School where play and education meet

OUTSIDE Gate Pa School cars are whizzingalong Cameron Rd.

The hustle and bustle on the street is a world away from what’s behind the click-clack of the school gate ? a quaint two-storey building with turquoise sun shades, and beyond that, a secret garden.

Gate Pa School children are privy to one of the largest school play areas in the city ? a total of five hectares.
With his toes scrunching in the school field, principal Richard Inder is quick to point out how lucky his 320 pupils are.

As well as a swimming pool and a new adventure playground, there is a gully shared with Tauranga Girls’ College, that with hillside seating acts as a amphitheatre for spectator sports and cultural events.

Towered by trees, the grassy floor of the gully below is littered with autumnal leaves.
Mr Inder is proud of his school grounds and ensuring everything remains immaculate.
School is a controlled environment and a place children can expect consistency and a high standard of presentation, he tells me.

Back in his office, Mr Inder talks about relationships ? the cornerstone of education.
Connections between students and teachers, teachers and parents, teachers and principal, principal and parents. All are paramount if any learning is to occur, he tells me.

‘‘Same with marriages, working together, it’s the key.’’

All around him, Mr Inder has photos that back up that statement of unity.
There’s the team photos from his time as a Tai Mitchell rugby coach, and staff photos that span the decade he’s held the helm at Gate Pa School.

Next to the pictures, are two handwritten notes from students.

One is rimmed with a colourful boarder, and thanks Mr Inder for a snowball fight at the senior ski camp, of which he was outnumbered.

The other reads: ‘‘You’re the best principal in the whole entire world, 4eva.’’

Mr Inder says modestly that everyone has a part to play in running a school, and mums and dads are often just as important as educators.

‘‘We believe every parent has a talent we can tap into; from helping out with the Walking School Bus to Top School, classroom help, camps and sports teams.’’

Mr Inder exudes passion for his Decile 2 school.

He’s filled almost a pad of notes for me. There seems to be no shortage of things he wants to say.
So what makes Gate Pa School special?

Well, for starters, the school operates the Feet First programme, PMP (Perceptual Motor Programme), is an Enviro School, has two international students, a social worker whom they share with Merivale School, and mentoring programmes with Tauranga Girls’ and Boys’ Colleges.

They are home to the Tauranga Hospital itinerant teacher and the Visual Learning Resource Centre, which helps visually impaired students from Kawerau to Katikati.

There is also a strong focus on the arts as well as numeracy and literacy and Mr Inder said even with the implementation of National Standards, the arts ‘‘will not’’ be compromised.

Gate Pa has its own dedicated arts suite The August Room and the children take part in the Fresh Moves Dance Festival every second year.

During my tour of the school, a class of 6-year-olds were heard creating sounds from the August Room ? tapping on mini xylophones and waving tambourines tied with reggaecoloured streamers.
This year Gate Pa School has centred each term around a theme. Term One was Kaimoana, Term Two has been Keeping Ourselves Safe. In Term Three the children will explore the theme of How Does it Work? And in Term Four, Celebrating Cultural Difference.

The school roll is made up of 50 per cent Maori students, 25 per cent European students, and 24 per cent international students, from the Pacific to Asia, and others from from Korea.

Mr Inder says Gate Pa School has come a long way from its days as Tauranga South School. In 2002 it was rebranded, with not only a name change, but a new uniform with a logo depicting the historic Battle of Gate Pa. This is one school not to be forgotten in history.

 

Class Pages

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Clubs and Schools liaise In late February the Mount Maunganui Sport Fishing Club was approached by Janette Blake, a teacher from Gate Pa School. She wanted to see if we would be interested in hosting four classes of kids to show them our club and fish mounts, tell a few stories, and...

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Gate Pa School highly commended in Feet First Picture Book Competition

Feet First Picture Book Competition Students from Gate Pa School in Tauranga were highly commended in the recent Feet First Picture Book competition on active travel.

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Fruit in Schools provides new opportunities for Gate Pa School

New leadership roles and building a compost system are just two ways Fruit in Schools has benefited Gate Pa School in Tauranga. “Students help the teacher aide with organising fruit in the morning,” says Principal Richard Inder.  “There has been a noticeable increase in compost - two bins are full!”  Staff...

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Young 'earthworms' get back to basics - By Stuart Whitaker

AT Gate Pa School as much as possible is recycled to keep the veggie garden going.  An old tea chest has been made into a wheel barrow, raised planters have been created from old tyres, there is a frame used for re-potting made from wood reclaimed from a refurbishment of...

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School where play and education meet

OUTSIDE Gate Pa School cars are whizzingalong Cameron Rd. The hustle and bustle on the street is a world away from what’s behind the click-clack of the school gate ? a quaint two-storey building with turquoise sun shades, and beyond that, a secret garden. Gate Pa School children are privy to one...

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Contact

Gate Pa school
900 Cameron Rd
Tauranga
NEW ZEALAND

Phone: +64 7 578 5325
Fax: +64 7 578 6115
Email: office@gatepa.school.nz

Principal

Richard Inder

Email: RInder@gatepa.school.nz

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School dates for 2017

Term 1
 

31 January to 13 April

Term 2
  1 May to 7 July
     
Term 3
  24 July to 29 September
     
Term 4
  16 October to 14 December