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Our Learning

At St Thomas of Canterbury College, we strive to provide a learning environment that engages the hearts and minds of all our students. Each student is offered a wide range of subjects across all levels at the college which provides many opportunities for them to engage, thrive and develop as the greatest version of themselves.

Close relationships and partnerships are formed within our wider school community to ensure our young men are connected and prepared for further learning beyond their time at the college. Our staff are strongly committed to unlocking the potential of your son(s) and challenging them through their journey at St Thomas so they can make a positive contribution to society in the future.

Our Curriculum and Learning Process


We believe that all of our students have individual needs and pathways for learning.

All students can build a learning pathway to suit their own passions, direction and needs. Individualised mentoring and guidance are provided to every student including a selection of their subjects, monitoring of academic progress, assistance with learning options beyond the school environment.

Above all, our school is about engaging the hearts and minds of all students in meaningful and real world learning experiences. We are a professional learning staff ready to adapt to your son’s needs and create the best possible learning environment that will inspire, challenge, and motivate.

We base our learning around our 3-step approach to knowledge.

We believe that education is more than just committing information to memory in preparation for a summative assessment/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.

Junior Curriculum – Year 7 to 10

Vision for Learning 

Creating a Culture of Educational Change 

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. 

Curriculum Change 

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 with 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. 

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. 

Junior Compulsory Classes

CONNECTED 1 – STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics 

Science, Technology (Tech, Graphics), Maths 

CONNECTED 2 – HUMANITIES – Learning concerned with human culture, especially literature, history, art, music, and philosophy 

English, Social Sciences, Religious Education 

CONNECTED 3 – KINESIOLOGY – physiological, biomechanical, and psychological mechanisms of movement using digital science 

Physical Education, Health, Digital Technology, Te Reo 

Senior Curriculum – Year 11 to 13

Our college aims to provide opportunities for all students to thrive and engage in learning experiences that will prepare them for life beyond our school gates.

Students excel in our small classes where teachers provide support and differentiated delivery of curriculum. Students of all abilities and levels are challenged in a supportive and collaborative learning environment.

An emphasis on flexible timetabling and a variety of courses allow students to choose the subjects which suit them best. All career and employment pathways are considered as we look to cater our learning programmes to suit the various needs of our young men at the college.