Maungaraki is the mountain
Kourarau is the wetland
Ruamahanga is the river
Waipoapoa is the land
We acknowledge the indigenous people of this area
Gladstone is the school
Thus, my acknowledgement to you all.
Gladstone is a small rural school which first opened on the 4th of June 1876. The school has a long history of strong community involvement and is just one cog in a very special wheel that drives our local community. The pinnacle of this community involvement is the Scarecrow Fair, which takes place each year in November. The whole community pulls together to make the festival a district-wide celebration.
Over the years Gladstone has grown, and combined with the now disestablished Te Whiti; Maungaraki; Te Wharau and Longbush Schools. The newly formed whānau groups pay tribute to the four schools in our area that combined with Gladstone to create the Gladstone School we know today. There are more than 150 students currently enrolled at the school.
Gladstone services a largely rural community and prides itself on offering students a quality education in a country school setting. They value a whānau approach and have structured the school so that students, teachers and family work together to support each other in their learning. The classrooms are set up as three learning spaces. Teachers work together collaboratively, drawing on their skills and personalities to provide a wide range of viewpoints and learning opportunities for the class.
Each learning space is named after a local awa and depicts the life cycle and journey of the tuna (eel). Up at Kourarau Dam the young elver (baby eels) hatch and grow before moving down the Ruamahanga River to grow and develop. Once they have reached maturity they take on leadership and development in Lake Onoke, and then move out into the moana for the next stage of their life-long journey. For students, each step into a new learning space reflects the journey a tuna is on – new skills to learn, new experiences and challenges to navigate.