COVID-19 Special Bulletin 14 April

COVID-19 special bulletin 14 April
Kia ora koutou

Welcome to Term 2 but not as we knew it Jim!

With the start of Term 2 tomorrow, it is very timely to acknowledge the contributions students have been making to the essential workforce during the school holidays, including working hard in many of your local supermarkets.

The start of term 2 does however signal that students’ work hours must return to being outside of school hours only. If you are aware of any employer putting pressure on your students to work during school hours, you may wish to advise them that it is unlawful, as Section 30 of the Education Act does not allow this – even during the lockdown period.

Topics covered in this issue:

  • Home learning TV starts 15 April
  • Te Reo Māori, Kura and Māori medium learning
  • New web portal for whānau Māori
  • Talanoa Ako
  • Free internet safety filter for parents; Netsafe, The Connected Learning Advisory
  • Ordering hard copy subject-specific NCEA resources online now live
  • Changes to requests for distance learning resources
  • COVID-19 school transport payments
  • Supporting students with learning support needs and distance learning
  • Attendance codes
  • Communications tips

Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV and Māori Television education broadcasting starts 9am 15 April
Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will start education broadcasting for early learners and students in Years 1–10 from 9am on Wednesday 15 April, with Māori Television launching te reo educational programmes on the same day.

As a result of negotiations led by Nicholas Pole (Chief Review Officer and Chief Executive of the Education Re Review Office), Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will be free to air, on TVNZ channel 2+1 and on TVNZ on Demand, as well as on Sky Channel 502. It will run from 9am to 3pm on schooldays with programming for children and young people, as well as for parents.

Content will be grouped for early learners and students by age range, and will include play, literacy, mathematics, science, te reo Māori, physical education and wellbeing. All of the programmes will feature highly experienced teachers and presenters, along with wellbeing and movement experts.

The Minister will be announcing the presenters and programme schedule later today, after which we’ll publish the information on our Learning from Home website. Check the updates page of the site for daily programming information.

Programme presenters include nine teachers from Christchurch and Auckland. Thank you to those of you who have agreed to release your staff to deliver these lessons – we’re very grateful for their willingness to be part of this initiative.

Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will be on air for one month with provision to extend beyond that if needed.

We’ll be promoting Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV and the Māori Television programmes on television and through social media – please share the information through your own social media, emails to students and whānau, etc. Later this week we’ll have resources on the Learning from Home website that you can use to help promote Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV. Keep checking the website for updates and resources.
Te reo Māori, kura and Māori medium learning
We are working to provide a range of distance learning options for ākonga and whānau in reo Māori and Maori medium education settings.

Keeping te reo Māori flowing in our kainga during times where we can’t connect as usual is paramount. The distance learning package we are providing aims to offer many options to engage in te reo Māori educational content using online material, hardcopy resources and live tv.

Online learning – Ki te Ao Mārama
Ki te Ao Mārama is a new online space on that provides whānau with practical advice, guidance and resources to use with their tamariki.  It’s also intended to support the learning plan that kaiako may have prepared for their ākonga.

The site is available in both te reo Māori and English, and has a range of learning materials to cover ākonga in kōhungahunga, kura, wharekura, and te reo Māori immersion settings. The content includes activity templates, planning guides, links to helpful resources and access to storybooks, all conveniently arranged by age group.

You can also visit Ki te Ao Mārama to check out news items and get information about other aspects of our distance learning package for reo Māori learners.

New informative and educational content will continue to be added to Ki te Ao Mārama on a regular basis.  We will keep you informed of the new materials through the Bulletin as well.

Live TV – Mauri Reo, Mauri Ora
We are committed to making distance learning accessible for all ākonga and whānau including those who may not have ready access to devices or the internet.

We have partnered with Māori Television to provide educational te reo Māori programmes to ensure that learning in and through te reo Māori continues from home.

‘Mauri Reo Mauri Ora’, will broadcast via the Te Reo Channel on SkyTV and Vodafone TV Channel 52, Free view channel 15 and Māori TV website from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am-3pm for the next 10 weeks, starting on the 15th of April. The programmes will be aligned to the curriculum and contain age appropriate content that tamariki can do on their own, with their siblings or together as a whānau.

The programmes on Māori television are for reo Māori learners of all ages, with a focus on those who are aged 0-18, covering ākonga in kōhungahunga (early learning), kura tuatahi (primary) and wharekura (secondary).

Ki te Ao Mārama hard copy learning packs
We are providing free Ki te Ao Mārama learning packs with age appropriate resources to support the lesson plans and activities provided by kaiako to support tamariki learning at home in te reo Māori.

The packs include te reo Māori resources to encourage te reo at home with whānau, with rauemi including templates for whānau, stationery, worksheets and learning activities.

All materials are designed for specific age groups; for under 5 year olds, 5-8 year olds, 9-12 year olds, 13-14 year olds and 15-18 year olds.

The packs are designed for all kura and Māori medium learners aged 0-18 years. There are sufficient packs available for tamariki and rangatahi in kōhanga reo, puna reo, kura and Māori immersion settings, and wharekura.

Ki te Ao Mārama Learning packs are free for all your tamariki and rangatahi, and will be sent out to homes free of charge.

Tumuaki or delegated authorised users can order Ki te Ao Mārama learning packs for all tamariki in a kura and Māori medium settings through the Data Collection Portal using their ESL logon. There is a user guide to support tumuaki and delegated authorised users to complete the information. For login issues to the network please contact our Education Service Desk on 04 463 8446 or for help.

Ki te Ao Mārama learning packs can also be ordered by completing the online form on Ki te Ao Mārama website at If people have any issues completing the form, they should contact our Education Service Desk for help.

The Ministry will send the packs out to ākonga directly, free of charge. To ensure ākonga receive their Ki te Ao Mārama learning packs, all their address details need to be accurate or they may be returned and you may need to contact them to clarify address details, for example, spelling of street names and post codes.
New web portal for whānau Māori
Kia Manawaroa is a new web portal for whānau Māori that will be live tomorrow on  Kia Manawaroa brings together information from the Ministry of Education and other education agencies, to support iwi and Māori audiences to increase their knowledge about educational choices available.  This will therefore provide opportunities for whānau to be more actively involved in supporting their children’s learning.

The purpose is to provide information for whānau about education, in a way that is clear, easy to understand and resonates with Māori.

“Kia manawaroa” is a common phrase in te reo Māori.  It is a call to action, to remain strong in the face of adversity. It was used on the battlefield, when paddling and sailing waka, in explorations for new homes or whenua, and in settling disputes. In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a call of encouragement, of rising to the challenge, of combining our strength to push through these dark times and emerge into the light – “Ki te Ao Mārama”
Talanoa Ako
Talanoa Ako (to talk and discuss education and learning) is a Pacific responsive education programme that builds Pacific families knowledge about education and learning. The 10 week programme builds the confidence and capability of parents to support their children’s learning and have equitable partnerships with their children’s schools.

As the Talanoa Ako programme cannot be delivered face-to-face, the 10 sessions will be provided via radio and an app. This ensures Pacific families have access to the advice and guidance they need at home to support their children’s education in their own languages.

  • Pacific Media Network radio station and language programmes

Over 10 weeks, there will be ten 30 minute Talanoa Ako sessions per week beginning 20 April. They will be delivered on the English (531pi), and Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Tuvalu and Tokelau language programmes in full immersion by one primary and one secondary teacher.

  • Talanoa Ako digital app – due to be released in late May

The 10 sessions and Talanoa Ako resources will also be made available on an interactive and immersive Digital app with iOS, Android capability so that the content is accessible on mobile phones and tablets. The app will include up to 20 App Screen pages for each language; Swipe to Read, Touch to Hear, Tap to Pronounce functions in English and seven Pacific languages; visually impaired functionality; songs and prayers with interactive audio; user editable notes with full screen, high res and exportable, import/export and share functionality; app analytics and reporting; and a Tutorial on how to use the App.

 Free internet safety filter for parents
While children are learning from home, they are away from the online safety and security services provided by Network for Learning (N4L) at school. So together with N4L and Netsafe, we have launched – a free way to block the worst of the web for students and teachers.

Please share this website with your parent communities so that they can follow the instructions to set up their child’s device for safer connectivity while they learn from home.

Remember, no technical solution is a silver bullet. Please remind your parent community to complement this with digital citizenship toolkits provided by Netsafe.

Netsafe provides comprehensive support and information to support everyone to stay safe as they work, learn and play online. Netsafe has new and updated resources for parents, whānau and students at

The Connected Learning Advisory
Help desk support is available for teachers, kaiako, leaders, tumuaki, parents and whānau from early learning through to secondary in English medium and Māori medium settings. You can phone the Learning from Home helpdesk on 0800 700 401 and Ki Te Ao Marama on 0508 294 462 between 8 am and 5 pm on business days.

Ordering hard copy subject-specific NCEA resources online – now LIVE on the same Salesforce portal 
As part of our package of supports for schools and wharekura, we have been working to ensure distance learning continues for our Year 11-13 NCEA students.

You can now order a range of subject-specific NCEA resources via the same Salesforce portal you have been using to indicate your students’ needs for distance learning support. Teachers and kaiako can browse through these resources on the Learning from Home website and record individual students’ needs through the Salesforce portal.

You can access the Salesforce portal using this link, which includes an updated user guide to help you use the added NCEA hard packs ordering functionality.
The NCEA resources are hard copy learning materials that can be sent directly to students who have no access to digital technologies at home. These resources are different to the resources in the Ki te Ao Mārama learning packs for students in wharekura.

Individual teachers will need to identify the most appropriate resources for each subject and each student through the Learning from Home website. We ask you to record the full list of resources needed for your school through the Salesforce portal, to ensure each student receives a single, coherent pack of materials.

If you have already submitted a hard copy pack request for students in years 11 – 13, you will need to log back into the portal and order specific resources for each student on the new NCEA page of the Salesforce portal. Applications from schools and wharekura for Ki te Ao Mārama learning packs can continue to be ordered through the current page on the same Salesforce portal.

Further supports
We are working with a number of well-known resource providers, including the Open Polytechnic and Te Kura, to expand the range of NCEA resources currently listed on the Ministry’s Learning from Home website and available for order through the Salesforce portal. We will increasingly be able to cover more subjects and standards. There is also a Q&A document here (MSWord download) that may offer additional support.
Changes to requests for distance learning resources
Thank you for the work you’ve done to complete your requests for distance learning resources via the Salesforce portal. This enables us to understand your students’ needs for devices and hard packs.

We understand the situation is constantly evolving and that you need to make changes to your requests, e.g. you may need to change the address of some students or cancel some of your requests.

Schools are now able to request an exemption to enter their buildings in order to redistribute devices to learners. If you previously requested a device then please cancel these requests via the Salesforce portal if you are now able to send devices to learners. This will help ensure we don’t send two devices to one learner.

If you have already sent us your information in a spreadsheet or a different format outside of the Salesforce portal, we will continue to help you process those. We will email you once this information has been entered into Salesforce. Any subsequent changes will need to be done by schools in the Salesforce portal. Please bear with us for the delay, as we work through the large volume of these requests.

Going forward, to ensure we  receive your changes, please make any further edits in the Salesforce portal yourselves using this link: Login to Salesforce Data Collection Tool.  You are able to do this without asking the Ministry to unlock your information. We are processing very high volumes of data requests (2,500 to date) and so entering your own updates will ensure your students do not miss out.

Please remember to click ‘data collection complete’ when you are ready for us to process your school’s information.

 COVID-19 School Transport Payments
The closure of schools and ceasing of school transport services has placed school transport providers, both Ministry and school-contracted, in a difficult and uncertain position.

Funding agreements for school transport assistance state that neither party shall be liable for any failure to perform any obligation under the Agreement if prevented from any cause reasonably beyond the control of either of the parties (a “Force Majeure” event).

However, we want all transport providers to remain financially viable through and after the lockdown period, and continue to pay their staff and maintain their vehicles so that they are well placed to return to service when schools re-open.

In good faith, the Ministry is paying its contracted transport providers in full for all of March, and a part-payment for all of April. The payment offer is based on the individual providers’ operating costs, less the consumables of fuel, Road User Charges and tyres. This averages 75% of what we would have paid if services operated as normal in April.

Similarly, we will pay schools, who are directed resourced to manage their own transport services, 75% of the total amount we would normally pay throughout April. If your school sub-contracts transport services, we expect you to offer the same financial assistance to your transport providers. As some transport providers contracted by schools are the same companies who run the Ministry’s daily school bus services, it is essential that there is a consistent approach across the education sector.

Schools on funding agreements for school transport assistance have been emailed information in relation to contract variations and payment schedules. If you have any questions please email

Supporting students with learning support needs and distance learning
As we move into Term 2, you’ll be thinking about how the current situation is affecting disabled children and those with additional learning needs and their families.

Some families are likely to be experiencing additional stress and challenges as a result of the loss of their children’s normal routines and usual supports. Some children and young people will be finding it hard to understand why these changes are occurring, resulting in increased anxiety, meltdowns or other forms of distressed behaviour.

Planning and organising support
Many of you have planning underway for students with high levels of learning support needs.  That will involve adapting materials and methods to meet unique learning needs and considering how this will look in a distance learning setting.

Teachers and school teams are pivotal in the development of tailored distance learning programmes based on existing goals in the student’s IEP – as well as in providing support to whānau to manage this at home.

Schools can also continue to call on Resource Teachers including RTLB and other existing services for help in supporting students’ learning from home.

You may be using learning support registers to identify your students’ learning support needs and possible responses.  In term 2, our service managers, together with RTLB, will be available to work with SENCOs or Learning Support Coordinators to review your school’s register and check in with the needs of families and students.  This will involve listening carefully and adapting support to meet current needs.

Teacher aides are a critical part of the school teams supporting learners. As you consider the role teacher aides will play in delivering distance learning, you may want to consider the following areas:

  • Wellbeing of staff
  • Communications
  • Supporting learners and teachers
  • Resources, training, technology.

Our learning support staff are here to support you and parents during the home isolation period.  Like your teams of kaiako, they are working from home, balancing caring for their own whānau with their work.  You can reach them through their usual contact details.

Learning support staff already involved with children and whānau will continue to check in with the child and whānau and where possible, their early learning kaiako to provide virtual guidance and support as necessary at this time. This will involve listening carefully and adapting our support to meet current needs.

Our specialists are doing “home visits” and assessments by Skype, using videos to complete observations, carrying out “telepractice” sessions over the phone, and helping families to use what they have available in their homes to support the learning of their young people.

Like teachers and other school support staff, learning support specialists and Resource Teachers will be working differently, but their goal remains the same: to support teaching staff to connect students to the relevant curriculum by accommodating their learning needs.

Families can also contact their usual Needs Assessment Coordinator (NASC) to discuss the disability supports that available during lockdown including emergency support.

Please contact your local Ministry office if you’re concerned about how your students with learning support needs will be supported during the home isolation period.

Local Ministry offices

Learning Support Resources
We’ve been working to support schools in enabling distance learning through:Supporting increased internet connectivity
Supporting an increase in the availability of devices so that more students can learn online
Providing curriculum material online and on air so students have access to relevant learning material
Providing hard packs of curriculum material for those who do not have connectivity or a device or for whom online learning is not possible or optimal
Maintaining specialist support services for those students with additional learning needs.

The online and hard pack material will not be tailored to meet the unique needs of learners, including those who have additional learning needs.  However, we’ve provided guidance to school leaders about planning for students with high levels of learning support needs, including how to adapt materials and distance learning methods to meet unique learning needs.

We’ve encouraged schools to work with families to create functional, relevant and achievable goals and support wellbeing while students are learning from home. The Learning From Home website includes resources such as Advice for teachers for planning for inclusion, and this information will continue to be added to throughout the lockdown period.

There are many online resources already available. The Inclusive Education website has 28 guides to help recognise, plan for and meet the learning and wellbeing needs of diverse learners at

The following link will take you to resources that may be useful for teachers supporting students and families with learning at home. Topics include supporting students with dyslexia and partnering with parents and whānau:

Wellbeing for all
Alongside priorities for learning, the wellbeing of students and whānau and supporting them will be front of mind.

We have information also focused on supporting a child’s learning at home for parents, caregivers and whānau. It may also be useful for teachers. This resource adds to the information we have previously provided supporting conversations with children about COVID-19 –

From overseas, this 25 Mental Health Wellness Tips during Quarantine from Eileen M Feliciano, Psy.D. is a good list and highlights some things particularly important for children. Remember the rules of New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown still apply.

Further information to support wellbeing
We will continue to build wellbeing information on our website that is easier to find and better reflects how the COVID-19 response has changed over the last weeks. This includes adding resources as they are developed.

Child safety
Finally, if you believe a child is in immediate danger, call the Police on 111.  If you are worried about a child and want to make a referral or report of concern, call Oranga Tamariki using 0508 EDASSIST (0508 332 774) or Email

 Communications tips
This PDF ‘How to talk about Covid19-values frames narratives’ may be a useful resource eg among other things, it includes five building blocks to surface deeper thinking and a checklist for your communications. You may also wish to follow the twitter hashtag #Covid19CommsTips.