Each and every class provides its students with a balanced curriculum. While we recognise that literacy and numeracy skills are paramount, we also believe that children need to receive a range of learning experiences that enrich and broaden their understanding about the world that we live in.

Our teachers strive to plan and teach units of learning that have strong connections between all curriculum areas. For example, if a class is learning about life cycles, the teacher may integrate other curriculum areas in ways such as:

  • Dance and Drama: Using the language of dance and drama to act out various life cycles.
  • Science: Biology, looking at the different life cycles of a range of species.
  • Literacy: Writing a successful explanation. Creating a labelled diagram.
  • Literacy: Reading about a wide range of animals and their life cycles.
  • Numeracy: Looking at time eg days, months and years.
  • Inquiry: Investigating what may influence an animal’s life cycle.
  • Tikanga Maori: Learning animal names in Te Reo Maori. Learning how different animals are valued within Maori culture.
  • Critical thinking: Comparing the life cycle between two or more animals.
  • Visual arts: Constructing models of animals and their life cycles.

At times, students may not be progressing at the rate we expect them to be. Through assessment we are able to identify these children and aim to put in the required support to help them achieve and progress.

At Galatea School, learning support can look like:

  • Individual Learning Plan (ILP): This sets out clear goals, strategies and success criteria for children, with the aim of making accelerated learning progress.
  • Resource Teacher of Learning & Behaviour (RTLB) Referral: There is funding available to each region of New Zealand. At certain times of the year, schools can make referrals to access part of this funding. We as teachers refer children for particular support based on the criteria that we are given. Like any initiative, funding is limited. We put our best foot forward every time and are proud of our success rate.
  • Daily Learning Support Groups: These groups will include a small number of students with the same learning needs. As staff, we determine what learning needs we have in what year groups and groups are set up to meet these needs. This is based upon what staffing entitlement our school currently has.

In line with our school charter goals, numeracy is an area in which we are raising achievement. This year the math guru, Mrs Stephanie de Haan, teaches two different maths extension groups, one Year 5-8 group and one Year 4 group.

Students selected for these groups have shown, in a range of assessments, to be achieving and progressing at a fast rate within the mathematics curriculum.

The purpose of these extension groups is to both widen, extend and challenge their mathematical thinking.

Leadership opportunities are offered to our Year 7 and 8 students. Students who believe that they demonstrate our school Core Values have the opportunity to apply to be either a School Leader or House Captain. Both roles come with teacher support, training, new experiences, camps and privileges.

Our school watches with pride as our School Leaders run their own activities and contribute in their own individual ways to the culture of our school.

We value the special qualities and contributions that our Year 7 and 8 students make to our school.

We always ensure that our Year 7 and 8 students receive specialised education and opportunities while still enjoying low class numbers and the country school spirit. Leadership, special trips, Technology, Tuakana Teina and Careers Day are some of the ways that we ensure that our Year 7 and 8 students are enriched at Galatea School.

One of our favourite events on the weekly timetable is House Sports. Every Friday, students of all ages meet in their House group. They participate in a range of sporting events, having fun and learning while competing.

At assembly the updated house points are read by our House Captains and Ms Wakefield. Children can receive House points through our weekly House sports competition, by receiving a Super Kid award or receiving a Core Value card and by completing awesome things in each classroom. Parents can also help their children earn House points by signing the School Wide notices sent home every Monday.

Our House groups at Galatea School are three native New Zealand birds, Whio, Kokako and Karearea, which are special to our region.

We are very lucky to have a relationship with Whakatane Intermediate. This enables our Year 7 and 8 students to travel to Whakatane Intermediate on a Friday for an entire day of Technology learning.

This intensive learning opportunity runs for 13 weeks of the year. Students learn in an up to date technology suite with trained teachers. Our students enjoy the range of learning experiences and the project based nature of their learning.

Learning within the arts is an integral focus at Galatea School. It allows a student to succeed in an area that is not based upon academics. It allows children to grow in confidence, express themselves and learn about cultures.

Every year, Galatea School performs a sell out production that involves every single student at our school. Additionally all children have art on display at our STEAM exhibition, we hold an annual speech extravaganza and various art workshops are on offer throughout the year.

At the beginning of every term students are presented with at least seven different electives in which they rank in preference. Younger children require a lot more guidance to differentiate between the options on offer.

Each elective is carefully thought out by the teacher and planned, just as we would any other unit of learning. Group numbers are small, usually around 14 students per elective, and include a mixture of all year levels.

Children will stay with this teacher and elective for the duration of the term. At the end of the term, we share what each elective achieved!

Children LOVE choice!

Allowing children to participate in the various activities that we offer, outside of their class programmes, provides them with opportunities to discover new interests.

They may find that they are very good at a certain activity, begin to think about potential career paths, or maybe even develop a lifelong passion.

At Galatea School, we recognise the benefits of playing sport. Our distance from town makes it more challenging for children to participate in after-school sports, activities and clubs. We bring the opportunities to our tamariki. The huge list of sporting opportunities grows every year.

Throughout 2018 sporting opportunities included: Summer and Winter Sports Tournaments, Golf, Fell Cup, Saturday Netball, Weekly House Sports Competition, Squash, Cricket, Top School, Tough Guy and Gal Mud Run, Prince and Princess of the Mountain, Touch Rugby, Sport Bay of Plenty Go4It School’s Programme, Athletics Day, Swimming Sports, Cross Country, BOP Cross Country Championships, BOP Swimming Championships, BOP Athletics Championships, Rotorua Mini Marathon, Inter School Motor Cross ……. and breathe!

We are fortunate to have the very knowledgeable and passionate Terewai Kalman take Kapa Haka once a week.

Children have self elected this opportunity and spend every Wednesday afternoon enriched in learning waiata, Tikanga Maori, Te Reo Maori and Maori arts and crafts.

Our Kapa Haka group perform at many school events throughout the year and blow the crowd away each and every time.

My name is Adele Dixon, I am a local music tutor and I teach music lessons at Galatea School every Tuesday. This year in addition to ukulele and guitar lessons, piano lessons will also be available to students!

If your child is interested in learning a different instrument, please contact me to discuss options. Music lessons are privately arranged between parents and myself. These are 30 minutes in length and are held once a week on the school premises, during school hours. This arrangement is to make things as easy as possible for busy families.

Beginner students may start with piano or ukulele. For those who wish to learn guitar, it is a requirement to complete ukulele Book 1 first.

A highlight on the yearly calendar is our Ag Day. The hero of the day being our annual Lamb, Calf and Kid Day where students compete alongside their pets in a range of events.

This is a fantastic spectacle and brings our community together. Adding to this event is a flower show, cake stalls and this year, a gumboot throwing competition.

Excursions and field trips are an important part of students learning across all curriculum areas. Visiting relevant places of interest brings learning to life and allows students to make significant connections to their classroom learning. These occur in a number of ways for our children.

  • Class trips
  • Kapa Haka trips
  • Leadership trips
  • Developing local knowledge

Early in Term 4 students take part in a class camp. The variety of situations and challenges faced during this experience help students to gain new knowledge and understanding, skills, abilities and attitudes, while building on those they already have.

Key outcomes of class camps are:

  • To provide students with opportunities for enjoyment, adventure and challenge, both close to home and further away.
  • To develop student’s skills so they can move with confidence and safety in urban, rural and wilderness settings.
  • To help students develop respect for themselves, others and their environment by providing them with opportunities for personal and social development.
  • To have a whole lot of fun alongside their teacher, parents and peers!

As a way of caring for our environment and giving back to our community, our school is the kaitiaki of the Horomanga Planting scheme. This means that we have a section of the river bed that we plant and take care of so that erosion is minimised and there is a nice area for the next generation to enjoy.

Every year our students plant over 1,500 native trees. We do this alongside parents and teachers and always finish the day with a picnic by the river.