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Welcome to


Principal’s Welcome

Welcome to Rakaia School the gateway to Mid Canterbury. Rakaia School is set back from State Highway 1 on Dunford Street with beautiful grounds and playing area for the students. 
The school now has 180 students and 9 classrooms with a dedicated teaching staff and support staff. We have just opened our new Modern Learning Environment for Years 5-8. Please come in and see the wonderful learning opportunities for our students. 

Our Vision

Inspiring Minds, Celebrating Success

We believe we achieve this through the values of Partnership, Quality and Respect. Our staff strive hard to encouragechildren to develop these values through the work they complete and the way we interact with our students.

The students at Rakaia have many opportunities to develop their talents. We take part in inter-school events and competein many different events for the children to grow.

Our Values

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Home, Rakaia School
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Our Values

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The Inspirational Choice

“Inspiring Minds, Celebrating Success”.

We believe we achieve this through the values of Whanaungatanga (Partnership), Tino Pai Rawa (Quality) and Manaakitanga (Respect). Our staff strive hard to encourage children to develop these values through the work they complete and the way we interact with our students.The other development for all students is the challenge to “Be Better” Kia Kaha Ano!

In students speak we say to the children

Partnership – We work together!

Quality – We do our best!

Respect – We use our manners!

The students at Rakaia have many opportunities to develop their talents. We take part in inter-school events and compete in many different events for the children to grow.

We welcome any enquiries.

Please contact our Principal, Mark Ellis. principal@rakaia.school.nz


Click here for information and to fill out an expression of interest

School Charter

Latest ERO Report

Financial Report

School Charter

Latest ERO Report

Financial Report

Whats happening at Rakaia School?

Latest Notifications

Newsletter October 18th

Mon Oct 18 12:25pm



Hats please for term 4

Mon Oct 18 12:13pm

What a beautiful day to be at school. Please remember all students must have a bucket hat for the summer terms. No hat, No play! It can be any colour and must be named please. Thank you for keeping our children sunsafe.

Athletics Day 2021

Fri Oct 15 06:52pm

Dear Rakaia School Parents, Caregivers and Community,

Due to Covid Alert levels, and to ensure we are following guidelines from the Ministry of Education, the decision has been made to run our annual athletics day as a within-school event this year. The other schools in our sports cluster, Dorie and Ashburton Christian School, will also hold their own events. We will still hold our event on Wednesday 20 October, the first week of Term 4.

This changes the organisation of our event, and due to this please note the following changes:
– No spectators allowed
We are very sorry, but parents and family will not be allowed at our event this year
– No barbecue for lunch
Please ensure you send your child with a full packed lunch
– We are needing 5-6 parents or adults to help run our stations
Volunteers will need to be fully vaccinated and adhere to our Covid-19 protocols. Please be in touch with Mr Ellis, Miss Anderson or the school office if you are available, fully vaccinated and willing to help.
– Counties and Zones Athletics competitions are still to be decided
We will update you further as to whether these events will go ahead once Canterbury Primary Sports make a decision

Further details for what your child needs for the day will be sent home on Monday.

Last week of school – Update

Tue Sep 28 11:49am

Dear Parents and caregivers,

This week is the last week of school and also Mental Health Awareness Week. Your own mental health is vitally important to how you act and conduct yourself with your friends and family. If you are not well then how can you support others? I have attached a PDF to support activities for the week. I hope you enjoy them.


We have just received our staffing note for 2022 and unfortunately we are losing a teacher due to a fall in the roll. Rent prices, jobs and other social issues have affected the Rakaia area and the base of children is smaller. Our New entrant enrolments look good and classes will be mid twenties for next year but overall we will be down and so the BOT now go through a process of identifying a position in the school that is surplus. This is a very difficult time for staff and we ask that you keep your eyes open for information and continue to “Gossip the Good” about our school. We have everything we need at Rakaia and we respect a family choice to look at other schools but ask that you communicate with us so we know what we can do to improve or change our approaches.

We do not have an enrolment zone and therefore can take children from the school area and wider but we have Transport zones where we run our buses and so do other schools. If you look to go to the Intermediate then you will have to catch the bus in Chertsey, to go to Mt Hutt you will need to pay the annual bus fee of approx: $2000 per pupil . We are extremely proud of our story and the work the teachers and BOT do to promote learning for your children. Rakaia School Rocks! Please remember to have the courtesy to advise the school if you are going. Every child in Rakaia School contributes to the funding and staffing of the school.

Level 2 continues and so our full school assembly will be pupils only and we will post on facebook any awards and celebrations.

School is back on October 18th and we will welcome back Miss Bell. She will teach in Whanau 7 on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with Mrs Gosling doing Thursday and Friday for term 4.

Our school production will be November 18th and the last day of school is Wednesday December 15, Prize Giving December 14 and the picnic is December 13th at Rakaia School.

Pet day will be November 26th if the alert levels go down to level 1. Level 2 will mean no pets but other novelty items will be judged. A note will be home this week.


Thank you

Mark Ellis

View PDF

Second hand clothing sale and SSG meeting.

Mon Sep 20 09:04am


In this unusual world we are going to have a second hand uniform sale, this Friday the 24th of September at school by the sports shed, from 2.45 until 3.15pm.

We will require you to wear masks, write your name on the paper provided, hand sanitize and maintain social distancing as per the rules, but also we cannot go past the yellow line in the school grounds.

Sorry we are unable to take cash so eftpos or internet banking only please, we can still do good clean swaps.

If you have any uniform to donate this is also very welcome, you can bring it along to the sale or leave it in the school office.  The second hand uniform sale is run by the school support so all the proceeds from this sale go back into the school via the school support group’s donations.

Thank you for your support

Clare Stewart (0274190020) and Nicola Vercoe


School Support Group Meeting

This Tuesday 21st of September we will be holding a meeting at my house 521 Mainwarings Road starting at 7.30pm, if anyone is interested in coming to discuss future fundraising and donations to the school then you are most welcome.

Clare Stewart

SSG President



Sausage Sizzle

Thu Sep 16 04:06pm

All pre orders from lockdown will be carried over for the next three Fridays. New orders should come to the office as normal. Thank you 

Sorry team , late notice, but no sausage sizzle today.

Fri Sep 10 08:46am

All children back to school Thursday September 9th

Tue Sep 07 03:51pm

Hello everyone.

We are all back at school on Thursday September 9th. Those children who have been with us for level 3 will be able to attend Wednesday September 8th , as they have been, however no new children can be with us on Wednesday.

Online learning will occur Wednesday but no afternoon sessions will be on offer tomorrow as staff prepare for Thursday at school.

We are excited to see the children .

Level 2:

Masks are recommended for 12 yrs up but not compulsory.
Parents will be at the gates.
Staff on gate/bus duty will need masks.
You will need to sign in with your scanners
Assemblies will be internal and can be live online if you wish.
Parents of New entrants can come onsite but will need masks and to sign in.
RTLB and special needs staff can come in.
No off site events at this point in time.
All children to return to school
Those who do not will have a small amount of work placed online but teachers will concentrate on their face to face delivery methods.

Bubbles have disappeared in school and so children and staff can move around as normal in the school grounds.

Basic hygiene principles are to be followed and encouraged actively.

Sanitizers and wipes available in class

Masks and gloves are available but not required

We encourage children to bring their own drink bottles

Parents encouraged to drop children at the gate

Contact tracing document in the office for any visitors

RTLB and visiting teachers/specialists will work/meet in the office.

Rakaia School Term 3 concert postponed un til November

Thu Sep 02 10:04am

Dear Community,

The end of term 3 concert for Rakaia Primary School will be postponed until mid term 4 due to COVID. When the children return our focus shifts to athletics preparation. We will confirm dates for you as soon as we can but it will be mid November.

Thank you for your understanding. We want this to go well and need the time to get prepared.

regards Staff.

Level 3 reminder to let me know if children are returning.

Sun Aug 29 12:37pm

Happy Sunday to you all. Just a small reminder about numbers for children returning to school under level 3.

Level 3 from Wednesday September 1st – please note children are to be educated at home unless parents are :

“Required to work and no other options for care available . “

Please do not be offended if we ask about what care arrangements you have explored or ask for an email from your employer. This is our effort to ensure staff, students and everyone is kept safe .
Email markellis@rakaia.school.Nz by Sunday 4pm so we can plan for on-site classes .

Keep an eye on communications . Thank you

If we go to level three I need to know who is coming to school.

Fri Aug 27 12:26pm

Good morning family and whanau.

We have uncertain times and may know more today after the PM’s announcement. If we go into level 3 the school needs to know what children will be attending because parents and caregivers have to work .I have to organise staffing and supervision and so I would like an indication if we move to level three who will be attending school.

Please email me directly markellis@rakaia.school.nz to confirm if you will be sending your children to school because you have to return to work and have no other child care options.

School lessons will continue online.

Please send an email by Sunday 4pm please.

regards Mark

Team Ako Online Sessions

Mon Aug 23 05:08pm

Hi there Team Ako Parents and Caregivers

It was absolutely wonderful seeing all the children today!! We have taken today’s session as a trial session where we can iron out any issues we have online and after today we have decided to all run individual zooms for our classes like we did last year. These will run at the same time of 9am – 9:30am. You should have received an email from your classroom teacher by now with a new zoom code. If you have not, please check your junk email and then get in touch via email or leave us a message here and we will get in touch.
We are looking forward to our sessions tomorrow where we will be able to connect with the children better in our classes.

See you then
Ako Teachers

Update – ready for online learning

Sun Aug 22 06:51pm

Hello to all. We are ready for online learning to begin tomorrow morning.

Team Ako 9am
Team Whanau 9.30am
Mahitahi Yr 5-6 10am and
Mahitahi Yr7-8 10.30am

The Year 3-8 children will be signing in with their google passwords and you can contact staff if you are unsure.

Team Ako learners should have had emails from their teachers or Miss Grant to get you set up for tomorrow.

Please keep in contact if there are any difficulties.

We can do this!

Device pick up closes at 12.15 today. 44 chrome books have been given out. Thank you for following instructions at school.

Sun Aug 22 12:48pm

Friday Update

Fri Aug 20 05:57pm

Hello team.

Online learning will start Monday and devices will be prepared for year 3-8. More details will follow on how and when and where you can collect these.

We encourage the children to sign in for their google classrooms and 22 have already done this.

Team Ako will start lessons at 9am, Whanau at 9.30am, Year 5-6 at 10am and Year 7-8 at 10.30am.

We hope you are all well and we appreciate the emails. Teaching staff emails are firstnamelastname@rakaia.school.nz

Please keep in contact if you have any worries, concerns, feedback or support. We are all in this together and doing our very best.

Thank you
Mark, BOT and the staff

Winter sport tournament

Fri Aug 20 02:11pm

Just letting you know that Primary Sports Canterbury have postponed or cancelled all events that were scheduled for the coming week. This means that Winter Tournament has been postponed, possibly cancelled, for our Y7/8 rugby team. They will make a decision about whether it will continue at a later date when they have more information.

Hello team – new update on facebook or you can see it through the school webpage. Thank you.

Thu Aug 19 07:56pm

Latest post is on school website or facebook if you use that platform

Tue Aug 17 09:33pm





Level 4

Tue Aug 17 07:50pm

Level 4 – Rakaia School is closed for 3 days. Senior staff are meeting online soon and information will be posted on facebook and the app.

Email is the great option for staff and we will advise the plans for any devices if we can get them to you.

Please keep an eye on the information streams and keep safe.

More to follow soon.

regards Mark

Reporting to Parents – Feedback please

Mon Aug 09 09:58am

Hello again. I am interested in community feedback regarding our Reporting to Parents.

In recent times we have moved to HERO and asked you to contact us when you want to see the teacher and for staff to do the same. We felt this gave you the chance to see staff “just in time” rather than having to wait.

2 Comments are posted every term meaning you get 8 a year and you can ring or email for appointments as per an open door approach.

Is it working?
Do you want to go back to interviews, face to face twice a year? This could be Term 1 and 3, or Term 2 and 4.

We still have families we do not hear from and some are difficult to contact due to work times or just family business.

We are aiming to be as responsive and informative as we can so you know exactly how your children are doing. This is why we have termly “exit points” where you can visit and see the children’s work.

Looking forward to your feedback.



Thank you

Well Being Hui this Wednesday Night at Chertsey School

Mon Aug 09 09:15am



Lake Hood Half Marathon Fundraiser Information for Marshalls…

Wed Jul 28 09:56pm

Lake Hood Half Marathon – this Sunday! The roster and times etc for marshaling have been posted on HERO and also you should have received a hard copy of the information – check your child’s school bag. If you volunteered and haven’t heard anything please email natashajenkins@rakaia.school.nz and I will get in touch with you. If you can no longer help we need to know asap. Thanks to everyone for volunteering. Mrs J

Newsletter Term 3 week 1

Tue Jul 27 09:23am




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