About Us

Waitaki Valley School is a decile 8 full primary (Year 0-8), located in the rural service town of Kurow, North Otago. This purpose built modern learning environment was constructed in 2010 after the amalgamation of Cattle Creek, Hakataramea, Kurow Area and Otematata schools in 2004. This has created a unique community of families from geographically isolated areas, together forming the “hub” of the Upper Waitaki Valley. Our school has a roll of 110 students from a diverse range of ethnicities (74 % NZ European/Pakeha, 2% Pasifika, 18% Maori, 6% Filipino), with 90% of our students travelling to school by bus. The Kurow township is situated in the Upper Waitaki Valley on the south bank of the Waitaki River. The surrounding landscape is a spectacular part of New Zealand offering a range of experiences including alpine sport, water activities and outdoor pursuits.

The main school building consists of  five modern classrooms linked to the “The Street”.  This state of the art building means we can utilise the spaces for collaborative, child centred learning. The school  environment is separated into two “hubs”, both  junior (Teina) and senior (Tuakana) hubs supporting relationships for our students in all of their endeavours. The school campus also boasts a gymnasium, technology facilities, a covered and heated swimming pool, a community library and the Waitaki Valley Preschool.

Waitaki Valley School is well resourced, has committed experienced teachers, offers a specialist teacher and a Reading Recovery teacher to assist in day to day learning with our students. One of our major strengths  is the support we receive from  enthusiastic parents, an active and committed Friends Of the School and our BOT. Waitaki Valley School offers many and varied learning opportunities and yet charges no school fees.

Waitaki Valley School provides an exciting and diverse range of opportunities for our students including camps, technology programmes (Year 7&8), cultural activities (itinerant teaching of speech & drama, and piano are available on site), ski programmes (Year 7&8) and various sports (touch rugby, basketball, hockey). Several other club based sports which are strongly supported and available in our area include netball, rugby, soccer, cricket, and squash. The two school vans are invaluable in transporting our children to the many and varied cultural and sporting events they attend.

Our school works closely with other schools, both primary and secondary and this collaboration allows our students and teachers to have learning, sporting and leadership experiences whilst interacting with other schools. Being part of the Upper Waitaki Sports Assn means our students are competing in swimming, athletics, cross country and a winter skills day with other Upper Waitaki students. Our involvement with Waitaki Rural Schools Network allows our Year 8 pupils to participate in several leadership days to support them in their transition to high school. The school also works closely with the local preschool with a weekly transition to school programme to ensure new entrants are supported in their first school experience. 

At WVS we actively promote family/whanau and community involvement, there is an environment of trust, respect and cooperation, where the children are friendly, caring, energetic and excited to learn.