A lot of exciting programme and property developments continue at Oropi School during 2018 to optimise learning for our children and in being prepared for what we value in the future. We have experienced a lot of growth over the past five years. In 2010 our school roll was 120 students. For the start of 2018, we have 300 children. This growth has been because of population growth in the district and attraction to the special features of our semi-rural school.
The highlights of our ongoing developments for 2018 are:
- Establishing a Bilingual Unit in our school.
- Being the first school in the Bay of Plenty to register for the Garden-to-Table programme.
- The gorwth of our International student department with children from South Korea and China attending our school; both short and long term students.
- Extending our Play-Based and Discovery Learning programme to the senior school.
Our points of difference and special features are:
· Having a Discovery Learning and Play Based programme in the Junior School. This is gradually being extended further up the school. The programme focuses on fostering dispositions to learning; encouraging engagement in learning in the first instance, through individualised inquiry.
· Strong connections with our environmental context for our children to engage in: The Kokako Garden, fruit trees, use of the school Pizza Oven, Gully Area, Tree climbing and hut making, planting, Calf Club and Pet Day, Connecting with the Otanewainuku Bird Sanctuary and local businesses in the agricultural/horticultural sector.
· Our Intercultural Strategy that fosters a strong second Language Learning Programme in Maori and Mandarin (modern Chinese), Kapa Haka, learning about Chinese culture and the cultures of other minorities represented in our school. All children from Year 0-8 learn Maori and Mandarin.
We have an extensive range of other programmes on offer in the school including:
· Music Tuition: Guitar, Ukulele, Piano, Singing, Keyboard, School Choir
· Summer and Winter Sports Teams
· Tennis Lessons
· A water confidence, water safety and swim lesson programme during Term 1
· Code Club and ICT Based activities
· Regular use with House of Science Resources
· A very well resourced library
· Student led assemblies
Children are well known amongst staff, with an emphasis on catering for the individual and responding to the individual; not a ‘one size fits all’ approach in dealing with learning and behavioural needs.
Children feel like they are part of a team and close community in a school of our size, nature and location, where mixed age group interaction is a regular feature of our programmes and break times. This is enabled by intentionally minimising rules and compliance; allowing children to take calculated risks, play in the rain if that is what they decide and not setting strict boundaries of play areas for certain age groups. We believe that this has a positive effect in minimising peer pressure and behavioural issues and we are proud of the culture this freedom creates in our school.
You will find a relaxed, peaceful context on arrival at Oropi School where children are immersed in a range of learning contexts inside and outside the classroom at any one time. We are proud to note that our school context is earning local, national and international recognition.
Please make a time to come and see us!