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our school

create - connect - innovate 

Many advantages come with being a small school especially when it comes to leading the way.


Our size makes it easy to adopt new and innovative programmes and ideas across the entire school, allowing our teachers to be as creative and innovative as our pupils!


Here are some of the programmes, initiatives and regular events that happen at St Leonards School which help grow and extend your child beyond the classroom walls and open them up to different ways of thinking. 

connect to your environment and create change for a sustainable world at a

green-gold Enviroschool

Enviroschool anchor

We are proud to be one of four green-gold Enviroschools in Dunedin. This means that environmental sustainability is part of all our decisions and everything we do.

Enquiry and action is led mainly by our children who have a strong sense of connection to the environment and know they can effect change for a sustainable world.

The worms love to munch on all the leftover food scraps from lunches and cooking.

worm farm


Our school chickens, Tui & Turtle, eat scraps, give us eggs and are great stress-busters and animal companions for children


Organic matter from the garden & school grounds is composted.


We have our own school vegetable and herb garden and a school orchard


We are part of the Paper for Trees programme which gives us native trees to plant for our recycling

Paper for trees

We changed all the taps on our handbasins to create a huge reduction in water use at the school.

water use

We have started a new project to plant more native species in the school grounds, including trees & plants attractive to native species.

native replanting

Our school went from having a skip on site too putting out a rubbish bin every second week. 

We also were the first school in Dunedin to run a waste-free fair!

waste reduction

We have established our own lizard rockery and are planting species attractive to native birds.

native habitats


We have a beehive in the orchard which can be observed from Ruma Rimu. Every year we sell our own honey!

bee hive

Children are encouraged to turn off switches.

Our next school-wide project will be too look at how we can further reduce our energy use.

energy use

We recycle, re-use and re-purpose as much as possible at our school.

Children & parents are encouraged not to use single-use plastic like Gladwrap in lunchboxes.


St Leonards School testimonial (4).jpg

I love all the nature at St Leonards School. Everything is so free and open, and there is so much space to run around in.

Katie (10)

STEAM anchor

question, problem solve and communicate with the hands-on learning that comes with . . .  


science, technology, engineering, arts, maths

STEAM at St Leonards School

STEAM brings together the connections and relationships between science, technology, engineering, maths and the arts with hands-on learning.

Kiwis, as a nation, pride themselves on our number-8 wire mentality, but developing such a mentality is not a foregone conclusion of our education system.

STEAM learning is all about how to create, question, problem solve and come up with innovative ideas. The goal is to equip children with skills and knowledge to thrive in the 21st century.

STEAM learning leads children to

express innovative & creative ideas

think outside the box

hands-on learning

be curious about the world

work together

take ownership of learning


Children are always engaged when you do STEAM! 

It has increased their creativity even more. They feel brave about doing things as they know the ideas they have are not going to be put down but listened to.

Jo Wilson (STEAM teacher)

Bucketfiller anchor

be kind & thoughtful to others and be nominated for the weekly

Bucket Filler Award

Everybody looks forward to Monday morning when the weekly Bucket Filler Award is presented.

The Bucket Filler Award is how we recognise and celebrate children who show empathy and are kind and thoughtful to others.

Every week children can nominate others who have been kind to them or that they have noticed being kind to others.

You will be surprised at how much children notice - those who help others who are hurt, those who make sure everybody is included in their games and those who know how to be a good friend!

Self Manager Anchor

create success in your adult life by learning self control and how to be a . . .

self manager


Our principal readily admits she tends to spend her time reading the latest research rather than the latest novel.


So when she came across a paper from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study showing that one of the biggest influences of success in adult life was learning to have self control and self management skills she knew it would have to become a part of learning at St Leonards School.

Wearable Arts Anchor

get creative, learn to self manage, with our annual Wearable Arts parade . . . 

Wearable Arts

St Leonards School wearable arts (2).jpg

Wearable Arts is an annual tradition at our school and every year we are stunned at the fantastic parade children put on.

The Wearable Arts evening is always a great opportunity for parents to see children's creativity on display.

gain confidence on stage and have fun preparing for . . .

performance & drama

St Leonards School end of year

Watch your child build confidence, learn to overcome stage nerves and get involved with behind-the-scenes creativity with our stage and public performance opportunities.

Every year we stage an End-of-Year Show which includes whole school singing and dance along with performances developed by each class. It's always a show-stopper event!

Every second year we participate in the Otago Polyfest which involves many months of practice learning our songs and actions.

All of our year four, five, sixes and some younger children participate in the annual Ukelele Jam and we are very lucky to have Ms Thomson teaching ukelele at school.

Perfomance Drama Anchor

an opportunity for year 5 and 6 pupils to grow their confidence and independence

school camp


Every year we run a three-day, two night camp for our year 5 and 6's.

For some of them it's the highlight of the year!

Our destination switches each year between Tirohanga and Waihola.

A wide range of activities from horse riding to cooking their own meal in the wild challenge children to try new things and stretch boundaries.

Camp is held in the first term of the year and really helps to grow bonds and friendships in the classroom for the rest of the year.

School Camp Anchor

learn social & emotional skills through guided play, classroom activities and empowering language . . .

Play is the Way

Play is the Way Anchor
Seesaw Anchor

Seesaw digital portfolio

get an immediate, personalised window into your child's day with their


Seesaw helps to answer that question 'what did you do today?' and is a great conversation starter for families.

Children are set up on an App called Seesaw. This App gives children the ability to record their learning in many different formats, such as photos, videos and voice and share it with their parents, caregivers and extended family.

Essentially Seesaw is a pupil-driven digital portfolio.

Your child's work is kept private and is only viewed by you and their teacher.

School Assembly Anchor

find out more about your child's learning and what's been happening at school with our termly . . .

school assemblies

Camp assembly-2.jpg

We changed the way we ran school assemblies when we realised the traditional model of holding assemblies at the end of the week during school hours didn't work for many parents.

It's really important to us that you are able to attend school assemblies so we now host them once a term in the evening.

Topics covered at assemblies vary. Recent assemblies have included:

  • a start-of-the-year get-together and celebrating the re-naming of our classrooms from Rooms 1, 2 and 3 to Ruma Rātā, Ruma Tōtara and Ruma Rimu

  • every child standing up to speak about an experience from Camp Week 

  • educating parents about how maths is taught at school and getting parents solving maths problems with their children

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