Newsletter – Friday 18 December 2020


  • SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: Saturday 12 December 2020 – Sunday 31 January 2021
  • HOMEBASE SELECTION DAY: Monday 1 February 2021
  • TEACHER ONLY DAY [SCHOOL CLOSED]: Tuesday 2 February 2021
  • TEACHER ONLY DAY [SCHOOL CLOSED]: Wednesday 3 February 2021
  • IEMs: Thursday 4 February 2021
  • IEMs: Friday 5 February 2021
  • TERM 1 BEGINS: Tuesday 9 February 2021

Message from Duncan

As many of you will be aware I’ve been on sabbatical during term 4. It’s been a great time to reflect on my time in education, the things I’ve achieved and the things I would like to do.

Unlimited, firstly and then Ao Tawhiti has been my, home away from home, and the people connected to it have become my whanau. This place gave me a belief in the power of what schooling can be, it showed me that it didn’t have to be a battle everyday and that when a community comes together to care for it’s young people that extraordinary things can happen.
I’m grateful to our Board of Trustees who have considered and accepted an application to grant me leave in 2021. I love this place and what it represents, however, the time has also come for me to leave and to take my next step. My son has recently graduated, we’ve achieved many of the goals we set ourselves as a leadership group when the school’s were merged. It feels like the time is right.

Education is in my blood, but I’m ready for a new challenge within it. So, for the last few months I’ve been chipping away at creating a small business for myself as an education consultant. Having spent 20 years working as an educator, 14 of them in a special character school, 7 in an area school and 11 in senior leadership I’ve been fortunate to be able to build a pretty extensive set of knowledge and understanding about schooling in New Zealand. I’m hoping now to be able share some of that learning with others and help them succeed on their education journeys.
I have set myself up a small website and have a couple of social media profiles to support. If you are interested in what I’m doing please feel free to check them out.

There are too many people for me to acknowledge personally in this message. Please know I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had, the connections I’ve made and for the care the community has given to me and my family.

As I’ve thought through the past 14 years, reflecting on all that this place is and what it is that makes is so magic… it struck me in it’s simplicity…

The student is central in directing his or her own learning so that the enthusiasm and love of learning is retained.

Tangata ākona i te Ao Tawhiti tūnga ki te ao tau ana

People taught well at Ao Tawhiti can stand in the world with ease and confidence


Junior Production photos – Greek Mythology Olympiaganza