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. In addition, students take Social Sciences, Performing Arts and Technology and all Year 9 learn Te Reo Māori. 

During their time in the junior school, students have opportunity to choose from a range of option areas, which can vary from year to year. These options may include: Visual Arts, High Performance Sport, Samoan, Business Studies, Spanish, Music and Drama.


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. Through the junior years 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. Wrap-around support is provided in smaller learning support groups for those who need it. Senior students will also offer peer tutoring through our Tuakana Teina programme.

Enrichment is provided for all students within the classroom and on 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.


Hastings Girls' High School - Ngā Rau Huia O Ākina is recognized 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. 


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.  


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.


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. 

Expression Through Visual Arts

Through creative and innovative thinking, students will develop knowledge and skills in a range of visual art forms. Using a range of media and techniques they will communicate ideas, developing their understanding and appreciation of different cultures and backgrounds.

  • Painting

  • Photography

  • Analysis

  • Drawing

  • Printmaking

  • Communication

Exploring the Great Outdoors

Adventurous students who thrive on spending time in the great outdoors will feel at home in this Hub. Each term, students will be immersed in learning about significant locations within our local whenua, starting with the beach then moving to native forests, mountains and volcanoes, and finally rivers and lakes. Through overnight camps, hiking and day trips, students will learn about conservation, water safety, and outdoor survival skills. The Great Outdoors Hub will enable students to develop a deeper appreciation for the role the natural world plays in our lives.

  • Adventures

  • Teamwork and trust

  • Conservation/kaitiakitanga

  • Skills to thrive and survive

  • Citizens of the natural world

  • Geology and maps

  • Self-reliance

  • Master oceans, rivers and mountains

  • Astronomy

Note: This Hub has a charge of $160 to cover the cost of travel, accommodation and food for trips throughout the year.

Building a Pathway to the Podium

In this Hub, students will take a holistic approach to athlete development. Through combining knowledge in sports psychology, hauora, skill development, fitness and strength conditioning, students will be supported on their pathway to become the best they can be in their chosen sport.

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Fair play

  • Sport and exercise psychology

  • Mental toughness

  • Goal setting

  • Nutrition

  • Fitness testing

  • Methods of training

  • Anatomy and biomechanics

Engineering Your Future

The sort of students who like to know how things work and enjoy building models and then testing them (model buildings/cars/rockets, etc) should consider this Hub. We investigate ideas in a practical way to find out "What happens if...?" Students will investigate and solve problems whilst building their understanding of our world. They will have the opportunity to learn and develop their knowledge of Mātauranga Māori and how this contributes to understanding the world in which we live.

  • STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics approaches

  • Curiosity – your favourite questions are “Why?” and “How?”

  • Robotics and coding

  • Investigating

The Studio

In this practical-based performance course we will be learning a variety of skills on musical instruments such as guitar, flute, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone and trombone. We will also create, perform and study drama and dance pieces. A wide range of different genres will be explored as we create authentic performances reflecting our views on the world.

  • Drama

  • Dance

  • Music

  • Instrument skills

  • Music theory

  • Improvisation

  • Spoken word

  • Scriptwriting

  • Composition and devising

Enterprising for Impact

An enterprising mindset approach will form the foundation for students to develop skills, knowledge, abilities and attributes essential to successful business ventures. Students will explore risk, communication, teamwork, initiative, strategy, leadership and build confidence through contexts of:

  • Social enterprise and changemaking

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Planning and prototype for business

  • Our economy

  • Marketing and brand development

  • Financial literacy and sustainability 

Te Whai

Students will explore the values, language, beliefs, and stories from the past. Through being immersed in the Māori culture, they will be able to apply this knowledge and understanding to their own cultural identity and place in the world.

  • Māori values/protocols

  • Music

  • Political issues

  • Past, present, future

  • My land, my identity

  • Kēmu Māori

  • Environmental Science

Te Ao Haka

Te Ao Haka is an opportunity for ākonga to engage in Māori culture, language, and traditions associated with Māori performing arts. Ākonga will pride themselves on expressing emotion through reo ā-waha, reo ā-tinana and reo ā-kanohi to communicate narratives.

  • Whakapapa

  • Tūrangawaewae

  • Whanaungatanga

  • Kotahitanga

Being a Kaitiaki

In the Kaitiaki Hub, students embark on a journey to understand and uphold their role as guardians of taonga species in Aotearoa. Through in-depth exploration and research, they delve into the intricate relationships between humans and animals, recognising the impact of human actions on the survival and well-being of these cherished species. Drawing inspiration from the traditional Māori worldview, students forge connections between cultural wisdom and contemporary conservation efforts. From studying wildlife habitats to exploring the effects of rāhui on preserving kaimoana, students emerge as passionate advocates for animal welfare and stewards of biodiversity, committed to safeguarding Aotearoa's invaluable treasures for generations to come.

Being an Innovative Designer

Many things make the world go round but innovation is what drives the world forward. Innovation has been the driver of evolution from the beginning of time. Design and innovation is about making things that are both beautiful and useful; it is a blend of design thinking, computational thinking, maker culture and business. Design and innovation is:

  • Creativity

  • Evolution

  • Problem solving

  • Experimenting and exploring

  • Communication

through the contexts of:

  • Architecture

  • Product design

  • Food Technology

  • Textiles; fashion

  • Media; advertising

  • Feasibility; marketability

Tautua Pasifika

Students will explore the values, language, beliefs, and stories from the past. Through being immersed in the Pacific culture, they will be able to apply this knowledge and understanding to their own cultural identity and place in the world. 

  • Pasifika community

  • Identity

  • Performance

  • Languages

  • Customs and traditions

  • Environmental issues


Year 9 Elective Options
Below are the Electives Year 9 students can choose from in 2024.

The Great Outdoors

A taster subject to learn about and gain skills to use in the great outdoors. May include, ocean/river swimming, bush walking, orienteering, camping skills. 

For students who don't mind being challenged, getting dirty and learning about our local environments.

Sports Science

This elective will give students the opportunity to understand how your body works and to learn how to train it to be better. Not only does the course help you to improve physically but will also look at goal setting and how to be strong mentally. 

The things that you will cover are: 

  • Anatomy of the body, e.g. muscles and bones

  • Components of fitness

  • Fitness testing

  • Nutrition

  • Goal setting

Media Technology

Media Technology is the use of digital technologies to compose, create, produce, deliver and manage media outcomes. 

You will use cutting edge Adobe software and practise the same skills that are used in industry.


This course will help you develop textile art and fashion related skills and knowledge. 

Try out a range of different textile art techniques such as felting, weaving and macramé and/or learn to use the sewing machine, read patterns and manipulate materials to create new items.

Design and Visual Communication

Design is everywhere. It’s exciting, creative and ever-changing. Every product and space you use has been designed, from your toothbrush and your bathroom, to your tablet and your bedroom. Design and visual communication focuses on understanding and applying visual communication techniques and design practice to design objects, spaces and systems to improve the way we live.

Te Reo Māori - Te Kākano

Our introductory course explores Te Reo Māori me ōna Tikanga through the context of identity and tūrangawaewae. Students will be empowered by an in-depth exploration of who they are and where they come from. This course will introduce:

  • Pepeha

  • Whakapapa

  • Mai te kore ki te ao mārama

  • Taku tuakiri

  • Taku iwi, taku tūrangawaewae


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