Freemans Bay School, led by Principal Sandra Jenkins is located in Auckland, New Zealand. The school vision is to create a stimulating, inclusive learning environment which engages, empowers, and enriches learners to prepare them for their future world. They engage learners through personalized learning by giving each student a curriculum relevant to them; enrich learners by exposing them to a wide range of contexts that interest them; empower learners by instituting a true partnership between students, teachers, and community; and excite learners by learning, being collaborative, and instilling critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


Freemans Bay is impressive in that it caters for diversity in their inner-city location successfully. In addition to promoting strong academic programs, the school has a growing reputation for its personalized curriculum innovation which enriches, engages, and empowers learners by placing them at the center of the process. FBS' personalized learning curriculum is mapped with passion projects, specialist learning, and e-learning and focuses on curriculum entitlement, choice, and empowering students to be active participants in their learning. This kind of learning enables curriculum to be:


  • Flexible - supporting small and large groups as well as independent activities

  • Holistic - catering to all of a child's learning needs while acknowledging and supporting differences in learning styles

  • Varied - proving a range of learning opportunities where children can define their learning, next goals, and activities.


FBS especially excels at passion project learning which engages and empowers learners through collaborative partnerships with wider communities, enriching them through deeper challenges and inquiries. Passion project learning allows many opportunities to integrate habits of mind, prior learning, personal interest, and collaboration. Such learning is transformative as the learning grows from intended outcomes to life-long journeys. Freemans Bay has also invested in e-learning (information and communications technology [ICT]) through e-reflections and e-feedback to engage, empower, and enrich learners' experiences and prepare students for the future world. Their goal for their students is to see them be:


  • Knowledgeable - having a solid foundation of core skills, using ICT naturally, and enjoying music and the arts

  • Thinkers - creative, innovative, reflective, and enterprising

  • Doers - self-motivated, taking initiative, striving, resilient, confident, collaborative, healthy, and well-balanced

  • Well-balanced - having integrity and values, tolerant, embracing diversity, managing impulsivity, and knowing how to manage conflict.


Freemans Bay believes that school should be an open partnership between teachers, parents, and children in order to maximize learning potential. They encourage open communication and parental involvement in their child's learning.

Sandra Jenkins took over as principal of Freemans Bay School in 2008. She is highly qualified with a Masters in Education (First Class Honors), an Advanced Diploma in Teaching, and a Diploma in Teaching. She also recently received Auckland Primary Principals' Association Travelling Fellowship, allowing her to travel to six countries in support of her research in learning design.


She is passionate about future-focused learning and aligning a rich curriculum with school design to enrich learners and prepare them for their future world. She loves networking and sharing ideas about authentic, child-centered learning. You can find her talking about these concepts and reflecting on Freemans Bay School's journey as well as her personal journey as a school leader and administrator on her blog, here. You can also keep up with what is going on at the school by following them on their Twitter handle @FreemansbayScho. 


Currently, the school is involved in a sizable rebuild, due to commence in early 2016. Staging the demolition and creating and rebuilding a new school while keeping the current school running while the building project is in progress is a challenge in itself; however, the biggest challenge is leading the change management process to align teaching and innovative learning practices and environments with the school's vision of "engage, enrich, empower". Sandra is focused on supporting FBS' staff and school community throughout the transition from single "stand and deliver" classrooms to innovative open learning environments.

Sandra Jenkins, Principal

FBS: Engage, Empower, Enrich

Freemans Bay School

Innovator in passion project learning


Sandra Jenkins


95 Wellington St, Freemans Bay

Auckland, New Zealand, 1011