Our Curriculum

Otamatea High School offers students a broad, balanced curriculum with programmes covering all of the eight learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum: English, Mathematics and Statistics, The Arts, Science, Health and Physical Education, Social Sciences, Technology and Learning Languages.

Otamatea High School students in years 7 and 8 are taught as part of our junior synidcate, led by our syndicate dean. These students cover the full curriculum, with a particular focus on literacy and numeracy. As a high school, we are able to offer a full range of technology subjects to these students, including food, fashion, wood and metal technology. These students also spend an hour per week learning computer literacy skills in our computer suite, and carrying out experiments in the science lab. In years 9 and 10 students continue to cover the full curriculum, but they get to choose their option subjects. These include the full range of technology subjects (wood, metal, applied, fashion, food, digital), business studies, art, drama, music, Japanese and Te Reo Maori.

Senior students study towards NCEA qualifications. Year 11s take English, mathematics and science plus three option subjects. Year 12s take english plus five option subjects and Year 13s select five or six option subjects. We offer over 60 different senior courses across NCEA levels 1, 2 and 3 as well as providing distance learning opportunities to students through the correspondence school and Farnet. Senior students can also complete courses outside school, gain valuable work experience and work towards national qualifications at the same time. For example, through our Gateway programme, we have 20 senior students learning barista and customer service skills, earning credits in the service industry and gaining valuable work experience in the process.

We also have two academies at school. The primary industries academy combines classroom study with on-the-job learning and works alongside NCEA, allowing students to work towards a National Certificate in Agriculture or Horticulture. The hospitality academy also combines classroom study with on-the-job learning, with these students able to work towards a National Certificate in Hospitality.

Senior students also have an academic counsellor, a teacher at school who mentors and coaches them through their senior years, helping them understand NCEA and set goals for the year. The Academic Counsellors  guide them through their option choices and support them as they begin to consider their future after school, whether it be further study or entering the workplace.

The following principles embody beliefs about what is important and desirable in our school curriculum, and they place our students at the centre of teaching and learning: High Expectations, Treaty of Waitangi, Cultural Diversity, Inclusion, Learning to Learn, Future Focus, Community Engagement, and Coherence. Students are also encouraged to value excellence, by aiming high and by persevering in the face of difficulties; innovation, inquiry, and curiosity, by thinking critically, creatively and reflectively; diversity, as found in our different cultures, languages, and heritages; equity, through fairness and social justice; community and participation for the common good; ecological sustainability, which includes care for the environment; integrity, which involves being honest, responsible, and accountable and acting ethically; and to respect themselves, others, and human rights.

Please contact Dirk Smyth, Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning), at dirk.smyth@otamatea.school.nz for more details.