Kia ora and welcome to Bethlehem School! Thank you for taking the time to visit our website and learn more about our amazing kura.

We have a rich history that is deeply tied to our community and to the many generations of students who have attended our school. It is the strong foundation from which we move forward alongside our students into an exciting future. At Bethlehem School we value nurturing relationships which provide our tamariki with the support and encouragement to explore their learning in a diverse range of pathways.

Bethlehem School is a special place and we invite you to explore and learn a bit more about us through this website. If you would like to come and spend some time with us, please ring our office to make an appointment and we would be more than happy to show you around our school and share what makes Bethlehem School such a wonderful place to be.

Catherine Neidhardt, Principal

Our Motto

Taku rourou Tau rourou
Ka ora ai tatou
With your contribution and mine we will flourish

Our History and Development

Bethlehem School first opened in 1883 and has had a very interesting and successful history.

The school is situated at the junction of Bethlehem and Carmichael Roads, only 7 km from the centre of Tauranga. It is set in extensive, sunny, park-like grounds with spacious playing and sporting facilities, in a peaceful semi-rural environment. Well kept gardens and buildings compliment the many attractive, mature, larger native trees scattered throughout the site.

The school has 24 classrooms and a site plan that allows very limited future growth. A new administration and library block was completed in 2000 and this includes offices, staffroom and withdrawal rooms. The school shares a building with the Bethlehem Community Pre-School which helps to provide an easy transition for children moving on to our school. Eighteen new teaching spaces have been added to the school since 1995. In 1997 additional land was purchased by the Ministry, the house occupying this site was removed in 2001 to make way for a new hard court area, new garages for storage and off street parking. The Old Administration Block is being used for remedial literacy and maths programmes such as Reading Recovery as well as resource storage. The old office area, now known as “The Hub” is where our SENCo, support staff and sports co-ordinator are based.

Our fields are approximately 1.5 ha in size with the boundaries almost completely fenced. We have three adventure playgrounds, two hard court areas, a fitness trail / confidence course, and a recently refurbished and heated swimming pool.

Following many years of planning and fundraising Bethlehem School Hall was officially opened in 2010. This $820,000 project would not have occurred without the wonderful support of our school community who along with generous contributions from TECT, BayTrust, the Carmichael Family (St Michaels Ltd), Carrus Corporation, Barry & Bev Gordon and the Friends of Bethlehem School 2009 raised almost $500,000 of this total. The hall has already become a great asset for the school and is providing similar benefits for the wider Bethlehem Community.

Other more recent developments include,

  • a two classroom block with shared withdrawal space completed in 2012 as a result of roll growth.

  • a BoT funded hall extension completed in 2015. The project includes a storage area for hall equipment and a large multi-purpose space to be used as an Arts Centre or, if required, as an overflow classroom.

  • a recently completed 7 teaching space classroom block, designed to cater for more collaborative and personalised teaching and learning practices. Similar design features have been used with new schools being built by the MOE. Funding for this $1.5 million project has come from roll growth and from MOE 5YA funding. 5YA funds are given to schools to upgrade existing facilities and in our case we have replaced four old re-locatable classrooms. 

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Our Mission Statement

To provide a caring, secure environment which motivates children and nurtures their individual talents and abilities.

Opportunity will be given to extend and develop the self esteem of all pupils. Our schools exists to provide the best educational opportunities available and to broaden each child’s social and cultural awareness.

School should be a happy and successful experience for each child.

Our Goals

  • To provide a caring stable environment in which the children feel welcome and secure and where their needs are assessed and catered for through accurate identification and careful planning.
  • Place an emphasis on achieving high standards in behaviour and attitudes as well as in curriculum areas.
  • Place an emphasis on the development of children’s self esteem. 
  • Provide for active pupil participation and independence in all learning activities.
  • Develop a supportive and innovative approach to teaching.
  • Place emphasis on the development of social skills and responsibilities with children accepting individual differences.
  • Provide purposeful channels of communication between pupils/staff/community.
  • The children and staff take a pride in being part of the school and the school environment.