Kea Crossing IMG1389 IMG9913 IMG7815 Wakefield School from Lookout 3 IMG4764 Picture from Waimea Weekly



A Note from the Principal

Tena koe,

Of tents and treasure…


The word ‘mantra’ has become a bit misused in English, going from something like a ‘sacred utterance’ to any slogan that is repeated over and over again.  So, sticking to the common use, here’s one of our Wakefield School mantras:

Engagement leads to Progress leads to Achievement

Engagement →Progress →Achievement

We didn’t make this up; in fact it’s the framework used by the Education Review Office (ERO) to judge how well a school is doing.  But it’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?  If a child is engaged with learning - enthusiastic, eager, keen - he or she is more likely to make progress and achieve.  

So what we try to do at Wakefield School, just like in every other school in the country, is find ways to get your child engaged with learning, and we reckon giving children a few more opportunities to take control of their learning (this is the ‘democratic learning’ you hear us talking about) will encourage engagement.

Which brings me to tent city and pirates.  If you have a child in Totara Syndicate tent city will now be legendary in your household; if your child is in Matai Syndicate the word ‘pirate’ will be well on the way to becoming legendary.  Tent City and pirates are really about learning to read and write and do maths, but along the way the children are also learning to: work together, make good choices, pitch a tent, sing, create art, meet deadlines, sell a good idea and a heap of other things.  They are also, by the way, having a lot of fun.  I’m looking forward to joining Matai students on their treasure hunt at Rabbit Island next Thursday to watch student engagement go through the roof - “ooh-arr!” 

An ANZAC Opportunity   

We have been invited to send two groups of students to participate in the ANZAC Centennial event being held at the Wakefield hall and cenotaph on ANZAC Day.  One group is the school choir and the second is a group of children who will each place a poppy against one of the servicemen whose names are on the cenotaph.  We will choose these children shortly but I wanted to give you a chance to tell us if you have a family member commemorated on the Wakefield memorial and, if so, would you like your child to place a poppy for that person.  Just contact the office.

International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC)  

IDEC is being held at Founders Park in Nelson on 9-12 April; that’s Thursday to Sunday of the first week of the holidays.  On Saturday 11 April Wakefield School is invited to send parents and children free from 10.00am - 2.00pm to join the conference and join in games and activities.  There will be some other children also attending the conference from around the world so it’s a good chance to meet new people and engage (engagement again!) with some of the ideas about schooling that are on our minds at Wakefield School.  Contact me if you want to grab this opportunity.

Have a good week


Peter Verstappen

Ph. 021 047 1092



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