Avonside Girls’ High School follows the New Zealand curriculum and offers an extensive range of subjects from all essential learning areas. A broad and general curriculum in Year 9 and 10 provides a sound basis for girls moving into the senior school. Our curriculum is designed to offer students stimulating and challenging learning experiences and to ensure they are well prepared for gaining qualifications. We have a particular emphasis on developing students’ literacy and numeracy skills.
The senior school offers a wide range of subjects to cater for all students and to provide clear pathways to further study or work opportunities. Each year students are provided with a senior course booklet with detailed information on courses in Years 11 to 13. A multi-level timetable operates in the senior school to enable students to study at an appropriate level in a particular subject. The focus in the senior school is to ensure that students have opportunities to be confident and successful learners, ready to move on in the world of further education or work.
All Year 9 students study English, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education and Health, Social Studies, The Arts, Technology and Languages. There are some optional choices available within the Technology and Languages programmes. Students in Year 9 study English for four periods a week and all other subjects for three periods a week.
All Year 10 students study English, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education and Health, and Social Studies. All students take part in a two day compulsory outdoor education course as part of the Physical Education and Health programme. In addition they choose three other subjects. Students in Year 10 study Mathematics for four periods a week and all other subjects for three periods a week.
All students in Year 11 study a course in English, Mathematics and Science. They also choose three other subjects. There are also compulsory short courses in Health, Careers Education and Financial Literacy. All Year 11 students work towards the National Certificate of Education (NCEA) Level 1.
All students in Year 12 study a course in English and choose five other subjects. There are also compulsory short courses in Health, Careers Education and Financial Literacy. All Year 12 students work towards a National Certificate of Education (NCEA).
Year 13 students study five subjects. There are no compulsory subjects at this level. Weekly assemblies at Year 13 focus on preparation for future study or work. Students work towards a National Certificate of Education (NCEA) and University Entrance (UE). Scholarship is also offered for our most able students.
Opportunities for Extension and Learning Support
Avonside aims to support all students in achieving high academic standards and we therefore offer a range of support programmes for students of all ability levels, from the very able to those with learning difficulties.
In Year 9 extension opportunities are offered in each learning area. In addition a programme of specific extension activities are offered to selected students in the course of the year.
A Year 10 extension programme is offered for able students.
In the senior school, students are encouraged and supported to aim for Excellence endorsements in their subject results and in NCEA qualifications at all three levels. Seeking Scholarship passes at Year 13, in addition to NCEA Level 3 with Excellence, extends the very talented final year students.
Academic Competitions and Examinations
Students are encouraged to enter a range of national and international academic competitions such as the Australian Mathematics, Science, English Competitions, the Social Studies Expo and the United Nations Assembly. These competitions support and extend students’ problem solving, numeracy and literacy skills.
Senior Latin students are invited to sit the Latin Examination which is an international examination run by the American Classic League.
Language students participate in the annual Speaking Competitions in Japanese and French. The German Embassy Oskar Competition provides the opportunity for our students to exercise both their dramatic and German language skills.
Maori students take part in Nga Manu Korero competition every year.
Exchange Programmes and International Trips
A trip to Japan is organised every second or third year for senior students studying Japanese. They visit schools in Japan and experience the Japanese culture and language first hand through homestay.
Every year students in Year 12 German have the opportunity to take part in an exchange programme. They go to Germany and stay with a family during our summer vacation. They also visit Berlin.
There is an exchange for Year 12 French students with France every other year and also an exchange programme to Tahiti every year. Girls may be offered the chance to join a trip to New Caledonia.
Learning Support Programmes
The Learning Support team provides specific learning assistance to students, either individually or in small groups. Students can be referred to the Learning Support Department for support by their subject teachers, deans, counsellors, parents or through a self referral. This area also provides assistance to teachers in helping to meet individual student needs.
Academic assessments are carried out when necessary and programmes developed to meet the students’ needs. Support for Year 11-13 students is provided by an experienced teacher who is able to assist with specific study skills and programmes.
Assistance is available through a Mathematics Tutor, Teacher Aides, Individual Education Plans and the RTLB programme. A peer tutoring programme is available in which Year 13 students assist junior students with their work in the classroom.
ESOL (English for speakers of Other Languages)
ESOL is offered to students who come from a background where English is not their first language and who need to improve their English language skills. Class size and time is determined by the needs of the individual student.