Te Ara Māia covers Years 7-8, with students aged between 11 and 13. Our learners in Māia are generally working at the end of level 3, level 4 and beginning of level 5 of the New Zealand Curriculum.
We offer a broad curriculum, with a particular emphasis on developing students’ creativity and resourcefulness. Beyond the core subjects of literacy and mathematics we offer learning opportunities in the following areas: science, technology, social sciences, health and physical education, language learning, and the arts. We take advantage of the cultural opportunities available to us as an urban school, frequently linking learning to events such as the International Festival of the Arts or the Documentary Edge film festival.
We use digital tools to support learning when appropriate and currently have a ratio of one chromebook to two students. Our children are very skilled and working with digital devices.
It is important that learners at this age have the opportunity to develop their ability to take on responsibilities and leadership roles within the school; activities such as road patrol, library duty, Student Council and our environmental club help students to develop these attributes. We expect our children to be positive role models to our younger students and they enjoy this mentoring role.
We offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities our learners: an auditioned choir, an orchestra, netball club, Kelburn school sport opportunities, several rock bands, chess club, drama club, code club and others.
During term one the Māia goes on camp. A major focus of the camp is building learners’ ability to learn collaboratively, as part of a team. We aim to provide our students with rich learning experiences, whilst maintaining the outdoor education focus of the traditional school camp. These camps provide the context for much of learning in the first term, particularly in science and the social sciences.
An important and long-standing component of the school’s curriculum is the use of drama as a tool for learning; the very impressive results we get - most strikingly in writing - strongly vindicate this approach. Every year during the third term each class in Māia produces a play. This is a stimulating and authentic experience for our students. In alternate years we either devise drama from scratch or adapt one of William Shakespeare’s plays.
Our students have very busy lives, and teachers take account of this by ensuring that homework is purposeful, clearly linked to classroom learning, and not overly onerous.