About Edgecumbe College

Edgecumbe College is committed to providing programmes that meet the teaching and learning needs of our students. The school’s significant Maori population means that all reasonable steps are taken to incorporate Te Reo Maori me ona Tikanga into our school’s curriculum and many facets of school life.

Edgecumbe is a town in the Bay of Plenty of the North Island of New Zealand, 15 kilometres to the west of Whakatane and eight kilometres south of the Bay’s coast. It is the main service town for the agricultural region surrounding the plains of the Rangitaiki River, which flows through the town. It has a population of approximately 1800, though that number is falling.

The town is named after the small village of Edgecumbe in Cornwall, United Kingdom, between Penryn and Helston. State Highway 2 passes through the town. The three main landmarks are the Fonterra dairy factory, the college and the Riverslea shopping mall.

Beside the main road is a 1.5-metre tablet engraved with the 10 commandments, which was placed there after a local woman had a dream that she should place it there to guide the town’s youth.

In 1987 a massive earthquake centered on Edgecumbe shook the Bay of Plenty, causing widespread damage. Also, in July 2004 and May 2005 the town experienced heavy flooding that ruined many homes.  In recent years 2017, there was a breach in the river bank that flooded the township and again causing more damage to the same homes and others.

The volcanic cone of Mount Edgecumbe (Putauaki), 15 kilometres to the south and close to the town of Kawerau, is visible from Edgecumbe.

Edgecumbe College History

Edgecumbe College was opened in 1963 and is situated on College Road in the Edgecumbe Township. Our college is well equipped with facilities (including solar heated swimming pool, gymnasium, music suite, library, (technology and computer facilities.) that support the wide range of subjects that we are able to offer our students and wider community. Since 2008, we have had renovations or refurbishments done to our gymnasium; our canteen complex with a covered area for students; our library; foyers and classrooms; with an upgrade in our heating system. Edgecumbe College is committed to providing programmes that meet the teaching and learning needs of our students. The school’s significant Maori population means that all reasonable steps are taken to incorporate Te Reo Maori me ona tikanga into our school’s curriculum and many facets of school life. Students wishing to be taught in immersion Maori will be referred to an appropriate nearby institution.

Edgecumbe College Badge and Motto

The Shield is rimmed with gold, signifying worth or value. It could also signify the butter, or golden sunshine, of the Rangitaiki Plains.

The boar, second only to the lion for courage, is featured also in the Earl of Edgecumbe’s coat of arms. The two golden boars’ heads grin wickedly in the red background – red, the colour of blood, or life.

The pointed chevron straddling the shield stands for Mt Edgecumbe (Putauaki) and the stylized trees, representing the timber wealth of our area, stand out against a white field signifying purity. The green trees represent the lush grass growth on the Rangitaiki Plains.

The motto is a single word INTEGRITY. This word is rich in meaning and association – sincerity, purity, honesty, uprightness, completeness, soundness, worth and commitment – which encompasses our core values. It is a word implying quality in all things, a worthwhile ideal for all persons associated with Edgecumbe College.

Edgecumbe College undertakes to respect our College motto ‘INTEGRITY’ by

  • Providing quality instruction and encouraging students to reach their individual potential (Personal excellence)

  • Promoting the development of a sense of respect and responsibility for self and caring for others (Accountability, Whanaungatanga, Respect)

  • Valuing and demonstrating the qualities of honesty and reliability

  • Assisting students to become self reliant, to develop strong self esteem and to value and engage in life long learning

  • Encouraging students to participate in a wide range of academic and extra curricular activities, and

  • Ensuring equity of opportunity through the provision of appropriate resources and opportunities.

While the New Zealand Curriculum provides the theoretical basis for the development of students into confident, connected, lifelong learners, it is the Edgecumbe College Curriculum that provides the vehicle for making this a realistic goal for our graduating students and it is the teachers who create the learning environment in which this goal can be achieved.

Effective teaching is the most important tool that education has and the teachers at Edgecumbe College are continually strengthening their own practice in order to provide a rich and engaging curriculum for our students. This is achieved through a variety of means including:

Participating as a member of a community of learners where teachers set professional learning goals and work with colleagues to improve their skills and knowledge base as teachers – our APPRAISAL programme has a strong focus on improving teacher practice with the goal of improving student outcomes,


  • Regular self- and student-review of the effectiveness of the programmes offered – our teachers regularly engage in formal reviews of their courses and teaching effectiveness,
  • Adapting courses to suit the needs of individual students – teachers are flexible and encourage students to work at the level to which they are best suited and have the best chance of gaining appropriate qualifications and experiences,

  • Providing specialist tuition within and outside the regular classroom for students who experience significant difficulty with aspects of their learning – we have teachers with specialist qualifications who are highly respected in this field,

  • Providing specialist support and appropriate programmes and opportunities for those students who significantly outperform their peers in any area/s of learning – the Tuatahi programme aims to provide an environment where ‘Tall Poppies’ can thrive, and

  • Personalised guidance in the selection of learning pathways through secondary school to ensure students have every opportunity to gain optimum qualifications while also growing as leaders within society.

Underpinning our practice is the belief that teachers need the humility to be lifelong learners themselves but also the capability to be highly competent teachers.