South Hornby School has a brand new Modern Learning Environment. Their new location is the old Branston Intermediate site just down the road from where they were. I was asked, during the rebuilding phase, to help with their rebranding. This would include rebranding around their school logo, mascot, values, student learning tools and signage.

The fresh look helped usher in a new era for the school. They were moving into an ultra-modern 21st century learning environment. The branding needed to reflect that. How could I enhance their new space? What would this new brand identity look like?

South Hornby School didn't really have an existing logo. Their name appeared in different ways on their website, newsletter and unform. They would occassionally include their student mascot, Sam Smiler, as part of the logo. This wasn't helping with their recognition in the community and it didn't truly reflect their vision - "Creating Pathways to Grow Heroes". 

In 2016 the school was gifted the name "Te Manu Tukutuku" from Te Taumutu, their local runanga. This new Māori name was to appear alongside our current school name. "Manu" can mean both kite and bird. The word tukutuku refers to the letting out of the line as the kite sores into the sky.

Te Manu Making at South Hornby School
Te Manu Making at South Hornby School

South Hornby School Logo Design

As a result of the Māori naming it was decided that the new logo should be based on a Te Manu (Māori Kite). Not only that, the Hornby area was traditionally known as an access point (pathway) for early Māori on their way to the Waimakariri River. Therefore it was important to try and convey the idea of the learning pathway in there too. This would also tie in with their vision.

The four Learning Spaces in the new school are based on the four winds traditionally associated with the Canterbury Region - Nor’Easter (Te Ope Ruaraki), Nor’Wester (Te Mauru-e-taki-nei), Easterly (Whakarua), and Southerly (Punui-o-toka). These are represented by the four spirals in the logo symbol which point in the direction of each wind. Their Learning Spaces, like the energy in the four winds, drive learning forward at South Hornby School. They provide the opportunities for students to explore their world, in their own way, along their individual learning pathways.


There are three tail pieces with three tukutuku pattern inspired shapes on each. These represent the three school values based around Whānau, Collaboration, and Learning. Just as a kite without a tail cannot fly very well, a school without core values cannot function correctly. The arrows in the tail shapes give the logo a feeling of upward movement. South Hornby School staff want students to aim high with their learning.

The pathway/kite shape has a strong frame. South Hornby School's learning “framework” is robust. It provides a strong foundation for learning.

South Hornby School Logo Rebuild Christchurch NZ

Ethos Diagram

Their Ethos Diagram is an unbundling of what their school logo means. South Hornby School's pathways are via the three things they value the most - Learning, Collaboration and Whānau. These are supported by their three learning beliefs known as "Learning Power", "Learn, Create, Share" and "People Power".

South Hornby Primary School Ethos Model
South Hornby Primary School Ethos Model

Wonder Weka - Their New School Mascot

As mentioned, the Māori name "Manu" can mean both kite or bird. I created a superhero bird mascot called Wonder Weka to champion their school values. Numerous mascot concepts were created for staff and students to vote on. This version was chosen. By giving him a friendly face, with human like features and actions, the students found him easy to relate to.

Wonder Weka Mascot South Hornby School Christchurch NZ

Banners were created for each of the learning spaces. They were there to remind students of how they should act towards each other. Values flags for were created for the playground as well.

South Hornby Values Flag Example Christchurch NZ

Rubrics Posters

Learning Powers Rubric Posters were designed to promote independent learning in each of the learning spaces. They were created to help students understand where they were in their learning pathway. The pathway flows from green to blue - from requiring a lot of teacher support at the start through to being very independent learners at the end.

Learning Powers Rubric Posters
Learning Powers Rubric Posters
South Hornby School Learning Powers Rubric

Are you thinking about a rebrand to coincide with your rebuild?

I have worked with many schools who have gone through this process. If you have any questions please contact me.

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