Education Outside The Classroom

Keeping it Local |  The Great Outdoors

Our learning takes place in the most educationally exquisite backyard any teacher or child could wish for. Since the days of the Takitumu landing, Waimārama has been renowned for the unique learning opportunities and establishments available to learners. Our school carries on this tradition. We are nestled amongst a historical church, Marae, Kohanga Reo, pine forest, orchard, sandy dunes, ebbing tides, a healthy creek, rolling hills, fields and of course the beautiful Motu o Kura (Bare Island). We are perfectly positioned for sustainability education and spoilt for choice when it comes to education outside the classroom.

We believe in offering our tamariki curriculum rich experiences in authentic and relevant contexts for learning. Our education outside the classroom has a huge positive impact on student engagement and provides unlimited opportunities for discovery, student led inquiry, relationship building and achievement.  Our setting keeps us connected with friends of the school and strengthens relationships in our community. Our learning is hands on, collaborative, inclusive and fun!

Health and PE

At Waimārama School we deliver the Health and PE curriculum through as many outdoor opportunities as possible. We have a rich natural environment that we utilise daily to promote social, emotional, and physical well-being. We are committed to daily physical fitness and mindful practices that enhance mental and emotional well-being. This is based on current findings from child development research. We maintain a high frequency of outdoor physical activity to enhance well-being and provide more opportunities for children to achieve success and excel.

Being semi-isolated, we deliberately engage with external agencies and utilize staff expertise to provide specialist coaching in a variety of sports every term. We also ensure our students access opportunities to compete in a range of sport codes against other schools, e.g. Super 6’s, Rural school cluster and Coastal cluster. We also host our own events enabling students to prepare for wider community involvement.

Our students access many opportunities in sports and physical development. These vary annually to promote interest in a wide range of sports. See table below for recent examples.

SurfingSurf LifesavingAthleticsAnnual Camp Rotation
Overnight StaysSwimmingCricketBush  |  Snow  |  City
SnorkelingYogaSoccerNetball
GymnasticsTennisRugbyBasketball

In health and PE it is expected that staff capitalise on the unique outdoor learning contexts available to us and deliver lessons in these settings e.g. sand dunes, orchard, forest, sea, creek, large vege gardens. Participating in all Health and PE opportunities at Waimārama school is compulsory for staff and students.

Safety education is a priority for us. We deliver safety programmes every year. See the table below.

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4
SurfingSleddingSuper 6sSurfing & Surf Lifesaving
SwimmingBully Free NZInter-School Cross CountrySwim Safe & Boat Wise
SnorkelingPatoka 5 AsideCoastal Cluster SoccerAthletics
GymnasticsRippa RugbyBasketballKapahaka
Asthma and Head InjuryDanceDental HygieneFire Wise
St Johns First Aid for StudentsBush CraftK.O.SSenior Camp
5+ a dayGarden to TableBike WiseShakeout

Our students learn about health and physical development through units of work including dental care, personal hygiene, safe food prep and nutrition. Within the personal health and physical development strand of the health and PE curriculum we ensure fitness happens every morning. Timetabled skilled sessions are scheduled to happen 2 to 3 times a week.