Learning at Te Ao Mārama

Whānau Groups

Your child will be placed into a whānau group each year where one key teacher will be your first point of contact about their learning and pastoral care. Students will begin and end the school day with their whānau teacher. They will also spend time in their whānau groups in rich contexts that will focus on building key social and emotional skills such as resilience, growth mindset and how to build and maintain positive relationships.

Whānau Time

For the first and last 15 minutes of each school day, your child will be with their whānau teacher for Whānau Time. Whānaungatanga is all about establishing positive relationships through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging. Parents and whānau are warmly invited to attend these sessions to hear student reflections and sharing of learning. You are also very much encouraged to join your child’s whānau group at this time for other related activities such as team building games.

Class of children sitting in circle
Children practicing writing


Learning experiences will be based within the New Zealand Curriculum, our school vision, values and principles. Reading, Writing and Maths will remain a priority but there will also be a focus on play based learning, student inquiry and the holistic development of all of our students.

Communicating Learning

Communicating Learning (traditionally known as ‘reporting’) happens informally and formally throughout the school year - it is an ongoing process. The online platform we use to do this is called Hero which will be explained to you. We endeavour to use simple, honest language that communicates your child's progress and achievement to you. If you have queries regarding your child's learning and progress, your first point of contact should always be your child/ren’s whānau teacher.

Home Learning

At Te Ao Mārama we do not set formal home learning. We encourage our students to be active outside school hours and our parents/caregivers to assist their children by:

  • Encouraging reading for pleasure and information
  • Listening and talking to them about things of interest
  • Providing them with opportunities to help at home
  • Encouraging and supporting them in their interests

Education outside the Classroom

EOTC experiences (e.g. camps) are an important aspect of our school curriculum. These experiences allow for our learners to challenge their mindsets and to grow in confidence and self esteem. Our school has an EOTC policy and Risk Management Guidelines are followed by all staff when planning trips. All EOTC activities will be clearly communicated with you and at times we may require your assistance in terms of parent help and transport.

Children posing in a pyramid
Student and teacher working together

Behaviour - Restorative Practice

At Te Ao Mārama we aim to promote positive behaviour and to create an inclusive learning environment that will foster well-being and achievement for everyone. We utilise restorative approaches to improve behaviour and relationships by moving away from a blame and retribution model of dealing with negative behaviour, towards one which is based on a child’s increasing knowledge of social responsibility and self awareness.

Further information here