About Papatoetoe Central School

General Description of the School - 2011

Community Overview:

The Papatoetoe community is located in Manukau City approximately twenty kilometres south of downtown Auckland City. The commercial centres of the community revolve around Hunters Plaza shopping mall on Great South Road and the older shopping area along St George Street. There are significant recreational facilities within the community including: a golf course (The Grange), swimming pools, rugby, hockey and cricket grounds, a major indoor recreation centre for gymnastics and basketball, a library, bowling clubs, as well as a number of park areas. All of these facilities are within two kilometres of the school site. There is a new, three hectare recreation centre immediately adjacent to the school that is used for a wide variety of sporting pursuits, administered by the Papatoetoe Sports Trust.

Papatoetoe Central School's local community is well established and a number of the current parents/caregivers attended the school themselves. The school is rated as decile four. The school's student population is very diverse including: European 12.4%, Maori 11%, Indian 44%, Asian 16.8%, Pasifika 14.6% and other groups 1.3%. Significant growth has occurred within the Indian community over the last few years.

Papatoetoe Central School opened in 1857 and it has been situated on the current site, right in the centre of Papatoetoe since 1872. It is one of New Zealand's oldest schools and we celebrated our 150th Jubilee in March 2007. The school was completely rebuilt in 1982. Currently the buildings include: an administration block, a classroom block of eleven rooms, seven specialist teaching areas and a large library area, one block of six relocatable classrooms as well as a two storey block containing four classrooms. In addition, there is a hall/auditorium with an attached covered area with four adjoining classrooms. There is a large community pool across the adjacent recreation grounds used by the older students. The school is surrounded by a number of very large trees, many over one hundred years old.

The wider Papatoetoe community has for some years had more students wishing to attend Papatoetoe Central School than the buildings have been able to accommodate. A home zone was established for the school in 1980 and was implemented again as an Enrolment Policy and Scheme with the 1989 Act. The school currently has a very clearly defined and strictly observed home zone.

The Board of Trustees is a proactive group of professionals who are fully behind the development of the school to meet the needs of the students.  Trustees are clearly aware of the distinction between governance and management and they are absolutely supportive of the Principal and the staff of the school. There is a significant recognition of the place and value of professional development for every staff member.

Community support for the school is significant. There is a very active Parent Teacher Association which assists with resourcing the learning environment for all students and providing enhancements for the school's attractive physical environment.

School Resources:

The resources are excellent. Significant local funding has been spent on resourcing the school for the needs of the students and teachers. Current planning will see a continued emphasis on the electronic integration of these resources.  Students and staff have access to over 190 Apple computers which are located in all classrooms, in pods alongside classrooms, in a computer suite  in the Discovery Centre, and in all administration offices. Students also have access in their classrooms to sets of laptop computers and all teachers use interactive whiteboards to support their teaching.  Information Technology is a compulsory component of our school curriculum.  The school has a very comprehensive intranet to allow for effective internal communication and to support the professional work of all staff.  Wireless technology has been installed in the school for ease of access and flexibility.  All teachers have their own laptop computers. IPads are being trialled this year.

School Philosophy:

The school has a strong academic focus and staff care deeply about students' learning and personal wellbeing.  Our mission is: Persevere, Challenge, Succeed.  There is a strong sense of whanau and connectedness with one another and there is an emphasis on providing a safe, values-based learning environment where all students can become independent, contributing, respectful and responsible individuals. Class programmes are learner focused and teachers, as members of an increasingly robust learning community work collaboratively and within a framework of a shared vision and agreed pedagogical processes. All students are expected to be consistently polite, considerate and sensible – PCS, which is our mantra.  These expectations underpin all aspects of school life and they are explicit in every classroom and in the playground. We have a core values programme with a focus on one value each term including for example, kindness, respect, responsibility, honesty and determination.  The staff are expected to be professional, energetic and dedicated and there is a strong focus on the improvement in student achievement through annually agreed, evidence-based student improvement targets. 

School Organisation:

The leadership team includes the principal and deputy principal.  We have six team leaders, year 1 – 6,  who have a number of school-wide responsibilities including student assessment and evaluation, professional development, curriculum delivery and pedagogy, and regular in class support. Each teacher is a member of a team of four or five teachers at a similar year group level under the guidance of a team leader.  Each team has the support of a dedicated learning support assistant who is timetabled into each class in the team on a regular basis to support the work of students and teachers. They are members of a large Learning Support team which also includes a Reading Support teacher, Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour, a Special Needs Coordinator, and an English Language teacher.  Other support staff include an ICT assistant who supports the work of classroom teachers and students in the computer suite and a Library assistant who supports our library programmes.  

Our school is very well supported by an extremely strong team of property and administration staff.

Special Programmes:

This year all students are participating in a science and technology session each week, taken by a specialist  teacher.  Selected year 3 – 6 students attend a Mind Lab thinking skills programme each week and other selected students participate in the Papatoetoe schools’ enhancement programme. 

We have developed very strong links with Counties Manukau Sport whose staff work with many of our students in a range of sport programmes.

We continue to develop our school as a sustainable school and each year we make more progress in conserving our natural resources.  This year we plan to develop another school vegetable garden and trial a garden to kitchen programme with our senior students.  This new garden will be nurtured by our extensive composting programme and worm farms.

Papatoetoe Central School is a vibrant school.  We are all very proud of it as we work together with our families to maximize learning for all our students so that they reach their optimum level of achievement and social development.