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About Riversdale School

Riversdale School is located in the Riversdale township. As a full primary school, we cater for children aged from 5 to 13 years.  We are only 20 minutes from Gore and close to the lakes with Te Anau being 1 hour, Queenstown being 2 hours, and Wanaka 3 hours away.


We pride ourselves on knowing each child and their family personally, and providing a caring and positive learning environment. We are a Pause, Breathe, and Smile School where children are learning how to self-regulate their emotions, develop their concentration and be empathetic.


Everyone at Riversdale School is expected to be respectful, responsible and resilient. Our high expectations and focus on each individual ensure that by the end of Year 8 they are welcomed by local secondary schools, as they are so well prepared for their future learning.


We provide all children with many opportunities across cultural, sporting, and academic areas, including outdoor education. Leadership roles are a focus for our senior children.


The school grounds are a large, attractive, safe place for children to play together, with our school and community pool being enjoyed across the summer terms.

Pause, Breathe, Smile Programme

Pause, Breathe and Smile is about learning how to be fully present in the moment.  Being fully aware of whatever is happening.  Knowing what you are doing, when you are doing it and bringing to that experience a kind openhearted curiosity (not living with your head full of thoughts or worries about the future - or in the past rehashing life).


There are daily 5 – 10 minute sessions practicing skills learned.  You will be asked to opt your child into this programme.


Why do we want to teach these skills?


  • Pause, Breathe and Smile teaches children how to focus and concentrate so that they can learn better and remember what they have learnt.

  • It strengthens emotional regulation (the ability to handle and calm unpleasant feelings: important for kids with behaviour issues like anger and anxiety).

  • It builds resiliency (capacity to handle negative life events like bullying).  You want children to have more psychological and behavioural flexibility.

  • It fosters compassion and the ability to build positive relationships. 

Today's learners, tomorrow's leaders

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