We are a semi rural school 4 minutes (5km) south of Whangarei. Our 150 students enjoy our large playing fields, playgrounds, purpose built 360m bike track, salt water pool, Tiger Turf courts in a beautiful rural setting. We have 7 classrooms and large well resourced library. In 2014 the school achieved the Enviroschools Silver Award from the Northland Regional Council. Over the years students have been involved in planting an orchard, building and maintaining raised gardens, raising and caring for chickens, recycling, water monitoring and awareness of our local stream Our next venture is to continue to develop our understanding of our environment through sourcing seeds and planting native plants that are specific to our area.
Otaika Valley School is a Positive Behaviour for Learning school, which means there is a shared underlying belief that promotes students behaving positively and approaching play and learning with positive thinking. The school values ( RURU – Respect, Unique, Responsibility, Up to me) are strategically planned for within the entire curriculum and organisation structures. This drives the way we think about students and learning. Students are encouraged to manage risks within the playground safely. School bikes, personal scooters and skateboards are used extensively during break times throughout the entire playground. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for each other’s safety and their own by wearing a helmet and assessing their skill level. Teachers on duty have a shared belief that students should use their imagination in play, resulting in developmental games and active fun. When things go wrong with relationships or games need to be modified, it is the students who must do the thinking and take the responsibility with adult support. Teachers support students by giving them the strategies to deal with issues. Within classrooms across the school you will find consistent school wide expectations with learning and behaviour. The junior and senior students often work together and learn to look after and respect each other.
Staff work within a distributed leadership model that celebrates teacher strengths. Teachers take responsibility for staff meetings to drive curriculum learning using the professional development they have undertaken. A high trust model is promoted to share teacher strengths and share good teaching practice across the school. This is how we focus our professional development and create a shared vision for school direction and success.
The staff model the school vision of ‘Together We Grow’ by constantly working together as a staff to collectively strengthen teaching practice, learning programmes and provide a high level of learning for individual students.
Our school strives to achieve our school vision of ‘Together We Grow’, we believe in the importance of a very strong supportive community with students, teachers and parents working towards achieving this goal. We strive to make Otaika Valley School a welcoming place where parents feel comfortable being involved in their child’s learning.