Ko tatou ara ako

Our learning pathways

Two pathways, one school.

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We offer two mixed-age learning pathways, Pakiri and Montessori, under the school’s whakatuakī, Kotahi te Hikoi Whakamua (Forward Together). 

Our mixed-age pathways promote tuakana–teina relationships, a type of buddy system, where an older or more expert tuakana (senior) helps and guides a younger or less expert teina (junior). This supports our self-learning classroom structure and creates a whānau (family) atmosphere.

We work hard to respect the uniqueness of each of our pathways, while also bringing them together so that our ākonga (students) feel a sense of kotahitanga (unity) regardless of which pathway they choose.

What does a typical day look like?

Mornings focus on independence

Kauri classroom (Pakiri Pathway)

Matua Nigel, Whaea Raewyn and Whaea Di

Ākonga work closely with matua Nigel and whaea Raewyn  in a mixed-aged setting.  Independence is nurtured in the ākonga as they make choices about their learning through a 'must do, can do' structure.  Small group workshops and independent instruction offers personalised learning.  The ākonga follow their interests through the Reading, Writing and Maths Program.

Kōwhai classroom (Montessori Pathway)

Whaea Rose and Whaea Janaea

The ākonga plan their day in their work journals, and then the three-hour work cycle begins. As the ākonga complete each activity on their plan, they check it off. They can choose to work individually or with others. Whaea Rose observes the room so she can identify Teachable Moments and give Presentations.

Afternoons focus on kotahitanga

The two pathways come together for buddy reading, physical education and topics of inquiry: Te Reo Māori, natural and social sciences, geography, history and art.

More Learning Opportunities


We have a range of iPads and Chromebooks, which the ākonga use for Internet research, creation of iMovies and stop-motion animations, coding, and adding to their digital portfolios.


Our ākonga use the Seesaw App. Seesaw is a platform that enables student-led digital portfolios, peer review of work, blogs and family communication. 

Te Reo Māori

Te Reo Māori is part of what we do everyday. We also offer whole school instruction on Friday afternoons.

Kapa Haka

Our ākonga hone their Kapa Haka skills once a week and have set themselves the goal to perform at the Kaipara Kapa Haka Festival in 2021. 

Lego Robotics

Our EV3 Lego Robotics kits enhance science, technology, engineering and math skills through building robots and coding their movements.

Health & Physical Ed.

We have a partnership with North Harbour Sports who provide a programme that develops an understanding of nutrition, wellbeing and physical activity.


We are lucky enough to have our own pool where our ākonga learn to swim every day during terms one and four. 

Transitions programme

We've partnered with surrounding colleges to help our ākonga transition to college.  In 2020 our year seven ākonga will be working with the Mahurangi College STEAM syndicate.

Trees for Survival

Our environmental education programme, which gets our ākonga growing and planting native trees to restore our local natural habitats.

Tree Climbing

Our ākonga are passionate about tree climbing! We've introduced a 'Tree Climbing License' to create a safe climbing environment.


The Pakiri Tennis Club is right next door to our school.  Our ākonga have tennis lessons after school on Wednesday's during terms one and four.

Community learning

Pakiri School hosts evening classes for the community such as yoga and a Te Reo study group.