Wakaaranga school principal, Brent Jenkin makes no apology for the fact that the school has a strong emphasis on excellence.
Our motto is - To be the best I can possibly be. This is not just something we stick on a wall and forget about but it is a belief we instil in all of our students. We do not accept there are excuses for students not doing their very best.
Ourcore school values, ‘Respect, Responsibility and Reflection’ are extremely important to staff and students in this colourful, multicultural school. Three trees in the school logo represent the Three R’s.
“We relate the behaviour of students to these three values and encourage them to make positive choices in their behaviour and school work,” says Ian Ashurst, the associate principal.
The name Wakaaranga literally means ‘the resting place of the canoe’ and is named after the area at the base of Wakaaranga Creek where pre-European Maori from the marae on Pigeon Mountain kept their canoes.
“The waka in our logo symbolically represents the vehicle in which our students take their educational journeys while at our school.
As principal, I teach these values twice each year to every class.”
By concentrating on these core values and using a comprehensive analysis of students’ results in twice-yearly benchmark testing,
Wakaaranga pupils aim to achieve excellent standards in their academic work and social behaviour.
Communication between families and the school is fostered through school
newsletters and parents are encouraged to maintain regular contact with teachers. The website, is updated weekly, proudly showing off the work
and achievements of pupils as well as the results of the latest parent survey and general school information.
“We have published our 2007 ERO report on the website, which confirms the goals we have been striving to reach. Parents can also view actual test results and reports on student achievement.”
The Board of Trustees, Parent Teacher Association and staff have worked hard over the last few years to provide high quality facilities enabling Wakaaranga School to maintain high standards. There is an excellent library, fully equipped Information, Communication and
Technology suite, a school-wide network of 150 PCs, plus all teachers have laptops. The art room is complete with a kiln and dedicated specialist art teacher. With a large range of instruments the music room is where specialist teacher, Sue Murray tutors a choir and orchestra as well as taking some classroom music lessons. A private music provider, KBB Music offers year 4 to 6 students the opportunity to learn an instrument and play in a band one day a week. “Our gifted and talented students are involved in an extension programme that includes advanced work in mathematics and research,” Brent says. “For more challenged students there are withdrawal classes for reading, writing, mathematics and ESOL. We undertake to bring all students up to standard in less than two years and we provide the facilities to make that happen.”