Apii Te Uki Ou

Te Uki Ou Primary School

The interview below is answers from Kathy Nooroa who is a past principal of Apii Te Uki Ou.
Apii Te Uki Ou first opened as a preschool in 1993 then continued into a primary school in 1995. It was set up as an independent school, offering quality preschool and primary school education along similar lines to New Zealand. It was created by a small group of dedicated parents who believed that more could be achieved in education than what was available at the time, and sharing a vision of creating a school environment where every child had the opportunity to develop and grow to the very best of their ability - academically, socially and physically.
I was the one and only teacher when the primary school started in 1995 and by the end of that year, we had 2 classes with the third starting in 1996. I became teaching principal at the end of 1995 and continued until the end of 2002.

One of the biggest challenges for the school at the beginning was having the funds to operate. We did not receive financial help from the Ministry of Education to begin with, so dedicated parents and supporters had to do a lot of fundraising to survive. There were wages to pay and rent on premises to pay. School fees did not cover everything. We had a fortnightly roster of parent help, having sausage sizzles in town on a Saturday morning; stock takes once a month at Foodland and many more fundraising activities. Getting well qualified teachers was also a big challenge.
There were some big changes at Te Uki Ou while I was there such as:
Moving from Rangiura to Ngatangiia – that was a huge effort,
getting bigger and better at the Culture Festivals, and growing in size.

Probably the biggest change was the acceptance of the school by the Ministry of Education and the wider community. Te Uki Ou has been able to do that by participating in interschool activities, keeping in line with Ministry of Education initiatives and of course what should also be noted in this is the financial assistance that the school now gets from the Ministry of Education.

By Emily and Sam