A Typical School Day in Reefton, New Zealand

We’re excited to add our video of a typical school day in Reefton, New Zealand.


We live in a small community of about 900 on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Our school is an Area School, which means we have students from Year 1-13 (5-18 years old). There are about 200 students at our school.

We have 21 students aged 6 and 7 in our class, a mascot (a kea called Quicksilver) and two teachers.

Mrs McKenzie first came to teach in Reefton in 1983, and she takes the class for maths, literacy and art, and Mrs Webb who takes Topic, PE, Arts and handwriting.

Our school year started at the end of January and will finish for the summer on December 12.

Thanks for watching! We’ve enjoyed sharing our day with you.
Do you have any questions for us?

24 thoughts on “A Typical School Day in Reefton, New Zealand

  1. Dear B4,

    We loved your Animoto slideshow. It was cool that it had music and the pictures were like puzzles.

    We noticed that you also had a smartboard like we do. You do the daily 5, but we didn’t see a CAFE menu. Do you have one?

    We were wondering why some of you weren’t wearing shoes. Isn’t it cold in bare feet? Also, do your feet get cut when you play?

    We also wondered what “Topic” is. Sophia thought that maybe it was a sharing time, and Hanna thought that maybe it was a time for specialists.

    Mr. Salsich’s Class

    • Dear Mr Salsich’s class
      Thank you for your comment.

      We do have a CAFE menu, but the daily 5 video clip cut out just before it showed the menu.

      Topic is when we do Science or Social Studies or Technology or Health.
      At our school we do Social Studies and Health for Topic in terms 1 and 3, and we do Science and Technology in terms 2 and 4.

      Elizabeth says she took her shoes off yesterday because her feet were too hot!
      Kaeleb says he likes to keep his shoes on to keep his feet warm!
      Sam says its starting to become summer which is why our feet get hot.
      Nathan says that we don’t seem to get cut feet, although Jonathon says that his foot did get cut once but it happened in the gym!
      Jack says that if we do get cut we go to the office and get a plaster.
      Teagan says that in the summer lots of people wear sandals to school.

      your blogging buddies

  2. Dear Mrs. McKenzie and B4,
    School in New Zealand looks awesome! You look like you have a lot of fun!

    Here are some of the similarities and differences we noticed and a few questions we have.

    Sophie: We both have IWBs
    Kennedy: We both do Daily 5
    Trista: We both do math
    Gwen: We both meet on the carpet
    Ana: We both have Recess

    Kennedy: We don’t have brain and body break
    Ana: We don’t have fruit and tea time. We do take a snack outside at recess.
    Sophie: You start your day 10 minutes before we do and your buses get there way earlier
    Trista: Your lunch starts later than ours
    Sharon:Your day ends later than ours

    Our Questions
    Lily: What is topic time?
    Sophie: Do you really drink tea at tea time?
    Kennedy: What kind of fruit do you have at tea time?
    Trista: What is your favourite part of your school day?
    Ana: Is the veranda you eat lunch on like a deck?

    That is a good start on all our questions! We’ll have plenty more 🙂

    From your friends,
    Mrs. W and the 2/3s

    • Dear Mrs Watson’s class
      thanks for your great questions.

      Lily: What is topic time?
      At topic we do Science or Social Studies or technology or Health

      Sophie: Do you really drink tea at tea time?
      No, we just sometimes call recess playtime or morning tea time – it just means we have a snack. The teachers usually have a cup of tea or coffee.

      Kennedy: What kind of fruit do you have at tea time?
      We get all kinds of fruit to eat before morning tea time. This week we had nashi pears, bananas, mandarins and apples.

      Trista: What is your favourite part of your school day?
      Matthew likes playing outside
      Neil likes daily 5
      Yaksh likes assembly
      Teagan likes when we swap for new books for daily 5
      Nathan likes getting free time
      Paige likes maths

      Ana: Is the veranda you eat lunch on like a deck?
      Yes, but it has a roof over it.

      Aren’t all the videos great!
      from B4

  3. Daer Mrs. McKenzie and B4,

    This is a great post you put up.

    I loved the video you made.

    Did you know that Possem Magic is an Austrailan book, also I even have it at home!

    Do you like it ❓ I do. 😆


    • Dear Kayla
      We are enjoying some books by Mem Fox at the moment. Mrs McKenzie will read ‘Koala Lou’ next.

      Which book is your favourite?

      from B4

  4. Dear Mrs Mckenzie and B4,

    Great post!

    I’ve got a question for you.Why do you have two teachers ❓
    Also what do you do while Mrs Webb is teaching ❓
    I think that looks fun at your school ❗
    WOW! you finish early and we leave school at 3:30.

    Best wishes,
    Dana! 😛

    • Dear Dana
      Great questions!

      We have two teachers because Mrs Webb takes the class for 2 spells each day when Mrs Mckenzie is out taking Reading Recovery.
      Usually Mrs Webb is there in the afternoons, but on Fridays it’s between morning tea and lunch.

      Sometimes we think it would be good to have a longer day so that we don’t run out of time for all the things we want to do!

      warm wishes

  5. Dear Mrs.Mckenzie

    Our school in America gets out at 2:20 pm. Does bath water go down the drain the other way because in the northern hemisphere it goes counter clock wise?

    • Hi

      Thank you for comment. The water goes clock ways down the sink. We figured it out by checking it out in the classroom sink.

      From Teagan and Ganda in B4

  6. Dear Mrs.Mckenzie

    Our school in America gets out at 2:20 pm. Does bath water go down the drain the other direction because it goes down counter-clockwise were I live?

  7. Dear B4,
    My name is Sarah and I am from Mrs. Yollis class. I really liked the video you made about your day at school. I also liked that you put your video to music. It was interesting to compare your day with ours. We start school a little earlier and finish a little earlier. We can also wear whatever we want to school and you have uniforms. Do you like wearing uniforms? Do you ever get to wear your regular clothes to school? Does anybody from your class have their own blog? We just started to reading The BFG by Roald Dahl . Have you read this book in your class?


    • Hi Sarah,
      Just a quick note to say that I will get some children to answer your questions about school clothes on Monday 🙂

      from Mrs McKenzie

    • Hi

      Yes, we do get to wear our own clothes to school. We get to do it on Mufti Day. Mufti day is when we get to wear our own clothes even costumes. We have Mufti days to raise money for special things.

      by Spike and Jack in B4

  8. Dear Mrs. Mckenzie and B4,

    I am from Mrs. Yollis’ third grade class.

    I love your slideshow! I have a few questions for you:

    Do you bring your own tea and fruit or does the school provide those for you? We bring our own snacks but I don’t know of anyone who brings tea to school. We normally bring water, juice or milk.

    You say that your school starts at the end of January and ends on December 12th. That means that you only get about 6 weeks off for the summer. We get almost ten weeks off for the summer and two weeks off for Christmas. Do you get any other time off?


    • Dear Leila
      I’m loving the questions from you and your your classmates.

      The fruit we eat is supplied to our school through a health initiative and we all really enjoy it.

      I think we have confused people by calling recess ‘morning-tea time’! It really is just the time when we have a snack – the teachers might have a cup of tea or coffee in the staffroom.
      Two teachers at a time are rostered to supervise the playground during recess and lunchtime.

      Do teachers supervise your playground?

      We do get about 6 weeks summer holiday. We also get two weeks break at Easter and again in late September/early October.
      This was our first week back after our October break.

      I wonder if I would like a 10-week summer break – I think I would miss everyone too much!

      from Mrs Mckenzie

  9. Dear Mrs. McKenzie and B4,

    We really enjoyed watching your video and seeing how similar your classroom is to our son’s here in California. My wife and I visited the North Island of New Zealand in June, 2002. We toured Rotarua, Lake Taupo and Aukland. We will always treasure the time we spent in your beautiful country and look forward to brining our children there some day.

    Go All Blacks!

    Gregg Mettler

    • Dear Mr Mettler,

      When you bring your children to NZ we hope you come and see us in Reefton. It would be cool to meet someone from Mrs Yollis’ class.

      Jonathon and Matthew in B4

  10. Dear Mrs Mckenzie and B4,

    I enjoyed watching your post on A Typical Day in Reefton, New Zealand. Like Mrs Morris, I live in Australia except I am in the state of New South Wales. As I am retired from full time teaching now, I don’t have a class of my own but I do visit a number of blogs as 2KM and 2KJ are very aware.

    I know your town and have been through there a number of times when I’ve travelled around New Zealand. Three times over the years I also organised family trips to New Zealand for families in my school. Each time we stopped in your town before heading to Greymouth. You live in a beautiful part of New Zealand, not that it’s hard as New Zealand has so many beautiful places.

    I like your class mascot. I always tell people about the mountain parrots called Keas. I use to tell them they eat cars. I have to explain not the whole car but they do like to chew on rubber in car doors or the rubber stocks on skis. they are one of my favourite New Zealand birds.

    Thank your for sharing such a wonderful post.

    Ross Mannell (teacher)
    NSW, Australia

  11. Dear Mrs. Mckenzie,

    Thank you for responding to my comment.

    Now morning tea time makes sense!

    Our teachers do not supervise our playground, our aids do.

    We also get a week off in November for Thanksgiving and a week off in April for spring break.


    • Dear Mrs Mckenzie and B4,

      I think that your slide show looks great!

      Things that are similar to our school:

      .We both have snack or playtime

      .We both have an hour for lunch

      .We both have specialist subjects

      Things that are different:

      .You start school earlier

      .Some of you take bus

      .you finish school earlier

      Dana. (Australia)

  12. Dear Mrs Mckenzie and B4,

    Your video was awesome
    I have a few questions. Do you have any mascots? We have a frog and a sloth. Why don’t you wear shoes? Do you guys have a cafeteria because we do.

    Jackie from Mr. Salsich’s class

  13. Dear Mr Mannell

    I am happy that you have been to N.Z.

    Why do you think N.Z is beautiful?.

    If you come to Reefton again come and see us!

    Nikki and Tyla

  14. Dear B4,

    I love your slide show. I noticed that some of you have no shoes on. Do your feet get cold? We wear our shoes. What do you when it is raining?

    Your friend,
    Jennifer in Mr. Salsich’s class

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