Feature Provider - Highlands Intermediate

Highlands Intermediate’s focus is the individual student.  Authentic learning, real situations and personal relevance all underpin the school-wide teaching approach.  The school aims to create confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners and leaders for the future.

That authentic learning approach is evident as soon as you walk into the school. The day Study Taranaki visited we were hosted by head pupils, Jack and Makayla, who are proud of their school and really love the range of learning activities available.  We saw students cooking classic New Zealand dishes for their nutrition course, and what we sampled was very tasty. In the next classroom a music class was building drums and students were excited about playing them in a performance. In technology class, Jack showed us the robots the class had built and we watched students using real life building design software to sketch out their dream house.

The school is particularly strong in Science. During the visit and science teacher Pat Swanson had his class making “elephant toothpaste”, which consisted of students  trying different chemical formulas to see which made the best foam. The school excels in science and consistantly brings back awards from the Taranaki Science Fair. With projects like this is in class, it not hard to see why.

If art is what you are good at,  you can get involved with the school’s Wearable Art Competition. A large number of students create Fashion Art projects  using recycled materials, natural materials, cardboard or paper and lots of fluro, tinsel, lights and more for creations that glow or shine. It’s a great example of real life learning. Following the school competition, the students have the opportunity to participate in the Taranaki Fashion Art awards, competing against other school students for cash prizes.

Taranaki is a culturally diverse population and school students are tolerant of other cultures and keen to learn about the world. During our visit we peeked into a Chinese language class taught by the school’s resident Mandarin Language Assistant, Sheow  Di“. Students at Highlands are provided with many opportunities to learn Mandarin and Japanese throughout the year as well as Te Reo Maori. “We integrate an understanding of cultures,  music and food,  and students welcome opportunities to learn as much as they can”. We encourage a real global citizenship” says Kathryn Hooper ( Deputy Principal and International Student Coordinator) Highlands Intermediate welcomes international students and their families. “We’d love to have you studying here at Highlands”, says Kathryn.  We can develop a programme of learning that allows your talent to shine”.   “ We give you an opportunity to try new subjects, digital technolgy, performing arts, science, cooking, music, wood technology as well as a range of sports, dance and academic learning

Here at Study Taranaki, we are envious of Highlands students, we’d love the chance to try all of those amazing activities!

If you’d like to give Highlands a try, contact Kathryn Hopper at: kathryn.hooper@highlands.school.nz