Description of School
Pigeon Mountain Primary School is a Decile 8 contributing State Primary School, catering for students between Year 0 to Year 6.
The school was established in 1979 and initially comprised 3 variable teaching areas positioned to promote variable space teaching wherever possible. Fifteen classrooms have been added in subsequent years to cater for roll growth. There are large deck areas outside classroom blocks which provide additional multi-purpose learning spaces. In 2017, school modernised 2 clusters of classrooms as the initial phase of the 10 Year Property Plan, creating open plan, flexible spaces conducive to collaborative, mixed age learning. In order to provide learning capacity during these refurbishments, two ‘portable’ spaces were also added in 2017 and remain in-situ for the 2022 year and beyond, with outright purchase completed in 2021. Further learning areas are scheduled for redevelopment using Ministry funding in the 2022 year. A major focus of this planned development will be the alteration of Area F to incorporate sliding doors and decks from classrooms into the school orchard.
A modern library space was constructed in 2005 and is automated, well stocked and managed by a fully qualified librarian. The resource is open before school, and at lunchtime, as well as during classroom hours. School’s resources are well-managed and accessed through a computer database. Each classroom has networked computers and a network upgrade has been completed to provide fibre based, ultra fast broadband through a robust wireless network. A student ‘Bring Your Own Device’ programme has operated for 4 years for senior students, and major investment in portable devices means the school is well-resourced with digital technologies.
The school site is shared with Bucklands Beach Intermediate School. The majority of Pigeon Mountain Primary School students graduate to either Bucklands Beach or Farm Cove intermediate schools and then move into Macleans College or Pakuranga College. Each of these schools sits within 3km of one another. A major redevelopment of the former Waimokoia School adjoining the Pigeon Mountain site into retirement housing is likely to recommence in 2022 after 2 years of inactivity. Pigeon Mountain Primary School has an enrolment scheme to avoid overcrowding. This zone is shared in parts with both Wakaaranga and Macleans Primary schools. This zone is also split between the zones of both local intermediates and colleges.
Special School Character
Our Vision and Values are at the forefront of all we do at Pigeon Mountain Primary School. A values programme operates in the school through the PB4L initiative. The focus on pastoral care and values was noted as a strength during the most recent ERO review of the school in November 2017.
Community feedback in 2019 also affirmed the role the 4 school values play in everyday life at PMPS. The enactment of these values, as well as the family-feel and sense of community were common responses when parents were asked about the ‘points of difference’ they associated with the school. Surveys of the community in 2020 and 2021 during and after COVID-enforced lockdown also indicate high levels of support for the school and recognition of the school’s enactment of the vision ‘To provide Education with a Heart’. The community-wide biennial survey of 2021 also indicated strong support and recognition for the work of the school and the teachers.
A Before and After School care service operates from 7am to 6pm daily, including some holiday periods. There are an average of 20 students in the morning and afternoon. COVID-19 alert levels have impacted on the programme’s ability to operate and the number of students participating.
Teachers and parents share high expectations of students, and focus strongly on achievement. At times when COVID restrictions permit, parents regularly provide learning support in classrooms, with sports and around school. The school’s most recent ERO review (November 2017) noted the strong connections between school and a very engaged community who wish to participate in the strategic direction of the school. There are strong links to local kindergarten and childcare groups, and school representatives visit regularly to promote connections between educators. This feeds into the weekly ‘Off to a Good Start’ programme which operates on a free basis for prospective new entrant enrolments and parents as an induction to Pigeon Mountain Primary School. Covid levels/phases have impacted on our ability to physically host prospective parents and students on our site before school admission.
The longstanding Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) was dissolved in 2021 owing to the impact of COVID-19 on its activities and on parents who would generally be involved with the group. Ordinarily, the group gives valuable support with fundraising activities and community-building events.
Whilst Pigeon Mountain Primary School’s Expression of Interest in forming a Kahui Ako with 6 other local schools (BBPS, MPS, OPS, MBPS, BBI, Macleans College) was formally accepted by the Minister for Education in April 2019, the Board of Trustees withdrew from the group in August 2020, unable to connect to the priority areas being established by the other schools. PMPS will continue to maintain contact with the group, and has not ruled out rejoining the Kahui Ako should priorities alter at a future point.
The provisional staffing entitlement for 2023 is based on a roll of 640 and reflects continued growth in the past 6 years. The roll is anticipated to grow to around 640 students by the end of the year. The intensification of housing in the zone, and the proximity to other highly effective schools are the major factors driving roll growth. Owing to the impacts of COVID and border closures, it is unlikely for any of these students to be international students as has been the case in previous years.