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.

In years 7 and 8 Otamatea High School students form our junior syndicate, led by our syndicate head Philippa Randell. 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, digital technology and hard materials technology. These students also spend two hours per week learning science in our well-equipped science labs. All students also learn Te Reo Māori and Chinese languages.

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 (hard materials, engineering, food, digital), business studies, art, drama, music, Japanese, Chinese and Te Reo Māori. In 2019 a number of exciting cross curricula course are also being offered to students. These include “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”, “Video Games and Music”, “Magazine Design”, and “Green to Gold”.

Senior students study towards NCEA qualifications. Year 11s take English, mathematics and science plus three option subjects. Year 12s take six 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. Senior students can also complete courses outside school, gain valuable work experience and work towards national qualifications at the same time. Through our Self-Directed Pathways programme senior students also have the option of working independently on an area of their choice while simultaneously gaining work experience through the Gateway programme.

We also have three 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. The construction academy is our latest academy and combines BCATs and whakairo skills.

All students also have a whānau teacher who is also their academic coach, a teacher at school who mentors and coaches them through school, especially during their senior years - helping them understand NCEA and set goals for the year. These teachers guide their students 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. A full careers programme is also offered to all students. 

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, kotahitanga, respect, a balanced personal hauora, and resilience. At Otamatea High School we aim for all of our students to leave us “ready for the world”.