Radical new curriculum for Kuranui
A South Wairarapa high school will do away with individual subjects in a radical curriculum overhaul next year.
Kuranui College, outside Greytown, will instead offer Year 9 and 10 students ‘‘courses’’, with a focus on solving ‘‘real life problems’’.
Kuranui Head of Junior College Vicki Wish said the change had been two years in the planning.
‘‘The idea didn’t come from anywhere specific,’’ she said.
‘‘We just looked at different [educational] models from throughout New Zealand and around the world and took the bits we liked.’’
The courses will encompass different subjects. There will be several compulsory courses, and in each there will be choice.
As an example, students would be required to do three mathematics courses over the two years, but they would have eight courses to choose from. A keen maths student could potentially do all eight.
Wish said the changes came from a desire to focus more on individual students’ strengths.
‘‘When we began evaluating how effective we were in delivering the curriculum in our junior school, and started to look at what other schools were doing, we quickly identified that there were three key issues that needed to be addressed,’’ she said.
‘‘We were giving an unequal amount of time to the study of core versus option subjects. Students were having little ownership in what they learnt, and many were experiencing diffi- culty in seeing the connections between the subjects they were studying and the relevance for real life after leaving school.’’
She added the courses were designed to play to students’ strengths.
‘‘The new curriculum will bring Year 9 and 10 students together to study without streaming. The courses are designed to accelerate students to a higher level if they are achieving beyond their expected level.’’
Wish said people appeared to like the changes.
‘‘It’s very, very different,’’ she said.
‘‘We’ve talked about it a bit at school already ... and the feedback has been positive.’’
Kuranui isn’t the only school to reshuffle its curriculum - Wish said some schools in Auckland and Queenstown had taken similar steps - but its changes go further than most.
Students at Kuranui College, which will undergo major changes to its curriculum next year.