About Us


IBS Curriculum

Through an inquiry model, Island Bay School endeavours to integrate all of the learning areas from the New Zealand Curriculum into their teaching and learning.  Our curriculum document unpacks what our learning looks like in detail. 


Click on the image to open the IBS Curriculum. 


From the New Zealand Curriculum:


In English, students study, use, and enjoy language and literature communicated orally, visually, or in writing.


In the arts, students explore, refine, and communicate ideas as they connect thinking, imagination, senses, and feelings to create works and respond to the works of others.


In health and physical education, students learn about their own well-being, and that of others and society, in health-related and movement contexts.


In learning languages, students learn to communicate in an additional language, develop their capacity to learn further languages and explore different worldviews in relation to their own.


In mathematics and statistics, students explore relationships in quantities, space, and data and learn to express these relationships in ways that help them to make sense of the world around them.


In science, students explore how both the natural physical world and science itself work so that they can participate as critical, informed, and responsible citizens in a society in which science plays a significant role


In the social sciences, students explore how societies work and how they themselves can participate and take action as critical, informed, and responsible citizens.


In technology, students learn to be innovative developers of products and systems and discerning consumers who will make a difference in the world.


Our Values

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Our Vision

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Inquiry model

Our approach to learning at Island Bay School is primarily inquiry-based.  Inquiry-based learning s a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge.

Teachers facilitate students through our inquiry model to enable deeper thinking and understanding.  John Biggs's SOLO Taxonomy is used by teachers and students to assess learning and inform next steps.  Refer to Island Bay School Curriculum to further explore the Inquiry Model.


Future focus

When our children enter the workforce, they are likely to have more say about who they work for, how much they work, as well as where and when they work. 


The 2017 OECD ‘Future of work and skills’ report identified the challenges our children will face in their future which include –


Preparing young people for the jobs of the future by ensuring that they are equipped with the right type of skills to successfully navigate through an ever-changing, technology-rich work environment, and give all workers the opportunity to continuously maintain their skills, upskill and/or reskill throughout their working lives. 

Island Bay School is conscious of the changes in education and sees these as exciting opportunities for our students. 


Through the explicit teaching of our school values, dispositions, and key competencies, our students are empowered to drive their learning, become problem finders, and inquire into the 'why of learning' whilst stumbling along the way.



Collaborative Learning Hubs

Across the school, we have a range of learning environments that cater to children with diverse learning needs.  Teachers design learning collaboratively so that all students are taught by needs and personal learning goals, understanding that the "one size fits all approach" to teaching and learning falls short of good practice. 

Our hubs are made up of groups of children called Guardian Groups.  Each Guardian Group is connected with a teacher for pastoral care but will learn alongside all teachers in that hub. 

Break out spaces inside the hubs provide affordances for students to attend or teach small workshops, or practice learning independently.  

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Positive Behaviour for Learning - PB4L

Ministry of Education funds a programme called Positive Behaviour for Learning - PB4L.


The purpose of PB4L is to create a safe and happy environment within our school community to build confident, connected learners who make a positive difference.


Visual Arts

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.  


As well as the rich visual arts facilitated in the classrooms and hubs, twice a term, classes spend an art day with our specialist art teachers, while classroom teachers have their allocated classroom release time.


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

Kapa Haka and extension Māori

We offer the children an opportunity to join the school Kapa haka that runs every Friday from 12.15 -1 pm in the hall. Extension Maori is also offered for those interested at 11.30- 12.15 every Friday in the learning hub for the girls and in the hall for Boys.


Our girls will concentrate on waiata and poi making, and be learning Te Reo through games and resources.


Our boys learn speech (whaikorero) and taiaha - long rakau sticks.


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). 

Physical Education

Annual PE curriculum events include:


School Skip-a-thon

School cross country

Southern and Interzone Cross Country (Years 4 to 6)

School Swimming 

Southern and Interzone Swimming (Years 4 to 6)

School Athletics


Each year, as a part of the Physical Education curriculum, different PE programmes are run during the school day for classes, such as Small Sticks hockey, Volleyball, Football, etc. Information about these in-class programmes is communicated on the school website and through the school newsletter.


2018  Sports Coordinator - Alice Domett Doyle 


Freedom Friday

Freedom Friday is a time on Friday afternoons where kids get choice over activities that interest them.  Teachers, Staff, and Parents from our community run an array of options for the kids to opt in to every term of the year.  Freedom Friday is a time where kids can have fun, try things they haven't tried before, open themselves to new experiences, and cultivate the values of our school.  


Some examples of Freedom Friday activities are:

  • Board Games 

  • Clay Making 

  • Photography

  • Chemistry for kids 

  • Glee Club

  • Dance 

  • Running Club

  • Lego

Learning Support

Island Bay School has an expert Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Andrea Bailey, who leads and oversees the school’s provision of support for children with special needs.


The SENCO leads the Special Needs committee, which meets every fortnight and deals with resourcing, support and referrals for children with special needs. Teachers refer children to the committee who then coordinate and plan for support.


Should you be concerned about your child’s learning or behaviour then talk to your child’s class teacher and ask whether it is appropriate to refer your child to the special needs committee.