Welcome to Otamatea High School                  

Kia ora koutou,

I would like to extend a warm welcome to you from Otamatea High School.  Central to our kaupapa at Otamatea is the concept of The OTA Way (Our Safety, Total Respect, Always Learning).  The OTA Way provides a platform of high expectations for both students and staff.  Our whakatauaki ‘He waka eke noa; we’re all in the waka, without exception’ places importance on working together to ensure that students are able to reach their potential.

Otamatea High School has the advantage of having close relationships with our main contributing schools (Maungaturoto Primary School, Kaiwaka School, Mangawhai Beach School and Paparoa School) and have recently developed the Twin Coasts Community of Learning to facilitate smooth transitions and to build on our learning partnerships.   Some students also travel to us from further afield such as Waipu, Matakohe and Tinopai and we maintain good working relationships with these schools too.  Our Year 7 and 8 syndicate caters well for students in their intermediate years, including a balance of homeroom classes and specialist subjects.  The syndicate area includes a playground development and an upgraded modern learning environment and break out space. 

We offer a good range of options for students throughout the school as well as supporting individualised learning through our highly successful Self-Driven Pathways initiative.  In the seniors years students can also opt to study towards a trade in our academy programmes (Primary Industries, Hospitality, Construction and Whakairo). 

We operate an iwi (house) structure and each student is placed in a small whānau class of students from year 7 – 13.  Older students act as mentors for the younger students within their class.  Whānau Teachers provide academic and personal development support for the students within their classes by assisting the students to set goals and monitoring their progress towards their goals.  During whānau class students are also encouraged to build positive relationships with others through a series of activities; research suggests that students who feel a sense of connection and belonging at school tend to do better in all facets of their life.

Otamatea High School is punching well above its weight with a set of outstanding 2016 NCEA results, as reported in the NZ Herald in April 2017.  91% pass rate in NCEA level 1, 90.9% pass rate in NCEA level 2 and 88.5% pass rate in NCEA level 3.  We also achieved 97.5% pass rates in NCEA level 1 literacy and numeracy, and 66.7% of our year 13s gained university entrance (UE).  All of these results are above the national averages. We received a special mention in the NZ Herald as the most improved of all decile 4 schools in the country over the past year.

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 Exchange Programme which is now in it’s 52nd year is the longest running senior exchange programme in the country.  In 2016 we won the regional competitions for football, netball, Under 16 rugby and cricket and were runners up in mixed hockey.  As well as playing for school teams many of our students currently play representative sport at regional, national and international levels.  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 and Pasifika Beats competitions, and our annual participation in the Relay for Life and World Vision 40 Hour Famine fundraising events.  

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