In Ōtūmatua we work collaboratively to provide the children with the best experiences we can. We use the Halswell Vision and Values to help us develop young adolescents who show a growth mindset in all areas of their life. Our supportive environment is designed to assist children in being self directed learners who are prepared to face the challenge of high school and life beyond.

We focus on:

  • Inquiry learning – encouraging decision making and information literacy skills.
  • Numeracy – including problem solving
  • Literacy – reading for comprehension and understanding, as well as speaking with confidence
  • Expanding our experiences and developing personal skills and interests
  • Integrating ICT into programmes where applicable
  • Acknowledging New Zealand’s biculturalism by integrating Tikanga and Te Reo into our learning programmes and by providing regular Whānau mornings
  • Developing future leaders

Leadership Opportunities

  • School leadership – there are a large number of leader roles available for our Year 8 students. Some examples of where leadership from our students is sort are in the areas of communication, caring for the environment, safety, the Arts and Sport.
  • Buddy classes
  • Wet Day Monitors
  • Pink Vest Helpers
  • Kapa Haka leaders
  • Road Patrol
  • Environmental Group 
  • Librarian

The Teachers

Ōtūmatua consists of two learning studios, Kāka (T40 and T41) and Aruhe (T42, T43 and T44).

How to Help at Home


  • Problem Solving – using real world examples to solve problems and develop resilience in Maths
  • Mathletics – each child in our team has Mathletics. Please encourage your child to complete the work available, as well as playing Live Mathletics.
  • Basic Facts – a number of our children are still working on learning their basic facts. Making revision of these a daily practise would be beneficial.


  • Reading – please encourage your child to read every day. This could be the newspaper, a novel or a selection of short stories. Having them read out loud to you occasionally would also be beneficial as well as you asking them questions about what they have just read.
  • Writing – your child’s writing will be online if they have their own device. Please ask them to show it to you.
  • Spelling – each child will have words from our Wordlab programme that they can share with you to practise. Test day is usually Friday.


  • At times your child will be coming home to ask questions or investigate different topics. Please could you assist them in finding the information.
  • Your child will also get the opportunity to research areas of their own interest. Talking to your child about what their interests are, and the types of questions they might ask, will help them format their research.


  • Keeping an eye on our twitter feed will also give you a good indication of what is happening in Ōtūmatua.
  • The photos we post can be good starting points for conversation with your child about what they are learning at school.