.

Currently we have satellite classes at Miller Avenue School (MAS), Paeroa College and Te Aroha Primary School (TAPS).


School Concert

A school concert is held towards the end of the fourth term each year. This is the one event nearly all of our whānau/family attend, largely due to the huge catchment area we have. Whānau/family ‘bring a plate’ and the evening is always a joyful celebration of the school year and students achievements.



Parents and caregivers are asked to inform the school if their child is unwell and will not be attending school that day.

If children becomes sick during the day, parents will be contacted and asked to come and collect them.

If a child requires immediate medical assistance during the school day, first aid will be administered, and/or the child may be taken to the local medical centre. Parents/caregivers will be contacted at the earliest opportunity by the office team.

Most staff at school are fully trained First Aiders and annual updates are part of the professional development programme of the school. 



Throughout the year our senior students take part in a range of Special Olympics sporting events. The senior school PE and lunchtime sports calendar reflects the termly focus of these events.

Juniors and seniors also participate in our 'local cluster of schools' sporting events whenever possible.


Special Needs/Gifted and Talented Students

All students who attend Goldfields School have special educational needs. They receive individual education programmes which incorporate widely differentiated and structured programmes, aimed to meet their educational and therapeutic needs.

Gifted and Talented students are also well catered for under this system.


STOS: Specialist Teacher Outreach Service

Goldfields is a MOE recognised Special Education Resource Centre and part of the service we offer is to support students who are ORS verified and the staff who teach them in mainstream schools. Our specialist STOS team work throughout the wider region.


Swimming Pool

We are very fortunate to have a covered heated swimming pool and spa. These are used year-round by our students, other schools and community groups. Whānau/family may use these facilities outside of school hours too – please contact the school office for details.




A multidisciplinary therapy team are employed by the school. Our therapists work alongside the teaching staff to ensure that all students’ therapeutic needs are properly met throughout each school day. This is done through incorporating therapeutic goals into every students teaching and learning programmes, and by prioritised stand-alone clinical programmes.



Transition from school is coordinated by a senior teacher at school. From 14 years of age we will start to discuss post school possibilities and hopes with students and whānau/family. Transition information evenings are held each term to access whānau/family to information and key agencies which support students once they have left school.



To and from school: see the note under Buses

Goldfields School has several school vehicles which are used throughout the school day to access community learning and sport activities. Students are always escorted by staff during journeys on our school vehicles. The only exceptions to this rule are for example the very most able students who may travel unescorted in a car to Work Experience placements.




Goldfields School has a compulsory school uniform. This is a green polo and navy shorts, skort or trousers.

Paeroa Embroidery Services (next to the Z-Garage on the main road through town) is the retail outlet which produces and sells our school shirts and fleeces.




From time to time we upload videos that are taken through the school, these are either put on the website under galleries or uploaded to our school Facebook page.





This is our school website. On it you will find a lot of information about our school; staff; teaching and learning programmes and weekly news. The calendar shows all of our school dates and significant events which are planned throughout the year.

The galleries are very popular and have slideshows of special events added throughout each school year.


Work Experience

This forms part of our senior students Transition programmes of study. A variety of structured placements take place throughout the year, many are supported by local businesses.





We have a YouTube channel on which we share our school videos. To find us just google 'Goldfields School, Paeroa YouTube channel, and don’t forget you can like and share this page too.