We CARE captures our school mission and provides a framework for our school values. Our values underpin who we are and everything
we do.

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Self-belief, Risk taker, Inquisitive
Leadership, Role Model, Responsible, Confident
Identity, Relationships, Collaboration, Belonging
Caring/Kindness, Respectful, Service

Gate Pā School is a Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) School. This means we adopt a school wide relational approach, focused on removing barriers to student engagement. PB4L supports us to address problem behaviour, improve children's well-being, and increase educational achievement. Our school values underpin our PB4L approach.

Practices and Facilities

Our practice are evidence-based and our facilities are student-centred 

Evidence-based practices to nurture well-being and accelerate learning include:

  • students are organised into three learning syndicates  - this creates a sense of belonging and enables collaboration for both staff and students: Junior - Year 0-3 , Senior - Y4-6  and Māori Medium - bilingual and rumaki.
  • localised curriculum, where students learn about topics that relate to them and their community
  • composite classes - this means we put two consecutive year groups together in one class, appreciating that growth and learning is determined by stages not ages
  • a house system - each student belongs to a house , this system complements our school history, culture and encourages a sense of healthy competition
  • regular whānau hui and student-led conferences- working together with whānau as partners in learning, is essential for the growth and development of the learner
  • Better Start Literacy - a structured literacy approach which incorporates vocabulary development and phonological awareness
  • e-learning - 1:1 devices are used discernely to support student agency, active, personalised learning, creativity and collaboration
  • Gateway class - designed to provide our New Entrants with the best start possible. This class supports the development of a range of foundational skills which are fundamental for curriuclum learning
  • play-based learning in our junior school (Y0-3) - to support the development of thinking skills, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, student agency and engagement and smooth transitions to school
  • Specialist teachers to deliver high quality programmes in: Science, Visual Arts, Music and Digital Technology.
  • ESOL specialists to support English Second Language Learners
  • Culturally Responsive Practice (CRP)
  • Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L)


School facilities designed to nurture lifelong learning skills include:

  • bike tracks and school bikes
  • swimming pool
  • forest ecosystem
  • school and community gardens and beehives
  • fruit tree orchard
  • plant nursery
  • two playgrounds
  • two astro-turfs - basketball, netball and tennis
  • cricket pitch
  • an activity room 
  • library
  • sensory spaces
  • expansive green spaces

Celebrating Culture

We are immensely proud of the cultural diversity of Gate Pā School and take every opportunity to embrace and celebrate the histories and traditions of all students. These groups include Māori, Pakeha, Filipino, Indian, Pasifika, Korean, Chinese, Argentinean and South African.
We treasure the unique place of Māori and all students have the opportunity to develop their te reo and tikanga.


Culturally Responsive Practice

In truly knowing who our students are, it is vital that our staff understand and connect to the cultural capital of each individual. This involves giving every student multiple opportunities to share their culture, language, and identity.

At Gate Pā School, this is achieved by a focus on relationships and a school curriculum that maximises opportunities for students to share their own knowledge, values, and beliefs.



Cultural Groups

We have a number of cultural groups who meet regularly and perform at many school and community events. We pride ourselves on honouring special cultural celebrations like Matariki, Ramadan, Samoan language week, Tongan Language Week, White Sunday,  and Diwali.  Regular whānau/family meetings also take place for these groups.

Groups include:

  • Kapa Haka
  • Pasifika
  • Samoan
  • Filipino
  • Indian
  • Spanish
  • International and ESOL Students


Our ESOL specialist teacher assists those students whose first language is not English. 

We welcome International Students as they are a natural part of our diverse community and fit easily into our school.





Our vision is captured in these words:

“Ko te manu kai i te miro, nōna te ngahere, ko te manu kai i te mātauranga, nōna te ao.’

A bird that feasts on the miro berry understands the forest, a bird that feasts on knowledge understands the world.



Māori Medium Options

Gate Pā School is proud to have two Māori immersion classrooms and three bilingual classes. The rumaki immersion classrooms operate with 80% of the learning happening in te reo Māori, with learning underpinned by Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Our bilingual classes operate at 30-50% reo and follow the guidelines of the New Zealand Curriculum


      • Values based approach - Manaakitanga/ Whanaungatanga/ Kaitiakitanga/ Rangatiratanga
      • A localised curriculum
      • Off-site cultural experiences within Tauranga Moana
      • Kapa Haka, Manu Kōrero groups
      • Discovery learning through passions and through play
      • Experienced, committed and dedicated teaching staff
      • Tuakana-teina learning and collaborative teaching
      • Marau ā kura - developed with whānau
      • An onsite Puna Reo early childhood centre and māori medium pathways to intermediate and beyond


An open door policy exists for all whanau to sit in, share and learn.

Follow us on Facebook - Te Rumaki o Pukehinahina



Gateway Class

Our Philosophy:

Learners do better at school when they are developmentally ready for the curriculum. To develop and assess this readiness we have a Gateway Class.
All new entrant students begin in our Gateway Class. They stay 6 - 10 weeks before transitioning to a mainstream or bilingual class. The exception is students who meet Te Reo Maori requirements, these students can start straight away in Rumaki/Whare Reo.

Our Gateway Class has been designed to support the development of a range of foundation skills which are fundamental for learning.

What are Foundation Skills:

Curriculum tasks, such as reading and writing, depend upon the automatic use of foundation skills. If these skills do not exist, the brain will concentrate on developing them rather than on higher level thinking tasks. They are fine and gross motor skills, speaking, hearing and seeing skills and competencies like managing self, relating to others, giving things a go and being curious.

Why Gateway?

Because it has been proven to work. This class uses the framework, Ready 4 Learning to identify which skills each child has and which skills they still need in order for them to be successful.

Personalised Learning

Every student completes the Ready 4 Learning, hands-on assessments to identify their learning needs.
The classroom programme is then designed to develop the required foundation skills. Time is also spent familiarising your child with our school routines and developing lifelong learning skills including emotional regulation and perseverance.

An individual portfolio tracks your child's progress. This is sent home regularly. We also encourage you to share the successes you have seen at home.

Garden to Table

Gate Pā School runs a highly successful Garden to Table programme, utilising produce from our very own school garden, orchard and beehive.  Through this real-world learning opportunity, our students get their hands dirty while learning how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh food.  


All our students participate regularly in this programme and there are plenty of opportunities for parent/whānau involvement. Garden to Table also has wider community benefits as the students bring home what they have learned about growing, harvesting, preparing and cooking good food.
Community Gardens are also avaliable on our school site for families to adopt.

Whānau / Family Engagement

At Gate Pā School we are committed to working with you to improve the well-being and achievement of your child(ren). Your opinion is valued!


Tools and strategies we use to support the development of these critical relationships include:

  • early face-to-face connections with the classroom teacher and establishing channels for ongoing communication
  • setting clear classroom expectations for Home Learning
  • encouraging parent/whānau involvement in classroom and school learning /events
  • regular whānau hui for communication and feedback
  • use of Seesaw and google classroom to share learning
  • student-led conferences for celebration and goal setting
  • learning exhibitions and celebrations
  • school and syndicate newsletters 
  • Friends of the School group ( please see the office for details on how to participate)
  • school Facebook - Gate Pā - Pukehinahina
  • open-door policy




At Gate Pā School we value health, well-being and physical activity. We demonstrate this by keeping our children involved in regular physical education and sport.

Our sports co-ordinator supports us to maximise participation in a range of events including afterschool and weekend sports. 

Email: sport@gatepa.school.nz 





Competitive sport is also encouraged through participation within and across school competitions. These include netball, miniball, basketball, volleyball, cricket and rippa rugby competitions.

Inter school sporting opportunities for Y4-Y6 students happen throughout the school and include swimming, cross country, athletics, soccer, rugby, hockey, netball, cricket and miniball. Students who perform highly at these events can qualify for West Cluster and Western Bay of Plenty competitions.


See more on our school sports page here.


English as a Second Language (ESOL)


We welcome students from migrant and refugee families.

A full-time ESOL tutor supports these students to develop their English language.

This tuition takes place in small groups, each student will receive 2-3 sessions during class time each week.