He Tīwai Mātauranga, Normal Intermediate School is situated in the suburb of Merivale, Christchurch with a roll of about 550, Year 7 and Year 8 students.
We have been gifted our name from Ngāi Tūāhuriri. He Tīwai Mātauranga translates to ‘The Trunk of Knowledge’. The name reflects the geographical and cultural aspects of this area. Tīwai, meaning tree trunk and mātauranga, meaning knowledge, are derived from the school’s relationship to the English Elm trees that historically lined the Papanui Road boundary and the significance of nearby podocarp forest, Pūtaringamotu.
Heaton Normal Intermediate is named after Sir Robert Heaton Rhodes, the well-known landowner, lawyer and politician whose Elmwood estate was purchased by the Canterbury Education Board on 23 August 1945. His name is reflected in other ways in and around the area, with the Elmwood Bowling Club land, the Elmwood Normal School land, and Elmwood Park all being part of the former estate of Sir Heaton Rhodes. The school was established in 1948, initially for boys only and from 1953 for girls and boys.
The school is proudly made up of six kaupeka, named after native plants from this rohe area: Hīnau, Raukawa, Kōwhai, Kōtukutuku, Tūrutu and Amoka. Three of these kaupeka are Year 7 and three Year 8, with three classes in each. We have seven specialists teachers for Hard Materials Technology, Digital Technology, Visual Art, Performing Arts, Science, and Te Reo Māori. In addition, there are dedicated Learning Support and ESOL teachers.
As a Normal School, Heaton has an important role in supporting pre-service teacher training providers, the College of Education at the University of Canterbury and the New Zealand Graduate School of Education (NZGSE).