At AJHS we are very proud of our Whanau structure. We have four whanau areas; Makomako, Kiwi, Ruru and Tui, and these whanau areas act as 4 small schools in one large school. They are a space where students receive the bulk of their education in years 7 and 8, apart from specialist subjects that require specific rooms.
As students progress in their years, they move across the school which helps develop more independence. The whanau structure creates a culture, identity and support network for our students, giving them a place where they feel comfortable and confident to explore and learn, while also providing pastoral support so no student slips through the cracks.
When moving from a primary school to a junior high school, students can become overwhelmed with the size, so this structure takes away the stress and nerves of being in a much larger school, and gives them a sense of belonging. Students spend their 4 year journey in the same Whanau, which helps them establish strong peer relationships and galvanises their sense of self.