"We are pretty lucky," student Helen Frogley said as she and fellow ACG Tauranga student Summer Fidow proudly showed this reporter around their school.

The students show off their two-year-old school including a brand new sporting complex which opened in May, 2017.

The school sits on 14.8ha in Pyes Pa, tucked neatly away on Keenan Rd.

"I always say we are on the right side of Tauranga," principal Shawn Hutchinson said. "We have students from Rotorua, Katikati, Te Puke, Papamoa and the Mount."


Hutchinson said the school had a diverse range of students from "true blue" Kiwis to new arrivals in New Zealand, just like himself. He moved from Adelaide, South Australia, and became principal of ACG Tauranga in November 2015.

Starting with a roll of just 18 students in 2015, the school has expanded to 133 students from Years 1 to 11.

Hutchinson hoped to have up to 175 students in 2018 and said the school was consented for 700 students "so we have a lot of growth ahead".

"We are working towards building a world-class individual school in the Bay of Plenty, for the Bay of Plenty."

A new preschool on school grounds was scheduled to open in 2018, and a pathway through to Year 13 would be offered from 2019.

ACG Tauranga was part of seven independent co-educational schools in New Zealand, Vietnam and Indonesia including ACG School Jakarta, AIS Vietnam, ACG Sunderland, ACG Strathallan, ACG Senior College, and ACG Parnell College.

Hutchinson said ACG Tauranga was one of the only schools in the Bay of Plenty to offer the Cambridge curriculum from primary to secondary level.

He said the school focused on preparing their senior students for university.


"That is our focus to prepare students for life, for the love of learning, and for success beyond post-secondary school," he said.

The principal said a crucial element was building relationships between students and students, and students and teachers. "The relationship between students and teachers is powerful."

He said the school focuses on academic and sporting as well as performing arts with leadership opportunities on offer for the students.

This year the school had introduced a house system which Hutchinson said provided a formal sense of leadership structure.

As the school expanded, so did the calendar. School camps, cross country, athletics and aquatics days were calendar highlights, as well as Spirit Week which was hoped to become a school tradition.

"We are building our traditions with events including Spirit Week which is celebrated after mid-year exams," Hutchinson said. "We held our first spelling bee this year and this year is the first year we have had two netball teams."

Students attended the first ACG Tauranga school camp for Year 1 to 10 students and this year would be the first to include Year 11 students.

The Mud Run in Rotorua was also hoped to become a school tradition, as well as Pink Day and Cupcake Day for the SPCA.

The school also held a Mauao Summit and Surf Day where students spend the mornings hiking up Mauao and learning about water safety with the surf lifesaving club.


Location: Pyes Pa, Tauranga
Ministry of Education profile number: 707
School type: Composite (Years 1 to 13)
School roll: 133
Gender composition: Girls 65 per cent, Boys 68 per cent
Ethnic composition: Pakeha: 72 per cent, Maori 11 per cent, Asian 29 per cent, Pasifika 1 per cent, Other 20 per cent
Core Values:
• Excellence
• Integrity
• Respect
• Courage


Summer Fidow, 15.
"This school gives me the ability to be myself."

Helen Frogley, 16.
"The support the school gives us gives us the ability to reach our goals."

Jesse Weston, 16.
"The support the teachers give us one on one is very constructive."

Arman Gill, 15.
"My favourite thing is the friendly environment."