About Whakarongo School...

At Whakarongo School we recognise that we live in an ever changing world that will confront our students with a whole range of different challenges.

Whakarongo School is focused on preparing our students for this challenge, making sure that they will have the best possible chance of being successful citizens.

Whakarongo School is well known as a leading school and has much to offer. This page will give you a taste of our school, but I would also like to extend an invitation to come and visit us to view our excellent facilities and stimulating learning environments.

Below you will find an overview about the organisational structure of our school. To find out more about the Whakarongo Kid and how this is incorporated into our teaching and learning, visit the link: Our Vision.

Our Flexible Learning Environments

Our Curriculum: An Overview

Whakarongo School covers all of the learning areas as identified in the New Zealand Curriculum. We use the learning areas to develop the skills, knowledge, attitude and values our students will need to be successful future focused learners. We deliver our curriculum through the most up to date methods, focusing on an inquiring approach to learning and developing deeper understanding through big ideas and concepts for learning.

At Whakarongo School Literacy, Mathematics and the Whakarongo Kid form the FOUNDATIONS of our curriculum framework and are integrated through all learning. The wider curriculum areas are split into two key areas: STEM & HEArtSS. Conceptual based units of learning are carried out through one of these two separate lenses in an inquiring approach:

  • STEM includes Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths

  • HEArtSS includes Health, Environmental Studies, The Arts and Social Sciences.

Click to find out more about 'Our STEM Programme'.

In Years 0-3, Literacy, Mathematics and Whakarongo Kid will be the lens to develop learning in either STEM or HEArtSS. We believe that these year levels are the core developmental years for building core learning skills in literacy, mathematics and through the Whakarongo Kid so that children are learning to read, learning to write, learning to self-manage, collaborate etc. These provide the foundations for them to then use these skills to help them learn throughout the rest of their lives.

In Years 4-8, the focus for learning shifts, focusing on using their foundation skills to help them understand how to be effective learners. Thus a big idea (a provocative statement) becomes the central focus for all learning. The big idea drives learning, integrating the following areas:

    • Literacy/Mathematics, Whakarongo Kid & STEM

    • Literacy, Mathematics, Whakarongo Kid & HEArtSS.

The conceptual curriculum will provide the platform for organisation of teaching and learning through these year levels. Find out more: Conceptual Learning @ WS.

Flexible Learning Environments (FLEs)...

Whakarongo is a leader in the field of using collaborative teaching and flexible, innovative learning environments to improve teaching and learning. From the start of 2015 we have been using this across the school. You can read more here.

Assessment & Reporting...

Assessment:

We use both standardised tests (e.g: running records, PAT's) as well as formative assessment practices. This provides us with the vital information about student progress in key areas and provides students with feedback to continually improve their work.

Reporting:

We keep parents up to date with their children's progress through a variety of ways. This includes: parent-teacher interviews where a learning plan is discussed and goals are set, learning celebrations, children's own goal setting and sharing, written reports, and other opportunities to view student work. Teachers are also available to meet with you to discuss their progress.

eLearning

Research has shown that students of today are different from their parents, in that their brains have been programmed for a digital world of multiple inputs and moving and static images. Whakarongo School is well known for its leadership in the area of supporting teaching and learning through the use of e-learning. We receive large numbers of visitors from all over the country to look at this work. e-learning is not about learning about computers, it is about improving learning. Our students use e-learning to ENHANCE, COMMUNICATE and CREATE.

We have a compulsory BYOD policy for all students in Years 3-8. Year 0-2 students have iPads supplied and used as an integrated part of their day to day learning .

Click Our eLearning to find out more about Whakarongo School as an Apple Distinguished School, or to see the key apps we use and our Bring Your Own Device policy for those students bringing their own devices.

If you have any further questions regarding e-learning at Whakarongo School, please contact your child's homeroom teacher, or for more in-depth information, you can contact:

Leadership

We develop our students leadership through a number of initiatives. Students have the choice of a large number of responsibilities that they can take on during each year and the opportunity to work towards a silver and gold school badge from Years 5-8.

We have 5 houses within our school and each one of these houses has a house leader as well as a team of four students from Years 5-8 to assist with organisation of house events such as sports, competitions etc. These students form our student council and they are supported in developing their leadership skills on a regular basis with coaching sessions from teachers supporting the council. The house leaders also attend an annual Young Leader's Day.

Click here to see more about Developing Our Leaders.

Enrichment Programs

Our Mātauranga Whakaaro programme is a programme designed to enrich, extend and challenge our gifted learners at Whakarongo School.

It is needs based and has both junior and senior components within it. The programme provides a range of challenges for our talented learners such as through our successes in the Tournament of Minds competition.

If you have further queries about our Whakaaro programme, please contact your child's homeroom teacher or our Whakaaro teacher, Victoria Zhou:

vzhou@whakarongo.school.nz.

Sports...

Sport has a high profile at our school and we have a huge number of teams participating in a variety of winter and summer codes of sports.

We rely heavily on parents and caregivers to volunteer as coaches and managers of these teams.

We believe that sports provide students with an organised way of doing some exercise and also provide students with an environment to develop their interpersonal skills.

Within our school, we run our own championship events for swimming, athletics and cross-country and there are also opportunities for students to compete against other schools in these areas. Our intermediate students are also a part of a group of schools across the Manawatū that have the opportunity to be selected and participate against each other in our Central Elite sports competition in a range of sporting events also.

Click here to go to Our Sports page. If you have any further questions regarding sport, please contact:

sports@whakarongo.school.nz

Cultural Activities

We offer a number of cultural activities. This includes a school junior and senior production every 3 years.

Visiting performing artists introduce new art forms to our students and inspire them to develop their creative capabilities.

In 2008 we established a Kapa Haka group. These have been very successful and are continuing to grow and develop, with two further Kapa Haka groups through the middle and junior school now established.

In addition to this, each year we have dance groups at a junior and senior level, with our senior students having the opportunity to be selected and participate with great success in the DanceNZ Made competition each year.

The Rural Character of Whakarongo School

Although Whakarongo isn't a rural school anymore, we still value our rural heritage and values. We do this through our annual Agricultural Day, with a lamb and calf competition, and through our encouragement for our students to be kids and play.

We also have our environmental and gardening groups, producing our own vegetables to sell and getting the children involved in clean, green Kiwi living!

After School Care

A-Plus runs an After School Care programme based at Whakarongo School. Holiday fun has a simple philosophy for After School Care - good activities, good staff and let the children have fun.

A-Plus supplies their own staff and resources, avoiding technology based 'babysitters' and utilises themed modules, planned activities, an incentive based Homework Club and national Pen-Pal Club, along with a structured timetable and motivated staff.

After School Care runs from 3pm to 6pm weekdays during the school term.

For more information check out this website link: www.aplus.co.nz

Some key documents...

See below for a number of key procedures and documents. Please contact the school office if you would like a copy of any other policies or procedures.