Riccarton High School


As I write my comment for our newsletter, the state of Victoria in Australia heads into another lockdown; a timely reminder that not only does Covid-19 still have a sting in its tail in this part of the world, but also that we cannot afford to be complacent. In the context of Riccarton High School, it means maintaining good habits around hygiene, and staying home if feeling unwell. For our visitors to the school, including whānau, it means continuing to use the contact tracing app.

The first half of this term has certainly been a busy one. It was wonderful to be able to host 240 Year 8 students from our main contributing schools at the beginning of May, as they spent a day engaging in activities with our staff and some of our students. Providing an opportunity for these year 8 students to get a ‘taste’ of High School life continues to be popular and we have received some excellent feedback. Well done to everyone involved.

Our Open Evening also generated some very positive feedback with approximately 700 people exploring our various learning areas and engaging with both students and staff. The most common comment from our visitors was about our passionate teachers and outstanding student ambassadors.

E mihi ana ki a koutou I te mahi mī haro nei. Amazing work by all.

Feedback form our Open Evening has certainly reinforced the strong and positive reputation that we have in our wider community. It also reinforced the fact that for many out-of-zone families looking to enrol in 2022, their chances are diminishing as our in-zone numbers grow and the number of out-of-zone places offered decreases (as a result of a directive by the Ministry of Education). We certainly understand the disappointment that many of these families will feel, however, it is something that remains beyond our control.

Work on planning our redevelopment project, scheduled to start in 2022, continues to move forward. We are currently in the preliminary design phase, and we have received some positive feedback form the Ministry of Education’s Design Review Panel. We hope that this stage will be complete by the end of June before a fuller design brief is created, which includes such things as what materials will be used. In terms of ‘new’ buildings, plans for a 12-classroom block and whare are being completed in addition to redevelopment work on a number of existing buildings. I hope to bring you more specific details in the near future.

Finally, as a result of being awarded a TeachNZ sabbatical, I am looking forward to taking time in term 3 to explore how we can better utilise student voice as a way of enhancing our students’ experience at Riccarton High School; particularly important when we have such diversity within our student population. My thanks to the Board of Trustees for supporting my leave of absence, providing me not only with an opportunity to extend my professional learning, but also in the long-term benefit of our ākonga. During this time, the school will be left in the capable hands of Lisa Heald as Acting Principal.


  1. Whaiao Whare Update

    In Whaiao we have a carved whare taonga, ‘The Spirit of Whaiao’, that is awarded at our whare assemblies. Read more…
  2. Esports

    League of Legends has become the latest new New Zealand high school sport. Already there are 80 schools enrolled and more than 1000 ... Read more…
  3. PISA Testing

    Riccarton High School has been selected to take part in PISA 2021, one of the world's largest education research studies. Its aim is ... Read more…
  4. Dates and Events

    Saturday 5 June Filipino workshop 6:00pm - 8:00pm, in the staffroom. Friday 11 June  Fortnightly reports sent Saturday 12 June Read more…
  5. Physics Comp

    A team of three Year 13 students, Ruby Tan, Tina Lin and Aaron McInnes competed in the New Zealand Young Physicists Tournament (NZYPT) ... Read more…
  6. Eid-al-Fitr celebration

    The Eid al Fitr is one of the most important celebrations for the Muslim community all over the world. It comes at the end of the ... Read more…
  7. International News

    While Ms. Couling is on leave enjoying this special time, Lorna Biddington (EAL teacher and International academic Advisor) will be in ... Read more…
  8. Riccarton High School presents Footloose!

    Riccarton High School are excited to announce the upcoming school production of ‘Footloose’ coming in Week 9 of Term 2. Read more…
  9. Uranga Whare news

    This year Uranga has an amazing and dedicated team of nine student leaders, ably led by our magnificent Manukura Ella Robinson and ... Read more…
  10. Maths Competition

    A free online competition open for all high school students in Mathematics and Physics is being be held on July 15th 2021. Read more…
  11. Native tree planting project at Orohaki

    Recently the school embarked on a native tree planting project at the school campsite, Orohaki, near Oxford. Read more…
  12. Encouraging school attendance

    It is no surprise that the New Zealand Ministry of Education (2021) states that “student attendance and engagement are critical ... Read more…
  13. ATATŪ Whare News

    After seeing amazing commitment to the start of year events, we knew we were working with an awesome bunch. Read more…
  14. Kōtuhi Whare News

    It’s been a great first half of the term for Kōtuhi. Read more…
  15. PTA Pop-Up second-hand uniform sale

    Wednesday 30 June, 3:15 start, in the reception area of the main admin block. Read more…
  16. Words from a teenager

    Dear Mum and Dad, I can’t think clearly right now because there is a rather substantial section of my prefrontal cortex missing. ... Read more…
  17. Keeping warm this winter

    With winter now here, we thought it was a good time to outline what students can do to keep themselves warm in the colder weather. Read more…
  18. New Zealand Careers Expo

    On Friday 14 May, over 400 Year 12 and 13 students attended the New Zealand Careers Expo at the Christchurch Arena. Read more…
  19. Riccarton High School 2022 Enrolment Information

    If you are considering enrolling your son or daughter for Year 9 in 2022, the close-off for applications is Friday 30 July. This ... Read more…