Years 7 and 8


Students are able to choose between class-based or outdoor-based meaningful experiential learning options


Our caring educators provide genuine support for students' feelings and thoughts about themselves and others as they transition into puberty and head towards secondary school.


Students learn to use their growing academic and creative abilities to explore ideas and issues that are important to them
Katie O'Loughlin

“It is so important to me that our youth grow and develop in an environment that embraces diversity and helps them reach their full potential whilst engaging with their environment and community.”

Providing support in changing times

By the end of this time, most girls are nearing the end of puberty and boys are generally well advanced. This brings a sensitivity to the uncertainties of their changing bodies and to the feelings of how others may view them.
There is a lot going internally and externally as their emerging self explores its place in the bigger, global world that is opening to them. They develop abstract reasoning, and begin to make cause and effect connections. Kids at this age are often excited about the growth and freedom that comes with the teenage years. This is often a time of high ideals and wanting to take action to support a cause.
Academic competency

At this level, our academic programme is designed to help students become increasingly competent and independent with their literacy and numeracy skills, ready to apply their understanding at a secondary level. The NZ Curriculum is wellcovered. Strong emphasis is placed on practical mathematics, applying number knowledge and strategies to real world problems. Literacy sessions are based around Building Brilliance themes and big ideas.Key reading and writing skills are developed with strong emphasis on comprehension, verbal communication and the ability to express ideas both orally and written.

Self-aware and independent

At the same time, the personal growth programme steps up a gear to ensure strong confidence and social abilities that support them to thrive in the traditional secondary school environment they will soon be moving to.

Imagination and creativity continue to be fostered in all activities. Cognitive abilities such as thinking, reasoning, and decision-making are strengthened through Feuerstein work. Students take time each day to reflect inwardly via mindfulness sessions.

Working together

Learning experiences are often individually determined with students working individually and in groups to either solve problems or develop their own meaning on a topic. World views are openly discussed and critically assessed for personal meaning. The classroom has a democratic culture in which every voice is equally valued. Behavioural norms are regularly reviewed.

At home in the world

The outdoor-based meaningful experiential learning option provides a range of different learning experiences in an outdoor based setting. This programme is best suited to the type of learners who enjoy a learning ‘by doing’ approach and have a passion for the environment. They spend three days off-site learning in the natural environment and two days onsite where they are gaining skills in planning, team-building and the core outdoor survival skills. They are also doing much of the learning linked with the New Zealand and Building Brilliance curricula, but in an outdoor setting. This includes marine biology, music, art, and developing a class blog.

The class-based meaningful experiential learning option provides a range of different learning experiences in a class-based setting. This type of setting is best suited to the type of learners who respond well to visual-spatial, linguistic-verbal and logical-mathematical activities. This option has a strong arts and music programme.

By the end of Year 8, our aim is for students to leave Seven Oaks with:
  • a deep understanding and appreciation of themselves and others
  • their imaginations and creative skills alive and well
  • high levels of academic ability to support their success at high school
  • self-awareness and resiliency that empowers them in our unpredictable future
  • a deep love of, and connection with, the natural world

What the students say

“I like the options”

The play time is different. The teachers are cool. I like the options and the learning.

Finn, student (age 11)

“Imagination interwoven with education”

Seven Oaks is the kind of school that lets you excel in all subjects. It is a school of freedom and openness that brings out the full potential in children.... Read more

Devon, student (age 12)

“I like the freedom”

I like the freedom and the trust. Seven Oaks lets you be yourself.

Hana, student (age 11)

“The educators are kind”

You can be yourself and express who you are. I like wearing what I want and calling educators by their first name.

Alena, student (age 13)

“I want to send my children to this school”

I love that you get to know everyone – it doesn’t matter what year you are in.

Cadigan, student (age 7)

“Plenty of playtime, books to read”

Plenty of playtime, great school trips, lots of games, sandpit, lots of water...

Ryan, student (age 10)

“I have freedom”

It is the best school in the world because I have freedom - to be outside and play.

Maddie, student (age 6)