Willowbank School was the first new school of the millennium, and was officially opened by Margaret Mahy ONZ in April 2001 with a roll of eighty-seven children, nine teachers and three auxiliary staff.

Today Willowbank School caters for between seven hundred and twenty and eight hundred and fifty children and has a combined staff of sixty. The school is set in aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly grounds, with extensive learning resources including an e-learning interactive centre (library, ICT suite and digital learning classroom) that all children have ready access to.  The school boasts two fantastic adventure playgrounds, a well-developed nature trail and excellent court and field areas.

Our school vision of Discover, Develop and Nurture is an integral part of every aspect of the learning day at Willowbank.

The Willowbank Way, our pro-active learning and social ethos encourages children to:

  • Discover the Potential - by giving everything a go to the best of their ability.
  • Develop the Learning - by learning to think and thinking to learn.
  • Nurture the Relationships - by respecting others and ourselves.

Willowbank is unique in the way that classroom levels are placed around the school and in the social relationships are nurtured. Through the Awhina concept, children socialise and learn in three different settings: in the classroom, within a year level team and in their Awhina group. Each child is known and nurtured by staff and buddies in his/her Awhina group and by staff and buddies in his/her class and year group.

We have been awarded a silver "Enviro School" award for our commitment to the environment. We are also a Zero Waste/Wastewise school and have programmes in place to limit the amount of landfill collected from our school (see Enviro School page). Each year our young leaders – the Awhina Captains and Peer Mediators, organize events to raise the children’s awareness to the plight of others and encourage each Awhina to donate to a wide range of charities.

These are just a few of the things that make Willowbank School a school of which we are very proud.

Our staff provide the very best learning programmes with a focus on Literacy, Numeracy and higher order thinking skills to cater for each and every child.


Together with our community, our staff work to provide education that will foster a desire and an interest in learning through out life. 


Willowbank CottageWillowbank 2001

Left: Willowbank Cottage built in 1854 - the orginal schoolhouse for the local children.

Right:  Willowbank School when we opened in 2001.






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