Seven Oaks feels safe and warm like home. Everyone is welcomed, respected for who they are and can connect with other like-minded families.
Seven Oaks environment exemplifies how a natural, healthy, school site can be – teeming with life and nurtured through organic, sustainable practices.
The Seven Oaks grounds have a spacious, peaceful and sheltered feel through the combination of abundant nature and harmonious design principles.
We provide an energising, vibrant learning environment for students, with a variety of colourful, creative and inspiring ideas that make it fun.
Their shared vision was to develop a school that empowers children with socially, emotionally and environmentally rich educational experiences to enable them to thrive in the unpredictable and fast-changing world that was emerging.
Seven Oaks School opened in 2009 with 11 students, a principal and one educator. We took our name from the original site we leased – a former Ara Institute horticultural site in Opawa. It became an inspiring campus for the children, who taught us a lot about their need for natural surroundings.
It became an inspiring campus for the children, who taught us a lot about their need for natural surroundings.
Around the same time, Bruce purchased paddocks with natural springs in Halswell that had been earmarked for future rezoning, with a view to future expansion of the school.
The school grew quickly to over 30 students, but when the earthquakes struck in 2011 and 2012, the roll halved as Christchurch ground to a halt and many families left the area. As momentum returned to the city and wider area, the roll has steadily climbed again, and the Halswell site was rezoned so the campus at Halswell could be built, with the school relocating in term three of 2017.
The site had been farmland for 150 years. When we secured it in 2008, the two natural springs were lifeless. Today, with support from the Department of Conservation, Seven Oaks students have restored the springs, and eels, cockabullies and kôura have returned, along with dragonflies, damselflies, mayflies and many more insects and inhabitants. This is a source of great pride and pleasure for Seven Oaks students and staff and the grounds of our school are at the heart of our eco-literacy programme.
The vision for the campus comes from wide-ranging research, as well as ideas put forward Seven Oaks parents, students and staff.
We have generous, light and peaceful inside spaces. Specialist inside learning areas include art, music, cooking and science. A workshop is going to be added soon.
In the grounds, we have an amphitheatre, organic fruit and vegetable gardens, a chicken run, natural springs, adventure play facilities and sports areas.
At present, we have capacity for 130 students on campus, but have space to add more buildings and extend the grounds to accommodate 450 pre-school, primary and secondary students in the coming years.