Enrichment programmes and extracurricular activities

Island Bay School offers a range of enrichment programmes that students can join. Teachers will talk to children about these programmes in class to see who is interested. Here's a summary of what's on offer.

Enrichment programmes


Extracurricular optional activities



Enrichment programmes

Freedom Friday Enrichment Programme


Freedom Friday is an opportunity for our tamariki to explore new skills and activities alongside children from across the school. The programme runs on Fridays from 9.30 - 11am, in 8 to 10 week cycles. At the start of each new cycle, children select their top three choices from a range of options. Then they are placed in one of their choices. Past options have included Forest School, cooking, wearable arts, vex robotics and many more. 

We like our Freedom Friday Programme to reflect our current students' passions and interests. If you are able to help with an option, we would love to hear from you. 


Science, Sustainability and Garden to Table with Dianne


Island Bay School's sustainability programme aims to teach children the science of sustainability. 


In the Garden to Table programme, children are taught about the food value of the vegetables we are growing and eating, and how the minerals, vitamins, fibre and protein content bolster our health and help protect us from disease.  


They also learn where the vegetables and fruit originate from. Tomatoes, pumpkin, kumara, corn etc came from South America originally and spinach from the Middle East - most likely Persia or modern day Iran.  We cover the basics behind why we organically grow all of our food and use only natural fertilisers such as blood and bone, dolomite, sheep and chicken pellets and compost how this ensures that the food we grow is healthier than that grown in a chemical environment.


We also look at how to control pests naturally, using nets and homemade organic sprays where possible.

We are working with Wellington City Council's Waste Heroes Programme to deepen our practice and knowledge around waste management and sustainable practice for our homes and in our community.  


Our science programme is woven through regular classwork, but each class also gets a dedicated slot twice a term to explore other aspects of science. 


Our juniors and middle school look at concepts such as:

  • Is there a dark side to the moon?

  • Do we always see the same side of the moon?  How do we know?

  • Why doesn't the moon fall down?

  • Why is the moon covered in craters?

  • Have we seen the far side of the moon?


The senior school looks at concepts such as whether we can terraform the Moon or Mars. What does it take to terraform the Moon or Mars? What does terraforming mean?  Can we change the Moon and Mars' atmosphere or do we need to look at other ideas to confront this challenge.  


We are also looking at the Gateway Programme, the Moon settlement programme and the long term project to take us to Mars in the not too distant future.  

Contact Dianne Lee, our specialist Science and Sustainability teacher for more information.

Calendar art.PNG

Visual Art and Art with Kristy


Through engaging in the visual arts, students learn how to discern, participate in, and celebrate their own and others' visual worlds. Visual arts learning begins with children's curiosity and delight in their senses and stories and extends to the communication of complex ideas and concepts.  


The Art Room is housed in the old dental clinic by the Clyde Street entrance to the school.

Students visit the art room once a term to work with our visual art specialist, Kristy Holly, while the classroom teachers have their classroom release day.


Over their schooling at Island Bay School students take part in a range of art experiences including ceramic work, printmaking, painting, textiles and sculpture.


Students are introduced to a variety of artists and art movements, from both a local and international setting.


The artworks that the students create are displayed around the school and updated regularly on Kristy’s blog.


See what they've created here www.artwithkristy.com


School Sports 

As part of the NZ curriculum, our students have physical education sessions woven into their weekly programme. These include swimming lessons (usually at Kilbirnie Aquatic Centre), gymnastics, cricket, hockey, Pedal Ready and more.


Some of these activities are taken by the class/hub teacher, and some are taken by external organisations. Children will need to bring/wear appropriate gear when their class/hub is participating in these sessions.

During the year we hold a number of whole school sports days. All children participate, and we usually spend some class time training in the weeks leading up to the event. These events include:

  • Cross Country

  • Swimming sports

  • Athletics

These events are part of the Primary Sport Wellington programme (see their website) which links to Southern and Interzone competitions. Generally the top 5 children in our school competitions at each level (Y4-6) attend Southern Zone sports, followed by Interzone and Regionals, depending on placings.

We often require parent help at these events for marshalling, supervision and sometimes transport. This is advertised in the school newsletter.

Contact our Sports Specialist teacher, Alice Domett Doyle for more information about these events.

EOTC Week (Education Outside the Classroom)

Usually held in Term 4, Education Outside the Classroom is an opportunity to get involved with learning experiences we wouldn't be able to offer inside the classroom.


For example, a day at forest school which allows kids to practice their innovation and resilience.


It is a stepping stone towards camp in years 5 & 6 and an opportunity to work with different kids in different learning spaces. 

School Camp

New Zealand is a unique country with easy access to the coast, rivers, mountains and lakes.  Most New Zealanders interact with this natural environment - living in it, working in it and playing in it.  This special focus on life outdoors is used to enhance the learning of children and to prepare them for this lifestyle. 


Camp is part of the school’s outdoor education programme which is a key area of learning in the Health and Physical Education curriculum. 


Camp provides a range of experiences in outdoor and community living not available in the regular school environment.


  • Enjoying the challenge and excitement of new experiences;

  • Having self-esteem and the confidence that goes with it;

  • Sensitivity to, and respect for, the strengths and weakness of self and others;

  • Resilience and coping with changes and challenges.


Skills and dispositions:

  • Decision-making + problem-solving;

  • Taking responsibility for self and others;

  • Developing resilience, independence and interdependence;

  • Relating to others including working as team members, managing self, participating and contributing (Key Competencies)


Philosophy for Children (P4C)

Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a worldwide democratic education movement that recognises that children are natural philosophers; P4C enables students to explore their wonderings about the world.

Classroom discussions are sparked by a philosophically rich picture book, picture, dilemma or question. Children are encouraged to share their questions and thoughts, then the group chooses a question to pursue that they agree will provoke a productive philosophical discussion.

By sharing perspectives, giving reasons for their opinions, listening, making connections, identifying misconceptions, and changing their minds if presented with stronger reasoning for an alternative perspective, children develop their philosophical skills and understanding.

Rather than seeking consensus, P4C aims to sharpen students' thinking through learning from and building on each other's thinking. Research has found that P4C develops students' capacity for curiosity, collaboration, critical thinking, critical thinking, and empathy (Fisher, 2007), it builds learners' cognitive intelligence (Topping & Trickey, 2007), and improves social relationships and reduces bullying in schools (Topping & Trickey, 2004). 


Whole School Community Events and Parent Info evenings

We usually start the year with a BYO whānau picnic dinner, which is a great way for families to reconnect after the summer holidays, and for news families to start making connections within our school community.

During the year we host a number of Parent Information Evenings. These often include presentations by well-known educators, or subject-expert visitors such as internet safety experts.


We often host kids movie nights at the same time to allow both parents to attend the adult information sessions. These evenings are advertised in the school newsletter.


A whole school picnic at Shorland Park and Island Bay beach is a much loved end-of-year tradition. Kids walk down in class groups and families are welcome to join us.

Hub/Class Community Events & the Parent Link

We want to make it easy for the kids and families in a hub to get together outside of school and school-run events - as a hub group, as small groups and as individual play dates.


Our aim is to build and foster community and a sense of connectedness and belonging to our school community.


We achieve this using optional parent contact lists, and having organised hub get-togethers each term. See more about these events, Parent Links and Meal Rosters here


Optional extracurricular activities

Kapa haka and Te Reo extension classes

We have some great opportunities for our tamariki to practice te reo at school during the week.


Talk to your child/ren about trying out kapa haka on a Friday at 12.15pm or Te Reo Extension on a Friday at 11.30am.


All students are welcome to come and give it a go!


We also have  Whanau Group which meets once a term. Visit the Whanau Group page for more informaton

Contact Maria for more information.


Chess Club


Chess Club is held at 8am every Tuesday in the Learning Hub.


All children are welcome to come along. Run by Alice Domett Doyle, children are encouraged to give chess a go.


Parent helpers are on hand to help children navigate games.


Student Council

The Student Council is a group of passionate young leaders who have been elected by their peers to represent them.


These year 5/6 students attend meetings to discuss ideas and ways to make Island Bay School a great place. They put these ideas into action and are brilliant role models for our younger tamariki.


The Student Council has organised and run 14 Poetry Cafes, run the school disco, organised Movin' March, created video content during lockdown and more.


Performing Arts


Junior and Senior Choir & Artsplash

Our Junior Choir is open to all Y0-2 students who wish to learn how to sing as a part of a group. Senior Choir is for students from Y3-6. Both choirs rehearse at lunchtime. Contact Rachel Jackson for more information.


Every year, Island Bay School participates in Artsplash where thousands of primary school students from around the Wellington region perform at the Michael Fowler Centre, accompanied by the Artsplash Festival Band, Chilton Amadeus Orchestra, Scots College Orchestra, and Wellington’s Sinfonietta Orchestra.




Our students learn various dance styles that are performed at the Michael Fowler Centre. Students choreograph and perform their own routines. Dancesplash combines many genres including hip-hop, creative, jazz, cultural and ballet. 

School Orchestra and Band

Information to come


School sport opportunities

Island Bay School has the opportunity to put school teams for a number of events and tournaments during the year. These events are separate from community Clubs.

  • Touch Rugby in Terms 1/4

  • Cricket in Term 1

  • Netball in Term 2

  • Basketball in Term /3

  • Tennis in Term 3

  • Waterpolo in Term 4

Alice Domett Doyle coordinates the set up of these teams and advertises in the school newsletter when they are starting up.


Once set up, the teams require parents to take on the coach/manager roles and run training sessions.