Principal's Comment 21 June

Last year when we went through the Strategic Plan exercise, including a series of workshops for community, students and staff as well as the main digital survey on the school’s systems, a strong response identified our timetable and its complexity as a significant negative and a review was therefore part of the annual goals for 2019.  We have been working on that review for some while, and the result is a little reminiscent of the work we did last year on values, where ultimately we have simplified something that was complex and arrived at a much more workable and straight-forward model.  In essence, we have opted for a model that provides each Essential Learning Area of the New Zealand Curriculum equal time in Years 9 and 10, with the 25th hour set aside for a mentor programme that will work on the Key Competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum along with non-curricular work on core skills that students need as they prepare for the adult part of their lives.

Next year, for the first time, all Year 9 and 10 students will have access to all Essential Learning Areas where previously they have been required to choose between two of three in the case of The Arts, Languages, and Technology. Students will continue to have electives - such as different languages/arts/technologies - in each from which they choose.  

The Board of Trustees also responded to the call in the Strategic Plan workshops for the school to extend its work in Tikanga Māori, and that is included as a one hour per week course for all students at Year 9 within the Languages Essential Learning Area.  That Year 9 course is completed in Year 10 by the Treaty of Waitangi unit in Social Studies which looks at the Treaty as a thing of the past, a thing of the present and a thing of the future. The Tikanga Māori programme is a significant step up for the school and one that we think will make a real difference to our students’ ability to be conversant with tikanga Māori dimensions within the New Zealand society they will live in as adults.

For students in Years 11 to 13 the options structure continues as it is now, with the 25th hours mentor class being the major difference. 

The timetable as a whole has a single week structure rather than the existing Week A, Week B version and all school times match from interval onwards.  The start of the day is standardised for all students so that in 2020 parents and caregivers will no longer have what they reported as a significant frustration in not knowing when their children were due at school on any given day under our present timetable.  Wednesday will still have the later start for students, as staff complete professional learning that is increasingly allowing us to differentiate programmes to fit students’ individual needs.  Overall, the times are simpler and more consistent throughout the week.

The Board has approved the revised timetable for introduction in 2020.  You can see fuller details here:  2020 Timetable



Ross Sinclair