A chat with the Waitetuna School Principal

Waitetuna School is a great little school with a big heart and this week the Chronicle had a chat to Principal Amanda Nasilasila to hear about the kura.

How long have you been principal at Waitietuna? 

This is my third year at Waitetuna School.

What changes have you seen in that time? 

As a school we have been working on developing our school’s local curriculum. 

There are so many amazing local opportunities and local resources and we make the most of these things – Karioi project, Whaingaroa Enviro Centre, surfing lessons and using wonderful local community members to support our students’ learning – just to name a few. 

We have developed a wonderful community foodbowl vision which includes a great orchard and a wonderful garden which will continue to develop. 

We are eco-sourcing native seedlings and, with the help of Raglan Food Company, we are developing this area of the school. Students get to collect and grow native seedlings that we have sourced locally.

What aspects of the school’s culture have you particularly enjoyed?

I love the small rural school culture we have. It is a pleasure to come to school. It is an amazing environment for a child to be a part of.

What benefits do you think Waitetuna School offers children in the wider community? 

The smaller school environment allows for each child to really feel a part of the school; belonging and being a caring supportive school helps supports student wellbeing and self esteem. 

The teachers and Principal know each child, and they get to enjoy wonderful open spaces and a great environmental education programme; this includes a great bush school day which our junior room teacher has developed. 

We know how much learning can happen in this environment so it is exciting to be able to take our students down to Totara Grove one day a week. 

We have a well maintained swimming pool which the students are enjoying at the moment. Each child has a seamless set of learning experiences available to them that they can access at home also. 

How will Waitetuna school continue to grow and develop? 

We are excited to develop our local curriculum including our environmental education. We are working with some excellent facilitators as our teachers continue to learn with, and alongside, our students to develop lifelong learners.

How do parents get in touch to learn more about this option for their children? 

Parents can email me on principal@waitetuna.school.nz, call the office on 078255827 or leave a message on our school website – https://www.waitetunaschool.com/