Character & Caring Kia Aroha

Kia Aroha College is a designated-character Year 7 to 13 secondary school. Special Character Kia Aroha College has adopted the following aims as part of its special character.

  • To provide a learning environment where cultural identity, custom, language and knowledge is the norm.
  • To provide an holistic learning environment based on the philosophy and practice of whānau/family.
  • To honour the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • To comply with the National Education Guidelines
  • To give students participation in decision-making in curriculum content and planning
  • To involve parents and wider whānau in the education of their children, in culturally familiar ways that are empowering.
  • To foster high expectations for excellence in learning, culturally, socially and academically so children have choices for their future.

Kia Aroha means “through aroha”. The principle of aroha – authentic, genuine love and care – is fundamental to families/whānau and is the basis of strong relationships between staff and students and families at Kia Aroha College.

Warrior-Scholars Kia Aroha

Graduate Profile

The achievements of our community and our whānau’s determination for over 25 years to develop an educational model that is relevant to their children, have inspired our culturally responsive, critical, social justice, approach to learning and the curriculum “Warrior-Scholars” are young people who have high academic achievement, a secure cultural identity, and who understand their rights and responsibilities to act as agents of change for their people, in their communities and in our society.

Learning Kia Aroha

Warrior-Scholars are competent, ongoing, learners in all three aspects of Kia Aroha College’s unique, innovative learning model. We believe in the potential of every child to become a Warrior-Scholar and have high expectations for all our students.

Cultural Kia Aroha

Kapa Haka (Māori), and Pasifika Performing Arts are a strength of Kia Aroha College. Students participate at advanced level in competitions, festivals and community events. In 2012 Kia Aroha College was the Kura Matua (host school of the Māori stage) and overall convener of the ASB Polyfest. The College offers authentic engagement with cultures and community through the very active Kia Aroha Marae and our Fale Pasifika.
Self Learning Kia Aroha

Learning about myself, who am I and how I fit into the world around me, is crucial for young people. We value this ‘Self Learning’ just as highly as we value academic learning. Our children’s languages, their cultural norms, how they “live as Māori,” how they can learn and succeed ‘as Māori,’ or as Samoan, or whoever they are, how they develop a strong cultural identity, their wairua/spirituality, whānaungatanga/their connectedness – are all high status learning, valid in their own right.




Bilingual Learning

Research has shown that children who speak more than one language have definite academic advantages across all areas of the curriculum. We value the first languages of all students and encourage the use of languages other than English in all aspects of our programme. We also encourage and foster excellence in English.
Te Whānau o Tupuranga is the Māori bilingual school within the Kia Aroha College campus
Fanau Pasifika our Pasifika languages school, offers the following programmes:

Fonuamalu, our Tongan bilingual unit
Lumana’i, our Samoan bilingual programme
Kimiora, provides support for Cook Islands Māori and Cook Islands culture and, from 2012 the beginning of a Niuean language and cultural programme
All bilingual education programmes in Kia Aroha College aim to foster and/or maintain longer-term student bilingualism and biliteracy. Programmes vary according to the language and/or students’ needs.

School Learning Kia Aroha

Academic Programme

Years 7 to 9

All students cover the full New Zealand Curriculum, offering well balanced and up to date programmes in the learning areas of:

  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • English
  • Learning Languages:
  • Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Cook Islands Māori
  • Social Sciences
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Health and Physical Education
  • The Arts
  • Information, Communications Technology

Years 10 to 13

Kia Aroha College offers NCEA courses to all students from Year 10 to 13 in a full range of curriculum areas.

In the Senior School we believe learning must be individually personalised to the learner, to their interests, strengths and career pathways. Our goal is for all students to complete Level 3 NCEA and achieve University Entrance standards or admission to further study towards tertiary qualifications and/or trades. Each student will be involved in mentoring and negotiation with senior staff regarding their programmes and choices.

Curriculum Integration

This approach to learning has been a feature on the Campus since 2002. This model of Curriculum Integration involves students in the negotiation and decision-making about what topics they want to study. Our model involves young people in action research in the study of issues and concerns that impact on their lives, families, and communities – and it provides them with the tools to make change in the world. Our teachers are highly skilled in this type of learning.

Qualities of the Curriculum Integration Teacher:

  • Respects the dignity of young people.
  • Listens carefully.
  • Has a deep interest in excellence and equity.
  • Sees diversity as a source of strength.
  • Wants students to think about Big Ideas.
  • Global Learning Kia Aroha

Our ‘Global Learning’ lens connects our young people to the many worlds and activities outside school, and particularly to learning needed for the future through information and communications technology.

Digital Learning

The school campus offers more than just a traditional school experience. The purpose built state-of-the-art Studio 274 (formerly Clubhouse 274) opened in 2008, is an after-school drop in facility where members choose to come and work on projects that interest them. It provides our young people with top quality computer and music access. During the day the students at Kia Aroha College are able to use these facilities and significant numbers of students enjoy being part of Studio 274 activities from 3pm – 7pm each night. Our programme is now the flagship Studio for a network expanding across the country and into the Pacific.
Studio 274 provides a wireless network across our community to give our students and families access to the internet and to link them to our Connected Community Project.

Beyond School

Kia Aroha College offers senior students courses and pathways towards further study and employment. We access a variety of courses, and career related experiences, to provide greater opportunities for senior students. Through our Gateway programme senior students have the opportunity to undertake structured workplace learning across a range of industries and businesses, while continuing to study at school. These opportunities also offer credits towards NCEA.

Community Kia Aroha

Kia Aroha College offers an innovative Whānau Centre which gives families a place to meet and to work on ways to support their children’s education. The Centre provides a venue for workshops and programmes on issues that affect our young people and also incorporates our Student Health Centre. The Whānau Centre is staffed with experienced social workers, youth health nurses, and youth workers.

We’re about Whānau

In 2011 we welcomed the publication of the Families Commission research report, Thriving in Practice, (O’Sullivan, 2011). The Commission, looked for cases of “exemplary organisations that put ‘families whānau’ priorities and motivations at the centre of their practice.” The researcher spent two years being part of every aspect of our school life. Kia Aroha College senior students told her:

We’re about whānau
Whether it’s your whānau kura (school whānau)
Or your whānau at home
Your up-north whānau (tribal whānau)
Or the whānau you never met
When you’re together, that’s whānau
That’s the connection
At Tupuranga, we’re treated like people.
This kura is our haven; here, we feel safe
I leave my house, walk down the road (to school)
And I’m home again