Diamond Harbour Community
Diamond Harbour School is a hybrid, a town-and-country school. It serves a distinct and cohesive community from Port Levy to Teddington, including all the southern bays of Lyttelton Harbour. Most children in the district attend Diamond Harbour School, those from farthest away travelling by school bus.
Lyttelton Harbour is an extinct volcanic caldera which has collapsed and been flooded by the sea. Diamond Harbour School is set on an ancient lava flow at the foot of Banks Peninsula’s highest peak, Mount Herbert. Situated right at the edge of suburban Diamond Harbour, the school has a stunning rural backdrop of paddocks, open space and craggy hills. The north-facing school buildings have views out over the harbour and across to the port of Lyttelton and the Port Hills skyline.
Diamond Harbour is a state, co-educational, full primary school catering for students from Year 0 (new entrants) to Year 8. After this students usually go to Cashmere High School with a free bus service available. There are approximately 120 students. Some children attending the school are second (or even third) generation students.
Even though many families have members who commute to work in the city of Christchurch, our community retains some rural characteristics which are reflected in the school. There are networks of relationships between families which are formed and/or maintained outside the school via other community organisations such as kindergarten, play centre, churches, yacht club, fire brigade, cultural and sports clubs. Typically, new entrants already know many in their class and others at school: there is a Kidsfirst kindergarten alongside the school, which eases the transition to school. Regular visits are made to the kindergarten, the kindergarten children often visit school and we have a buddy system which ensures a smooth transition for all our new entrants. Children of different ages often play together in the playground.
As a school we make the most of our local environment and students are regularly involved in a range of activities helping to care for the environment. We are an Enviroschool involved in predator trapping and planting natives in the local reserves. We are a Garden to Table school, and have vegetable gardens that are utilised by students.
In addition to local possibilities, our proximity to Christchurch enables students to take advantage of opportunities to participate in sporting and cultural events in the city. In recent years students at the school enjoyed particular success in robotics, athletics, winter sports and sailing. Students also go to town for music events, information technology events and other enrichment activities.