Overview of Curriculum
Botany Downs Secondary College offers a broad range of courses to meet the needs of diverse students. We operate a 26 period weekly timetable for delivery of the curriculum (five one-hour periods from Tuesday to Thursday and six 50-minute periods on Monday). Alongside this is the Building Learning Power programme that promotes metacognitive approaches to understand how to learn and mentoring processes focused on reflection on academic goals and progress. The curriculum meets the requirements of the New Zealand Curriculum where the Key Competencies and Values are developed within the eight learning areas. ICTs are integrated throughout the curriculum as well as provided as specialist Digital Technology classes from Years 11 to 13, emphasising design and programming.
At Year 9 the emphasis is to provide a sound foundation of subjects. All subjects are compulsory, and, with the exception of Mathematics are taught in Tutor Class groups. Learners have four periods per week each of English and Mathematics, and three period each of Health and Physical Education, Science and Social Studies. These five subjects continue into Year 10 as compulsory. Learners also study two Languages (Japanese and French) three periods a week for one semester; and Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) (approximately 10 weeks each of Music, Visual Art, Dance and Drama) and Technology (approximately 10 weeks each of Food, Multi-materials, Textiles and Design and Visual Communication - formerly known as Graphics).
At Year 10, as mentioned above, learners continue with compulsory English , Mathematics, Health and Physical Education, Science and Social Studies. In addition they choose three options from the remaining learning areas (Languages, VPA, and Technology). The continued emphasis at Year 10 is to further develop key competencies and subject knowledge and skills that set a strong foundation for senior studies.
Botany Downs Secondary College offers the National Certificates in Educational Achievement (NCEA) Levels 1 to 3, which have a mixture of internal assessments and external examinations.
NCEA allows students the opportunities to excel in their own areas of strength. The reporting of individualised results, instead of giving a mark, provides a breakdown of student attainment in every aspect of the subject, giving both students and parents more accurate information upon which to make decisions about future option choices and career pathways.
At Year 11, learners study four periods a week of compulsory English , Mathematics and Science and three optional subjects. In addition they have two periods a week of Health and Physical Education.
At Year 12, learners study four periods a week of compulsory English and five optional subjects. In addition they have two periods a week of Study. BDSC has decided to offer six subjects at Year 12 to ensure students the broadest range of subjects possible while providing sufficient learning time to maintain high standards.
At Year 13, learners study five periods a week of five optional subjects. In addition they have one period a week of Study.
Option Information is available here, providing an overview of the senior pathways offered as well as course descriptions at each year level.
BDSC has one examination period in Term 3 (seniors) and Term 4 (juniors) each year to provide learners with the opportunity to practise examination technique. During examinations, seniors are offered the privilege of study leave, modelling what they may be provided for the NCEA external examinations in November/December. Full examination timetables will be posted closer to the dates.
- Senior examinations: Wednesday 11 September to Friday 20 September 2013
- Junior examinations: Tuesday 5 November to Tuesday 12 November 2013
- NCEA External Examination Timetable for 2013