COVID 19 – 3 April 2020

3 April 2020

Dear Parents

Keeping safe online
This is a time when I want to encourage you to discuss internet safety with children – of all ages. You should agree what they can do online including sites they can visit and appropriate behaviours including:
● reviewing and approving games and apps before they are downloaded
● reviewing privacy settings of sites and applications
● checking children’s profiles and what they are posting online
● check the sites your child is accessing
● reminding children that anything that is posted online will be permanently on the internet
● taking the time to understand what sites they are visiting and who they are talking with and check in regularly
● some social media sites have age restrictions to join, check these before letting your child use them or join them
● monitoring a child’s use of the internet and consider having them use it in an open, common area of the house
● making sure your children know to report any activity they don’t feel comfortable with to parents and caregivers straight away.
● Netsafe continues to be available to provide you and your parent and caregiver community with support for online safety. They have information for parents and caregivers and have pulled together their top tips for online safety during the
lockdown . To report an incident To Netsafe –
● If you think a child in your care is the victim of online exploitation or abuse, report it to Police – if you or a child are in danger or a crime is being committed, call 111 or visit your nearest Police Station immediately.
● Houseparty has become one of the most widely used apps since lockdown, especially by young people. However, whilst there’s lots of fun to be had with Houseparty, it canpresent some potential risks that people should be aware of. Here is the latest advice from Netsafe about using Houseparty safely :
If we all work together to make sure children are safe online, we can make the internet a great tool for people of all ages. A reminder that school controlled devices are subject to FamilyZone controls. You can enrol the family into Family Zone to support safety at home for all. See previous newsletters and school website for information.

There is a unique opportunity during the lockdown of families going out together, albeit it close to home, but if your child is going out on their own it’s still important to check where they are going.

As noted by the Ministry of Health, Flutracking is an online survey which asks if you have had a fever or cough in the last week and which can help track COVID-19. Registering online will help surveillance efforts by providing early detection of community spread of the flu and also of COVID-19 symptoms.
People can register online at
This is a practical thing everyone can do to help us monitor flu and COVID-19 symptoms throughout NZ.

Wellbeing for all – Resources to support families at this time
Wellbeing at Alert Level 4

We have information focused on wellbeing and supporting a child’s learning at home for parents, caregivers and whānau. .

Further information to support wellbeing
The Ministry of Health’s website includes Top ways to look after your mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 lockdown. – I AM HOPE is the youth and community focused support group run by The Key to Life Charitable Trust, started by Mike King. – Nathan Wallis has some helpful videos on his Facebook page for parents and whānau – tips on looking after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19 from the Mental Health foundation. – a website by the Health Promotion Agency to help New Zealanders recognise and understand depression and anxiety. `

25 Mental Health Wellness Tips during Quarantine from Eileen M Feliciano, Psy.D. – although overseas-based this is a good list and highlights some things particularly important for children.

Remember the rules of New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown still apply. An article from the British Psychological Society.

I think it is safe to say that none of us has ever experienced anything like this before. In my time associated with the education sector, as a teacher and as a school leader, I have never witnessed such rapid transformation in the way we work and connect, at any scale, let alone
what we are seeing on a national and global level. Thank you for your understanding as the educational landscape changes at an exponential rate.

The Board and Staff at Kohimarama wish you and your family all the very best during this holiday break.

Kind regards
Paul Engles