About Us

Our Focus for Teaching and Learning 

We believe in:

  • child-centred learning,
  • where learning is valued and enjoyed,
  • where children are helped to grow from where they are at,
  • where learning is success-orientated,
  • were children are involved in their learning
  • and a balance of academic, social, physical, cultural and creative activities are pursued within a supportive, stimulating environment.

Parent Involvement

At Papakowhai School the participation of parents in their children's learning is strongly encouraged. We welcome and appreciate the expertise, enthusiasm and support parents bring to our school. Parents are welcome to observe or participate in our programmes but we would appreciate prior notification. Please offer your services if you are able to help (eg: helping individual readers, supporting a small maths group, library, school lunches and security patrols).


Please advise the school before 9am if your child is going to be absent from school. This may be done either by phone (233 8321-a message can be left) or by e-mail. Roll checks are made shortly after 9am each day and we will contact you if the school is unaware of the reason for your child's absence.

If your child is sick or hurt, you or your emergency phone number will be contacted. Therefore it is helpful if your contact person is close to the school. It is also very important to keep your contact names and numbers up to date.

Accidents and Illness

Minor accidents are treated in the medical room. In the event of a more serious accident or illness the school will contact the parents or emergency contact. Should we consider that we needed expert advice or treatment, for instance if a child has a broken arm, we would ring an ambulance before we contacted you. We also make contact with you in event of any blow to the head.

If contact is unable to be made, the school will make decisions on behalf of the parents for the benefit and safety of the child.

If your child has a condition requiring immediate medical treatment (allergies, asthma etc) please inform the school office in writing of the treatment required. There is a school Asthma Plan Sheet available.

After School Care

Papakowhai School runs an after school care programme from 3pm to 6pm Monday to Friday during school term. They cater for regular and casual attendees. The after school service operates from the Hall. Afternoon tea and activities are provided. Contact the office if you are interested for the latest information and enrolment pack.

Bicycles and Scooters

These are permitted at school. Helmets must be worn and other approved safety equipment is encouraged to be worn.

Board of Trustees Meetings

The Board comprises of an elected group of six parents, the Principal and a Staff representative.

The Board usally meets on Wednesday nights once a month at 7.30pm in the Staffroom at School. Parents and caregivers are welcome to attend meetings. The calendar provides dates of the meetings.

Book Club

Students have the opportunity to purchase good quality, reasonably priced books once a term from Scholastic N.Z.

A closing date for orders is put in the school newsletter. Orders, together with the correct money, are to be sent to school in a sealed envelope. Cheques are to be made out to Papakowhai School. Books take a few weeks to arrive.

Civil Defence

If a civil emergency occurs students will be kept at school until a parent or designated emergency contact collects them. The school has a supply of water and a small snack for pupil's immediate needs. However, if your child needs any medication, or has strong preferences or any allergies, then we ask that you provide an emergency pack for them.

Regular fire and earthquake drills are held at the school for all students and staff.

Our school is also the local Civil Defence post for the community.


Students need to be appropriately dressed at school to take part in our teaching programme, both inside and outside the classroom, and to play in the playground at morning tea and lunchtime.

They need:

  • a hat, one that shades their ears and neck (no soft ball caps), 
  • clothing that covers their shoulders (no spagetti straps or singlets),
  • clothing that covers their middriff (no crop tops),
  • suitable footwear is also needed to take part in PE lessons. Jandals and platform shoes are not appropriate for physical activity.

We strongly suggest all clothing (including togs, towels and jackets) be named please.

Dental Clinic

Our school no longer has a dental clinic. Contact the clinic and Porirua East School for information.

Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC)

Educational trips and activities are planned as part of the school programme to meet the learning objectives set for pupils. Parents are advised in advance of the nature of the trip or special activities, and on occasion, may be asked to assist with transport.

Pupils in the year 7 & 8 attend weekly technology workshop activities at the Plimmerton School Technology Centre, and go on a school camp each year.

Enrolment Scheme

Papakowhai School has zoning for school enrolments. Click here to get more information.

Educational Review Office (ERO) Report

The School was given a very favourable report published in June 2017. To view go to: https://goo.gl/Lde4SI  

External Exams

Students, from years 4 to 8, are encouraged to be involved in external competitions such as the University of New South Wales mathematics, english, science and writing competitions.


Parents should ensure the school is aware of any particular health issues affecting their child (eg asthma, food allergies, bee and wasp sting allergies etc). If children require medication at school parents should provide a plan for administering the appropriate dosage, with all medication clearly labelled with the child's name and the specific instructions. No medication will be given unless parents have informed the office of the dose.

Staff can arrange for a Public Health Nurse to visit the school if there are concerns about your child. 
Free sight and hearing tests are conducted for all new entrants and year 7 pupils, and arrangements are made for out-of-school visits.

Home and School Committee

The Home & School Committee (H & S) is a group of parents (separate from the Board of Trustees) who work with the school to provide community building activities. These activities do raise some funds which provide extras that are beyond the school budget eg, playground equipment.

Regular events include sausage sizzles, children's discos at school, family bbq evenings and fundraising activities.

The Home and School Committee meets regularly, and the time and place is advertisied in the school newsletter. The motto of the H & S is "Do what you can, when you can". They are happy to have support as and when people are able to help.

Fresh ideas and new members are always welcome.


The school library has an up-to-date stock of books and students can borrow two at a time. This is organised through their class programme. Students have access to computer, CD-Rom and school library search facilities in their rooms.

Adult help is welcomed in the library.


Each Wednesday the school sends home a newsletter with the eldest child of the family. As the newsletter is the main way we communicate with parents it is important for you to recieve a copy. If you do not receive a copy please contact the Office. The newsletter can also be e-mailed to you. Contact the Office if you wish to receive it by e-mail, or send us a message via e-mail. Copies of the newsletter can be viewed on this website.

Reporting to Parents

Our school assessment and evaluation system requires each teacher to keep a cumulative record of specific information on each child's progress in learning, personal and social development. We encourage parents to make appointments to discuss their child at any time during the year. The school does hold two set periods during the year for general parent interviews. A ten minute interview is held early in the year so that parents can tell teachers about their children and to get to know each other. Then 15 minute feedback interviews are conducted at mid year, a few days after the written report is sent home. Written reports are also provided at the end of the year.

Communication Portfolios assist with informing parents on particular areas of the curriculum.

The school will inform parents of any change in the pattern of a child's development, and it would also be appreicated if the school was kept informed of any change, or home event, that is likely to have a bearing on your child's dvelopment too.

School Donation

The school is funded by the Ministry of Education. However research has confirmed what we have found for many years and that is the government operational grant is not enough to deliver what the Board considers to be an acceptable standard of education for our children. A recommended level of donation is advised to parents each year. The parent donation is essential for the school to operate.


Stationery lists can be found on the side bar of the website or at the school office.  The stationery fee also includes a Mathletics fee for use of the Mathletics computer programme at school and home.  The stationery lists are posted on the website as soon as available.

Use of the School Grounds

It is present school policy to allow community members to use the grounds outside school hours until sunset. We ask that dogs be kept out of the school grounds at all times. Please report promptly to the principal, staff or a board of trustee member any misuse of school facilities. If you believe vandalism may be occurring, please telephone the Porirua Police on 237-8125.

School day


  • Our school day starts at 8.55am.
  • We have a fresh fruit "brain break" at 10-10.05am.
  • Morning tea 11-11.25am 
  • Lunch 1-2pm.
  • And the school day ends at 3pm.

School lunches

We can arrange lunch orders for Wednesday with a local bakery. Orders must be in to the office by 2pm on Tuesday afternoon.

Sun Safety

During terms 1 and 4 pupils are strongly encouraged to be sensible in the sun and to use sun screen, wear a suitable hat, and to keep their shoulders covered. Any child not wearing a sunhat will be required to play under the covered walkways.

Wet Weather Bags

All pupils in Rimu and Rata need an activity kit for wet days. This should be a named bag. Suitable activities are comics, jigsaws, colouring books, card games, crafts etc.