Tauhara College

Special Needs Unit

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Tauhara College hosts a specialist classroom facility for students who are verified with ORS funding and have special learning needs.

There are Nineteen students enrolled ranging in age from 12 years to 20 years. 

The students are supported by two teachers and seven teacher aides. 

Subjects and Levels Taught

All students have Personalised Learning plans and all areas of the curriculum are adapted to meet student’s individual learning needs.

Educators in the Special Needs Unit use the Key Competencies Pathway Document to design and deliver an adapted curriculum. 

The contexts for learning in the Special Needs Unit are designed using the South Pacific Educational Courses SPEC framework. 

Using the key competency framework the focus for learners is that they will develop the capabilities required for living and lifelong learning. 

Learning programmes are delivered in class, school and community based settings.

Faculty Staff 
Brenda Pilkinton Head of Faculty
Michelle Pointon Assistant Head of Faculty
Abby Stanfield-Raharuhi Teacher Aide
Anita Bennett Teacher Aide
Maria Dowd Teacher Aide
Georgie Morgan Teacher Aide


The special needs unit is a fun place with lots of activity happening at all times.  Focus is on developing life skills, leisure activities, self management skills and independence for students.

The unit also provides many opportunities for students to participate in their local community.   

Successes and Special Activities

A snap shot of a typical week for a student in the special needs class includes:

  • Attending tutor class daily
  • Attending school assemblies
  • Attending canoe meetings
  • Attending levels meetings
  • Attending school sports and cultural events including celebrations
  • Community outings daily to a range of local facilities e.g. parks, shops, library, museum
  • SPEC work – Literacy and Numeracy focus
  • Option classes
  • Swimming
  • Riding for Development 
  • Cooking
  • Life skills programme
  • Art and design
  • Health and fitness programme – includes Dance and Jump Jam
  • ICT – including Touchscreen computers and IPADS

Students are a valued and included part of the school community.

Staff and students work with a range of visiting therapists to support student learning.

These specialists include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech language therapists, psychologists and other outside agencies supporting the disability sector.

Visits from people considering enrolment are most welcome.

We can be contacted on pb@tauhara.school.nz or pm@tauhara.school.nz  or 07 3789304 ext 885