Curriculum Studies Guide

Curriculum Studies Guide 2024


Choosing subjects for the following year is an important process. Course selections can have implications for future pathways, so it is important that students fully understand their subject choices and the impact of those choices on their future career options.

Option choice should be determined by evaluating: a) Previous study b) Possible future career needs c) Necessity for future career flexibility d) Ability – discuss this with subject teachers and do not underestimate the value of hard work and committed effort e) Interest in – and enjoyment of – the subject. Subject teachers, Mentors, Housemasters, Assistant Principal – Curriculum Nicole Billante and Careers Advisor Chris Sellars are all available to discuss options and future pathways.

The Curriculum Studies Guide is designed to give students and parents an overview of the curriculum structure at Christ’s College to support their decision-making. Specific course information is provided in further detail in the course booklets, published at Year 10, Year 11, and NCEA levels. Some students already know their chosen path, and for those students their subject choices are clear. However, many students are still considering several future options. For this reason, we aim to offer a wide range of choices for as long as possible. Generally, it is important that every student – within the practical limitations of his abilities – takes a broad range of options, maintaining essential subjects like Mathematics and some Sciences and literacy-rich subjects such as English and Humanities where possible.

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Curriculum leaders

Art Darryn George

Biology Dr Graeme Swanson

Design & Digital Technologies Monique Ellis-Martin

English Chris Waugh

Assistant Principal – Curriculum Nicole Billante

Learning Centre & ESOL Gil Kilpatrick

Mathematics Samantha Squire

Careers Advisor Chris Sellars

Physical Education & Health Rob Clarke

Psychology Travis Dixon

Classical Studies Olivia Austin

Earth & Space Science Anna Johnston

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Chemistry Scott Franklin

Commerce Katie Southworth

Drama Hannah Clarkson

History Samantha Stevenson

International Culture & Languages Elaine Tang

Geography Neil Nicholson

Māori & Indigenous Studies Keri Campbell

Music Robert Aburn

Physics David Newton

Religious Education The Rev'd Canon Cameron Pickering

Workshop Technologies Emma Bradley-Hudson


Curriculum and qualifications

NCEA Qualification Expertise & Excellence

Christ’s College Diploma Choice & Challenge

Year 9 Foundation

Year 9 – the foundation for learning In Year 9, all boys are exposed to all subject areas on offer throughout their time at Christ’s College. By experiencing the breadth that the curriculum offers, boys have the foundational knowledge for academic success. We focus on using academic information to understand each boy’s needs and potential pathways. A data-driven approach to academic strengths and weaknesses allows us to target areas for support and extension throughout a boy’s years at College.

The Christ’s College Diploma – Choice & Challenge The Christ’s College Diploma is a two-year academic programme in Years 10–11, based on educational research on best practice in boys’ education. While there are compulsory subjects, boys can choose the content and context of these subjects in many learning areas. In addition to compulsory core subjects, boys undertake preparation courses designed to deepen learning in preparation for NCEA Level 2. The Diploma also gives boys the opportunity to be recognised for excellence outside the classroom. To graduate from the Diploma programme, boys complete a range of opportunities across six character elements that use the Round Square IDEALS to work towards the Christ’s College Graduate outcomes. Students who go above and beyond to show initiative and have an impact in

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these areas can be awarded Silver and Gold Diplomas to recognise their holistic educational experience.

achieve qualifications in a learning environment that supports their future directions. NCEA Level 2 is a gateway qualification for most non-degree pathways, so students have ample opportunities to ensure all options remain open. More details relating to each NCEA subject can be found in the NCEA Course Booklet. Further information about NCEA is available at Scholarship is an award, not a qualification, and is gained by external examinations. It aims to identify and recognise academic excellence. University Entrance Students qualify for entrance into a New Zealand university if they have obtained a minimum of 60 credits at Level 3 or higher, including a minimum of 14 credits at Level 3 in each of three approved subjects, and they have gained Level 3 NCEA. The following are also required: • A minimum 10 credits at Level 1 or higher in Mathematics for numeracy • A minimum 10 credits at Level 2 or higher for literacy; 5 credits must be in reading and 5 credits must be in writing, and these credits can come from a range of subjects.

More specific details relating to the subjects in the Christ’s College Diploma can be found in the Year 10 course booklet and Year 11 course booklet. NCEA – Expertise & Excellence Years 12–13 courses are designed to explore – in-depth – the knowledge base of the given subjects and assess a variety of skills through the NCEA framework. Most courses are Achievement Standards-based, meaning students have opportunities for course and overall endorsements at Achieved, Merit, or Excellence level. NCEA is awarded at three levels based on the subjects in Years 12 and 13. The qualification is based mainly on Achievement Standards that are worth a number of credits. Students will need to achieve at least 80 credits overall to receive the certificate at each level. A normal course in a subject at a particular year level averages from 18–21 credits. Credits gained through Unit Standards also contribute to NCEA. NCEA courses prepare students for study at New Zealand or overseas universities. Christ’s College assesses both internally and externally (in-class assignments or tests and national examinations). This benefits boys’ self-management skills and experience in examination settings, better preparing students for study beyond secondary school. We recognise that Each boy at his best means we have students on many different pathways, not just university-bound. Our NCEA courses, which cater to a variety of needs and interests, are growing, providing students with opportunities to


Career planning

The main emphasis in careers guidance is helping individuals make their own decisions based on a true understanding of their abilities, skills, interests, work values and personality, along with being able to recognise their options to enable future careers. Today, people more frequently face ongoing, successive work and study transitions, and career changes and developments. It is important to equip everyone with the skills to make career-planning decisions. Guidance is not simply based on the concept of matching people and jobs. The process involves: (A) Assessing yourself – the internal factors 1. Abilities 2. Occupational values – for example, status, security, challenge, creativity, independence, teamwork, location 3. Interests – personal/vocational (possible career fields) 4. Skills (practised abilities): • Thinking/creative/problem-solving • Communication/interpersonal • Business and management

4. School subjects and marks required 5. Lifestyle requirements 6. Culture and religion

7. Work experience (job requirements, work environment, occupational characteristics) 8. Job availability. (C) Internal factors + external influences + job criteria = suitability (D) Researching and generating several career options for evaluation Generally, the more people learn about themselves and careers, the better and more informed their decisions will be. Students must understand career planning requires time and effort in: 1. Assessing their abilities, work values, interests, skills and personality 2. Using the resources of the Careers Room to gather information and ideas 3. Consulting and talking to the Careers Advisor,

teachers, parents and friends 4. Visiting tertiary institutions

5. Contacting people in the workplace for further discussion, information and work experience. The process begins in junior years, with students developing a career plan. Planning and decision- making should not be left until the third term of Year 13, as some polytechnic courses close in August and halls of residence applications are due by 1 October. The well-resourced Careers Room is open every school day from 8.30am–4pm for students to research career interests and receive help from Careers Advisor Chris Sellars.

• Numerical • Language

• Technological/computer • Information and research • Ability to keep on learning and adapting. 5. Personality and character (B) Considering external influences 1. Family expectations and pressures 2. Peer group pressure 3. Media images of the occupation

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YEAR 12 NCEA Level 2

YEAR 13 NCEA Level 3



Accounting Agribusiness Art (General) Art (Design, Painting, Photography, Sculpture) Art History (online provider) Biology Building Construction Business & Enterprise Chemistry Classical Studies Design & Visual Communication (DVC) Digital Technologies Drama Earth & Space Science Economics English Financial Literacy French Geography

Health History Japanese Materials Technology Mathematics

Mathematics with Calculus Mathematics with Statistics Media Studies Mechanical Engineering Music Physical Education Physics Psychology

Religious Education Sports Leadership Te Ao Ma¯ori Te Reo Ma¯ori Wellbeing (MindFIT)


Subject taught

Compulsory for all

Subject not taught


Subject descriptions

Art (Visual) and Art History Art plays an integral role in any culture as artworks shape and reflect our heritage and traditions. Generating art is a form of personal, social, and cultural expression that enables students to reflect their views of the world. It is a means by which students have opportunities for imaginative and innovative thought. In any Art course, students have the opportunities to express themselves through making and presenting artworks. Understanding the conventions of the art form is a core step in enabling students to produce their own work. Students will also respond to, and interpret, others’ artwork and learn about diverse art forms both within and beyond New Zealand. The study of Art and its history is a valuable means to gaining a deeper understanding of history, society and culture. By looking at the art of the past, we gain insight into how people viewed themselves and their world. Biology An understanding of basic Biology concepts has never been as important as it is now. Current events highlight the importance of being able to make informed decisions about our health and lifestyle, and the impacts we all have on the planet. The subject of Biology at Christ’s College is designed to be both relevant and fun. In junior years, it covers such topics as Conservation, Biotechnology and Nutrition. The course aims to spark an appreciation and interest in the wonders of life, building the foundations for further study or general knowledge.

The senior Biology courses delve further into specialisation, including ecological systems, genetics and human evolution, and life processes. Students are exposed to the vastness and interconnected nature of Biology. Biology is the essence of how life exists and develops. Whether taking Biology for career aspirations (such as medicine or agriculture) or a desire to understand the complexity and intricacy of living organisms, all boys can develop a greater understanding of their rapidly changing world and discuss the very “meaning of life”. Chemistry Chemistry is one of the most essential sciences in our world. Learning Chemistry means learning about the properties of substances and how these substances can change. It is learning about the fundamental building blocks of the world, and how these fit together to create life as we know it. It is learning about why our bridges fall apart when we do not protect them, how we can improve the lifespan of our food supplies and how we can create life-saving medications and the clothes on our back. Knowledge in Chemistry means understanding the changes to our global climate, the engineering behind revolutionary alloys, how rockets are propelled into the atmosphere, and how soaps clean and disinfect our skin from harmful microorganisms. Chemistry is not just one of the most interesting and exciting subjects, it is essential to success in careers as diverse as medicine, forensics, engineering, environmental science, farming, pharmaceuticals, biochemistry, food science, technology, scientific research, law, and dentistry.

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Our world is becoming increasingly complex and scientifically dependant. By preparing informed and scientifically literate students, we prepare them to participate in the world to its fullest extent. Classical Studies Classical Studies is the study of Ancient Greece and Rome, underlining the immense influence of these ancient Western cultures on our current world. Understanding the values and experiences of the Greeks and Romans is a window into understanding our own values and society. Classical Studies lifts knowledge retention, recall and essay-writing skills, with students learning to reason using historical facts to create a picture of life in classical times and to interpret classical literature in translation and find relevance in its own time and a modern context.

At junior levels, Commerce covers the basics of all disciplines to ensure breadth of knowledge and understanding, allowing boys to develop areas of interest and enjoyment, while in the senior school, students can specialise. Economics covers both microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts, looking at the choices and decisions made in order to allocate resources. Accounting provides an insight into how organisations process and present accounting information, both manually and with software, and how they make informed decisions based on their financial position to better their outcomes. Agribusiness offers a practical insight into how primary industry organisations operate and function. Business & Enterprise considers all types of organisations – ranging from 20 employees to large global organisations – with an emphasis on applying the practical start-up process of a small local enterprise.


(Accounting, Economics, Business & Enterprise, and Agribusiness) The Commerce department offers courses in Economics, Accounting, Business & Enterprise and Agribusiness.


Subject descriptions

Drama In a society where effective communication is vital, the study of Drama develops invaluable skills for later life. Drama enhances students’ creative abilities, providing a better understanding of themselves and their world. By exploring Drama contexts relating to identity, societies, cultures, ideologies, time and change, students become more critically reflective and aware. Drama fosters self-discipline, confidence and teamwork while also developing skills in interpreting, researching, negotiating, problem-solving and decision-making. In Years 9–10, students love being on their feet and working with others through Drama in an exciting, energy-driven classroom constantly offering new ways to develop awareness, take risks and build confidence. By the time students reach senior school, they are ready to rise to the challenge of portraying a range of characters, creating dynamic theatre and looking critically at social and historical aspects of different theatrical forms and practitioners. Earth & Space Science Earth & Space Science is a unique area of scientific study that falls outside the confines of – but also connects to – the more traditional ‘three sciences’. Current events highlight how important it is to understand the science of our physical world. The planet is an amazing and complex place, providing a wealth of areas for study. Exploring interconnections between the land, ocean and atmosphere builds students’ appreciation for the life of our planet. Students learn about how water, carbon, rock and other materials sustain and shape the planet and its inhabitants. Our place in the wider science of the universe is just as crucial, with a key focus on the interaction between Earth, the solar system, and the universe.

English and Media Studies The study of English is about exploring the power of language and literature. The means by which we communicate, express ideas, and tell stories are as vast as the stories themselves. English is no longer confined to the study of hefty tomes of literature, although this is still integral to the subject. Our world is filled with messages and communications that give us meaning about ourselves and our society, whether that be film and television, podcasts, or advertisements. The more our students can critically consider the messages they receive and create, the more understanding they can develop about the wider world. Students at Christ’s College are exposed to a wide range of traditional English literature and contemporary texts that give them both cultural knowledge and developed thinking skills. Media Studies extends the making and creating meaning lens to focus further on the relationship between society and media. By looking at the way media is constructed and replicating conventions of media production, students refine their understanding of the power of media in modern society. Geography Geography is concerned with the study of the world and how people relate to the environment, appealing to those students who have an interest in how the world works. The environment is a set of natural and cultural phenomena, all interacting with each other. The skills and knowledge gained through studying Geography support careers in areas requiring teamwork, research and an understanding of physical processes and how people interact with their environment.

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Geography guides students towards a critical appreciation of this interaction between society and the biophysical world. At Christ’s College, Geography provides plenty of opportunities to learn about the physical and social world through fieldwork and case studies. History History is about stories. We seek to understand the past using stories to determine the facts. From these stories, we hope to explain the decisions and processes that shape our world. We may recognise that today’s challenges are a repeat from the past, so we need to learn lessons from the past to make our world a better place. History is also the study of people – their actions, decisions, interactions and behaviours. It is compelling as it reveals human nature throughout time – power, weakness, corruption, tragedy and triumph. History also shows how differently people have thought about – and relate to – the world around them. The recent debate about colonialism in New Zealand or the removal of prominent public statues show that historical understanding is always changing. There is no better example to show that history is a vehicle to enhance our understanding of different perspectives and values. With an understanding of history and empathising with the perspectives, people will create a future of harmony.

“Languages and cultures play a key role in developing our personal, group, national, and human identities. Every language has its own ways of expressing meanings; each has intrinsic value and special significance for its users.” (NZC, Learning Languages) Courses in Modern Languages extend students' cultural and linguistic understanding, providing new skills in how to interact appropriately and empathetically with other cultures. They learn new ways of thinking about, questioning, and interpreting the world and their place in it. Students build on the language acquired in Year 9. This includes listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. Mathematics By studying Mathematics and Statistics, students develop the ability to think creatively, critically, strategically, and logically. They learn to structure and organise, carry out procedures flexibly and accurately, process and communicate information, and enjoy intellectual challenge. By learning Mathematics and Statistics, students develop other important thinking skills. They learn to create models and predict outcomes, to conjecture, to justify and verify, and to seek patterns and generalisations. They learn to estimate with reasonableness, calculate with precision, and understand when results are precise and when they must be interpreted with uncertainty. Mathematics and Statistics have a broad range of practical applications in everyday life, in other learning areas, and in workplaces. (NZC, Why study mathematics and statistics)


(French, Japanese, and Te Reo Ma¯ori) Learning a second language is an integral part of becoming a global citizen in an ever-changing world.


Subject descriptions

Music The courses in Music are building on both solo and ensemble performance and the associated creative skills across students’ selected musical genres. It is strongly recommended that students have instrumental or voice lessons for these programmes. While the focus is on both performance and creating music, a working understanding of the concepts of music are covered, along with both the language of music relating to the students musical genre (classical, contemporary, jazz, rock, country). Listening skills and elements of music technology are integral to these programmes. Physical Education, Health & Wellbeing Physical Education, Health & Wellbeing focus on the development of personal wellbeing through skills-based physical education and developing knowledge of issues that affect personal health, character and wellbeing. Within these courses, there is an emphasis on developing a wide range of motor, interpersonal and problem-solving skills, as well as equipping students with tools and resources to meet the needs of a changing and challenging world. Physical Education focuses on the practical development of the student. Boys have the opportunity to learn in, through and about movement. They develop their knowledge and understanding around the role of physical activity and how this influences and enhances their hauora. Students also investigate how the body adapts in sport and what position sport holds within contemporary New Zealand culture. Health & Wellbeing develops skills and tools that equip students with knowledge so that they can make safe, well-considered and positive decisions.

Students are introduced to the concepts of positive education, growth mindset, resilience, goal setting, and the PERMA model, as well as being guided by Te Whare Tapa Wha¯ model of health education. Physics Physics combines a sound theoretical base with considerable practical work and the use of technology. At all levels, students make and test things to see the application of basic theory. Physics opens the way to a very wide range of careers, including engineering, architecture, medical physics, environmental monitoring, telecommunication, research science, education, patent law, aerospace, flying, electricity production and supply, electronics, computer servicing, and diverse applications in industry and in industrial development. Examinations require students to show an understanding of the physics involved in a given context and be able to explain or calculate what will happen. The skill of applying knowledge to real-life situations is a recurrent theme. Students need to be confident in their mathematical skills in graphs, rearranging and using formulae and an ability to drive a calculator. NCEA assessment requires students to display understanding by explaining the Physics principles involved in a given situation.

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Psychology Psychology is the scientific study of how and why humans think and act the way they do. Understanding the origins of our thoughts and actions can help us develop emotional intelligence and empathy towards others, as well as better understanding of ourselves. Psychology is an ideal subject for students interested in topics such as criminology, mental health, resilience, the psychology of learning, motivation and ethics. Religious Education The systematic study of religion is an essential component of a complete education. Students learn to understand and interpret many current events. They explore their own values and develop ethical principles for life. They are encouraged to make connections with their other studies, such as History, Art, Science, Music, and Drama. They are provided with resources to better appreciate many elements of our life and culture. Each year, students study several interesting topics, including the origins of the world’s major religions and their continuing contributions, the foundations of Western culture and ethical issues in a rapidly changing world. Each year, the Bible, church history, ethics, religious ideas, practice and worship are examined at increasingly deeper levels. While Anglican perspectives are presented, other Christian denominations and other religions are studied respectfully. This introduction to the discipline of intellectual examination of deeply held beliefs also provides a non-judgemental environment in which the students can reflect on – and develop – their own positions on faith,

spirituality, ethics, values, meaning, wellness and morality.

Technology (Design & Visual Communication, Digital Technology, and Workshop Technology)

Technology is about innovation, intervention and exploration. Using applied skills, students create technological outcomes that expand human possibilities by considering real-world contexts, addressing user needs and looking for opportunities to design and create new ideas. Technology offers a broad range of learning for our boys, including architectural and product design- focused studies in Design & Visual Communication (DVC); digital design, programming, robotics and computational thinking skills developed in Digital Technology; and metal and wood construction with applied practical design understanding in our Workshop Technology courses. Our courses encourage students to work both independently and collaboratively in practical, engaging and fast-paced environments.

For further information about the courses offered under each subject, please see the relevant course booklet.


Year level overviews

Year 9 overview

Full-year subjects • English • Mathematics • Languages, choose ONE: • French • Japanese • Physical Education, Health & Wellbeing • Religious Education • Te Reo Ma¯ori

Trimester rotations • Arts – one-third of the year each of Art, Drama and Music • Sciences – one-third of the year each of Biology, Chemistry, Physics • Social Sciences – one-third of the year each of History, Geography, and Systems and Justice • Technology – one-third of the year each of DVC, Digital Technologies and Materials Technology

All classes have a compulsory programme in all areas except Languages, where boys choose ONE of the two international languages. Students may not always get their first choice of language.

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Year 10 overview All learning areas are compulsory at Year 10, where boys are assigned to some subjects and have course options in others. Most boys will complete Christ’s College Diploma core courses, with prep courses available in Languages or by agreement with the Assistant Principal – Curriculum. All courses are in semesters.

Assigned subjects • Mathematics • Science

Compulsory subjects with course selections • English • Arts

(two of either Biology, Chemistry, or Physics. The remaining Science completed in Year 11.) • Financial Literacy • Health • Religious Education • Te Ao Ma¯ori • Wellbeing

• Commerce • Languages • Physical Education • Social Sciences • Technology

For further information on the courses available at Year 10 and how to enter your options online, please see the Year 10 Course Booklet


Year level overviews

Year 11 overview All learning areas are compulsory for a minimum of one semester in Year 11. Boys will complete their core subjects as part of the Christ’s College Diploma and then have up to seven choices of prep courses to prepare them for NCEA Level 2. All courses are in semesters. Boys may choose to take fewer prep courses to pursue a wider array of core offerings or additional support.

Assigned core subjects • Mathematics • Science (the remaining science not completed in Year 10) • Financial Literacy (if not completed in Year 10) • Health • Religious Education • Wellbeing Compulsory core subjects with course selections • English • Arts • Commerce • Physical Education • Social Sciences • Technology

Subjects with prep courses available for selection • English • Mathematics • Biology • Chemistry • Commerce (Accounting, Economics) • Digital Technology • Drama • DVC • Earth & Space Science • French • Geography • History • Japanese

• Physical Education • Physics • Te Reo Ma¯ori • Visual Arts (Painting, Photography, or Sculpture) • Workshop and Materials Technology (Wood or Metal)

Agribusiness, Classical Studies, Art History, Media Studies and Psychology are introduced for the first time at Year 12 and do not have specific prep courses as a prerequisite. For further information on the courses available at Year 11 and how to enter your options online, please see the Year 11 Course Booklet

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Year 12 overview In Year 12, students study six subjects from the choice of NCEA Level 2 subjects. These will be assessed using NCEA Achievement Standards or Unit Standards. Most courses involve a formal written examination in November. In total, 60 credits are required to gain the Level 2 certificate at Level 2 or higher. A student must also have Level 1 Numeracy and Literacy to be awarded Level 2. Level 2 is also the first level in which students can gain University Entrance literacy credits. Most English and Humanities courses have Internal assessments that are literacy standards and a wide range of subjects have literacy credits available in external examinations.

Year 13 overview Students in Year 13 study five subjects. Traditionally, students select courses from NCEA Level 3 offerings, but students are able to continue Level 2 study where appropriate for their pathway. To gain the Level 3 certificate, 80 credits are required. However, 20 credits are carried over from Level 2. Entry into Level 3 subjects is not automatic and will depend on a student's performance the previous year. Scholarship is a separate examination assessing a higher level of understanding and application of knowledge from the Level 3 curriculum. Where Scholarship is offered, subjects often run additional tutorials outside class time to prepare students for the extra content and skills of Scholarship. Students wishing to undertake Scholarship for subjects should speak to their subject teachers.

For further information on the courses available at Years 12 and 13 and how to enter your options online, please see the NCEA Course Booklet


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