Welcome to


Special School



Moving from Level 3 to Level 2

Kia Ora Whānau, Families and Caregivers

We are excited to let you all know that school will be open for all students as from the 18th May. Over the next day or two your child's class teacher will be contacting you to see if your child is returning and if they require taxi transport. The taxi service will be up and running and they need to know who is returning. If you are unsure of anything- please speak with your child's teacher or contact the Principal, Barrie Wickens.

Please see the statements below that the teachers will be discussing with you.

No unwell children to be sent to school. e.g a cold, a head cold, blocked ears, cough, sneezing, chills or a fever (same for staff)

-If a child appears unwell at school- families will be contacted for immediate pick up.

-If anyone has a Covid test- let the school know asap- stay at home until the result comes through.

-Taxi service resumes as per normal.

-Children can remain at home if families require this. There can be continued online support or resources can be delivered if you need.

-Each class/school will have a contact register to sign in for all adults and students each day.

-Staff will encourage social distancing where and when possible but can not guarantee it.

-Hand washing will occur more regularly- on arrival to school, before entering playgrounds and after leaving playgrounds, before and after toileting, eating, individual teaching sessions. There will be hand sanitizer in all classes and where safely possible in other locations.

-Swimming will still be available- Do you want your child to resume swimming?

-No RDA.

-Children must bring own lunchboxes, food and named drink bottles.

-Staff will wipe hard surfaces throughout the day.

-School cleaning will continue as per normal.-Where possible, students will be sitting apart for class time and eating. This may not be possible in some situations.

-Therapist/Assistants will still visit their same classes as per usual timetables.

-Students who require personal care (toileting, eating, medications etc)- will be rostered/allocated up to 2 staff members who will remain the same for Level 2.

-Break times for students/staff may be different- depending on their location.

-Minimal community visits over Level 2.

-School vehicles may be used but with less people in them.1 class to have 1 vehicle for the day- and wipe down after use

-Where we can, classes will be kept at 18-20 degrees.

-Face masks will be available for staff- optional use.

We look forward to seeing our students back at school.

On behalf of the Leadership Team and the Board of Trustees thank you all for the support you have given us over these past weeks. The school and staff really appreciate the efforts we have seen from families during these often trying times.

Please refer to Covid19.govt.nz for any further information.

We understand that this is an uncertain time and things can change very quickly. For the most up to date information, and for ideas for activities you can do with your children while you are at home, please check our school facebook page




Tauranga Special School is a school for students from the age of 5 to 21 years. We are the leading provider of education for students with special educational needs in the Western Bay of Plenty. We provide a specialised curriculum designed to meet the unique characteristics of our students.

Our school is situated in the Tauranga’s beautiful Avenues and was first opened in 1965. Originally named Kaka St Special School the name was changed to Tauranga Special school in 2016.

Tauranga Special School students are learners and dreamers who are accepted, valued and celebrated. They have an intellectual disability which impacts on the way they are able to process and retain information and problem solve. Some of our students are on the autistic spectrum, have physical and sensory impairments or associated health issues. They are aged between 5 - 21 and receive Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS).

Our students are supported as they develop in their confidence and independence. They have positive expectations about their future and academic goals to support their progress in all areas of learning. They are individuals who are encouraged to be communicators, risk takers, explorers, artists, comedians, musicians, athletes, academics, inventors and much more. The sky is the limit.

We have superb facilities, including our own heated swimming pool. Our dedicated staff have regular Professional Development to ensure they are up to date with current practice in many special needs areas, school curriculum and key competencies. All our students are well educated in a safe, friendly and happy environment.

Our Vision

Our vision is to provide opportunities for each student to access learning at their level and develop to their full potential as learners and members of their community in New Zealand.




Learning together, enhancing our potential

Our school advocates for students and their families with Special Needs in the wider Bay of Plenty region. Our staff have up to date knowledge of options available to students and families. We are committed to students with special needs and believe they should have access to excellent therapists, individualised programmes and receive an education that best meets their needs.

Tauranga Special School will provide specialised learning experiences.

Tauranga Special School provides parents with an authentic education choice within the Bay of Plenty Region. Parental choice is very important to us and we are one option that may best fit the needs of their child. As students grow and their needs change, they may flow seamlessly through the differing levels at Tauranga Special School or move to their mainstream school.

Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity

Our school acknowledges the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi as the founding document of New Zealand. We embrace our Maori community through formal and informal consultation and endeavour to be sensitive to cultural beliefs and needs through knowledge and understanding. We value and respect Te Reo Maori and Tikanga Maori.


Our school community and our teaching and learning programmes respect, value and embrace the cultural diversity of our students and our wider community. We work closely with families to understand their cultural needs and to incorporate these requests into the students daily programme and care.

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Satellite classes give our students the best opportunities of both schools. Host Schools support inclusion of our students with access to facilities such as the gym, sports field and school library and some class programmes.

Satellites can access the resources and facilities of Base School such as the heated pool and therapists. Regular community visits, horse riding and other activities are all included in our diverse programme.

The classroom programme has a balance of academic learning with a focus on Literacy and Numeracy as well as developing the social skills and life skills to enable our students to function more easily within their families and their community.

In 2017 we opened our Community College Class in Greerton for some of our older students.