Life at Tihoi
The Tihoi Programme
- Growth through adventure for Year 10 boys
- A unique life changing experience
The aim of the Tihoi Venture School programme is to enhance and accelerate the student's personal and social development. All aspects of the programme reflect this.
The Tihoi programme has four and a half days of classroom education, and two and a half days of outdoor skills and challenges.
The academic days are taught to the same standards and curriculum as they are at St Paul's in Hamilton. The academic programme is based on an experimental learning style as students are given the opportunity to learn from the environment they live in. Academic standards are maintained in all subjects and modern technology is fully utilised.
A wide variety of activities are offered in the Outdoor Pursuits programme to ensure there is either challenge or success for each student in different areas.
The students live in small houses with 8 – 9 students in each. They are responsible for the cleaning and hygiene of their home and this is carried out everyday. Breakfast and the evening meal are prepared by the students in their own house on a wood burning stove. Students are given cooking lessons in the first six weeks of their stay so they have skills to cook cakes and biscuits through to full meals, and the confidence to try out new recipes. Every student is rostered to be one of the three cooks every two weeks. They also get the opportunity to prepare a weeks’ menu and cooking beginning at the budget and planning stage, through to the shopping and finally the preparation and cooking from basic ingredients.
Living with seven other people can present many challenges for the students. Students learn to communicate, co-operate, deal with conflict, care, tolerate, trust and be sensitive to others. Students are very busy at Tihoi and time management, punctuality and organisation are all skills the student must learn.
Students are encouraged to share in the decision making of the school and each week there is a formal social education period where they work in house groups and cover methods of dealing with social situations, learn conflict resolution skills, develop assertiveness and leadership skills and reflect on the virtues and values of the week.
The academic programme is integrated with the outdoor and social programme wherever possible.
The students cover the four core subjects; Mathematics, English, Science and Social Studies. In addition all complete a Health and First Aid, Bushcraft, Cooking and a language course. A language maintenance course is available.
In Science the programme is predominantly biology and geology based and the local environment is used extensively to support learning. Students visit the forest for hands on experience with flora and fauna. The geological processes which create the rocks they climb on, rivers they kayak, mountains they climb and caves they cave in are explored. They visit the Tongariro National Park and Waitomo district as part of their earth science study and students are given research projects to do that are environmentally based.
The Social Studies programme is designed to encourage the students to be responsible for their own learning. We aim to stimulate their thinking and reasoning and improve their time management. The theme for Social Studies is social change and values exploration. Students investigate the history of Tihoi, the development of tourism in Waitomo, and the significance of forestry in New Zealand. They also look at resource use and influence of technology on people's lives and the effect both have on the environment.
English at Tihoi is integrated into the outdoor and social living context of the Tihoi programme. The students read stories related to the environment and experiences similar to those they are participating in at Tihoi. They create their own poetry anthologies and enjoy the opportunity to improve their public speaking by performing poems and stories they have composed. Students keep an in-depth journal each week recording experiences and reflections.
Outdoor Pursuits Programme
The Tihoi outdoor programme offers a variety of outdoor pursuits to ensure that there is either challenge or success for each boy in different areas.
The Outdoor Pursuits programme encompasses:
- Kayaking- flat water and moving water
- Rock climbing
- High Ropes Challenge Course
- Shooting – range and firearms'
- 30 hour survival excercise
- 6 Hour and 44 Hour solo
- 3 day student led tramp
- 3 day student led parent tramp
- Extended six day expedition in outdoor pursuit of choice
During the 3 day student led tramp students have the opportunity to put all their skills into practice. Parents are also encouraged to take part in a 3 day student lead parent tramp. During this activity students are given the opportunity to show off their new skills and spend some quality time with their parents.
The climax for the student’s Tihoi experience is the week long expedition in which they can choose participate in. Students choose from either a mountain, rock, kayak, sail or tramp expedition, be it to increase their skill level in, or to do or achieve something they really want to. Experiences can include...
- Kayaking the white waters of the Waikato, Mohaka rivers
- Climbing the three peaks of the Tongariro National Park
- Sailing the length of Lake Taupo in a three person Sunburst yacht
- Rock climbing a variety of crags in the Central North Island
- Sea Kayaking
Whatever the student chooses to end his Tihoi experience it is always a week of fun, adventure and experience . Whether it be; cooking for a group of ten, rolling a kayak at the bottom of the Full James rapid or landing a trout into the boat, the student has opportunity to put his newly learned skills into practice.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of the students is the paramount priority in every activity at all times whether in the class room or in the wilderness. Physical risks are minimised and social and emotional safety is counseled sensitively.
All Tihoi staff hold first aid certificates and there is a daily clinic for ill and injured students. Any students needing more than the bsic aid are referred to the Taupo Medical Centre.