The Year 7 & 8 programme at Whangarei Heads School


 While fully a part of the school we also recognise that the needs of year 7 and 8 children are unique.  We make specific provision for those needs within specially targeted programmes.



Whangarei Heads School is seizing the opportunity!

‘Excellence through Action’

 At our school we believe in real experiences for real learning. We believe in achieving ‘excellence through action’. Our Intermediate school aged children engage with the rich learning opportunities that their local environment provides.

 Our school is located on the slopes of iconic Mt Manaia and at the entrance to beautiful Whangarei Harbour. This gives us the unique opportunity to use the special place where we live, to grow our young people into confident, connected, lifelong learners.

 The ‘excellence through action’ programme of learning seizes the opportunity that the NZ Curriculum provides by integrating the learning of core curriculum subjects such as reading, writing and maths into outdoor contexts such as Whangarei Harbour, Mt Manaia and many more.  Students  connect with, investigate and take action within our community. Our students are not limited by the traditional classroom setting and draw on learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

 To deliver this exciting programme of learning we aim to establish strong relationships with Whangarei and Whangarei Heads community organisations and business, and draw on their knowledge and skills to help us provide the best possible learning opportunities for our young people. We aim to build a profile in the north and beyond as an innovative school that achieves ‘excellence through action’


 Year 7 & 8s and the full primary school….

 Our year 7 and 8 programme is based on the New Zealand Curriculum.  This means that the basic framework for curriculum delivery is prescribed by the Ministry of Education (and audited by the Education Review Office) to ensure that our year 7 and 8 children have programmes similar to year 7 and 8 children in secondary, area or intermediate schools.

 We make a special effort to encourage the development of leadership skills by giving these students opportunities for taking responsibility, as well as privileges within the school. We work on a model of mutual respect and mutual trust.

 In the full primary situation we are able to integrate specialist subjects into classroom programmes using authentic contexts, rather than having blocks of time set aside for these independent of other classroom learning and activities.  For example, we teach Technology on site and have built a new kitchen, have resourced a workshop and provide sewing instruction.  We teach these in authentic contexts and vary the programme each year.

 Our Year 7 & 8 students form a valuable part of our school ‘family’. They are all encouraged to take care of younger children in the school and to be aware of the needs, thoughts and feelings of others. We also encourage them to have input into planned programmes so that we can take advantage of their interests, talents and passions.

Advantages of a full Primary School

 Education within a safe rural / coastal environment comparatively free from the pressures and diversions of a large urban school. This allows students to build inner strength and self esteem.

  • Opportunities for all students to develop leadership attributes as school seniors.

  • Education in an environment where children feel safe and where children’s individuality is encouraged and valued.

  • Education in a school where they are already well known by staff. This aids the quick transfer of relevant information between teachers - skills and interests are already known and any specific needs for support can be planned for.

  • Interaction with other schools and opportunities to extend their peer group network.

  • Education within an environment which is closely monitored.

 In more specific terms the year 7 and 8 programme at Whangarei Heads School offers 

  • Class numbers lower than in most urban schools.  Our aim is to keep class numbers in the low to mid twenties enabling more individualised instruction and better access to learning resources.

  • Working in close contact with the local environment encouraging connection, ownership and responsibility.

  • Specialist teaching in Technology (on site), private tuition in music  available on site.

  • Participation of all children in leadership programmes such as the Whangarei Youth Summit.

  • Opportunity to take on a specific responsibility through the Community Services programme as well as general responsibilities as leaders within the school.

  • Strong, consistent & supportive behaviour management ensuring learning can occur without disruption.

  • Specific programmes tailored for children ages 11 to 13.  These include Inquiry Learning (information processing skills) and thinking skills.

  • Opportunities to develop skills and lead activities in areas of particular interest.

  • Opportunities for individualised support and instruction in areas of need.

  • Opportunities for extension including 

..  Science & Technology Fair

..  Inquiry Learning – Info skills

..  Thinking Skills

..  Marae stay

..  Debating

..  Careers Programme

..  Learning Languages

..  Sports exchanges

..  Passion Time – special interest activities

  • Integration of computer skills and associated technologies.

  • Excellent outdoor education opportunities –

  • Sports programmes & leadership opportunities.

  • Staff who are committed to working in close partnership with each other, and with parents.

  • A firm commitment to teaching core basic skills in English & Maths. All staff have been involved in recent professional development in these areas.

  • High emphasis on Health Education – an holistic approach to developing the ‘whole child’.

  • Authentic opportunities for Environmental Education.

The step to secondary school

 We take seriously our responsibility to prepare our seniors for secondary school.  We have regular liaison with local secondary schools to help ensure that our seniors are prepared academically and socially for this important step. 


 Physical Resources

  • Well resourced classrooms.

  • Large multi-purpose room.

  • Specialist art room.

  • Well resourced e-learning technologies.

  • Amplifier and sound system

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