Dreams into Reality – Te Aratai College

From Linwood High School 1954 to Te Aratai College 2022, our school continues its proud history.  

Next year we return to Aldwins Rd and our completely rebuilt and stunning new school. We thank our architects, Architectus; our construction company, Southbase; and the Ministry of Education. Architectus and Southbase are the designers and builders of a number of prominent Christchurch buildings including the Central Bus Exchange and Tūranga, the central library. We are fortunate to have such a team.

Te Aratai College is inspiring from the 650 seat theatre-standard auditorium to the sunny student centre and the student-friendly courtyards. Our design is for community-whanaungatanga, kōrero-conversation and personalised student success. It reflects the new name gifted to us by Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Te Aratai College, Pathway to the Sea.

In 2016 there was extensive community consultation about what the community wanted for their new school. The key summary point from this community voice was:

The school should nurture individual excellence by providing varied opportunities to meet individual needs. It should foster a ‘love to learn’ culture that returns high levels of achievement and success at a cost that is accessible for all.

Reflecting this, our classroom design is based on responsiveness to the needs of the students at that moment. Our classrooms are the standard, time-honoured size but with the flexibility to open up. This is because there are occasions when learning can be more open but equally there are times for some students when this is a learning disaster. Te Aratai College also has smaller rooms for students who learn best in reduced, very quiet environments, and bigger spaces for larger student gatherings. The building design has flexibility for staff and students to respond to the many factors that personalise success.

Of course, new buildings alone do not necessarily improve education. The relationship with the teacher – he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata – and the personalisation of learning are the key for this. However, there is also no doubt that new, purpose-built buildings and spaces that arise from these community values of relationships and personalisation contribute hugely to student success. This is Te Aratai College.

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