Learning in Years 9 and 10

In Years 9 and 10 we aim to advance the students learning in relevant and stimulating contexts so that they are prepared for more advanced study and ready for NCEA in year 11.


In Year 9 we present topics that are both rich in science and relevant to the students’ daily lives, while in Year 10 we aim to expand the horizons of scientific thinking and provide a good foundation for further study at NCEA Level

Year 9

The Atmosphere: Gases, ozone and the greenhouse effect.

Astronomy: The solar system, stars and the evolution of the cosmos.

Plants: Photosynthesis, plant structure

Human Body Systems: Digestion, circulation, reproduction

Heat: Energy transfer, conduction, convection and radiation

Year 10

Earth Science: Rock cycle, plate tectonics

Atomic theory: Atomic structure, ions, molecules and compounds

Acids and Bases: Types, uses and reactions

Electricity: Voltage, current, resistance, Ohm’s law

Forces: Contact and non-contact forces

Continuity of Life: Variation and Change



Students in Year 9 and 10 continue to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and concepts.  Applying mathematics to everyday and real life contexts is critical.  Students become more efficient in their strategies,  have an increased focus on Algebra and more sophisticated mathematics concepts. which are essential for further study. Students are taught in class by teacher-led discussion and exposition.   

Year 9

Year 9 is broken into the five main content strands.  

Number – Calculator skills, fractions, percentages and ratio

Algebra – Manipulating expression, solving equations and working with numerical patterns and their graphs

Measurement - Working with units, calculation of perimeter and area of polygons and volume of 3D shapes

Geometry – Angles and Pythagoras Theorem

Statistics – Probability and the Statistical Enquiry Cycle

A focus of Year 9 Mathematics is the development of self management and study skills. Students are required to keep a notebook for important ideas they will use in Year 9 and beyond.  They are learning the importance of preparing for assessments, reflecting on their performance and setting goals for the classroom. 

Students receive regular homework.

Year 10

Year 10 is broken into the five main content strands

Number – Fractions, Percentages, Standard Form 

Algebra – Manipulation of symbols; Solving Equations; Tables, Patterns & Graphs; Quadratics

Measurement – Perimeter, Area & Volume

Geometry – Parallel lines & Polygons, Pythagoras’ Theorem, Trigonometry

Statistics – Statistical Enquiry Cycle, Probability

Building on their self management skills, students continue to assess and reflect on their own progress and follow up on any difficulties in response to teacher feedback.   Students are encouraged to justify their answers and decisions based on the clarity and structure of their mathematical reasoning.

There is the opportunity for students to start their NCEA journey if appropriate. 


Social Studies

Social Studies works to connect students learning within the classroom with real world contexts. This is achieved through a range of different contexts, working on both a local and global scale. A focus within Social Studies surrounds the concept of cause and effect, with each unit working to prepare our students to be lifelong learners and to be capable of high levels of thinking and analysis needed for the individual senior subjects with Social Sciences.

Year 9

Changing Face of Aotearoa: Why the Treaty of Waitangi was created and how this document has shaped New Zealand society.

Migration: Looking into the reasons that people move between places, and how this has consequences for the people and the places.

Our Government: Different government systems, how they are organised and the affect they have on people’s lives.

Year 10

Tricks of the Trade: How people seek and have sought economic growth through trade and enterprise.

Global Climate Change: Understand how people’s management of resources impacts on environmental and social sustainability.

Human Rights: Looking into how people seek and define human rights throughout history.

Physical Education

Students will participate in a range of physical activities and be able to understand how it relates to Hauora. Students will be preparing for NCEA level 1 through looking at topics such as social responsibility, biophysical principles and influences on physical activity. 
Both year levels will finish the year with participating in the tradition that is the Ellesmere College Performance afternoon. Students will gain an importance of ‘Tikanga’ Maori through performing a range of cultural performances.

Year 9

Active Lifestyles: Developing an understanding of the concept of ‘Hauora’ and how it relates to personal fitness

Reducing the Risk: Developing an ability to identify and minimise “risks” through knowledge of first aid and investigating how scientific and technological changes have influenced sporting activities.

Space Invaders: Developing an awareness of game sense through participation in a range of invasion games.

Keeping Safe: Understanding risks associated with alcohol and drugs and looking at ways to minimise these risks.

Putting it into practice ‘Performance Afternoon’: Demonstrating the ability to perform through gaining an appreciation of different cultures.

Year 10

Fit for Life: Identifying and demonstrating varying components of fitness and describing how these components are affected by training programmes.

All or None: Understanding how needs can be met through both team and individual sports or activities.

Improving our Game: Developing an ability to acquire and apply complex motor skills by using basic principles of motor learning.

Think Before I Act: Developing the skills, attitudes, values and behaviours needed to maximise personal safety

Practice makes perfect ‘Performance Afternoon’: Developing personal qualities and interpersonal skills that are needed for participation and investigates how these contribute to the success of a team or group.


We aim to equip our students with a variety of skills that will enable them to engage technical processes. We are committed to the development of worthwhile vocational courses that prepare students for future study and employment.

Year 9



Computing: In Year 9 Computing we investigate and develop our understanding of the characteristics of technological outcomes through creation of an app. We also continue our skills development of touch typing.

Hard Materials

Year 10



Hard materials

Design and Visual Communication

Digital technologies: Through a 2 term course we prepare ourselves for NCEA Level 1 course work. We learn the basic concepts of information management, are introduced to the design principles, develop planning and digital media skills, as well as practicing initial web design skills using HTML code.


Year 9

Music theory

Around the world in music

Music history: Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century.

Research: a classical composer

Year 10

A half year semester in preparation for students who are serious about NCEA

Theory preparation for NCEA: scale structure, key signatures chord relationships

History of Music including Jazz

Music Analysis and the elements of music

Performance working towards NCEA level

Education Outside the Classroom

Students have the opportunity to be involved in numerous sports teams, kapahaka, musical groups, competitions, camps and skiing/snowboarding.

Year 9

Ski/snowboard trip in term 3

Year 10

Camp in term 1

Ski/snowboard trip in term 3