Learning @ OAS

A community where we all thrive and strive

Our Vision:

Onewhero Area School - A community where we all thrive and strive.

Adopted in 2020, our vision encapsulates our focus over the next three years at OAS. Our aim is for every student, no exceptions, to first be able to thrive in a safe and welcoming environment at school from the age of 5 to 18. We will teach them how to monitor and improve their own wellbeing as part of our curriculum so they are able to live better lives at school and beyond. We then expect them to aim high, to be their best selves and to be able to take responsibility for their own learning.


We weave our values throughout our curriculum. In the classroom where we discuss values in relation to learning:

  • Using our character strengths to work through challenging learning

  • Learning contexts that focus on our values

  • Key pedagogies that empasise working together, taking responsibility and celebrating success

We have partnered with the Ministry of Education to develop our Positive Behavior for Learning (PB4L) program - this helps learners throughout the school know and show our values where ever they are at school.

We promote and recognise students who show our values at our whole school assemblies.


For centuries the river has stood at the heart of everything that happened in the area from transport to commerce to agriculture and horticulture. For our school it is a tremendous opportunity to connect to a real and significant context in our learning and it will play a significant part of our local curriculum. There are opportunities for us to learn about and contribute to conserving our region’s life-blood.

A theme from our review talk about having shared direction and understanding. We liken this to a journey on a river in a waka. For those that have ever paddled in a waka together it is not an easy task, particularly on a long journey. Each person will have their ups and downs and will feel like giving up at times. We will all get tired and we have to look after each other because we are part of a team and together we can be so much better than on our own. We all want the same thing. In the case of our journey it’s to get our young people to the mouth of the river where they will leave our waka well-prepared for the next phase and challenges of life.

'Waikato te Awa' is of great metaphorical significance for us at Onewhero Area School. As students move through their educational journey at Onewhero Area School they encounter many challenges. We see this journey as a voyage down a river. When a river starts it is a small trickle, building up over time as new water (learning) is added to it.

In Tainui there is a proverb about the river, 'Waikato-taniwha-rau, he piko, he taniwha, he piko, he taniwha'. The river of a hundred taniwha, on each corner, a taniwha. Often the learning is challenged or tested by Katiaki or guardians. These Kaitiaki are our Taniwha. We expect that as our learners continue through our school they will encounter Taniwha who will guide, support, challenge and have high expectations of them.

As the student begins to prepare to leave OAS, they can explore the delta of the river - Te Puuaha o Waikato. The different styles of water flow, the different environments, and challenges. They begin to guide their own journey. Eventually they make their way to the sea and begin their journey into the world on their own. They take with them the learning from the time at OAS and the challenges from our Taniwha along the way.