Specialist Subjects

Specialist Subjects

Specialist Subjects

Become the expert you need to be

We describe the subjects as “Specialist” subjects because this is the time in the week when the students are taught explicitly the skills, knowledge and dispositions required to function fully in the specialist discipline areas. e.g. How do you investigate as a Mathematician or an artist? How do you become a scientist? We wanted the learning times to be long enough so that deep learning can happen, each subject has 2 x 100 minutes per week. We want the students to choose their specialist subjects wisely and to expect success in those subjects, hence the support from the tutorial teachers where they can work on completing work and improving grades.

We want all students to feel valued as learners and we expect teachers to create an environment where students at all stages of their learning can be together in the same class and can learn effectively. We do not stream students because, although that may work for the teachers, we believe that the unintended consequence for the students is that either they have a false sense of entitlement or they have a strong message that they are ‘dumb’ which is directly against our philosophy.

Students study five subjects only and we place emphasis on the gaining of quality credits rather than gaining large numbers of credits. To support the culture of quality credits we hold celebrations of excellence; Excellence Breakfasts, Excellence Evening, inviting the families in to acknowledge and celebrate their students’ success. 

You’ll learn more than you ever imagined.

What it looks like

  • Students choose 5 subjects.
  • Students study at NCEA levels appropriate to them.
  • 2 × 100 minutes for each subject.
  • Goal – Quality credits.
  • No prerequisites. (Teachers expected to differentiate)
  • No streaming. (Teachers expected to differentiate)


Course Information Handbook

ASHS is focusing on Level 1 differently from 2022.  Click here for all the details. 

To learn more about the courses offered at ASHS, visit our 2022 Course Handbook.

For information about requirements for each level and course exclusions – see the section ‘Supporting your Choices’.

For information about the structure and working of NCEA – see the section ‘Understanding NCEA’.

For information about the opportunities beyond school – see the section Considering your future’.

For information about assessment procedures, visit the NZQA student handbook.