This week's School of the Week is the Rotorua Seventh-Day Adventist School.

With just two teachers and a teaching principal, Rotorua Seventh-Day Adventist School calls itself the city's best kept secret.

Principal Lanea Strickland said the school was hidden away but wanted everyone to know it was there.

Read more: Rotorua Seventh-Day Adventist School pupils on why they love their school


"We want everyone to know we're here and we have lots to offer," Strickland said.

"I'd encourage people to come in and have a look. Once they get into the school they can see it's a beautiful school."

Strickland said, with a maximum of 45 students, the school promoted a whanau environment.

"No child gets left behind. Relationships are important and the learning opportunities. We give as many things a go as possible."

Wendy Hulse-Schwartfeger teaches from new entrants to Year 4 pupils and said the school was a "wonderful workplace".

Hulse-Schwartfeger regularly brings her dogs Max and Charlie to the school for the pupils to read to.

"There is some research that suggests that children reading to dogs provides a safe and non-judgmental audience. My golden retriever is particularly calm and gentle and is a captive audience to my 5-year-olds who are very shy when talking out loud to a group," she said.

Hulse-Schwartfeger said she had seen a once shy boy read to her dog animatedly. The animal also teaches empathy and how to be around animals.


Billie-Lee Browne is the school's senior teacher and said there was a big difference between Rotorua Seventh-Day Adventist and other schools and it was family-oriented.

She said the children were nurturing and kind to one another.

About the school
Principal: Lanea Strickland
Location: 3 Tilsley St, Glenholme.
Type: State-Integrated, Years 1 to 8, co-educational
Roll: 41 (in July 2017)
Gender composition: Female - 43 per cent, Male - 57 per cent (In December 2015)
Ethnic composition: Maori - 62 per cent, Pakeha - 1 per cent, Other - 37 per cent (In December 2015)
Motto: Building for eternity