Selwyn House School

We are an independent school for girls Years 1-8, and co-ed pre-school in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Selwyn House School is an internationally-minded community of learners and leaders. Founded in 1929 as an independent school for girls, Selwyn House has grown into a caring community that nurtures each girl’s unique talents and strengths. As an International Baccalaureate World School, we offer a strong curriculum that develops our students’ inquiry and critical thinking skills and encourages a balance between academics and co-curricular choices, and emphasizes a global perspective.

Operating as usual

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 28/05/2024

During the Year 8 Camp, the girls took advantage of the dark sky and used the school's telescope to view craters on the moon, the Orion Nebula and any other objects in the night sky they were interested in. The girls were left in awe of the ability to see in such detail! Aoraki Mt Cook served as a stunning backdrop.

The countdown to Space Week 2024 for our Year 7 & 8 students has truly begun!

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 27/05/2024

Last week The Year 8s visited Aoraki-Mount Cook and explored the best of what the McKenzie District has to offer: tramping through the snow in the Ho**er Valley, snow tubing, curling, soaking in the hot pools, exploring glaciers by either boat or at the end of a gorgeous walk, viewing a 3D film about Mount Cook, viewing a dome film about space, learning about Sir Edmond Hillary and other mountain explorers and learning about Search and Rescue in New Zealand.

This camp involved a wide variety of exciting and educationally rich outdoor activities that align well with our Leadership Programme, New Zealand Histories and Science programmes of learning in particular, and that will complement the Space Week that the girls are also undertaking this year.

Playing in the snow, taking in the beautiful scenery and being with their friends will be memories that last a lifetime. A huge thank you to the staff and parents who attended to ensure the trip was a success.

To learn more about Years 7 & 8 at Selwyn House School, please contact [email protected]


The annual cross-country event at Selwyn House marks the beginning of the winter sports season. The entire school participated with a large crowd of supporters braving the cold! Students from Years 5-8 who placed 1st - 6th will represent Selwyn House at the Independent Zone Cross Country at Roto Kohatu next week.

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 23/05/2024

This week Years 5 & 6 went to Eco Sort and Eco Drop to find out more about this term’s Unit of Inquiry focus, Sharing the Planet. The girls had a very interactive lesson with CCC Educator Chris Duggan, who let the girls sort items into recyclable categories and showed them what happens when we don’t. The girls got to see how recyclables are organised once they reach Eco Sort, and learned what we can do to reduce our impact. This was topped off with a visit to the Eco Shop to see that not all things need to be thrown out, and what can be purchased second-hand instead of buying new with a fun activity to deck out their “future flat”. Who knew that rubbish could be so interesting?

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 21/05/2024

Last week, Years 3 and 4 became Park Detectives at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens as a part of their How The World Works Unit of Inquiry focusing on Nurturing Nature.

The students completed engaging and fun activities based around our local birds, bugs and trees throughout the day. They imitated bird calls, listened to the symphony of bird sounds in the forest, documented different trees in the area, identified different bugs using a flow chart, and got up close and personal with a range of creepy crawlies by upturning logs with their trusty magnifying glasses.

Years 3 and 4 are using this new knowledge of the nature around us, ecosystems and the importance of the different processes in nature to support their infamous Nature Diaries this term.


As a part of their inquiry journey, Year 3 had a chance to interview Mrs. Calder, after learning how to collect meaningful information and come up with good open-ended questions to upskill their research abilities.

They learned so much about Mrs. Calder and had an amazing time getting to know her as one of their ‘Wonderful Women’.

Then, while being effective communicators, shared their learning with the whole school during Assembly. Year 3 played a ‘Who am I?’ game with everyone, giving out clues about Mrs.Calder, one by one, before they revealed the answer.

Each student was not only a risk-takers and but knowledgeable in sharing what they found out about Mrs.Calder. There is no doubt the whole school enjoyed learning more about our Principal!

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 20/05/2024

🩵👟👟Thank you to all of the families who were able to come and support the Cross Country today. All the students did a wonderful job in their respective races, showing great determination and effort.

Congratulations to the Year 5-8 students who will compete at the Independent Zone Cross Country at Roto Kohatu on Tuesday 4 June. 👟👟🩵


Our current Year 8s are already busy with their Passion Projects and this video clip from 2015 is a walk down memory lane. It will be wonderful to welcome Selwyn House Alumni Association members back to campus, for the 5-10 Years Reunion. Please RSVP before May 30 to attend:
For any Alumni questions, or to update your details please contact [email protected]

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 19/05/2024

As part of their provocation to the unit 'How We Express Ourselves,' Years 7 and 8 visited Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. They started the trip off by viewing and interacting with an exhibition by artist Maureen Landers called 'Aho Marama Strings of Light.' Maureen's exhibition is a magical UV light installation bringing together different art forms and histories. The girls sat in the exhibition and were taught some traditional string games. The colourful strings looked particularly impressive under the UV lights! After exploring the installation, the girls used iPads to collaboratively create an iMovie to demonstrate their new string games. They enjoyed expressing themselves using a traditional art form with modern media and technology.

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

For more information about our Year 7 & 8 programme, please contact [email protected]

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 19/05/2024

During Term 2 Years 1 and 2 are exploring "Toys and Games Through Time" as part of their Unit of Inquiry "Where We Are in Place and Time".

As part of this inquiry, the students travelled to Ferrymead Heritage Park. They dressed in old-fashioned clothes, made homemade games, explored traditional Māori games, and created a thaumatrope with a very kind headmistress in the schoolhouse. They are really enjoying the process of examining how play has changed over time.

This experience inspired them to think about making toys, who they could make them for, and what to do with toys they no longer use.

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 17/05/2024

To acknowledge Pink Shirt Day, we dedicated our well-being time to the theme of "being an upstander" with engaging discussions and activities. Students were invited to wear their favourite t-shirt—something they love and feel comfortable in. The school turned into a kaleidoscope of favourite sports teams, house t-shirts, vibrant colours, pink hues, holiday souvenirs, and shirts from special people in their lives. It was wonderful to see the connections and conversations that blossomed throughout the day!

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 16/05/2024

Our Year 1-6 students recently had the opportunity to meet author Jacqueline Harvey and her visit was just fantastic. Jacquie is a wonderful storyteller, not only in the pages of her books. The stories she told had everyone belly-laughing all the way through.

Jacquie spoke to our students and shared the inspiration behind her books. From the picture book inspired by her beloved family cat, to the characters she has created based on the mischief Jacquie's own students got up to when she was teaching, her stories were funny and engaging. The girls thoroughly enjoyed her visit. Mrs Calder even commented that "Pig the Pug" may have been knocked off his perch as her favourite book and replaced by Jacquie's "Kevin the Sheep".

Thank you to those of you who were able to purchase one of Jacqui's books for your daughter. Not only will this signed copy be a lovely keepsake for your family, Jacquie also expressed her gratitude to the community for supporting her in this way. Ms Coursey, the School Librarian, spotted some young readers in the library at lunchtime after her visit, avidly engaged in reading their new books which is always so lovely to see. Together, let's keep inspiring students to be life-long readers!


A Simple Way To … Rube-Goldberg was an American cartoonist who became famous a century ago for drawing outlandish chain-reaction machines that could complete a simple job in a very complicated way.

In Innovation Hub this term the Year 7 and 8 students will be challenged to create their own Rube-Goldberg machines to complete a simple task. We have spent several weeks learning about simple machines that can be used to amplify actions (levers, wedges, pulleys etc.) Next, the girls applied their learning towards making a machine that pops a balloon in an interesting way. The results were fabulous and very entertaining!

Innovation Hub meets on Thursday mornings at the same time as the Future- and Community-Problem Solving groups. Our focus is on providing a hands-on learning experience, and to solve real-world problems.

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 12/05/2024

Selwyn House is one of six schools utilising Canterbury Basketball's Girls Got Game Programme. Each week our basketball teams have a session with a Mainland Pouākai player. Last week, Ivy Brown, a Mainland Pouākai and New Zealand representative ran a session for our Year 5/6 and Year 7/8 basketball teams, helping them prepare for their first game of the winter season. The Year 5/6 (Thursday evenings) and Year 7/8 (Friday evenings) teams play at the Bishopdale YMCA in the schools' basketball competition.


Photos from Selwyn House School's post 10/05/2024

One of our Community Problem Solving (CmPS) teams ventured out to connect with Hayley and Justin from the Avon Ōtākaro Network. CmPS is all about noticing problems in our community and taking action to make a difference. This CmPS Team identified the health of our rivers as an area of concern. The girls collected a significant amount of rubbish from the riverbanks and sorted this into recyclable and non-recyclable items to reduce the amount that would be sent to a landfill. The girls are looking forward to creating further initiatives and taking action to continue to reduce the amount of rubbish that enters our waterways.

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 10/05/2024

During the Mihi Whakatau and Welcome Assembly to mark the official start of Term 2, new staff and students were recognised and welcomed to the Selwyn House community. It has also been lovely to see students reconnect with one another and celebrate their return to school.

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 09/05/2024

A fantastic kickstart to Term 2 for our Year 7 and 8 students this week as they welcomed in Primary Sports Canterbury to run the Top Team Challenge. Top Team is a series of interactive team-building challenges designed to promote problem-solving, communication and teamwork while being active and having fun. The Top Team Challenge fed directly into the year-long "Who We Are" unit of inquiry in our Senior School, as we develop our Year 7 and 8 students into effective leaders, both within our school and the wider community.

Unique to Selwyn House School, the Senior Leadership Academy recognises that leaders are made, not born. Every girl is given a leadership position, and with the support and guidance of our expert staff, they learn that everyone has leadership potential, and that there are many ways to be a successful leader.

For more information about our Year 7 & 8 programme, please contact [email protected]

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 08/05/2024

Years 1 & 2 are diving deep into one of the most popular inquiries: Toys and Games Through Time. As part of their exploration of the transdisciplinary theme, Where We Are in Time and Place, they are investigating how play has evolved over the years. Today, they had a fascinating visit from the Canterbury Museum, which brought a hands-on experience with toys and games from the past. The girls were captivated by the history and evolution of play. What intrigued them most was discovering that many of these games still exist today. Inspired by their discoveries, they have been brainstorming new rules for classic games like tiddlywinks and marbles, fostering creativity and critical thinking. While some games, like knucklebones, presented challenges, they learnt that persistence is key. Now they are eagerly looking forward to our upcoming trip to Ferrymead, where they will continue our journey of inquiry into the world of historical play.

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 07/05/2024

The Year 7 and 8 students are becoming familiar with the grid method drawing convention. This is a technique used in art that involves dividing an image into a series of smaller, more manageable sections. It allows students to transfer an image from a photograph using the lines on the grid to gauge size, shape and scale. They are working from a variety of close-up, animal portraits and using chalk pastels to develop realistic and detailed representations of their chosen animals.

To learn more about our art curriculum across all year levels or enrolment information for Years 7 & 8 please contact [email protected]


During the term break, Emma (Year 2) and her family were visiting the All Blacks Experience and she volunteered to say the Selwyn House Karakia over the All Blacks' greenstone. Ka pai, Emma!


During Term 1, Cynthia (Year 5), Abigail (Year 6), Olivia (Year 8 ) and our Year 5 Relay Team - Angie, Annabelle, Clair and Cynthia - competed in the Canterbury Schools at the Selwyn Aquatic Centre.

All our swimmers did exceptionally well with some amazing results. Congratulations to our Year 5 Relay Team for winning their event.

Selwyn House Year 5 4x50m Relay - 1st place
Cynthia - 6th place in Year 5 50m Breaststroke
Abigail - 3rd place in Year 6 50m Breaststroke
Olivia - 5th place in 100m Open Freestyle

5-10 Years On Reunion — The Skylark - April 2024 29/04/2024

Next month, the Selwyn House Alumni Association will be hosting a reunion for the Peer Years 2014-2019 for the 5-10 Year On Reunion. For more information and to RSVP, please following the link or email [email protected]

5-10 Years On Reunion — The Skylark - April 2024 The 5 - 10 Year On Reunion is happening this June and the Selwyn House Alumni Association looks forward to welcoming you back to campus.


At the end of Term 1, we held our Celebration Assembly, congratulations to all of the students who were acknowledged during this event.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone next week, for the start of Term 2.

Photos from Selwyn House School's post 16/04/2024

🌱🌿🌱The Year 8 Envirogroup leaders joined other students and teachers from Enviroschools in Waitaha Canterbury to explore and learn about the unique coastal environment of Tūhaitara Park at Woodend Beach during Term 1.

We were inspired by the Trust’s 200 year vision to protect and restore the lands, and gained an understanding of the biodiversity of Tūhaitara Park and why it is important to protect it. 🌱🌿🌱


On Wednesday 20 March, two teams from Selwyn House went to Tūranga Central Library, along with 30 teams from other Christchurch schools, to answer 100 questions about children's literature in the annual Kids' Lit Quiz Canterbury heat.

Both teams made a solid effort, put in their all and had a great time. Congratulations to the Year 8 team, who were the top-scoring team for one of the 10 rounds, taking home a small prize. Well done!

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Videos (show all)

The annual cross-country event at Selwyn House marks the beginning of the winter sports season. The entire school partic...
A Simple Way To … Rube-Goldberg was an American cartoonist who became famous a century ago for drawing outlandish chain-...
To learn more about Selwyn House School we invite you to schedule a personal tour. For more information please contact e...
At the end of Term 1, we held our Celebration Assembly, congratulations to all of the students who were acknowledged dur...
During Term 1 we held our annual Selwyn House Pre-school Whānau Picnic. We were delighted to welcome Adam AllSorts back ...
🏊‍♀️🏊🏊‍♂️ Swimming Sports at Sewlyn House are always a fun and competitive day that highlights the girls' pride for thei...
We look forward to welcoming prospective families to Selwyn House School on Open Day, Monday 25 March, from 9 am - 12 no...
At the Alumni Afternoon Tea, there were many wonderful memories shared and it was lovely to see the different generation...
We had such a fun evening with our wider school community, celebrating being back at school last week.  Thank you to the...
We welcomed new students and staff to Selwyn House last week with a mihi whakatau, marking the beginning of their journe...
The 94th Prize Giving Ceremony marked the end of the  2023 school year at Selwyn House School. Congratulations to everyo...
Our Year 7 and 8 girls put on a Market Day to rival any Christmas market last week! From cupcakes to jewellery, face pai...




122 Merivale Lane
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