Heaton Normal Intermediate School is a decile 9 school situated in the suburb of Merivale, Christchurch. There are 557 students including 4 international fee paying students. There are 290 students in Year 7 and 267 students in Year 8. 45% of the students are females and 55% are males. The school was established in 1948 for boys only and 1952 for girls and boys. Students contribute from over 20 different schools throughout the Christchurch area but with 79% coming from Elmwood Normal, Paparoa Street, St Albans, St Albans Catholic and Waimairi Primary Schools. 69% of students are New Zealand European, 14% New Zealand Māori, 2% Pasifika, 2% British/Irish, 1.5% Korean, 2% Indian, 2% Japanese and 7.5 % from other cultures.
Classes are grouped into six houses, Otahuna, Elmwood, Rhodes, Purau, Lansdowne and Tikao. There are three classes in 2 Year 7 houses and 4 classes in the third house and three classes in each Year 8 houses making a total of 19 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 specialists, teaching food and fibre technology, wood technology, visual art, digital technologies, performing arts, science, physical education and te reo Māori.
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.