Learning at Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton encourages an appreciation of culture, the arts and the place of science and technology in our world. Our nine different learning areas offer a broad range of subjects to help each student pursue their education.



Music is a fundamental form of expression, both personal and cultural. Areas that are covered include Music history, composition, technology and performance. On your chosen instrument, you will be expected to perform in front of an audience both as a soloist and as part of a group.


In this subject, students will develop their confidence, reflective thinking, performance and presentation skills, and their use of Drama elements, techniques and conventions to create and perform dramas.

During the year, they will create several performances, some self-devised, others worked from a script. Students will also see theatre and learn to think critically about what they see. This is in preparation for the external exam which asks them to reflect on theatre.  They will have the option of sitting the theatre form exam as well.

Visual Arts

The emphasis is on a course of practical study.  This offers exploration of a variety of fields, media and techniques.  These include drawing, Painting, Design, Photography, Printmaking and mixed media.  The visual environment is used as a basis for students to develop perceptual awareness, creative imagination and personal style, develop skills with facility and to think creatively.


The emphasis is on a course of practical study exploring digital photography.  This course is suitable for students who have not previously taken art. This is an exciting journey exploring various conventions within this field.  The creative, expressive and technical skills developed will be directly beneficial for future life and art options.


Experience in painting will give students the opportunity to make informed choices about the visual art disciplines they may wish to continue with at a later stage.  The creative expressive and technical skills developed will be beneficial for future life and art options.


This exciting journey explores a variety of design conventions giving students the personal skills to develop their own ideas.  The design outcome uses a digital process but can be inspired using conventional drawing processes. The creative expressive and technical skills developed will be beneficial for future life and art options.


The subject continues to build on the aims and philosophies of the National Curriculum in English.  Students will be aiming to achieve the literacy requirement for tertiary study.  Students will prepare for both the NCEA internal and external standards.

Media Studies

Media Studies provides students with the opportunity to develop media literacy skills, enabling them to critically examine the role that the media plays in their lives.  Students will be given the opportunity to create their own media texts.



This subject aims to broaden students’ knowledge of the language so that by the end of the year they will be able to communicate effectively at Level 6 of the New Zealand Curriculum in different situations and will gain skills such as rote learning and thinking, as well as cultural awareness, knowledge of grammar and basic critical analysis. They will be able to understand and produce more complex language and communicate beyond the immediate context, e.g. past and future events, and to understand and produce a variety of text types.


This subject aims to broaden students’ knowledge of the language so that by the end of the year they will be able to communicate effectively at Level 6 of the New Zealand Curriculum in different situations and will gain skills such as rote learning and thinking, as well as cultural awareness, knowledge of grammar and basic critical analysis. They will be able to understand and produce more complex language and communicate beyond the immediate context, e.g. past and future events, and to understand and produce a variety of text types.


By the end of Level 6, students can converse with te reo Māori speakers in familiar social situations and cope with some less familiar ones. They can use basic Māori language patterns spontaneously. They show a willingness to experiment with new language and to read independently. They can write short passages, personal letters, and simple formal letters in te reo Māori. Students are increasingly confident in using a range of strategies for learning te reo Māori and for communicating with others in predominantly Māori social contexts.


This subject aims to increase students’ competency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, with particular emphasis on literacy skills, essay writing and general academic vocabulary used in NCEA. Students will gain some ESOL Unit Standard credits at Levels 2 and 3 and will be aiming to achieve some NCEA Achievement Standards to complement credits gained in the English class.


This subject covers algebra, graphs, geometry, measurement, number, probability, statistics and trigonometry.


Students taking this subject: will be solving problems and equations involving trigonometric functions using differentiation and integration in calculus to solve problems manipulating real and complex numbers and solving algebraic equations sketching graphs and finding equations of conic sections.


Students studying this subject will be analysing time series, bi-variate data and using a mathematical model involving curve fitting to solve a problem.

Other areas covered are probability, probability distributions, confidence intervals and solving equations.

Physical Education and Health


This subject involves a study of personal well-being, understanding issues in health, nutrition, relationships and decision making. It encourages students to take responsibility and critical action to promote personal well-being and healthy communities.

Physical Education

This subject involves a study of personal well-being, physical movement, exercise and interpersonal skills as well as participation in physical activities.

Religious Education

In the Religious Education programme, our faith, its values and its meaning are explored at different levels throughout the school.

The national syllabus prepared by the National Centre for Religious Studies is followed in Years 9 – 11.

In Year 12 and 13, there is a more intellectual approach to the understanding of the moral doctrinal and social teachings of the church.

Retreats are an essential requirement for each class during the year. These are a time when the students can withdraw from school classes and spend a time in prayer, reflection and thoughtful discussion. Through the sharing of one’s beliefs and values, a retreat can be a very deep and meaningful experience, forging bonds of friendship, understanding and unity within each year level.

Social Sciences


Accounting is the study of the processes of translating financial transaction data into information to assist decision-makers to make relevant, accurate and timely decisions.  Areas covered in this course include the concepts of accounting, processing of accounting transactions, and the preparation and analysis of financial statements for businesses, individuals and community groups.

Classical Studies

Classical Studies is a ‘multi-disciplinary’ subject that focuses on Ancient Greek and Roman Civilisation. We study aspects of History (Alexander the Great), Literature (The Aeneid and Roman version of the myth behind the Trojan war) and Art (Roman Art and Architecture). The reasons for studying Classics are:

  • The historical importance of classical civilisation in the cultural traditions of the ancient world 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.
  • The ancient Greeks and Romans produced works of the highest quality  intellect and creative imagination. Learning about their world enriches your understanding of your world.

With a background in Classics, you can go on to complete a Bachelor of Arts at University


In this subject, students learn about producer and consumer choices, interactions between households and firms, how economic decisions are made, and the effects these choices have on individuals and the economy. Students will be introduced to the way producers work and the concept of a market which determines prices and allocates scarce resources. We are all involved in economics as producers or consumers and this course provides an understanding of our different roles in this process.


Geography stimulates a sense of wonder about the world, inspires students to help shape a better future and equips students with skills for the future.

Geography students are able to make sense of a complex and changing world and their place in it. Students have the opportunity to: build on and expand their personal experiences of natural and cultural environments; explore real and relevant contemporary situations; think about the ways features are arranged on the earth’s surface; examine processes that shape our world; undertake fieldwork investigations in different locations outside the classroom; develop an awareness of the connections between people and places; consider responsible action in relation to geographic issues.

In Level 1 students will specifically study extreme natural events, particularly earthquakes and a variety of other geographic issues which will be assessed internally. New Zealand population and associated issues (the sustainable use of resources, particularly dairying). These will all be assessed externally.


In this subject, you will be studying events in the twentieth century that have been significant for New Zealanders. The main topics studied will be The Origins of World War II, the Depression of the 1930s and Black Civil Rights in the USA. You will learn how to undertake a research investigation, communicate information in a variety of ways and the causes and consequences of events. You will also learn how to use a wide range of sources.


The first year of a 2 year National Certificate in Tourism course. Apart from earning NCEA credits, the subject prepares students for possible jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector, which is about 10% of all jobs, or as preparation for entry to one of the tertiary Tourism schools for a diploma or degree to enter the industry at a higher level.


Many careers require an understanding of science. Level 1 Science carries on from the content students have been exposed to during their Year 9 and 10 courses. This course provides students with a background into Biology, Chemistry and Physics to enable them to carry on in the Sciences at Level 2.


Biology is a challenging subject that aims to develop a wide range of skills, ranging from practical and investigative skills to those associated with research and understanding of biological ideas.  It also places biology into the context of the local and wider community.  Independent learning is encouraged and a primary aim is to stimulate a continuing interest in biology.


Many careers rely on students having a sound knowledge of the sciences. Level 2 Chemistry develops on the principles introduced at Level 1. Students will explore concepts such as organic chemistry, acid – base and atomic structure. There are also opportunities for students to learn important practical skills that every future chemist should have.


The Level 2 course expands on the principles and ideas that are introduced in Junior Science with the emphasis on mechanics, wave behaviour and electricity and Electromagnetism. The practical component is developed throughout the year and is a vital part of developing sound scientific technique. This course develops an understanding of the basic ideas and concepts in Physics which is vital for those carrying on to the Level 3 course. For those not continuing, the level of achievement is a good foundation for related careers.


Food Technology

Food Technology explores the entire process of why, what and how we make things.

Students work on projects, where they are asked to identify real opportunities and needs, come up with viable solutions, choose the most appropriate, and then create that solution. Students learn to work with others, to show initiative, to be creative and to find compromise when required.

Catering and Hospitality

Catering and Hospitality offers a unique opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and extend their skills within hospitality and catering in a vocational context. It is a suitable qualification for those who want a broad background in this area and for those who wish to progress to further education or the world of work. It is expected that students will be involved in competition work and catering for events.

Digital Technology

Students will develop transferable skills and knowledge such as problem solving and communication alongside the more specific digital technology skills and knowledge. Throughout the five year program a range of areas will be covered such as information management, graphics, animation, web development, programming, and multimedia.


Students will focus on visual literacy and creative thinking. They will analyse design ideas and make decisions in order to produce ideas relating to a design brief. This design brief will be centred around a specific graphics based context, either product, spatial, architectural, engineering or media design. Effective visual communication techniques will be used to show design ideas using a range of drawing and computer methods.

Soft Materials

The aim of the Soft Material Technology subject is to enable the student to achieve technological literacy through the development of:

  • Technological knowledge and understanding
  • Technological capability