2012 National Schools of Character Awards winner


Kaharoa Primary School

Kaharoa Primary School is a rural, full primary school on the outskirts of Rotorua. It has a roll of 197 and has implemented intentional character education since 2002.

The school’s culture of character is illustrated by comments of two students who wrote in support of the school’s nomination for a National School of Character Award:

Showing character is to keeping your head up in bad situations, always doing your best and treating others as you would want to be treated.

The school studies a value per term on a two year cycle. These values are: responsibility, obedience, honesty, compassion, duty, respect and consideration. As each core value is studied and modelled it integrated into all aspects of the school.

An interesting dimension of the school’s approach to character formation is the Roots of Empathy programme in which Year 4 students learn about babies. Babies are brought into the classroom and students learn about how they communicate and how to behaviour responsibility around them.

The school is successful academically, provides a range of sporting and cultural activities and is involved in community service.

At Kaharoa School, character is not a concept but a reality that underpins everything that happens in the school.

This is confirmed by the Education Review Office latest report on the school.

ERO observed examples of high quality teaching that engaged students in their learning. Curriculum principles and the school’s cornerstone values underpin the school culture. Respectful and inclusive relationships between teachers and students foster learning and achievement.

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