A Travellerspoint blog

Going to School in New Zealand

Claire’s Thoughts on Tauranga Itermediate

sunny 20 °C

While in Tauranga visiting with the Cronsberry Family, Claire decided to go to school with Bronte (12 years old) in order to see what school is like here in New Zealand. Below are some of her impressions of New Zealand’s Public Education.

Tauranga Intermediate School is for year 7 and 8 students only. There are about 1200 students in this school. All students have to wear uniforms and all long hair has to be tied back. One thing that the students are allowed to do is wear bare feet. Many student choose to walk around all day, inside and outside with no shoes or socks on.



Tauranga Intermediate School has no hallways. It looks like several different groupings of portables. So rather than their school being one building like in Canada, their school is made up of a lot of different buildings spaced out over the school grounds. Almost none of the buildings have a second floor. The front of each building has a covered veranda out the front where the students would leave their backpacks, shoes and coats.


The-administrative-building; The-school-grounds; Outdoor-area-of-TIS

The school is divided into eight different groups with each group having its own name. These groups are called houses. In Tauranga I.S. the names given to each group are the names of trees native to New Zealand. The eight groups are: Totara, Tawa, Tanyhaha, Kahiakya, Rimu, Miro, Rala, Manuka, Maitiu, Tiar. If you were to go to a different school the houses could be based on different things, for example the names of famous New Zealand people. The house you are in is sort of like your team. You would compete against the other houses in your school in things like sports, literature clubs, or basically in anything that you can think of. When all the students in a house get together for a meeting this is called a Hui. This happens about once a week. If the whole school gets together for a meeting this is called an assembly. They have an assembly every week and it last for 1.5 hours. During the school year each house collects points for their achievements in both academics, the arts as well as sports. At the end of the year the house that has the most points gets to be the keep of the spirit trophy and the privilege to sit on the top level of the bleachers during assembly.


The school is very big on sports. Each morning every student has to run laps of the school. At least half of their school grounds in devoted to sporting activities. For example cricket nets, rugby fields, running tracks etc. They even have a new gym that has a climbing wall in it. Below are pictures of Bronte’s brother Jack at his school doing some gymnastics.


Jack-walking-the-beam; Jack's-handstand; Jack's-flip

The classroom that I was in was a grade 7 class with 32 students: 13 girls and 19 boys. They were all very curious about Canada with their most popular question being “what is a moose like”. They also wanted to hear me speak French or to just say certain Maori words to hear how I would say them. They were very interested in my accent!!! The teacher, Mr. Arthur uses a data projector to do most of his teaching. During the math class he asked me to help teach the class so I got to use the data projector.



At lunch time all the students eat outside on the ground, even if it is raining. Once they have finished eating they are free to play sports, go to the library, or just hang around.

One thing that I liked about this school is that they have a lot of space for the students to spread out in and play in during their free time.
I am glad that I visited at Bronte’s school. The kids in her class were fun to meet and also very nice.

Posted by gcapfour 19:36 Archived in New Zealand Comments (5)

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