Tamariki School web site

Originally a private school, owned and operated by the parents, Tamariki integrated into the New Zealand state system as a Special Character school in 1990. It has to comply with the National Curriculum within the National Education Guidelines and is audited regularly by the Education Review Office. Its Special Character sometimes makes this a difficult task for the inspectors, but Tamariki meets all the required criteria. What follows is extracted from the Tamariki Teacher’s Manual.


Teaching at Tamariki is very demanding and testing, and very rewarding and satisfying. Teachers need to be:

Open about their own learning, strengths and weaknesses. Patient. Prepared for it to take a long time to be at ease in the environment. Patient. Able to laugh at themselves and with others. Patient. Able to tolerate difference, anger and distress without becoming caught up in it. Patient. Aware of children's developmental patterns, and different learning styles. Patient. Conversant with the New Zealand Curriculum documents, and able to recognise how children's learnings mesh with these. Patient, and yet again patient

The Special Character of the school, as described below, is the best guide for all working there.

1. Emotional and social growth are regarded as the base for cognitive development and strategies which support these growths have priorities over all other activities

It is the teacher's responsibility to:

2. Relationships between teachers and children are based on trust. We accept that children may need to test the reliability of teachers before learning takes place.

It is the teacher's responsibility to:

3. Children are deeply involved in creating and maintaining the social structures by which the school functions. It is the teacher's responsibility to:

4. Children's learning is to a very great extent under their own control. The child's learning belongs to him/herself.

It is the teacher's responsibility to:

5. Mistakes are regarded as important learning information.

It is the teacher's responsibility to:

6. A child always works at his/her individual level of competence. The focus of teaching strategies is to acknowledge and support what children do well, and to use these strengths in areas of weakness.

It is the teacher's responsibility to:

7. Children are encouraged at all times in all areas to compare their work and skills with their own previous achievements and their own goals. It is the teacher's responsibility to:

8. Play is regarded as children's work. It is the teacher's responsibility to:

9. The children have a very large measure of control over their environment.

It is the teacher's responsibility to:

10. Tamariki operates in many ways like an extended family, offering support and encouragement to all its members (including teachers).

The Tamariki website is