the country school in the city


If you're looking for a small, friendly school where everybody will know your child's name, you've found it.

Our school is in the Dunedin suburb of St Leonards, overlooking Otago Harbour. Our values, attitudes and environment mean we are much more like a country school than a city school.

As a green-gold Enviroschool our children care for the environment and know they can make a difference in the world.

Our children are active, creative and constantly encouraged to ask questions, be curious and challenge the status quo.

We allow children to climb trees, run around barefoot (if they choose too) and play in the mud.  We foster an environment where children look after each other and learn to become self managers.

We want your child to be the best they can be and to love coming to school.

Our school team

Meet your child's teacher and find out about their teaching passions.

Our school facilities

Learn, play and grow in modern classrooms set in stunning school grounds beside Otago Harbour.

Enrol your child

How to enrol and give your child get a great start with our transition to school programme.

The thing I love the most about St Leonards School is the environment. I like the trees and the nature compared to city schools.

Billy (10)

to book a school visit

learn for life

We want to give your child the skills that will set them up to become a lifelong learner.


Children's learning doesn't start and stop at school! We want to open their minds and encourage them to always be asking questions, to be curious and to challenge the status quo.


We believe that teaching your child to become a creative, critical thinker, able to collaborate with others and communicate - not only sharing their own ideas but listening to other people's ideas as well - is going to equip them with essential skills for life in the 21st century.

In fact, we believe in lifelong learning skills so deeply, they are ingrained in our school values.

Our school values are a living document, regularly evaluated and updated by teachers and children. We set high expectations for children to embrace these values, not just in the classroom, but in all areas of their life including in the playground, at home and in the community.

 Be an 


 Be a 

self manager

 Be a 

problem solver





 Be environmentally


be active

Children's bodies are made to move! Settling down to learn in the classroom is much easier if you have expended some energy first.

At the start of every day the whole school comes together to run, skip or dance with Jump Jam.

We have three physical education sessions a week which include one Play is the Way session and two sesions learning fundamental sports skills, such as ball skills, athletics or learning a game.

Every year the whole school takes part in the West Harbour sports day, the school Fun Run - a 4km (yes 4km!) run on the harbour walk and cycleway, and our school swimming blocks with JC Swim School.

The number of sports teams we field are a testament to how active our children are. School sports teams your child might like to join include futsal, touch, hockey and netball.

Our school playground is so much fun we notice many kids don't want to leave at 3pm! Children are outdoors at morning tea and lunchtimes, with the only exceptions being those days it is absolutely pouring down.

care for the environment

We are a Green-Gold EnviroSchool - the highest level of Enviroschool!

Being an Enviroschool means sustainability and thinking about the environment underpins every decision we make from how we teach to setting the school budget.

Your child will learn that they can make a difference.

We are constantly looking at how to improve our recycling, reduce our waste, plastics and energy consumption and create a living landscape.

Each child as their own 'enviro job' to do everyday. Enviro jobs include checking for rubbish, feeding the chickens, taking out compost, emptying the recycling and working in the garden.

love reading, writing & maths

Mornings at St Leonards School are taken up with the core subjects of reading, writing and mathematics.

All of our children meet or are above the expectations we set for each age group based on the New Zealand curriculum.

In particular, reading, is one area we have always excelled at. Ruma Tōtara even have their own classroom library and it's not uncommon before school to walk in and see children curled up, absorbed in books.

We are very lucky to have former Kings High School maths teacher Noel Johnston in our community, who comes in to provide extension maths for children who are ready to go the next level. He also runs our Friday lunchtime chess club!

be creative

We are sure you will be quite amazed at just how creative our children are!

Creativity comes in many different forms, from the arts through to maths.

After lunch is the time that creativity often takes off. Ruma Rātā dive into their 'ultra stations' and Ruma Tōtara might be working on their passion projects or delving into questions from their 'wondering wall'.

The whole school takes part in STEAM, an exciting programme that brings together the connections and relationships between science, technology, engineering, maths and the arts. It's all about being creative, hands-on and thinking outside the box.

Every year we have a Wearable Arts challenge in which children design, create and parade their creations.

I love doing our passion projects at school because people help you to make things like my birdhouse.

AJ (10)

every child takes part

Whole-school assemblys, school trips, the End-of-Year Show - every child will take part in our school activities, not just a selected few.

By working together across all ages, older children develop fantastic leadership abilities and younger children have strong role models to help extend their learning.

If you want to find out more about St Leonards School or would like to organise a school visit, please get in touch. We'd love to meet you.

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