Junior Curriculum


English involves learning the skills too become confident and literate thinkers. Each Year 9 student will continue to develop her spoken and written expression; her listening and reading skills; her awareness of how she communicates through the visual media and her ability to understand what she views and watches.


The emphasis in Mathematics is on building confidence and improving competence in numeracy skills, developing problem solving strategies and learning to think mathematically.


Science involves learning about and understanding the world in which we live. Science and technology are major influences in our daily lives. Each Year 9 students will meet many situations and will carry out experiments and investigations. These will help her develop skills in observation, testing ideas, recording and interpreting data, researching and using scientific equipment. She will learn to ask the questions “why” and “how” to clarify her ideas.

Social Studies

Social Studies helps students’ understanding of the world and provides them with the skills and knowledge to play their role in society. The focus in Year 9 is on the relationships that exist between people and the environment. They will also learn about how societies and communities function and gain an understanding of the diverse cultures and identities of people within those communities. Learning about past events and experiences and how they have been interpreted over time will help them understand the past, the present and imagine possible futures. Economic activities are also studied so that students gain an understanding of their place in the economic world. Each Year 9 student  will explore and analyse values and develop research skills through social inquiry.

Physical Education and Health

In Physical Education and Health students develop their understanding of the concept of hauora/well-being and factors which influence their health. They will learn a variety of motor skills,a range of interpersonal skills, positive teamwork strategies and an understanding of basic anatomy and physiology.  Positive attitudes towards personal fitness and health are encouraged.

The Arts

Students study all four aspects of the Arts curriculum: Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts. In Year 9 they learn in each area for one term. The purpose of our Arts course is to provide an introduction to a more thorough investigation of the Arts in Year 10. Students will develop the skills necessary to work both independently and collaboratively to construct meaning and produce works.

Visual Art

Visual Art explores a range of art making skills. Students are introduced to observational drawing in pencil, ink, dye and paint. They investigate art from a range of cultural origins and produce specific artistic outcomes that range from an intricate pattern design to a coloured still life painting and a relief sculpture work.

Students are introduced to instruments, composing and song writing. They investigate different musical genres and study music theory. Itinerant music teachers provide free tuition in strings, percussion, wind instruments, the guitar and voice.  Students who participate in itinerant music lessons are expected to be part of a choir or musical group at school.


Dance explores a range of expressive movement that has intent, purpose and form. Students learn to express personal, group and cultural identities to convey and interpret artistic ideas and to strengthen social interaction. Student will develop practical knowledge and skills in performance and choreography.


Drama is the expression of the human experience through a range of theatrical techniques and forms. It provides students with the opportunity to develop a wide range of personal and performance skills. Students will workshop and investigate a number of theatre forms such as mime and improvisation, building towards a group performance.Marimba


Sudents are introduced to instruments, performance - solo, and in groups.  They investigate musical genres and studymusic theory.  Itinerant music teachers are employed so that free tuition in strings, percussion, wind instruments, the guitar, and voice are available.


All students study Languages and in Year 9 they choose two  subjects from those listed below. As an alternative some students may be invited into the Learning Development Programme to support their literacy in all subjects.

Te Reo Maori

Maori is one of the official languages of New Zealand. Students learn to use and enjoy Te Reo Maori (language) and Tikanga Maori (cultural) aspects which are an important part of New Zealand life.


French is a European and international language spoken by people throughout the world.  It is one of the official languages of the European Community and has strongly influenced the development of English.


Japanese is one of the languages of Asia, and at Avonside there are opportunities to interact with Japanese native speakers.  The students also lear to write with Japanese characters.

Learning Development Programme

Learning Development is an alternative course to learning an international language.  It aims to strengthen student's literacy and numeracy skills so that they are  able to learn well in all curriculum areas.


The Technology curriculum provides students the opportunity to gain experience in design, planning and problem solving in small groups as they design, construct and evaluate projects. Adaptations and innovations are at the heart of technological practice.

Students will experience an integrated Technology programme that enables them to develop broad technological literacy through integrated projects in which students explore multiple learning context such as design, materials, ICT and food.

Design and Visual Communication

Through Design and Visual Communication students are given opportunities to generate innovative ideas in response to a brief. They are introduced to visual communications, creative problem-solving through a range of drawing, modelling and presentation techniques.

Food Technology

Food technology focuses on the requirements of good nutrition and safe food handling. Students learn through practical activities where they prepare, cook and serve healthy food.

Textiles Technology

Textile technology provides students opportunities to develop a range of skills to plan and construct a textile item. Practical work is reinforced with technological literacy and the students learn decision making, problem solving and evaluation skills.

Hard Materials Technology

Hard Materials Technology enables students to design, plan and construct projects using a range of materials. They investigate and solve practical problems through the technological process.

Digital Technology

Digital technology enables the students to develop knowledge and skills in digital fluency, presentation and a variety of software programs.