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Our School

We live and breathe our school philosophy

Lytton Street School values and embraces the uniqueness of every child and enables them to learn in warm, nurturing, and engaging environments that foster their individual needs. We build positive, trusting relationships with each and every child and their whānau.

We’ve Got the Right Approach

  • Investigation

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Lytton Street School embraces Walker Learning which is an Australian designed teaching and learning approach that aims to engage children from early childhood right through to their early teenage years using a range of strategies for authentically personalised learning.

We use the Walker Learning Philosophy Statement to guide our school wide practice and decisions. Walker Learning’s educational philosophy is based on developmental psychology and neuroscience, and the impact of social and cultural influences on children. The pedagogy draws heavily on research that highlights that the child's brain is programmed for relationships, attachments and concrete hands on open-ended experiences.

Walker Learning focuses on deepening our own self- awareness as educators in order to strengthen our relationships with children and grow our awareness of the needs of the children we teach. It supports the development of a child's concept of self, and embraces the importance of contextual learning – real, relevant and meaningful – to embed and strengthen recall of learning. The pedagogy is holistic and acknowledges that education is the development of skills for life alongside literacy and numeracy.

We believe that successful education includes two major foci: skills in curriculum and skills for life. These have become overarching outcomes for our students. These include developing children who...

  • can think for themselves and others
  • can create and imagine
  • are strong in their literacy and numeracy
  • can navigate the challenges of the world with intrinsic motivation and a strength of character derived from a strong sense of self and resilience
  • are emotionally intelligent, self- initiators, reflective of themselves and others
  • are strong and articulate communicators with a realistic sense of themselves and others

Key life skills develop alongside skills of literacy, numeracy, the arts, science and other curriculum areas, and are placed within the individual interests, collective culture and communities of the children and their families. Walker Learning encourages the use of evidence of how children develop neurologically, developmentally and through the influences of culture and family, to set up a learning environment which reflects indoor and outdoor learning, and places and spaces that reflect calm but stimulating investigation areas and places to explore, experiment and learn.

Our English and Mathematics Curriculum Programmes reflect the following Walker Learning philosophy:

Creating context (real, relevant and meaningful) 

This enhances the learning of new skills, understandings and processes. Recreating real and meaningful learning opportunities enhances recovery of what has already been learned. In addition when a peer introduces the learning as the model (peer as the 2nd teacher) engagement is enhanced significantly and is sustained more powerfully.

Personalised Learning

Walker Learning encourages educators to provide learning experiences for each individual as well as providing unique strategies to reflect the different ways in which individuals learn (eg the “how”). The educator intentionally aims to teach at each child’s ‘cusp of learning’ (Vygotsky's zone of proximal development) – where they know some, but not all, where the child is challenged and extended while experiencing some form of success.

Associated practices:

  • Educators scaffold and explicitly model or instruct while using children’s interests and relatable contexts to engage and motivate
  • Family cultures, personal cultures, experiences, and interests are used to engage children during Tuning In, Investigations and Integrated Learning
  • There is an emphasis on small group workshops and individualised teaching methods
  • Scaffolding and modelling are the key teaching strategies
  • Open ended experiences during Investigations and Integrated Learning
  • Children are provided time to work and play alongside each other as well as time to work independently
  • Routines and predictably are key considerations across the school day
  • The Arts

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At Lytton Street we believe in creating opportunities for artistic growth through annual art exhibitions (Art video 1, Art video 2, Art video 3, weekly kapa haka sessions, whole school singing, elaborate productions, wearable arts, choir, Te Rerenga kōtare (Performance level kapa haka).

Within our Kawakawa Kahui Akō we inspire young artists by providing mentors who work individually with select students. 

Lytton Street School recognises students who have shown particular aptitude, skill and talent in the Arts in our Awards Ceremony.

  • Technology

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At Lytton Street School we believe that the need for current digital technology in today’s classrooms is imperative. It is now a vital part of high quality education in the 21st century and when integrated effectively into the curriculum, offers endless opportunities for the modern learner. Teachers can work alongside students to personalise the learning in more engaging ways than have been available in the past. This way the learning becomes more meaningful for the student. By embracing technology our goal is to develop confident, competent and responsible users of digital technology while fostering critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration through personalised learning.

Along with placing great importance on the value of digital technology in classrooms, we also believe that students should not be fixed to a screen all day and that they need a balance of proven traditional teaching strategies to have a well rounded education. Our junior classes use devices at times throughout the day to support literacy and numeracy and our senior classes aim for a balance with around 50% of their learning experiences involving digital technology.

Our Board Of Trustees are committed to ensuring that Lytton Street School students have access to relevant technology in order to take advantage of the vast learning opportunities it provides. This commitment includes providing our school with:

  • 1:1 Chromebooks in all Year 4-6 classrooms.
  • 1:1 iPads in all Year 4 classrooms
  • A set of iPads all Year 0-2 classrooms

Our staff promote the safe and responsible use of the internet in teaching and learning by developing digital citizens. Our school defines a digital citizen as someone who;

  • is a confident and capable user of digital technology
  • uses technologies to participate in educational activities
  • uses and develops critical thinking skills
  • is literate in the language, symbols, and texts of digital technologies
  • is aware that there can be challenges when using digital technologies and can manage them effectively
  • uses digital technologies to communicate to others in positive ways
  • demonstrates honesty and ethical behaviour in their use of digital technology
  • respects privacy in a digital world
  • contributes and actively promotes the values of digital citizenship
  • Te Manawanui ki te Reo

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Te Manawanui ki te Reo is a Kaupapa Māori-based philosophy with a strong focus on integrating te reo Māori me ōna tikanga into an everyday english-medium learning curriculum. Teaching and learning involves a higher percentage of te reo Māori use in classrooms alongside the implementation of tikanga based practices. We have a team of developing speakers of te reo who will offer our students the opportunity to acquire, practice, and build proficiency. 

In Te Manawanui ki te reo Māori we have adopted the Whare Tapawhā model of well being designed by local kaumatua Sir Mason Durie. This ensures that all corners of the learner’s whare are supported equally, to allow for growth and development. 

The strong whānau environment continues from year to year. As much as we emphasise the reo, tikanga is our foundation and something that we uphold on a daily basis.

  • Sports and Camps

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Lytton Street School believes in developing well rounded learners and place great value on giving students experiences outside of the classroom. Each class goes on day trips to various places around the Manawatu and we run multiple camps throughout the year. 

When students reach Year 4 they will attend an overnight camp in the Pohangina Valley with their teacher and peers. On even years our Year 5/6 students attend an overnight camp at Sixtus Lodge at the base of the Ruahine Ranges. On even years they attend an overnight camp at Foxton Beach, and also a three day stay at Camp Raukawa. These camps are designed to expose our students to different environments, experiences, and to develop skills to enhance their social interactions, resilience, and confidence.

We also offer a wide range of sporting opportunities such as: netball, hockey, football, basketball, touch rugby, rippa rugby, swimming, athletics, cross country, Ki-O-Rahi, softball, teeball, tennis, and flipperball. We also run Tamariki Toa (our version of Tough Kids) as well as attending other Tough Kid events around Manawatu. We facilitate and participate in inter school competitions for cross country, athletics, and chess. 

  • Integrated Learning

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To expand our student’s knowledge of themselves, their place, their school, and community, we follow the process of Ko Wai Au, Ko Tātou Tēnei, Kotahitanga, and Kei Kōnei Tātou through Terms 1-4.

Once we have established these understandings in the first half of each term, our focus shifts to connecting with events that are happening in our community or wider world through the Science and Social Sciences curriculum. Some examples are, but not limited to, The Living World, Planet Earth and Beyond, Material World, and the Nature of Science.

Do you want to know more or meet the principal?

You are welcome to get in touch with any questions you have about our school. We are happy to help.