Kia ora koutou. The 2020 year has commenced with the highest roll ever for our school at 88 students. We are a Specialist school providing education for students aged five to twenty-one years with intellectual and/or physical disabilities, from the greater Rotorua and Taupo area.
In Rotorua, satellite classes operate at Western Heights School, Selwyn Primary School, Kaitao Middle School, Owhata Primary, Sunset Primary (2 units), and 2 satellite classes at Malfroy. In Taupo there is a class located at Mountview Primary School. Six classes operate at the Rotorua Specialist School base school, in the western suburbs of Rotorua. All students are enrolled at Rotorua Specialist School, and all staff, including teacher aides, are employed by the Rotorua Specialist School Board of Trustees.
A large Activity Centre provides an area for full assemblies, celebratory occasions, dance, movement, physical activities, kapa haka and music. There is a sensory room there as well. Whanau are most welcome to attend assemblies and school occasions/events. We provide opportunities for community integration for the students and the following are examples of other activities they enjoy: Horse riding, gymnastics, ten pin bowling, recycling, library visits, dance, woodwork, computer off site experience, walks and runs in the Redwoods and at the Tree Trust, shopping for classroom cooking, swimming plus day trips organised by the teachers for their classes are some of the many activities.
Termly we organise sports events covering: Cross Country, Soccer, Athletics and Swimming for all students. A focus on Health and Well Being is paramount with an emphasis on fitness, particularly with our more able young people. Our school is fortunate in being one of the pilot schools for Food in Schools. Lunches are provided daily for our students plus, as a decile 2 school we enjoy Fruit in Schools. We are grateful for these two opportunities for our young people.
Here at Rotorua Specialist School we employ the following Specialists: Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapists (2), Vision and Mobility Therapist, Psychologists (2) and two Speech and Language Therapists. We also have a Learning Support Coordinator, which is a new initiative of the Ministry Of Education.
Bi-annually we hold a school Ball in Term 4 for our 12 plus years students and recent leavers, plus the seniors from Te Maru/ Western Heights are invited as well. This is always greatly enjoyed. We host a stunning Art Expo in Term 4 annually, where students display their amazing art. This year with the introduction of LEGO learning kindly sponsored by Ngati Whakaue, classes have the addition of working with Lego for Maths and Technology. Play Based Learning is also a component of our children's learning.
The 3 senior classes have their own vegetable gardens and enjoy the harvesting of the veggies and then the cooking! We hope to organise a Noho Marae in Term 4 of this year, or Term 1 of next year. All of our students must be ORS verified to enrol at our Specialist School. We are eagerly awaiting the building of our new classroom at the rear of our Base School scheduled for mid 2021. We have a fleet of vehicles which enables classes to be timetabled on for community integration.
Our Board of Trustees usually meets on the third Monday of the month. Rotorua Specialist School is part of the Te Maru Ngongotaha Kahui Ako, which comprises 12 schools in and around our school in close proximity. My vision is to strive to employ the best staff for the students, and to provide a nurturing, happy environment for them, where they are truly valued. Our collective Vision is to provide opportunities for each student to access learning at their level, and develop to their full potential as learners and members of the community in Aotearoa. I welcome the involvement of the community, and work closely with parents and caregivers, the local authorities as well as our own onsite specialists to provide excellent learning opportunities for all students. It is important for all of us to enjoy our time at school, for the students to be purposeful and successful to attain their potential, for our staff to be challenged and fulfilled, and for the whole community to be involved in the learning process.
We operate a unique and specific curriculum centred around the needs of each student, providing a learning environment that is motivating and challenging, success orientated, relevant with practical outcomes, individualised, and supported by specialists on site here at school. This website is intended to give you an overview of life at our unique school. We always encourage visits, however in the interim, if you would like to know anything further, please contact us.