Junior Curriculum

The New Zealand Curriculum sets out a clear vision that all our young people will be lifelong learners who are confident, creative, connected, and actively involved. Schools have been encouraged to develop and integrate a local curriculum that is unique and responsive to the priorities, preferences, and issues of the people and priorities of our school community. I would like to thank and acknowledge our teachers who are modelling life long learning taking on board curriculum changes and have been working hard to update and modify units of work that reflect local curriculum and to make connections with groups outside the school in order to bring learning to life for students.

This term the curriculum in Years 7 and 8 has been enriched through several EOTC opportunities that have provided students with ‘hands on’ and authentic learning experiences. Our Year 7s have been unpacking the virtue of ‘Kaitiakitanga’ through their learning in Science and have been looking at restoring the local stream. They have been visited by the Tread Lightly Caravan who were able to show the students how drains work.  This learning linked to a visit from Wai Care who taught the students about water quality. Pest Free Howick has also visited to share information on the dangers of weeds and methods of weed control. All of this learning will be incredibly useful as we head into Term 3 and we have our annual planting day at the stream. In addition to planting, students will be able to remove weeds and improve the area for native wildlife. Parents – perhaps you could put your children’s new found learning to use and get them out into your gardens at home over the break!

Our Year 8 students have been learning about rockets in Science and I have seen some excellent student models shooting through the sky above the College over recent weeks.  This learning stems back to work done with the Wonder Project. In Social Studies, students have been learning about Pre-European Maori life and students have enjoyed a visit to the Auckland Maritime Museum where they learned about Polynesian voyagers and how they made their way to Aotearoa. To further enhance the learning, students visited the Mangere Mountain Education Centre where they heard all about what life was like for people who once lived on that maunga. Students had the opportunity to walk up and around the mountain looking at the preserved food pits, housing sites and learning about different events that had taken place on the site while it was inhabited.

At Year 9 there has been some exciting cross curricular collaboration between English and Social Studies for students in 9GNS with students creating migration documentaries using their knowledge and content from their learning in Social Studies and the documentary film making skills studied in English. Students in 9DNN completed a pattern seeking investigation in Science looking at plastic waste within our school. They presented their work at a Y9 assembly and have shared their findings with the Senior Leadership Team.  They are now looking into how it could become a school/community-based project. A huge thank you to Dr Lux for supporting students in their investigation and providing them with such an authentic learning opportunity! The Year 9 Food Technology classes have catered and hosted high tea for staff twice this term – always a highlight for students and staff alike!

At Year 10 one of the highlights of the term has been Careers Day held in week 9. A huge thank you to Mrs Rogers and the careers team for all of the work that went into making this day possible. Students were able to hear from a range of industry and learning specialists.  This information will help students think about future career pathways and inform option choices for Year 11 and beyond! More hands on authentic learning has taken place in Business Studies with an incredibly successful Market Day being held at the beginning of week 10. A massive congratulations must go to all students and staff for their hard work! I look forward to seeing all of the fantastic learning that will take place in Term 3.


God Bless

Courtenay Kilpatrick

Deputy Principal (Year 7-10 Curriculum)