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Welcome to Rāroa Normal Intermediate School

Rāroa Intermediate is committed to meeting the specific learning and developmental needs of emerging adolescents and has a continuing history of excellence and innovation. During these years students go through significant physical, emotional, intellectual, and moral development. At Rāroa we provide the best practice in educating these emerging adolescents through quality teaching and learning, strong relationships, and student engagement.

We provide our students with a rich variety of experiences so that they might discover their passion, deepen their learning and broaden their horizons. Learning needs from a wide range are catered for as we help students reach their potential; intellectually, socially, creatively, and physically.

What is a Normal School?

Normal Schools have been in existence since the 16th Century when a group of schools in France became interested in preparing people for teaching. The French concept of “école normale” was to establish schools to model best teaching practices thereby setting a standard or norm for student teachers.

Setting this standard has been the function of Normal schools worldwide. Normal Schools were established in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Many famous universities, such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) were originally founded as normal schools.

The 22 Normal schools in New Zealand appointed by the Government provide a major teaching practicum facility for five universities nationwide.

Rāroa Normal Intermediate has a very positive, collaborative relationship with Wellington Victoria University and host many students throughout the year. We are proud to be a ‘Normal’ school and are hugely committed to ITE (Initial teacher education)

Our History

Te Ara o Rāroa is named in recognition of the Māori tracks and pathways that were used by Māori of the many iwi that traversed through the Northern Suburbs to a range of sites in and around Wellington. It is intended to provide a pathway for our school community to ensure we are always striving to exceed our obligations and responsibilities under Te Tiriti O Waitangi and ensure we are providing an educational environment, where Māori can achieve educational success as Māori. The school is developing a document to support Tikanga and we wish to acknowledge the mahi of all those, who have previously contributed to Kaupapa Māori at Rāroa Intermediate who have provided the foundation for this to stand on.

After arriving in Wellington in 1841, George Mexted bought a farm of 10 acres in 1844 which was based around where the McDonalds and Mobil are today. He sold that to buy a much bigger plot of land. 108 acres of farmland and bush were purchased in 1854 that including the land where Rāroa Intermediate is now. The land spanned across and up to Broadmeadows and right down to Ngauranga Gorge.

George named his farm Rānui which translates to mean ‘great sun’ or ‘midday sun’. It was this name that evolved into the area Rāroa. The translation means ‘long sun’ or ‘long day’ which is related to the sun beaming on the farm for a long time during the day. Long day is actually a positive meaning of all-day sun rather than that of how we may refer to a ‘long day’!

Rāroa Normal Intermediate School has achieved a unique place for itself since its establishment in 1971. It has a roll of 690 students, representing over 25 nationalities with 71% European (including 65% NZE), 6% Maori, 7% Chinese, 5% Indian (18% total Asian), and 3% Pasifika. The roll is expected to grow significantly over the next few years and with this, changing demographics as Rāroa means “long day” Since it opened there have been a number of additions to the property.

Why Intermediate?

A common misconception is that Intermediates are simply about preparing our students for college. Whilst this is an aspect of our role as a middle school it doesn’t do justice to the incredible experiences, opportunities and lifelong memories that middle schools provide.

Intermediate education is not just about bridging the gap between primary and secondary education it is about providing an environment where students of the same age can come together to express themselves, explore their identity and connect with a wide range of emerging adolescents from across their community.

The emerging adolescent experiences a lot of change physically, socially and emotionally. At Rāroa Normal Intermediate we have an amazing team of people who work together to provide the right amount of challenge, independence and support to ensure our students navigate these tricky years in positive, healthy ways. We have relationship based teachers, passionate leaders, empathetic and experienced support staff, an incredible school counsellor and a true love of teaching and learning in a middle school context.