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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.

I want to know what makes each and every child tick. What makes them excited? What makes them curious? How can I help through a tough day?

We believe in growing the WHOLE child. Their social, emotional, academic and physical wellbeing.


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, believing in their own abilities and potential for success. 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 supported teaching pedagogies

  • experienced teachers chosen because of their respect for children and understanding of differing needs & drive to make sure every child reaches their highest potential

  • well-equipped classrooms

  • technology/devices

  • school and local sports competitions

  • modern playgrounds

  • school camp

  • day trips to utilise the real world for learning

  • we often use our local community and environment for real life learning

  • leadership opportunities

  • cultural opportunities

  • Year 7 & 8 Technology at Manawatu College (modern and up to date)

Also, we offer:

  • Kind, respectful teachers that use a restorative approach to help foster a trusting, effective relationship with your child.

  • a family atmosphere, whanau invited in every week

  • more space per child than any other school in our region, so plenty of space to play and make life long friends

  • a swimming pool

  • Mountain to Sea affiliation (snorkelling at the marine reserve)

  • Sustainable Coastlines affiliation (trips to the beach to take care of our coastline

  • connections with our local Marae and hapu- Ngati Huia

  • our own food garden

  • natural bush for learning

  • cross Country through actual paddocks

  • agricultural day (Lamb & Calf day)

  • Kaumatua Day's

  • Art Expo

  • Talent Quest

  • Kapa Haka

  • Music tuition with Epic Academy available during school time

  • Skateboarding in Schools Program

  • EPro 8 (Science & Tech) competition

  • Wearable Arts Competition (outshone the competition in 2021)

  • weekly choices for our rangitahi to try new experiences such as languages, sewing, the Arts, gardening, coding etc etc

We Help Your Child Find Their 'Shine'!

Meet Our Teachers

Team Teina- Whaea Becks, Whaea Manda,  Whaea Keryn & Ms Ellis (Louise)

Junior school

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 teach children how the english written language works, from letter sounds to the more advanced code. We utilise the most current research in how our young tamariki brains hear and acquire the connections to translate oral speech to the written form, both for reading and writing. There most current understandings around Structured Literacy and the benefits for long term literacy acquisition are well documented and evidence overwhelming when looking at learner achievements.  


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.

Whaea Becks Parker

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Ms Ellis

Sports Coordinator

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Adam McCallum

(Team Leader, WST & SENCo)


Team Poutama-  Mr McCallum (Adam)

Middle school Years 4 & 5


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.

We continue to ensure 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.

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Krishna Rangi

Deputy Principal & Team Leader


Team Tuakana - Whaea Krishna 

Senior school Years 6, 7 & 8


Team Tuakana is a child centred 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 encourage students to bring their device to school in Team Tuakana which develop skills essential for the 21st century. There are many advantages to students having their own device, as opposed to one of the school ones, including being able to extend their learning and their interests to home. The message that learning is not just at school is crucial for modern day learners. 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.

Robyn Day

Study Leave/ CRT Release

Meet Our Support Staff

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Peta Hill - Office Manager

Celeste Littek

Learning Support Coordinator


Barry Jones - Caretaker

Gemma McCready-

Teaching Assistant, LAT and Office Assistant

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

  • Cameron Lewis - Community Rep

  • Nikki Harland - Principal

  • Takau Paku - Community Rep

  • Toni Kiriona - Community Rep

  • Robyn Day - Staff Rep

ERO Reports

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Current Vacancies:

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