Christian School gets an A
Matamata Christian School has achieved something only 15 per cent of New Zealand schools have. After its recent ERO review the school will now be reviewed in four to five years.
Schools not in the 15 per cent are reviewed in three-year cycles, although it is ‘‘less than that for struggling schools’’, the school’s principal Alistair Paterson said.
He attributed their success to a team effort of ten staff, including support staff and the two boards. As well as a Board of Trustees the school has a Proprietor Board which owns the school. The school has an agreement with the government to provide the curriculum embued with their Christian values. ‘‘If God created us then why take him out of education is my main question.’’
He said his school is the only one in the region, other than high schools, which has a maths specialist. He said he had been working hard in that role this year. He has been with the school for a total of nine years.
The school’s furniture also reflected the different needs for learning. The furniture is at ‘‘different altitudes’’, with everything from counters to coffee tables used for various activities. A round table and a donut-shaped couch are used for brainstorming so students can bounce ideas off each other.
The students even designed their own outside classroom as part of a breakout project. They had been tasked with making one after research showed that work- ing outside increased productivity.
Recent highlights in terms of student achievement included a singer’s top honours at a music festival. The current Matamata College head boy is a former student. Another former student gained top honours in their second year of a Waikato University course. Most of the students in the oldest netball team made a representative team a few years ago.
The school was started in 1988 from a vision of two pastors and a mechanic. It was initially based in the principal’s basement. Politician Bob Clarkson owned land on Smith St which he sold to the school in 1991.
There are currently 66 students enrolled at Matamata Christian School. The highest number on the roll was 115, 12 to 13 years ago.
Matamata Christian School students, from left, Jazz Vidamo, 6, Aaron Lambert, 6, Maraea Wharemate, 5, and Peyton Aarsen, 6, are happy with their ERO report which principal Alistair Paterson, also pictured, partially attributed to their great Noah’s Ark playground.