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Kelston Deaf Education Centre is a Residential Special School for students in years 1 – 15. Students are enrolled into the KDEC School and attend KDEC School Provisions in 8 partner schools plus the Tu Kokiri department on site at KDEC. ORS funding provides Specialist Services staffing to provide services for students (who are ORS funded) including a School Counsellor. Ruamoko Marae is the heart of Kelston Deaf Education Centre. The tutor provides classes for our students in years 1 – 15 across all of the KDEC School Provisions as well as his wider function as Kaumatua.

What we do: 

  • Provide a state funded education to students who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Promote excellence in teaching and learning programmes.
  • Raise achievement with a view to success for all students through opportunities to gain the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values identified in the New Zealand Curriculum Framework and the National Curriculum Statements.
  • Utilize appropriate resources to meet the needs of a diverse, multi-cultural student body.
  • Improve learning outcomes for all students.

The School’s communication philosophy for students:

  • Full access to all communication.
  • Respect for the communication needs of every student.
  • Utilizing all modes of expression which result in mutual understanding, including: New Zealand Sign Language, Sign supported English continuum, spoken and written English, English speech reading and the use of residual hearing.


Class programmes show evidence that respond to specific learning needs for Deaf students. These specialized programmes focus on English literacy and numeracy to which a great amount of time is allocated. The skills developed are integrated into the wider context of the school curriculum in all learning areas.

NCEA is part of a student's programme pathway. It is expected 70 -80% of school leavers will exit with a NCEA qualification which meets the NZ Government target.

Students take part in all areas of the curriculum. Values and key competencies are an integral part of the classroom programme and are interwoven into teachers’ planning.

Specialist teachers in our Deaf Provisions provide classes in subjects that may not be offered in the partner school but that will benefit students' learning. ESOL (English Second Language Learners), SPEC (South Pacific Educational Courses) an adapted curriculum option, and New Zealand Sign Language. Students may attend classes taught by the partner school as well as those taught in the Deaf provisions (depending on individual needs and learning pathways) and/or a combination of both.

IEP goals underpin learning and development targets and ORS funding allocation. Parents, whānau, our combined Board of Trustees and the Ministry of Education are informed of current student achievement and next steps in classroom programmes.