Exciting . Motivating . Positive

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Principal’s Welcome

Kia ora Koutou

I feel very privileged to be the Principal of Kenakena School. It’s a school with heart and soul, a school that strives towards excellence in everything we do, and a school that is always exciting, motivating and positive. These aren’t empty words, these are the very foundations of what Kenakena School is all about. Exciting!  Motivating!  Positive!

Kenakena is right in the heart of Paraparaumu Beach, a beautiful, diverse New Zealand community. We work together and we place a strong emphasis on rich learning, which simply means that everything we teach and learn is interconnected, allowing children to really understand the work they do.

To find out how our school is going, how it’s “feeling” I go into the playground to get to know our kids; talk with them, walk with them and have the time to hear what’s important to them. What’s more, I know how important positive feedback is, I keep a ‘Magic Sticker Box’ in my office for when children visit me to show me their best work.

The teachers here genuinely care about the work they do and the children they work with. They are the instigators and drivers of a diverse range of programmes.  Their expertise and leadership across the school complements my own work as the school’s professional leader.  It makes Kenakena a great place to work and learn.

I’m proud of the way we embrace diversity. As well as our New Zealand diversity, families from around the world have settled in our community in large numbers over the past twenty years. These ‘new’ New Zealanders bring a real richness to the culture of our school, as do our fee-paying International Students who are always reluctant to go home when the time comes!

Please make contact if you would like a tour of the school by our Student Tour Guides and to have talk with me about the opportunities Kenakena can offer your children.

Nga mihi nui

Bruce McDonald

Our Vision

The vision that has guided our school since 1999 referred to the establishment and maintenance of an exciting, motivating and positive learning community.


It is Kenakena School’s job to excite children to learn and achieve. Not all learning is ‘exciting’; some learning requires hard work, risk-taking and perseverance and can be frustrating at times, but we want our kids to develop the attitudes, values and confidence to excite and motivate them to work hard when the learning becomes challenging or difficult. This leads to positive outcomes.



We need our staff to be motivated about working here to ensure the children are excited to learn; our students to be motivated by their learning environment; and parents to be motivated about the learning partnership they have with the school for the benefit of their children’s education.


Kenakena School will be a positive environment in which to work and learn. Recognition of the efforts and achievements of children, staff and parents will be part of our school culture and we will ensure the school is viewed by the wider community (including the professional community) in a positive way.

Our Mission

Through meaningful learning contexts, develop key competencies for the future:

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(critically, creatively, logically)

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Managing self

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Relating to others

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Using language, symbols & text

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Participating & Contributing

These attitudes will underpin the development of the Key Competencies:

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Willingness and a can-do attitude.

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Including view of self as a competent learner.

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Curiosity or Inquiry

Including open- mindedness

Key Competencies are developed throughout life

People develop expertise in Key Competencies throughout their lives. What is important is that they develop the ability to combine and use key competencies in complex situations rather than just developing individual competencies. It’s all about heading out into the world with confidence.

Meaningful learning contexts

Meaningful Learning Contexts’ refer to the learning ‘topics’ and experiences that the children will participate in that embody the development of knowledge, attitudes and skills that will, in turn, lead to the development of Key Competencies. It’s also about the way we teach; that learning does not occur in social isolation or in a passive way. Learners must interact with each other, with their environment (natural and physical), with new and current technologies and with a range of situations where they can think, experience and relate to the world in which they live.

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