At this level, our academic programme is designed to help students become increasingly competent and independent with their literacy and numeracy skills, ready to apply their understanding at a secondary level. The NZ Curriculum is wellcovered. Strong emphasis is placed on practical mathematics, applying number knowledge and strategies to real world problems. Literacy sessions are based around Building Brilliance themes and big ideas.Key reading and writing skills are developed with strong emphasis on comprehension, verbal communication and the ability to express ideas both orally and written.
At the same time, the personal growth programme steps up a gear to ensure strong confidence and social abilities that support them to thrive in the traditional secondary school environment they will soon be moving to.
Imagination and creativity continue to be fostered in all activities. Cognitive abilities such as thinking, reasoning, and decision-making are strengthened through Feuerstein work. Students take time each day to reflect inwardly via mindfulness sessions.
Learning experiences are often individually determined with students working individually and in groups to either solve problems or develop their own meaning on a topic. World views are openly discussed and critically assessed for personal meaning. The classroom has a democratic culture in which every voice is equally valued. Behavioural norms are regularly reviewed.
The outdoor-based meaningful experiential learning option provides a range of different learning experiences in an outdoor based setting. This programme is best suited to the type of learners who enjoy a learning ‘by doing’ approach and have a passion for the environment. They spend three days off-site learning in the natural environment and two days onsite where they are gaining skills in planning, team-building and the core outdoor survival skills. They are also doing much of the learning linked with the New Zealand and Building Brilliance curricula, but in an outdoor setting. This includes marine biology, music, art, and developing a class blog.
The class-based meaningful experiential learning option provides a range of different learning experiences in a class-based setting. This type of setting is best suited to the type of learners who respond well to visual-spatial, linguistic-verbal and logical-mathematical activities. This option has a strong arts and music programme.