The Curriculum

During Years 9 and 10 all students study a number of core or compulsory subjects. These are English, Mathematics, Health and Physical Education, Science, and Social Studies.

Some of these subjects remain compulsory at higher levels, while others become optional. At Years 9 and 10, students also study between three and six optional subjects. These include French, German and Te Reo Maori in the Languages area; Drama and Music in the Performing Arts area; Financial Literacy, ICT, Materials Technology and Food Technology in the Technology area; and Graphics and Art in the Art and Design area. At Year 11, English, Mathematics and Science are compulsory. All students choose three additional Level 1 subjects from the following:

The Performing Arts (Drama and Music) Technology (ICT, Materials Technology, Food Technology), Languages (French, German, Te Reo Maori), Social Sciences (Geography, History, Tourism, Economics and Accounting, Health and Physical Education, or Art and Design (Graphics and Art). At Year 12, English is compulsory and students study four (or five) additional subjects, usually at Level 2. At Year 13, students study five subjects, usually at Level 3. Students with a strong academic focus are also encouraged to work towards scholarship in their strongest subjects. Specialist teachers tutor individuals and small groups in Reading and Mathematics.

Help is offered by staff within classes and in withdrawal situations to assist students who have difficulties in these areas. Alternative programmes are provided in the senior school to ensure that all students are able to achieve to the best of their ability. Most subjects offer Achievement Standards. A small number of courses offer Unit Standards. Students with English as their second language receive personal support in the ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages) area. A specialist teacher works with students to develop the skills needed to successfully adapt to schooling and life in New Zealand.

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Support & Guidance

Timaru Girls’ High School has a strong support and guidance network. It is designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students. The network begins at the classroom level.

Subject teachers set a learning environment that encourages academic achievement and creates a positive classroom community. Form teachers provide the next level of support. Further guidance and support is offered by Deans who oversee the progress and welfare of students in a single year group. The Dean follows a year group from Year 9 until they leave in Year 13.

This gives the Dean a chance to really get to know the students in their year group and their families and provide personal guidance. More specialised help for individual students can be sought from the Guidance Counsellor or the Careers Advisor. The Guidance Counsellor offers advice on emotional, or social issues; she works individually with students who have been referred or who just need to talk.

The Guidance Counsellor also works closely with outside agencies in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for students. The last part of the support and guidance network is the senior team: Deputy Principals (2) and Principal. The senior team works with all of the people mentioned above in order to make Timaru Girls’ High School the best possible environment for the academic and social development of each student.

Student Leadership

A strong emphasis is placed on developing leadership skills, particularly in the senior school. Each Year 13 student is expected to sit on one of a number of committees that organise events and promote key ideas around the school.

Staff and students vote each year as part of the application process for the key offices of Head of School, Head of The Arts and Head of Sports. Each of these positions also has a deputy who works in a support role.

Junior students may also take leadership roles, such as class representative on the School Council, sport team captain or class librarian.

A student representative to the Board of Trustees is elected annually. This important position ensures that an advocate for the student body is part of key decision making processes. The popular and successful Peer Support Programme provides leadership training and opportunities for Year 13 students while also providing support for students in Year 9. A team of fully trained and very approachable senior students forms the Peer Support Committee. These students are available to offer advice to individuals needing help, support or just someone to talk to.

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Art & Culture

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The school’s Performing Arts Department offers classes in Drama and Music. These classes often lead to performance evenings and other presentations. Our Head of The Arts and Deputy Head of The Arts work with the Arts Co-ordinator to provide a variety of activities. Cultural activities offered by the school include:

Choir, Chorale, Lip-sync, Public Speaking, Orchestra, Shakespeare Festival, Speech Cup, Singing Cup, Kapa Haka, Debating.

Musical Productions
A combined musical production with Timaru Boys’ High School is performed annually. Each school alternates responsibility for producing and hosting this event.

Every alternate year Timaru Girls’ High School enters Stage Challenge.

Music Tuition
Students are offered music tuition in a range of instruments from the pool of itinerant music tutors


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Our school employs a Sports Co-ordinator who works with staff, students and outside volunteer coaches to ensure our girls have access to coaching and equipment so that they can participate in a wide range of winter and summer activities.

The Head and Deputy Head of Sports and senior student representatives from each sport work with the Sports Co-ordinator to provide a range of lunchtime activities.

Sporting activities currently offered by the school include: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Croquet, Cross Country, Cycling, Equestrian, Hockey, Indoor Bowls, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Petanque, Rowing, Rugby, Skiing, Small-bore Rifle Shooting, Soccer, Squash, Table Tennis, Tennis, Touch, Volleyball

Outdoor Activities

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In addition to competitive and social team sports, Timaru Girls’ High School provides expert instruction in other outdoor pursuits from annual school camps to high country tramping as part of the Duke of Edinburgh programme.

Healthy physical exercise is an important part of the culture and traditions at Timaru Girls’ High School. Our students play a variety of team sports both competitively and socially with other schools where team work and co-operation are essential

  • "The popular and successful Peer Support Programme provides leadership training and opportunities for Year 13 students while also providing support for students in Years 9 and 10. The programme focuses on key issues such as maintaining healthy relationships, making new friends and starting at a new school."

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