Here at St Thomas’ we are committed to providing an evolving learning environment where every young man has the opportunity to succeed. The key to achieving this outcome is to provide learning that is relevant to the individual and provides personal learning challenges. Our vision for our teachers is to teach the individual student, not the class.
In 2018 we introduced a newly designed way of delivering the curriculum, based on extensive research, that we believed was relevant to our community and our young men. Our aim was;
to deconstruct existing structures and routines to re-create a 21st century curriculum (with a specific focus on engagement and student agency).
We had identified that a lot of learning was driven by external factors, especially for students sitting NCEA qualifications (credit counting). We wanted our boys to learn purely for the love of learning (intrinsically motivated). In order to do this, we re-created a new integrated curriculum providing our young men more relevant context and opportunities. There were also a number of other factors influencing our vision to evolve our practice and learning.
Values Based Curriculum
Our Junior curriculum is based around our core values of the school. Each class will focus on underlying questions that look to explore, advocate and demonstrate these key values.
Compulsory Classes - Year 7, Year 8, Year 9
Students also choose option subjects that can change each year depending on teacher passions and skill sets. We ask our Select class teachers to deliver a class they are deeply passionate about and motivated to engage our young men rather than delivering the same class year after year.
In 2019 our Select classes are;
Example of Junior Timetable - Year 7, 8, 9
100 Minute Lessons
St Thomas' Learning Process
We base our learning around our 3-step approach to knowledge. It’s not ok for our boys just to understand information for the purpose of remembering it for a specific test or exam.
We are passionate about our young men taking action with their knowledge and applying it to the real world to create a deep and powerful understanding of knowledge and where it fits in our world.