Principal’s Welcome

Welcome to Ellesmere College - Te Kāreti o Waihora

Kia ora, Mālō e lelei, Kumusta, Tālofa lava


Welcome to Ellesmere College – Te Kāreti o Waihora! 


Since 1981, Ellesmere College – Te Kāreti o Waihora has developed a proud reputation for delivering quality education to the wider Leeston, Southbridge, Doyleston and Dunsandel communities. We are a Year 7-13 co-educational school which recognises and celebrates the achievement of our students’ academic, cultural, sporting and leadership potential.


All successful educational institutions benefit from self-review and self-renewal. In response to student & staff voice, community feedback and the most recent Education Review Office report (2017), over the past four years we have embarked on a courageous journey to bring about large-scale change in teaching and learning at the College. Planning for the new school, which will start being built at the end of this year (2022), has driven our thinking about what makes an Ellesmere College – Te Kāreti o Waihora learner and education (both academic and dispositional).  


Teaching and learning is our core business. We have a highly dedicated staff of professionals who are fully committed to ensuring we provide a culture of care for the young people we serve. Ellesmere College – Te Kāreti o Waihora provides our ākonga/learners with the skills and knowledge to enable them to be the best they can be. In conjunction with our teaching programmes, our continued focus on our core values of respect, integrity, success and empathy further strengthens our students’ character and self-efficacy. Our staff work hard to build positive relationships with students and maintain high expectations. As a consequence, we enjoy high standards of student conduct and behaviour throughout our learning community.


We are a dynamic and innovative school that explores opportunities to remain relevant in a rapidly changing society. Our mission is to “provide a challenging and caring learning environment responsive to the learning needs of all students.” We continuously seek new ways to engage learners and to offer them appropriate pathways to enjoy success. Part of our identity is as a school which nurtures individuality, offers an increasingly personalised education and recognises and caters for the diverse interests and strengths of each of our students. You only have to see the work of our students at our Exhibition Evenings to see this! Our staff work hard to ensure that students are offered a wide range of opportunities in order to open up multiple pathways for students beyond school. 


As Principal, I am highly committed to the ongoing strengthening of the delivery of education we provide to meet the needs of our young people. Our vision is to develop confident, motivated young people who are positive citizens and life-long learners. We celebrate our co-educational and bi-cultural identity and have a safe and supportive environment where everyone feels they belong. Our community partnerships are deeply valued and together we continue to build trusting relationships that are always focused on the best possible experiences for our ākonga


Our College is much more than just a place where learning occurs. It is a school that genuinely cares about, and strongly believes in, the enormous potential of young people. Staff tirelessly work to provide a well-rounded, holistic education for the students they serve. I am very proud of the work we have done over the past few years to reimagine what teaching and learning could be and the work we have done to make that vision a reality. We do have more that we want to achieve over the coming years, and thank you for the trust you show in us by enrolling your child in their local school.


Ronan Bass