Our campus and origins

Warm

Seven Oaks feels safe and warm like home. Everyone is welcomed, respected for who they are and can connect with other like-minded families.

Natural

Seven Oaks environment exemplifies how a natural, healthy, school site can be – teeming with life and nurtured through organic, sustainable practices.

Spacious

The Seven Oaks grounds have a spacious, peaceful and sheltered feel through the combination of abundant nature and harmonious design principles.

Inspiring

We provide an energising, vibrant learning environment for students, with a variety of colourful, creative and inspiring ideas that make it fun.

OUR HISTORY

In 2004, following many years of research and educational experience, former educators Janet Nicol and Ross Petersen joined forces with Macpac founder Bruce McIntyre to establish The Holistic Education Charitable Trust and develop the Brilliant Curriculum.

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.

OUR PRESENT

In 2017 we moved to our permanent home on a delightful site at Murphys Road in Halswell. Our new campus is growing into a peaceful yet vibrant, real-world learning environment. We see it as an exciting opportunity to create a school that exemplifies a natural, healthy environment, teeming with life and nurtured by children through organic, self-sustainable practices.

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.

Bright and spacious interiors

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.

The great outdoors

In the grounds, we have an amphitheatre, organic fruit and vegetable gardens, a chicken run, natural springs, adventure play facilities and sports areas.

Forward-planning

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.

“Moving her to Seven Oaks was the best decision we have ever made”

Amazing school. My daughter was not coping well with the modern learning environment at her previous primary school. She was... Read more

Meeghan, parent

“Both of our children instantly felt a strong sense of belonging at their new school”

The decision to move our children to Seven Oaks School was based upon the fact that we wanted our children... Read more

Leeane, parent

“We love the wide curriculum”

Seven Oaks School offers the individual approach we were looking for our children and we would highly recommend it. We... Read more

Jo, parent

“Our son thrives when he can learn in a hands-on environment”

Seven Oaks has been a fantastic fit for our family. In particular, the play-based learning philosophy for the new entrants... Read more

Matthew, parent

“All about developing more than just educational outcomes!!!” 

The right school... Small class sizes. Play-based learning is developing our child amazingly well. Key element for me is it's... Read more

Liam, parent

Hear it from our families

“Moving her to Seven Oaks was the best decision we have ever made”

Amazing school. My daughter was not coping well with the modern learning environment at her previous primary school. She was... Read more

Meeghan, parent

“Both of our children instantly felt a strong sense of belonging at their new school”

The decision to move our children to Seven Oaks School was based upon the fact that we wanted our children... Read more

Leeane, parent

“We love the wide curriculum”

Seven Oaks School offers the individual approach we were looking for our children and we would highly recommend it. We... Read more

Jo, parent

“Our son thrives when he can learn in a hands-on environment”

Seven Oaks has been a fantastic fit for our family. In particular, the play-based learning philosophy for the new entrants... Read more

Matthew, parent

“All about developing more than just educational outcomes!!!” 

The right school... Small class sizes. Play-based learning is developing our child amazingly well. Key element for me is it's... Read more

Liam, parent

“Can’t wait to send our youngest next year!”

We are happy we made the choice to send our 5-year-old son (now 6.5) to Seven Oaks. He has been... Read more

Kurt, parent

“Both our children have thrived”

We chose Seven Oaks because of its holistic, child-centred approach to education. In today’s environment of large class sizes, Seven... Read more

Fiona, parent

“His energy can be focused on learning and not worrying”

Seven Oaks School would have been off my radar had it not been recommended by a leading Christchurch businesssoman, whose... Read more

Di, parent

“Our boys look forward to going to school and they are engaged”

We are delighted with our experience at Seven Oaks School. All of the educators, as well as the head of... Read more

Cecily, parent