Week 1 Term 2

Term 2 is now well under way and there are many activities already happening or being planned for. There are a few specific focus areas and activities that I would like to draw to everyone’s attention.

1. Our P.T.A. is doing a fantastic job and we are all grateful to the members for their incredible efforts. However, many hands make light work and the more people we have on board the faster we will reach our goals. PLEASE consider becoming a member of our P.T.A. and helping out in any way you can. It would be most appreciated. At the moment, our P.T.A.’s focus is raising enough money to improve our Adventure Playground and fitness facilities significantly. We are looking at all possibilities but, to achieve what we want for our extra-special Opua pupils we are, realistically, looking at having to raise approximately $30,000. We have, though, made a start. The P.T.A. raised $3,000 at this year’s Regatta and have added $2,000 more from their own funds. So, we are already one-sixth of the way there! I will be sharing further ideas for fund-raising with our community soon. Again, please assist our P.T.A. reach our target in any way you can.

2. We have the Puff ‘n’ Pull Carnival on the way very soon. This is designated as a school day [thanks to our Board] as we all know how wonderful it would be to conclude this incredible project. The carnival is on Sunday, May 17th. Please, please try and support this event. Further information will be provided as we get closer to the event but go to our Newsletters page and look at ‘2015, Term 2 Week 2’ for much more detail.

3. Our teachers are beginning to plan for involvement in the Matariki Festival. Some children will be heading over to Waitangi for specific events but we also want to engage in our own cultural activities. The students benefitted incredibly from learning Flax Weaving last year and this year we would like to repeat that activity but also add in more learning experiences. If you have a similar skill or know anyone who is skilled in a Maori art-form, please contact us so we can, hopefully, put together an amazing programme on Tuesday, June 16th.

4. Maromaku Rugby Netball Tournament is also fast approaching. It is scheduled for Friday, June 19th.We are desperate for coaches, especially in rugby, to train up our school teams for that date. If you can help, please contact us at school.

5. Cycle and scooter helmets are desperately needed at school. If you have old, unused ones at home, please donate them to the school. Our children love their unicycles, scooters, boards etc. but we want them to be safe whilst enjoying these activities.

Our 2015 term dates are:

Term Start date End date
1 Thursday 5 Feb   Thursday 2 April (80  half-days)
2 Monday 20 Apr Friday 3 July (108 half-days)
3 Monday 20 July Friday 25 September (100 half-days)
4 Monday 12 Oct Wednesday 16 December ( 96 half-days)

Check this out!


and this…


Jenna, from the visiting Hokulea group, emailed me these links above and said:
“I wanted to make sure that you have a copy/link of the video that our ??iwi TV film crew created of our amazing visit to Opua School. We are so grateful that you allowed our crew to learn from your students about how they m?lama honua so we can share this story of hope with schools in Hawai?i and around the world.”
It is so uplifting and inspiring when we welcome visitors to our school and they leave feeling that they have been to a special place and encountered incredible children doing amazing things.



Room 4 have their thank you letters for the Floating Classroom on display at Explore NZ   in Paihia.  Take a look when you are in Paihia…

Take a look at this powerpoint presentation outlining the philosophy and ethos of Opua School:

You might also like Sir Ken Robinson talking about education …
Or  Bring on the learning Revolution
Or How to escape from Death Valley



http://baychronicle.realviewdigital.com/?iid=97072#folio=1     You will then have to: ‘Browse Issues’ at the bottom of that page and click on the July 10th issue.


Four ex Opua School pupils who went on to Bay College and are now at Auckland University.


Check out the opua School Kapa haka Group.  (The whole school)


Look up Opua School’s National Standards Data

Go to:    http://schoolreport.stuff.co.nz/2013/national_school.html?school=1063





We are looking at the feasibility of establishing a fund to support students into high school. There have been students in the past who have had family situations which have made transition to high school difficult. This has often lead to failure. Sometimes these families need support to get into boarding schools or hostels to provide some stability for high schooling. After one year they are often supported by regular scholarships organised with the support of the high school.

To establish this fund we would have to seek donations until the fund was large enough to earn interest to pay for some students boarding fees or at least contribute towards these costs.

If you have ideas for the establishment of this fund or know of people who would like to donate please contact the school. This could be  by phone, email or through this website. Perhaps someone would like to donate a  starting amount to claim naming rights of the scholarship.

Donations can be made using the  ‘Contact us’ page…



Fountain opening  in Paihia


What this demonstrates, apart from the fact that children can be involved and help make a real difference, is the principle that educating children is all about family support.  In families where the children are supported by their parents, they can achieve almost anything.

The  development of the park on the waterfront at Paihia was the result of efforts by Focus Paihia. When   Focus Paihia asked for community input the children at Opua presented a case for a water fountain to refill water bottles and limit the sale of plastic water bottles. They reasoned that plastic was polluting the Bay and harming the animal and plant life. (and spoiling the huge tourist potential of the Bay of Islands). Focus Paihia agreed and now the water fountain is an important part of the new park.



Click on this photo to visit a gardening show.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA______________________________________________________________                      

Three charming Daffodils

Three Charming Daffodils


Purchase an aluminium OPUA SCHOOL  Reusable drink bottle.

Fill up at the kitchen tap or at the school dolphin OR at the new Paihia water bottle filling station.








I just wanted to let you know that Opua School has won 3rd place in the video competition. This means you will receive $500 of gardening products from Palmers Gardenworld. We loved the rap and excellent bee facts!

Welcome to Opua School on line


Check out this from the Tui Garden Site below:


  • Winners  5+ a Day Win an iPad competition


  • Winners   Meadowfresh  Sports equipment  Competition

The idea of this website is to provide information about Opua School and to provide a channel for feedback so that we can always be looking at improvements.

Education is not something that can happen only at school.  It is very important that there is a close liaison between the home and school before any real achievement can be made.   Schools don’t take over the job of educating children, they exist to help parents with this important responsibility.

Opua School has developed a caring and sharing environment where the students can feel safe to learn. There is a strong emphasis on learning and working with others.

Our school motto is ‘manaakitanga me te awhina‘ which means ‘caring and sharing’.

Parents are always welcome at school and are asked to contact the teachers  whenever there is a concern or a question. It is important that any issues are not left for some future date.

I hope that you enjoy your experiences at Opua School as much as I enjoy being the principal of such a great little school.

Simon McGowan



Opua School will provide a caring and sharing environment that will educate and equip the child for life.”

Welcome to Opua School.

When children are enrolled we like to enrol the whole family.

We believe that education is something shared by the family and school.


Working together to be lifelong learners with strength in

  • Thinking & Learning
  • Values
  • Attitude
  • Communication
  • Leadership

This is how the mission can be achieved.

We feel that Parents, Students and Teachers working together is a big key to success.  The school focus is on the academic areas of learning: Numeracy & Literacy are priorities in Thinking and Learning.

We also focus on core Values like respect and courtesy, and on positive Attitudes such as perseverance. Communication encompasses the ability to present capably in written, oral and visual forms.  We explore the array of qualities and actions that lead to excellent Leadership throughout the year.

Motto:               ‘Manaakitanga me te Awhina’

                           (Caring and Sharing)

Opua School is a wonderful learning community with supportive parents, hard working teachers, and great children.



Sophia has made  great little movie about the enviro camp out. Check it out on the PROJECTS page.

The previous principal, Roger Young, had a Principal’s Page on this site. It has been moved to: http://boardchair.wix.com/schoolnz

While you are there check out how you can make your own website!


 Welcome Pack  and Parent Handbook
Click on the link below to see the handbook

Welcome pack NEW



Get a copy of the 125 Reunion Book  to read a short history of Opua , the town, the port and the school. The Book was prepared by Myra Larcombe and includes a wealth of previouosly unpublished history. This is a limited edition print for the reunion and only a few copies remain. Get yours by contacting Opua School at opua@xtra.co.nz and order now.  Only $20 plus p&p.



Kevin Smith has released  his new CD in support of Gabriel, the Kawakawa Steam Train/ Vintage Railway project. These are all original songs and include the Opua School pupils singing ‘Gabriel’.

This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to purchase the original CD.

Listen to a sample on You Tube:  http://youtu.be/N1ePNe00nlU

 Contact the Vintage Rail trust at:

www.bayofislandsvintagerailway.org.nz        ONLY   $20




About Simon McGowan

Hello everyone. I am the new Principal at Opua School and am delighted to be so. I arrived in New Zealand in 1999, after teaching in the UK for 13 years, and very soon became the Deputy Principal at Bay of Islands College. I finished there at the end of 2012 after being appointed as the Principal of the best little school in the universe. I feel so privileged and very excited.
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5 Responses to OPUA SCHOOL

  1. Yasith says:

    Hi opua school nice to see that Opua school and a high bench mark in the International Schools, Guess what? I am going to college with Oshini now so thats awesome. Sorry for not writing to you guys.


  2. Yasith says:

    Hi Opua school hows it going?
    Hope its good because it looks really good, AND A HELLO TO ALL TEACHERS AND FRIENDS!!!! 🙂 🙂

  3. Karen Young says:

    Great to hear from you Yasith. We hope you have had a great term one at college. Thank you for keeping up to date with things back here at Opua. We are very proud of you and Oshini on how well you two are doing. A big hug to you all from us at Opua school. love from Mrs Young

  4. Zaccordery says:

    i miss opua school

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