We are passionate about creating the very best learning environment for all of our students. As such we encourage you to make a time to come and meet with Kaylene Macnee, our Principal and share with her your child's needs and your hopes for your child's education. We look forward to collaborating with you to develop a school that meets the needs of its community.
We currently operate an enrolment scheme which means children must live in our school zone in order for enrolments to be accepted. Each year the board considers offering some out-of-zone places. In recent years these have only been available to siblings of current students and children of former students as our school has undertaken large growth. These out-of-zone places are advertised in the Kapi Mana newspaper and the school newsletter. Please check out our Enrolment Policy (attached below).
Once your child has turned 4 years old you are welcome to submit and online enrolment form. We encourage new families to phone or email the office to make a time for a chat with the Principal and have a tour of the school in action.
The staff and Board at Discovery School take pride in the fact that this school is a place where people feel welcome and secure. Something that we emphasise with the children and we hope that everyone who is a part of the school, including parents and caregivers, feels in a real way.
We believe it is important to educate our children to be strong in the basics of literacy and numeracy. It is also important to understand and be capable of socialising well with others, developing strong values and enjoying learning – to have fun!
Our curriculum is designed to emphasise reading, writing and visual literacy as well as develop strong numeracy skills, particularly in the Junior School (years 1-2). We apply a strong action-learning and research skills base to our learning. This encourages children to use the many wonderful resources available to them – teachers, parents, books, computers and other technologies – to find the answers to questions and research information. As often as we can, we try to give the children real and relevant contexts for their learning. This often involves trips outside the classroom and the school. Within the school, our teachers provide learning environments that are bright, interesting and stimulating – school needs to be a great place to be.
Transition for Students Coming From Other Schools
We welcome new students from other schools or who are new to NZ at any time, so long as they live within our zone.
New students and parents are welcome to spend a session visiting prior to starting with us. This is a good opportunity for meeting the teachers and other children and familiarising themselves with the physical environment. During the enrolment process we will contact you to see if you would like a school visit and to organise a time that suits, prior to having their first day at Discovery School.
Transition for New Entrant Students
For all New Entrant enrolments the school appreciates if all procedures are completed prior to starting day. This includes:-
completing all necessary forms / paper work
meeting the Principal and class teacher
purchasing necessary stationery and paying school donations
arranging your pre-school visits
Children are encouraged to attend pre-entry visits which assist children in settling in to school life. By attending these visits students will have an opportunity to get to know others at school and become familiar with the classroom and some simple routines.
The pattern of visits is for the following times for two weeks prior to children starting school. While the days and times are not confirmed for any pre-entry visits, it will give you some indication of how many visits are typical and probable days and times.
Wednesday: 1.30pm – 3.00pm
Friday: 10.30am -12.30pm
Bring lunch to eat and then have a play at school
We endeavour to keep Y0/1 class sizes to approximately 18-20.
You may decide which day, on or after their fifth birthday your child will start school.
Teachers will make a time to guide you through how your child has settled into their learning after their 6 week check, by making an appointment time to meet with you.
Our school is divided into four syndicates.
Adventure Syndicate (Years 0 - 2)
Resolution Syndicate (Years 3/4)
Discovery Syndicate (Years 5/6)
Exploration Syndicate (Years 7/8)
Within syndicates teachers work closely together, so that planning and teaching is consistent across the syndicate, however every teacher will cater for the needs of the students in the class and will put their personal style into their teaching.
The placement of students is dependent on roll numbers within each year group. When children turn 5 they enter one of our reception classes where they remain until the end of the year. Other classes throughout our school tend to be composite classes, that is two year levels are combined. Our criteria for placing children in a particular room include:
balance of abilities
equity of classes
balance of behaviour type
teacher / student compatibility
We endeavour to meet parent requests but the total school / class need will take priority over individual needs.
Progress Through the school
Students who have completed 2 full years by 1st January will be promoted to Year 3. Those who have completed one year and eight months by 1st January will be considered for promotion, 1 May is the date that we look closely at for considering promotion. We decide based on social maturation and academic ability.
Once children have completed a year in Year 3 they are then promoted to Year 4 and are usually advanced to a new class each following year.
While acceleration may seem advantageous at the age of 6 or 7 years, it may cause social and emotional difficulties for the child on entry to secondary school when they are placed with others more mature.
Holding a child back because of lack of achievement may lead to frustration and behaviour problems due to the child working alongside others less mature physically, socially and emotionally. This will only be done with parent consultation. Research shows this is most damaging to students. At Discovery School we believe in open dialogue with parents regarding level placement.