Our curriculum principles remain the same in the high school as in primary school: integrated and intensive study; the encouragement of independent thought; the production of quality work and the development of multiple intelligences.
In junior high school, focus studies replace main lessons. Students engage for an extended time each morning with a single topic over a period of two weeks. In this way, much of the English, Science and Humanities curricula are covered in a form that maximises students' concentration and interest, and minimises interruptions caused by the changing of rooms and teachers. New and exciting overlaps and overviews become possible.
Each focus study is taught by the specialist teacher in the relevant subject but, as with main lessons, interdisciplinary connections are explored.
Examples of high school focus studies include:
- A Year 7 English unit on King Arthur, where the legend, its historical background and modern versions of the tale (The Sword in the Stone, The Neverending Story) are brought together.
- A Year 9 Science focus study involves the students in a “streamwatch” project, monitoring and testing the creek behind the school; writing up results and comparing with those of previous years; understanding the relevant scientific theories and practices; visiting the local sewerage treatment plant.
- A year 8 English study of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar requires the students to work in groups, re-interpreting, rewriting and performing scenes from the play. The topic also relates to history, and the performance involves work in drama and art.
In years 7 - 10 the Science curriculum is covered via a series of focus studies, as is H.S.I.E. and much of the English curriculum. We provide additional separate English classes to cover the more formal, skills based aspects of the curriculum. Mathematics is taught separately, as are Art, Music, Drama, Computer Studies, Design and Technology, French, P.E. and Outdoor Education.