Kadimah School has been welcoming boys and girls from every community through its doors for 40 years. The school is tucked away on Greys Avenue in Auckland’s Central Business District. We share space with a synagogue in a beautiful brick-clad heritage building that has won multiple architecture awards. Synagogues have always been built to serve as meeting places for the religious, educational, social and cultural activities of communities.
The word kadimah means forward, from the Hebrew root kadam, meaning to advance. Our name has never been more appropriate. 2008 saw the building undergo a gorgeous refurbishment and the new learning spaces are now physically wrapped around the central synagogue. Then, in 2011, Kadimah became a state-integrated school with a special Jewish character, putting its superior education within reach of every family in Auckland.
Our first ERO review was glowing, and stated that Kadimah’s highly capable teachers have a caring, wrap-around, deep concern for children. It went on to say that the school’s positive environment for learning, with a special Jewish character evident at all levels, promotes thinking and nurtures learning. Kadimah children are extended to the best of their ability, ERO said in summary.
“If not now, when?” is Kadimah’s motto and it reflects the school’s approach to learning that there’s never a better time to start than today. The actual words come from a larger quote:
“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?”
This is one of several famous sayings attributed to Hillel, a great scholar and president of ancient Israel’s Supreme Court 2,000 years ago.
Kadimah offices, administration and meeting rooms are housed on the ground floor of the Greys Avenue Centre. In the centre of the building is a large paved open-air courtyard that serves as a play space for children during the day and an end-of-school pick-up area. It also houses sets of bike stands for students.
Also on the ground floor is a well-stocked music room. Here there is a piano, a dozen electronic keyboards, violins, drum kits, guitars, ukuleles and much more.
Kadimah shares the Auckland Hebrew Congregation spaces also on the ground floor. Junior Tefillah is held in the small synagogue, Senior Tefillah is held in the large synagogue and Kabbalat Shabbat is held in the AA Hall on Fridays. On Mondays the whole school gets together for Tefillah where they practice Havdallah.
Parents and staff also enjoy the Greys Ave Deli, which is adjunct to the ground floor entrance.
Eight classrooms envelop the large synagogue, which is visible through the atrium that is central to the building. Each classroom is fully carpeted, enjoys natural light and ventilation. All classrooms have computers and electronic whiteboards.
Around the perimeter of the courtyard is a large gymnasium, ICT room, library and resource centre. The Library is air-conditioned to make a comfortable environment year-round.
On the top floor of the building are two classrooms, both of which are air-conditioned. There is a large dedicated art room, ESOL rooms, a senior common area and a theatrette. Backing on to the teaching area is a staffroom that overlooks Myers Park and a purpose built Resource Room sits alongside this.
Lower Ground Floor
A dedicated science room is housed on the lower-ground floor. It sits alongside rooms which the Auckland Hebrew Congregation and Kadimah Preschool use, as well as administration spaces for those two organisations.
Separating the science room from the Preschool are stairs which the children use to enter and exit from Myers Park.
Play spaces and sports facilities
Children play at morning tea and lunchtime in Myers Park. Children are closely supervised, play in a contained area and this is checked before and after the children enter and leave. Classes rotate between playing in the park, the Parisian Courtyard and the Gym.
The Parisian Courtyard is a large space with an Astroturf court, pergola and garden area. It is nested between the school and the fire station and is fully fenced.
During the year, our children use a variety of sports facilities including the YMCA, Hilton Brown Swimming, Water-wise programmes at Orakei Basin, Badminton at Gillies Ave, Hockey in the Parisian, Atheletics at Walker Park in Pt Chevalier and more.
Extra curricular activities
There are a number of itinerant teachers who embellish the curriculum at Kadimah. On offer are extra curricular activities such as:
- Music lessons including piano, guitar, drums, violin, ukulele
- Drama and Speech
- Billy Harris soccer
- Art classes