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Philosophy

Our purpose is to develop young people who strive to always be the best they can be... Our vision for our students is that they will:
  • Learn and develop in a caring quality environment
  • Have their individual needs met
  • Become confident, capable learners with qualifications needed to achieve their aspirations 
  • Develop the values, knowledge and abilities to contribute to society and live full and satisfying lives
  • Recognise diversity in all its forms and understand the cultural influences that have shaped our community and our country

The values we embrace are:
  • A sense of community and belonging
  • Acceptance of the individual
  • Genuine and persistent endeavour to excel
  • Integrity which involves acting honestly and responsibly
  • Respect and care for self, others and the environment

Te Kawa o Te Ako (Ways of Learning):
Over the next four years, the Board of Trustees would like to explore together with the college community (students, staff and families) the following kaupapa with the aim of incorporating these principles into future strategic plans:
Kotahitanga: The development and maintenance of a unity of purpose and direction
Pūkengatanga: The preservation, teaching and creation of mātauranga Māori
Kaitiakitanga: The obligation to foster and protect all living things
Manaakitanga: The expression of mana-enhancing behaviour towards one another
Whanaungatanga: The reciprocal rights and responsibilities that flow from the interrelationships of all living things
Te Reo: The responsibility to ensure the transmission of te reo to future generations
Whakapapa: The inter-relationships of all living things
Ūkaipōtanga: The importance of tūrangawaewae, a place where one belongs, feels valued and is able to contribute
Wairuatanga: The recognition of the intimate spiritual connections that link atua, humankind and nature
Rangatiratanga: The expression of the attributes of a Rangatira, including humility, leadership by example, generosity and diplomacy

Ōtaki College incorporates junior high school/middle school principles: 
Since 2003 Ōtaki College teaching staff have been following the latest developments in the education of emerging adolescents (11-14 years old). Some key needs of this age group that have been identified are:
  • Meeting different needs (social and scholastic) as part of a single whole process, often described as integration
  • Students sharing ownership of learning with their teachers, including involvement in deciding what the learning is leading to
  • Opportunities and encouragement to meet significant challenges
  • Respectful relationships as a secure social setting in which to explore self and new social interactions 

Some of the ways Ōtaki College has met these needs are:
  • Increasing security through careful introduction into College life
  • Increasing manageable responsibility for students for themselves (Certificate of Learning Skills Programme) and their school community (Year 7 and 8 Council, College Student Council, house responsibilities)
  • Reducing anxiety through encouraging risk-taking in learning
  • Increased peer-support processes (an additional system involving Year 13 students has been in operation since 2007)
  • Improving home-school contact
  • Culturally affirming pastoral care for Māori students (whare awhina)

Through continuous Year 7-13 schooling, students avoid the insecurities of additional transitions.

All Year 9 classes are in a partial homeroom format. This involves integration of curriculum and one teacher for a substantial part of the school week. This provides a bridge between the predominant homeroom format at Years 7 and 8 and the later secondary years. These programmes are led by primary-trained teachers. 

As students progress through Years 7 to 10, they have increasing involvement with subject specialists. This is possible because in a small to medium-sized secondary school, the employment of advanced level specialists in the arts, sciences, mathematics, humanities, and technologies is only possible because junior school classes complement the small number of senior classes taken by each senior specialist. Unfortunately, separate senior and junior high schools do not have these advantages.

Use the links below to open Ōtaki College's Charter and Strategic Plan (PDF versions). Or use the arrow on the right-hand side of this page to download a copy to your computer.
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OC Web,
26 Jun 2016, 21:42
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OC Web,
26 Jun 2016, 18:44