Papakura High School

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Papakura High School
Papakura High School logo.png
Willis Road,
New Zealand

Coordinates 37°03′50″S 174°57′04″E / 37.0639°S 174.9510°E / -37.0639; 174.9510Coordinates: 37°03′50″S 174°57′04″E / 37.0639°S 174.9510°E / -37.0639; 174.9510
Type State Co-Educational Secondary School
Motto Summa Pete (Seek the Highest)
Established 1954
Ministry of Education Institution no. 101
Principal Peter Heron
School roll 832[1] (March 2014)
Socio-economic decile 2

Papakura High School (PHS) is a co-educational state secondary school based in the Auckland suburb of Papakura in New Zealand, catering for students from Year 9 to Year 13.

The school was established in 1954 and is now made up of a diverse student body, administering students from the greater southern Auckland area. The school is located on the southern boundary of the Auckland metropolitan area, located approximately 32 kilometers south of Auckland CBD.

School Structure[edit]

The school is organised into four houses:

  • Freyberg (Blue)
  • Fergusson (Yellow)
  • Bledisloe (Black)
  • Cobham (Red)

Each house has a Head Dean, who co-ordinates with other staff members and students under their spectrum. Students remain in these house groups right throughout their high school education. Staff and students are arranged into their houses for sports and social events, and also meet in their houses for form / tutor class, at the beginning of each school day at 8.40 a.m. These form classes consist of all year levels from Year 9 - 13.

Junior students are also arranged into either Mainstream, the Sports Academy, the Academic Institute, the Matariki Maori unit, or the Special Needs "XA" unit, and from Year 11, transition into classes relevant to their academic ability for NCEA, which by this stage they become seniors.

Staff and Management[edit]

The newly appointed Principal of Papakura High School is Peter Heron, originally from Northern Ireland, Peter has had many years of experience managing New Zealand schools and also as an officer for the Royal Air Force, as well as extensive university qualifications. Peter takes over from Angela Appleby, whose position as Principal ended at the end of the 2009 school year. The school is now heading into a new direction, with a more refined vision to improve student, parent, staff and community relations.

The academic staff at the school are highly skilled and well qualified professionals, with the bulk of teaching staff from the United Kingdom who are recruited through regular conference trips to London. Staff come to Papakura each day from all over the greater Auckland region, even as far as Browns Bay.

Many of the teachers have various background experience and university study, with a number of teachers who have graduated from the University of Auckland. Staff members participate in regular Te Kotahitanga training workshops to improve Maori student achievement in the classroom, a programme facilitated by Waikato University.

The school also regularly works with student teachers who are placed in various departments, to experience a multi-cultural and low decile environment to assist with their teacher training.

The school's Board of Trustee's have a special corporate relationship with Telecom New Zealand and McConnell Property Group, each of whom have representatives on the board.

School Curriculum[edit]

The school offers NCEA as its national qualification standard. Students are able to sit NCEA Level 1 papers as early Year 11, however Papakura High School is one of the few colleges in Auckland to offer an NCEA Level 1 Humanities class to academically able Year 10 students also.

The junior (first and second year) academic structure is specifically designed for students to explore a wide area of interest before they begin NCEA. Junior students are required to take compulsory English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education and Health as well as an optional elective class consisting of either Art, Music, Technology, Business, Languages, or Food.

Selected senior students have the opportunity to participate in "Gateway", where they individually attend work experience placements during the school term, organised by the Careers department. The school also offers Correspondence papers for specialised subjects and regularly holds workshops and information sessions for students and their chosen programme.

The school also recently introduced national qualifications into unit standard courses of Mathematics, Sports and Recreation, Technology, and Catering, where students can work towards NCEA credits as well as gaining a national qualification. Papakura High School was the first school in New Zealand to offer the Marae Catering course under the NCEA structure.


Students are required to wear a "bottle green" uniform with the school crest. The uniform consists of a polo shirt, dress shirt or blouse; jumper or zip up cardigan; trousers, shorts, or skirts; socks and black secured shoes. However the uniform has several variations depending on year level and gender. The school's Prefects and Student Leaders are obliged to wear ties and Blazers as they are representing their school on a community level.

Uniform policies are strictly enforced with students being required to have socks pulled up and no extra shirts underneath school uniform. Formal attire is available from the "Uniform Shoppe" in the Papakura Town Centre. Male students are required to be clean shaven and the female students must have long hair tied back.

Majority of the school's students reside on the eastern side of the Southern Railway Line from as far north as The Gardens moving south towards Papakura. The school also administers students from the surrounding rural areas of Hunua, Clevedon, Kawakawa Bay, Ardmore, Brookby, and Takanini, with students from nearby areas of Manukau City, Wattle Downs, Manurewa, and Weymouth because of the school's open zone policy.


  • Art & Photography Centre
  • Careers Centre
  • Dance Studio
  • Drama Suite
  • Guidance Support Centre
  • Hospitality Restaurant & Kitchens
  • ICT Suites
  • Library and Information Centre
  • Outdoor Education Camp - at Waharau Regional Park
  • Science Laboratories
  • Sports Facilities
  • Technology Workshops
  • Wharenui - Te Kahurangi

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Ioane Fitu Afoa - All Black
  • John Bongard - CEO (Rtd) Fisher and Paykel
  • Jerome Kaino - All Black
  • Louis Kemara - actor, Shortland Street
  • Commodore Bruce Pepperell - 2ic Royal New Zealand Navy
  • Justinne Troy - founder 42 Below

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 1 April 2014". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 3 April 2014.