Established in 1888, Manakau School is situated just off State Highway One, 7km north of Otaki, on the outskirts of the small attractively presented village of Manakau.
This decile five school enrols children from New Entrants to Year 6, and consists of three classrooms, of which two are currently used and are composite over at least two age levels. Thirty six percent of the children attending Manakau School are boys, with twenty five percent of children Maori.
Manakau School has traditionally served an area of about a 10km radius west to Waikawa Beach, north and south along the main highway and east towards the Tararua Ranges although an increasing number of students attending the school now come from as far as Levin and Otaki Beach. Dairying and horticulture are the predominant land uses in the district and Ngati Wehi Wehi Marae is located near the school. Set in spacious grounds featuring magnificent century-old trees and an area of native planting, Manakau School consists of two well-resourced classes. One classroom and the computerised library are located in the well preserved ‘old block' built in 1888. Two more classrooms, an administration area, staffroom, photocopier and medical rooms are located in the modern block.
The school grounds are also amply equipped, with good playing areas (including a fort built by the community), a solar heated swimming pool, two all weather astrograss courts and two sports fields. Plunket-Playgroup buildings are also to be found within the school boundary. The school is serviced by a mobile dental clinic.
The school recognises the wonderful cultural diversity of the region and endeavours to include in the school the many learning opportunities to be found in Tikanga Maori and Te Reo Maori. The rural setting and community in which the school is located also form an important part of the school's identity and activities. Manakau School serves the local community as a welcoming host and focal point for community activities.
The School's motto is ‘Personal Best Always.' Manakau School delivers sound educational programmes for the children of the district based on the National Curriculum, and a particular emphasis is placed on developing life-skills in the children such as tolerance and acceptance of others, problem solving skills, self confidence and creativity. The extensive use of information technology and extension classes provides exciting opportunities for students to learn and develop new skills.
Teachers aim to provide an environment in which learning is fun and ‘exciting things happen,' themes which underpin the entire teaching programme. The joint responsibility of parents and teachers for meeting the learning needs of the child is acknowledged, and the school has in place excellent systems which allow it to demonstrate and report on the differences the school makes to the learning of the children in its care.