Ko wai mātou?
Who are we?

Who we are and why we are

Te Aratai College is a place where every learner is known and valued as an individual and where whānau-school relationships matter. Our school is immersed in our richly diverse community.

Individuals learn best when who they are – language, culture, identity – is affirmed. Enhancing the mana and dignity of the individual is at the heart of everything we do. Ekea te pae kahukura – Ascend the Heights of Excellence. This is Te Aratai College.

Te Aratai College

Our School Vision

Our school vision is Mauri Ora through ako: progressive, inclusive, safe, and engaging education for flourishing wellbeing and personal excellence.

Mauri ora

Our physical life and spirit flourishes with potential, ideas, and connections.


Ako means both teach and learn. It is the responsive, reciprocal relationship of the teacher and student learning from each other.

Ngā Uara o Te Aratai

For our return to Te Aratai College our students have identified four uara – four principles to enact our vision and values.

Te Aratai College

With our strong moral base, Te Aratai College is an ambitious, diverse and forward-looking learning environment where every student is encouraged to achieve personal excellence, to get involved, and to enjoy learning and creating their pathway.

Our school provides a stimulating and challenging learning programme, where high expectations and the support to reach them motivate and bring out the best in our students. Our teachers are passionate both about personalising success for each individual and about their subjects. This, combined with a rich and stimulating range of sports, performing arts and cultural opportunities, means that Te Aratai College students are able to explore their talents and interests to the full, whether undiscovered or already developing.

To our potential new students we say that whatever your abilities or interests, when you eventually leave this school as a young adult, you are confident and well prepared for your future. You will join the thousands of former Te Aratai – Linwood students who live their fulfilling lives in every aspect of society both in New Zealand and further afield.

Our Cultural Narrative

Te Aratai College – Pathway to the sea

Kia ora koutou. Talofa. Kia Orana. Malo e lelei. Bula. Fakaalofa atu. Namaste and Kumusta. As I have mentioned in an earlier community notice, 2022 will see a name change for our school.

With the Aldwins Rd demolition now complete and the rebuild beginning, it is now an appropriate time to consider the school’s name. Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga have gifted a new name to the school and it is one that the Board of Trustees whole-heartedly supports. The name is Te Aratai College. In English: pathway to the sea.

The Board has voted unanimously in support for this name change for when we return to Aldwins Rd in 2022. The Board fully support the information – the guiding reasons underpinning the name – outlined below. This information comes from Dianne Robinson on behalf of Ngāi Tūāhuriri. Dianne is a Mana Whenua Education Facilitator for Mātauraka Mahaanui:

“Linwood College on Aldwins Road is adjacent to the direct pathway (now Linwood Ave) to Te Ihutai, “The Avon-Heathcote Estuary” which was part of a larger fishery used by Ngāi Tūāhuriri. Te Ihutai, was renowned for its abundance and variety of fish and shellfish, including tuna (eels), kanakana (lamprey), inaka (whitebait), pātiki (flounder), and pipi. Several nearby kāinga nohoanga (settlements) took advantage of the estuary’s rich food resources, with caves along the base of the nearby foothills providing necessary shelter. The estuary itself was the gateway to the vast comprehensive network of wetlands that once extended throughout the Canterbury region, with the Ōtākaro (Avon) and Ōpāwaho (Heathcote River) being the primary access routes. (kahurumanu.co.nz – Ngāi Tahu cultural mapping project and atlas).

This name links the school to this significant route and this significant mahinga kai area (Te Ihutai) which was traditionally owned and used by Kaiapoi Ngāi Tahu (Ngāi Tūāhuriri) and this relationship is acknowledged as part of the Claims Settlement Act 1998.

The major waterways Ōtākaro and Ōpāwaho flow into Te Ihutai and the school’s catchment zone includes schools located along these waterways.”

The Board’s intention is that the school changes its name to Te Aratai College for our return to Aldwins Rd, 2022. This is a keystone for so much else for our redevelopment. Two immediate examples are: place-based curriculum – using our local environment in our learning; and learning pathways – our students’ individual learning pathways from early childhood education, through primary school, into secondary school and out into tertiary study and/or employment. It also links with our two, at present, separate Kāhui Ako (Communities of Learning): Tamai (Linwood-Woolston-Bromley) and Aupaki (Heathcote and the Bays.) The Linwood Ave pathway is geographically Tamai; and Te Ihutai (the estuary) and the coast are geographically Aupaki. The name Te Aratai unifies these.

We acknowledge the proud history of the name Linwood since 1954, the school’s opening. 2022, and our complete school rebuild, is the opportunity to create a school name and identity that is open and inclusive to our wider community we serve, and is not just based on the actual location of the school. And, in a deep irony, Linwood High School-Linwood College has never actually been in Linwood. Our Aldwins Rd site is actually in Phillipstown.

More information about the name and the legal process for changing a school name will be forthcoming. We are very grateful to Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga for their gift to our whānau, to our community of this beautiful and appropriate name –Te Aratai College.