Orewa College's curriculum is based on the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum framework and describes the elements which are fundamental to teaching and learning. The notion of a "seamless" curriculum from Year 7-13, whereby students have access to outside agencies such as polytechnics, industries and universities is incorporated into the Orewa College model. Students leave the College confident and well-prepared for employment or tertiary studies.
LOWER MIDDLE SCHOOL
During the year all students follow a common course of study similar to intermediate schools but enhanced with specialist teaching.
In order to provide stability at this level, a home room teacher is responsible for much of the curriculum in subjects such as English, Social Studies, Mathematics and Science. The students receive specialist teaching in Music, Art, Drama, Language other than English and Technology subjects such as Food Technology and Materials Technology. All students in Year 7 will receive tuition in basic Information Technology as part of their normal curriculum studies.
Students continue to be taught the majority of their core subjects in home room classes. In addition they are given specialist instruction in Science, Music, Art, Drama, a language other than English and Technology. Information technology skills will also be taught within the curriculum.
UPPER MIDDLE SCHOOL
At this level the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, and Financial Literacy are delivered by specialist teachers. In the integrated programme (supported studies), students are in a homeroom situation, having the same teacher for their core subjects. All Year 9 students still have a range of courses by choosing a language other than English, Arts subjects (Drama, Visual Art, Dance and Music), and Technology.
As a preparatory year for NCEA Level 1 all students continue a common core of five subjects – English, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science and Physical Education. In addition they select four half year options from Technology, Arts and Languages other than English.
Year 11 – 13
In the senior school students are guided into a broad and balanced learning programme which prepares them for national qualifications. Students are able to attain credits towards Level 1 NCEA in seven courses in Year 11. Students in Year 12 also take seven courses and work towards attaining credits towards Level 2 NCEA. Students in Year 13 take six courses and work towards attaining credits towards Level 3 NCEA. Students may also work towards other National Qualifications as well as gaining work experience through the Gateway programme.
Students may enter one or more scholarship standards (Level 4) as well as their Level 3 standards. This assessment extends the best secondary students and enables the top scholars throughout the country to be identified and acknowledged. Students are expected to synthesise and integrate concepts, and to apply higher level thinking based on in-school and independent learning.