High School (Classes 8-12) Te Wharekura

“Supporting, encouraging, and preparing students for their next great adventure – the big wide world!”

It’s time for High School – a very exciting part of each student’s journey at Michael Park. In our Steiner High School, teachers for Main Lessons and Subject Lessons are specialists in their chosen fields.

Students in Class 10 complete The New Zealand Certificate of Steiner Education (equivalent to NCEA Level 1) while students in Class 11 and 12 complete NCEA Levels 2 and 3.

The pastoral care of students is undertaken primarily by the Kaitiaki (Guardian) for each class. Kaitiaki are responsible for ensuring that each child in their year is developing well socially, emotionally and academically. Kaitiaki also provide advocacy, listening and reflective spaces for the general well-being of their students.

Our Horizon programme ensures that High School students receive advice and guidance regarding goal setting, elective choices and careers.

High School teachers meet each week to discuss all aspects of work in the High School, including the welfare, progress and achievement of individual students, educational and administrative matters. This high level of care and support for students is a benefit of your young adult attending a small Steiner High School, which focuses on its students’ needs and progress.

Support Networks Ngā Rōpū Tautoko

The Kaitiaki is supported by a range of specialist subject teachers and takes responsibility for your child’s academic education, as well as for their physical and social development.

Kaitiaki work in partnership with you, the parents, to guide, motivate, protect, and encourage the student and to enhance understanding of the ways in which you can support your child’s education at home.

Festivals & Community Ngā Hui Taurima a te Hāpori

The celebration and acknowledgement of festivals such as harvest or matariki is another distinctive element in the rhythms of learning in the High School. Festivals bring the whole community together in shared purpose and highlight the supportive cycles of the year. The children sense the joy and gratitude in the community around them.

Progress Reports Ngā Pūrongo Paetae

Kaitiaki and subject teachers report to parents in a way that reflects the unique needs of each student and is focused on their growth and development. This means that you as a parent receive a much more detailed level of reporting about your child’s progress.

Class Eight Te Akomanga Tuawaru

Progress and Power: Harnessing New Forces

Te Ahu Whakamua me te Mana Tangata: Kia Aumangea

Students in Class Eight are looking for authentic explanations that have meaning for the world they live in during this important threshold year and transition to High School. The Class Eight experience builds self-sufficiency through students developing skills to address fears and anxieties associated with identity, community, and personal challenge.

The curriculum provides opportunity for our students to enquire into the connection and relationships between people, culture and events. The study of industrialisation, technology and innovation is an important focus through Main Lesson. They are expected to further develop the capacity to reason and argue both sides of an issue in verbal and written form.

Students use their increasing capacity for observation and critical thinking in the pursuit of academic excellence. Goal setting, time management and organisation skills are further developed. Practical intelligence is progressed through the use of block lesson programmes in the arts, crafts and technology.

Overview of Class 8 Main Lesson Programme
All Main Lessons are compulsory
English/Drama Novel Study                                                 
Social Sciences  History - The Industrial Revolution and technological innovation                         
History – Te Tiriti o Waitangi and early (pre-pakeha) New Zealand
Sciences Climate and Meteorology                        
Biology – Biomechanics and the skeletal system                                           
Chemistry – States of Matter                   
Physics - Mechanics
Technology Digital Technology
Mathematics Statistics in Society                             
Geometry: Loci
Overview of Class 8 Subject Lessons, Block Lessons and Other Projects/Events
Subject Lessons English (Reading, Writing, Oral Language, Information Skills)                              Mathematics                                                   
Te Ao Maori                                                    PE                                                                 Art                                                          Science                                                    
Block Lessons Handwork                                           Woodwork                                            Ceramics                                                   Drama                                                       
Other Projects & Events Inter-class Sports Tournament                     
Camp: Adventure-based learning (Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre, Lewis Pass, South Island)

All subjects are compulsory, keeping a breadth of learning that creates a firm foundation for the years ahead.

Class Nine Te Akomanga Tuaiwa

Theme: Polarity and Contrast

Te Ātete me te Whakatairite

With adolescence, the inner soul forces of the young human being become active and with this there is a corresponding bodily change. It is a bewildering world when the adolescent is often at the mercy of strong, uncontrolled feelings and emotions, which swing like a pendulum from one extreme to the other. This manifests differently in boys and girls, yet both mask their vulnerability. Boys may be uncouth and gawky, yet inwardly shy; girls may express their emotions more easily in volatile, temperamental behaviour. Both need careful handling since that emotional world is both extremely sensitive and volatile, to enable this energy to be channeled into a healthy relationship with the outer world.

0ne approaches the adolescent of this age as much through the intellect as through the senses, presenting one's material in as tactile a way as possible, yet always seeking to refine the senses through artistic activity, and challenging the student to think accurately and observe meticulously. The student of this age needs many physical challenges to counteract the emotional roller-coaster.

There is little scope for the finer nuances of feeling; everything is black or white, wonderful or abysmal, joyful or full of sorrow. It is truly a year of polarities and opposites, and the Main Lessons this year reflect this theme.  Class Nine students also complete an individual project, that allows students to practice and refine skills of process journaling, reflection and action-planning.

Overview of Class 9 Main Lesson Programme
All Main Lessons are compulsory
English/Drama Novel Study                                                                        Comedy & Tragedy
Social Sciences Democracy            
Rights & Responsibility                                                      
Sciences The Inner River/Digestion      
Organic Chemistry   
Aesthetics History of Art
Craft Week                                                                       
Technology Digital Technology
Mathematics Conic Sections                                                  
Overview of Class 9 Subject Lesson Courses
English English
Mathematics Mathematics
Languages Te Ao Māori
The Arts Music    
Visual Art                                                                             
Craft Ceramics     
Textiles & Pattern Making                                                                                                              
Science General Science
PE & Health PE

All subjects are compulsory, including language, keeping a breadth of learning that creates a firm foundation for the years ahead.

Class Ten Te Akomanga Tuangahuru

Balance and Process

Te Hangarite me te Tukanga

As Michael Park students progress through this year they develop an increased capacity for self-control and balance.

The curriculum provides opportunities for students to come to a deeper understanding of basic and underlying laws, structures and processes that relate to the place of human beings in the wider world. Students are encouraged to refine the expression of their opinions.

Although the curriculum is kept broad by the compulsory study of all subjects, including languages, frequent opportunities are provided within each subject area for students to select topics and learning tasks which enable them to explore their own particular skills and interests in more depth.

While students are learning deeper and more specialised thinking, they are also keeping their knowledge base wide; allowing for changes in learning direction later.

Overview of Class 10 Main Lesson Programme
All Main Lessons are compulsory
  • Communication & Popular Culture
  • Language: The Living World
  • Class 10 Play
  • Odyssey
  • Meeting of cultures
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Biology: The Sense World
  • Waves
  • History of Art
  • Craft Week
  • Geometry
  • Surveying
Overview of Class 10 Subject Lesson Courses
  • The New Zealand Certificate of Steiner Education - Level 1
  • English
  • Mathematics
The Arts
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Visual Art
  • Ceramics
  • Woodwork
  • General Science
  • PE

Apart from music, all other subjects are compulsory. Students have the option of taking music as another subject for the year.

Class Eleven Te Akomanga Tuangahuru-mā-tahi

Analysis and Identity

Te Wetewete me te Tuakiri

Class Eleven students engage their analytical and reasoning skills as they apply their capacity for greater objectivity and explore the world in increasing detail. This is reflected in their main lesson work, which examines topics such as atomic physics and comparative religion.

Students are increasingly able to understand themselves both as an individual and in relationship with others, and more consciously work with their own strengths and weaknesses. They may begin to question their place in the world and philosophical questions about the purpose of life. Main Lesson engages students through the exploration of themes of identity and analysis.

Students work with subjects that reflect their particular interests and skills in their NCEA Level 2 elective subjects.

Overview of Class 11 Main Lesson Programme
All Main Lesson are compulsory
English/Drama Poetry                                                           
Independent Project preparation
Social Sciences Parzival                                                                 
Power & Poverty                                             Comparative Religion                                
Spanish Revolution                                   
Climate Change                                          
Leadership & Social Organisation
Sciences Chemistry
Mathematics Projective Geometry                                      
Overview of Class 11 Subject Lesson Courses
NCEA L2 NCEA Level 2
English English                                                      
Media Studies
Mathematics Mathematics
The Arts Music                                                          
Technology Hard Materials                            
Visual Arts & Painting                                                Photography                                               
Science Biology                                                       Chemistry                                                   
Health & PE PE
Social Science History

English is compulsory. Students choose another 4 subjects from the list above. In total, students will have five subjects that will make up their course for the year.

Class Twelve Te Akomanga Tuangahuru-mā-rua

Synthesis and World Consciousness

Te Pāhekoheko o te Ihomatua

This year is the culmination of an education which seeks to produce individuals who will work with a sound understanding of both themselves and the world.

The lessons in this year form a synthesis of the whole education over the course of the student’s school life. They focus on topics such as architecture, philosophy and world futures, with material that gives a broad overview and understanding of the world. Subject content focuses on the current world-view in each field.

The students stand firmly in the contemporary age, taking the best of the past into a future that is yet to unfold. It is here that one sees the fruits of a Steiner High School Education in young adults who stand courageously and with integrity as free individuals.

During the year, students undertake an Independent Project which includes research, practical, written and socio-ecological components. Students propose a topic for their study that is approved and supported by the teachers. This project develops skills that are useful in future study pathways, utilising time management, self-motivation and completion of a year-long endeavour. A successful Independent Project engages the student’s interest, works with their skills and abilities, challenges them to go further than they believe possible, and opens doorways to future pathways.

Students also complete their school leaving qualifications which, for most students, is NCEA Level 3 in five or six subjects.

Overview of Class 12 Main Lesson Programme
All Main Lesson are compulsory
English/Drama Novel Study                                                              
Class 12 Camp                                                              Class 12 Play
Social  Philosophy & Nature of the Universe                 
World Futures
Sciences Evolution                                                                Modern Chemistry
Aesthetics Architecture
Mathematics Finance & Life Skills
Overview of Class 12 Subject Lesson Courses
NCEA L3 NCEA Level 3
English English                                                                       Media Studies
Mathematics Statistics
The Arts Music
Technology Hard Materials                                           Visual Arts & Painting                                                     Photography                                                                  Drama
Science Biology                                                                        Chemistry                                                                  Physics
Health & PE PE
Social Science History

Class 12 students choose five electives from the list above to make up their course for the year.

Questions? He Pātai?

If there’s something more you’d like to know about our Waldorf / Steiner school approach to learning and what daily class life looks like for our High School students, please don’t hesitate to give our friendly Michael Park School staff a call. We are always happy to have a chat with you about your young adult and their unique learning needs.

You can find contact details for each department on the contact us page or, if you have a general enquiry, you can contact reception on the details below.

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