About Papakura High School
Naumai, haere mai, piki mai. Welcome to Papakura High School.
Papakura High School was established in 1954 and is built on the mana whenua of Ngāti Tamaoho. The school is a co-educational, Year 9 to 13+ school and part of the supercity of Auckland with easy rail and motorway links to Auckland city to the North and Waikato and Coromandel to the South. Papakura is shortly to become the terminus of the Waikato-Auckland commuter rail service.
We are a diverse multi-cultural school, with just over 60% of our students being Māori, affiliating to a wide range of iwi backgrounds as well as to the mana whenua of this area, the sub-tribes of Waikato-Tainui. The school also has a large Pasifika community, mainly Samoan and Tongan, but also with Cook Island and Fijian Indian communities, and small numbers of other Pacific Island groups. The remainder are of European/Pakeha heritage.
Visiting our school, you cannot help but be impressed by our beautiful physical surroundings. A magnificent avenue of mature oak trees provides a leafy drive or walkway up to the front of the school. As you approach the administration block you also see the school’s beautiful wharenui, Kahurangi, with its rich carvings on both the exterior of the building and on the interior, along with both traditional and modern carvings, beautiful tukutuku panels and rich kowhaiwhai patterns on the rafters. The wharenui has had major renovations in 2019 and is now decorated in contemporary colours. On the other side of the driveway, passersby can see the school's magnificent Fale Pasifika which was contructed in 2019 and a gift to the school from a charitable trust.
Students are encouraged to set high academic and vocational goals and to develop a philosophy for lifelong learning. Individual difference is recognised and catered for within the school. We have a Learning Support Centre which meets the needs of students with intellectual and emotional learning challenges. As a school we believe in kaitiakitanga as we respect the individual differences between each other and do our best for the variety of needs of our students. With the rich cultural diversity present in our school, our students are committed to keeping their cultures alive and they participate with great enthusiasm in the annual Polyfest and other kapa haka festivals.
The logo of the school is proudly displayed on the hall building and is very visible as visitors arrive onto the school campus. The design of this beautiful kereru logo was the result of a year's work be Te Kaunihera-a-Ākonga, our Student Council, which has even representation from all year groups and from our three whānau. The motto or whakatauki "Kia Rangatira", (Be a Chief), reflects the meaning of the logo as well as connecting to the motto of our intermediate school. It is a call for young people to step up as leaders.
The development of the three whānau (Kirikiri, Otuuwairoa and Te Aparangi) for the structure and development of our school was initiated in consultation and partnership with our local iwi, Ngāti Tamaoho. The names which our iwi gifted to the school are of historical and cultural significance to the Papakura area, as they connect directly to places which were lost during the land confiscations during the New Zealand wars.
Students have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of programmes within our school. As they progress through to the senior years they receive career guidance and can choose to broaden their subject choice by involvement in part time trades academy programmes which are run either at other local secondary schools or one of our tertiary providers, such as MIT or AUT. We are also extremely fortunate to have our Police Academy (the first in Auckland) and a Services Academy. All students are strongly encouraged to participate in either a winter or summer sport. we are grateful for all the staff and parents who contribute their time to coaching and managing these teams..
In 2015 the school joined a community of schools known as the Kootuitui ki Papakura Trust. The Trust's goal is to implement and support the development of digital technology in all of its member schools, as well as having a goal of promoting health and well-being in our community. With the support of the Kootuitui Trust, our school has been able to launch into a digitally based pedagogy for Years 9, 10 and 11 and students are able to lease a chromebook at a very modest weekly cost over a three year period.
Our school is also one of the seven schools which joined together in 2019 to create the Papakura Kahui Ako. While it is still early days for our Community of Learning, there is a solid bond between the schools in this community, with a clear focus to improve outcomes for the young people of Papakura East and beyond.
Papakura High is in an exciting phase of its development, with strong roll growth, particularly in the junior school. As these numbers move through the school, there is an anticipation that the school will rapidly return to the substantial size it once enjoyed. As part of this growth, planning has already begun to develop a bilingual/rumaki provision within the school. This will further enhance the opportunities to meet the learning needs and aspirations of the Papakura community.
We hope that you will enjoy viewing our website and that we will have the opportunity to personally welcome you to Papakura High School.