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We actively go against the grain and look for alternative ways to turn our #CanKidz onto learning...and it works!

Our curriculum is Trauma Informed, hands-on based, using iPads to enhance and take our learning beyond the physical walls of the classroom.

Are you and your whānau ready to go #ALLin?

If you like what you see and you think we're the right school for your tamariki and whānau then come in for a chat and experience our one of a kind school!!

Zoe Bridewell - Principal  

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For many of our #CanKidz school is the safe place in their lives and thus we’ve worked incredibly hard to provide a socio-emotional and physically safe learning environment for all! It starts with our #CanTeam. We are proud of the diversity amongst our team - people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. We’ve set the scene for our #CanTeam to truly be themselves and in return our #CanKidz feel comfortable to be themselves. The connections between our #CanTeam and our #CanKidz are unmatched anywhere!

We provide an inclusive environment in which learning is set, seen, and viewed as authentic and organic, and real life issues of conflict and diversity provide opportunities to learn so that our #CanKidz can become true global citizens. This is achieved through the Hidden Elements component of our Experience Based Learning approach.

Through our #CanCommunityDays initiative we’ve opened the lid on learning and invited our whānau in to take part in hands-on and digital learning experiences. Our #CanCommunity are on board and invested in their kid’s learning!

We are wanting to build and develop not only the academic and social intelligence, but also the emotional intelligence of our #CanKidz. Our #CanKidz come from a variety of homes: some with the same values as school, some with similar values as school, some with different values than we have at school.

Changes have been made to our curriculum and classroom programmes. Every class begins the day with a short session of breathing, meditation, yoga as a way to regulate our #CanKidz and #CanTeam before we start any type of school based learning at the beginning of each day. As well as a way to regulate it also provides an opportunity to reconnect for #CanKidz and their Learning Facilitator / Learning Support Facilitators. After this we recite our school karakia - one of three karakia we use during the school day (to begin the day, before kai, and to conclude our day) 


During the day we have planned regulatory breaks aka brain breaks. These provide everyone with the opportunity to reset and refocus so the brain can take on further cognitive content. A lot of these activities involve crossing the midline.


But most importantly we’ve made changes to the way we think and respond to the developmental, social and emotional needs of our #CanKidz and #CanCommunity.


We have focussed on Hauora - Mental Health & Well-Being through a Trauma Informed Practice lens as a #CanTeam for Professional Development and this helped to change and mould our thinking. We now think about our #CanKidz in a more holistic manner - in particular looking at the stage and then the state - which has helped us with class placements and in providing more timely interventions and support for our most vulnerable learners. In some cases this has meant that some #CanKidz are not placed in classrooms with their chronological age peers, but instead with learners who better match their development, social and emotional stage and state.

We encourage them to make mistakes. And we help them to develop strategies to assist them when the learning becomes hard or seems impossible.

Our #CanKidz believe that they can learn, change, and develop needed skills. They are better equipped to handle inevitable setbacks, and know that hard work, owning and taking responsibility for successes and setbacks, perseverance and resilience can help them accomplish their goals. When they face challenges they step up to them and eventually conquer them.

We provide real world contexts that are rich, engaging and promote risk-taking, exploration, and problem solving.

Our Experiences are flexible and provide a springboard to further learning opportunities, allowing for student agency and ownership that encourages true questioning and inquiry learning. Our #CanKidz come up with questions and not just answers. Mistakes are learning opportunities to be reflected on, questioned, challenged and eventually conquered. 

We plan for specific outcomes and learning opportunities as Learning facilitators, and the best way to describe the process is that it’s ‘Map-less’ with multiple learner led pathways.

We are true to our Mission Statement:

‘Where Kids CAN Achieve Anything!'

'I want to congratulate you for winning the Excellence in Wellbeing Education Award in this year's Te Pirimia Ngā Tohu Kairangi Mātauranga | Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards. This is an amazing achievement, and you should be proud of what your team have accomplished for your ākonga.

It was great to see how healthy food choices and staff professional development in neuroscience helped to improve the wellbeing of learners at Henry Hill School. I think yoga and a karakia is a fantastic way to start your morning, and an even better way to improve the wellbeing of our tamariki and rangatahi.

Your story is such an inspiration and I look forward to hearing more stories of success about your ākonga and schooling community in years to come.'

- Prime Minister - Jacinda Ardern

We’ve made changes to our school’s physical environment and the culture of our school. We removed the school bell siren to remove anxieties around this alarming noise and have instead encouraged our #CanKidz to develop their self-management skills and time-management skills, which has resulted in a more calming environment where kids move around the school calmly and quietly as opposed to when the school bell would ring, which resulted in chaotic social contagion and a herd of kids running from activity to activity, or playground to classroom. We eat with our kids at the end of the morning tea and lunch break creating a culture of relational regulation where kids interact with each other and us in a calm and informal manner.


An outdoor learning area has been established outside Room 9, 10 & 11 which provides a calming outdoor space for #CanKidz to learn amongst native plants and gardens. Across from this space we’ve added raised garden beds which grow vegetables and fruit and all classrooms now have both indoor and outdoor plants to care for. This is helping to build one of our school values: Responsibility and also an understanding of empathy. Designated quiet zones in this area have been established during morning tea and lunchtimes where #CanKidz can go to interact with other #CanKidz in a more quiet and tranquil setting, away from others who wish to indulge in more physical activities, e.g. sport, tag games, etc.


We’ve built a Sensory Space - Te Āhuru Mōwai -  next to Room 1 and across from the gym. This space includes lots of sensory based elements to engage the senses in a peaceful and tranquil setting but also a sensation pathway which takes kids and adults on a barefoot journey across many different textured surfaces. Our physical environment has also been well thought out. Classroom learning environments are conducive to quality learning with flexible seating and tables, and wall displays that scaffold and inspire learning.

Our #CanKidz Philosophy started several years ago when it was noticed that many students lacked perseverance and resilience and were used to giving up when learning or tasks started to get hard. The word ‘can’t’ was banned and we came up with the term ‘#CanKidz’, which has stuck.


All of our learners are #CanKidz. They each have a place here at Henry Hill School and bring with them their own funds of knowledge, cultural values and competencies and each bring a unique lens in which they view and value learning and the world around them. Our #CanKidz have total self-belief (or are developing it). They understand that they own their learning, own the choices and decisions they make, and take responsibility. They own their awesome-ness and acknowledge and celebrate the awesome-ness of others. 

We want our #CanKidz to live on the ‘edge of their comfort zone’ or in the ‘grey area’, as this is where the real challenge and often the real learning lives. These Experiences create enough stress and challenge to open up the learning pathways in the brain’s cortex where new content will connect with prior knowledge.

Our #CanKidz are proactive, recognise opportunities, and see any obstacles and barriers as challenges they step up to meet head on, and opportunities to take responsibility and demonstrate perseverance and resilience.

It’s all about Belief. If we Believe we CAN, there’s a greater chance that we will!

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