Year 10 Elective Courses – a successful new initiative this year

A timetable change this year has provided RHS with opportunity for an extra course choice for Year 10 students and led to introducing half-year Elective Courses that have one, one-hour period and a two-hour extended learning period each week.

ln the 2018 consultation for our Education Brief students, whānau, and teachers told us“We wish to include flexibility in future timetables, which could include extending the learning periods so that classes extend for longer than the current one-hour periods… It is also important to enable collaboration between different learning areas, (cross-curricular collaboration) which may involve joint teaching and timetabling” (p. 14). 

The consultation also “confirmed expectations and desires from our community for our students learning to provide variety and choice in what to learn and to recognise each student as an individual, acknowledging their unique learning profile. The need for flexibility in curriculum delivery was a consistent theme, as was student and staff hauora (health and wellbeing)” (p. 16)

In 2020 we reorganised our learning times so that senior students could experience an extended learning time of two hours in each of their subjects to complement the two, one-hour learning times. 

We decided that, in the meantime, we would continue with the same combination of courses for our Year 9 and 10 students. Year 10 students continue to take full-year courses in: English or English as an Additional Language; Mathematics; Physical Education and Health; Science; and Social Studies. 

Year 10 students also choose an Arts subject, a Technology subject, and then complete their study with their selection of courses from Arts, Languages, Social Sciences, and Technology.

The 2020 timetable change provided an opportunity for an extra course choice for Year 10 students. 

In 2019 we surveyed our Year 9 students and asked them to ‘dream big’ about the kinds of courses they wished were offered. 

From this we introduced a menu of new learning for students to choose from for Year 10 in 2020. 

This lead to introducing half-year Elective Courses this year which have one, one-hour period and a two-hour extended learning period each week.

These courses have enabled opportunities for:

  • Year 10 students to learn alongside senior students in a tuakana/teina relationship (older and younger students learning with and from each other)
  • Teachers to trial team teaching of larger groups of students
  • Students to shape the content of the courses and the contexts we used
  • Student leadership
  • Education-outside-the-classroom fieldtrips, visits and experiences within the extended learning times. This meant that there did not need to be time away from other subjects
  • Exploration of different cultures
  • Volunteering and service in the community
  • Producing new products and performances
  • Being active

We felt these courses also helped further students’ abilities in the “6C’s” of citizenship, character, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity

Our Year 10 students’ feedback has been very positive so far and our current Year 9 students are now finalising their choices now for the Elective Courses they would like to do in 2021. They are making TWO choices (and TWO back up choices) from:

  • Adventure Based Learning
  • Back in Time for Dinner
  • Boards, Cards, Dice and Padlocks
  • Build, Upgrade and Maintain a Networked PC
  • City School
  • Contemporary Whakairo Carving
  • Creative Writing
  • Fit for Life
  • Intrepid Journeys: Destination China
  • Let’s Create a Show
  • Literacy is Lit!
  • Make a Difference!
  • Mini-MAD: Direct and Produce Digital Media on a Device
  • Move Well
  • Re:Animate
  • SciLab: The Mind Boggles
  • Song Writing / Creating
  • World of Wearable Arts

Course outlines and descriptions are available on