Year 9 Options- overview

All Year 9 students follow a compulsory programme in English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education and Health. They also choose nine option subjects covering the other three learning areas. Each of these nine subjects is studied for a trimester (approximately twelve weeks).

Year 9 Subject Options

Students are strongly encouraged to include a broad range of areas in their choices.

The subjects they can choose from are:

European PassportAnimationFood and Nutrition
Market Place Coding and Raspberry Pi Music
Trash to Treasure Performing Arts Dance
Textiles and Fashion Technology Character Design Drama
T-Shirt Design Visual Art Money Smart
Product and Design Contemporary Maori Art Te Reo Maori


This course provides an introduction to French, German and Spanish. You will embark on a “virtual” trip to Europe where you will learn the language you need along the way.

You will learn the vocabulary you need to order food in a café, go shopping, catch a train or avoid getting lost in France, Germany or Spain and have fun doing so.

You will work individually or in pairs on a variety of tasks and web quests covering genuine contexts to get stamps in your passport and gain valuable skills for your future trip to Europe.


The intention of this course is for students to be engaged in an authentic technological experience in the context of making soft material products for an identified market and producing these for sale.

Assessment will be written in line with Level 5 of the curriculum. The achievement objectives and learning outcomes are centred on the Technology Curriculum but incorporate other subject strands.

Students will be working innovatively towards an outcome. Assessment targets will be monitored.

The enterprise element to this course shows students the value of their time and creates an awareness of decisions made while developing their product.


Trash to treasure is designed to cater for students who want to explore the space between Technology and Visual Arts. This course aims to meet the needs of students who want to make three dimensional products that are not bound by functionality or a rigid design process. It is a feeder to Design and Visual Communication, Visual Arts, Design, Fashion and Textiles Design, and Product and Design. This cross-disciplinary approach offers a unique learning experience and students are given the chance to explore different avenues of Trash to Treasure during a major design project. Students will work within the context of sustainability, predominately using recycled or upcycled materials. Students could have the opportunity to work collaboratively on large scaled projects or individually. The Bernina Fashion Competition has several sections which will be suitable for students to enter design outcomes such as masks/accessories/wearable art.


The intention of this course is for students to be engaged in an authentic technological experience in the context of making a soft material outcome that suits their needs.

This course would be suitable for students who enjoy a more practical, skills based course.

Assessment is written in line with Level 5 of the curriculum. The achievement objectives and learning outcomes are centred in the Technology Curriculum but also incorporate other subject strands. Students will learn essential textiles and fashion construction techniques which will be applied to a product / outcome which they have designed and developed to meet their identified need.


Students will have the opportunity to develop and print a pre-purchased t-shirt. They will investigate and consider manufacturing costs, printing methods and applications. They will then work through the design process to develop an original print which they will apply. Students will gain an understanding of what is involved in setting up a clothing company. There is the potential for students to design swing tags and associated branding and advertising using Photoshop.


In Year 9, students will have the opportunity to develop their problem solving skills across two different specialist areas.

Design & Visual Communication will focus on design drawings, with the emphasis on working drawings, prototypes, orthographic, isometric, sectional/exploded details, construction drawings, measurements and cutting lists.

Construction & Mechanical Technology will focus on making and knowing how to make products. It will include workshop safety, machine components, knowledge of materials and construction methods.

Students will work through a design brief, such as Clock Design – MDF/Plywood.


Students will gain computer skills using a range of software, while learning about and creating a Stop Motion Animation. Basic media production and design practices will be covered during the course, together with creative and artistic activities to encourage the use of imagination and originality. Drawing skills and the design process are included to improve the quality of students' work records and outcomes.

There is the possibility for students to extend their computer design knowledge by creating a computer app using Marvel software.


Students will discover and explore how computers work. They will develop an understanding of both hardware and software aspects. Through hands on exploration they will use problem solving skills to arrive at working outcomes. It is expected that they will develop skills in coding programmes, such as Scratch. With the addition of the raspberry pi, students will be able to use LED lights and other electronics.


Students will gain a well-rounded experience in all the Arts: Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Art. Students will work together to produce a multi-disciplinary performance-based piece. Students will have the opportunity to specialise in one or more of these areas, according to their strengths and preferences and work within those disciplines to contribute to the presentation of the final collaborative piece.

Students would spend four weeks in each of the Arts, spending time developing subject specific skills, working in a group to plan their performance piece. Students will work with subject specialists to mould their final piece for assessment. At the end of the trimester, students will present their final performance piece. Throughout the devising process, students will select which of the areas they would like to perform in.


The character design course aims to introduce students to a variety of skills within Design and Visual Communication. They will have the opportunity to develop problem solving and presentation skills, along with creativity and visualising objects in 3 dimensional space.

Character Design will focus on design drawings, with the emphasis on freehand sketching using isometric, perspective, oblique and rendering techniques using markers, pens and chalk, prototyping and modelling. Students will gain knowledge of 3D modelling and printing software. Students will also develop skills in Design and Visual Communication and then work through a design brief utilising the two 3D printers available within the school.


This course will introduce students to a range of art-making techniques in preparation for the following courses in the senior school: Visual Art, Design, Photography.

Students will develop skills when using a wide range of drawing media: pen, pencil, ink, charcoal, coloured pencil. They will extend their skills into the application of wet media: Watercolour and acrylic paint. Students will then use Print-making and Assemblage techniques to layer and combine their imagery to create a complex final composition: Stencils, collograph, transfers, collage.

Students will develop research skills and draw from their own collected imagery, based on a whole class topic. For example: The Beach, Underwater, Personal Identity, Flight. Students will have the freedom to select from a wide range of sources and use the work of Artist Models to develop their knowledge of composition.


This course will introduce students to a range of Art-Making Techniques in preparation for the following courses in the senior school: Visual Art, Design, and Photography. They will do this through the combination of traditional and contemporary art-making techniques.

Students will produce an illustrated Letter-form Painting which combines painting, drawing, carving, pattern-making. Their final work will illustrate their Whanau/Whakapapa through research into their family history and personal identity.

To achieve their quality finished product, students will learn a range of drawing techniques, use stencil making techniques to simplify subject matter, research Kowhaiwhai and Tukutuku patterns, use the work of street artists to develop letterforms. Students will use Contemporary Maori Artists as inspiration for composition: Ruben Patterson, Shane Hansen and Shane Cotton.


Year 9 Food and Nutrition at Whangarei Girls' High School is an equal mix of theory and practical cooking classes. The course covers basic food hygiene and safety, teaching students about how to create food safely, with an understanding of food poisoning bacteria and safety in the cooking room. Students will also learn about basic nutrition and understand the impact of making healthy food choices for life.

Students have lots of fun creating and eating delicious and nutritious food that they can then take home and try out on the family!!


In Year 9 Music, there is a focus on practical and creative music making with an emphasis on mainly whole-class group-work.

You will:

• learn to play an instrument as part of a group

• learn how to read music

• rehearse pieces for a final concert at the end of term

• reflect on the rehearsal and performance process

• demonstrate basic knowledge of music theory


Dance at WGHS is for everyone regardless of experience. Our classes are inclusive, challenging and fun. They involve solving physical problems through movement as well as learning a range of different styles of dance. You will improve your teamwork, communication and problem solving as well as being challenged in physical ways (core strength, flexibility and basic dance technique).

Four key areas of focus in our subject are: being thoughtful of others, self-discipline, giving your best and showing integrity. These are integral to our subject and are taught and assessed regularly. This makes a supportive, non-judgemental atmosphere in Dance classes, while being hard work, challenging and fun.


Over a trimester of 12 weeks students will be introduced or re-familiarised to basic performance skills, including: use of space, devising and characterisation through use of voice and body.

It also includes an element of written drama theory covering: drama literacy, stage types and mime technique.

The course finishes with a performance to an invited audience. It is a great confidence builder and lots of fun.


All students need an understanding of at least the fundamentals of being an active participant in the Economy. They require financial skills and to be able to make informed economic decisions with their money. This course aims to increase their financial capabilities and make students more aware about what influences their choices and the implications of their decisions. Students engage with money concepts through activities, projects and challenges as they become Money Smart.


Students will extend their knowledge base in Te Reo Māori. They will focus on learning about themselves, their family and the wider community. A special focus will be learning conversational Māori, reading, writing and listening skills.