Back to Our stories

Prototyping for new spaces at Tai Tapu School

One of Canterbury’s older schools, Tai Tapu School will celebrate their 150th jubilee in 2017. In 2016, the school was provided with a new learning space to replace ageing buildings and to cater for its steady roll growth. A second stage build is planned for 2018. Principal Andrew Barker and his leadership team wanted to ensure everybody in the school community was involved in the rebuild process. This included:

  • encouraging staff, student and family (whānau) participation in the creation of the new learning spaces and ways of working together;
  • giving people opportunities to innovate, take risks and be creative as they move into new teaching and learning environments.


Andrew shares the school’s highlights and key learnings from this journey.

Leadership of change


Authentic student engagement

The transition to new teaching and learning spaces has been well supported by the strategies that Tai Tapu used to prepare for their move. Teachers who are still in older spaces continue to prototype in preparation for the Stage 2 build. Reflection and refinement in response to teacher, student and community voice is ongoing and continues to inform the journey of collaborative practice.