Senior School

Senior School Philosophy

‘…in the 21st Century we do not know what the future is.  We can’t specify in advance the kinds of finished product knowledge and skills students need for successful and happy lives.  Therefore we need to ensure that all young people leave school with the kind of raw materials or competencies that allow them to respond to almost anything.’ (Bolstad and Gilbert, Disciplining and Drafting, or 21st Century Learning, p123, NZCER 2008)

In the Senior School we understand that this is the ideal and that our framework is the New Zealand Curriculum.  NCEA is a tool we use to assess our senior school students skills to make them pathway aware and so productive members of the community when they leave William Colenso College.

We have a varied curriculum and pedagogical approach which provides:

  • For excellence
  • A range of learners

Our curriculum needs to be responsive, fluid and grounded in our community, while reflecting the NZC and allowing for the diversity of our learners.  We know that the main support for this is our relationships with the individual students, which allows us as a school and teachers to provide both Manaakitanga and Mana Motuhake for them (care for the student as a culturally centred individual, combined with high expectations for their behaviour and performance).

Our curriculum follows on from the Middle School by teachers working to provide ‘varied teaching and learning experiences that are intellectually stimulating, actively engaging, and cognisant of diverse learning styles.’  We move this forward by looking at the future pathways students choose for themselves, with guidance.  We need to ensure that we as a group are aware of the industry and tertiary demands and we provide programmes to meet those demands.

Ultimately our students must leave us as self-regulated learners who have developed a self-efficacy about themselves in our society today.

 Senior School Links to the Values

There are three values that have be highlighted through the school’s involvement in PB4L

Manaakitanga – Care and Respect.

Whanaungatanga – Belonging

Hirangatanga – Striving for Excellence

By focussing on the students chosen pathway the senior school supports student engagement, behaviour management and key competency development using the school values shown above.

 Senior School Links to the Strategic Plan

Responsive Outcomes for all Students

  • Literacy and numeracy achievement for all students (utilisation of Functional Literacy and Numeracy standards)
  • All Year 13 students to leave our school with a Level 2 NCEA Certificate that is appropriate to their chosen pathway
  • Full involvement and implementation of Te Kotahitanga Effective Teaching Profile and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy of Relations.

Responsive Systems and Processes

Effective use of

  • Progressions data
  • NCEA data for individual cohorts
  • Restorative Practice and PB4L data

Responsive Learning Opportunities

  • Implementation of the NZC
  • Development of e-Learning methods to support improved teaching and learning
  • Positive outcomes from enrichment days
  • Development of WCC Pathways
  • Students undertake goal setting and review of goals throughout the year according to set protocols.
  • Develop and maintain links with other education providers to enable our students to meet their pathways requirements

Responsive Relationships

Improved Engagement

  • Positive student survey data
  • Improved retention
  • Reduced suspensions & exclusions
  • Increased parental/whanau involvement
  • Improved attendance
  • Positive teacher survey data
  • Improved student behaviour outcomes evident through PB4L data


 Senior School Links to the NZ Qualifications Framework

 According to the NZQA website, the New Zealand’s Qualifications Framework

“… is designed to optimise the recognition of educational achievement and its contribution to New Zealand’s economic, social and cultural success.”

The NZQF allows William Colenso College to:

  • Provide high quality teaching and learning for high quality assessments (that lead to high quality qualifications). This supports our students to follow their chosen pathways.
  • Develop integrated and coherent qualifications up to Level 8 of the New Zealand Curriculum (according to our Base Scope of Consent to Assess for Schools – BSAS and its extensions awarded to William Colenso College).
  • Deliver internationally comparable assessments and qualification for our Foreign Fee Paying students
  • Improve Maori achievement
  • Provide robust pathways to employment and further education for all our students

Structures of the Senior School that support the Senior School Curriculum

The Senior School Curriculum is supported by the following structures:

  • Flexible and individual timetable. We use our SMS to the full to allow students to have individual timetables according to their chosen pathway.  This also supports our attendance and achievement data.
  • Full day academies (Whakairo, Catering, Gateway, Trades@EIT). We have opportunities for students to develop their learning by taking a whole day out to embed themselves in their chosen pathway.
  • Vertical Form Classes. This allows for Year 10 students to be peer led by the Year 12 and 13 students in their Form Class.  We also have developed our goal setting process around our vertical Form Classes so that the Form Teacher can build effective and authentic relationships with all the students in the Form Class.  This also supports our involvement and commitment to Te Kotahitanga, Restorative Practices and PB4L
  • Multi Level Classes. As with the vertical Form Classes, this develops the peer support within our classrooms.  It also allows for individualised programmes and learning at the pace of the student ability.  This means assessment can also happen when the student is ready, not when the teacher has decided.
  • WCC Pathways model. In line with the MOE, Youth Guarantees Vocational Pathways, we are developing our own that reflect our students and our community