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Welcome to Aroha Discovery School

Aroha Discovery School is an independent school for 5 – 13 year olds, born from the desire of Nelson parents for a more holistic approach to education. The fundamental tenet of our school is that relationships (between students, teachers, parents, nature and the wider community) are the foundation from which students will continually spark their creativity and desire to learn, grow and thrive as confident individuals.

CURRICULUM

We chose to use Aroha in our name because it means “love” in Māori. A corner stone of Aroha Discovery School is to nurture our children’s’ inborn love of learning – letting them lead the way. The teacher’s role is viewed as providing scaffolding to support them as they travel along their own personal journey of discovery.

As learning is a personal experience relevant only to the individual we do not use norm-referenced tests and examinations. However, private assessments are seen as being useful at times.

At Aroha Discovery School the child is at the centre of their own learning and are encouraged at all times, in all areas to compare their work and skills with their own previous achievements and their own goals. The capacity to use a skill and expand on it, is taken as demonstrating possession of that skill and these are documented using learning stories and portfolios.

Photo by Laura Kapfer on Unsplash

CULTURE

We all need to feel we are understood, valued and supported to be able to effectively learn and grow as individuals. At Aroha Discovery School learning to build and maintain healthy relationships with each other (whether it’s with another student, teacher, parent or people in the wider community) is central to our students learning and involves established conflict resolution methods for problem solving between individuals.

Our culture is one of respect – for each other, for the importance of and freedom to learn, and for Papatūānuku (mother earth); and unstructured play is considered a natural way in which children explore, master new skills and integrate information.

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News & Events

Aroha Discovery Programmes

While in lockdown we’ve been reassessing where we’re at and where we go to as we slowly emerge from lockdown. Due to the uncertainty everyone finds themselves in at present we’ll be delaying our opening as a full school until 2021 but are instead looking at running a school holiday programme, and (during term time) a one day a week programme as a lead up to our opening as a full school. One day programmes run as an addition to traditional schooling so (like with STEM School’s) your child would still be enrolled at their usual school but they would spend a day attending our programme as part of their schooling.

To gauge the feasibility of running these programmes we are requesting interested families to fill out our Aroha Discovery Programmes survey. The survey only takes a few minutes to complete and gives us valuable information on how we can cater to your needs. Please also feel free to pass the survey link onto any other families you think might be interested.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Otherwise, we look forward to receiving your responses!

Start Date

You have been asking, and we have been asking ourselves – will we be opening in term 2?

We did have a minor setback with confirming our head teacher, which delayed things slightly, and with the uncertain world we live in just now with this virus we have made the decision to push our start date back to term 3 of 2020.

The good news is that this gives us more time to prepare, and we are looking at the possibility of running a holiday program as a “taster” for the school. We still need to confirm some details around this so will give you a more fuller update if this is to go ahead in the coming weeks. In the meantime be kind to yourself, be kind to others, check in on your neighbours, and remember that staying home if you’re not feeling well is also an act of kindness.

Pizza Party Fundraiser

It was a lovely sunny afternoon at Fairfield for our Pizza Party Fundraiser and it was wonderful to see everyone turn out for this event. There were bubbles, dancing, dress-ups and (of course) pizza galore! Thank you so much to everyone that supported us, including our wonderful sponsors: Fairfield House, Nelson New World, Nelson Electronics – 2011 LTD, Fresh2U Organic Food Delivery, Pohara Top 10 Holiday Park, State Cinemas Nelson, Tim’s Garden, Trade Aid Nelson, NelsonSon – Afro & Latin Dance, Flossie Balloons and Entertainment, Italian Pizza Garage, Kombucha Bros , and all our wonderful volunteers! This event could not have happened with out all your support!

Thank you also to Clara Holm for these lovely photos…

Head Teacher Job Opening

We currently have a job opening for the Head Teacher position at our innovative new school here in Nelson. It is akin to a principal position but with much more support with the management of the school so you are able to focus on the more important task of coaching students. and coordinating staff and volunteers who are working with them.

If you are passionate about taking a different approach to education that is more inline with meeting students needs we would love to hear from you!

Note: you must be an NZ registered teacher to apply. Applications will remain open until we find the right person for this role. Full job description below…

Head Teacher Job Description

Job Openings

Posted: 18th December 2019

We have two roles we are looking to fill. The first is the Ako Coordinator. Akin to a principal position but with much more support with the management of the school so you are able to focus on the more important task of coaching students. and coordinating staff and volunteers who are working with them.

The second role is the Ako Assistant, which is the Ako Coordinator’s right-hand person in the day-to-day running of the school. Full job descriptions below…

Ako Coordinator Job Description

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Ako Assistant Job Description

Applications for both positions close Tuesday 31st December 2019

Location, Location, Location!

Posted: 13th December 2019

We’re excited to announce that Fairfield have confirmed they would love to host our school, making our home-base in their building that is aptly called The Sanctuary. Fairfield is a historic house located in the inner city, surrounded by lush grounds and backs onto the Grampian Reserve, so it’s perfect for our nature focused learning.

Taking stock, we are unlikely to open for the start of term one of next year but are on track for the start of term two, so that is our goal. Keep a look out for more announcements about this in the New Year!

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