What do we offer?
English is the study, use, and enjoyment of the English language and its literature, communicated orally, visually, and in writing, for a range of purposes and audiences and in a variety of text forms. Understanding, using, and creating oral, written, and visual texts of increasing complexity is at the heart of English teaching and learning. By engaging with text-based activities, students become increasingly skilled and sophisticated speakers and listeners, writers and readers, presenters and viewers.
The new curriculum changes emphasise three big ideas:
The first Big Idea Language and identity are inextricable and emphasise how our reading and production of texts are informed through our identity and how our identity informs our understanding. Learners will connect with the Significant Learning through the lens of their own cultural identity and learn to engage with worlds and ideas beyond their own experience.
The second Big Idea Making and creating meaning are processes that occur when we interpret and when we produce text, allowing the learner to engage in a real way with that text. This engagement builds and connects meaning in the conversation between the reader and the text. Both the first and second Big Ideas are ways of strengthening the enjoyment and enrichment of the first Big Idea. The Significant Learning in the Learning Matrix relates to the Big Ideas and is structured around two interconnected strands, each encompassing oral, written, and visual forms of the language:
- making meaning of ideas or information they receive
- creating meaning for themselves or others.
The third Big Idea is that learners develop a critical awareness that enables them to consider who wrote a text, for whom, why and whether it may have purposes that are not immediately apparent. This means that they:
- understand that writers of texts are influenced by their culture, values, beliefs, and sense of identity.
- use the above understanding to identify a writer’s point of view, their purpose for writing, and the language techniques the writer has used.
- begin to reflect critically on the explicit and implicit messages in the text, as well as how they have been presented by the writer to the audience.
Reading and Writing:
These core skills are taught and assessed at all levels. All junior classes read and study short stories, novel and poetry through the year, in preparation for the NCEA programme in the senior school.
We also use software programmes like Writers’ Toolbox for Years 9 & 10 as well as StepsWeb , to lift the literacy skills of our priority learners. We encourage our students to enter poetry and short story writing competitions which are advertised throughout the year by class teachers.
Speaking and Listening:
All students are offered the opportunity to deliver a speech in class or to a small group. We hold speech competitions at each year level and present best-speaker cups at our prizegiving. In addition, students compete in public speaking competitions outside of the classroom such as the Lions Secondary Schools Speech Competition and the Race Unity Speech Competition.
We also run an active Debating Club with regional competitions at the senior and junior levels. Our seniors also compete at the national level in the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships and there is an opportunity to represent our region at national level.
Presenting and Viewing:
Film is studied at all levels as being able to analyse visual texts is an important skill. Film study focuses on the production techniques used and the director’s intention in using them.
What do we offer?
Hospitality is a skills-based subject offered at Tauraroa Area School. It prepares you for a future career in the hospitality industry, particularly food preparation and barista training. It covers level one and level two industry-based unit standards. Students are provided with an individual workbook and all ingredients are provided. You will learn useful preparation and presentation skills.
Subjects covered at level one include units on preparing and presenting dishes such as fruit and vegetables, meats, eggs and cheese, cakes, scones, sponges, soups and sauces, and hot finger foods. Knife skills and career pathways in the hospitality industry are also covered.
Level two includes units on different cooking methods, frying, roasting, and grilling. Salads, sandwich making, knife skills, and food hygiene. Some experience in catering for events is encouraged.
Students also attend courses on barista training and food and beverage service at Te Pukenga Northtec. There are no external exams in this subject.
Sustainable Rural Development
Learning in Agricultural and Horticultural Science develops students’ understanding of the interconnectedness of all aspects of the growing environment, which includes people, soils, water, climate, plants, and animals.
This subject focuses on primary production and predominately stops at the site gate, excluding businesses that support the primary industry. Ākonga will learn about on-site decisions as well as the off-site considerations that influence the production of primary products. There is a strong emphasis on environmental, social, cultural, and economic sustainability, and a focus on innovation in response to economic and environmental challenges.
Primary production is of national significance as it provides significant export earnings, self-sufficiency, and employment opportunities. The knowledge and skills that ākonga develop through their learning in Agricultural and Horticultural Science open pathways to a wide range of opportunities in life, further study, and career, in Aotearoa New Zealand, the Pacific, and elsewhere.
The subject provides valuable opportunities for hands-on practical work that will help establish ākonga appreciation for the growing environment.
What do we offer?
The Visual Art programme offers a range of arts up to and including Year 11. This includes disciplines such as Design, Ceramics, Painting, Printmaking and Drawing. In Years 12 and 13 students are offered the specialist subject of Painting in school, and a range of other disciplines through online learning.
Students who have been through the Tauraroa Area School Visual Arts programme have gained the highest success possible in the New Zealand education system. Subject endorsements of Excellence is common, and Painting Scholarship has been attained within the department. Senior students visit Auckland Universities specialising in Visual Arts programmes. Every student from our department has gained their first choice when going on to study a Visual Art discipline at University.
Employers and University courses are increasingly looking for the skills taught in Visual Art. Patience, perseverance, creativity, communication, problem-solving, observation, and critical thinking are among the real-world expertise that Visual Arts teaches.