Heaton Normal Intermediate School is a decile 9 school situated in the suburb of Merivale, Christchurch. There are 541 students, which includes 3 international fee paying students. There are 257 students in Year 7 and 284 students in Year 8. 50% of the students are females and 50 % are males. The school was established in 1948 for boys only and 1952 for girls and boys. Students contribute from over 30 different schools throughout the Christchurch area but with 70% coming from Elmwood Normal, Paparoa Street, St Albans and Waimairi Primary Schools. 73% of students are New Zealand European, 12% New Zealand Māori, 1% Pasifika, 2% Korean, 3.5% British/Irish and 8.5% from other cultures. There are 3 fee-paying students from Korea in Year 7.
Classes are grouped into six houses, Otahuna, Elmwood, Rhodes, Purau, Lansdowne and Tikao. There are three year 7 and three Year 8 classes in each house making a total of 18 classes. Staff and students in each house, work collaboratively under the professional leadership of a house leader. Each house selects student leaders who have a range of responsibilities around the school. There are seven specialist teachers in food and fibre technology, wood technology, digital technology, visual art, PE, performing arts, science and Te Reo.
As a Normal School, Heaton has a special role in supporting preservice teacher training providers, the College of Education at the University of Canterbury and New Zealand Graduate School of Education (NZGSE). All teachers regularly provide mentoring for student teachers/teacher interns from both providers.