Wā Ora Experiences

Parent stories

“When thinking of an education for our two girls we dismissed Montessori as we thought that what was good enough for us would be good enough for them.  That changed later when it was apparent that standard schooling was not working as we had hoped.  In moving to Wā Ora we discovered that Montessori is unique in the way it educates the whole person.  There is equal attention to the social, emotional, mental and physical needs of the child.  We believe that Montessori is perhaps decades ahead of its contemporaries in this respect and have watched with joy as our children have flourished.”
Kirsty Jury

“Our children are flourishing at Wā Ora. They love their teachers, their classrooms, and their classmates. They have a thirst for learning and a pride in their achievements that’s a delight to see. They’re given every opportunity to succeed. We value the school’s emphasis on social and communication skills, and self-directed learning and problem-solving. These are skills we learnt the hard way as adults, and we’re glad our children will leave school better equipped for adult life than we were.”
Sarah Kerkin

“Since we began our journey at Wā Ora, all of our three children have moved from the playgroup through to Preschool and then to the Primary school.  What I love about Wā Ora is how natural and seamless these transitions have been for them. They are already familiar with the environment, materials and expectation and therefore couldn’t be better prepared or more ready or excited about moving up through the different classes of the school. As a result, they have a clear vision of the educational journey that lies ahead of them and, most importantly, they are excited and confident about taking each new step.”
Kersti Taylor


Pupil stories

“My name’s Dylan Budge and I am a year 10 in the high school. This is my eleventh year at Wā Ora. I have always liked it here with the style of learning where you have the freedom of choice on what you want to learn about. I am currently planning on staying at the school until year 13. I have been very lucky to be able to attend here and I would recommend this school to anyone.”
Dylan Budge

“Hi there, I’m Dylann Sweeney, and I am in Tōtara class, which is taught by two wonderful teachers, Richard Goodyear and Joel Batson. I started Montessori preschool in the US before moving to New Zealand, so have never been in a school that is not Montessori and have never experienced any other type of teaching or school work. One thing I like about Wā Ora is that you can do any kind of work that you want. You get to choose what you want to work on, whether it be writing or maths. I also really like the 9-12 school camp at the end of the year. It is awesome, and a great time to spend with your friends and teachers. And at the end of Term 2 every second year, we host a school production, which gives each student a chance to have an acting part and learn lots of lines.”
Dylann Sweeney

My whole educational experience has been at Wā Ora, from preschool to Year 13. I am now studying at Otago University and find that looking back on my school years I particularly appreciate the diversity of my class community. This taught me how to get on with people from all walks of life, something I am finding increasingly important as I continue to adjust to the widely varying University community. I value the support of my teachers which aided me in my pursuit of excellence. The regular periods of independent work time prepared me well to manage my time and prioritise my work, almost like a “taster” of University life.”
Esther Pinfold