Our Curriculum

Greytown School is a future focussed school where the learner and the power of strong learning partnerships are at the heart of everything we do. Our learning partnerships are the key to success.  The stronger the partnerships/relationships are, the more supported and challenged our children feel so they can succeed in their learning and life.  As a result, we believe in the power of

  • the “whole” child. This means we encourage and support our children’s overall Hauora/well-being and learning across the curriculum and in life.
  • our parents and wider whanau being active partners in supporting and getting involved in their child/ren learning journey.
  • working collaboratively with others in our wider community; utilising everyone’s strengths.
  • children being active, informed and instinctive learners who have genuine learner agency
  • highly effective and passionate teachers who are constantly looking for new ideas, reflecting and fine-tuning their practices and utilising their strengths.
  • having a Growth Mindset.
  • celebrating the process or journey of learning as well as the final success.

Summit Learners

Our local curriculum is underpinned by our Summit Learner values.  These are our teaching and learning values that focus on building our learner’s capability to understand how to learn and teach them the fundamental skills to be able to independently apply them in their own learning (over time) to become successful. Greytown_School_mural_Presentation_pages_02
For specific skills and descriptors for each level that children set goals and work towards learning within the class… please click on this link.

Key Research about “Learning how to Learn”

As a staff, we are constantly looking at research to inform our decisions and daily teaching programmes. Here are some links to some Google Slides that may help to briefly explain some of the research that plays a major role in our thinking and learning culture at Greytown School. Learner agency – Building our children’s learning capability with the purpose of them being active, self-managing, self-motivated and informed learners. FISH Philosophy  – To build a learning and school culture built on being present and fun. Te Whare Tapa Whā – To deepen our understanding of Hauora from a “whole person” approach with a Maori Health lense. Growth Mindset  – To build learner’s understanding that learning is life long and not “set in concrete” you can always learn new things. Learning Pit/Challenge  – To help learners understand that new learning involves challenge and the strategies to help them face those challenges to achieve success. Who moved my Cheese? – To build learners understanding that change is part of life and we can respond to change in positive and proactive ways. Other examples of research and work our teaching and learning programmes are based on

  • Research conducted by the Ministry of Education, Education Review Off and other government organisations.
  • Te Whariki Early Childhood Curriculum, Walker Learning and Longworth Education – Play-based Learning
  • Maker Culture (Numerous research and work)
  • Stephen R Covey – The Leader in Me
  • Art Costa – Habits of Mind
  • John Hattie- “Visible Learning – What works best for learning”
  • Micheal Absolum – “Clarity in the Classroom”
  • CORE Education – Top 10 trends and numerous research and resources…..the list goes on!

Our Local Curriculum

At Greytown School, our curriculum is based on the New Zealand Curriculum.  From here we conducted parent, wider community, teacher and learner surveys and face to face discussions to find out what was important for our community. Some of the questions we asked

  • What do you think we need to teach our children in order for them to be successful learners now and in the future?
  • “What do we want our children to know about Greytown and their local environment?” (Past, present, future etc)
  • “How do we/can we support, encourage celebrate and increase children’s cultural identities in our school?
  • “What can we do more or less of?”
  • “What do we value most about our school that we want to keep?”

As a result, we have created our own local flavour for our curriculum.  It is important to note that our curriculum is not “set in concrete” but is constantly making adaptions to the world around us, new learning and what is happening that is relevant and meaningful to our children. Some of the key feedback from our  learning community are:

  • We value our children having a strong foundation in life skills, literacy and numeracy.
  • We want our children to be confident and have opportunities to explore their strengths and unlock new interests.
  • We want our children to have a deeper understanding of their cultural identity and to respect, appreciate and value others.
  • We value the performing and visual arts in all their forms.
  • We value purposeful play and the learning that it develops and encourages.
  • We value physical education, sports and children exploring the great outdoors.
  • We truly appreciate and want to actively utilise our natural and scientific environments. 
  • We love our rural roots and are excited by our flourishing and vibrant town. 
  • We value being a Green-Gold Enviro School.
  • We want our learners to push the boundaries and innovate – so our children can thrive today and triumph tomorrow.
  • We are committed to a well-rounded education – a balance of traditional and state-of-the-art learning, books and technology.
  • We value and want to increase the well-being and health of our children.
  • We inspire a thirst for knowledge and achievement in our children.
  • We want people in our community to be actively involved in our school and for our school to play a part in our Greytown Community.

Purposeful Play-based Learning

  At Greytown School, we believe in the power of purposeful play-based learning.  We are constantly on a journey of shaping what this means for our children and teachers. Our journey so far  Play-based Learning at Greytown School



Big Concept Learning

At Greytown School, we love to learn about

  • ourselves and our families.
  • Our local community
  • New Zealand
  • the world around us
  • the past, our present…and imagine, predict and create the future…..the list goes on.

Here is a link to our Big Concept Curriculum so you can see some of the ideas that we explore and unpack together within our syndicates or across the school.  Each Concept is a wide overarching idea that each year group (or seniors in small groups or independently) can take in different directions depending on what they are interested or inquisitive about, while still learning a key concept.  

EOTC – Education Outside the Classroom

  At Greytown School, we love our kids to explore and become more confident in the great outdoors.  The Wairarapa has some incredible environments and attractions to visit and learn about.  Throughout the time that our children are at our school they will take part in a variety of school trips related to a specific Big Concept idea or fun biannual events eg: Visiting Cobblestones, Parliament, Weta Workshops, Featherston Fell Locomotive Museum, Pukaha Mount Bruce, Beach Education, Patuna Chasm, Local Farm Trips etc     In addition to these, we also have a structured EOTC programme that builds up children’s survival skills on land, in the bush and in/on the water.  As well as a talented and experienced staff our school has a long-standing partnership with Glen Beach aka “Beachy” from the Kahikatea Outdoor Academy.  Each year Beachy takes our Year 5-8’s on various activities eg: Camps, Rafting, Building Rafts, Kayaking, Archery, Caving, Biking on the Remutaka Incline, Bush Survival skills (eg: Navigation, First Aid, Search and Rescue skills) at Mount Holdsworth, Giant Water slides, Fishing, Kite Surfing etc…  It is a full programme with lots of exciting things for kids to try.


We have numerous leadership opportunities across the school in a variety of areas.  Some of these are…

  • Head Boy and Head Girl
  • Deputy Head Boy and Girl
  • House Captains (3 per house – Curriculum, Cultural and Sports)
  • Black Hats (1 Year 8 representative per class across the school)
  • Peer Mediators
  • PE Monitors
  • Sound Technicians
  • Librarians
  • Medical Monitors and other services around the school.
  • Bike Track Monitors
  • Playground Buddies
  • Digi Kids
  • etc…

Extra-Curricular opportunities

At Greytown School, there are numerous extra-curricula and group opportunities to get involved in.  Some of these are…            

  • Enviro-kids
  • Choir
  • Dance Splash
  • Kapa Haka
  • School Band
  • Numerous sports (too many to list!)
  • Extension programmes eg: Art, Maths, Literacy etc
  • EOTC programme
  • EPro8
  • Tournament of Minds
  • Aquabots
  • Chess Club
  • Matharapa
  • Photography
  • Code Club
  • Kaitiaki Academy
  • Bike Track team……..etc…..

This is just a short snapshot of our curriculum and what learning opportunities that our school offers…we love our school and we love to learn.  For new parents and children…come and get involved! Greytown School is a great place to be a part of!