The main focus of the curriculum being offered at Southern Cross Campus is about offering students the opportunities to develop meaningful pathways not only through school but beyond school as well. The development of the curriculum is starting to see a real emphasis being put on students not only acquiring knowledge but developing the skills required to be successful in their chosen career pathway. Emphasis is placed on giving students the opportunity to learn in a contextualised and authentic setting.
To this end the fact that the school operates one of the Ministry of Education’s funded Trades Schools has allowed for students to learn their skills in hospitality and the construction/automotive areas not just in the traditional setting of the classroom but with tertiary providers and there also is opportunity for work experience. This structure allows students to not only develop a range of relevant skills but also to become confident learners in their industry pathway. Areas such as Health Sciences and Art have already developed this approach of linking school programs to learning at a tertiary provider outside of the campus.
This approach has been widened in 2016 where students learning at NCEA Level 2 will operate in a contextualised program which links a number of relevant parts of the curriculum under the umbrella of one of the six vocational pathways.
The curriculum at Year 9 and 10 level is designed for students to develop the skills and knowledge required to enter courses at NCEA Level 1 with a strong foundation at which to begin their NCEA studies. Subjects offered in the Year 9 and 10 years are to give students a wide ranging and engaging curriculum but also to flow directly onto NCEA Level studies.
Students are encouraged to learn at the level of which they have reached and are showing the potential to succeed at. Hence we have students studying at levels above their chronological age and also some operating below their traditional cohort level. This approach allows students to be successful at school and all students are encouraged to pursue those subjects which are their strengths and are of a real interest to them.
The variety of subjects which the college can offer is also further enhanced with the school being part of an e-learning network . As a result of this students can gain access to e- learning in subjects which either the college does not offer or if the students takes a particular group of subjects which are not common to the majority and there is a clash on the timetable where appropriate students study that particular subject via e- learning – a combination of online learning also once a week a face to face tutorial via a video link with their tutor.
This is part of the college’s endeavour to ensure students can gain access to the subjects they want to and in many cases need to take so they enjoy meaningful pathways through school and beyond.