Curriculum Overview

At Whangārei Heads School we have a rich, balanced curriculum that derives from the unique marine and bush environment that surrounds our school. Our localised curriculum has a strong emphasis on Environmental Education and our role as Kaitiaki or Guardians for “Our Place.”

We teach and learn across all learning areas from the NZ Curriculum, using a range of resources that take into account students interests and passions. The Key Competencies underpin our curriculum; thinking, managing self, participating and contributing, languages, symbols and text, and relating to others. 

Ākonga are encouraged to use agency in their learning; having the opportunity to have ownership and choice in how, where and what they learn.  This builds a sense of responsibility, initiative, self identity and self efficacy.  Learner agency develops self direction, an understanding of how I learn best, and connect with others.

Our teachers deliver learning to ākonga through a number of approaches including; learning through play, STEAM and inquiry learning. 

Languages: All ākonga learn Te Reo and Tikanga Māori using Level 1 of Te Aho Arataki Marau – Kura Auraki or the Curriculum Guidelines for Teaching and Learning Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools: Years 1–13. In addition to this our Year 7 and 8 students learn an additional language; such as Spanish or NZ Sign Language

The Arts: The Whangārei Heads Community has a rich and vibrant Arts Community and our Arts Curriculum is supported by community members who provide music lessons and visual arts lessons. The Arts are celebrated on a regular basis with our School Production and Visual Art Exhibition. 

Heath and PE: Through our Health and PE programme ākonga will be encouraged to set realistic and worthwhile goals and to develop healthy patterns of living.  They will learn to respect differences of viewpoint and lifestyle and will be encouraged to develop personal responsibility and judgment in matters of culture, values and ethical standards

Literacy: Reading and Writing are a key focus, across all Year Levels.  ākongatransition from “Learning How to Read and Write” to using “Reading and Writing to Learn” as they move through the various developmental stages. 

Mathematics: Learning revolves heavily around mixed ability grouping, shared problem solving tasks, and rich mathematical contexts that relate to everyday situations.

Sciences: Science has been a strength of the school in recent years with particular focus on local issues. For example, the impact on the environment by the refinery, marine life, kauri dieback and early settlers.

Social Sciences: Social Sciences enables ākonga to observe, to wonder and be curious about people, places and society. It is important for ākonga to know what makes us who we are, our culture, our identity. Our Social Science Curriculum places emphasis on our Nova Scotian heritage alongside that of the tangata whenua Ngati Kahui.

Technology: Technology has a design focus that allows students to be innovative and reflective as they create models, prototypes and systems that benefit others.  Technology encourages critical thinking and reflective skills as they follow the design process. 

Digital Technology: Digital technology is used across all ages as a tool to support learning.  We believe in the importance of using Digital Technology to create rather than consume.  Akonga learn about simple coding and have access to a range of devices throughout their time at Whangarei Heads.