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Secondary Education Gazette stories

These articles are published in the New Zealand Education Gazette. Each link will take you through to the story on the Education Gazette website.

Student images.


Connecting the dots at Mountainview High School (September 2018)
For Years 9 and 10 students at Mountainview High School, traditional English, maths, and science lessons are a thing of the past. In their place are 90-minute cross-curricular classes co-designed by teachers and students.


An integrated investigation: Science at Taita College (March 2017)
Science teachers at Taita College have been looking for a way to move from subject silos and towards a programme where integration, collaboration, and culturally responsive practice is a focus.

Community engagement

Giving Northland students a taste of horticulture (April 2017)
Plant & Food Research and Orangewood Ltd are helping Northland students develop their knowledge of local fruit crops through a new work experience programme. 

Cultural diversity

Learning language enriches cultural knowledge (May 2019)
As well as learning new vocabulary, grammar structures and other linguistic essentials, students at Mangere College in South Auckland are acquiring knowledge about their own culture, history and traditions, of which they are often unaware.

Cultural diversity role brings communities together (January 2019)
One Christchurch high school has created a coordinated approach to inclusion by appointing a cultural diversity facilitator to help bring the school’s communities together. 

The Taro Patch: Pasifika success at Westlake Boys’ High School (December 2014)
Every Thursday morning there is a buzz in the air at Westlake Boys’ High School on Auckland’s North Shore as the Taro Patch members – Pasifika students from Years 9–13 – meet to share breakfast, their studies, and to ‘talanoa’ (talk) with each other, their tutors and teachers, as well as listen to Pasifika role models. 

High expectations

Flaxmere College, where student success is the only option (July 2018)
Louise Anaru, principal of Flaxmere College, explains how a collective focus on accelerated achievement and quality teaching practice has improved outcomes at her school. Students Sharma Moss, Matekairoa Butler, and Adam Ioane also tell us why they are proud to go to Flaxmere College.

Leaving the past in the past (June 2014)
Tokoroa High School has recently gained its best ever set of NCEA results, exceeding national averages for Level 1 and 2, and all but matching national results for Level 3. Principal William Ford puts the changes down to a lift in expectations on staff, students, and the community. 


School creates natural fit for students (January 2019)
Supporting students with disabilities to accomplish their goals, Hillcrest High School’s Physical Assistance Centre in Hamilton is “an everyday part of the school culture”.

Key competencies

Re-imagining secondary learning through a key competencies frame (November 2015)
The key competencies are important ideas to catalyse teacher thinking. They have potential as agents for change within The New Zealand Curriculum. 

Learning pathways and transitions

Local employer talks provide career launch pads for students (May 2019)
A programme of career talks by local employers at Waimate High School is setting school leavers on the path towards successful careers.

Eyes on the prize (May 2019)
A community partnership in South Auckland is supporting Year 13 students at Mangere College to connect their studies to local jobs and open the door to an array of work pathways.

High school hospitality course gives students real-world skills (May 2019)
Students at Tauranga Boys’ College pursue a range of vocational pathways, but, with approximately 800 students involved, the hospitality course is by far the most popular.

Agribusiness programme opens the door to many career options
A new NCEA achievement standards programme offers a comprehensive information base for choosing a career path in fields they may not have considered before.

Partnership sparks career pathways in Hawke’s Bay (March 2019)
A partnership between a Hastings high school and a local engineering business is giving students valuable career opportunities – while also returning significant benefits for the school and helping to resolve a nationwide skills shortage.

Hands-on learning hooks students into local job options (January 2019)
Going on to tertiary studies after leaving school isn’t always the best option for all senior students, and Queen Charlotte College in Marlborough is finding its hands-on training in aquaculture is perfect for students with a practical bent and a passion for the outdoors.

Transitioning into the world of work while at school (October 2018)
Often when students leave high school they are not aware of the range of job opportunities available. It is also difficult to hear first-hand from industries about what is involved or potentially be offered a job. A recent series of career events called ‘Got A Trade? Got It Made!’ created these connections.

Youth Transition Initiative helps students customise career pathways (September 2018)
Azaria Sheppard has always loved chemistry, so she leapt at the opportunity to work as a lab technician at the end of high school last year.

Ruapehu College connects the dots with Vocational Pathways (March 2016)
Connecting the dots between Vocational Pathways and other parts of the curriculum, such as Gateway, is a key focus at Ruapehu College. Every Year 11 to 13 student has their future pathway, Vocational Pathway, and their next steps recorded in the school computer system. This allows teachers and the students themselves to track career goals and how they are progressing. 

Local business sees benefit in supporting school project (August 2015)
The build a bach project is an opportunity for local secondary school students to learn skills on a live construction site which will help them transition into work.

Information and inspiration: secondary teachers talk about engineering (August 2015)
Teachers from Auckland Girls’ Grammar say students, staff, and families all have a role in learning more about pathways into engineering careers. The secondary school is among those invited to take part in the Waterview Connection: A Learning Pathways Challenge.

Flexibility and responsibility gives students a better chance of success (June 2015)
Core subjects and traditional school academic subjects are taught four days a week at Inglewood High School. Wednesdays however, have been freed up to allow year 12 and 13 students to learn ‘on the job’ or take courses with a vocational focus without them losing critical classroom time. 

Local curriculum design

Science gets ‘cool factor’ (May 2019)
Stunning pictures from Near Space have been retrieved from a balloon successfully launched by Years 10-13 students at Fiordland College.

Upskilling in the new digital technologies content (May 2019)
When Kerikeri High School’s head of technology learned that the National Curriculum had been updated and that there was a revision to the Technology and Hangarau Learning areas, he faced the challenge of leading the implementation change for his school.

Taupō school tackles real-world problems (March 2019)
A group of Taupō teachers is helping a diverse range of students to work on real-world problems – and first up is creating the ultimate rat trap.

Southland school proposes student-run energy park (March 2019)
Fiordland College has created a proposal for a park which integrates three local energy sources with culturally inspired sculptures.

Earthquake evokes deeper community connection in students (February 2019)
Experiencing a natural disaster has inspired Kaikōura students and staff to help the community heal through their learning and teaching.

Trout testing teaches tenacity (February 2019)
A group of Year 12 science students are learning about trout and sustainability by getting their feet wet.

Earthquakes, excursions, and localised learning experiences (November 2018)
A Canterbury geography teacher is using the context provided by the Christchurch earthquakes to help his students explore their personal and shared local histories.

Focus on sport science sets pace for success (November 2018)
By focusing on the quality of learning, rather than the quantity of assessment, PE teachers at Central Hawke’s Bay College are helping students to gain a deeper understanding of sport science.

Bringing game mechanics into the curriculum (November 2018)
Teachers at St Thomas of Canterbury College are increasing the appeal of learning by using game mechanics to enhance their teaching methods.

Connecting with international and local communities through language (September 2018)
In the small rural area of Kawerau, a Chinese company is establishing an industrial particle board mill. Meanwhile, at the nearby high school, students are learning Mandarin.

New initiative enriches learning at Waimea College (September 2018)
For three hours each week, all Year 9 and 10 students at Waimea College are able to choose one area of interest per term, out of nine possible strands, and explore that topic through project work.

Team-teaching integrates science and English (July 2018)
To address challenges to traditional teaching, two Palmerston North teachers worked together to team-teach their Years 9 and 10 students through project-based inquiry learning.

New approach to PE may be game changer for ‘Team Trident’ (April 2018)
Trident High School in the Bay of Plenty is using an innovative approach in physical education to try to get better results in student performance across the curriculum by changing the way it runs PE classes.

Catering for the curriculum (April 2018)
Feeding people en masse is no easy feat, as students from St Catherine’s College in Kilbirnie, Wellington, are currently learning.

Māori achievement

Waka ama and tuakana teina help achieve literacy jump (November 2018)
Auckland’s Papatoetoe High School used funding from the Teacher-led Innovation Fund (TLIF) on a two-year inquiry project that focused on improving NCEA Level 1 achievement for Māori and Pacific boys. 

Student leaders explore Treaty of Waitangi principles at Matamata College (June 2018)
Through an inquiry project, student leaders at Matamata College will have the opportunity to explore their obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and what this looks like in practice at their school.

Better never stops – culturally responsive teaching at Rotorua Girls’ High School (September 2018)
Next to the Rotorua Girls’ High School office there’s a mural celebrating Te Arawa tupuna Te Aokapurangi. For years, little attention has been paid to it. But now she’s become the inspiration for a holistic approach to raising Māori achievement at the school.

Preparing for the journey ahead (January 2017)
A desire to make a real difference in the learning outcomes for Māori boys led to Te Ara Tapu a Tāne Project at Paeroa College.

Mentoring Māori youth through film (January 2015)
Phyllis and her colleague Shannon Leef run a film and digital media company in Gisborne. A proportion of their earnings from this venture go toward supporting an extracurricular – though NCEA-linked via Gateway – programme called Mentoring Māori Youth Through Film. 


Earthquake evokes deeper community connection in students (February 2019)
Experiencing a natural disaster has inspired Kaikōura students and staff to help the community heal through their learning and teaching.

Embracing differences key to anti-bullying campaign (October 2018)
A new campaign developed by students at Thames High School aims to remove the power from bullies by nurturing confidence and self-esteem in those they target.

Student-led drive to stop bullying in Far North (August 2018)
Bullying is an issue that has been affecting the community of Kaitaia well beyond the school gates, but intervention by student leaders is turning the tide.

The Wellbeing Bubble (July 2017)
A revitalised, student-led version of the school’s previous bullying prevention process, the Wellbeing Bubble is a website that encourages young people from Aotea College to take agency in decisions affecting their wellbeing.

Updated on: 14 Jun 2019