Poolburn School Central Otago

A word from our principal

Melissa Gare

Kia Ora, my name is Melissa Gare and it is my absolute pleasure to be the Principal of Poolburn School. We are a small school from year 0-8 based in the farming area of the Ida Valley in Central Otago. Our school is actually over 150 years old and our school has seen many generations of families go through it. 

The school saw a major renovation that has turned it into a modern learning environment, but also a community hub where meetings can be held and we have an extensive school library. Our school is made up of two classrooms; one called Raggedy Range. This is where children start their school journey at Poolburn, currently it is made up from year 0-3. Then we have Rough Ridge, which is our senior class and currently this is year 4-8 children. We then have a shared area called the Hawkduns which is an area we use to come together, go to the library or have small groups of children work. 

Poolburn prides itself on learning the foundations of learning but maximising our small school nature by getting out and about, bringing our learning to life! 

We appreciate our community so much and the school is the heart of our community.

Our R.I.T.E.S

Poolburn School prides itself on reinforcing Positive behaviour for learning (PB4L) and having a strong culture of teaching values, which we call our school rites!


Ngākau Whakaute

Understanding and demonstrating empathy towards others and the environment.


Ngākau pono

Making the right choices for the wellbeing of others and the environment, by demonstrating an honest positive attitude and effort.


Whakāro arohaehae

Thinking critically, making connections and problem solving across the curriculum.



Striving to reach your potential, even when you’re challenged.

Self Management


Manage my belongings and behaviour to ensure I can participate and contribute positively in all aspects of  school life.