WELCOME TO LEIGH SCHOOL
The ‘Best You Can Be’ Programme
Our school has a very strong emphasis on being the (absolute) best that you can be. During assemblies we talk about our three school values – Respect, Responsibility and Kindness; and what sorts of things we should be doing to achieve these values. During our assemblies, recognition is given to individual children as well as House groups who have actively shown our Best You Can Be values during the previous week.
This programme is a great way of encouraging the development of desirable values and our children are wonderful examples of the success of the programme.
Garden to Table
During March 2021 we commenced our first ever session of Garden to Table. Garden to Table is a curriculum-integrated programme that provides real-world learning opportunities for children outside the traditional classroom environment. Garden to Table deepens our Enviroschool kaupapa and is a very much cherished aspect of our local curriculum.
During Garden to Table sessions our students are involved in all aspects of gardening in our beautiful and rather extensive environmentally sustainable school garden and a large variety of fruit, vegetables and flowers grown. Each week small groups of students meet with a garden coordinator and voluntary parent helpers to plan out their mornings work which includes a variety of garden related tasks such as seed raising, weeding, watering, planting, pruning and harvesting. Delicious fresh seasonal produce is then harvested and sent to the school kitchen for preparation.
Groups working within the kitchen prepare and cook delicious, seasonal meals, whilst learning a variety of cooking skills and problem solving strategies. The whole class then comes together to enjoy the meal that has been prepared.
In 2020 the school implemented the new digital curriculum.
“The digital curriculum is about teaching children how to design their own digital solutions and become creators of, not just users of, digital technologies, to prepare them for the modern workforce.”
In preparation for the new digital curriculum a range of new digital technologies were purchased to ensure our students and teachers have relevant and current technologies to teach and learn with. We supply one to one digital devices, such as chromebooks and iPads. Coding and robotics is taught through digital resources such as Sphero, Lego SpikePrime and Lego WeDo2.0. We also utilise tvs and apple tvs within the classroom.
Teachers and students use Google Classroom which provides digital access to manage all work and online activity. This also allows for 24/7 remote access which supports students and families when they can’t attend school.
The range of technology is used in a variety of ways to engage and support the children in their learning. For example learning apps – e.g. Lexia Core5 which provides explicit, systematic, personalized learning which targets skill gaps as they emerge.
Children use technology to express their learning by creating a range of digital outcomes, research areas of inquiry, learn how to code, and engage in on-line interactive activities.
As a school we are passionate about developing our students as capable and creative ICT users and creators. However, we also aim to ensure that we get this balance right and mix this up with more traditional forms of teaching and learning.
The renowned Leigh School Kapa Haka group was established in 2010 by a former school parent, Jake Tahitahi. Historically everyone at the school participated in the weekly practices and additionally, those that chose to, extended their abilities further by becoming part of our Performance Group – ‘Te Whanau o Omaha’.
This group participated in the annual Kaipara Festival at Rodney College as well as performing at a variety of other venues throughout the year. These included:
- the famous Leigh Summer Festival,
- the Leigh Fishing Competition,
- the Leigh Anzac Day Memorial Service,
- Leigh Church Christmas Pageant,
- the Matakana Farmers Market & Christmas Market.
The rōpū (group) includes some of the Leigh Community Pre-School cuties as well.
This year we hope to reinvigorate our Kapa Haka group so watch this space!
Te Reo Māori
Our commitment to Leigh School children learning Te Reo is strong! We have had Te Reo tutors teaching our tamariki (children) weekly and consistently over previous years.
In the past we’ve been lucky enough to have had staff from the local Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust coming in to take Te Reo lessons with the rangatahi (children) across all classes.
In 2020 teachers undertook regular Te Reo lessons and are now incorporating the teaching and learning of this into their regular teaching and learning programmes.
Every year Leigh School offers their students the opportunity to participate in a range of art activities that utilise the special skills and abilities of members of the community. In the past we have been able to offer a broad range of interesting activities such as metal work, ‘Trash to Fashion’, photography, stop motion animation, concrete sculpture, bird box building, calligraphy, contemporary dance (with Anne Dewey) to name but a few.
The Arts Programme usually runs in Term three for about 6-8 weeks and culminates in a sharing of the activities on ‘Grandparents’ Day’.
Leigh School offers the usual sporting opportunities and, as a member of a cluster of schools, participates in Inter-School events which usually occur once or twice a term: These sports include:
- junior tabloid
- cross country
We also have regular visits arranged by Sport North Harbour or other providers in other sporting codes e.g. basketball and tennis.
Special Needs / Gifted and Talented
Occasionally we have children who need a little extra support to help them to get to where they should be in their learning. We have Liz Brown who is our excellent Teacher Aide who works closely with our teachers to support children’s learning within the classroom. Additionally, we run Accelerated Literacy Learning programmes for students who may need extra help. These are run by the teacher best suited to the curriculum area with the Principal relieving their classes during this time.
We also often have children who are achieving well above their expected level in all areas of the curriculum. The majority of their needs are addressed within the classroom through individual student agency – where the children work at their own level with support from their teacher. In addition, if we need to further challenge and extend these students, we have a range of strategies in place that we can utilise. For example:
- Differentiated teaching – catering for all learning needs in the classroom
- Opportunities to participate in additional individual or group activities e.g.Kapa Haka, drama, guitar lessons, piano lessons etc
- Opportunities to participate in inter-school events including sports
- Problem solving or challenge activities like ePro 8 or Future Problem Solving.
- Withdrawal from class to work in an extension group
- Unit study extension activities e.g. higher order thinking, Inquiry (independent) learning
- Competitions, national or international testing e.g. Mathex, ICAS, Lit Quiz.
Being a competent swimmer is essential in a coastal based region like Leigh, so we do a lot of swimming throughout the summer season (and have a solar cover for our pool to extend the swimming season). Our kids are great swimmers and always do really well in the inter-school competitions held in term one each year.
We have been so lucky to have our swimming pool upgraded recently (plastered, tiled and painted). This essential maintenance enables our children to have access to a fantastic asset and that they can swim daily throughout the summer months.
Pool keys are also available for hire over the summer period, providing after school and weekend access to our families and the wider community.