Curriculum Overview

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Curriculum Overview

All available subjects are listed in the chart at the bottom of this page.

​The School’s broad curriculum aims are as follows:

Years 9 & 10

  • To consolidate the following curriculum areas: – English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Health and Physical Education
  • To give all Year 9 students a ‘taste’ of the range of other National curriculum courses that Buller High School provides
  • To allow Year 10 students to explore more depth areas of the National Curriculum in subjects that they have an interest in.

Years 11 – 15 (senior coursebook attached)

  • To consolidate literacy, numeracy and science skills in year 11 students.
  • To offer as wide a range of subjects as possible
  • To prepare students for NCEA Levels 1 – 3
  • To equip students for tertiary education and the workplace

All pupils are working towards obtaining the National Certificate of Educational Achievement at levels 1, 2 or 3. A mix of internal and external assessments is used, depending on the subjects each pupil chooses.

Special Programmes

Some pupils require extra assistance with “the basics”. Others need extension work to keep them fully engaged in their learning.  Buller High School identifies needs and provides programmes to cater for them. For those with special needs, teachers develop individual programmes and, in some cases, provide individual tuition, especially in Reading. All Departments plan differentiated learning activities to cater for multiple intelligences and learning styles and in senior classes multi level learning creates individualized pathways for students.


Pupils are expected to do some work at home to reinforce and extend their learning. For junior pupils, homework can be an extension of class work, a time to finish exercises begun in class, a time for project or assignment work, or to learn work covered during school hours. It is important that juniors have a regular time and place for homework in order to develop good study habits early in their secondary school career.

The School provides Homework Diaries and these should be used by pupils to record details of homework set. Senior pupils should be devoting much of their homework time to revision and study, as well as for assignments and completion of exercises begun in class.  Seniors should ensure that they begin their revision programmes early in the year, as regular, organised study is necessary for examination preparation.

It is expected that pupils in Year 9 and 10 will spend from 1-1½ hours per day on homework. Pupils in Year 11 to 13 should spend from two to three hours per day on homework. It must be emphasised that these times are guides only and parents/caregivers should contact the School if too much homework or a lack of it becomes a problem.

Progress Reports

Reports are issued at regular intervals throughout the year to allow parents/caregivers to check on the progress of their children. All year groups will receive a preliminary report after approximately two months of the year and full reports at half year and end of year.

Distance Education

For pupils in Years 10, 11 and above who have specialised study preferences (in subjects not available at school), courses are available by distance, either by correspondence or video-conferencing through our partnership with NetNZ.  An extended range of senior academic subjects are available through distance education, as well as a range of vocational subjects which includes Childcare, Retailing, Tourism, Work and Employment Skills, Construction, Agriculture, Landscaping and Automotive.

A high degree of self-motivation is required to study distance courses, as they are tertiary level programmes. Unit Standards, which lead to industry qualifications, can be gained in these courses. Generally, one of the above subjects would take the place of one subject in a line on the pupil’s timetable.  

Curriculum Overview