OUR LEARNING AREAS
Step into the exciting new learning experiences on offer at Hastings Girls’ High School. Our goal is to challenge and inspire students and give them the freedom to be creative in their learning as they develop values, skills and knowledge in a context relevant to their identity, strengths and interests. Whether experimenting with science, trying a new language, or creating in our drama, technology or art rooms, their learning will allow them to become more curious, confident and connected, enabling them to flourish in their chosen pathway.
Our curriculum, our learning
Junior students select a learning hub for each year. Our Junior curriculum starts from the big ideas and enduring understandings that are central to us as human beings, a society and a global world.
Over two years, curriculum study unpacks the concepts and critical thinking around Change, Identity, Social Justice, Sustainability, Belonging, Curiosity, Creativity, and Survival. Learning combines cross-curricular understandings with specialist knowledge and skills. All students continue to develop Literacy, Numeracy, Science, and Physical Education skills.
Literacy and numeracy
Our teaching staff are committed to developing strong literacy and numeracy skills for our Junior students to ensure success at NCEA and are engaged in Professional Development in both areas. Throughout the junior school we identify students in need of extra assistance and put plans in place to support them. Our Learning Support Coordinator, SENCO, ELL specialist and specialist Teacher Aides (some bilingual) work closely together to ensure girls have the basic tools they need for further learning. Senior students will also offer peer tutoring through our Tuakana Teina programme.
Enrichment is provided for all students within the classroom and through EOTC opportunities. In addition, Junior students may take an NCEA subject(s) in an area of strength, participate in Tournament of Minds, debating and CEM exams.
Junior Hub Overview
Hastings Girls' High School is recognised nationally as being innovative and courageous with our direction. Our place-based local curriculum design is one example of why our strategic direction is gaining such attention.
We are committed to building a curriculum which is responsive to the interests, skills and strengths of our girls. We know that when we spend time doing the things we love best, we are more confident in taking risks and learning new things, we excel beyond expectation. To achieve this vision, we have created a junior school which is shaped around our students.
Through researching best practice models, trialling and partnering with curriculum experts, we have built a curriculum model which we believe will best prepare our students for senior school. Considerable thought has been given to aligning our junior curriculum, the new NCEA framework (2022), the National Education and Learning Priorities, and the refreshed New Zealand Curriculum.
Just as with the students, the teachers of each subject area also have a keen interest in the focal point of the Hub. The teachers work as a team, collaborating to create a rich curriculum which enables the students to extend their skills and knowledge in their specific curriculum area, through the one common lens. This purpose-led collaboration between staff creates opportunity for them to draw in each other’s strengths and continuously inquire into the impact of their teaching actions on student learning, and make informed changes to improve their teaching practice, enhancing student learning outcomes.
Working in a hub
The school day is split into ‘blocks’ of time with each block assigned to a core learning area. Skills and knowledge specific to the core learning area are taught during this time.
Learning within the block may also connect to learning occurring in other core learning areas. This crossover is intentional and helps students make meaning from new learning. Learning across all core learning areas is through the lens of the Hub focal point.
How does a hub work
Our Junior School is made up of a range of learning ‘Hubs’. The focal point which sits at the centre of each Hub provides the overarching concept from which all other learning areas connect, bridging facts, skills and knowledge across specialist subject areas. The focal point gives the student purpose to their learning as it connects with their individual area of interest, skill and strength.
Each Hub is made up of a mix of Year 9 and 10 students. Surrounding each Hub are subject specialist teachers (Science, Mathematics, Physical Education, Social Studies, English). Junior students also have Te Reo included in their timetable, however this is not connected to the focal point of the Hub.
Choosing a hub
On enrolment, students will be able to select from a smorgasbord of Hubs, each with their own unique focal point. They will name three Hubs, in order of priority which they feel would be the best fit for their learning. This student selection process will guide class placement for the year. At the end of their first year in the junior school, students will repeat this selection process.
Our Senior curriculum is centred around pathways to develop high interest or future contexts, achieve excellence, and encourage student choice. We offer learning in a wide range of subject areas, including Psychology up to Level 3, a subject not currently offered at other local schools. At NCEA Level 1 we encourage students to learn across a broad range of areas and skills. All students take an English and a Mathematics pathway. At NCEA Level 2 all students take an English pathway.
Students may choose to take an NCEA level a year ahead in a strength learning area and Scholarship options are available in Year 13. We always do our best to support student choices and we have a strong relationship with Te Kura, the online school, at which students can have dual enrolment to study areas such as NCEA Spanish. We know that what we do creates young women who flourish and excel - strong NCEA achievement and ever increasing Merit and Excellence endorsement numbers are evidence of this.