There are many things that make Shirley Intermediate school a special place to learn. See below for some of our key features.
To complete our introductory survey  for July-August 2018, click here.  We'll have interim results on display at our Open Night  on Thursday 2 August (6.30-8pm)

Education Outside the Classroom
In addition to making use of our local environment and city for learning opportunities, we engage professional outdoor education providers fo a range of fun and challenging outdoor activities.  We have an annual ski trip which children can opt into.  Until recently we had a camp each year; This is currently under review.  These events are always highlights of the school year.  

Our school choir takes part in a local  school choir event - the Shirley Area Music Festival- as well as performing at local venues.    Choir  mainly operates during term one and two. 

We have an acapella singing group operating under a tutor, performing their specialised singing at a range of local venues.

Bilingual Education - Te Tahu Rua Reo 
Children who wish to do part of their learning in Te Reo Maori can enrol in our bilingual classroom - Te Tahu Rua Reo.  This class opened (around the year about 2003) in response to a request from the St Albans School  (Te Kura O Hato Opani)  who were looking for somewhere for their children in Te Tikanga Rua Reo to progress to after their time at St Albans .   In response to our identified needs the level of Te Reo delivery in TTRR is between 50 and 80 percent.  This makes it possible for children who have not been grounded in bilingual education beforehand to fit into our classes.

Kapa Haka
All children have the opportunity to take part in kapahaka.  Our group takes part in the Canterbury Primary Schools Cultural Festival.  Our kapahaka teacher is our very own (Matua) Thomas Parata - who teaches our bilingual class, Te Tahu Rua Reo.  Matua Thomas is one of the most accomplished kapahaka tutors in education and we are certainly privileged to have his services.  Regardless of their own prior experience,  children learn in a very supportive environment, and benefit hugely from being part of a polished and passionate kapahaka group. 

Media Gallery

The Green Team
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Collaborative Classrooms
Throughout the country schools are moving toward multiple classrooms sharing workspaces as one collaborative group.  We call these "learning bases" and we have named them after native trees such as  Totara, Matai and Kahikatea.  Each learning base has a pair of teachers, with fifty to sixty or so children.   Changes to our classroom and school design are currently being planned to better enable variable use of space to accommodate our collaborative teaching and learning.  This will be part of a $6m building project planned for 2019 .

 We encourage children to have their own Google Chromebook browser as we have found these to provide excellent internet access via the "cloud" with few of the issues that can arise around document storage and viruses.   While smartphones have internet access, they are not suitable as a main school learning device because of difficulties with word processing and shared viewing. 

Composite Classes
All rooms are composite Year Seven and Year Eight classes (i.e. there are children from each year level in every classroom).  We have found there are many learning and social benefits from this. Children generally stay in the same class for two years.

Developing a Broader Curriculum  through Interchange
Pupils have their own base classroom but leave their room when doing Food Technology or Design Technology  

Education Review Office
In 2015 we received a three-year review period.  Consistently listed amongst our strengths are our pastoral care system and the school culture – looking after children’s physical and emotional well-being. High student engagement in learning has also received ERO acknowledgement.  In 2017 the ERO team encouraged a continued focus on parent and student voice to assist in raising student achievement.  


We have a flourishing gardening club run by Mr Hemmingsen. The “Green Team” children grow crops for our Foods programme andfor general use, and they manage composting.  They are learning important life-long skills. Much of their work is completed voluntarily during their lunch periods.  Updates are included in the newsletter section of this website. In Term one 2016 and 2017 we won Silver Awards in the Canterbury Horticultural Society - Oderings School Garden Show - the well-deserved result of hard work by a large number of children.  

Interaction with Local High Schools
Understandably we enjoy a close relationship with our nearest neighbours, Shirley Boys High School.  Our pupils enjoy sessions in which  SBHS pupils coach our children in a variety of sports.  Children enjoy walking to occasional specialist classes at SBHS, and our teachers liaise with SBHS in academic and cultural areas.  SBHS  enjoy access to our North Parade fields and our two swimming pools.

Music: Band, Orchestra and Music Tuition
We form a school band and other music ensemble groups to suit the skills of pour children.   Our children have the opportunity to learn  to play an instrument through the Shirley District Music School - which is based at our school. Through this Ministry of Education-funded scheme children can get tuition for a little over $100 per year.  Enrolments are always popular so make inquiries early.  Classes begin early in term one each year, so enrolments are usually taken at the end of the previous year, up to the first week or two in term one.   

Pasifika Cultural Group
This group is open to all children and operates for a portion of the year.  

Radio Technicians Club and Radio Broadcasting team
In addition to a group which constructs simple radios, we have a functioning school radio station which broadcasts on our own FM frequency.  Our budding DJs enjoy their on air time before school each day.  

Ski Trips (Annually)
Every year we have a ski trip arranged for our children.  We usually send two bus loads of keen children to Mt Hutt. 

Student Leaders
A few children from each class undertake a formal programme in leadership training.  They then carry out selected supervisory roles around the school, organise mufti days and fund raisers for local charities.  Student leaders have organised weekly sandwich orders for all pupils who wish to purchase,  mufti days fundraisers for charities, lunchtime activities, community service, and fun school events.  They are heroes!

Swimming Pools (Two)
The Board of Trustees has repaired both two of our school swimming pools. Teaching children to swim is a major feature of our school  each summer. In addition to our teachers receiving training in teaching children to swim, classes have pool access on most days from Labour Weekend until Easter.  We encourage use by classrooms from our contributing schools and we make keys available for hire during the summer months.