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Discovery time at Matipo Primary School

Nestled alongside Henderson Creek and surrounded by bush and parklands, Matipo Primary School has a stunning location. And it’s been an integral part of the Te Atatū Peninsula community since 1964.

With around 450 tamariki on the roll in years 1-6, Matipo Primary’s mission is to provide a positive and caring learning environment.

‘The school develops the whole child - physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially and culturally,’ says parent and fundraiser Hollie Colegate. ‘Matipo School nurtures the seed so the tree will grow,' she adds.

Alongside traditional classroom-based maths and literacy learning, Matipo Primary places a strong emphasis on education outside the classroom. And that’s no wonder given the acres of space and beautiful location of the school. Hollie says learning outside the classroom is all about providing a breadth of experiences to build the youngsters’ skills and confidence.

Matipo School has a thriving Garden to Table programme that every child gets to experience. Vegetable plots are dotted throughout the school. And tamariki learn how to plant, grow and harvest the produce before cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Kids get their hands dirty and have fun while learning valuable lessons about healthy eating and caring for the environment.

Another crucial part of Matipo School’s outdoor education is discovery time. This play-based programme is aimed at new entrants. And thanks to the Your West Support Fund, discovery time is a well-equipped resource with plenty of exciting activities to engage and inspire the children.

On the school's behalf, Hollie applied to the 2022 round of the Your West Support Fund, and the $5,000 has been invested in water tables, a mud kitchen, pipes, tubes, and much more. Children use the equipment to explore, experiment and learn through play.

‘Discovery time helps develop the children’s gross and fine motor skills,’ explains Hollie. She adds that it also enhances their problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills. These vital skills will support them throughout their learning journey.

Best of all, says Hollie, the children have great fun, develop social skills and make friends. And that's critical for these new entrants as they transition into school life.

‘We are very grateful for the support,’ says Hollie. She adds that the extra resources have improved the Discovery Time programme, helping to bring out the best in every child as they start school.