Key Points:

    Taihape Area School pulled spectacular results in Levels one and Two NCEA exams.

It has been an unforgettable start to 2018 for Taihape Area School (TAS) principal Richard McMillan.

Students' NCEA results in Levels 1 and 2 have surpassed expectations and thrilled Mr McMillan and his staff.

In Level 1 96.6 per cent passed and Level 2 had a 100 per cent pass rate.


Mr McMillan said staff had worked extremely hard with the students.

"They were determined to get as many through as possible. The deans were amazing, they
were alongside all the students all the time.''

It was never a case of an open-door policy, he said.

"Their doors were never shut ... ever.''

Mr McMillan said it had been a real coup for the school.

"We're very proud of our students' success it's great for the school.''

This year there are 20 new primary students and 17 new secondary enrolments, he said.

Mr McMillan said the school still needed three new teachers in science and geography. But considering there was a shortage of teachers through the country he felt TAS hadn't fared too badly.


"There are teachers that travel long distances to school. We had a marvellous teacher who lived in Levin and used to stay here through the week but unfortunately we've lost him. He's had to leave because his wife is very ill.''

TAS was a decile 4, composite co-educational school for Years 1–14, and offered a balanced education that met the objectives of the National Educational Guidelines, he said.

This school has really become the focus of a new concept in education and community interaction.

"We are one of the most technologically advanced schools built in NZ. All our 29 learning spaces are provided with large interactive touch-sensitive whiteboards linked to computer systems throughout the world. These screens have their own stereo sound systems, and any topic can be researched with ease."

The building was also designed for strong interactive communication, with a HUB at the heart of the school.

"It's a cafe-style meeting place, that links the multifunction centre, learning spaces, and administration block.

"Even though we are a comparatively small school, the passion, drive and enthusiasm of our staff means we can provide 'big school' opportunities. Our concept of 'classrooms without walls' is truly alive here.''

Senior and junior classes have the opportunity to use modern facilities to enhance learning in music, media studies, theatre, and dance. Students have access to technological training in such areas as hospitality, agriculture, electronics, graphic design, automotive engineering, and building and construction.

The school has outdoor sporting facilities for netball, football, hockey, and tennis, with a multifunction centre where pupils can play basketball, badminton, table tennis and more. The centre can accommodate more than 900 people and has an advanced digital sound system, motorised screen and remote-controlled stage lighting.

"And as with all beginnings, 2018 promises much in growth and development for school and for our students."