We send our thoughts and aroha to all our school community whānau reflecting on the abhorrent and distressing events of Friday. We add our heartfelt condolences to families who have lost members and relatives in this truly unimaginable event.

I would like to acknowledge and thank our school community for their appreciation and support for our students, staff and school on Friday. A situation like the extended lock down can be difficult to comprehend and naturally families are worried for their kin. I want to thank the parents who supported our school messages. In times like this, safety for all is a non-negotiable priority.

Looking to this week, our focus will be on supporting our students and staff, and prioritising their wellbeing. We are taking the advice from the Ministry of Education and have support available from their trauma team. In using our experiences from the earthquakes, encouraging normal routines to be established as quickly as possible is best. We want to see children at school tomorrow.

We will be taking a range of approaches in debriefing with the students the events of Friday. We will be focused on making age-appropriate responses and using our judgment in terms of material discussed. If there is any specific concern you have for your son/daughter from the weekend, please let their teacher know in confidence.

It has been made public that anyone needing support should text or phone our national support number, 1737.

The following links may provide some thoughtful ideas and tips for managing the emotion around events like this.

Click here to view 'Tips for Helping Children After The Event'

We want to support by providing our students with normal classroom routines with teachers having a clear focus on the wellbeing of their students. There will be additional opportunities for art, music and creativity through this time as well, as we know these approaches encourage and nurture children.

The flag at school will be flying at half mast all week as a mark of respect to all of those who have been affected by this tragedy. If your child or whānau would like to bring a flower next week, they can be placed under the flagpole at any time.

Ngā mihi

Greg Lewis

Russley Primary School, established in 1963, is a full primary school in the north-west of Christchurch, New Zealand.  The roll ranges between 400 - 450 students.

Russley School prides itself on the high work standards and behaviour achieved by the students.  Along with effective curriculum teaching the school has strong programmes in sport and performing arts.  The school dispositions encourage students to be respectful, self-aware,  self-managers, team players, creative, problem solvers and healthy.

The school has a total of eighteen classrooms, library, halls and robotics suite.  Playing fields, comprehensive adventure playgrounds and paved court areas are well laid out.  

The school enjoys the support of a capable Board of Trustees and an active Parent Teacher Association. 

Parents play a vital role, working in partnership with the school to support student learning.