Welcome to the Principal's blog!

Slowly, yet quite deliberately, we have been shifting our curriculum over the past 2 years.

It started with my visit several years ago to Lincoln University to settle our daughter into her new life of study. I met the most fabulous group of young people who, while beginning degrees that were land-based, were nearly all embarking on some form of scientific study. I remember thinking, "How can we be part of this? What can we do at our school that opens these opportunities to our students?"

We are thinking about our curriculum as building curiosity about science, technology and how the world works. What have we initiated?

  • Our vegetable garden has grown. It’s an organic vegetable and herb garden that supplies our Food Technology programme.
  • We have 2 sets solar panels on our roof supplementing our power.
  • Recycling paper for trees is limiting our waste and every month a box of saplings arrives to reward us for our efforts.
  • Our worm farm produces liquid fertiliser and uses a lot of our food waste. Ben our caretaker recycles most green waste on the compost.
  • We collect rain water to supplement our gardens in summer.
  • Our two beehives are home to thousands of bees at the height of summer who help pollinate our suburb and give us honey every year.
  • We are the only school in New Zealand to have an Apiscope, an indoor observational beehive. This is science at its very best – observation, recording and analysing.
  • Our bee gardens of flowering plants are gradually expanding throughout the school as we provide food for our bees and colour in our environment all year round.

Just these few things have added so much to our curriculum and the values of our students - environmental awareness, empathy, a concept of sustainability, curiosity, authentic science questions and observations.

Student leadership has been enhanced with opportunities to be a gardener, a recycler, an energy detective, a bee-keeper, a bee scientist, a worm farmer…

We are developing relationships with; Future in Tech where young engineers and designers share their skills and ideas with us; Newlands College Science department who share their resources with our students; Genesis Energy as we investigate alternative power sources and the Sir Paul Callaghan Science Institute who are supporting our teachers’ capacities and capabilities.

We have just started and want to include engineering and more technology in the future. We are developing a strategic plan to build on our ideas and experiences so all students who pass through our school can go on to contribute to the New Zealand environment in positive ways.

Good things take time - watch this space.



powhiri 2015

Our year began with current students welcoming new students, their whanau and  teachers with a powhiri.

2015 Year 8 students during the haka powhiri.

New students, whanau and teachers wait for the karanga to call them into the hall.

netball tournament

Newlands Intermediate are responsible for the organising and running of the Inter-Intermediate annual tournament. This year the tournament will be held on Wednesday, August 19 at Kapi Mana Netball Courts, Mungavin Avenue, Porirua. If you would like to help out please contact Lena Meinders.


Our recent production of "Wonderland," was an opportunity to showcase the myriad of talents of NIS students. Written by James Devita, with music by Bill Francouer, the story is based on Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass."

Tui-Aroha Fransen starred as Alice, with Heaven-leigh Wharehinga and Kaveesha Siva Kumar playing the Red and White Queens respectively. One third of the school's student population were involved in this very successful production.

The stage of Wonderland

The Red and White Queens


INtroducing Schoolhouse honey

Our very first jar of honey.

Starting the journey to getting honey for our school wasn't easy.

We started with getting the hives and the suits, hiring professional beekeepers to help get the bees into the hives then keeping them in good health until it was time to harvest the honey.

Once the honey was ready to be harvested, we had to suit up, pick up the smoker and go out to the hives. We opened up the hives to see that the frames were full of capped honey! The frames were incredibly heavy but we had to carry them inside to where the extractor was waiting to be put to use.

To begin the extraction process, we got a hot knife to cut off the caps that were holding the honey in place. The next step was to place the frames in the extractor and spin it. Centrifugal force ensured that the honey  would flick out of the frames and on to the sides of the extractor. The honey then dripped down the sides of the extractor and we waited ready to open the tap.

After spinning one side of the frames we turned them over and repeated the process. Opening the tap was very exciting, especially watching the honey pour out!

We filled the sterilised jars and then labelled them.

After giving jars of honey to board members and bee keepers, the remaining jars were available to teachers and students, for a donation.

Connor Smith (Bee Scientist)


School cross country

Our school cross country was held last Thursday, April 30 on the grounds of Newlands College. We thank our tuakana at the college for being a wonderful support on the day.It was a great day and all participants earned points for their respective syndicates.


YEAR 7 GIRLS': 1st Samantha Smith 2nd Tui-Aroha Fransen 3rd Blaise Clarke

YEAR 7 BOYS': 1st Lucas Maihi 2nd Jonny Cottle 3rd Scott White

YEAR 8 GIRLS': 1st Sharlotte Singh 2nd Alani Butters 3rd Chelsea Laing

YEAR 8 BOYS': 1st Reuben Allen 2nd Caleb Brunner 3rd Aaron Fawkes

2015 cross country spectators