Arts & Culture

Riccarton High School offers a wide range of artistic, cultural, recreational, and sporting activities. Whether students seek competition, attainment of excellence, fitness, the chance to learn new skills, or simply for fun, our students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities available.


Music thrives in a supportive and collaborative environment with opportunities provided at both the individual and group level. Many groups, such as jazz band, chorale, choir, concert band and chamber groups meet and perform regularly. Professional tutors, offering class-time lessons, teach interested students to play the instruments of their choice, many of which are available for hire. Students have regular opportunities for public and school performances.

Riccarton holds an annual Music Extravaganza where students can play, sing or help backstage.


Drama is both a curriculum subject and an opportunity to be involved in other activities, including theatre-sports, Shakespeare festivals and major school productions. As part of the curriculum, senior students will perform plays to a small audience.

Students have the opportunity to be trained in all aspects of production as well. Riccarton has a group of students who are trained in backstage work (lighting, sound, etc) and help out with school assemblies and events. Many of our students have gone on to train or get work in this area – either while at school or when they finish.

Performance Groups

Performance groups including Pasifika, Kapa Haka, Filipino, Indian, and Chinese perform at both school and community events. Our Kapa Haka group is a joint effort with St Thomas’ of Canterbury and they regularly perform at local events as well as in regional competitions, they also take part in our pōwhiri for new students and staff held at the beginning of each year; our Pasifika group performs at Polyfest.

These give our students the chance to further connect with their own cultures – or experience others.

We also celebrate lots of events like Diwali, Matariki, Chinese Mid Autumn Fest, as well as Cook Island, Samoan, Maori, & Tongan Language weeks (to name a few!)


CultureFest – Riccarton holds an annual CultureFest where our students can perform, or help organise. The CultureFest is held at the school and has food stalls and performances where all of our community is welcome.


Production – Every two years we put on a school production where students can audition for roles, play the music or help out with production – costumes, make-up, sound, lighting, set design, backstage, etc. In June 2023, Oliver! will be staged in the school hall.


Dance is offered as a subject at all year levels. Students are given the opportunity to perform at a number of school events, in various disciplines.

Riccarton also holds an annual dance show where our students perform.


Travel – The school has links with schools in Japan and France and this offers opportunities for travel and hosting, to promote international understanding and cultural exchange. Other student groups have visited Vietnam, China, Borneo, the Cook Islands, and Samoa.