Paekākāriki School welcomes international students from around the world. We are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016.
Paekākāriki School is a small village school on the Kāpiti Coast of New Zealand. Our roll is 150, we take boys and girls aged between 5 – 13 years. Our tamariki (students) enjoy large grounds to play in, with the ocean being a short walk away. Tūrangawaewae (belonging), whanaungatanga (connecting), whakatōmene (exploring) and whakapuāwai (thriving) are our guiding principles. We strive to provide our students with experiences that will give them the skills and knowledge to step out and make a positive difference in this world.
At Paekākāriki School, we are known for our progressive education practices with an emphasis on creating independent learners. Our school is known as The Home of the Barefoot Learner. Our students feel connected to their environment and their culture. Grounded and quick of foot, free to explore but safe in their sense of connection to the people around them. They are adventurous and creative but smart to their surroundings.
Alongside excelling at all core subjects, our tamariki have a deep understanding of our local community – the plants, insects and birds that live on land with us, as well as the underwater world of the precious ocean we live alongside. They learn about our shared history, and how the history of New Zealand shapes them today. From this grounding, they learn about the wider world. They do all this from within a strong, connected community.
What makes us special?
Although teaching is done in English, both teachers and students at Paekākāriki use words from Te Reo (Māori language) on a daily basis, including starting the day with a karakia (blessing for the day). Once a week, all students are involved in Kapa Haka, which covers both the traditional waiata (songs) and haka – the form of dynamic challenge made internationally popular by our national rugby team the All Blacks. There is also an optional weekly after school session, in which our students can learn more about the preparation of kai (food), harakeke (weaving flax) and finding out more about our shared history.
With help from a committed group of volunteers from the village, the school has an organic garden on site. Students have weekly sessions in the garden, learning how to plant, nurture, harvest and cook with fruit and vegetables. They also learn about pest control. We have a fully functioning worm farm on site, where all food waste is transformed into soil for our garden.
We have a performing arts teacher and specialist visual arts teacher. Our students run their own talent show every year called ‘Paekak’s Got Talent,’ where students are encouraged to take risks and come up with their own repertoire. We also take part in the Wellington Region fabulous ‘Artsplash’ festival, where our students sing, dance and showcase their own world of wearable arts costumes they make at school. In 2018 our students wrote, designed and stared in their own stage production.
We are very lucky to have our own community radio station in Paekākāriki, operating from the grounds of our school. Every lunchtime, students have their own radio shows, that they plan and operate independently, with very little help from their adult helper.
Sport is an important part of Paekākāriki School and includes swimming, hockey, tennis, rugby, football and athletics. Our netball and basketball teams are regional champions. In addition, students are able to come to school with their bicycles, scooters and roller skates and ride them at lunchtime.
We have a strong focus on the environment in science. This year we are focussing on marine biology, exploring and learning about the marine reserve we have at our doorstep. This includes guided snorkeling with marine experts on Kāpiti Island.