Aupaki Kāhui Ako

In April, the Minister of Education announced the formation of a new Kāhui Ako (Community of Learning) in our area comprising of Heathcote Valley School, Our Lady Star of the Sea School, Sumner School, Linwood College, Mount Pleasant School and Redcliffs School.  

We are very pleased to announce that our Kāhui Ako will be known as Aupaki. This beautiful ingoa (name) has been gifted to us by mana whenua and has the approval of local rūnanga. Aupaki translates to 'sloping hillside' which is a geographical feature that all of the schools in our Kāhui Ako have a natural affinity for. The words Au (meaning wave) and Paki (meaning crashing) also recognise the importance of the ocean and inland waterways that connect our kura.

We are very excited about the rich opportunities that lay ahead for the Aupaki Kāhui Ako. At the heart of this will be the development of a strong educational pathway for our tamariki from early childhood through to secondary school and beyond. We very much look forward to collaborating with our staff, whānau and learners for many years to come.

The Aupaki Kāhui Ako replaces the old Bays Cluster that was established in 2007 when the five principals of the day saw a great opportunity to combine the staffing expertise and resources across the schools to create opportunities for our students that we would otherwise be unable to provide.

The Aupaki Cluster operates at a range of levels.


The principals meet regularly to discuss a range of topics which have common themes throughout the cluster. 


The teachers and learning support staff have participated in a number of shared professional development opportunities. 
Our office staff also meet a couple of times a year to discuss their respective financial and administration roles within the schools.

Using a combination of Kiwisports and Sports Canterbury funding we employ Chris Cole as the Aupaki Cluster Sports Coordinator. Mr Cole works in all six schools during the week and is also responsible for organising a number of opportunities for our students through cluster sporting events and after school competitions.


The Bays Cluster runs many events throughout the year aimed at bringing together our students. These events include:
  • Aupaki Cultural Festival
  • Aupaki Rockquest
  • TechFest
  • Aupaki Music Festival
  • Aupaki Speech Night
  • Various sports events
  • Leadership training
  • Enrichment programmes

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This year we have secured funding from the Ministry of Education to pilot an innovative enrichment programme for our senior students that utilises teaching expertise from throughout the Kāhui Ako. If this goes well we will consider rolling out a Kāhui Ako wide "Follow Your Passion" programme during which our senior students will have the opportunity to engage in their learning in new and motivating ways.


The Board of Trustees have met on several occasions for combined training and strategic planning sessions.  They are committed to ensuring that the Kāhui Ako continues to succeed in the future. 


Over the last couple of years the Kāhui Ako has provided a number of parent education evenings featuring visiting speakers. Our respective PTAs are in contact with each each other and work together to schedule major school fundraising events and parent evenings.

So what does the future of the Kāhui Ako hold?

We are all very excited about the possibilities that lay ahead for our Kāhui Ako.
Bulk purchasing of resources, employment of specialist teachers, stronger links with our early childhood providers and the continued implementation of innovative learning programmes are all aspects we will to continue to develop going forward.
Watch this space!