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Kaitoke School Claris students lined up in front their Christmas Float

About Our School

Kaitoke school is a vibrant full primary school situated on Aotea/Great Barrier Island, located 90km northeast of Auckland in the Hauraki Gulf. Established in 1988, we are proud to offer a unique learning experience for our students in a stunning natural environment.

 

Our school is surrounded by native trees and boasts breathtaking views of farmland and bush to Aotea's magnificent skyline, including Mt Hobson (Hirakimata), the highest point on the island. Our extensive playgrounds provide ample space for outdoor activities and games, while Kaitoke Beach, located less than a kilometre away, is a regular destination for school walks and excursions.

 

At Kaitoke School, we have two classrooms - one for junior students and one for senior students. Additionally, we have a third classroom that we use for assemblies, performances, and cultural events. We are proud to have our very own school therapy dog, Barry, who is adored by our students. Barry even has his own Instagram account!

 

We place a strong emphasis on community involvement and environmental stewardship. Our students actively participate in on-site pest management, composting, and work in the school vegetable garden once a week. Adjacent to our school is a Playcentre and early learning centre for 3-5 year-olds, and on our grounds, you'll find the Aotea Learning Hub, a physical space where the island's correspondent school students meet for teaching support.

 

Our school motto, Whaia Ki Te Teitei - aim high, reflects our commitment to helping our students achieve their full potential. We strive to provide a nurturing and inclusive learning environment that encourages curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking skills. At Kaitoke School, we are dedicated to developing well-rounded individuals who are confident, engaged, and ready to face the challenges of the future.

Totally off the Grid!

Great Barrier Island does not have reticulated water or power, so here at Kaitoke we generate our own power (mostly through solar) and collect and filter rainwater for drinking. This is all part of our goal to be an internationally acclaimed Enviroschool.

Our History

According to information provided by Anne-Marie Mitchener and Jilly Dobson, Kaitoke School was built on farmland originally owned by the Sanderson family. The building is a Lockwood Design, and it opened in October 1988 with 30 pupils in Years 1 to 8. The teaching principal was Lois Pratley, and Kay Lawrence, Pat Sanderson, and Winnie Blackwell were the original staff.

 

The school has been involved in various historical events, including inter-school sports, A&P Shows, Wearable Arts, and the world premiere of the Flight Of The Albatross movie in 1996. According to Ben Sanderson, the land used for the school was his best paddock. The opening ceremony was attended by the then Minister of Education and Prime Minister David Lange.

Interschool Activities

At Kaitoke School, we believe that participating in interschool activities enhances the school and social life of our tamariki. Our students take part in various events throughout the year to showcase their talents and foster relationships with other schools in the area. Some of the exciting activities include:

 

  • Annual Swimming Sports: Held in the stunning bay at Mulberry Grove, this event is an opportunity for our students to showcase their swimming abilities and compete with other schools.

  • Athletics and Cross Country: Our students get to showcase their athletic skills up north at Te Kura o Okiwi, where they compete against other schools in the area.

  • Winter Sports Day: Hosted at Kaitoke School, this event brings together students from various schools in the area to participate in winter sports and activities.

  • Matariki Celebrations: Our students come together with other schools in the area to celebrate Matariki at the Community Art Gallery, fostering cultural awareness and understanding.

  • Summer Surf School: A highlight for our pupils, this event is held at Medlands Beach every Tuesday during Terms 1 and 4 and provides students with an opportunity to learn surfing skills.

  • HUNTS Course: Some of our older students have the opportunity to complete the Hunter National Training Scheme (HUNTS), which equips them with the skills and knowledge to stay safe in the outdoor environment. Participating in interschool activities not only allows our tamariki to showcase their talents and develop new skills, but also helps to foster positive relationships with other schools and the wider community.

Kaitoke School Claris student smiling at camera during an ocean swim day

Ka Aro Ka Ako

Lunches in schools

The Lunches in Schools Programme is a New Zealand government initiative that provides free, healthy lunches for students in eligible schools. The program was launched in 2020 as part of the government's Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. The goal of the program is to ensure children have access to healthy and nutritious food while at school, to support their learning, development, and overall wellbeing. The program aims to reduce food insecurity and improve equity in education outcomes.

 

Our delicious lunches are prepared on-site by one of our mums; all designed to meet nutritional guidelines developed by the Ministry of Health. The lunches typically include a main dish, such as a hot cooked meal, sandwich, wrap, or suchi. We also provide morning tea which consists of fruit, vegetables and yoghurt.

Two Kaitoke School Claris students serving school lunch

Annual Report

Read our most recent Annual Report here.

School Policies and Procedures

All our policies and procedures pertaining to the governance and management of our school can be found here. We encourage you to have your say when policies and procedures come under review. We will let you know through HERO when this happens.

 

Username: kaitoke

Password: claris

Our History

According to information provided by Anne-Marie Mitchener and Jilly Dobson, Kaitoke School was built on farmland originally owned by the Sanderson family. The building is a Lockwood Design, and it opened in October 1988 with 30 pupils in Years 1 to 8. The teaching principal was Lois Pratley, and Kay Lawrence, Pat Sanderson, and Winnie Blackwell were the original staff.

 

The school has been involved in various historical events, including inter-school sports, A&P Shows, Wearable Arts, and the world premiere of the Flight Of The Albatross movie in 1996. According to Ben Sanderson, the land used for the school was his best paddock. The opening ceremony was attended by the then Minister of Education and Prime Minister David Lange.

Photo of Kaitoke School Claris school site from 1988

School site 1988 

Totally off the Grid!

Great Barrier Island does not have reticulated water or power, so here at Kaitoke we generate our own power (mostly through solar) and collect and filter rainwater for drinking. This is all part of our goal to be an internationally acclaimed Enviroschool.

Solar power panels on Kaitoke School Claris buildings
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