Opua school also welcomes a number of international students, including those on travelling yachts moored temporarily in the area. The children at the school come from a wide range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, with approximately 50% identified as European / Pakeha, 40% Maori, 5% Asian and 5% Pasifika. The school is currently rated as decile 5 (recently adjusted from decile 7).
The school comprises two sites. The main school site is an attractive property in a beautiful location and includes a small sports field and hard-court area, an adventure playground, an outdoor swimming pool, five teaching rooms, a smaller tuition area, a library, an assembly hall, an administration block, a separate smaller office area, and a caretaker’s shed and work space. The other part of the property is a much larger sports field separate from the school site.
Diversity is one of the strengths of Opua School. In the school, diversity is celebrated within a supportive family atmosphere (whanaungatanga) and through our nurturing of the ‘Caring and Sharing’ philosophy (manaakitanga).Opua School celebrates diversity within an open and welcoming climate in which local, national and international students learn together and share their differences as well as their similarities. Opua has an effective, very committed Board of Trustees and a supportive, energetic PTA.
Opua, a town in the Bay of Islands, is a small but busy port attracting national and international visitors. It is the northernmost point of entry into New Zealand for overseas vessels, one of the 15 places of first arrival for customs and biosecurity clearance, and generally the first port encountered by yachts arriving in the country after crossing the South Pacific Ocean. It has a marina and wharf and a well-used ferry service taking vehicles and foot passengers to the Russell peninsula, via Okiato, New Zealand’s first capital.
Opua School is a co-educational, multicultural, state primary school of 100 to 120 students from Reception to Year 8, serving not only Opua itself but also a wide and diverse area beyond, attracting children from nearby towns and rural areas and from both sides of the Waikare Inlet.
We have recently been able to invest over half a million dollars into significant land and building improvements after our 5 Year Agreement funding was more than doubled by the Ministry of Education. We have also made a substantial investment in our ICT infrastructure and computer hardware through SNUP (School Network Upgrade Programme) to ensure that our students have the best and most up to date learning resources.
Our philosophy is that all pupils should learn to care for themselves, each other and their community and be open and excited about sharing each other’s successes. The pupils should also be challenged to reach their full potential, helping and encouraging them to develop talents, self-worth, respect and pride in achievement. This is reflected in the principles of our curriculum by having high expectations for students to learn, to excel and to be given space to grow from children into confident, young adults ready for the next stage of their learning. We are committed to ‘bringing alive’ the NZ Curriculum’s ‘front-end’ as well as addressing all the needs of its ‘back-end’ or Learning Areas.
The ‘front-end’ of our country’s curriculum entrusts us with the all-important task of helping our children develop as successful people as well as talented learners who have positive values, a sense of their cultural identity, an engagement in their community and who build capabilities in the five key competencies [Thinking; Relating to Others; Using language, symbols and text; Managing Self; Participating and Contributing] to set themselves up as life-long learners. The New Zealand Curriculum’s ‘back-end’ identifies all the skills and knowledge that children are expected to learn and at what ages they are meant to attain these skills and this knowledge. The eight Learning Areas are: English; Mathematics and Statistics; Science; Social Sciences; Health and Physical Education; Technology; The Arts; and Learning Languages.