Tēnā koutou katoa – welcome to Southbridge School, Te Kura o Te Whata.

For more than 148 years Southbridge School has provided quality education for the children of Southbridge within an attractive and spacious environment. In order to be equipped for the opportunities and challenges of their future lives, our students require the best possible opportunities to develop intellectually physically, creatively, and socially. We provide these opportunities through our inquiry-based curriculum and the programmes we operate, including a Philosophy for Children programme, sports and cultural programmes and leadership opportunities.

One of the features of our school is the way that digital learning is integrated into all aspects of a student’s life – both inside and outside the classroom. We also foster independence, curiosity and enthusiasm for learning –traits which are well supported by our inquiry approach. In line with the New Zealand Curriculum, literacy and numeracy have primacy above other learning areas and our well-researched programmes in these core areas provide a sound basis for our students’ learning.

Our last ERO report (2014) commented that ‘Students benefit from a wide range of interesting learning experiences where their interests are recognised and included. There is an inclusive school culture. The school is taking positive steps to increase the opportunities for Māori students to succeed as Māori. The board and principal have a good understanding of school leadership and governance. They are well focused on schooling improvement. The local community is supportive and involvement is welcomed and valued.’  

We believe that children learn best in an environment where they feel happy and secure and we work hard at building learning communities within our classrooms.

We are fortunate to have grounds that are far more spacious than many schools and provide a wealth of outdoor opportunities for our students. These well-maintained grounds provide our students with the opportunity to explore, play sport, be active and undertake environmental activities.

I hope that our website will answer many of the questions you have about Southbridge School, however there’s nothing like experiencing it for yourself, so I encourage you to visit at any time to meet our students and our staff team.

Ngā mihi nui,

Tamara Bell


From the Principal’s desk . . .

I believe it’s helpful for parents to understand the focus and direction that a principal brings to his or her role, so I have listed a few of the beliefs which underpin the way I operate:

Partnership is vital and relationships are central to all that we do.

All students are different and learn at a different pace to others.

It is consistency and not severity which changes behaviour.

We are a community of learners (hence our class names, eg ‘Community 1’)

Having fun and being motivated and challenged are vital to students’ enjoyment of and success at school.

We, as adults, need to model the behaviours and attitudes we expect of our students.


Our underpinning beliefs and values include helping children become:

  • Independent and self-motivated learners
  • Effective communicators
  • Responsible citizens
  • Competent users of modern technologies
  • Reflective learners
  • Partners in the learning process
  • Confident risk takers