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Finding your place in our school


The Riccarton Way is the spirit, the wairua that underpins the way we think, act and feel about ourselves, others at the school and those in our local and international community.

By emphasising the key values of commitment, honesty, respect and excellence the school ultimately promotes a caring, supportive learning culture focused on progress and achievement.

The Riccarton Way is about: 

  • showing a positive attitude 
  • having high expectations of our staff and students
  • taking pride in our work
  • being confident to take risks
  • showing a desire to improve
  • achieving to the best of our ability
  • getting involved
  • taking advantage of opportunities.

It is about how we treat others:

  • acknowledging cultural differences
  • being tolerant of differences
  • accepting community responsibility
  • treating others with courtesy
  • respecting other people’s property
  • caring for others
  • being aware of bullying and helping to stop it.

We pride ourselves in encouraging and celebrating behaviour that reflects this spirit every day throughout the year.

We are one – we share and live our values – he whānau kotahe tatou.


All students are placed in one of four whare where they are supported by a Kaiarataki (Head of House) who works alongside a Kaitiaki (Dean of House) and a group of whānau teachers.

Students will be connected to their allocated whare throughout their time at Riccarton High School. 

Our Kaiarataki (Head of House), from left, Aeronwy Cording (Atatu), Emma Cusdin (Kōtuhi), Heather Lindsay (Uranga) and Rebekah Narbey (Whaiao).

Our Kaitiaki (Dean of House). From left: Sabina Reed (Uranga), Kara Ross (Whaiao), Mel Anderson (Kotuhi) and Nat Bell (Atatu). — Image by: Josh Forman

Help is also available from the Guidance Counsellors, Learning Support Coordinator and Careers Advisor. We have a reputation for a strong school spirit and sense of community. 

We work to provide the best possible learning pathways for our students within an inclusive family/whānau atmosphere.

Follow this link for more information on our pastoral care structure.


All our teachers maintain ongoing professional learning in working with students who are English language learners. 

Specialist ESOL teachers work with students who need extra support to improve their skills in reading, writing and speaking in English so that they can be well-prepared for their studies across the curriculum. 

Programmes are flexible and target students at their level of need. 

Students in the senior school can enter for NCEA assessment in most of our ESOL courses. 

Follow this link to find out more about our EAL (English as an Additional Language) Programme.