Frequently asked questions

We have answered some of the most commonly asked questions below. We also encourage you to come for a school visit to have a look around our wonderful school and meet some of our staff.

Will my child miss out on opportunities by being at a small school?


On the contrary we believe your child will have more opportunities. Every school has pluses and negatives, but we believe the advantages of being at a small school far outweigh the disadvantages. Attending a smaller school means:

  • better teacher-child ratios
  • children interact across all ages which develops empathy, leadership and trust
  • there is not a 'junior' and a 'senior' playground
  • all staff have a strong understanding of each child and how they learn
  • staff capabilitiy is excellent as everybody does everything
Because we are small school, this means we can ensure every child participates in school activities - not just select pupils chosen by the teacher. For example:
  • all children join on school outings and trips
  • all children take part in challenging activities such as public speaking during school assemblies
  • all our older children develop exceptional leadership skills




What extra-curricular activities are there?


We offer a wide range of extra opportunities and activities for children. Sports and physical activities

  • School sport teams playing futsal, hockey and netball
  • Fortnightly sports and activities with Kelly Sports
Cultural and creative oportunities
  • Annual Wearable Arts competition
  • Otago Polyfest performances
  • End-of-year show
  • Ukulele Jam
  • Music lessons available (during school time) in ukulele, guitar and keyboard
  • After-school Art Class run by two local artists




Does my child need to be able to write their own name and read before starting?


No - all children learn at their own pace and are taught in the classroom accordingly. Teachers are trained to manage the widely varying skill levels they will have in any classroom.




Is there an afterschool programme?


Our after-school programme is run by Mana Before and After School Care. Mana is Oscar approved and has a policy of zero devices. They run their programme in either Ravensbourne or Port Chalmers School. Children from St Leonards School are picked up after school and transported. In the morning they are delivered to school from their before school programme.




Do you have early drop-offs?


School opens at 8am and you are welcome to drop your child off at school at any time between 8am and 9am. There is no charge for early-morning drop-offs. Our experience is that children enjoy having time for some free play before school starts.




How much time do children spend on computers?


Devices are provided for children to use at school and children are responsible for the device they use. It can be taken off them if used inappropriately. From year 3 up children use google classroom. We also participate in Chapter Chat, a nationwide As a guide children Year 1 and 2

  • maximum 10 minutes/day
  • used for reading or maths
  • used to publish writing (every few weeks)
Year 3 and 4
  • maximum 30 minutes/day
  • use google classroom
  • coding sessions (on and off the computer)
  • presentation tool to make google slides and docs
  • learn to use different tools
Year 5 and 6
  • one hour/day (sometimes more)
  • have a computer use and guidelines contract
  • used for maths skills, including coding
  • used for research
  • presentation tool
  • many literacy and numeracy learning and tasks are still book-based




Is healthy eating encouraged at school?


We are a water only school. In fact we were one of the first schools in Dunedin to become a water only school. We have a school garden and orchard where we grow our own vegetables, herbs and fruit. Our school chickens are great providers of eggs. We have our own beehive with an annual harvest of honey. Some vegetables, like sugar snap peas, disappear the moment they are ready to be picked! The school offers healthy hot lunches for a small cost on Wednesdays which often features our own produce.




Are lunches available at school?


Yes, children can order lunches (at parents's cost) three days a week. A great timesaver for busy parents! On Thursday we have a healthy, homemade hot lunch available for a small cost. Hot lunches often feature our own produce from our vegetable garden, orchard, chickens and beehive. On Tuesdays children can order sushi. On Fridays Subway is available to order.