Wairau Valley School is a small, rural, full primary school, set in a central position in Wairau Valley township,
approximately 25kms west of Renwick, 40kms west of Blenheim.
The school is Decile 8 with a current roll of 35 children (Term Four, 2016). We cater for children in Years 1 to 8.
Wairau Valley School’s curriculum has an emphasis on promoting effective literacy and numeracy skills. Teachers
follow a school based inquiry model to ensure coverage of other learning areas. Developing our students’ key
competencies is seen as essential, and these are integrated within all teaching and learning programmes.
Various learning opportunities are used to support student’s learning in literacy and numeracy, e.g. MultiLit
and Lexia. With very low student/teacher ratios individual student progress is closely monitored and supported, additional
support for learning and extension is provided and individual programs developed as needed. Wairau Valley School
is lucky to have a swimming pool, astroturf tennis court and large sports field which many members of the local
community enjoy using outside of school hours.
Professional development supports quality teaching. Teachers participate in professional development that reflects
current best practice in New Zealand schools. All classrooms have wireless internet access and the school is fully
Pupils of Wairau Valley School regularly go on field trips and camps, which together with classroom learning,
provide for a well-balanced learning environment. An effective Enviro-schools programme also provides further
enrichment to pupils, with a productive vegetable garden on site. All parents are encouraged to be part of
and share in the learning progress of their children, through formal and informal meetings with teachers and sharing
knowledge and concerns.
The school has a transition to school programme – Rāmere Whakawhiti, every Friday afternoon for pre-schoolers.
This is an excellent opportunity for pre-schoolers to become familiar with the school while receiving an early
childhood education experience. Senior students are provided with leadership opportunities and
responsibilities. Year 7 & 8 students attend Technology at Bohally Intermediate for 20 full days each year.
My name is Karen O’Donnell and I am the teaching Principal at Wairau Valley School. I commenced this role at the
beginning of Term 3 2014. I have been so impressed with the wonderful team of educators in the school who are absolutely
passionate about children’s learning.
At Wairau Valley School I want children to continue being inspired and to grow up knowing that learning is fun,
which means that school needs to be a fun place to be. People who enjoy learning are typically those who are able
to dream and bring these aspirations to reality, and in turn end up being successful and satisfied in their adult
lives. Children at Wairau Valley School arrive enthusiastic about learning and this is something
that I will be striving to maintain and strengthen.
A big part of being successful in rural education is access to technology so that we have an appreciation and an
understanding of wider New Zealand and the global context that we live in. This school is fortunate to be well equipped
with technology and has recently joined N4L (Network for Learning) which means ultra-fast broadband is connected.
Wairau Valley School is all about sound, quality programmes to support children’s education and enjoyment for learning.
Please do not hesitate to give me a call at the school – I am always happy to have a chat and my door is always