Being a ‘Normal’ or 'Model' School

Why do we have Normal or Model in our name?

Normal Schools have been in existence since the 16th Century when a group of schools in France became interested in preparing people for teaching. The French concept of "école normale” was to establish schools to model best teaching practices thereby setting a standard or norm for student teachers.

Setting this standard has been the function of Normal schools worldwide. Normal Schools were established in the United States, Canada and Europe. Many famous universities, such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) were originally founded as normal schools.

There are 29 Normal and Model schools in Aotearoa New Zealand appointed by the Government and provide a major teaching practicum facility for the six universities, and other Initial Teacher Education providers nationwide.

During the year normal and model schools have a number of students on placement. Placement provides opportunities for student teachers and their pupils to get to know each other over a long-term basis and enables student teachers and classroom teachers to form stronger collegial relationships. In their second and third years, student teachers also spend time teaching small groups in various curriculum areas and other full time practicum blocks.  Student teachers bring another valued perspective to our schools.

Normal and Model Schools are proud to be given this status as an exemplary school. We have a long history of school-based teacher education in New Zealand and our teachers are chosen for their expert knowledge and experience. We also share our quality teaching and experiences with many visiting educators from around New Zealand as well as internationally. We take our close association with the universities of New Zealand seriously and know that this relationship benefits our children in many ways, with the learning of our children of the utmost priority.