Kamahi Cluster (Specialist Classes)

Because of our size WIS is able to offer an exciting range of specialist classes for our students. These are led by highly qualified and enthusiastic teachers. Students have one lesson of technology a week and have curriculum rotation (Science and Music) once a week for two terms.

Each term we also offer extension lessons in technology, science and music or drama. All students are encouraged to apply and those selected spend one afternoon a week in their chosen subject for that term. This provides an opportunity for students to extend their skills and knowledge in a particular field and allows them to take part in projects that would not be possible with a full class. Students can apply as many extension classes as they like each term although they will only be able to take part in one per term. Not all students will be chosen for an extension, however, those who applied in one term but didn’t get in will have priority next term.

Kamahi Cluster is proud of our student achievements ranging from successfully competing nationally in RoboCup and Maggi Cook Offs, to winning in the Regional Science Fair and Super-Arts competitions. Most importantly we aim to give all our students an introduction to skills and attitudes that will equip them to move onto secondary and beyond with a thirst for life-long learning.

Robotics and Communication Technology

Robotics and Communication Technology introduces them to programming and film-making. Students have the opportunity to programme robots to complete tasks and to compete against each other. They also get involved in making short stop animation films.

Food Technology

Food Technology promotes healthy food choices and hygienic practice in creative cooking contexts. Students learn to follow recipes and make a range of healthy meals and snacks which they can then make for you at home! We encourage healthy food choices and develop a range of cooking skills.

Hard Materials

Hard Materials Technology uses a wide range of wood, metal and plastics in projects where the students design and build. They learn to use the various different machine and tools in the Hard Materials room in a safe manner. Students also learn to follow instructions and use a plan to build increasingly complicated items.

Art and Design

The spacious Art Room not only houses the usual drawing, painting and 3-D modelling but also now includes computer enhanced design work. Students work in a wide range of mediums and are encouraged to explore their creativity. Some of the students’ beautiful art work is displayed around the school.

Music and Drama

The Music and Drama programme draws on a full range of instruments and props to give students the chance to move from the basics to sophisticated stage performances. They have the opportunity to try out our keyboards, ukuleles and boomwhackers as well as get lessons in singing and drama. Choir is also run as an extension in term one.


Last but not least the Science laboratory is fully equipped to deliver stimulating lessons focussing on chemistry and physics experiments that would be hard to do in a regular classroom. Students have an opportunity to experience High School style science lessons in an engaging and supportive environment.

The Team

Keith Beautrais – Science & Environment

Keith teaches Science and Environment in our specialist science lab. He is a dedicated environmentalist and is also responsible for running the Enviro Council with the students and helping to raise student awareness of environmental issues, both locally and globally.
Keith is also a keen cyclist can often be spotted tearing around Whanganui on his bicycle.

Roz Armstrong (Performing Arts)

Ko te timatanga o te whakaaro nui, ko te wehi ki te Atua, nana nei nga mea katoa.
E nga mate o te ra, te marama, o te tau, haere kautau. Otia te po, naumai te ao. No reira, tena kautau, tena kautau, tena kautau katoa.

Kia Ora! My name is Roz Armstrong and this is my 10th year working at Whanganui Intermediate, and my fifth year as the Performing Arts specialist teacher. My classroom is always alive with the sound of music, as guitars, keyboards, ukuleles, boomwhackers, percussion and singing can often be heard.

I believe we have all been created with talent. As a teacher, it brings me great joy when I can help a student find their artistic talents. Working with them to develop the confidence they need to perform successfully is a very rewarding part of my job.

One of my favourite quotes from Marianne Williamson says;
“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?... We were all born to shine…”

If you have any questions about our program or any upcoming events please feel free to contact me at school or at armstrongr@wanganui-int.school.nz

Leigh Harvey – Robotics & Communication Technology

Leigh offers students an opportunity to build and programme their own robots as well as make short films which they create and edit.
Leigh also helps run the Elite Running club at WIS.

Stacey Hildreth – Art & Design

Kia ora, Ko Stacey Hildreth ahau. I have just joined the team at Whanganui Intermediate having previously spent the last 9 years teaching Art and Design at Whanganui High School.

I am passionate about the Visual Arts, which has become one of New Zealand’s most prominent industries with the rise of our film and media industry. I endeavour to make Art fun and relevant and also provide the skills our students need to thrive at a high school level and beyond.

Ian Porteous – Hard Materials

After working as a classroom teacher at WIS for a number of years I made the move to the Hard Materials room at the start of last year. I enjoy working with all the students from different classes and helping them gain practical skills as well as developing their ability to design and build projects that have relevancy. We aim to produce quality take-home value projects, and therefore learn the skills which are transferable to the real world.

Dianne Weston – Cooking Technology

It’s important to teach students about healthy eating and provide them with the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices for the rest of their lives. I’m passionate about getting students in the kitchen and helping them develop a repertoire of meals and snacks they can make from scratch at home. I love that I have the chance to work with students from every class in the school and that I can teach them skills in the cooking room that will be useful for the rest of their lives.