Schools prepare for year ahead

Teck Wee (right) will make the move to Wellsford from Mangawhai Beach School this summer.

Mahurangi College

After 27 years of teaching in the year seven faculty at Mahurangi College, Delwyn Lawrence retired at the end of 2016.

“She always ran an interesting classroom with lots of exciting activities and colourful wall displays, and will be greatly missed by our school community,” principal David Macleod says.

Mahurangi College will introduce dance as a subject for year nine and 10 students this year, bringing Emily Woodfield from Takapuna Grammar as the teacher.

“It will be an optional subject for the middle school and we hope to integrate it into the senior school at some stage.”

Emily will also help manage the schools Performing Arts Academy alongside drama teacher Jonathan Dutton.

The college will finish renovations to its media department at the end of this month, and Mr Macleod hopes to have Ministry approval for a fitness centre extension to the gym soon.

Australian-based consultancy firm Insight Plus will work with the college this year to help develop a three to five year strategic plan.

The school roll at the start Term One will be 1356 students.

Matakana School

Matakana School has waved goodbye to Year Two teacher Erris Scott, who taught for 28 years.

Two Year Three classes are being renovated ready for the school year. The school roll at the start of term one will be 360 students.

Leigh School

Two classrooms at Leigh School have been demolished and are being replaced by two new buildings. These will provide teaching spaces for Years Two to Six students. They will also include withdrawal rooms and a unisex toilet. The school roll at the start of Term One will be 50 students.

Otamatea High School

Accounting and business studies teacher Eileen Parsons has retired from Otamatea High School after 42 years of teaching. During her career, Eileen taught under five school principals.

“Eileen epitomises the school’s motto, Loyalty and Truth, a real woman of integrity who has been incredibly loyal to the school for so many years,” principal Rachel Clothier-Simmonds says.

The school will finish their office upgrade before Term One begins and a re-paint of the whole school is underway.
The computer system will be moved to ‘the cloud’ this year and a 10-year property plan developed.

Otamatea is also looking to start a construction and whakairo (Maori wood carving) academy and will host the Nga Manu Korero Regional Speech Competition this year.

The school roll at the start of Term One will be around 400 students.

Ahuroa School

The biggest event on the Ahuroa School calendar this year will be the annual fair, feast and fireworks on March 18. Principal Michelle Nell says a particular focus for students this year will be learning through exploration of local environments. The school roll at the start of Term One will be around 80 students.

Pakiri School

After two years of service principal Josie Hagger will leave her position to be replaced by former Tapora School principal Ingrid Stewart. “What I have loved is the way in which our children here embrace learning with such a positive attitude,” Josie says. “I will miss the physical environment too, both beautiful and peaceful.” During the year the school farewelled Erena Atkins, an administrator of 28 years. Over the summer holiday period, the classrooms have been renovated with new acoustic panels and carpet. One of the school’s highlights every year is Pet Day which is held in Term Three. The school roll at the start of Term One will be nine students.

Tauhoa School

Tauhoa School is looking forward to the construction of a new multi-purpose space starting at the end of this month, which should be finished around mid-May. An old classroom will be demolished to make way for the new structure, which will include a library and kitchen. The total cost of the project is $370,000. The school roll will be around 40 at the start of Term One.

Horizon School

Horizon School has a new deputy principal this year, Sam Burrows. Males now make up half the teaching staff at the school. Upcoming events are a camp in February, a soapbox derby in March and Grandparents Day at the end of March. Work is continuing towards the construction of a new college. The school role at the start of Term One will be 80 students.

Kaiwaka School

Kaiwaka School will welcome a new fulltime teacher this year to cope with a growing school roll. This will mean principal Rosie Ellis will no longer have to teach part-time. One of the school’s biggest achievements last year was winning, for the first time ever, the Bream Bay Interschool Athletics Competition. The school roll at the start of Term One will be 101 students.

Tomarata School

Four new classrooms and a toilet block at Tomarata School are expected to be finished in May. Two of the new rooms are replacements, while the remaining two are new to cater for roll growth, as predicted by a demographic report from the Ministry of Education. The school roll will be 163 at the start of Term One.

Wellsford School

Wellsford School will welcome new teacher Teck Wee this year, who is an extra member of staff partly funded by the Board of Trustees. He taught in central Auckland for a number of years before more recently teaching at Mangawhai Beach School. Wellsford School will start Term One with about 365 students, and expects to end the year with over 400.

Tapora School

Year 7 and 8 students from Tapora School will join students from Stewart Island, Great Barrier Island, West Coast of the South Island and Taranaki, for a camp in Wellington in May.

The school reached 10,000 Air New Zealand airpoints last year to help cover the cost of travel to the camp, and also won a Huawai media pad in the AIA Healthy Kids Challenge. The school roll will be 29 at the start of term one.

Kaipara Flats School

Kaipara Flats School will have new astro turf put down by next month to replace the asphalt court.

The turf will cater for basketball, netball, tennis, handball and football. The school roll at the start of Term One will be 79.

Living Way School

Living Way School will celebrate its 25th anniversary in September this year. The school roll at the beginning of Term One will be 23 students.

Snells Beach School

Snells Beach School will start Term One with a roll of around 200 students.

Maungaturoto School

Maungaturoto School will start Term One with a roll of 180 students.

Rodney College and Warkworth School principals were unavailable to supply information on the year ahead when approached for this story.