Nau mai, Haere mai – Welcome to Leigh School

Our aim at Leigh School is to provide educational programmes that cater for and respect individual learning needs, and that foster the growth of every child’s unique abilities. As a small school with high student teacher ratios we can develop deeper relationships with our students to learn what really motivates and interests them.

“Leaders and teachers:
– know the children whose learning and achievement need to be accelerated
– respond effectively to the strengths, needs and interests of each child
– regularly evaluate how well teaching is working for these children
– act on what they know works well for each child
– build teacher capability effectively to achieve equitable outcomes for all children
– are well placed to achieve and sustain equitable and excellent outcomes for all children.”
Leigh School ERO Report 2016

We are situated in the close knit semi-rural coastal community of Leigh, which is on the East Coast out from Warkworth & Matakana, approximately one hour drive north of Auckland. Our school is just a 5 minute walk from the water’s edge.

The school was established in 1874 and the roll now sits at around 60 children on average. Most of our children have transitioned from the adjacent Leigh Pre-School, and once they have completed their schooling in Year 6 at Leigh, they usually continue on to Mahurangi College in Warkworth.

We are proudly located in the Ngati Manuhiri rohe, and enjoy learning about the history of the area, staying overnight at our beautiful local Omaha Marae and visiting the Ngati Manuhiri Trust to learn about kaitiakitanga (looking after our environment). Many of our present and former students are descendants of this hapu. We have annual visits to Omaha Marae to learn about the history of our area and to have a chance to practice our Te Reo skills, in addition to our weekly Kapa Haka whole school practices and also weekly Te Reo sessions with a Maori tutor.

We have a strong environmental focus at our school as we are fortunate to live in a very unique location. Less than 5 minutes drive away is Goat Island Marine Reserve, the oldest ‘no-take’ marine reserve in the world! Another nearby special place is the Tawharanui Reserve – both a marine reserve and a bird sanctuary. Finally, just out to sea from our school is Hauturu (Little Barrier), which is one of the oldest reserves in the country.  Hauturu is a special place for Ngati Manuhiri who are the kaitiaki (guardians) of it.

We have an emphasis on fostering student agency – where the student’s voice is heard and offer a broad range of learning opportunities within the school and classroom.

Leigh School values diversity and the uniqueness of each child.

Teachers regularly reflect on how effectively their teaching practices impact on student learning. As a result, children benefit from programmes and practices that are responsive to their learning strengths, needs and interests.
Leigh School ERO Report 2016


We also have a ‘Best You Can Be’  programme which encourages and promotes desirable values within the school. More information on these programmes can be found by reading the Learning Opportunities page.

With composite classrooms we have lovely relationships develop between the children. The older students learn mentoring and leadership skills and actively participate in reading programmes with the younger children etc. The young ones look up to and are encouraged and inspired by the older children.  This creates a whanau like atmosphere of helping and caring for each other – and we believe results in well rounded, responsible young people leaving the school at the end of their time here.

Tuakana / Teina reading

We have a dedicated and caring staff who are well supported by a very active and involved Board of Trustees, our wonderful PTA and the broader local community.

The school is well led. There are clear shared expectations about what constitutes successful learning. The principal actively promotes leadership and collaboration. Consistent teaching approaches are supporting children’s learning confidence as they transition through the school.
Leigh School ERO Report 2016

We would love the opportunity to chat with you about our school and community, please feel free to call into the school or contact us.