Learning Opportunities


The ‘Best You Can Be’ Programme

Our school has a very strong emphasis on being the (absolute) best that you can be. We have a full school assembly every Monday morning in which we talk about our three school values – Respect, Responsibility and Kindness; and what sorts of things we should be doing to achieve these values. Each Monday at our assembly, certificates and rewards are 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.

Kapa Haka 

The renowned Leigh School Kapa Haka group was established in 2010 by one of our school parents, Jake Tahitahi. Everyone at the school participates in the weekly practices and additionally, those that choose to, can extend their abilities further by becoming part of our Performance Group – ‘Te Whanau o Omaha’.

This group participates in the annual Kaipara Festival at Rodney College as well as performing at a variety of other venues throughout the year. These include:

  • 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.

We have been very lucky to have secured a new kapa haka tutor Cleo, ex-student of Leigh School to work with our tamariki.

The contact Sarah Calder sarahcalder07@gmail.com for our ‘Te Whanau o Omaha’ Kapa Haka group

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, consistently over the last 5+ 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.

Whaea Majic started in Term 1, 2018 as our new tutor. She was a reggae singer and her iwi is Te Taitokerau/Te Taou. She is doing weekly sessions with each class.

Information Technology

For a small school, Leigh is blessed with a really good amount of IT equipment.

In 2015 the school implemented an amazing NZ designed online management programme called ‘Hapara’. It allows the teacher to have a ‘dashboard’ that gives them access and the ability to manage all of the students work and online activity. It also means that the children can log in to their work from home and parents will be able to view their individual child’s work.

We have one device available for each child in our middle and senior classes. The junior class utilises technology through ipads, interactive whiteboard and digital projector. Each class also has a TV.

The range of technology is used in a variety of ways to engage the children in their learning. For example learning apps – e.g. maths and spelling games are used by the Junior classes. The older children use IT to research topics they are studying, create presentations, and engage in on-line interactive activities.

As a school we are excited to move forward as we learn how best to utilise technology to increase our students learning, but we aim to always ensure that our kids spend a lot of time outdoors and learning in a broad range of other ways too.

Arts Programme

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:

  • swimming
  • soccer
  • netball
  • hockey
  • junior tabloid
  • athletics
  • cross country

We also have regular visits arranged by Sport North Harbour or other providers in other sporting codes e.g. basketball and tennis.

Music Lessons

We have an excellent piano teacher Margaret Palmer. She retired to Pakiri 7 years ago after resigning from her position as Manager at Piano City but she has continued teaching music which is her main love. She has had a very successful career teaching in Timaru and on the North Shore for over 30 years and she hopes to carry on for a few more years yet.

You will find her teaching children and adults at Leigh School every Tuesday and she does have a studio at home in Pakiri. If you are interested please contact the Leigh School office.


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 work closely with our teachers to implement these programmes and support children’s learning either in or out of the classroom. Additionally, we run Accelerated Literacy Learning programmes in 10 week blocks 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 the standards 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 ‘Webquest’ ‘Future Problem Solving’ or ‘Crest’
  • 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.

Swimming Lessons

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.

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.

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