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Principal's Welcome


Nikki Harland, Principal

My name is Nikki Harland. I am a mum and wife and live near Tokomaru on a lifestyle block. I can't cook, but I can talk the ear off anyone who wants to talk about what kids need to succeed at school and in life. I am passionate about individualising a child's learning experience to cater to their particular set of needs and interests.


At Poroutawhao School, we celebrate effort, kindness, and resilience, always looking for what lights your child up.


We offer the benefits of a small rural school with family values of care and belonging. Our close-knit school means we can know and grow your children's passions and strengths, supporting them to reach their highest potential in whatever area they shine. We pride ourselves on getting to know our families so that together we can nurture happy, confident, self-managing children who strive for excellence, and remain curious about the world, excited to explore all the learning opportunities we offer.


Poroutawhao children leave us capable and confident. This is only possible when you have spent your formative years in an environment where you feel safe, cared for, heard, seen, and are encouraged to take learning risks. That is what makes us special.

We offer all the wonderful opportunities you'd expect:

  • science-backed teaching pedagogies

  • well-equipped classrooms

  • technology/devices

  • school and local sports competitions

  • modern playgrounds

  • school camp

  • day trips to utilise the real world for learning

  • leadership opportunities

  • cultural opportunities.

Also, we offer:

  • a family atmosphere

  • saltwater swimming pool (open to our whanau)

  • connections with our local Marae and iwi - Ngati Huia

  • our own food garden

  • natural bush for learning

  • cross Country through actual paddocks

  • agricultural day (Lamb & Calf day)

  • family cushion concert.

Meet Our Teachers

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Blossom Neece-Forth

Robyn Day  

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Team Teina- Blossom, Robyn & Kylie

Junior school (years 1, 2 and 3)

In our junior school (years 0-3) we facilitate for students to explore a wide range of curriculum learning through our play to learn time. During this time students lead their own learning of an area that they find valuable to their interests.


Students enjoy a variety of activities. This includes exploring physical science phenomena such as magnetism, forces such as floating and sinking. Students learn to grow seedlings, prepare food, and role play cooking in a student-designed restaurant in collaboration with peers.


For our tamariki who aspire to design/build spend time with building materials, they can use the sandpit and lego to create their masterpieces. Valuable social skills such as turn-taking, sharing, emotional regulation, and becoming a positive member of our class community are all explored and developed every school day during Play To Learn time.


Junior school teachers also combine structured learning times for the remainder of the school day to explore reading, writing, and mathematical concepts through small group learning.


We run a strong phonics programme for 20 minutes daily in our junior school as this is an essential component for building a strong literacy base in our tamariki.


Learning of Te Reo Māori, kapa haka songs, as well as myths and legends, are integrated throughout all learning demonstrating our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Kylie Claffey

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Nicky Jeffries  

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Team Poutama- Nicky & Stacey

Middle school (years 4, 5 and 6)


Poutama (represented in tukutuku panels as steps) is the perfect word for our Team. It symbolises levels of attainment and advancement, striving upwards for betterment. The movement from Teina to Tuakana.

Although in two physical single-cell classes, we work as a collaborative team ensuring the students still have the opportunity to build social skills with others of different ages and to learn, share and develop in a safe and caring environment.

As we build on from the base introduced in Team Teina in all areas of the curriculum, we also introduce more formalised IT in preparation for higher use and understanding in Team Tuakana. We expand on their literacy and numeracy and there is also a reinforcement of inquiry-based learning, thus developing that inquisitive thinking for their future independent learning.

This time in Team Poutama is a chance for the students to begin developing their areas of interest, expand their ability around those, share with others their thoughts, learning, and skills. This is also a chance to collaborate with their peers, encourage leadership opportunities, and continue to create that excitement for ongoing learning.

Stacey Salton  

Kaylene Flanagan  

Team Tuakana- Kaylene

Senior school (years 7 and 8)


Team Tuakana is an innovative learning environment that includes the whole physical, social and teaching environment. Our space allows students to study on their own, work with their peers in groups, be independent learners, and to develop skills that help them collaborate with others. We encourage Inquiry-based instruction so our students will ask questions and investigate their own ideas which helps improve their problem-solving skills as well as gain a deeper understanding of academic concepts. Both of which are important life skills. 


We provide learning through a wide range of well-designed activities which offers relevance, coherence and breadth.  Activities will often build directly on what is familiar to the child and the local environment and events can be used to provide interesting, real-life contexts for learning.  Learning in a variety of contexts supports and reinforces the development of numeracy, literacy and health and wellbeing across the curriculum.

Lastly, we provide all students with technology in Team Tuakana which develop skills essential for the 21st century. Students gain the skills they will need to be successful in the future. Modern learning is about collaborating with others, solving complex problems, critical thinking, developing different forms of communication and leadership skills, and improving motivation and productivity. By providing technology it helps to develop many practical skills, including creating presentations, learning to differentiate reliable from unreliable sources on the Internet, maintaining proper online etiquette, and writing emails. These are very important skills which are developed in Team Tuakana.

Our Support Staff

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Deirdre Petersen -  Librarian and Office Administrator

Peta Hill - Office Manager

Brian Woolston - Caretaker

Rachel Calder - Teacher Aide

Bronwyn Campbell Heihei - Teacher Aide

Poroutawhao School Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees at Poroutawhao School plays an important role in the governance and direction of the school. The board has overall responsibility for the school and works actively with the principal to set the strategy, goals, and objectives. The board has 5 seats for community representatives, 1 seat for a teacher representative, and 1 for the principal.


The board is made up of the following people:​

  • Andy Lowe - Board Chair / Treasurer / Community Rep

  • Alistair Maguire - Community Rep

  • Nikki Harland - Principal

  • Letitia Moore - Property / Community Rep 

  • Emma Easton - Community Rep

  • Bronwyn Campbell Heihei - Community Rep

  • Robyn Day - Staff Representative

ERO Reports