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Literacy in English gives students access to the knowledge and skills they need to participate fully in the social, cultural, political, and economic life of New Zealand and the world. To be successful global citizens, students need to be effective oral, written, and visual communicators who are able to think critically and in depth.

English is fundamental to achieving success across the curriculum. All learning areas require students to process, comprehend and present ideas or information using the English language as a medium. English presents students with opportunities to engage with and develop the key competencies in diverse contexts.


Classical Studies is the study of the civilisations of classical Greece and Rome without the study of the classical languages, Greek and Latin. While the study of any civilisation is recognised to be educationally beneficial, the particular case for including Classical Studies in the curriculum of New Zealand secondary schools rests on two main grounds:


  • The historical importance of classical civilisation in the cultural tradition of Western Europe which is an important part of contemporary New Zealand culture. In classical Greece and Rome are to be found the origins of much of our art, science, literature, law, philosophy, politics and religion. Knowledge of the sources and development of a cultural tradition is essential to its continuing vitality.

  • The intrinsic quality and interest of the products of classical civilisation. The Greeks and Romans produced works of the intellectual and creative imagination which are recognised to be of the very highest quality and which can still evoke a strong and enriching response in New Zealand school students.


Classical Studies is a self-contained interdisciplinary study. Whether your interests are in myth, history, literature, drama, or art and architecture, you will find something to interest and challenge you.


Where can Classical Studies lead? 


Classics students learn how to think in abstract terms. This ability is an under-rated but highly desirable and transferable skill in the employment market.


Classics students are able to:

  • question cultural assumptions

  • think creatively

  • appreciate different cultures and value systems

  • develop excellent writing and research skills

  • understand the classical heritage of art, literature, theatre etc.


According to recent New Zealand university graduate destination surveys Classics students work in a variety of jobs, including events management, conference organising, banking, research, records management, librarianship, radio, marketing, travel, museums, architecture, and a range of Government Ministries.

Classical Studies


The ability to read accurately for understanding as well as to express ourselves succinctly is fundamental to all areas of our lives. This means that well-developed skills in reading, writing, and speaking are essential.  Furthermore, appreciation of our world and an understanding of experiences beyond our own environment is explored in good literature and expands our ability to think both creatively and critically.

Junior English

In Year 9 and 10, students make meaning through Listening, Reading and Viewing and create meaning for themselves or others through Speaking, Writing and Presenting.  Learning is Inquiry-based, collaborative and inclusive. Our thematic approach may include a variety of topics and texts including but not limited to poetry, novels, short stories, non-fiction texts, drama and film studies and oral/written/visual presentations.

Senior English

In all year levels, we strive to be responsive to the needs of our students when designing our courses which offer a range of 18 to 25 NCEA credits.  Teachers offer flexibility in the delivery of NCEA achievement standards where practicable. Courses may include Unit Standards and/or Achievement Standards, some of which will help students gain their University Entrance Reading and Writing credits. Student voice is acknowledged and considered in our selection of text choices and task design.



We are all exposed to the media in its many forms every day of our lives. Each visual or verbal text has been carefully edited to communicate particular ideas or characteristics, and it is increasingly important for us to understand how and why we are being influenced.

The Media Studies courses run at Howick College are designed to develop students' analytical, creative and commercial skills, as well as their powers of observation. Students are required to produce their own short films, do independent research into media issues and analyse a wide range of texts from classic films to comic strips. The ability to write essays and work independently are essential and there is a minimum entry requirement for each level.


The course aims to produce visually literate students who can articulate informed judgments about the media.  It encourages creative, technical analytical and social skills with a combination of practical work and class viewing, discussion and written work.  Students will also develop an awareness of employment opportunities in the media.  Media Studies is a rapidly growing industry and there are many training courses available in tertiary institutions with Media Studies as their focus.

Media Studies
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