As a smaller school, we are well aware of the great teacher-to-child ratios that we enjoy in our classrooms. We are afforded the opportunity to know our kids really well, and to spend time tailoring the education of our tamariki to suit their own pace and cater to their individual learning styles rather than sticking to a 'one-size fits all' education by year level.
With only three rooms, the kids across the school know each well. Our older children take care of the younger ones, and are encouraged to take on roles of responsibilities and leadership - a challenge they always seem to relish and rise to!
In our Junior Room, our learners range from New Entrants to Year 2, and ‘Learning Through Play’ is fully integrated across our curriculum, delivered within a fun and nurturing environment. Our philosophy is that play helps to foster imagination and gives a child a sense of adventure. Our goal is to help our children to learn to ask questions, express themselves, collaborate with others, become confident and take risks. Through this, they can learn essential skills such as problem solving, working with others, sharing and much more. Music, art and being creative are also very important within our junior learning space, enhancing physical, social, cognitive, and emotional development.
Our Year 3 through to Year 5 children make up our Middle Room community of learners. Greater emphasis on structured ‘Inquiry Learning’ opportunities enables children in this class to further develop their ability to work and learn independently, while still being given many supported opportunities to work collaboratively and creatively. Individualised learning, and teaching for the ‘whole child’, continues to be of paramount importance at this level. Emphasis is placed on developing a growth mindset and building resilience, and children are encouraged to support others, with kindness. Children start to utilise digital devices as tools to support their learning. Physical activities make up a good portion of our school day – “a healthy body makes a healthy mind’.
Our Senior Room, made up of Year 6 to Year 8 learners, enjoy a broad range of learning experiences, underpinned by the core curriculum areas of reading, writing and maths. These subjects are often integrated within the Inquiry focus of the term as well as daily needs-based teaching. Many opportunities are created for our senior learners to explore our local environment, with a range of educational experiences around the Wairarapa, and beyond. Sports and physical activity is integral within every learning day, and our senor class are given many opportunities to be involved in interschool sports competitions and cultural events. Learning through the use of digital devices and Google Classroom further continues the school’s philosophy of independent learning, and a healthy dose of the Arts, Science and Social Sciences is included across each school day.
In simplistic terms, a Principal oversees the day-to-day running of the School, whilst the Board provides strategic leadership and governance. Our current Board consists of a diverse bunch of folk being Tana Klaricich (Principal), Jo Dennis (staff representative), Peter Hull, Callum Lord, Neil Johansson and Chris Miller (the Presiding Member... or Chair, if you prefer). Board Meetings are typically held monthly and whilst there's invariably standard items on the agenda like student achievement, finances, property, employment matters and so on - we often invite guest speakers from the community, staff and education sector to talk about a wide topic of things. And there's always biscuits. And sometimes it's homebaked.
If you'd like to know more about the Board and what it gets up to, raise something specific, or were even keen to get involved, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch!
Featherston has a number of primary schools in the area; St. Teresa's Primary and Featherston School are right in the town, and Kahutara and Pirinoa are further out. To that end, we share a special collegial bond with our neighbouring schools and we often work together for the good of our kids and our communities when the opportunity arises. A great example of this in recent times is how our Senior Room will combine with Featherston's Kapa Haka group to learn and perform waiata together. Our school's leaders are in frequent contact and support one another especially with the exchange of ideas regarding education in our local area.