Villa Education Trust – South Auckland Middle School

Villa Education Trust – South Auckland Middle School

About Us

Karen and Alwyn Poole set up the Villa Education Trust as a charity in 2002. Using an Integrated Project Based Curriculum (designed and written by Alwyn himself) to maximise learning and development for students in the middle years (Years 7-10), they opened their first school, Mt Hobson Middle School, in 2003. A small, private school in Newmarket, it is now in its 18th successful year and its proven track record resulted in the Trust’s successful application for two Auckland Charter Schools in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Both of those schools now operate as Designated Character School.

South Auckland Middle School is located in Manurewa. Officially recognised as a ‘Decile 1 School’ it is outperforming its neighbouring schools. Over 80% of those enrolled are from Maori and Pasifika families, what the Government refers to as ‘Priority Learners’.

Middle School West Auckland, located in Henderson, opened in 2015 and includes a Te Reo bilingual unit. Again, over 80 percent of those enrolled are Maori and Pasifika.

In addition, for the start of the 2016 academic year, Mt Hobson Middle School launched the Villa NCEA Academy for students in Years 11-13 needing an alternative educational approach at this crucial time in their schooling.

 

How we help children:

With expert teaching, coaching, mentoring, significant purposeful practice and an opportunity to express themselves, all children can develop high quality skills and knowledge sets and achieve regardless of background, wealth and previous experience.

At each Designated Character School a Community Liaison Manager works directly with families to truly understand their children and to know what is going on in the home; someone who can access and provide support, mediation and guidance when needed. In addition, if students turn up to school: hungry – they are fed; without proper uniform – they are re-clothed; wherever possible, any barriers to learning are removed.

Class sizes are kept to a maximum of 15 students and learning is differentiated to match student interests and need. We also have an intimate school environment with a four-year age spread to give opportunity for learning and development with less societal pressure.

Physical environment, approach and atmosphere:

With three schools, the Villa Education Trust has shown its capability to set up and efficiently manage schools in a variety of locations, to meet a spectrum of learning needs from all backgrounds. Core values unite the three school communities:

  • Excellence in learning.
  • Cooperation among students, families and the community.
  • Building of personal character through applied Christian values.
  • A strong emphasis on thinking skills and students understanding how they think and learn.

 

South Auckland Middle School is located in beautiful green surroundings on Mahia Road in Manurewa and is led by Principal Wendy Grieg.  An abundance of fruit trees are located within the grounds enjoyed by all 180 students at morning tea and lunch time.  The modified facilities are home to three ‘villas’ of 60 students each led by a highly qualified and experienced Academic Manager.  Community Liaison Officer Brad Davids ensures the safety and support of students both within school and within the home environment.  Community facilities, including Manurewa Pools, are used for the activity based afternoon programme.  On-site parking is available for visitors and parents.  Parents are encouraged to visit the school both to view the academic morning and to develop community links.  A Whanau lounge with free refreshments and information for parents and families is available and open each school day and a Whanau Friday evening is held termly for all students and their wider families.  Learning at South Auckland Middle School is free.  We provide uniform, stationery and IT for all students and cover the cost of field trips.  No donations are asked.

To find out more use the contact form or please browse our website or call us today to speak to one of our amazing staff.

 

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Services

  • Teaching of the New Zealand Curriculum
  • Expert teachers and a maximum student/teacher ratio of no more than 15:1
  • Core programme of Mathematics, English, Science, Social Studies and Technology
  • Clear subject-based assessment to show academic progress
  • A superbly written Project Based Curriculum that sees the students to 32 Cross-Curricula projects over 4 years (spending an hour a day).
  • A clear Christian philosophy and values base to the curriculum and school.
  • Develop students independent learning skills
  • Excellent preparation for Year 11 entry – including to our Villa NCEA Academy.
  • Track and support students after they have moved to their Year 11-13 schools

Services

  • Teaching of the New Zealand Curriculum
  • Expert teachers and a maximum student/teacher ratio of no more than 15:1
  • Core programme of Mathematics, English, Science, Social Studies and Technology
  • Clear subject-based assessment to show academic progress
  • A superbly written Project Based Curriculum that sees the students to 32 Cross-Curricula projects over 4 years (spending an hour a day).
  • A clear Christian philosophy and values base to the curriculum and school.
  • Develop students independent learning skills
  • Excellent preparation for Year 11 entry – including to our Villa NCEA Academy.
  • Track and support students after they have moved to their Year 11-13 schools

“We have been delighted with the progress that ***** has made while he has been at Mt Hobson. He has become an independent learner, his social skills with his peers have improved and he seems more capable of tackling subjects that he finds difficult. Mt Hobson has really done marvellous things for him.”


“The class size is great. Children cannot ‘hide’ or ‘slip through the cracks’. We like the work ethic being encouraged. Wholesome activities.  Good culture. The small school size means that all children know each other, making it a more comfortable and a less intimidating environment.”


“You have all done such a good job in setting high expectations for behaviour and reinforcing the importance of respect, whilst allowing them the freedom to have some fun. I can’t thank you enough for playing a huge part in helping my son to grow from an impulsive kid who was disillusioned with the value of school into a lovely young man who actually enjoys learning and has increased his personal confidence level enormously.”


“Because of the small size of the school the students are well known by the teachers and cared for. We are confident that the Principal, Academic Managers, Community Liaison Managers and teachers know what is going on not only within the classroom and playground but also at home. This along with the zero tolerance to bullying and swearing provides the students with a safe environment. It’s great to have a happy child at the end of the day.”


“What you have at your school is extremely special and should be preserved at all costs. To provide a school environment that achieves educational goals, but most of all is done so in a nurturing environment, gives teenagers the confidence to try new things and overcome fears that most of my generation were taught to conceal in clever ways, but to our overall collective detriment. It is simplistic to tell children to be more risk adverse, but to provide them with the platform to do so allow this to happen of its own accord.”


“Just thought you would like to hear this, as it is not down to us, but the approach to learning he developed at Mt Hobson.  He came to you troubled by his inability to show the education world what he knew and through your approach to learning he has come away with lots of skills and an approach to learning that will, I am sure, lead to success.  It was not always easy to see that this would be the result and it did take a full 4 years but many people have said to **** and I that we clearly did the right thing in sending him to Mt Hobson and they were right!”


“It was clear to us both that the time our son had spent at your school had had a huge impact on him. While this was not obvious in much of his uncompleted project work while with you, he has certainly learned the skills and is now reaping the rewards. NCEA is definitely suiting him; he is doing really well and came home on Friday with the news that he got an Excellent in his first History assessment (he was so happy about this) and a Merit in Maths.”