The Ōpaheke area's development preceded that of the wider Papakura district. Literally, Ōpaheke means the place where the large slip occurred. The Ōpaheke and Ponga areas have undergone many changes from the days when most of the original bush cover was milled for logs. Today only remnants of that original vegetation remain.
During World War 2, Ōpaheke provided two sites for the American servicemen. Since the 1960's, the wider Papakura area has expanded and there is now less farming in the immediate Ōpaheke area. Subdivision has spread southwards around Bellfield Road, Lorelei Place and the Ponga Hill area. Today, most of the Ōpaheke housing area is located on what used to be traditionally farming land .
Ōpaheke School opened in Term 2 1968 with 8 classrooms, an office area and library. In 1971, 4 more classrooms were built for junior classes. Pupil numbers declined from 13 classes during the 1980's to 11 in 1988. Since that time the roll has steadily grown to reach 520 in 2000 with 20 classrooms, 22 full time teachers, and 3 part-time teachers.
In 1998 the Board of Trustees was given approval by the Minister of Education to recapitate thus becoming a full primary school. The first intake of 43 Year 7 students started in January 1999. By the end of 2004, the roll reached 630 students. Since then, it has been steady at about 600 pupils. Ōpaheke has continued to evolve into the 21st Century, not only as a school of the times, but also aiming to an be an innovative and successful place of learning.
Some Specific Objectives for this School
- To provide a safe environment where children feel they belong, are secure, and can learn in an environment free of threats and free of harassment.
- To carefully teach curricular areas of Literacy, Numeracy, Science, Social Sciences, Health, Physical Education, Technology and the Arts.
- To make the best possible use of staff interests and strengths; and trust them to use these abilities to enhance learning opportunities for the students at this School.
- To assist children to develop correct and independent study habits.
- To provide a warm friendly working atmosphere that will help to develop human values, a sense of responsibility and the growth of individual abilities and interests
- To promote close, effective liaison with the parents and to keep them informed.
- To maintain important values such as courtesy, consideration and responsibility towards other people irrespective of race, creed or sex.
- To develop effective liaison with local pre-schools, Rosehill College, and Papakura High School to facilitate a smooth transition for all students from school to school.