The name Parua Bay means “The Bay of Two Pa” which historically is thought to refer to Motukiore Island (near Headland Farm Park) and the Nook Headland. Parua Bay’s first school opened in 1871 on Owhiwa Road (Mt Tiger) and relocated to its present site in 1872.
Parua Bay School caters for New Entrants to Year 8 students with a total of 16 classrooms. We currently have four junior classes of Years 0-2 which make up Team Manu, (this grows to 5 classrooms from Term 2 onwards), four classes of Years 3-4 making up Team Awatea, four classes of Years 5-6 making up the Hub, and three classes of Years 7-8 making up the Seniors. The school roll has increased rapidly in the last three years and our starting roll in 2018 is 335 students and we would expect to finish around 380 students; we currently have 27% Maori students.
After much planning and designing, Parua Bay School received a new, four classroom building in 2017. This flexible learning space, named Te Akonga, is specially designed for collaborative teaching and learning and this is where our Year 3-4 students (Team Awatea) are housed. Also at the start of 2017, our junior classrooms were given a complete makeover to ensure that collaborative teaching and learning could be practised effectively. Rooms 1-4 are now also flexible learning spaces and these classrooms house our Year 0-2 students.
The rest of the school still operates in collaborative teaching and learning units (Years 5-6 - The Hub; Years 7-8 The Seniors); however the classrooms are more traditional in their layouts. Parua Bay School has been given funding from the Ministry of Education to replace all the remaining "traditional" classrooms with flexible learning spaces. Additional to these classrooms, the project will include some car parking spaces, a bus turning bay, an administration block and a new library. In 2-3 years' time Parua Bay School will be a virtually new school.
The school has a great reputation for academic success and sports, “punching well above our weight” in several competitions and areas of expertise like Literacy, debating, Science Fair, rippa rugby, chess, squash and A.I.M.s Games. For the past two years Parua Bay School has won the Year 8 Intermediate School Debating Championship, and in 2015 Parua Bay School won both the Year 7 and Year 8 Northland Schools Debating Championship. In 2017, Parua Bay School's squash teams were extremely successful coming 1st and 3rd at the A.I.M.s Games - an Intermediate aged competition for students from all over New Zealand and Australia.
Parua Bay School operates a House Whanau system; all students enrolled are attached to one of our Whanau Houses, Manaia, Motukiore, Pakikaikutu and Taihika. Students compete for their house in a range of sporting and academic competitions throughout the year.