Hi I’m Margery O’Connell, the Principal at Waitetuna School. I lead an amazing team of teachers: Mariella, Lara and Ali. Lorna is our very experienced office manager and Richard our very skilled and efficient care-taker/cleaner. We also have a competent teacher aide, Jess who manages our library and is involved with our School PTA.
I live in paradise in Raglan with my husband Rene Andre. I have four adult children, Ezra, Josiah, Janet and Arden who all lead busy active lives. I have developed my teaching career for the last seventeen years and I have taught all levels at different times, at the local rural schools. I have taught at Waitetuna School for the last nine years and as Principal I currently teach one day a week in the Senior room.
I love the ambience of our small rural school (three classrooms) and the wonderful sense of belonging in the community. We have a thriving school culture that is based on a tuakana-teina system of reciprocal learning where the older tuakana lead and support the younger teina. This tuakana-teina fosters a strong sense of belonging and supports caring, nurturing relationships between students. Our school values are reinforced through all teaching and learning. Our school culture is developed through positive reinforcement through rewards systems using Caught Being Great certificates and a weekly superhero who wins the Waitetuna Way trophy based on our core values.
At Waitetuna School reading, writing and maths are taught daily, at least four times a week. Our core focus (topic) is integrated into the morning learning and/or extended in the afternoon sessions. Physical education, fitness and sport are seen as an essential component of our curriculum and are practised daily with all teachers. Waitetuna School teachers have a particular strength in the Arts including spectacular School Productions, creative Wearable Arts master pieces and stunning art and painting work. Teachers are trained in blended e-learning and our school is well resourced in new computers, ipads and a large TV screen. We also have strong bi-cultural initiatives including connections with the local Te Kaharoa marae and whole school overnight marae visits, hangi, whole school Kapa Haka with a bi-annual festival and regular Te Reo Maori lessons with Warren Wood.
By using real and authentic learning experiences and a relevant and fun approach, students are fully engaged in learning. At Waitetuna School we aim to develop and promote the personal strengths of teachers and students alike! In this way we have developed strengths in the sports, the arts, science and technology, relationships and communication whilst reflecting strong school wide results in reading, writing and maths.
With a high adult to student ratio, diverse learning experiences, team teaching, reciprocal learning and a comprehensive blended e-learning programme our school is well equipped to incorporate and develop the 21 Century learner.
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