And school principal Carly Ave they are encouraging parents to support them in both aims.
Ave said Cook Islands Maori was taught to students from Early Childhood Education (ECE) level right though to year six.
“Students all speak English, but they need to learn more Maori and this is an important class that we are encouraging and promoting for our students.”
She said it was a challenge but the goal was to get the language taught and the school was passionate about it.
Ave said the school was also focusing on the importance of people growing their own food and promoting the importance of students eating the right foods.
“We decided that for our school it will be as important as reading and writing, because for this island it is important to eat healthy.”
The school is going to be strict with this and staff will continue to monitor what pupils are eating, as unhealthy food became a problem last year.
Takitumu school has eight full-time teachers, two teacher aides and a trainee teacher who will be learning on the job.
“We are absolutely happy. The students are well settled down, we have had a good turnout since the second day and everyone is prepared for this year,” Ave said.
Around 180 students have enrolled, and this week as enrolments continued, classes began.
“It is a positive start for Takitumu as the school year began this week and students have adjusted themselves really well,” Ave said.
“We have had a record number of enrolments and we are expecting to get a few more, especially from students returning from holidays abroad.”
Ave said some classes are already full and she was hoping enrolments would end soon because the school wanted classes kept to a size that would promote quality learning.
“Keeping the children happy creates a happy learning environment that also boosts quality learning.”
Meanwhile, the school is looking forward to a report from the Ministry of Education on their review and looks forward to receiving some positive evaluation on what they need to work on for this year.
Former Te Uki Ou school teacher James Keen is now teaching at Takitumu. Keen is the only male teacher for the school and Baxter regards his presence as important.