Welcome to Otamatea High School     

Kia ora koutou,

I would like to extend a warm welcome to you from Otamatea High School.  

Otamatea High School was established in 1966. We are a rural year 7 to 13, co-educational, state high school situated in the beautiful, rural township of Maungaturoto. Our 420 students travel from far and wide to be here; from Kaiwaka, Maungaturoto, Paparoa, Mangawhai, Waipu, Matakohe, Ruakaka and Tinopai. We have seen steady roll growth over the past few years, have achieved strong NCEA results and have high staff morale.

In 2018 the school decided to create a new vision for the school, one that would prepare our students for the challenges of the future.  We invited parents, caregivers and members of our community to join staff and students in developing our new school vision. After much collaboration and discussion, we arrived at ‘Ready for the World’- a vision statement that places future focussed schooling at the heart of what we do.  

Our whakatauki ‘He waka eke noa’ represents the clear message that our whole community has a role to play in preparing our students for the future.  It helps nurture a culture of support and builds resilience amongst students and staff.   As a culturally responsive, restorative school, we have worked hard to create a warm, welcoming culture at Otamatea High School, and visitors regularly comment on the great vibe here at OTA.  The tikanga of our school is best described as The OTA Way which stands for Our safety, Total respect and Always learning.  ‘Our safety’ is a reminder to our students to make good choices to help keep themselves and others safe; ‘Total respect’ is about demonstrating mana in ourselves and our school, and being respectful of others and of our environment.   ‘Always learning’ reinforces the message to students and staff to support theirs and others’ learning, to have a positive attitude to new learning, and to build resilience - to not give up when things get challenging.   This is supported by our core values and principles of kotahitanga, high expectations, responsibility, resilience and a well balanced personal hauora/wellbeing.

At Otamatea High School we offer a broad curriculum for all of our students.  Year 7 and 8 students are served well by having a homeroom teacher who teaches them for more than one curriculum area as well as subject specialists and of course benefitting from the use of specialist facilities. 

We enpanded our year 9 and 10 curriculum in 2019 by introducing cross curricular year 9 and 10 programmes in the following areas: Green to Gold – Agricultural Sustainability, Virtual Reality, Video Games and Music, Magazine Design and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.  We have recently been awarded a Genesis School-gen Trust prize of $20,000 towards solar equipment for the school.  We are currently making plans to create a new cross curricular subjects in 2020 that will use the solar panel equipment, together with the data it generates, to explore science, mathematics, technology, business economics and sustainability.

Our senior students follow NCEA programmes in a wide range of subjects with over 60 different courses on offer through NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 as well as providing distance learning opportunities to students through the correspondence school. Senior students can also complete courses outside school, gain valuable work experience and work towards national qualifications at the same time. Through our Self-Directed Pathways programme senior students also have the option of working independently on an area of their choice while simultaneously gaining work experience through the Gateway programme. We also have three academies – construction and whakairo, hospitality and primary industries.

Otamatea High School is consistently punching well above its weight maintaining outstanding results annually which are significantly above both the decile 1– 4 and national averages.  In 2018 our NCEA results were as follows: Level 1: 84.1%, Level 2: 92.3% and Level 3: 72.3%.  Many of our students were also awarded endorsements within their courses and in their overall certificate.  At NCEA Level 1 50% of our students gained an overall endorsement, at Level 2 27.1% achieved endorsements and at NCEA Level 3 28.1% achieved an endorsement.  

It is not just in the academic arena where our students excel.  We encourage all of our students to become involved in life of the school through a variety of activities including sporting, cultural, and the arts.   Our Reporoa student exchange programme which is now in it’s 53rd year is thought to be the longest running senior student exchange programme in the country.   In 2018 we won the regional competitions for girls’ football, floorball and netball.  As well as playing for school teams many of our students play representative sport at regional, national and international level. 

Flagships of the school include the Duke of Edinburgh programme where students are supported to work towards and complete their Gold Hillary Award (approximately ¼ of our school are involved in this programme), our annual Olla Podriga talent quest competition, the Smokefree Rockquest competition, and our annual participation in the Relay for Life fundraising event.  This year we have introduced the William Pike Challenge to a group of year 7 and 8 students.  Our school Health Council, ‘OTA Kaihoe’ is new initiative led by a group of students who are particularly passionate about ensuring that wellbeing and resilience are prioritised at the school.

I am very proud of the many and varied achievements of Otamatea High School students, and the staff who provide the excellent conditions which enable this success. 


Rachel Clothier-Simmonds
Principal