At Tauranga Intermediate School we have a well developed, localised curriculum that promotes collaboration, thinking skills, key competencies, social action and strong links to the local community.






Our learning model is called the TIS Inquiry Model. Students explore a topic through the four stages of the Inquiry Model to deepen their thinking and learning about a topic. The Inquiry Model is built to contain the core elements of learning. It provides a pathway to enable students to look at an issue or task and then work their way through to understanding and resolution. This model can be used with varying levels of student ownership from teacher-directed through to student-led inquiries.

Students explore our community, Aotearoa and the world beyond through our TIS Inquiry Roadmaps. These roadmaps reflect our localised curriculum. They are conceptual, theme based learning roadmaps (developed by our teachers) that are engaging for students and explore. The roadmaps use our Inquiry Model to guide the learning and the process.

We have 6 different TIS Inquiry Roadmaps to explore over the two years while at TIS.

Our six Roadmaps are:

  • Tūrangawaewae - A Place to Stand
  • Te Taiao - The Natural Environment
  • Panoni - Changes in Our World
  • Whakawhanaungatanga - Relating to Others
  • Kimihia Kia Taea - Explore Your Potential
  • Kohinga Putea - To be Enterprising, Financially Literate, Productive and Resilient

Our TIS Curriculum is consistent with:

  • the developmental stages of emerging adolescents.
  • the vision and strategic direction of the Tauranga Peninsula Kahui Ako - Community of Learning (COL).
  • the vision and strategic direction of Tauranga Intermediate School.



The Narrative Behind the TIS Curriculum Image

Central to the image is a waka hourua (double hulled waka). This symbolises the waka of our region, Tākitimu and Mataatua and their Rangatira.

The double hull of the waka reflects the dual curriculums (NZC and Te Marautanga). Education at TIS is based on both of these.

The waka hourua sits balanced and stable on Tauranga Moana, reflecting a sense of belonging that is nurtured through a focus on Toka Tū Moana.

The Learning Model displays the language of our Inquiry Model, reflecting the ongoing nature of inquiry. Ākonga can articulate their learning, including next steps, at each stage of the learning model.

The tikanga of Individuals, whānau, class, house, school and the wider community generate the wind to sail our waka hourua. This allows our ākonga to explore and achieve, therefore reaching the STARS.

To reach the stars, ākonga must have their kete of key competencies, continually developing these in a range of situations.

Learning at TIS is underpinned by the following:

  • Rich, engaging and future-focused concepts - including authentic and place based learning supported by guided inquiry
  • The development of student agency and ownership of learning.
  • Explicit Reading, Writing and Maths teaching.
  • Regular, quality physical activity - PE, sports and EOTC programmes.
  • Diversity of experience - multiple and varied opportunities.
  • Priority learners - identification and targeted actions to accelerate achievement.
  • Culturally responsive practice - supported by staff PLD.
  • E-learning - the smart use of ICT so value is added to the learning experience.
  • Routines, systems and structures.
  • The use of quality data to track student progress and inform teaching and learning practices.




The official name for the Māori Bilingual Unit of Matai House is: Te Whānau ō Te Maro. Te Whānau ō Te Maro is a syndicate made up of six classes - combined Year 7 and 8. Students are placed in classes consistent with their level of competence in Te Reo me ōna Tikanga Māori.

E noho ana au i te roro wharenui ō Te Maro
Taku rāta whakamarumaru
Kā ānga atu aku mata ki Mauao whaka iringa kupu whaka iringa kū, whaka iringa tapu ō tuawhakarere
Ka huri taku titiro ki Te Rengarenga, ka rongo rā i te pūrepo e
Haruru mai rā ki runga ō Pukereia, ō Pukehinahina
Rū ruku, rū rangi, rū ai, rū ai
Rukuhia Waikāreao, Pūea ake ko Otamataha
Mōenga kura ō te tini, mōenga rau ō te mano
E pāri te tai ki Taumata Kahawai
E pari rā Te Awanui Ka ū ki Hāwaiki, ka ū ki Motuopuhi
Kei tua kō Te Ruatuna
Kei runga te ūnga ō taku haere
Kei Te Maro te one mākuru, whakatipu i te kai, whakatipu i te tangata
E kōkō i a e ara e



Whakatauki - "Ko au te kākano e kai nei i te mātauranga kia rangatira taku tū mō te ao o anamatā".

"I am the seed that feeds off life to uphold my strength for the future ahead".


Our philosophy is to prepare students to:

  • Lead confidently as Māori
  • Participate collaboratively as Māori
  • Respectfully adapt to challenges and contribute to our society as Māori
  • Work to their full potential
  • Develop a sense of pride in themselves
  • Hold fast to their Māoritanga
  • Up-skill themselves in Mathematics and English both in Te Reo Māori and English

Te Whānau ō Te Maro offers students an opportunity to learn Te Reo me ōna Tikanga in a secure Māori learning environment with full marae facilities and classrooms.

Kapa Haka is a compulsory component for students in Te Whānau ōTe Maro and there is an opportunity to be selected for annual regional competitions to qualify for Nationals every two years.




Children with Special Abilities. Totara House is a special character house for high-achieving academic students. It is well suited for students who enjoy being academically challenged and who are self-motivated for academic learning in a fast-paced, high-expectations learning environment.

Totara House students will participate in a range of programmes in addition to the school curriculum, including:

  • Future Problem Solving NZ
  • Science Fair
  • Otago University Mathematics Problem Solving
  • Elsie Locke Writing Competition
  • Intermediate Writers’ Essay Competition
  • Mandarin Language Lessons
  • Weekly homework

Totara students are often creatively gifted and we have many musicians, actors, writers, artists, computer programmers, 2nd language speakers and chess players amongst us. We achieve well in sport across a range of codes.

We aim for Totara House students to feel that they can be themselves and have a sense of belonging amongst like-minded peers.




At Tauranga Intermediate students have the unique opportunity to participate in technology and specialist classes in a rotation throughout the year. Here they design, create, problem solve and learn specific practical skills.




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Technology is a creative, purposeful learning experience through the context of development of products, systems or environments to meet a need. Knowledge, skills and resources are combined to help solve practical problems.

Tauranga Intermediate offers four Technology subjects over the two years as part of our technology / specialists programme:

  • Digital Technology
  • Food Technology
  • Multi Materials Technology
  • Hard Materials Technology

Students work to solve real life problems, following technological processes.

Students will be provided with the opportunity to participate in a variety of technological challenges both within the school, inter-school, nationally and in partnership with the business community. These include Young Designers who are active throughout the year with various community and national competitions and a national robotics competition.

Technology also offers extension classes for those students who wish to pursue more challenging technology opportunities.

Biannually the Technology Department is a major contributor to our School Production, designing and making sets, props, costumes and accessories.



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Visual Art

Visual Art is a rotation in our technology / specialists programme. Students will receive art lessons to explore a range of visual art types and techniques including print-making, painting and observational sketching,

Across the year there are extension art classes and a lunchtime art club which offers students a space to express their creative side.
There are multiple opportunities throughout the year to participate in local and regional art competitions and the International Peace Poster Contest.



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Music is a rotation in our technology / specialists programme. Students will learn basic music notation and an introduction to playing the ukulele, keyboard, guitar and drums. These music classes give students a taste of a variety of instruments and a chance to write, create and record their own music and lyrics with the expert support of our Music teachers.



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As part of the technology / specialists programme, students will all attend specialist Science lessons in one of our labs. The focus for Year 7 is, the Material World (chemistry) and for Year 8, the Physical World (physics). A range of scientific concepts are taught in a supportive environment with lots of practical, hands on learning. There will be other science experiments, activities, field trips and investigations undertaken by classroom teachers linked to their current Road Map focus.

Across the year there is also an engineering extension programme and the Science Award Trust science badges scheme - supported by our specialist Science Teacher and technician.

Every year at TIS, students have the opportunity to compete in the Science Fair under the three categories: Science, Technology and Art in Science. They can also trial to be in one of our EPRO 8 teams - competing in the EPro8 Challenge, an inter-school science and engineering competition. Every year over 10,000 students from 800 schools throughout New Zealand take part.



Te Reo Māori

Students can take Te Reo Māori lessons over and above what is taught in their classes.



Everyone has the opportunity to learn Mandarin during their time at Tauranga Intermediate.