Extension and Enrichment Programmes

Thorndon School provides a wide range of extension and entrichment programmes across the school.

Sports Squad  
curriculum_SportsSquad.gif The sports squad is a group of about 12 senior children selected because they have an interest in and some talent for sport. Selection for the squad is made through teacher nomination, parent nomination, peer nomination and personal application. Children selected to be in the squad meet once a week and are exposed to a range of sporting experiences throughout the year. They are expected to keep up with all classroom work, maintaining a high standard, and to show leadership and a willingness to contribute to the school. Membership is reviewed each term and if members do not maintain the expected standard they may be removed from the squad.The link at the top will take you to the squad's wiki which will be updated at the end of each activity they participate in.
Enviro Group Enviro Group








Enviroschools and Schoolgen blog updates.

Our huge effort in 2013 meant we achieved a Silver award from Enviroschools. Our Decision making day was based around the five guiding principles and what we have done in the past and currently within each of these areas.

A highlight from each would be:

Sustainable Communities: Asia returning to discuss her connections to Thorndon School and how these have influenced her environmentally focused outlook.

Empowered Students: Discussing the programs we provide to support and extend our students from Kapa Haka to Tournaments of Mind, Science to Visual Arts, VLN to Music.

Learning for Sustainability: Sharing our whole school inquiries was an empowering experience, with many students able to articulate there learning clearly and concisely.

Maori Perspectives: Being welcomed with a waiata and sharing our learning in and around Maori culture.

Respect for Diversity of People and Cultures: Celebrating our diverse community and our inquiry into identity and diversity.

2014 has thus far been a solar focused year.  A group of selected enviro-students met and brainstormed ways to share why Thorndon is an appropriate school to install solar panels. They were so successful in convincing and sharing with the panel of experts that they agreed and in June 2014 16 photovoltaic cells were installed!

To celebrate this achievement a specialist came in to produce a mini performance piece about solar energy.

We are continuing to hold to our Earth Nuts vision:

“Thorndon School is safe, creative, diverse and inspiring. We honour tikanga Maori and celebrate all of the diversity in our community. As role models; teachers and students work together to create a sustainable environment in our school”


As we continue to move into a whole school based environmental education one of the pertinent foci of the whole school has been: “How do we build for Safety and Sustainability?” The opportunity to use the rebuild as an educational tool was the main source of the inspiration behind this unit.

 It has also been a stepping stone for the Envirogroup to document our history and current practices. We are in the process of constructing a Thorndon Enviro-blog, which will share our journey and environmental developments within Thorndon School.

Young Leaders' Group
Our Young Leaders Group is selected each year from children who have already shown some leadership skills within their peer group or those we believe have the potential to become effective young leaders

These skills are developed further through our involvement in the Halogen Foundation's "Always a Leader" programme and the children concerned are given opportunities to use these skills and show leadership within the school.

Future Problem Solving Future Problem Solving

Future Problem Solving is a year long programme where students, working in teams, learn and apply a six-step problem solving process which provides them with the tools to tackle problems which they will meet throughout their lives. Throughout the year, students apply the process to consider the challenges and issues contained within complex social and scientific problems to be faced in the future or tackle existing problems in their own communities.

The programme encourages students to carry out in-depth research, to think creatively and critically, to apply ethical thinking skills and to work as part of a team.

Through the Future Problem Solving Programme, students develop:

  • Creative thinking abilities
  • Increased awareness of and interest in the future
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Develop teamwork skills
  • Improved oral and written communication
  • Critical and analytical thought
  • Real-life problem solving
  • Extended perceptions of the real world
  • Understanding of complex societal issues
  • Improved research techniques
Song Writing Song Writing Online
curriculum_clip_image002_0000.jpg The Songwriting Group consists of 8 children who already receive instrument tuition, show a talent for creating music and are interested in the craft of song writing.  Using the music editing software ‘Garageband’ and group discussion children use their own melodies to experiment with structure, rhythm, instrumentation and lyric writing.   Children in the group work towards the goal of entering a song in the Thorndon School Songwriting Competition.  This is held in term 4 every year and all finished songs are available for free download from the Music Room’s website: thorndonschool.bandcamp.com
Virtual Learning Network  
Mzilla Thorndonmzilla.com

Mzilla is an annual magazine of Thorndon School writing and illustration.  The writing included in this magazine is selected by student editors. Mzilla represents a children's selection of children's writing.  I do my best to keep my hands off the selection process, but also to keep it fair for all contributors.

Mzilla has now been operating for 10 years. Most of the contributors to issue one would now be out of the compulsary education system.  I hope some of them will take the opportunity to look back on what they were thinking and writing 10 years ago.

- Alistair du Chatenier