Ngaio School

Our Place to Learn

The Clinic

The Clinic is a community-led project whose core purpose is to encourage our school community to share hands-on learning together – students and families. We do this by offering the students lunch-time (12.45pm – 1.30pm) drop-in sessions. These happen as often as adults have time to run them. When a spare room is unavailable for Clinic use, we operate sessions during class time for year or syndicate groups.

The Clinic was established in May 2012 by four parents of children at Ngaio School. We initially operated out of the school’s old dental clinic (hence the name!), which is nearest the Colway St entrance, and now called Room 18.

Topics are chosen based on the expertise in our community and in conjunction with requests from the students. Initially the four project team members and many of the Clinic volunteers had an expertise and interest in science and this is what many of the early sessions were based on. Over time the Clinic has branched out to also include craft, art, history, nutrition and cultural topics.

The session’s focus is for the students to have “hands on fun” exposing children to different and unusual experiences with adults from their community. A few examples of what the children have done include: making electrical circuits that turned on lights and spun fans, dissecting and exploring the workings of a sheep heart by shooting water through the ventricles, using binocular and digital microscopes to investigate the components of beach sand samples, making healthy dips, experiencing Samoan culture, making a felt square using wool, drawing caveman art, and using a sewing machine.

At each session we have a session leader who runs the session along with the support of other parents. There is also always one person from the Clinic team allocated to each session who will work closely with the session leader prior to the session being run to ensure they have the resources and support they require. On the day they will oversee and provide additional support.

The children’s enthusiasm is amazing and after the session the adults often comment that they got just as much out of it as the children did!

You can find more information regarding the Clinic on the Clinic blog

If you have a particular skill, interest or passion, come and share it at the Clinic. Alternatively, lots of general helpers are always needed on sessions (no experience required!). You may want to pop in just to have a look for 10 minutes one day while a session is on (they’re advertised on the school website calendar). Without the community’s support of parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents we would not be able to run the Clinic. The main constraint on how many sessions we offer is the adults - having session leaders come forward and getting enough adult helpers. The children are always asking for more sessions!

You can contact the Clinic team by e-mailing:

Thanks, and we look forward to meeting you soon at the Clinic!