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Year 9 Course Booklet 2015 This booklet is intended to give you assistance in selecting a course for your son/daughter. It should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus, especially the page showing Subject Course Structure. If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to approach the Deans, Heads of Departments or Senior Staff. Staff members may also be contacted via email using for example

YEAR NINE COURSE STRUCTURE Year 9 Learning Areas  Compulsory  Three Options (at least one must be from the Language options and at least one must be from the Arts and Technology options. The Subject Course Structure in the Prospectus will show where the subjects lead in future years. Students are encouraged to choose a wide variety of subjects. Note: some option subjects do not begin until Year 10. COMPULSORY English




Physical Education




Social Studies


These subjects are studied by all students.





Maori Language Studies


Students choose ONE language option. This option covers three periods in the week.

ARTS & TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS Digital Information Technology


Design Technology




Design & Visual Communication






Music Studies


Visual Arts – Multi Media


Visual Arts – Design and Animation


These options cover three periods each in the week.

BRIEF OUTLINE OF SUBJECTS ENGLISH: English is compulsory in Years 9 to 12. Students work in all three curriculum areas: written (creative and formal writing, reading), oral (speeches and presentations) and visual (films and static images). This also involves reading and responding to a broad range of texts as well as understanding language. At all levels students are strongly encouraged to further develop their own reading via participation in programmed wide reading. Students use and develop the essential skills of communication, information, selfmanagement, work and study. MATHEMATICS: Mathematics is compulsory for Years 9 to 11. The Year 9 programme includes content from the algebra, number, measurement, statistics and geometry strands of the curriculum. There is a focus on consolidating and extending number skills, and on introducing the key language needed for senior Mathematics. Calculators are not required for Year 9. In Year 10 we recommend that students buy a Graphics calculator as recommended by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Physical Education is taught twice a week. This subject covers knowledge and understanding of physical skills and lifetime fitness. Practical activities in three week blocks include athletics, cross country, fitness, badminton, soccer, basketball, cricket, ultimate frisbee, dance and ki o rahi. Health Studies aims to increase knowledge and understanding of physical wellbeing to enable students to understand the importance that resiliency and other factors play in a long and healthy lifestyle. SCIENCE: Helps students to understand the living, physical, material and technological components of their environment. Students are taught investigative skills, information gathering, processing and interpreting, planning and reporting. It covers areas such as: laboratory procedures and concepts of energy, living and non-living systems, chemical reactions and astronomy. The subject encourages a sense of inquiry and curiosity in students. It helps students to make responsible and considered decisions about the use of science, technology and the environment. SOCIAL STUDIES: Looks at the ways people think about and organise their societies. These are essential for developing citizenship and an understanding of the cultural, social and political world that pupils live in. The core subject of Social Studies is built on by the Social Science senior option subjects of Classics, Geography, History, Legal Studies, Psychology and Tourism.

Each topic has a strand and a learning objective from the New Zealand Curriculum associated with it. Year 9 topics include Environments, Ancient Societies, Asian Societies, Australia/Pacific, Enterprise and Geographic Film. Types of assessment include; paragraph writing, using resource material and speeches. We place considerable emphasis on writing skills so three of our assessments are essay based. We have three levels of essay writing; standard, intermediate and advanced, with pupils progressing to a higher level once they have mastered the starting level of essay writing.

LANGUAGE OPTIONS FRENCH: The Year 9 French course covers basic communication skills that can be used in everyday situations. There is a special focus on building confidence in speaking the language as well introducing language structures that are required to study further in French. Students learn to introduce themselves, say where they come from, give their nationality, say what languages they speak, talk about likes and dislikes and talk about their family and pets. It is an interactive and fun course that uses role play and games to learn. Cultural aspects such as the place of French in New Zealand and the world, food and festivals are integrated into the course. Language is all about communication. JAPANESE: In the Japanese course, emphasis is placed on the skills students will need to cope with everyday situations on a visit to Japan or when meeting Japanese people. Themes and activities are set in realistic contexts and encourage students to understand, speak, read and write the language with confidence. Aspects of Japanese culture are integrated throughout the course, including speaking with and studying the daily lives of Japanese people. TE REO MAORI: The course aims to develop mastery in speaking, listening, reading and writing Te Reo Maori. It provides students with knowledge of Maori life and culture, and develops pride in students towards all things Maori. Work covered includes simple conversational Maori, basic grammatical structures, waiata (song), haka and marae protocol. An overnight stay on a marae will be essential as part of this course. Students taking Te Reo Maori are encouraged to participate in Tawa College Kapa Haka as part of the cultural component.

LANGUAGE STUDIES: Language Studies is an instructional literacy programme offered to students with specific learning needs. This may include students who require additional support with their writing, reading or essay writing. Language Studies provides additional literacy support and in-depth study of the English language i.e. spelling, phonics and sentence structures. Language Studies uses student achievement data to provide a targeted programme to empower individual student learning.

ART & TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS MUSIC STUDIES: This course is part of a progressive programme from Year 9 to Year 13 and forms the basis for the NCEA Mus101 course. Most Year 9 students studying music enrol in this course. The content will be under the following strands of the NZ Music Curriculum:  Developing Ideas in Music – Composition and arranging  Communicating and Interpreting Music – Performance  Developing Practical Knowledge in Music – Aural and notation skills  Understanding Music in Context – Studying music from a wide range of styles. The course aims to encourage tolerance and understanding of a wide range of musical styles through individual and corporate performance, both vocal and instrumental, and to equip the students through listening, aural and theoretical development, to create and compose their own music. Because of the Performance Component, subject students will need to have either a private or itinerant instrumental/voice teacher. Option music students are encouraged to sing in at least one choral group and to belong to an appropriate instrumental group within the school if they play an instrument. Costs: $11 to cover specialist classroom equipment. For any further information on this course please contact Mr Cameron, Head of Department, Music.

MUSIC: This course is part of a progressive practical and technological programme from Year 9 to Year 13 and forms the basis for the NCEA Mus102 course. The content will be under the following strands of the NZ Music Curriculum:  Developing Ideas in Music – Composition including Song Writing  Communicating and Interpreting Music – Performance  Developing Practical Knowledge in Music – Digital Music, Live Sound and Recording  Understanding Music in Context – Study of Popular Music from 1954 to present day. The course aims to encourage practical musicians to learn instruments together, to study the history of musical genres and to develop compositional skills and song writing ability. Students will also learn about digital technology, live sound production and recording techniques. Option music students are encouraged to sing in at least one choral group and to belong to an appropriate instrumental group within the school if they play an instrument. Costs: $11 to cover specialist classroom equipment. For any further information on this course please contact Mr Cameron, Head of Department, Music.

DRAMA: Drama is a subject at the college that suits students with both a practical and an academic focus. There are classes from Year 9 to Year 13, including Scholarship at Year 13. It is a University approved subject. Students learn a deeper appreciation of the role of Drama in society, as well as a variety of performance styles and techniques. They also experience a wealth of drama technologies to help develop their knowledge. It is a subject that will require a high level of commitment and self-management and is best suited to those students with a genuine interest in performance art. A number of public performances are offered for growth and experience throughout the year.

DANCE: Students will experience a broad range of different styles of dance. Styles include: jazz, hip-hop, narrative dance and musical theatre dance. Students will view and interpret dance performances, and look at how dance is used for different purposes. Choreography is an important part of the course and students will explore movement using different techniques to compose dance. Participation in a dance performance as a group for an audience is a highlight of the programme. Students will develop skills in creative processes, analysis, innovation, communicating ideas, and collaborating effectively with others.

DESIGN & VISUAL COMMUNICATION: This programme provides an introduction to the visual communication of ideas and designs. This is achieved through problem solving and designing using general draughting practices supported by other illustrative techniques. The content of the course is related to the following three sections: Graphic communication and design, spatial design and product design. DESIGN TECHNOLOGY: This course aims to help students develop an understanding of design, and acquire design skills; a knowledge and understanding of materials and processes used in the production of their design work; and their standards of craft skills. Students will be expected to: interpret a design brief; generate and produce their own solutions; investigate related technical information; and document their progress. DIGITAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Introduces the students to a range of software applications including Microsoft, Adobe and Open source, with emphasis on the technology and design process. Prepares students for the new Senior Digital Technologies curriculum by covering the following strands; Digital Media, Digital Information and Computer Science. Students will develop skills to: 

design and create products with visual appeal, appropriate for a specific purpose and in accordance with acknowledged design principles;

address an issue, and develop an appropriate solution using a variety of software applications;

plan, design, create, test and evaluate and modify solutions to meet a given brief.

This course leads to further DIT courses in subsequent years. Students will develop their ability to use: Microsoft Word, Excel and Access, Photoshop, Illustrator, Scatch and Notepad++ COMPUTER SCIENCE: This is a new course for 2015. This course will be more challenging than the DIT (Digital Information Technology) course and would suit students who already have practical skills in a range of software applications. Computer Science and Information Technology are complementary subjects. Computer Science teaches a pupil how to be an effective author of computational tools (i.e. software), while IT teaches how to be a thoughtful user of those tools.

Computer Science is deeply concerned with how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Pupils studying computing gain insight into computational systems of all kinds, whether or not they include computers. Computer Science is a practical subject, where invention and resourcefulness are encouraged. Topics to be covered include Digital Citizenship, AppInventor, Algorithms, Python programming, Internet Communication, Computer Hardware and Robotics.

VISUAL ART: Two courses are offered. Students may be able to select both options as they have been designed to complement each other. Prior knowledge may be helpful, but is NOT essential.

Multi Media - Students will learn a broad range of skills to create their individual responses in seven aspects: Visual Communication Design, Photographic Design, Sculpture, Printmaking, Painting, Drawing and Art Theory.

Design and Animation - Students will learn to make a mixed-media stop photo animation, involving Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture. Students will learn digital photography, download and edit images in I-movie to create an animated movie.

Year 9 subject information booklet 2015  
Year 9 subject information booklet 2015