Matakana School - An Inclusive School Approach

All schools have the obligation to recognise and respond to the diverse needs of their students. This includes students who are not achieving, students who are at risk of not achieving and those who have special education needs. Schools must also develop and implement teaching and learning strategies to address these needs. This applies just as much to students who struggle to read as it does to those with obvious disabilities or who are gifted and talented.

We provide a range of extension programmes within the school. We also arrange several workshops throughout the year which might involve visitors or visits out of school.


Catering for GATE students at Matakana School

Specific GATE programmes

Identified students, selected by the school



The school has employed a teacher to take Spanish lessons on a Friday for one hour, this is only for GATE students as a means of extending them by learning a new language.

School Leaders


Four identified and selected students are chosen to be School Leaders. To be positive role models who exemplify the Matakana Magic ethos for all our school students. To have a group of mature, responsible and reliable students able to work cooperatively with the school Management Team to continuously improve our school is essential. A school  leader is a communication link between the pupils and the teachers. This is important in our school because it gives the students a voice. They arrange and help with school events such as parent evenings and special school functions/activities. To become a school leader they need to show interest in the school as well as displaying good behaviour and responsibility. They get a chance to become a school leader in year six.    



Nine technicians are identified and selected to take a leadership role in running the sound, lighting during any assembly gathering. They are rostered on a weekly timetable and are available to support other teachers on an on-call basis.

House Leaders.


Sixteen year 6 students are identified and selected to be House Leaders. These are students who have been identified with leadership potential, they receive coaching and opportunities to build on skills pertaining to a good leader. Students implement initial training sessions, later in authentic situations. These students are given opportunities to develop their organisation, comparing, communication, and co-operative skills. They organise and run house assemblies, games sessions at morning tea once a week, support adults in running school events and with fundraising activities. These students are also peer mediators and understand their position as role models.

Radio Crew


Four students are identified and selected to become Radio Crew members. These are students who have been identified with leadership potential,  show confidence speaking, as well as flair, have the ability to improvise, are organised and uphold the Matakana School values. These students work alongside Trisha Beamish to organise and run the school’s  radio station.

Mahurangi Lit Challenge  


Four Year 5/6 students that are high achieving are identified, selected and coached to compete against other students from different schools in the area. A chance to share and collaborate on their knowledge of books.

Mathex (2017)


Four Year 5/6 students that are high achieving are identified, selected and coached to compete against other students from different schools in the area.

Further opportunities for talented students to develop and utilise their skill and potential

These positions are open for students to apply for, or compete/participate in

Kapa Haka


A chance for our students to immerse themselves in Maori culture and demonstrate their leadership skills. Again, this is a substantial cost and commitment by the school as we release two teachers to run this programme. Year 4-6 students choose to participate and Year 3 Maori students may join 1 year earlier and further extend their cultural abilities and understanding of te reo, tikanga and protocols.

Junior Kapa Haka Club


Kelly runs a Kapa Haka club for year 1 to 3 students on Monday lunchtimes. The club is open to any child in Y1-3. Two tuakana are running the group supported by Kelly and Helen (whanau member).  It is a session for integrating tikanga maori with waiata and movement.

Kiwi Sports and Leadership Coach


Leaadership sessions with Year 4 and Year 5 students are offered.

Speech competition


Every year students in year 5 and 6 write and present speeches.

Finalists in each room compete in the room finals and our top three students progress to the inter- school speech competition.

Information Techs


Year 5 students are given the opportunity to take on responsibility and build leadership skills as the info centre techs at lunchtime. These monitors are in charge of running the information centre at lunchtimes, overseeing people in the information centre, issuing books and reading stories to younger students.



We provide senior students with the opportunity to be in roles of responsibilities, ie; we have two year 6 students appointed as the school photographers.

This year as part of the senior schools arts programme we had photography classes available. The students photos were published and presented in a book which is on display in the office. This lead on to the opportunity to compete in a photo club competition.

Peer Mediators


This presents opportunities for year 6 students to develop a more mature practice of empathy, as well as leadership skills, the importance of demonstrating good role models to younger students, putting the needs of others before your own free time and skills of organisation and working in co-operation with others.

Year 5 and 6 responsibilities


In the senior school each class has certain responsibilities.

These include:  Shop duty, student receptionist, running of the sports shed, emptying paper bins, composting and organising sports gear in classes and there are two senior students that are our school photographers.

All  Year 5 student responsibilities are recognised and tracked for leadership potential in and opportunities in Year 6.

Yummy monitors


Year 5 students, on a weekly basis collect yummy stickers from classes. Yummy monitors raise  annually in the vicinity of $1200 for the purchase of sports gear for the school.

Young Writers Competition


Senior school students are offered the opportunity to enter the "Young Writers Competition".  The competition is for all primary aged students within the Northland region.  As other writing competitions arise, children are given the opportunity to participate.


Matakana All Stars


Students are given the opportunity to showcase their talent in front of the school and perform at the school Gala.   They take on a personal development journey.

School/Class Assemblies.


A chance for students to organise and perform in front of school in terms of acting, drama, music and compere skills.

National Young Leaders Day


Our School Leaders attend the National Young Leaders Day to experience and develop new leadership ideas that they can make their own.

Concert Choir


A chance for our singers to be trained by Mrs Morgan. She takes a special concert choir group as well as teaching year 3 to 6 students how to sing.

School Council Reps


Two students per class from Year 3-6 are given the opportunity to be a part of the class council. This develops responsibility and leadership skills. Two class councillors are available each week in the information centre for other students to see and share ideas with. Class councillors then meet, discuss ideas, decide what ideas they would like to pursue and come up with an action plan for getting these ideas happening.

Travel Wise Ambassadors


TravelWise Ambassadors are given the opportunity in leadership, to extend their skills in organisation and management. They are examples of  positive role models for the younger children and they  provide activities for others to be involved in while having fun and being mindful of Road Safety and Sustainable Travel options.  

Lunchtime clubs


Art Club, Kapa Haka, Spanish, Crafts, Chess, Hockey Skills, Junior Ukulele

Student driven initiative clubs


A few students have taken an initiative and run their own lunchtime clubs. For example there are Year 6 students who run a Hula hooping club twice a week during lunch times.  

They are given opportunities to share and perform in assemblies.

After school curricular activities


A large range of extra curricular opportunities are available.  



Year 4 to 6 students all participate in the camps. 

Inter-school sports


Swimming, hockey, soccer, netball, athletics, cross country, ripper, rugby.

ICAS international testing


All students have the opportunity to enter these tests but they are a real challenge for our top academic students to compete against the best in New Zealand.



All year 6 students are offered the opportunity to learn to sail under the expert guidance from instructors from “ Sailing Have A Go” for three days.


Year 5 and 6 project-based homework


Students are assigned open and authentic tasks and are able to develop according to their own interests and level.

Science days


Each term the whole school participates in a science day. 

Ukulele Clubs


All students are welcome to participate in the Matamagic Ukes during a specified lunchtime. Students play a range of songs with simple chords, thus extending their ability on the ukulele. These students further extend their abilities to playing riffs, tunes and scales on the ukulele. Advanced students also compose songs or develop their own adaptations of popular songs on the ukulele.

Home Learning Challenge


All students are encouraged to participate in a program centred around Matakana MAGIC (Key competencies). Whanau are encouraged to support the students with a range of activities. These may be outdoor or community based, sporting, hobbies or creative, for example.Challenges allow students to gain recognition for achievements outside of the school program.

Homework Club

As an extension programme, children who want to do more homework are invited to join a homework club. They volunteer their own time both at school and home.