Positive Points Blog

A sample of the many positive comments we proudly receive...

Meeting the Teacher


I am just dropping a line to say a big thank you for organising “meet the teacher” event the other day it was great to have that time getting to know my daughters’ teachers, especially when we only meet them during parent interviews. It was really helpful especially being a full time working Mum.  Thanks to your teachers for giving up an evening to meet the parents and community.

Three Cheers


Firstly, I wanted to pass on my thanks to the staff for making themselves available for the Meet the Teacher session last week. It was so nice to have the opportunity to drop in to find out a bit more about what's going on, particularly as I haven't had a chance to come into the classrooms yet this year.

I also wanted to tell you how excited we are about the introduction of the ISTEAM programme this year (as our children's teachers have heard...). It's such a fantastic way for the kids to engage in the curriculum and their learning. We've had enthusiastic updates on every session to date from each of our three children. Last week's fiveyearold fact after looking at building structures was that triangles are the strongest shape..

Please could you also pass on our thanks to the Board of Trustees for stepping in to buy the year 5's the Chrome Books/iPads this year. Not only are we appreciative in terms of the expense you have saved us, but also that battle over ownership of a device. It's one we want to avoid for as long as possible, so you've bought us a bit more time on that one!

Farewell Owairoa


Please accept my deepest thanks and appreciation for the years my daughter has enjoyed at Owairoa.  She has flourished at your school and we have, as a family, so very much enjoyed being part of the Owairoa community.

I will never be able to thank you all enough. Every single member of staff we have dealt with has exemplary.  Professional, compassionate, you are all a testament to what makes this school, and the greater Howick community, such an extraordinary place to live and belong and we will miss everyone so much.

Feedback with Thanks


My daughter loves the school and loves going to school. As a parent I appreciate the amazing teachers that the school has, they are engaged and care about all the children, in each of the years as my daughter has progressed through the school there has not been one teacher that doesn’t have the same values and level of care, this also extends to the office staff, it really does feel like a family. 

Apart from the curriculum which has her engaged, she also enjoys the chance to do out of classroom activities like gymnastics and dance. She is also enjoying drama at the moment.  I am pleased that the after school programme is now run extremely well by the Bizzy Bodz team with homework completed as this helps the night time routine which is so short for the parents that work full time. Again when I go and pick her up, they are all happy and chatty with the carers and each other its brilliant.

I think Owairoa is giving her a good start to her school career and I hope that her love of learning that has been taught by the school, sees her through to adulthood!

Hip Hop Thanks

The Lil Leaguez on Stage

Liam and I wanted to give you a huge thank you for supporting his Whittakers Chocolate fundraiser for Dance. His team ‘Lil Leaguez’ competed at Hip Hop Unite over the weekend in Wellington. We didn’t come in the Top 10, but we were 13th out of 25 crews, so they did pretty well and learned a lot about how they can improve, all while demonstrating great sportsmanship.

Thanks again for your support, Mieke and Liam

Glowing International Feedback

Proud to Belong

By introduction, I'm from China, and I have a 7-year-old boy.

I got to learn about Owairoa Primary School from some web blogs introducing their kids' experiences as international students at your school.  I was deeply impressed by the open and flexible teaching style, the friendly and safe environment, the "family" culture, and mostly the sincere smiles on children's faces, which are quite missing in our schools. 

I shared the web blogs with my son, and he was so attracted to the beautiful school yard, and such a variety of fun activities. I believe if you give my son the chance to study at your school, even for a short-term period, it would be fantastic memories for both of us.

Room 13 can SneezeSafe

Room 13 students proudly showing off their

Miss Oliver and Room 13 recently participated in a media campaign for SneezeSafe by Kleenex Tissues. 

Their claim to fame was when the film crew and photographers came, making this video for the NZ Herald website



We received this feedback from the SneezeSafe team….
“Thank you again for two wonderful days of SneezeSafe at your exceptional school.  The Kimberly-Clark NZ team were very impressed with the way Ariana was able to convey the messages so well to her class.”



International Thanks


Thanks very much for allowing my nephew to be in your school for a week. Despite the fact he has limited English, he thoroughly enjoy the experience.

I really would like to congratulate Owairoa School for providing such a friendly, accommodative and inclusive atmosphere which really make new entrants especially international students to feel at home.

Behvaioural Showcase


It was at the recent inter-school gymnastics competition.  I was absolutely blown away by the impeccable behaviour of ALL of the Owairoa students who attended.  There were many schools there and I was in shock by some of the behaviour of other schools children.  Owairoa stood out be far above the rest.  All the kids showed the utmost respect for Mr Church (which is also a credit to him) and sat patiently and quietly waiting their turns.

I have attended many school trips and camps, and this is typical behaviour of Owairoa children.  They consistently stand out from the others and their behaviour is always positively noticeable.

They are a credit to themselves, yourself, your teachers and the school.

Something for Everyone


I just thought I'd let you know that I really enjoyed the school gala you had. I don't have children; and it was lovely to have a variety of interesting things available for people who don't have children.


Not all the schools which have galas remember to cater for people who don't have children, but you had something for everyone. Well done.

Just Amazing


I would like to say thank you to yourself and staff for providing an amazing school and amazing education.

As a first time mum to the WHOLE school thing, is a little scary and so new, but I have nothing but praise for Owairoa and everything about this school. I look forward to 5 more years here and believe this is the Best school in the Country.

Priviliged to Belong


It is us as a family who feels privileged to be attending Owairoa Primary School. It is only when a person becomes a parent that they understand how important their local school is.

Owairoa is a terrific school because it's focus is on learning, providing quality programmes and making school fun and engaging for everyone. I have been so impressed with the various events that you have put on over the years that involve parents as well as the students.

Book Week Efforts


We attended the Book Week activity this afternoon. We really enjoyed ourselves and we would like to acknowledge their respective teachers for the time and effort that they put into organising and running this event.


Both our boys enjoy coming to school and love their teachers. This isn't a coincidence; it's due to their love for the kids, the way they make learning fun and encourage the students to be the best they can be. Both are awesome teachers.


Anyway, thanks again. I wanted to acknowledge the awesome work that your staff do-above and beyond the call of duty. It is very much appreciated. 

Piano Superstars


Our family recently attended the Piano Recital of Owairoa students in Howick which was organised by Mrs Klein.   It was a fantastic afternoon and we were very proud of our son and happy that he got this opportunity.  


We therefore wanted to thank you sincerely for making piano lessons available to students at Owairoa.  It is really fantastic to be part of a school that values extra curricula activities in this way.   Our son loves learning the piano and is making great progress thanks to Mrs Klein and her positive and friendly teaching style.  

App A Genius Invention


Just wanted to say, the Owairoa app is the most genius invention ever! I love that the important school dates can be transferred into my calendar – the App has already saved me on numerous occasions already! It's perfect for the busy working parents – I totally feel like I’m consistently in the loop with school bits and bobs. LOVE it!

Owairoa Environment Appreciation

During the holidays I helped some teaching colleagues set up their classrooms at other schools. While I was at these schools I had to carry furniture from room to room allowing me to see much of the school’s grounds.
Seeing the state of the grounds at these schools made me feel proud of how our school looks. These schools looked untouched since the last day of school. Some plants had overgrown everything near them while others were almost dead. Grass around the school was uncut. The school just felt like no one cared about it.
This made me appreciate something I’ve taken for granted since starting at Owairoa. That our school grounds always look immaculate no matter what time of the year. I’d just like to say a huge thanks to the grounds keepers here, as now I have seen what it could be like and have a new found appreciation for the standard our school has.
Mr William Howard

Definitely a Teacher


I did not get a chance today but I would like to thank you both for having me at Owairoa for a teaching experience day.  I really did have a wonderful time and the teachers and the children were very welcoming. 

It was really good to see my old school again and some of the teachers that are still there from when I was. I learnt so much and was able to witness the changes that have taken place since I was at school seven years ago.

Thank you so much for the opportunity! It has really helped to confirm that teaching is definitely what I want to do in the future!


Singing our Praises


I would like to pass on how impressed we continue to be with the school. Our daughters are both so happy and we couldn't ask for a better education for them than the one they are receiving. In particular, our eldest daughter has thrived at the school in the past year. At her previous school she often did not want to go to school and did not seem to making the progress at school that we felt she was capable of. The opposite has been true since she started at Owairoa - she is doing so well that it often surprises us and we are very grateful to be able to send both of our girls to such a wonderful school.

Athletics Twitter Positivity


In response to our Twitter message about our Interschool Athletics day, we had a reply tweet -

"@OwairoaPrimary was a great day... well behaved children... well done to all the children... awesome to be part of this outstanding school"

Online Uniform Ordering


I just wanted to congratulate you and your team on the wonderful online ordering system for uniforms. The site is easy to navigate and orders easy to process.  The lower costs (in some cases considerable) outweigh the courier costs and I personally find it much easier to order online, rather than the hassle of having to come to the school at a particular time.  I think this is fantastic progress for the school and just wanted to give you some feedback.

Also love the Owairoa App – another fantastic innovation.

Qing Zhu Chinese Festival

Proudly preparing the tea ceremony
Thank you for the opportunity to come to your Chinese festival event. The whole morning was filled with various delights as we were treated to performances by the children, engagement in a host of cultural activities and then to walk through and be served world class tea, traditional style in a most beautiful and tranquil garden was the icing on the cake!
My compliments to you and all those involved. Well done
Janine Chin, Manager, Confucius Institute in Auckland

Standing Ovation for Cinderella

My daughter and I were very fortunate to be invited to the Owairoa production Cinderella. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. Over the years i have attended numerous productions and they have always been of a high standard. We are very fortunate to have Mr Church in our Drama Department. As for Mr Barrett i wonder what his next hidden talent will be.

I have since spoken to a wide section of the cast and choir and they are all very proud of their part in the production, they enjoyed it right through practice to showing their talents on the stage.  I was quite surprised to learn that it was all organised and put together by five of our Male Teachers, but then we only have the best at Owairoa.

Thank you for a wonderful evening.

A Cinderella Experience

My husband and I came along to Cinderella last night. We have grandchildren in Year One thought we would come along to support the school.
What a wonderful experience for us in the audience and for the children who were in the show. I have been to school concerts etc when our children were at college, but have never been to a school production at a primary school.
I would like to offer our congratulations to Mr Barrett and all the rest of the team who organised and worked with the children, made the costumes etc etc. It was fantastic, funny, and totally unexpected. I can't begin to imagine how much time the teachers have put into this and would like to say thank you, thank you, for all the kids and my grandchildren who will hopefully have the same opportunity when they get older.

Inventors Fair Success

Just wanted to say a big congratulations to the staff and children for an excellent Inventors Fair on Thursday night.  I could see that a huge amount of work had gone in to educating; empowering and helping the children create their inventions.
The vibe in the hall was amazing, with so many excited and proud children talking about what they had achieved and learning from the other children.
Well done for a fun and educational evening.

Boys Club Success

Hard at work learning some basic building skills
I just wanted to congratulate Alan McIntyre and Andrew  Barrett on the “Boy’s club” started this year. My son was delighted to be chosen to participate in this group, and it is the highlight of his school week.
I think it is a great initiative, as it has given my son, who does not always find communication easy, a safe and fun place where he can develop these and other social skills. He always comes home excited and keen to share what he has done, and the skills he is learning have given him a boost of self-confidence.

We appreciate the time and effort being put into this group by Mr Barrett and hope it is possible for it to continue.

- Satisfied Parent

Mobile Dental Van Visit


We have both had a fabulous visit the past 3 days here at your very special school.  The children are so lovely and well behaved; they are a credit to you all.  

The staff have been very supportive and friendly and made our job very easy. We look forward to visiting again soon.

Regards Jody and Ellen, Dental Technicians

Singing our Praises

Senior Chrior at the Auckland Town Hall
Pip Faulknor , Conductor of the APPA Choir recently described our Choir as having “amazing joy and (their) love of singing came through”. Congratuations to our wonderful APPA Choir singers.

Parent Teacher Conference Success

Thank you for the recent Parent Teacher Conferences.  Both my husband and I were pleased to attend and get a progress update on our son.  The booking process is fantastic to use - I had the need to change the appointment and found it easy to navigate and reschedule.   The availability of the crèche was a very nice touch (we did not need to utilise it but appreciated that it had been thought of).

imaginz – The Joy of Making

Students using great imagination
“Many thanks for your time yesterday – you have a fantastic school and students and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and I learnt a lot. What I particularly enjoyed yesterday was the student’s enthusiasm and communication skills they demonstrated. There was some great problem solving skills being used and the outcomes were successful especially when they realized that the only constraint was their imagination. “
Suzy Roper, imaginz

The Social Media Grapevine


A summary of comments on Social Media this month in relation to this question:  

Just visited Owairoa school to enrol our daughter for next year. Your opinion and experiences will be appreciated”

* My daughter has been there for one term and we couldn’t be happier. We were made to feel so welcome when we arrived.

* I have 3 kids there now. They LOVE it! Teaches are fantastic, and care about the kids. Great school :)

* Awesome school, I have two there (year 6 and year 3) and one starting in August. Extremely happy there. Staff are very friendly, they take great care of the children!

* Love it, have felt very welcome and 5 year old is doing fantastically there. Very happy with our choice.

* Fabulous school my Daughter is in her last year there, started at 5, she is a well above average student and I thank all the teachers at Owairoa with all my heart.

Shining Stars Visit Owairoa


Thank you so much for giving us such a comprehensive tour of your school on Tuesday. What a fantastic experience for our Shining Stars! Ruby, Lucy and Angela were very proud that we were visiting ‘their’ school, and it was just lovely that Ruby was able to sit in her own classroom with Mrs Harvey and her ‘soon-to-be’ classmates.

The whole experience gave the Shining Stars children plenty to contemplate and chatter about on our way back to kindy, and to reflect on during the following mat-time J.  It also helps us in our planning for the Shining Stars prep for school programme.
- Howick Baptist Church Kindergarten

Wet and Wild Fun

A big thank you for Friday’s Wet ‘n Wild Day.  You made a lot of children very, very happy on Friday. It was a great day that they/we will remember forever. I know, our two little boys went to bed exhausted from "Wet 'n' Wild" and the "Disco" and happy.

Camp Success


I’d like to acknowledge all the hard work that was put into the Year 5/6 camp at Raglan.   It is a well-oiled machine as I know from the prior camps, and it requires a massive amount of hard work on behalf of the teachers.  The payoff is that the children benefit hugely from this experience.  

My son had an amazing week away.   Whilst he was uncertain about being away from home for a week, he developed relationships with children not in his immediate friendship circle, tried every activity available, and as a result his confidence soared.  In his words:  ‘camp Raglan was awesome!!’.
- Supportive Parent

Engaging in Sustainability

Thanks again for all your work in coordinating our visit to Owairoa Primary School. I had a great time and the students were some of the more engaged that I have worked with.  I hope that the information that they learned will be retained and acted upon for years to come.’
- Ryley Webster  of Sustainable Coastlines

Tweet Tweet...


Owairoa Primary @OwairoaPrimary
Enthusiastic young athletes participate in the Junior Cross Country  #owairoa pic.twitter.com/InEx8xZM

Stuart Oakey @Stuart_Oakey
@OwairoaPrimary fantastic afternoon, well done everyone

A Great Grand Thank You

A letter of thanks from grandparents who attended our recent Grandparents afternoon.
“This thank you is from Mr and Mrs Crooke, Payton Cooper’s great grandparents. We came to see Payton in her school concert which we thoroughly enjoyed.  At the concert, we were given a beautiful bouquet of flowers and enjoyed the lovely tea party and cakes after.  Also, we had a lovely visit to our Payton’s classroom and met her very good teacher and we enjoyed the visit with her.
Thank you once again for the privilege and we think the school and you teachers, also everyone else connected to the children’s welfare , are doing a great job.”
Sincerely, Mr and Mrs D Crooke

Teacher in Training


We recently welcomed a man from the UK who was applying to go Teaching and needed to visit a school prior to his application interview..

"I would just like to thank you and your staff for arranging my visit to your school on Friday. I learnt a lot and the staff were very welcoming and informative. I was impressed by how friendly and well-mannered all the students were and it was clear by talking to staff during the lunch break that they all have a very high opinion of the school. I will definitely be following through with my application."

Our Choir is Golden

We can be very proud of our students in the Senior Choir. They put their hearts and souls into their rehearsal today – they ( and the other school singing the same part) were praised for the quality of their singing several times
They were singled out by the conductor (Head of Arts at Remuera Intermediate) for their attentiveness whilst singing, their enthusiasm, smiling faces and their overall sound. She described them as ‘outstanding’

As they put so much effort into their performance, they found the day tiring. However, to their credit, they still performed and behaved right to the end.

Ms Hargraves

New to the Owairoa Family

A positive email from parents of a student who transferred to Owairoa from another school…
“My husband and I just want to express our appreciation for the support and efforts from both of you with regard to our daughters transition to Owairoa.  We were talking about her last night and both felt that she is not only being stimulated in her class room environment, but her progress, attitude and enthusiasm for learning is just taking off.  We are thrilled to see this change in her. We finally have a stimulated and happy little girl.  It is so exciting to see.
Thanks again for your support.  We look forward to working with you and watching her development”

Kind and generous donation

Mila the Elephant

Dear staff, students and parents,

Thank you to all you wonderful very generous people for the amazing $653.90 funds raised for the Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust towards Mila and her future. This money will go directly to the care and future for Mila, our African elephant who is currently living at Franklin Zoo & Wildlife Sanctuary and being prepared for her future.
Mila’s keepers are taking very good care of her and the Trust has now raised enough funds to recruit an elephant project manager who will have the skill and experience to train her for her medical testing and travel. This can take a long time, so in the meantime, she is well and happy and has lots of mud baths and sand baths every day. Funds are still needed to maintain her care and save up for her travel costs and enclosure changes to accommodate the travel crate. And then the chartered flight will be very expensive. Your donation will help us achieve this.
Many thanks from the Trustees and staff of the Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust!

Animal Antics Success

The animal mask parade
Hello Alan
Many thanks for motivating us to participate in such a great day yesterday! The children really loved it and learnt a lot about caring for animals.
We’re all very lucky to be part of this very inspirational learning environment.
Sue Stone

Visiting American Professor

The Professor and his Students
Dear Wendy,
Thank you so much for making Doug Ball's visit to Owairoa to see the American Student Teachers such a welcoming  and memorable one for him.
He loved being there and we appreciate the time you took to plan out his day! He was pretty overwhelmed by his day! He loved the welcome at Morning Tea & the singing of their National Anthem (would love to have been a 'fly on the wall') and the performance of our National Anthem & the Haka by the kids were definitely a highlight.
Judy & Mary

Zoo Behaviour Does Owairoa Proud

Dear Principal

I visited the zoo yesterday with my grandchildren. We were there for about three hours and in that time, encountered many groups of children, teachers and adult caregivers from your school. I was really impressed with the way in which they conducted themselves. The children seemed motivated and to be really enjoying themselves. Their behaviour was excellent and it was a pleasure to be around them. You can be very proud of the children from your school.

Noeline Dunn  

Ice Cream Judging Success

The Ice Cream Judging Awards

Dear Mr McIntyre and Mrs Mawdsley,

I just wanted to pass on my thanks for allowing your school to participate as judges in the NZ Ice Cream Awards for 2012.  The students were fantastic judges, paying great attention to detail and the difficult (and rewarding) task at hand.  You and your staff should be proud of the very high standard of manners and politeness that the students presented showing the school in great light.
I, and I hope, they, had a wonderful and educational morning.  We do hope some go on to become great food technologists.
I have had wonderful feedback from the head judge and secretary of NZICMA.
PS if you need any help scooping out the ice cream (or finishing it off), please call.  I do need to try 7XX one more time!
David McNickle
Alto Food Packaging

Credit to our Property Team

Our Property Team

“I just wanted to let you know what a fantastic job the school grounds keepers are doing. I see most of these lovely gentlemen at 7:30am when I drop my daughter at before school care. They are always friendly and hard at work (rain or shine) cutting the lawn, raking up leaves, helping teachers carry things from their cars to the class, rescuing stray cats/birds/dogs, teaching the kids about gardening, the list goes on and on.

I really appreciate all the hard work that goes into keeping the school looking so good and providing the kids with such a great environment for learning, so a big thank you to the grounds keepers for a job well done!!”

- Andrée Smit, Parent