Edmund Hillary School’s Partnership with KPMG

Edmund Hillary School has enjoyed a special partnership with KPMG since 2007 when a three-year Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Board of Trustees and CEO Jan Dawson. At that time the Committee for Auckland’s vision was to partner decile 1 schools in South Auckland with businesses. The aim was to provide additional advice and support for the school and to combine our strengths to transform a school in need. We understand the partnership is the only one to have continued beyond the original signing of the memorandum of agreement. The support provided on many levels by KPMG is unprecedented and the enduring partnership has been the point of difference in transforming the school into a significantly better place. Since the beginning of the partnership we have had one and sometimes two KPMG leaders sharing their expertise and support, serving on our Board of Trustees in a voluntary capacity. The range of support has covered many areas and enabled us over the years to enact the principles of partnership, participation and protection embedded in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

KPMG has a strong focus on people and adding value to communities. Many of their Senior Managers, Partners and Graduates' have provided support with important activities such as camp and other field trips for children who would not otherwise be able to attend. This level of support has enabled us to meet the legislative requirements of adult/student ratios. Above all though they are wonderful role models for our students and always bring along fun coupled with wonderful humour.

There are a number of activities held on a yearly basis which are organised, funded and supported by KPMG staff. They include but are not limited to the KAT Literacy Programme, Scholarship Awards, Easter Bunny Visits, Whanau fun evenings, Christmas gift giving, Field trips such as Kelly Tarltons, the Zoo, Camp Adair and Camp Awhitu. Other major activities have included a total repaint of the school and upgrading gardens, donating bikes and book drives.

Scholarship Awards

Every year there are KPMG/Formica scholarship awards given to deserving recipients. The scholarship awards cover;

  • Commitment to achieving academic potential as encapsulated in the school motto "Be determined, Aim High" 50%

  • Positive leadership and role model,10%

  • Consistently demonstrates integrity and respect,10%

  • Demonstrates care for people,10%

  • Demonstrates care for Papatuanuku (Mother Earth),10%

  • Shows civic responsibility, 10%

Over time it was decided to also award a scholarship for Citizenship using the following criteria;

  • Commitment to the school motto of “Be Determined, Aim High”

  • Positive leadership and role model

  • Consistently demonstrates integrity and respect

  • Demonstrates care for people – manaaki tangata

  • Demonstrates care for Mother Earth – Papatuanuku

  • Shows civic responsibility

Easter Bunny

The children look forward to the Easter Bunnies who turn up every year to hand out baskets of Easter eggs. Not surprisingly the staff happily look forward to the treats too.

Book Character Event

In 2018 we had a Book Characters event organised by KPMG as part of our efforts to inspire children to enjoy reading. See our KPMG stars!!!!

What a fantastic session that was!!!

Literacy Learning Initiatives

KPMG Akoranga Taumano (or “KAT”), which translates to KPMG Lifelong Learning

The aim of the KAT programme is to provide weekly reading sessions to groups of children across the school who are “at risk” of falling behind in their achievement. The programme began in May 2019 with a group from KPMG taking time out on a weekly basis to read with groups of children. One on one lessons with a KPMG mentor include reading about topics of interest followed up with questions to improve comprehension strategies. Questioning is an important part of guiding students to connect to the text and to understand the meaning behind the text. We are extremely grateful for the additional support the KPMG team provides to keep our children motivated and engaged in quality learning opportunities. It sends a powerful message that people are prepared to take time out of their own lives to help our children.

Golf Fundraiser

In the last few years teachers and staff from KPMG have participated in a Golf Fundraiser at Royal Auckland Golf Club where the school is allocated a hole and and a combined staff effort goes into selling raffle tickets to golfers and chatting with them as they do their rounds. It is a great day finishing with celebrations in the club after 6pm. The proceeds are used for a short term project such as appliances for the new hall or a long term project such as resiting the school car park.

Financial Advice and Support

School finances are expertly managed through the ongoing financial expertise and support provided through the partnership. This enables the school to keep costs to whanau at very low levels and to plan and budget for big items the school requires.

The big projects of note in the last year includes;

School Carpark

The car park borders the junior school. It has posed a daily risk to students who crossed it to reach the playground as far back as 1963. Consequently we are blessed to have this opportunity to carry out a much needed and major health and safety improvement after many years. With good planning and financial support the School carpark entrance now has a motorized gate and the carpark is fully enclosed with fencing to keep everyone safe.

The School Hall

Another long term issue was the leaky hall which could not be used in wet weather as it would flood. Again with strategic planning and financial support through funding applications we were able to carry out a total hall rebuild. The hall is situated near a busy, noisy main road recognizing this issue KPMG also helped to fund the purchase of a PA system. The school hall is now a wonderful facility to host visitors and hold assemblies in.

The Bike Track

For this project KPMG has supported by actioning the strategic vision of the school, funding applications and actioning the required Ministry of Education processes to ensure the project was carried out to a high standard.

The Adventure Playground

With Board expertise and negotiation with the Ministry of Education we were able to replace a 25 year old Adventure Playground that had well and truly reached its use by date. Children are enjoying the new playground and every class from Year 1 to 8 enjoys regular access during school hours.

School Camp to Awhitu

For the majority of the 39 mainly Maori and Pasifika students it was their first time away from home and for all of them the first camp experience ever. As you can appreciate, the excitement among the students on arrival at camp was greater than anything staff had encountered before. The children were astounded. The excitement continued into the nights with the chatter, laughter and sheer enjoyment filtering out across the cabins into the early morning hours. It is usual for the first night to be like this but they kept it up for 3 nights. We put it down to enjoying being a school whanau. Thank goodness for KPMG who helped in the kitchen, kept the children entertained before dinner, supported with the clean ups and encouraged “lights out”.

Special Features of Camp

Limitless opportunities arose throughout the camp stay which enabled everyone to reinforce the school values of; Leadership - (Rangatiratanga), Family - Whanaungatanga, Taking care of each other, Respect- Nurturing respectful relationships (Manaakitanga), Caring for our environment (Kaitiakitanga).

Leadership (Rangatiratanga) KPMG volunteers made a significant contribution not only with keeping the children entertained and happy but by stepping up to help with outside activities as well as helping in the kitchen, scrubbing pots and oven trays and dishes to ensure we left the camp in better condition than we found it. Without this level of support Education Outside the Classroom opportunities like this would not be possible. We have no wish to compromise our parents by enforcing the strict legal requirements and procedures needed for them to undertake supervision, therefore the support from KPMG is critical in maintaining that.

Whanaungatanga (Family) This aspect was very evident throughout the entire stay. Students enjoyed one another's company, enjoyed working together in the kitchen creating and sharing delicious meals together and participating in the range of activities provided. The KPMG volunteers assisted in all the activities and especially helped to produce delicious meals over the 4 days. This freed teachers to work with children and to take breaks which were so appreciated.

Respect- Nurturing respectful relationships (Manaakitanga)

Students consistently looked after each other, maintained respectful relationships with staff, volunteers and camp leaders. Caring for our environment (Kaitiakitanga) was demonstrated by students adhering to a recycling process for camp rubbish and with the support of KPMG staff sorted lost clothing and ensured the cabins were in pristine condition. Overall the experience was an outstanding success for all involved.

Kelly Tarlton Trip May 2021

This was another wonderful opportunity that came our way. Again we were grateful to KPMG for stepping up to assist with the student/adult ratios necessary to meet legislative requirements. Teachers and students began classroom studies to support learning weeks prior to the trip so that the visit to Kelly Tarltons was meaningful and purposeful on the day. The positive feedback from students, supervisors and teachers has been overwhelming. Kelly Tarltons is not a place our families visit because of the locality in Auckland City and the exorbitant entry fees that are beyond their means.

Above all we appreciate the commitment and generosity afforded us throughout the years of our partnership and thank you sincerely for the continued and valuable support you provide to us.