Intermediate - Year 7 & 8

We have a very strong intermediate cohort at Hukerenui School. A place where each of our Intermediate Students have the opportunity to participate in all activities provided. So often it is just a chosen few. Our vision is to provide every experience to every student, not only to an exclusively picked group.

A very special occasion is the Sir Hillary Outdoor Education Centre trip that they attend on a 2-yearly basis.

At Hukerenui School, we work hard to provide this trip free of charge for the whole cohort. This means we work hard to fundraise and apply for grants and appreciate the fabulous support from our PTA and parents to help us accomplish this for all our intermediate students. A fabulous opportunity where they learn determination, resilience, leadership skills and teamwork.

We feel strongly that Intermediate Students need a time to shine, develop leadership and have time to consolidate who they are and as a full primary, this is what Hukerenui School can offer them. A time to develop their strengths, consolidate their values and principles while focusing on their learning.

Together we help guide and advise them through a time of difficulty that comes as a result of their stage of development and also the new era of the appropriate use of social media.


One of the first projects the problem solvers tackled was planting their maize crop. Initially, they wrote to Pioneer Seeds, who told them contractors wouldn’t come to work on such a small piece of land.

“We were not impressed, we thought we had enough land!” says Katie, who acted as caretaker for the maize.

“But we leased another 5ha, dealt with the contractors, sorted pests and fertiliser, learned how to pray for rain and then luckily sold it for a profit.”

“Finding sponsors and experts really challenged us – finding them, writing to them, figuring out what to say, and phoning, which was the absolute worst, visiting and being the squeaky wheel until they said yes. Watching the contractors when they were spraying out, spreading fertiliser and planting the seeds with their enormous machines was fantastic for the whole school.

The school is now in its 7th year of growing maize, with students from Years 7 and 8 going about their business of becoming maize farmers, creating the A-Maizing Maize Company. Besides managing the maize on their leased land, kindly made available by Mr Dave Dent and Mr Evan Smeath before that. They have also established a science trial on the school grounds where they measure the yield and quality of eight Pioneer-brand maize hybrids that haven’t been planted in New Zealand before. We are incorporating financial literacy and budgeting into the maize growing, which is aligned to their maths. We’re looking at job creation, which is part of our social science learning, and the different hybrids of maize, which aligns to our science curriculum.

We are also given the opportunity to go and watch the maize contractors and talk to them, so there is a lot of engagement with the local community.

Bastienne says the school makes around $10,000 from its maize crop, although potentially the profit could be up to $20,000. The money is used to fund equipment, such as the spinning wheels, a still to extract essential oils and a food dehydrator.

The children are very aware that without the support of their many contractors and suppliers, they would not be able to manage the risks to make money to put back into their authentic learning education.

Thank you very much to our sponsors and members of our community who all give up so much to support

“The intent wasn’t to make heaps of money – it was to make some money for learning,” she says. “We started the maize crops with all different kinds of people helping us, and the next stage is how do we develop this, so we give back to the community?

That’s social enterprise coming full circle,” explains Bastienne.